The Anonymous Widower

ORR’s Policy On Third Rail DC Electrification Systems

The title of this post is the same as that of a document I downloaded from this page on the Office of Rail and Road web site.

It is one of the most boring legal documents, that I have ever read and I have read a few in my time.

As I read it, effectively it says that new third-rail electrification is banned because of Health and Safety issues, which take precedence.

But only once in the document is new technology mentioned, that might make third-rail safer and that is a reference to the Docklands Light Railway, where the third rail is shielded.

I am an Electrical Engineer and I was designing safety systems for heavy industrial guillotines at fifteen as a vacation job in a non-ferrous metals factory.

One design of an ideal electric railway would have battery-electric trains, that were charged in stations by third-rail. The third-rail would only be energised, when a train was over the top and needed to be charged. In effect the train would act as an all-enclosing guard to the conductor rail.

Electrification Of The West Of England Main Line

The West of England Main Line runs between Basingstoke and Exeter via Salisbury. It is one of the longest, if not the longest main lines in England, that is not electrified.

It would probably need to be electrified with 750 VDC third-rail electrification, as that standard is used between London Waterloo and Basingstoke.

In Solving The Electrification Conundrum, I described a system being developed by Hitachi, that would use battery-electric trains that were charged by short sections of electrified line every fifty miles or so. For reasons of ease of installation and overall costs, these short sections of electrification could be third-rail, that was electrically dead unless a train was connected and needed charging. These electrified sections could also be in stations, where entry on to the railway is a bit more restricted.

Conclusion

The Office of Rail and Road needs to employ a few more engineers with good technical brains, rather than ultra-conservative risk-averse lawyers.

As a sad footnote, I live in East London, where trespassers are regularly electrocuted on the railway. But usually, it is when idiots are travelling on top of container trains  and inadvertently come into contact with the overhead electrification.

July 10, 2021 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Piers Corbyn Arrested Over Vaccine ‘Auschwitz Leaflet’

The title of this post, is the same as that, of this article on the BBC.

These are the first three paragraphs.

Piers Corbyn has been arrested over leaflets comparing the UK’s Covid-19 vaccine rollout to Auschwitz.

The 73-year-old brother of former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said he voluntarily attended a police station on Wednesday.

He was then arrested on suspicion of malicious communications and public nuisance.

I am a confirmed atheist, but I do have Jewish ancestors. My great-great-great-grandfather was a Jewish tailor and came from Konigsberg in East Prussia.

As people related to my ancestor and therefore myself, were probably sent to Auschwitz and other similar camps and never came out, I feel very annoyed at what Corbyn has been involved in.

Corbyn and his collaborators should undoubtedly feel the full force of the law.

This

February 4, 2021 Posted by | Health | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Stonehenge A303 Tunnel Plan Approved By Transport Secretary

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on the BBC.

This is the introductory paragraph.

A controversial plan to dig a £2.4bn road tunnel near Stonehenge has been approved by the Transport Secretary.

As a non-driver, who would prefer to travel to the South West by train, I have no definite opinion on the proposed scheme.

However, I do hope that the design has taken full account of the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

  • Will more decide to holiday at home?
  • Will more buy holiday homes in Cornwall and Devon?
  • Will the road attract more traffic, as most do?

I do feel though, that it will be some years before construction starts, as if ever there was a project, that will be a pot of gold lawyers, then this is it!

 

November 12, 2020 Posted by | Health, Transport | , , , | 4 Comments

Bristol Illegal Rave Attended By 700 People

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on the BBC.

This is the sub-title.

Police say they were attacked as they tried to break up an illegal rave at a warehouse near Bristol.

Let’s hope it gives lots of work for criminal defence solicitors.

November 1, 2020 Posted by | Health, News | , , , , | 3 Comments

US Man Faces Jail In Thailand Over Hotel Review

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on the BBC.

I suggest that before you visit Thailand, you read the article.

After reading, the article, I moved Thailand onto my never visit list, alongside Iran and North Korea.

How can a country have such a stupid legal system?

It’s all rather strange really, as I’ve had nothing but kindness and courtesy from all the Thais I have met.

September 29, 2020 Posted by | World | , , , | 1 Comment

Greater Manchester Police Warning After 660 Parties Shut Down

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on the BBC.

This is the introductory paragraph.

Greater Manchester Police has warned people not to breach lockdown rules over Easter after it had to break up 660 parties last weekend.

This was also reported.

  • There were 1,132 coronavirus-related breaches reported between Saturday and Tuesday.
  • Some of the 494 house parties had DJs, fireworks and bouncy castles.
  • There were also 166 street parties.
  • One woman in Bury was arrested.

The force also had to deal with 122 different groups gathering to play sports, 173 more gatherings in parks and 112 incidents of anti-social behaviour and public disorder.

There have been some similar reports in London, but not on this scale.

So why is it, that Manchester disobeyed the rules so much?

Is it because the BBC is in Manchester and it’s easy to report?

April 9, 2020 Posted by | Health | , , , , , | 5 Comments

If The Wig Fits, They’ll Wear It

The title of this post is the same as that of an article in the diary in today’s copy of The Times.

Apparently, there has been criticism, of the new film; The Children Act, about the wearing of wigs by barristers.

The tag line of the story, quoting a daily e-mail called The Brief is.

Who cares about accuracy?” The Americans expect to see English lawyers wearing bloody wigs.

C rarely wore her wig, if ever.

In fact, in one case that involved some Americans, they asked her, where they could buy one, so they could take it home as a souvenir.

August 31, 2018 Posted by | World | , | Leave a comment

Trump Shoots The Messenger

This article on the BBC is entitled Trump sacks defiant acting attorney general.

This is said.

Donald Trump has fired the acting US attorney general, after she questioned the legality of his immigration ban.

I think that the only winners on this spat will be American lawyers.

January 31, 2017 Posted by | World | , | 1 Comment

Could The Brexit Ruling Be Beneficial To All?

This article on the BBC is entitled PM urged to calm the backlash against Brexit ruling.

It is all getting very nasty out there.

The judges were asked for their opinion and they gave it.

Some  reaction is like that of a heavy smoker, who has just asked his doctor, if smoking will cause lung cancer and he hasn’t liked the reply.

I am by training a Control Engineer, who in his time has modelled very complex systems.

I can remember a couple of difficult problems, where to find a working solution, some form of delay had to be introduced.

After that, everything was hunky-dory!

The biggest effect of the Brexit ruling, will be to introduce a delay in the calling of Article 50, which will now hang like a Sword of Damacles over everybody, be they a politician, captain of industry or just an ordinary Jack or Jill like me.

So as Doctor Johnson said about hanging concentrating the mind, could we see the ultimate British solution; a compromise?

Thank the Devil for lawyers!

 

November 5, 2016 Posted by | World | , , | Leave a comment

‘Wheelchair vs. Buggy’ Case Goes To The Supreme Court

The latest in this story from Wetherby is in this article on the BBC, which is entitled Supreme Court to hear ‘wheelchair vs buggy’ bus case.

I think it is interesting that this case comes from Wetherby, which I suspect doesn’t have such an intensive bus service as I have here in London or as there is in Manchester, Newcastle or Liverpool.

In London, I have never seen an argument over the wheelchair space on a bus, although I have seen some severe, but helpful reorganising, when a wheel-chair needs to be accommodated.

In London because bus frequencies are higher and there are generally shelters these days, I would suspect that most people, be they able-bodied, in a wheel-chair or with a buggy, accept that they may have to wait for the next bus.

But if there is only one bus an hour, it’s chucking it down and there’s no shelter, it’s more likely that passengers will refuse to co-operate.

So one way to mitigate problems like this, is to provide a better bus service, with more buses, better shelters and improved information.

But that all costs money!

I am not disabled, although I don’t drive because of an eyesight problem. I also because of my stroke, could have ended up in a wheelchair, so I sympathise, with those who have to use a wheelchair or electric buggy to get about.

I regularly, see passengers in wheelchairs use London buses, with their central entrance/exit, which leads straight into the wheelchair space. The design, also means the driver can deploy the ramp and do everything they need without leaving the cab. In loading a wheelchair, I’ve also seen buggy-pushers take advantage of the deployed ramp to get out of the bus to fold the buggy before getting back on.

But outside of London, where often the wheelchair user has to get in the front entrance by the driver, this creates all sorts of delays and I’ve seen on a crowded bus, virtually everybody on the lower-deck get off, to allow the wheelchair to pass through.

I wonder if outside of London, there is more resentment of wheel-chair users on buses, than there is in the capital.

In my view, all new buses should be designed for central wheelchair entrance/exit as this is so much more efficient.

I once had a discussion with a Manchester Buses union rep on a Manchester bus. He was all for the London system of no-money-on-buses, with a front entrance and central-exit passenger flow, as it cut attacks on staff.

Since then, London has gone even further and now with the ability to use any contactless bank card as a ticket, London now has one of the most advanced bus-ticketing system in the world.

We need a standardised bus-system all over the UK. It might actually encourage more people to use this often-neglected form of public transport, which would generate more revenue for a better system.

June 15, 2016 Posted by | Transport | , , , | 7 Comments