The Anonymous Widower

Strong Business Case For Proposed West London Orbital Overground, TfL Says

The title of this post is the same as that on this article on the Finchley Times.

This is the first two paragraphs.

West London is one step closer to a new train line which will connect the outer boroughs and relieve pressure on existing transport infrastructure.

The proposed West London Orbital would run from Hendon or West Hampstead through Acton to Hounslow.

It is my view, that now TfL have got a strong business case, they should get this project started.

  • The only problem is money and that could be raised by abandoning the fare freeze.
  • Or increasing the size of the Congestion Charge Zone.
  • Hard on some, but we should be less selfish.
  • I would accept a few restrictions on my Freedom Pass.

There has been too much waffling and it is now time for action.

 

July 5, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , | Leave a comment

Japanese Car Rental Firms Discover New Trend Of Renting Vehicles For A Nap Or Quiet Lunch

The title of this post is the same as that of this story on The World News.

It was flagged up first on BBC Breakfast.

But is it any difference to my behaviour?

I generally get up, do all my daily chores and have a bath.

Then, I’ll go out about nine and take an Overground train or a bus to somewhere quiet for breakfast.

I will sometimes go as far as Richmond for breakfast in Leon.

And if the weather is hot like is it is now, I might even just sit on an air-conditioned train and read my paper or watch the news on my phone, stopping where I fancy for a coffee or a drink.

All I need to ensure, is that at some point, I stop off at a Marks and Spencer to get the food I need for supper.

Courtesy of my Freedom Pass, all this travel costs me a big fat zilch.

I call it Freedoming.

Today, though I’m roaming a bit further; Manchester. Hopefully, I’ll get a ride in one of the new Class 195 trains to Manchester Airport.

 

July 5, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , | 2 Comments

A London Overground Replacement For Southern’s East Croydon And Milton Keynes Service

In July 2017, I discussed this suggestion by Chris Gibb in Gibb Report – East Croydon – Milton Keynes Route Should Be Transferred To London Overground.

In an article, in the July 2019 Edition of Modern Railways, , which was entitled ‘710s’ Debut On Goblin, this was this last paragraph.

On the West London Line, TfL is curremtly working with the Department for Transport on options for the devolution of services originally suggested in Chris Gibb’s report on the Govia Thameslink Railway franchise, which could lead to ‘710s’ being deployed here.

It made me think, that further investigation was called for.

An Apology

I apologise, if you think I’m repeating myself.

What The Gibb Report Says

The Gibb Report, says this about the current service between East Croydon and Milton Keynes Central stations.

I believe there is an option to transfer the East Croydon – Milton Keynes operation to TfL and it’s London Overground concession in 2018.

TfL may decide to change the service, for example by not running it north of Watford Junction, or running it to an alternative southern destination other than East Croydon. They could also develop the combined West London line service to better match available capacity to demand.

They would have a number of crewing and rolling stock options, but should be able to operate the service more efficiently than GTR in the longer term, without the involvement of Selhurst.

Selhurst TMD is the depot in South London, where the current Class 377 trains are based.

A few of my thoughts.

The Trains

Using Class 710 trains  as suggested in the Modern Railways article, would surely offer a suitable  crewing and rolling stock option for the route, if they were based at the convenient Willesden TMD, where the fleet of up to twenty-five dual-voltage Class 710/2 trains are stabled.

The Northern Terminus

Chris Gibb suggested the service might not go past Watford Junction.

I think that could be difficult.

  • The longitudinal seating of the Class 710 train, is probably not suitable for outer suburban services North of Watford.
  • East Croydon to Watford Junction takes 69 minutes, which is not a good journey time to create an efficient service.

It would also appear to be tricky for a train to transfer between the West London Line and the Watford DC Line.

This map from carto.metro.free.fr shows the complicated track layout in the Willesden Junction area.

Note.

  1. The two Willesden Junction stations, labelled High Level and Low Level.
  2. The Watford DC Line, which is shown in black and orange, passing to the North of Willesden TMD. and through the Low Level station.
  3. The four tracks shown in black are the West Coast Main Line, with Watford to the West and Euston to the East.
  4. The North London Line to Richmond and the West London Line to Clapham Junction splitting at Wilesden High Level Junction.

The current service between East Croydon and Milton Keynes, is only one train per hour (tph) and uses a succession of flat junctions to take the slow lines to and from Watford.

This is not a good operational procedure and I suspect Network Rail and various train operators, would like to see it discontinued.

So if trains in a new London Overground version of the service, don’t go up the Watford DC Line or the West Coast Main Line, where do they turn back?

Note the siding to the East of the High Level platforms, which is labelled Willesden Junction Turnout.

This is regularly used to turnback London Overground services on the West London Line.

I feel that London Overground will be turning their replacement service in Willesden Junction High Level station.

Current train services at the station include.

  • For passengers, who want to go further North, there is a good connection to the Watford DC Line for Wembley Central, Harrow & Wealdstone and Watford Junction stations.
  • The Watford DC Line can also take you to Euston.
  • The Bakerloo Line between Stonebridge Park and Elephant & Castle via Central London.
  • Frequent North London Line services between Stratford and Richmond.

The station has kiosks, coffee stalls, toilets and waiting rooms.

There are certainly worse places to change trains.

The Southern Terminus

Obviously, existing travellers on the route would like to see as few changes as possible.

East Croydon station must be a possibility for the Southern terminus, as it is the currently used.

But East Croydon is a busy station and perhaps it is not a convenient station for trains to wait in the platform.

On the other hand, West Croydon station offers some advantages.

  • The station has a long bay platform, which might be long enough for nine or ten cars.
  • There is a separate turnback siding.
  • It has space to add another bay platform, but this may have been sold to a developer.
  • It already has a four tph London Overground service to Highbury & Islington station.
  • Using West Croydon avoids the crowded lines to the North of East Croydon station.

It is also managed by London Overground, so the landlord would be co-operative.

How Many Trains Would Be Needed For A West Croydon And Willesden Junction Service?

West Croydon station has two possible routes, that trains could take to Willesden Junction.

  • Via Norwood Junction and Clapham Junction in 55 minutes.
  • Via Selhust and Clapham Junction in 45 minutes.

These times mean that a two-hour round trip between West Croydon and Willesden Junction should be possible.

Trains required for various frequencies would be as follows.

  • One tph – Two trains.
  • Two tph = Four trains.
  • Four tph – Eight trains.

They would need to be dual voltage Class 710/2 trains, as are now running on the Gospel Oak to Barking Line.

Compare the figures with those for the current East Croydon and Milton Keynes service, which needs four pairs of four-car trains for an hourly service.

What Would Be The Frequency?

I think one, two and four tph are all possibilities!

One tph

One tph would be a direct replacement for the current service. But is it enough?

Services at West Croydon could probably share the bay platform with the existing Highbury & Islington station service.

Two tph

Two tph could be a compromise frequency.

Two tph could probably still share the current bay platform with the Highbury & Islington service.

Four tph

Four tph would be a full Turn-Up-And-Go service,

  • It would probably be London Overground’s preference.
  • It would give a very passenger-friendly eight tph between Willesden Junction and Clapham Junction stations.
  • The two services would call at opposite sides of Clapham Junction station.
  • It would give a four tph link between Croydon and High Speed Two.
  • Westfield wouldn’t mind all the extra shoppers at Shepherds Bush!

But there could be downsides.

  • The service could need an extra bay platform at West Croydon.
  • Would it be possible to turn four tph at Willesden Junction?
  • Will the train paths be available through South London.

But four tph would probably would be London Overground’s preference.

It will be interesting to see the reasons, why Transport for London choose a particular frequency.

A Trip Between Imperial Wharf And East Croydon Stations

Today, I took a trip between Imperial Wharf and East Croydon stations at around 11:30.

  • The train was  two four-car Class 377 trains working as an eight-car train.
  • After Clapham Junction it wasn’t very busy.
  • I was in the last car, which was empty, except for myself.

I came to the conclusion, that an eight-car train was too much capacity for the Southern section of the journey.

I suspect that Transport for London have detailed passenger estimates for this route, so they should be able to determine the frequency and length of replacement trains required.

The Upgraded Norwood Junction Station

In Major Upgrade Planned For Norwood Junction Railway Station, I talked about a plan to upgrade Norwood Junction station.

The idea behind the upgrade is to improve connectivity and capacity in the crowded Croydon area.

If the West Croydon and Willesden Junction service, was routed via Norwood Junction station, the upgraded station would give easy access to both East and West Croydon stations.

Conclusion

I’ve always liked Chris Gibb’s suggestion of the transfer of the service between East Croydon and Milton Keynes stations to the London Overground and I can now start to see flesh on the bones!

At the present time and until better data is available, I think the replacement service should be as follows.

  • The Northern terminus should be Willesden Junction.
  • The Southern terminus should be West Croydon station, where there are good tram and train connections.
  • The route would be via Shepherds Bush, Kensington Olympia, West Brompton, Imperial Wharf, Clapham Junction, Wandsworth Common, Balham, Streatham Hill, West Norwood, Gipsy Hill, Crystal Palace and Norwood Junction.
  • Going via Gipsy Hill, rather than the current route via Selhurst, would give access to the connectivity at Norwood Junction.
  • The frequency should be four tph.
  • Trains will be four- or five-car Class 710 trains.

The benefits would be as follows.

  • The rail hubs of Clapham Junction, Norwood Junction, West Croydon and Willesden Junction would be connected together by a Turn-Up-And-Go service.
  • The proposed four tph service would need eight Class 710 trains, whereas the current one tph service needs eight Class 377 trains. Would this be better value?

In the future with a connection to High Speed Two in the Old Oak Common area, the benefits would increase.

  • There would be a simple interchange with High Speed Two.
  • South London from Clapham to Croydon, would get a direct service to High Speed Two.
  • There would also be a better connection to Heathrow Airport and other rail services through Old Oak Common.

I think that the connection to High Speed Two trumps everything else.

July 1, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

‘710s’ Debut On Goblin

The title of this post is the same as an article in the July 2019 Edition of Modern Railways.

The article is mainly about the introduction of the Class 710 trains on the Gospel Oak to Barking Line.

But the last sentence of the article is worth more investigation.

On the West London Line, TfL is curremtly working with the Department for Transport on options for the devolution of services originally suggested in Chris Gibb’s report on the Govia Thameslink Railway franchise, which could lead to ‘710s’ being deployed here.

I investigate it fully in A London Overground Replacement For Southern’s East Croydon And Milton Keynes Service.

This was my conclusion.

At the present time and until better data is available, I think the replacement service should be as follows.

  • The Northern terminus should be Willesden Junction.
  • The Southern terminus should be West Croydon station, where there are good tram and train connections.
  • The route would be via Shepherds Bush, Kensington Olympia, West Brompton, Imperial Wharf, Clapham Junction, Wandsworth Common, Balham, Streatham Hill, West Norwood, Gipsy Hill, Crystal Palace and Norwood Junction.
  • Going via Gipsy Hill, rather than the current route via Selhurst, would give access to the connectivity at Norwood Junction.
  • The frequency should be four tph.
  • Trains will be four- or five-car Class 710 trains.

The benefits would be as follows.

  • The rail hubs of Clapham Junction, Norwood Junction, West Croydon and Willesden Junction would be connected together by a Turn-Up-And-Go service.
  • The proposed four tph service would need eight Class 710 trains, whereas the current one tph service needs eight Class 377 trains. Would this be better value?

In the future with a connection to High Speed Two in the Old Oak Common area, the benefits would increase.

  • There would be a simple interchange with High Speed Two.
  • South London from Clapham to Croydon, would get a direct service to High Speed Two.
  • There would also be a better connection to Heathrow Airport and other rail services through Old Oak Common.

I think that the connection to High Speed Two trumps everything else.

I will keep returning to this vital link down thw West London Line.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

June 30, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Free Device Charging On The Overground

This picture, that I took at Shoreditch High Street station, says it all.

There were a selection of leads for all the different devices.

June 23, 2019 Posted by | Computing, Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

Major Upgrade Planned For Norwood Junction Railway Station

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

Ian introduces his article like this.

A somewhat shabby, and yet quite busy station in South London could get a major makeover if plans by Network Rail are approved.

The proposals are part of the wider plan to clean up the mess of tracks around Croydon to boost the capacity of the lines through the area, but it is also a stand-alone project.

Ian also has this visualisation of the upgraded Norwood Junction station.

Note.

  1. London Bridge station is to the left with East Croydon station to the right.
  2. The Main station entrance is on the near side, with the Clifford Road station entrance on the far side.
  3. Platform 1 & 2 is the highlighted island platform on the near side.
  4. Platform 3 & 4 is the highlighted island platform on the far side.

It looks expensive with two step-free bridges.

Both bridges have four sets of steps to.

  • The Main Station Entrance.
  • The Northbound Platform 1 & 2,
  • The Southbound Platform 3 & 4
  • The Clifford Road Entrance.

In addition, the Southern bridge has four lifts to the two entrances and two platforms.

These pictures show the current state of the station.

Currently, the station has three island platforms.

  • They are connected by a well-lit, step-only subway.
  • Some platforms are too short for twelve-car trains.
  • The wooden buidings need a quality makeover. Where is Terry Stollery, when you need him?
  • In the new layout, the central island platform will be removed, to allow a pair of fast lines through the station.
  • One advantage of the subway is during the station upgrade, it can still be used to access the middle platforms, thus easing construction and causing less disruption for passengers.

After the upgrade, the layout will be as follows.

  • Platforms 1 & 2, which are currently Platforms 2 & 3, would be for Northbound trains, with perhaps Platform 1 for stopping and Overground services and Platform 2 for limited-stop and Thameslink services.
  • Platforms 3 & 4, which are currently Platforms 5 & 6, would be for Southbound trains, with perhaps Platform 3 for stopping and Overground services and Platform 4 for limited-stop and Thameslink services.

The subway will probably be closed.

Improved Train Services

For people like me, who live on the Overground, North of Norwood Junction station, hopefully it will solve the problem of getting to Gatwick Airport.

  • It’ll just be a walk across the platform at Norwood Junction station, instead of a tram between West Croydon and East Croydon stations.
  • In the future, would the cross-platform interchange help travellers between Crossrail and Gatwick and the South Coast?
  • The Zeus of the Timetables could even make it better, by increasing the frequency of Thameslink trains between Norwood Junction and  Gatwick Airport stations to match the four trains per hour (tph) between Dalston Junction and West Croydon stations.

Note that the day, I took the pictures Bedford and Highbury & Islington trains were in the current Platforms 2 & 3.

Up here in sometimes-forgotten Dalston, I’ll certainly give this new layout at Norwood Junction station, a high score, if the trains are changed to use it to advantage.

Norwood Junction Will Become A Major Interchange!

The walk-across interchange between Northbound services on platforms 1 & 2 and Southbound services on platforms 3 & 4, will mean that the station, will become  the station where travellers will prefer change trains.

Suppose you were travelling from Luton to Epsom.

The Journey Planner on http://www.national.co.uk, suggests a double change at Farringdon and Carshalton, with a journey time of 1 hour and 51 minutes.

The upgraded Norwood Junction station, would allow the journey to be done in two legs.

  • Luton and Norwood Junction – one hour and three minutes.
  • Norwood Junction and Epsom – 29 minutes.

It could be quicker and it is a cross-platform change, where hopefully, there will be a climate-controlled waiting room and a coffee stall.

Current frequencies going North are as follows.

  • Anerley – Six tph
  • Balham – Two tph
  • Battersea Park – Two tph
  • Bedford – Two tph
  • Brockley – Six tph
  • City Thameslink – Two tph
  • Clapham Junction – Two tph
  • Crystal Palace – Two tph
  • Dalston Junction – Four tph
  • Farringdon – Two tph
  • Flitwick – Two tph
  • Forest Hill – six tph
  • Gypsy Hill – Two tph
  • Haggerston – Four tph
  • Harlington – Two tph
  • Harpenden – Two tph
  • Highbury & Islington – Four tph
  • Honor Oak Park – Six tph
  • Leagrave – Two tph
  • Hoxton – Four tph
  • London Blackfriars – Two tph
  • London Bridge (Non-stop) – Two tph
  • London Bridge (Stopping) – Three tph
  • London St. Pancras – Two tph
  • London Victoria – Two tph
  • Luton – Two tph
  • Luton Airport Parkway – Two tph
  • New Cross Gate – Six tph
  • Penge West – Six tph
  • Rotherhithe – Four tph
  • Shadwell – Four tph
  • Shoreditch High Street – Four tph
  • St. Albans City – Two tph
  • Streatham Hill – Two tph
  • Surrey Quays – Four tph
  • Sydenham – Six tph
  • Wandsworth Common – Two tph
  • Wapping – Four tph
  • West Norwood – Two tph
  • Whitechapel – Four tph

Current frequencies going South are as follows.

  • Carshalton Beeches – Two tph
  • Cheam – Two tph
  • Coulsdon Town – Two tph
  • Earlswood – Two tph
  • East Croydon – Six tph
  • Epsom – Two tph
  • Ewell East – Two tph
  • Gatwick Airport – Two tph
  • Horley – Two tph
  • Purley – Four tph
  • Purley Oaks – Two tph
  • Redhill – Two tph
  • Reedham – Two tph
  • Salfords – Two tph
  • South Croydon – Two tph
  • Sutton – Two tph
  • Waddon – Two tph
  • Wallington – Two tph
  • West Croydon – Eight tph

In addition these services pass through.

  • Bedford and Brighton – Two tph
  • Cambridge and Brighton – Two tph
  • London Brifge and Caterham & Tattenham Corner – Two tph
  • London Bridge and Uckfield – Two tph
  • Peterborough and Horsham – Two tph

It is a very comprehensive list of services and possible destinations.

I believe that if a few more trains stopped at Norwood Junction station, there could be at least two tph to every station connected to Norwood Junction station, with these higher frequencies to the more important stations.

  • Bedford – Four tph
  • Brighton – Four tph
  • Canada Water – Four tph
  • City Thameslink – Eight tph
  • Clapham Junction – Four tph
  • Crystal Palace – Four tph
  • Dalston Junction – Four tph
  • East Croydon – Eight tph
  • Epsom – Four tph
  • Farringdon – Eight tph
  • Finsbury Park – Four tph
  • Gatwick Airport – Four tph
  • Highbury & Islington – Four tph
  • London Blackfriars – Eight tph
  • London Bridge (Non-stop) – Four tph
  • London Bridge (Stopping) – Four tph
  • London St. Pancras – Eight tph
  • London Victoria – Four tph
  • Luton – Four tph
  • Luton Airport Parkway – Four tph
  • St. Albans City – Four tph
  • Stevenage – Four tph
  • Sutton – Four tph
  • Welwyn Garden City – Four tph
  • West Croydon – Eight tph
  • West Hampstead Thameslink – Four tph
  • Whitechapel – Four tph

These frequencies could be attained, by stopping a few extra services at Norwood Junction station.

It is certainly comprehensive and getting to most important areas of Central London is direct or a single change.

  • The step-free changes to Crossrail at Farringdon and Whitechapel will allow simple access to Canary Wharf, the City,, Heathrow, Paddington, the West End and all the towns and cities on the branches.
  • The Bakerloo Line Extension will connect at New Cross Gate.
  • The Central Line doesn’t connect
  • The Circle, District, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan lines connect at Farringdon, Kings Cross St. Pancras, London Blackfriars and Whitechapel.
  • The Jubilee Line connects at Canada Water, London Bridge and West Hampstead Thameslink.
  • The Northern Line connects at Kentish Town, Kings Cross St. Pancras and London Bridge
  • The Piccadilly Line connects at Finsbury Park and Kings Cross St Pancras.
  • The Victoria Line connects at Finsbury Park, Highbury & Islington and Kings Cross St. Pancras.

But there are some important places that are not well-connected or have difficult interchanges to Norwood Junction station.

  • Euston station, High Speed Two and the West Coast Main Line.
  • Cannon Street, Charing Cross and Waterloo mean a complicated interchange at London Bridge.
  • The connections to Great Northern services, the North London Line and the Victoria Line at Highbury & Islington need serious improvement.
  • South East London needs going to London Bridge and coming out again!

Radical thinking and serious improvement is needed.

Milton Keynes Central and East Croydon

This is a useful service for some..

It calls at Bletchley, Leighton Buzzard, Tring, Berkhamsted, Hemel Hempstead, Watford Junction, Harrow & Wealdstone, Wembley Central, Shepherd’s Bush, Kensington (Olympia), West Brompton, Imperial Wharf, Clapham Junction, Balham, Streatham Common, Norbury, Thornton Heath, Selhurst.

But, it has problems.

  • It has a high level of cancellation.
  • It has a totally inadequate hourly frequency.
  • It has no connection to the North London Line at Willesden Junction.
  • It blocks a platform at East Croydon, when it turns round.

In his report on Southern, Chris Gibb recommended that the service be the responsibility of the London Overground. I wrote about this in Gibb Report – East Croydon – Milton Keynes Route Should Be Transferred To London Overground.

To connect High Speed Two at Old Oak Common, there needs to be a four tph service between Croydon and Old Oak Common.

Transport for London are proposing a new Hythe Road station on the West London Line..

  • It will be a seven hundred metre walk to the High Speed Two station. That is too long!
  • There will be a bay platform to turn trains from Clapham Junction.
  • Trains still won’t be able to call at Willesden Junction for the North London Line.

I think that building Hythe Road station is a bad idea.

This map shows the lines in the area.

Surely, the West London Line should have been re-routed over the Eastern end of Old Oak Common station at right angles, which would have the following benefits.

  • Quick and easy interchange with High Speed Two, the Great Western Main Line and Crossrail.
  • The ability to add bay platforms to terminate services.
  • Sharing of station services with the other stations.

Perhaps, though this practical passenger and operator-friendly idea would have ruined the architect’s vision.

Or is it, that the current track layout to connect to the West Coast Main Line only allows crap solutions.

Surely, the amount of money being spent on High Speed Two allows the best to be done everywhere.

London Overground principles say that services must be at least four tph.

The simplest way to do this would be to extend the current Stratford and Clapham Junction service via Willesden Junction to Croydon.

  • It would call at Balham, Streatham Common, Norbury, Thornton Heath, Selhurst, if it followed the current route.
  • I doubt that East Croydon station could handle four tph terminating at the station.

But why not use the route taken by London Victoria and West Croydon services via Wandsworth Common, Balham, Streatham Hill, West Norwood, Gipsy Hill, Crystal Palace, and Norwood Junction, to terminate at West Croydon?

  • This route calls at Norwood Junction, with all its connectivity.
  • If needed, there is space for a new platform at West Croydon.

I’ve no idea, what will happen, but the upgrade at Norwood Junction station should help.

Suppose you were going between Gatwick and High Speed Two.

  • The standard route will be Thameslink and Crossrail with a change at Farringdon.
  • A surface route with a change at Norwood Junction could be an alternative.

The second may be more pleasurable.

Upgrading The Station

In Winner Announced In The Network Rail Footbridge Design Ideas Competition, I wrote how the competition was won by this bridge.

So could two factory-built bridges like this be installed at Norwood Junction station?

  • The design is adaptable to multiple spans over the tracks.
  • Lifts could be left out for one bridge.
  • Once the site is prepared, I believe the bridges can be quickly installed, probably from a train with a crane.
  • The bridge is probably more affordable, than a traditional design.

During the installation period, the existing subway can be used for platform access.

Conclusion

Obviously, I am speculating that the new footbridge system will be used at Norwood Junction station.

But the new platform and track layout at the station, will certainly improve services on these routes.

  • Between East Croydon and London Bridge stations.
  • Between East Croydon and the London Overground and Crossrail.
  • Between the Overground and Gatwick Airport station and the South Coast.

All of the interchanges will be step-free and some will be cross-plsatform.

Are

June 21, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Would It Be Sensible To Build London Overground’s Lea Valley Trains As Eight-Cars?

It has been reported that getting the new Train Control Management System on the new Class 710 trains is proving troublesome. It also still needs to be updated for multiple working, as is reported in this article in Rail Magazine, which says.

He (Jon Fox) also said that the TCMS will need further updating for the Class 710/1s, which will be required to operate in multiple on West Anglia inner-suburban trains from Liverpool Street. Asked when they would enter traffic, he said: “Not predicting, but it will be this year.”

As these trains will always work in pairs of two four-car trains, why not build them as eight-car trains?

  1. Yrains would consists of two driver cars and six intermediate cars.
  2. There would surely be less testing needed.
  3. New trains could be in service earlier.

Software for multiple working could be pushed back few months, until needed.

Would the cost of manufacture be lower?

June 8, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

The Formation Of A Class 710 Train

This morning, I was able to look at the plates on all four cars of a Class 710 train.

Here is the formation of the train.

DMS+PMS(W)+MS1+DMS

The plates on the individual cars are as follows.

DMS – Driving Motored Standard

  • Weight – 43.5 tonnes
  • Length – 21.45 metres
  • Width 2.78 metres
  • Seats – 43

The two DMS cars would appear to be identical.

PMS (W) -Pantograph Motored Standard

  • Weight – 38.5 tonnes
  • Length – 19.99 metres
  • Width 2.78 metres
  • Seats – 51

The (W) signifies a wheelchair space.

MS1 – Motored Standard

  • Weight – 32.3 tonnes
  • Length – 19.99 metres
  • Width 2.78 metres
  • Seats – 52

It is similar in size to the PMS car, but has an extra seat.

These figures add up to the unit figures you would expect.

  • Weight – 157.8 tonnes
  • Length – 82.88 metres
  • Seats – 189

But what else can be said?

All Cars Are Motored

All four cars are motored, which is not an arrangement seen very often in UK electrical multiple units.

  • Most British Rail units like Class 317, 319 and 321 trains have only one motored car.
  • Five-car Class 800 trains have two trailer cars and nine-car trains have four trailer cars.
  • Eight-car Class 700 trains have four trailer cars and twelve-car trains have six trailer cars.

Class 345 trains which are also Aventras, have eight motored cars and only one trailer car.

I suspect that it is an arrangement that gives advantages, over the weight and cost of the extra motors.

Less Force Between Wheel And Rail

The tractive and braking force between the wheels and the rail will be less to get the same acceleration and deceleration, as the force will be divided between all traction motors and wheels.

Does applying the power at all wheels mean that the train accelerates and decelerates faster, thus cutting station dwell times?

Does this mean that wheel slip, which damages wheels and rails is less likely?

Are the lower power traction motors more reliable?

Can A Motored Car Be Changed Automatically To A Trailer Car?

Suppose a traction motor or its controlling system packs up, can the train’s central computer switch it out and effectively convert the errant motored car into a trailer car.

On a 710 train, that would mean a 25 % loss of power, but surely the train has sufficient power to be driven to the next station?

Equalisation Of Forces Between Cars

The forces between the four cars must be equal and possibly low at all times, as you have four identical individually-powered, computer-controlled vehicles moving in unison.

Does this give passengers a smoother ride?

Does it mean that walking between cars is an easier process?

I think so and I can only think of the problems of getting a four-person pantomine caterpillar working properly!

A Logical Way To Power A Train

Could it be that this is the logical way to power a train, but you need precise computer control of all cars to take full advantage?

It strikes me that getting it right could be a very difficult piece of computing, so has this been causing the delays for the Class 710 trains?

I don’t think we’ll know the answers to all my questions, until Bombardier publish a full authorised philosophy.

Twenty Metre Long Cars

British Rail designed a lot of trains to be eighty metres long give or take a metre. So there are a lot of platforms in the UK, that can accommodate an eighty-metre long train.

All of the London Overground routes, where these trains will run have platforms that can accommodate 80, 100 or 160 metre long trains.

So they could be run by a single train or two trains running together as appropriate without any expensive platform lengthening.

The Two Driving Cars Appear Identical

This must be logical.

Many older electrical multiple units have different driving cars.

Sod’s law states that one type will be less reliable than the other, so you’ll end up with a shortage of trains.

But if both driving cars are identical, you have much less of a problem.

What Will Be The Formation Of a Five-Car Class 710 Train?

If all cars are to be powered then it will be.

DMS+PMS(W)+MS1+MS2+DMS

MS2 and MS1 would be identical.

Would you really want to add a new trailer car into the fleet to complicate maintenance?

Why Are The Trains For The Lea Valley Lines Not Eight-Car Trains?

On the Lea Valley Lines, London Overground have said that they’ll generally run two four-car trains as an eight-car train.

In Latest On The New London Overground Class 710 Trains, I discussed the possibility of changing the order to a number of eight-car trains and felt there could be advantages.

  • Higher passenger capacity in the same train length.
  • An eight-car train would contain only two DMS cars instead of four.
  • Trains could be built as two four-car half-trains, to improve reliability.
  • Passengers would be able to walk the full length of the train.

Bombardier and London Overground must have analysed this and as they have more information than I do, they have come to a different conclusion.

Is there for instance, a safe procedure, that uses the operational train to transfer passengers to a safe place and then drag the failed train to appropriate parking?

  • With an eight-car train, you’d have no operational train to take passengers to safety.
  • With two four-car half-trains, as in Crossrail’s Class 345 trains, would you have other problems? But the Croosrail  trains are designed for a long tunnel, with difficult evacuation problems.

There must be a very valid reason.

Conclusion

The Class 710 train has been well-designed and is not your normal suburban train.

 

 

May 27, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , | 2 Comments

Stop It! Phone App Cries Out To Deter Japan Subway Gropers

The title of this post, is the same as that of an article on page 31 of today’s Times.

An app has been developed and deployed in Japan, where if a lady being groped on the Subway if she presses a button on the app, it displays an appropriate message on her phone.

If the groper persists, then another button, shouts out a message.

As a regular traveller on crowded London Underground and Overground trains, I know groping goes on, but I have never seen it happen, except between obviously consenting couples, who arrived and left together.

Although, you do get the odd bumping at times, but usually smiles and a sorry, say it is a genuine accident.

May 24, 2019 Posted by | Computing, Transport | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Seven Sisters Station To Go Step-Free

This document on the Government web site is entitled Access for All: 73 Stations Set To Benefit From Additional Funding.

Seven Sisters station is on the list.

These pictures show the current station.

It is a nightmare.

  • There are two London Overground platforms on a viaduct and three deep-level ictoria Line platforms.
  • The Overground platforms are accessed by stairs although there is one up escalator and provision was made for another, although it was never installed.
  • The Victoria Line station is double-ended with escalators and steps which must be negotiated by all passengers.
  • Rabbits would probably feel at home in the warren of tunnels of the Underground station.
  • The three subway entrances on Tottenham High Road all have just steep steps.

If ever there was a station designed by a committee of bean counters, with no children or disabilities and rail experience, it is Seven Sisters station.

Extra Pressures

Other factors will come into play in the next few years.

Tottenham Hotspur

As Seven Sisters station is the nearest Underground station to the ground, a lot of supporters walk to matches and other events along Tottenham High Road.

White Hart Lane station is being rebuilt, with increased capacity and full step-free access, so hopefully, passengers on match days at Seven Sisters station will decrease.

But the obvious route to the ground from Euston is probably to take the Victoria Line and walk from Seven Sisters station.

With the new station at White Hart Lane, there may even be an increase in interchange passengers at Seven Sisters station.

Crossrail

In any London railway scheme, Crossrail is the elephant in the room.

Will passengers between Tottenham and Enfield and the West End and Heathrow take the Overground to and from Liverpool Street and then use Crossrail?

For many passengers with limited movement, it could be a better route to avoid Seven Sisters station.

New Trains On The Overground

Hopefully, new Class 710 trains will start to arrive on the Overground this year.

As all new trains do, these will increase the number of passengers through Seven Sisters station, especially as the trains may have a much larger capacity, than the existing Class 315 trains.

Extra Services On The Overground

Transport for London are planning to add extra services through Seven Sisters, which will surely bring more passengers wanting to interchange with the Victoria Line.

Increased Frequency On The Victoria Line

The Victoria Line currently runs at thirty-six trains per hour (tph) all day, with trains running between Walthamstow Central and Brixton stations.

I am sure that the line’s engineers would love to squeeze the magic forty tph out of the line, but the capacity of some stations couldn’t handle the extra passengers.

But one way or another, more passengers will be squeezed into Dear Old Vicky and as she always does, she will deliver and more passengers will want to interchange at Seven Sisters station.

Services Between Seven Sisters And Stratford Stations

The track exists to run services between Lower Edmonton and Statford stations, via Seven Sisters, South Tottenham and Lea Bridge stations.

With all the new housing being built in the area, I feel this could be valuable addition to London’s railways.

As South Tottenham and Lea Bridge stations have step-free access, this might be an improvement that takes pressure from Seven Sisters station, by giving passengers a new route to Crossrail.

Improving Access At Seven Sisters Station

It is obvious, that passenger numbers wil be increasing at Seven Sisters station will be increasing and there will also be a substantial increase in passengers wanting to change between the Overground and the Victoria Line.

So what can be done to solve the various problems?

The Tottenham High Road Subway Entrances

These really only give access to the Victoria Line via an escalator.

Lifts tom the subway could be provided, but that would just get passengers to and from the gate-line. After the gate-line, it is just escalators to the platforms with some steps thrown in for good measure.

Victoria Line Platforms

If you were pushing a buggy or in a wheelchair, your best route to the Underground is probably to take a bus from outside the station in Tottenham High Road to Tottenham Hale station and use the step-free access there, which in a couple of months will also apply to the trains as well.

I doubt we’ll see much improvement to the Underground station, until Crossrail 2 is built, which will probably be in the 2050s.

Overground Platforms

There is a side entrance on Seven Sisters Road, that was probably the original entrance to the station.

Making this route to the Overground platforms step-free, is probably the best way to at least do something positive, as regards step-free access at the station.

It could also be relatively easy to put an escalator on the Londonj-bound platform, where there are two parallel staircases.

Conclusion

This is a very important station, that needs to be made step-free.

But it will be very difficult.

 

 

May 21, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , | Leave a comment