The Anonymous Widower

An American Take On Lumo

One of my Google Alerts picked up this article on an American site called Travel + Leisure, which is entitled A Brand-New Train Launched In The UK Today — Linking Cities Like Edinburgh And London For As Little As $20.

As I have sat next to American and Canadian couples and families on Anglo-Scottish trains, I hope that Lumo’s website is friendly to those living outside the UK.

Will The Lumo Concept Take Off In The United States?

I’m no expert, but on the right route, I don’t see why not!

After all, easyJet, Go and Ryanair took on the concept of the low-cost airline, which was pioneered by Pacific Southwest Airlines in California.

October 23, 2021 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , | 1 Comment

The Swimming Pool In The Sky

This must be the most unusual swimming pool in London.

Not for me though, as I can’t swim!

It is just to the South of the United States Embassy.

September 21, 2021 Posted by | World | , , | Leave a comment

Tideway – Blackfriars Bridge Foreshore – 4th September 2021

I passed Tideway’s  Blackfriars Bridge Foreshore site on the way home and took these pictures.

This page on the Tideway web site, gives a visualisation of the project.

September 4, 2021 Posted by | World | , , , , | Leave a comment

Building Council Flats In London

I was told this tale by the Head of the Construction Branch of the Greater London Council, who was a big user of the first Project Management System;PERT7, that I wrote in the 1970s.

The GLC were building some council flats alongside the railway.

There were four parallel blocks with five floors and I’ll number them 1 to 4, with 4 alongside the railway and 1 furthest away.

The plan to build them involved the following.

  • Deliveries were planned, so that the many residents around the site and British Rail were not inconvenienced.
  • Site access was arranged with British Rail along the railway on a track to and from a major road a few hundred yards away.
  • The site would be cleared with all the rubble going out in the reverse direction.
  • The plan then was to build the blocks 1, 2, 3 and 4 towards the railway.
  • This was logical, as when each block was completed it could be occupied and the new tenants wouldn’t be living in a building site, as what needed to be done was towards the railway.

But he was overruled by a vociferous local lobby and some local politicians, who had convinced themselves that building away from the railway in a 4, 3, 2, 1 order would be better.

In the end they were built in the 4, 3, 2, 1 order with budget and time overruns and endless complaints from residents.

If there is a lesson from this fairly insignificant project, it is that in a construction project, there is often one way to build it, that minimises construction time and disturbance to neighbours and maximises the cash flow from the development.

August 22, 2021 Posted by | Computing, Design, World | , , , , | Leave a comment

Could London’s New Routemaster Buses Be Converted To Hydrogen Power?

There are a thousand New Routemaster buses on the roads of London.

This paragraph from  Wikipedia describes the transmission.

The bus is a hybrid diesel-electric driven by a battery-powered electric motor, charged by a diesel fuelled generator and recovering energy during braking by regenerative braking.

Note.

  1. The Cummins diesel engine is under the back stairs and is mounted high up. You can sometimes hear it start and stop if you sit or stand at the back of the bus.
  2. The diesel engine is part of the Cummins B Series Engine family, which is used very widely, included in vehicles like the Dodge Ram pick-up.
  3. The battery is mounted under the front stairs.

Cummins are embracing hydrogen in a big way and bought hydrogen company; Hydrogenics in 2019.

This press release from Cummins is entitled Cummins Begins Testing Of Hydrogen Fueled Internal Combustion Engine.

This is the first paragraph.

Cummins has taken another step forward in advancing zero carbon technology as the company began testing a hydrogen-fueled internal combustion engine. The proof-of-concept test is building on Cummins’ existing technology leadership in gaseous-fuel applications and powertrain leadership to create new power solutions that help customers meet the energy and environmental needs of the future.

Only today in Deutz Hydrogen Engine Ready For Market, I reported on how Deutz were going down a similar route.

I have done consultancy work for Cummins in Darlington, where I suspect the New Routemaster engines were built and the company prides itself in being able to provide a specially-laid out diesel engine for a niche-market application.

If they develop a replacement for the B Series engine, I suspect that they will adopt the same sales philosophy.

For a start, it would enable all their many existing customers to convert their products from diesel to hydrogen power.

A hydrogen engine would be a direct way to enable conversion of a New Routemaster to hydrogen.

I believe that in a few years Cummins will be able to replace the diesel engine with a hydrogen engine of equivalent size and power.

I am also sure, that Wrightbus have the expertise to squeeze a hydrogen tank in somewhere.

After Ricardo announced their fuel cell approach to convert modern diesel buses to hydrogen, which I wrote about in Ricardo To Engineer Zero Emission Buses For UK’s First Hydrogen Transport Hub, I am sure we’re going to see thousands of modern buses converted to hydrogen power.

 

August 18, 2021 Posted by | Hydrogen, Transport/Travel | , , , , | 20 Comments

Rail Tourism Pass To Be Explored

The title of this post, is the same as that of an article in the August 2021 Edition of Modern Railways.

This is the first paragraph.

The government is to pursue plans for a new domestic rail tourism product, building on the success of products such as the BritRail pass, only available to visitors to the UK from abroad.

I am basically in agreement with the proposal, but before anything too drastic is brought forward, it might be a good idea to build on what we already have.

These are a few thoughts.

Railcards

I am surprised at the number of people I talk to, who don’t have a railcard, despite the fact, that it would save them money.

So make sure, you have the right railcard.

Rangers And Rovers

Rovers and Rangers are tickets that allow you to wander about an area on the trains for a given period.

You may often find there is a ticket that will be ideal for exploring the area, where you are staying.

Breaking Journeys

This is a rule, that many travellers don’t know about and it can be very useful.

Suppose you are going between Ipswich and Cambridge and you want to break the journey at Newmarket to have lunch with a friend.

You can buy a ticket between Ipswich and Cambridge and break your journey at Newmarket and after lunch continue your journey.

This is allowed on most trains, but I would ask someone, in case there is a problem.

London Terminals Tickets

Often tickets will be labelled something like London Terminals or Manchester Stations.

A simple example would be a return to Cambridge from London, which might be labelled London Terminals.

This means that you can use the ticket to go out from Kings Cross and come back to Liverpool Street.

The London Zone 6 Extension Ticket

Often on a trip to London travellers will buy a Travelcard for London’s local transport.

Supposing on your trip to London, you needed to make a trip outside Zone 6 to visit someone.

Not everybody knows, you can buy a ticket from the Zone 6 boundary to a station outside the zone.

Conclusion

A Rail Tourism Pass may be a good idea, but I think it’s also important, that travellers learn to use what ticketing options are already in place.

 

August 15, 2021 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , | 6 Comments

Mayor Sadiq Khan Plans to Ban London Underground Gambling Ads

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

It’s probably the right thing to do, but as fast food ads have been banned and others are probably to be banned as well, where does the Mayor think he is going to get the money to run Transport for London from?

As he is going to have an enquiry into the legalisation of cannabis, which I am against, as it ruins your immune system, I shall be voting for someone else.

April 8, 2021 Posted by | Health, Transport/Travel, World | , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Battersea Power Station’s Glass Elevator To Open Next Year

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

It sounds like it will give a reason for some tourists to visit the area and it will be a balance to the cable-car in the London Docks.

Ian gives more details about what could be a new experience for Londoners and tourists.

April 2, 2021 Posted by | Transport/Travel, World | , , , , | 2 Comments

A Thought On Low Vaccination Rates In London

Could London’s bad performance be down to difficult parking provision at vaccination centres?

There was no parking, where I went to the Francis Crick institute for my vaccination.

But I went by bus and train using my Freedom Pass. So it cost me nothing!

According to my contacts at Transport for London, there are still a lot of elderly and eligible Londoners, who don’t have Freedom Passes.

I’d love to see a graphic showing Freedom Passes against vaccination in the over 65’s in London!

There are probably other related questions to answer.

  • How many no-shows at vaccination centres are down to parking problems?
  • How many of the non-vaccinated couldn’t find a centre close by, that they could drive to?
  • How many of the non-vaccinated object to spending money to get to the vaccination centre?

And many more! I hope a university is doing the research!

February 28, 2021 Posted by | Health, Transport/Travel | , , , , | 8 Comments

How Do We Protect Ourselves From Covidiots Like These?

I had to laugh when I heard this story on the BBC!

They gave a summary on Radio 5 of this story from Reuters, which is entitled London Police Irritated By Makeshift Nightclub In Barbershop Basement.

But I do suspect, that the Soho police were a lot more than irritated.

I certainly am furious at such irresponsible behaviour!

December 15, 2020 Posted by | Health | , , , , , | Leave a comment