The Anonymous Widower

Engineering Work Closures Between Barnes And Feltham In June And July

There is more up-to-date information on this page on South Western Railway’s web site, which is entitled Engineering Works.

These are what I found.

Saturday 20 July and Sunday 21 July

Buses replace trains between Barnes and Feltham via Hounslow Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 July

Saturday 27 July and Sunday 28 July

Buses replace trains between Barnes and Feltham via Hounslow Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 July

Sunday 11 August

Buses replace trains between Barnes and Feltham via Hounslow Sunday 11 August

Sunday 18 August

Altered train services and replacement buses in the Feltham area Sunday 18 August

Sunday 25 August

Altered train services and replacement buses in the Feltham area Sunday 25 August

Thoughts On Works In The Area

My thoughts on the two projects follow.

Syon Lane Footbridge

When I wrote Why Are Replacement Buses Being Used To Syon Lane Station On July 20-21?, I didn’t find the two later closures through Syon Lane station.

I was checking the on-line timetable and it appears that the closure is not total on the days mentioned, in the current timetable.

It looks to me that Network Rail and South Western Railway are playing this in a safety first manner, as few people are going to complain, if a closure doesn’t happen and a shiny new step-free bridge has appeared and is almost ready for use.

Bedfont Lane Level Crossing Removal At Feltham Station

In The Removal Of Bedfont Lane Level Crossing, I gave a schedule of the works and it appears nothing much is slated to be done until later in the year.

I need more information about why there are closures in the Feltham area.

I did find this image of the proposed pedestrian and cycling bridge.

It certainly looks very traditional with long ramps.

This picture shows the progress on the 25th June 2019

Note the platform extensions and the pillar on the far side to support the bridge.

I’m not sure, if the ramps in the picture are part of an older bridge or new!

Conclusion

It’s all happening in Hounslow.

 

June 25, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | Leave a comment

The Removal Of Bedfont Lane Level Crossing

I also passed through Feltham station and noted that the notorious Bedfont Lane level crossing had been removed.

This page on the London Borough of Houslow web site, gives details of what is happening.

This is the schedule from the leaflet.

Spring 2019

  • Network Rail to close Feltham West Level Crossing. There will be
    no access across the level crossing.
  • Access will be via the temporary stepped footbridge or step-free access via Feltham Station
  • Network Rail to remove the shopping centre bridge
  • Network Rail starts work to extend platforms at Feltham

Winter 2019/2020

  • Second step-free entrance to platform 1 open and accessible
    from Hounslow Road (note this is
    dependent on Hounslow Road
    completion)
  • Platform extensions completed

Spring 2020

  • Network Rail opens combined pedestrian and cycle railway footbridge at the level crossing site.

That all seems fairly straighforward, but a couple of visualisations would help.

This Google Map shows Feltham station a few months ago.

Note the awkward position of the Bedffont Lane level crossing to the West of the station.

Houslow’s Plans For Feltham

This page on the London Borough of Hounslow web site is entitled Funding Secured For Feltham’s Multi-Million-Pound Makeover.

It gives an overview of the £15.6million pound scheme.

These two paragraphs outline the scheme.

Network Rail is introducing ten car trains to increase capacity between London Waterloo and Reading, and proposes to increase the number of services from December 2018. To enable the longer trains to open all their doors at Feltham, and to eliminate the safety risks that were present at the level crossing, a decision was made to extend the platforms and close the level crossing following extensive consultation with local residents.

To ensure residents can still gain easy access between Bedfont and Feltham town centre, Network Rail will build a pedestrian/cycle bridge over the tracks and renovate the public space outside the station. Following the consultation, the council approved further measures to improve road safety and bus journey times between the station and Heathrow Airport, and to minimise the impact of the level crossing’s closure on surrounding roads.

There is a lot of work to do.

Conclusion

The removal of Bedfont Lane level crossing illustrates why the removal of level crossings is not always a simple process.

 

 

June 12, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , | 1 Comment

Nothing Seems To Be Happening At Syon Lane Station

I passed through Syon Lane station today and thought I’d have a look at the progress on the step-free access to the station.

This page on the South Western Railway web site describes in detail, the works that will be done.

This is the first paragraph.

From the beginning of April, we’ll be building a new accessible footbridge with a lift at Syon Lane. The project is expected to be completed later this year and is mainly funded by Hounslow Council. Making the station step free will be a real positive for people with limited mobility traveling round the Hounslow Loop, however the delivery of the new bridge will affect the station and the platforms. The station will remain operational throughout the works, but there will be some access changes during the project delivery:

Consider  the bit about being finished later this year, then look at these pictures.

It looks like they’ve all packed up and gone home.

Surely, if the bridge is going to be finished this year, workmen should be hard at work building foundations and putting up towers for lifts.

But even the tea-hut has gone.

It appears that the following has been done at the station.

  • Create a level step-free route from Syon Lane to the London-bound platform.
  • Move the ticket machines and the card readers.
  • Run temporary cable ducts, along the back of the platforms.
  • Clear some ground behind the fence, where the lift towers might be placed.
  • The long platforms have been narrowed, which Network Rail say is to give space for the work.

The 3D Google Map shows the station.

I don’t know when the picture was taken, but it does look that there could have been some ground clearing about halfway along the platform.

What Do I Think Is Happening?

I think, there could be these reasons for the lack of action.

  • The project has been delayed for some reason.
  • Something very different is happening at Syon Lane station!

Speaking to a couple of travellers  at the station today, they had heard nothing and one was looking forward to the bridge.

I have no evidence, but I do have a devious and sometimes theatrical mind.

Are Network Rail conducting an experiment on the good people, who use Syon Lane station?

They have only said this about disruption to passengers.

The station will remain operational throughout the works, but there will be some access changes during the project delivery:

Could Network Rail be bringing in the bridge in a few sections and just lifting them in with a crane?

Look at the 3D Google Map above and note that the station in surrounded by houses and lots of leafy trees, which would make getting bridge sections and the crane into place difficult.

But look at the cross-section of the average footbridge tower or bridge and it is about the same as that of a train.

For this reason, I believe that the bridge components will be brought in on a special train with a large crane.

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

It is composed of the following major components.

  • Two towers with lifts.
  • Two sets of stairs
  • A bridge deck.

All components would be built in a factory.

  • They would be fully tested before delivery.
  • The components would be delivered by train.
  • The bridge would then be assembled using a rail mounted crane.

After testing, the Mayor could declare the bridge open

I suspect too, that the only preparation prior to the assembly of the bridge, is to have firm concrete bases for the bridge and a power supply for the lifts.

  • The construction of the bases could be done from the railway, so there would be no problems of bringing in the concrete.
  • The power supply might not even be needed, if the bridge had solar panels on the roof and a clear battery system.
  • It’s all a bit like giant Lego construction, but then the architect of the bridge was Danish!

Could  commuters on a Friday night return to a station little different to the one they’ve known for years and then on Monday morning  find a working step-free bridge has been erected?

Engineering is the sconce of the possible, whereas politics is dreams of the impossible!

Is This The Future Of Step-Free Bridges?

Obviously not all, but I believe that up to a third of all stations that need a step-free bridge can use a bridge of this type.

But the station upgrade to step-free application is just one of several.

  • New stations.
  • Step-free bridges over busy roads, rivers or canals.
  • Replacement of dangerous light-controlled road crossings.

The design could also be incorporated into other buildings.

Conclusion

Something different could be happening at Syon Lane station.

June 11, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Daisy Hill 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.

Daisy Hill station is on the list.

These pictures show the station.

This Google Map shows the station.

Whilst I was at Daisy Hill, I spoke to a couple who used the station regularly, who told me the following.

  • The station needed step-free access.
  • The station had been recently decorated and that the platforms were being extended.
  • The local kids would get in and muck about in the lift.
  • There is a lot of new housing to be built locally.

My own observations are.

  • The steps are long, but swell-hand-railed.
  • The station is in generally good condition.
  • The Google Map shows that platforms have been longer in the past.

Surprisingly, the couple hadn’t heard that the station is to be made step-free.

Installing Step-Free Access

From the pictures, that I took, it looks like a single lift could be placed between the street and platform levels.

It would probably be tucked into the angle of the building.

This arrangement is not the most difficult of designs and lifts have been incorporated into stations like this, many times.

Conclusion

This station will be greatly improved by a single lift.

As to the fact, that the couple I spoke to, hadn’t heard of the step-free access, I’ve heard this at other stations on the list.

Network Rail need to sort their publicity.

 

June 3, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | Leave a comment

Market Harborough Station – 10th May 2019

I stopped at Market Harborough station and took these pictures.

As can be seen, the works at the station are well underway.

Market Harborough Line Speed Improvement Project

This document on the Network Rail web is entitled Market Harborough Line Speed Improvement Project.

According to the document, the project will deliver.

  • A line speed increase through Market Harborough enabling a reduction in journey time for passengers.
  • New longer platforms that improve access and reduce stepping distances onto trains whilst also catering for longer trains with more seats.
  • Station accessibility will be improved with a new footbridge featuring lifts, opening up travel opportunities for more passengers.
  • A new 300 space car park has already been constructed, providing step-free access to platforms for passengers arriving by car.

Unfortunately, Network Rail don’t seem to have published a well-prepared visualisation of what passengers, will see, when the project is completed.

There isn’t even a decent visualisation on the station.

Talk about Mushroom Marketing! Keep your customers and project funders in the dark and feed them shit.

This Google Map shows the station..

Note.

  1. The Midland Main Line going up the middle of the map.
  2. The large new car-park on the Eastern side of the line.
  3. The building site on the Western side of the line, where new strauighter tracks will go.

The completion date is planned to be December 2019.

Conclusion

The project looks good in the flesh, but that can’t be said for the project presentation to stakeholders.

 

May 10, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , | 1 Comment

Network Rail Awards Final West London Station Upgrade Contracts For Crossrail Project

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

The stations are Acton Main Line, Ealing Broadway, West Ealing, Southall, Hayes & Harlington and West Drayton.

New buildings and step-free access is planned to be completed by December 2020.

Conclusion

About time!

May 9, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Stoneleigh 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.

Stoneleigh station is on the list.

These pictures show the station and the current bridge,

By coincidence, I met the son of an old friend at the station, who lived nearby. He was able to give me a few extra details. Thanks Billy!

Abysmal Step-Free Access

I only exited the station on the Stoneleigh Broadway side and from the platform it was a two staircases up of about fifteen steps and then three similar staircases down.

  • In this day and age that is totally unacceptable.
  • As the station was only built in 1932, it shows the attitude of Southern Railway to passengers of reduced mobility! They are certainly not welcome!
  • Billy told me, that the railway divides Stoneleigh in two and using the bridge to get across is difficult for a lot of people.

There must be very few worse step-free stations than Stoneleigh.

The Station Is Bad For Health, Environment And The Community

How many people, who live on one side of the railway and need to go to the other to see the doctor, visit the library, go to church, have a coffee with a friend or just go to a shop, are now forced to get into a car to make the trip.

Demolition Is The Only Answer

It may be a wonderful example of 1930s creative concrete construction, but for the modern age, it is complete crap!

Te station needs to be demolished and either confined to the landfill of history or turned into building blocks or other useful product.

Replacement With A Modern Bridge

The objective would be to provide a bridge, that gave step-free access to

  • Station Approach on the Western side.
  • The island platform.
  • Stoneleigh Broadway on the Eastern side.

This Google Map shows an aerial view of the station.

Note the number of useful places on either side of the railway.

There is also a lot of space on either side of the railway.

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

So could a factory-built bridge like this be installed be installed at Stoneleigh station?

Consider.

  • The bridge has been designed so it can built as a double span, so ir could serve both sides of the railway and the platform.
  • The steps at the end can even be turned through ninety degrees, so that they lead into the Broadway and Approach.
  • To create space, the life expired wooden buildings on the platform, that seem to be only held up, by courtesy of the woodworm holding hands, would need to be demolished.

This would allow, the new bridge to be built before closing the current monstrosity.

The station would be completed by providing a modern building on the platform, with staff and passenger facilities, that were appropriate to the million-plus passengers, who use the station every year.

Once the station is fully working, the 1930s station would be demolished.

Conclusion

Using Network Rail’s new footbridge design, a modern station could be created without closing the station to passengers and/or trains.

Stoneleigh could get a step-free modernstation i a matter of months, after planning permission was obtained.

In Syon Lane Station To Go Step-Free, I describe how Syon Lane station is getting a step-free bridge in five months.

 

 

 

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

Now It’s Thieves On The Line As Crooks Target Railway Cables

The title of this post is the same as that of an article in The Times on Tuesday.

I was involved in a similar project with British Rail, where they were looking at patterns in signalling cable faults on the East Coast Main Line. My software Daisy was used to display the patterns.

I know in this case British Rail got a solution.

I even have their internal report somewhere!

May 7, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , | 2 Comments

Example Cost And Timescale For A Step-Free Footbridge

This article on Network Rail’s web site is entitled Investment In West Calder Gives Station Accessibility A Lift.

The project replaced an existing bridge.

  • It cost £2.7 million.
  • It took ten months to build and commission.
  • Station access was maintained at all times.

It looks to have been a well-managed project.

This picture shows the bridge.

How would it compare with the recent winner of Network Rail’s competition to find a new footbridge design?

Having not seen either bridge in the metal, I’ll give my judgement when I have.

May 1, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | Leave a comment

£14m Peak District Rail Freight Extension Unveiled

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on Rail Technology Magazine.

I discussed this project in full in Peak District Freight Sidings Get £18m Network Rail Boost, where I showed this Google Map of the sidings at Buxton, where the stone trains must reverse.

This latest Google Map, which is to a more detailed scale and 3D, clearly shows the lengthened sidings alongside the Manchester-Buxton Line.

Note the footbridge across the lines appears in both maps.

Conclusion

It looks to me that Network Rail have managed to implement this freight project to bring more stone out of the Peak District by train.

As the cost of the completed project is quoted as less than the figure quoted before the project started., the project could even have been completed within the budget.

This has been a project when £18million has been spent for these benefits.

  • Each train will transport 2,500 tonnes of materials.
  • Each train will take 76 lorry loads from the roads.
  • Less trains will be needed to transport the same tonnage.

How many other small projects like this could be undertaken?

 

 

 

April 30, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , | Leave a comment