The Anonymous Widower

Schoolchildren Get First Glimpse Of Northumberland Line Train Services

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

 

The title does say it all, but what a good idea to give the kids a ride first to build up enthusiasm for the new Northumberland Line.

July 22, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , | Leave a comment

High Speed Two Publish Rural Footbridge Design

High Speed Two have published their rural footbridge design on this page of their web site.

This image from High Speed Two shows an artist’s impression of the bridge.

 

This is High Speed Two’s own thoughts on the design.

Made of weathering steel, the sides of the lightweight bridges will lean outwards to maximise views of the sky and improve the experience of people crossing the railway.

Weathering steel – which ages naturally to a russet brown colour – was chosen to help match the tone of the surrounding countryside, while the plates that form the structure of the bridges will be angled to appear narrower and lighter.

To emphasise the sense of lightness, each span will be slightly higher in the middle so that they appear to leap over the railway. Most of the bridges will consist of just one 42m span, with extra spans added where necessary to create bridges of up to 102m long.

The design of the bridge would appear to be a good compromise between accessibility, cost, ease of construction and installation and practicality.

The article also covers other topics.

Step-Free

This paragraph explains how the bridges will be step-free.

In order to improve efficiency of manufacturing and assembly, all the bridges will have the same basic form, with the approach paths built into the earthworks on either side of the bridge. This also means that all the footbridges will effectively be step-free.

I can see bridges of this type being built at other rural locations.

A Single-Platform Station

These images show James Cook station in Middlesbrough.

High Speed Two’s rural bridge design could be used as part of a design for a step-free station on a rural line.

Bridleways

The footbridge can be used for a bridge on a bridleway.

Designed with guidance from the British Horse Society, the bridges which carry bridleways will follow the same basic pattern, with a recycled, non-slip rubber deck and the structure acting like a baffle to stop horses being distracted by passing trains.

Footbridges will be 2.5m wide, while bridleways will be 3.5m wide to allow two horses to pass comfortably and safely.

It should be remembered, that horses are flight animals and if they are startled they run, so if say a train went under the bridge, when they were on top, they would most likely go forward and cross the bridge quickly.

I would happily have ridden  my stallion; Vague Shot over a bridge like this.

I also think, the design of the bridge in the landscape should allow riders to approach to a safe distance from the bridge and perhaps watch a train or two go through.

Other Animals

I can see other animals like badgers, foxes and hares using a bridge like this.

I also think, that on classic railways, bridges like these could be used to allow farmers to move sheep or possibly cattle over a railway, with some simple design changes.

Conclusion

This bridge has more applications, than the initial one, for which it was designed.

July 22, 2022 Posted by | Design, Transport/Travel | , , , , , | 2 Comments

A First Trip To Barking Riverside Station

I took a first trip to Barking Riverside station this morning and took these pictures.

I have a few thoughts and observations.

A Map Of The Barking Riverside Branch

This Google Map shows the Barking Riverside Branch.

Note.

  1. In South-West corner of the map, in the river marked by a blue dot is the Barking Riverside pier for the Thames Clippers.
  2. In A Cruise To Barking – 13th May 2022, I wrote about a trip to Barking Riverside pier from London Bridge pier.
  3. The blue dot above the pier marks Barking Riverside station.

The question mark-shaped Barking Riverside Branch connects Barking Riverside and Barking stations.

The Concrete Viaduct

Much of the branch is a concrete viaduct, which is shown from the ground in these pictures taken on January 20th 2022.

These pictures were originally published in Following The Barking Riverside Extension – 20th January 2022, where I said this.

It seems to be substantially finished and an Autumn 2022 opening should be possible.

I don’t think anybody is bothering about a few months early.

It does seem that engineers are getting better at designing and building these massive structures.

In the last few years I have followed the construction of these structures.

They are impressive engineering projects and I expect that High Speed Two will add a few more to this list.

Why Is There A Need For Two Platforms?

It is generally accepted, that a single-platform at the end of a double-track railway can handle a frequency of six trains per hour (tph).

But plans to extend the railway under or over the Thames to Abbey Wood and Thamesmead, would need two platforms at Barking Riverside station.

Passenger Access At Barking Riverside Station

This picture shows the train-to-platform access at Barking Riverside station.

It is certainly is up there with some of the best on the Overground.

Street-to-platform access is unusual, in that there are two sets of stairs to navigate between platform and street, which is similar to other stations on the Overground.

But to compensate for the climb and give a reliable and easier alternative, two lifts have been installed.

Long Platforms

The platforms seem overly long for the four-car Class 710 trains, which are only eighty-three metres long.

As extending platforms is often a difficult and disruptive exercise, have the platforms been designed to the longest length that Transport for London feel may be needed?

On a second visit to the station, I took these pictures of the ends of the platforms.

Note.

  1. Platform 2 is the Western platform.
  2. Platform 1 is the Eastern platform.
  3. Trains can reverse in either.

I estimate that each platform could easily handle a four-and-a-half car train.

That seems a strange length of train.

I spent some time looking at the Southern end of the station and I came to the conclusion that the station has been designed so it can be extended towards the river.

I feel the station has been designed so that it can handle nine-car trains, with passenger access to the platforms in the middle.

If the station extension were to be built as a mirror image of the existing station, would this mean the following?

  • The extension has its own set of stairs.
  • But as the lifts, would be in the dividing wall between the two halves of the station would the current lifts be fitted with doors on both sides? Unfortunately, I didn’t take a picture inside the lifts.

Barking Riverside station appears to be a well-designed station of two halves.

A High-Capacity Station

Consider.

  • The station has two platforms, which could be used as one platform in each direction.
  • Each platform could handle a train every ten minutes giving a capacity of six tph in each direction.
  • Nine-car trains could possibly be run on the route.
  • The station has good passenger access, with wide stairs and two lifts.

I appears, that Barking Riverside has been designed as a high-capacity station.

London’s Only Nine-Car Trains

The only nine-car trains in London are the Class 345 trains used by the Elizabeth Line.

This map from Cartometro shows where the Gospel Oak and Barking Line crosses over the Great Eastern Main and Elizabeth Lines.

Note.

  1. Wanstead Park and Woodgrange Park stations are on the Gospel Oak and Barking Line, which is shown in orange.
  2. Woodgrange Park station could be adapted to take the Class 345 trains.
  3. Forest Gate and Manor Park stations are on the Elizabeth Line, which is shown in purple.

Forest Gate and Woodgrange Park junctions allow trains to run between Liverpool Street and Barking using the route that c2c trains sometimes take at weekends.

I took this picture today, which shows one of c2c’s new Class 720 trains in Platform 8 at Barking station.

Note.

  1. These trains are five-car trains.
  2. Was it running as a five- or ten-car formation? I will have to check.
  3. But I do know that Platforms 7 and 8 at Barking stations can take eight-car trains with ease.
  4. Were c2c testing that the Fenchurch Street and Grays service could be run by Class 720 trains, which are siblings of the Elizabeth Line’s Class 345 trains?

It does look to me that the design of the tracks between Woodgrange Park and Barking Riverside will allow the following.

  • Nine-car Class 345 trains to run between the Elizabeth Line at Forest Gate junction and Grays station.
  • Nine-car Class 345 trains to run between the Elizabeth Line at Forest Gate junction and Barking Riverside station, if the terminal station had extended platforms.

I am certain that the Barking Riverside Branch has been designed, with future extension in mind.

Adding a Grays service to the Elizabeth Line could give advantages.

  • Woodgrange Park, Barking, Dagenham Dock, Rainham, Purfleet and Grays would get a direct connection to the Elizabeth Line.
  • The proposed Renwick Road and Beam Park stations would be served by the Elizabeth Line.
  • Barking Riverside would be connected to the Elizabeth Line with a change at Barking.
  • Grays could get four tph service to London, with two tph on c2c to Fenchurch Street and two tph on the Elizabeth Line.

As Grays has other services to London via Ockenden, it might be better to run four Elizabeth Line tph to Grays.

I suspect that to run nine-car trains to Barking Riverside would need the route to be extended under the Thames.

I can see two possible tunnelled solutions and one based on a bridge.

  1. A double track tunnel to Abbey Wood to link up with the Elizabeth and North Kent Lines.
  2. A single track tunnel running in a loop to perhaps serve Crossness, East Thamesmead, Abbey Wood and West Thamesmead.
  3. A high bridge over the Thames, that gave spectacular views of London.

I can see option two being the easiest to build and the most affordable.

 

 

Interchange At Platforms 7 and 8 at Barking Station

I have been taking pictures of the Barking Riverside Branch since 2014, when I wrote Is The Gospel Oak To Barking Line Going To Be Extended?.

My usual route has been as follows.

  • 141 bus to Harringay Green Lanes station.
  • Gospel Oak to Barking Line to Barking.
  • Change to c2c for Dagenham Dock.
  • Bus to Barking Riverside.
  • Bus from Barking Riverside to Barking station to go home.

But from today, services have been rearranged in Barking station, so that Platforms 7 and 8 handle the following services.

  • London Overground – 4 tph to Barking Riverside
  • London Overground – 4 tph to Gospel Oak
  • c2c – 2 tph to Fenchurch Street
  • c2c – 2 tph to Grays

So for my trip between Harringay Green Lanes and Dagenham Dock, I would go to Platform 7/8 at Barking station and wait for the first train to Dagenham Dock station.

  • It would be a totally step-free interchange.
  • There is a coffee stall on the platform.

The only improvement that could be made would be to increase the frequency of the c2c service to 4 tph to match the Overground service. I suspect that could be arranged with digital signalling in the area.

There could even be the possibility of running two tph into Liverpool Street, as c2c trains do on Sundays.

Platforms 7 and 8 at Barking Station could be developed into an extremely-useful mini hub.

Is Barking Station Going Step-Free?

Barking station is being refurbished and Wikipedia says this about the works.

Barking and Dagenham London Borough Council has developed a Barking Station Masterplan for the redevelopment of the station, including the removal of retail units from the station concourse, expansion of ticket barriers, additional Oyster card machines, and new building work to provide replacement retail and to increase natural light within the station. In 2009, the station was identified as one of the ten worst category B interchange stations for mystery shopper assessment of fabric and environment, and it was planned to receive a share of £50m funding for improvements.

I would hope step-free access would be included. The Barking Station Masterplan does say this.

Reinvigorate Barking Station so it can cope with the increasing demands which will be
placed on it, by restoring the station’s open feel and celebrating its architecture. Provide
step free access to all platforms and improve the quality of interchange between
different modes of transport. Significantly increase the ease with which pedestrians and
cyclists can use and navigate the area.

That would certainly be an improvement.

Barking Riverside And The District And Hammersmith & City Lines

The improvements at Barking station are probably the key to this. These will surely enable a quick er interchange, with lifts for those that need them.

Barking Riverside And The Lizzie Line

At present the easiest way is take either the District or Hammersmith & City Lines between Barking  and Whitechapel stations.

An alternative is to take the Gospel Oak and Barking Line to Wanstead Park station and then walk to Forest Gate station, which is a valid out-of-station interchange.

These pictures show the out-of-station interchange between Wanstead Park and Forest Gate stations.

When the Lizzie Line is fully connected, this will probably be the best way, if you’re not carrying a heavy bag, in a wheelchair or pushing a buggy.

Expect to see full step-free access at Wanstead Park station in the next few years.

Underneath The Power Lines At Barking Riverside

When the train is going to Barking Riverside station, if you look out to the right (West), you will see massive power lines leading to the Barking substation.

I have lived a mile or so from powerlines in the past and I don’t think, they are an asset to the area, when it comes to selling houses.

July 18, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Birth Of A Station

Thanet Parkway station is under construction and should be opened in May next year.

Work is progressing as this Google Map shows.

Note.

  1. The A299 goes across the top of the map.
  2. The Ashford – Canterbury – Ramsgate Line runs diagonally from South-West to North-East across the map.
  3. Ashford and Canterbury are to the South-West.
  4. Ramsgate is to the North-East.

The new Thanet Parkway station appears to be being built on the triangular site between the A299 and the railway.

  • There appear to be two entrances/exits to the station from the A299.
  • The pedestrian bridge over the railway is under construction.
  • The roads and walkways around the station are being laid.

This video gives more details of the station.

Parking At Thanet Parkway

According to the video, there are nearly three hundred parking spaces, with a number of disabled spaces and spaces with charging for electric cars.

Is that going to be enough spaces?

But at least, there may be fields around the station, that could be used to provide additional parking.

Richborough Energy Park

This Google Map shows the area around the station and to the South towards Richborough.

Note.

  1. The under-construction Thanet Parkway station is in the North-East corner of this map to the West of the village of Cliffsend.
  2. The dual-carriageway of the A256 runs North-South down the map to a roundabout.
  3. To the West of the roundabout is Richborough Energy Park.

This Google Map shows the are round the energy park and the roundabout in more detail.

Note.

  1. The Richborough substation in the South-West corner of the map.
  2. The Richborough Energy Park sits to the East of the substation.
  3. The solar panels to the North of the roundabout are the 4.9 MW Ebbsfleet Solar Farm, which is part of Richborough Energy Park.

Richborough Energy Park is an ongoing project.

The national grid interconnector from the original power station is still in place, and is now the grid link for the 300 MW offshore Thanet Wind Farm.

It is the terminal for the NemoLink interconnector to Belgium.

Wikipedia says this about future plans.

The current owner of the site, BFL Management Ltd, plan to bring the site back into use as a £750 million green energy park. There are additional plans to create additional recycling and green energy facilities on site, including an anaerobic digester, a waste processing plant, a biomass combined heat and power generator, a pyrolysis plant and a peak demand 30MW diesel generator. When fully operational, the park could provide up to 1,400MW of power, employing 100 full-time equivalent, with up to 500 jobs in the construction phase.

I am surprised, that there is no mention of batteries or energy storage.

 

 

This press release from Network Rail is entitled Charge While You Travel With New Electric Vehicle Charging Points At Network Rail Stations.

This the body of the press release

Rail passengers with electric vehicles will be able to charge while they travel thanks to the introduction of 450 new electric vehicle charging points at Network Rail-managed car parks at railway stations.

The charging points, powered by guaranteed renewable energy, provide enough power to fully charge a vehicle in as little as 3-4 hours.

In this phase, Network Rail has powered: 160 charging points in Reading, 111 in Manchester, 84 in Edinburgh, 56 at Leeds and 41 in Welwyn Garden City.

Electric vehicle charging points will be installed across 10% of car parking spaces (approximately 779 spaces) at car parks managed by Network Rail by March 2024.

Rail is already the leading form of green public transport and this marks another milestone in Network Rail’s commitment to a low-emission railway – making sure rail is environmentally-friendly, resilient to climate change and able to provide an excellent service for years to come.

The new Compleo charging points are marked with green parking bays and passengers can pay for what they need quickly and easily via the APCOA Connect app.

Note, that there is no mention, if these are Vehicle-to Grid (V2G) chargers.

In Airport Plans World’s Biggest Car Parks For 50,000 Cars, I stated my belief that car parks, with hundreds or even thousands of vehicles could be turned into giant grid batteries.

  • All electric vehicles, when they are parked would be plugged in to V2G chargers.
  • The vehicle and the grid, would know your expected return time and how much power you would need. Probably from a parking app, assisted by AI!
  • If the grid borrowed your electricity, whilst you were away, you wouldn’t know, until you received the payment for the loan.
  • If your car runs on hydrogen, the parking could also handle the battery, that all hydrogen-powered vehicles have.

Thanet Parkway station would be an ideal station for such a parking system for electric vehicles.

 

July 10, 2022 Posted by | Energy Storage, Transport/Travel | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Five New Derbyshire Stations Could Be Built Under Rail Plans

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

These paragraphs outline the schemes.

Up to five new railway stations could be built in Derbyshire as two projects to reopen existing lines to passengers have progressed in a government scheme.

The Barrow Hill line from Chesterfield to Sheffield could be opened to passengers as part of the government’s £500m Restoring Your Railway programme.

It would see stations built at Whittington, Barrow Hill, Eckington/Renishaw and Killamarsh.

It will now go through to the next stage of the scheme.

In addition, Derbyshire County Council said proposals to reopen the Ivanhoe line from Burton-upon-Trent to Leicester were being progressed as part of the project, which would see a new station built at Castle Gresley.

Business cases will now been drawn up to see if the cases will proceed.

Barrow Hill Line

I wrote about the Barrow Hill Line in Reinstatement Of The Barrow Hill Line Between Sheffield And Chesterfield.

Ivanhoe Line

I wrote about the Ivanhoe Line in Reinstatement Of The Ivanhoe Line.

There also is a Wikipedia entry for Gresley station, where this is said.

In the 1990s BR planned to restore passenger services between Leicester and Burton as the second phase of its Ivanhoe Line project. However, after the privatisation of British Rail in 1995 this phase of the project was discontinued. In 2009 the Association of Train Operating Companies published a £49 million proposal to restore passenger services to the line that would include reopening a station at Gresley to serve the town of Swadlincote.

This map shows the possible position of the station.

I suspect it would be to the West of the roundabout.

June 29, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , | 1 Comment

Northumberland Line On Track As Approval Granted

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

These are the first three paragraphs.

A new rail line in Northumberland – including six new stations – is on track after getting ministers’ support.

The aim is to open the stations and upgrade track between Newcastle and Ashington by December 2023.

Following an inquiry, the government has granted a Transport and Works Act Order (TWAO) authorising the closure of level crossings and purchase of land.

Northumberland Council said it was a “key milestone”.

These two paragraphs describe the project.

Construction work on the line is due to start this summer.

It is planned to run a half-hourly passenger service along the 18-mile line, stopping at Bedlington, Blyth, Bebside, Newsham, Seaton Delaval and Northumberland Park Metro station.

We need more rail reopening like this to level-up the country.

June 29, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

List Of 34 New Train Stations And Wish List Schemes Leading The UK Railway Upgrade

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

On the list are.

This is a fairly comprehensive list.

April 18, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , | 9 Comments

Penge East Station – 11th March 2022

When I wrote Advance Warning Of Brixton To Beckenham Junction Rail Closure In July, I realised I’d never been to Sydenham Hill station.

So when I visited Sydenham Hill station this morning, I decided to take the train through Penge Tunnel to take some pictures of Penge East station.

Note.

  1. The station is a Grade II Listed Building.
  2. It has been well-painted since I last visited.
  3. It would be very difficult to make the existing bridge step-free.

I think this station could be difficult to incorporate into a Penge Interchange station.

But it would be a shorter walk along the platforms to a lift and stairs to the high level platforms, than the current one to Penge West station.

March 13, 2022 Posted by | Design, Transport/Travel | , , , , | 1 Comment

The New Winslow Station Site

This Google Map shows the site of the new Winslow station, on the East West Railway.

Note.

  1. The line from north of Wolvercote Tunnel (just north of Oxford) through Bicester to Bletchley would be enabled for 100 mph (160 km/h) double-track running.
  2. There will be two platforms at Winslow station.
  3. The station is planned to open in 2024.

Services at the station are likely to be.

  • Two tph – Oxford and Milton Keynes via Oxford Parkway, Bicester Village, Winslow and Bletchley
  • One tph – Oxford and Bedford via Oxford Parkway, Bicester Village, Winslow, Bletchley, Woburn Sands and Ridgmont

Note.

  1. tph is trains per hour.
  2. It appears the current Bedford and Bletchley service will continue.

It looks like the one tph service between Aylesbury and Milton Keynes via Aylesbury Vale Parkway, Winslow, Bletchley has been deferred indefinitely.

Consider.

  • Building a single track railway between Aylesbury Vale Parkway station and Claydon Junction on the East West Railway can’t be that challenging or expensive.
  • A single track railway should be able to handle the required train service of up to two tph at Aylesbury Vale Parkway station and occasional freight trains.

It doesn’t look too difficult or costly. So why? The only valid reason I can think of is that High Speed Two doesn’t want it for some reason.

March 3, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Work Begins On Bristol’s First Railway Station Since 1927

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

These are the first two paragraphs.

Construction work has begun on Bristol’s first new railway station in 95 years.

Portway Park & Ride will open in the Summer, linking Shirehampton with the Severn Beach railway line.

It is planned to open this Summer.

I first wrote about Portway Parkway station in DfT Names Five Winners Of Fresh £16m Stations Fund in 2017, when the stations names were as follows.

  • Horden Peterlee in County Durham
  • Warrington West in Cheshire
  • Reading Green Park
  • Bow Street in Ceredigion, Wales
  • Portway Parkway near Bristol

Note.

  1. Portway Parkway is the last station to start construction.
  2. Reading Green Park station is still under construction and should open this year.
  3. Bow Street station opened in February 2021.
  4. Horden station opened in June 2020. I wrote about station after a visit, in Horden Station – 28th October 2020.
  5. Warrington West station opened in December 2019. I wrote about the station after a visit in January 2020, in The New Warrington West Station.

Given the pandemic, the construction hasn’t gone too badly.

February 4, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , | Leave a comment