The Anonymous Widower

An Addenbrooke’s Train Station Has Got The Thumbs-Up From The Transport Secretary

The title of this post is the same as that of an article in the Cambridge News.

These are my thoughts.

Location

Cambridge South station, if they follow the convention of the name of the newly-opened Cambridge North station, has the ideal location.

  • It is South of the City of Cambridge in a similar position to how Cambridge North station is North of the City.
  • The Cambridgeshire Guided Busway could be diverted to serve the station.
  • Addenbrooke’s Hospital and the Cambridge Biomedical Campus could be a short walk or a travelator ride away.
  • Addenbrooke’s bus station could be moved to be adjacent to the new train station.
  • Services between both Liverpool Street and Kings Cross stations and Cambridge would call.
  • There is space for a large car park for both train passengers and hospital patients and visitors.
  • In the future, trains on the East West Rail Link will be able to call.

The location would also allow trains or guided buses on a reopened Stour Valley Railway to call.

Trains

When Thameslink opens fully, it looks like the trains going through Cambridge South station could include.

  • 1 tph – CrossCountry – Birmingham New Street to Stansted Airport.
  • 1 tph – Greater Anglia – Norwich to Stansted Airport.
  • 2 tph – Greater Anglia – Liverpool Street to Cambridge/Cambridge North/Ely
  • 3 tph – Great Northern – Kings Cross to Cambridge/Cambridge North
  • 1 tph – Great Northern – Kings Cross to Kings Lynn
  • 2 tph – Thameslink – Brighton to Cambridge/Caambridge North
  • 2 tph – Thameslink – Maidstone East to Cambridge/Caambridge North

Note tph is trains per hour.

This totals to twelve tph. And that’s only for starters.

  • The East West Rail Link will surely add 2 tph to Oxford.
  • All these services to Kings Cross and St. Pancras must surely hit Greater Anglia’s Liverpool Street services. Will this mean they use some of their massive fleet of new trains to provide extra services to Liverpool Street and Stansted.

It should also be noted that Greater Anglia serves the City, Stratford and connects to Crossrail, whereas Great Northern doesn’t!

The Stour Valley Railway

If Cambridge continues to be one of the most successful cities in the world, I can’t believe that the Stour Valley Railway won’t be reinstated as another route across East Anglia.

I discuss this proposal in detail in An Affordable Reinstatement Of The Stour Valley Railway.

I came to this conclusion.

Reinstatement of the Stour Valley Railway  would be the ultimate modern railway for one of the world’s most high-tech cities.

I think it will be built at some time.

Cost

The usual suspects will complain about Cambridge South station being another station in a city near London, that already has two stations.

This is said about the cost of Cambridge North station in Wikipedia.

On 19 August 2015, Cambridge City Council approved Network Rail’s new plans for the station, which were not substantially different from the original plans put forward by Cambridgeshire County Council in 2013. Following Network Rail’s intervention, the cost of the station was revised upwards to £44 million.

When first proposed by Cambridgeshire County Council in around 2007, at the cost was £15 million, with a benefit-cost ratio of 3.09.

So much for Network Rail’s costing systems.

Incidentally, Kirkstall |Forge station in Leeds, which is a two-platform station on an electrified line with full step-free access cost £16 million. So as Cambridge South will probably have an extra platform and lots of parking, I would reckon £25 million would cover the cost of building the station.

To put this sum in context, two Cambridge companies have recently been sold.

These two deals must have generated a lot of tax revenue.

Conclusion

A start on Cambridge South station should be made next week.

 

August 12, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , , , | Leave a comment

The Rise Of One-Platform Stations

As I was writing DfT Names Five Winners Of Fresh £16m Stations Fund,  I came to the conclusion that a lot of well-designed one-platform stations have been built since the turn of the millennium.

New one-platform stations include.

  • Alloa – Scotland – Reopened 2008 – Commuter and terminal station
  • Alesbury Vale Parkway – Bucks – Opened 2008 – Park-and-Ride, commuter and terminal station.
  • Beauly – Scotland – Reopened 2002 – £250,000 – 75% of local commuters switched from road to rail.
  • Brunstane – Scotland – Opened 2002 – Commuter station
  • Chandler’s Ford – Hampshire – Reopened 2003 – Commuter station
  • Chatelherault – Scotland – Reopened 2005 – Commuter station.
  • Conon Bridge – Scotland – Reopened 2013 – £600,000 – Local station
  • Cranbrook – Devon – Opened 2015 – Commuter station
  • Ebbw Vale Parkway – Wales – Opened 2008 – Park-and-Ride and commuter station.
  • Ebbw Vale Town – Opened 2015 – Commuter and terminal station.
  • Eskbank – Scotland – Opened 2015 – Commuter station
  • Fishguard and Goodwick – Wales – Reopened 2012 – £325,000 – Local station and bus interchange.
  • Galashiels – Scotland – Reopened 2015 – Commuter station and bus interchange.
  • Gorebridge – Scotland – Opened 2015 – Commuter station
  • James Cook – Teeside – Opened 2014 – £2.2million – Serves the hospital
  • Kelvindale – Scotland – Reopened 2005 – Commuter station
  • Llanhilleth – Wales – Reopened 2008 – Commuter station
  • Merryton – Scotland – Opened 2005 – Commuter station
  • Newbridge – Wales – Reopened 2008 – Commuter station
  • Newcourt – Devon – Opened 2015 – £4million – Commuter station.
  • Newcraighall – Scotland – Opened 2002 – Park-and-Ride
  • Newtongrange – Scotland – Opened 2015 – Commuter station
  • Pye Corner – Wales – £3.5million – Commuter station
  • Rogerstone – Wales – Opened 2008 – Commuter station

That is a total of twenty-four stations including three termini since 2000.

Several of the stations are on three reopened or new lines.

The three routes have sections of single-track.

How many more one-platform stations will we see in the next few years?

  • They must be more affordable.
  • They don’t need expensive pedestrian bridges.
  • They are usually step-free.
  • They can be as long as you need
  • They are ideal for single-track lines without electrification.

On the other hand there may be signalling and safety issues.

Integrated Design Of Rail Routes, Stations And Trains

If you look at the design of a new or reopened railway line like the Borders Railway, there have been various complaints from residents, commuters, railway purists and tourists.

  • Why wasn’t it built as double-track throughout?
  • There is no siding to help if a train brakes down.
  • Parking is insufficient.
  • The capacity of the trains is small.
  • The trains are old and tired.
  • The trains perform poorly.

A lot of the complaints can be blamed on the need to deliver the railway on a minimum cost.

But, I also believe that if the line had been designed to fit around a small fleet of trains, designed specifically for the route, then more money could have been saved and the railway would offer a better service to everyone.

Imagine a train with these characteristics.

  • At least four comfortable carriages.
  • Ability to run on electricity, where 25 KVAC overhead electrification is available.
  • Ability to run on diesel or batteries, where there is no electrification.
  • Change of power mode would be automatic and at line speed.
  • Level access to Harrington Humps at all stations for those needing step-free access.
  • Integrated CCTV between train and stations, so train crew can check if there are any possible problems or passengers who need assistance as they approach a station.
  • Wi-fi and 4G, although the latter might be difficult on the Borders Railway.
  • An onboard ticket machine, so late passengers can board without a ticket and the conductor is busy.

The train doesn’t need to be new, but designed for the route and of refurbished to a high standard.

I believe that train designers can come up with a train that would be more efficient to operate at stations, so that time-keeping would be spot on.

A Rail Link To Saint Andrews

I will use this rail link as an example, because of the importance of the historic City and its links to golf.

The length of the route by road between Leuchars station and Saint Andrews is 5.8 miles.

This is not much longer than the 4.4 miles of the Greenford Branch Line in West London, which has a frequency of two trains per hour (tph).

The service is provided by a single Class 165 train. So I suspect, a single train could maintain a two tph shuttle between Leuchars station and Saint Andrews.

The minimum infrastructure to sustain this two tph service would be as follows.

  • A single bay platform at Leuchars station.
  • A single platform terminus at Saint Andrews.
  • Perhaps a single platform station for golfing visitors convenient for the courses.
  • All platforms would be able to handle six car trains.
  • A single track would connect all the stations.

But surely this is not good enough for Saint Andrews.

  • A passing loop could be provided at halfway.
  • There must also be the possibility of a triangular junction to link the rail link to the main line.

Doing both, might allow four tph and direct trains from Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow to Saint Andrews.

 

 

 

July 29, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , | 1 Comment

DfT Names Five Winners Of Fresh £16m Stations Fund

The title of this post is the same as an article in Rail Technology Magazine.

It announces the five winners of funding from the Second New Stations Fund.

Stations chosen are as follows.

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

Note the fund is for England and Wales only!

The stations will be described in the next few sections.

Horden Peterlee

Horden Peterlee station will be on the double-track Durham Coast Line, between Seaham and Hsrtlepool stations.

This Google Map shows the area of the proposed station close to South East View.

Wikipedia says this about the proposed station.

This station, if built, would have 2 platforms with waiting shelters, benches, lighting, help points and CCTV. The platforms would be linked by a covered footbridge and the station would have a car park with space for up to 100 cars as well as facilities for drop-off, taxis and bus services.

Let’s hope the lie of the land, enables the architects to design a good station.

Wikipedia also says this as the reason for building the station.

It was identified that one of the key benefits of reopening Horden station rather than any of the other closed stations on the line was its close proximity to Peterlee which has grown significantly since 1964 and thus, if constructed, a new station in Horden could allow 61,000 residents to benefit from improved access to employment opportunities across the region.

It sounds to me like this station is needed. I would hope to go when this station opens, as it could be a day to remember  in Horden.

Train Services

Looking at Passenger Services in the Wikipedia entry for the Durham Coast Line, it would appear that local services between Middlesbrough and Newcastle are a bit thin, at just hourly. An important local route like this deserves to have at least two trains per hour.

Grand Central and Virgin do run trains through the area to Sunderland, but I don’t think they will stop at Horden Peterlee station.

Certainly, a smart new station deserves to have a train service to natch.

Warrington West

Warrington West station will be on the southern Liverpool to Manchester Line between Sankey and Warrington Central stations.

This Google Map shows the area of the station.

It looks like the development site in the South East corner of the map could be Chapelford urban village, with the railway running East-West across the map.

This article in the Warrington Guardian gives more details of the station.

This is a visualisation of the station.

As this station is halfway between Liverpool and Manchester, I have a feeling, this could be a very busy station.

Train Services

Services at Warrington Central station has as many as eight trains per hour passing through.

There is a lot of scope to provide a quality southern service between Liverpool and Manchester calling at Liverpool South Parkway, Widnes and Warrington Central. Warrington West station could be a part of this and I could see it getting between two and four semi fast trains per hour

Reading Green Park

Reading Green Park station will be on the Reading to Basingstoke Line between Reading West and Mortimer stations.

This Google Map shows the area.

Note the Reading to Basingstoke Line down the Western edge of the map.

Train Services

It is expected that services will be at least two trains per hour at the station.

The Reading to Basingstoke Line has the following characteristics.

  • It is electrified with 25 KVAC overhead at the Reading end.
  • It is electrified with 750 VDC third rail at the Basingstoke end.
  • It has less than fifteen miles of line without electrification,

Consequently, I feel that in a few years, this line will be within the capability of a battery powered train, charging on the short lengths of electrification at either end.

Bow Street

Bow Street station will be on the Cambrian Line between Aberwrystwyth and Borth stations.

This article on the BBC gives more details.

Train Services

The Cambrian Line has approximately pne train per hour between Aberwrystwyth and Shrewsbury.

Portway Parkway

Portway Parkway station will be a one platform station on the Severn Beach Line adoining the Portway Park-and-Ride.

Train Services

Wikipedia describes the Services on the line.

Costs Summary

This article from Railway Gazette International has a detailed summary of the costs of the five stations.

Horden Peterlee, Warrington West and Reading Green Park are medium-sized schemes to support housing and business developents and make it easier to get to employment in nearby towns and cities. But they will cost an average of £15million a station.

Certainly, where I live in Dalston and all across North London, the improved North London Line has had several positive effects.

Bow Street and Portway Parkway are small one-platform schemes, which hopefully will provide better Park-and-Ride facilities. The averae cost is a lot less at £4.5million.

Conclusion

It is well-proven that new stations are a way of increasing train usage and they are generally welcomed by train companies, passengers, residents and businesses.

But as the costs for these stations show, medium-sized full-function stations don’t come cheap.

Surely, though on the right housing or business development, designing a station into the development, as at Warrington West or Reading Green Park, must give a payback to the developer in easier sales and rentals.

The two simpler schemes would seem to be part of a trend, where well-designed one-platform stations are built for Park-and-Ride facilities, hospitals, housing developments and sporting venues.

I discuss these stations in The Rise Of One-Platform Stations.

Bow Street and Portway Parkway stations will add two more one-platform stations.

 

 

 

 

July 29, 2017 Posted by | Finance, Travel | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Grayling Sets An Excellent Precedent

This article on the BBC is entitled St Mellons Private Rail Station Welcomed By Chris Grayling.

This is said.

A proposal to create Wales’ first privately-owned railway station has been welcomed by UK Transport Secretary Chris Grayling.

He told MPs he was very happy to see plans for St Mellons Parkway in east Cardiff go ahead.

Cardiff South and Penarth MP Stephen Doughty said south Wales needed new stations to make the most out of rail electrification.

The new station has been provisionally named Cardiff Parkway.

Mr Doughty said the proposals to build the station in east Cardiff were “backed by the private sector, backed cross party, backed by the Welsh Government, backed by Cardiff council”

Chris Grayling said he was happy to see it go ahead and that as it was privately-funded, it didn’t need the same form of public funding.

At the present time, there is only one privately-funded station; Southend Airport.

There is also this article on Wales Online, which is entitled There could be 12 new railway stations built in Wales.

Builders are going to be busy!

July 23, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , , , | 4 Comments

New Station Collateral Benefits

In Cambridge Gets Its Own Mini-Crossrail, I wrote about the opening of the new Cambridge North station.

This article on Rail Technology Magazine is entitled Great Northern completes refurb of Fen Line Class 387s and it details how Great Northern now runs air-conditioned trains through Cambridge to Cambridge North and Ely stations and then down the Fen Line to Kings Lynn.

It also appears that some of the fast Cambridge trains have now been extended to Ely with a second stop in Cambridge at the new station.

So the opening of Cambridge North station, seems to have given Ely and the Fen Line a better service to London.

Cambridge North is not a run-of-the-mill station.

  • It is large with lots of parking.
  • It is close to the Cambridge Science Park.
  • It is in the middle of a very affluent area, where train travel is used extensively toget to London, Cambridge and Norwich.

But perhaps most importantly, two major train operators; Great Northern and Greater Anglia,provide services to London.

Have Great Northern’s air-conditioned trains fired the first shots in the competition between the two operators?

Passengers will be the main beneficiary in the next few years.

 

May 24, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , | Leave a comment

Cambridge Gets Its Own Mini-Crossrail

This morning I went to see the very newly-opened Cambridge North station.

The station is probably best described as a Parkway station close to the Cambridge Science Park and the A14 on the Northern Side of Cambridge.

The station is not short of facilities and service pattern.

  • Two through platforms and one bay platform, all capable of taking a 12-car Class 700 train.
  • Two avoiding lines for freight trains.
  • Full step-free access.
  • 450 car park spaces.
  • Parking under cover for a thousand bikes.
  • Access to the Cambridgeshire Guided Busway.
  • Close to the A14.
  • Customer toilets.
  • A proper ticket office and several ticket machines.
  • A square outside to meet people if it’s sunny.
  • Retail units and some greenery will be added later.
  • Currently, it is planned for about four trains per hour to stop at Cambridge North station in each direction.

According to this article on the BBC, the station cost £44million.

It is all pretty impressive and practical.

Are Cambridge, Cambridge North, Waterbeach and Ely stations the first four stations of a Cambridge Mini-Crossrail or Metro?

Consider.

  • Cambridge South station could be built close to Addenbrooke’s Hospital.
  • Lines fan out from Ely to Bury St. Edmunds and Ipswich, Kings Lynn, Norwich and Peterborough.
  • Lines will fan out to the South of Addenbrooke’s to Bedford, Hitchin and Kings Cross, Stansted and Liverpool Street.
  • Cambridge station has more platforms than many terminal stations.
  • Cambridge North station has space for extra platforms.
  • A lot more trains could stop in the stations.

It will be interesting to see how the system develops in the future.

May 21, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , | 1 Comment

A Policy For Brexiteers

As to why people voted to Leave, I have found this academic document from NatCen, which is entitled Understanding the Leave vote.

The summary of their findings are as follows.

  • Identity politics played a role
  • Voters not persuaded by arguments about economic risks
  • ‘New voters’ leant towards Leave
  • The vote split across traditional party lines
  • Turnout favoured Leave
  • Leave brought together a broad coalition of voters

I think it is important that to do well in the General Election, parties must surely key in to the Brexiteers!

Wikipedia gives the Results of the United Kingdom European Union membership referendum, 2016 and from that I have extracted all areas that voted over seventy percent for Brexit.

  • Ashfield – 70.5%
  • Barnsley East – 70.7%
  • Bolsover – 70.8%
  • Boston And Skegness – 74.9%
  • Castle Point – 72.7%
  • Clacton – 70.0%
  • Doncaster North – 72.0%
  • Dudley North – 71.4%
  • Dudley South – 70.2%
  • Great Grimsby – 71.4%
  • Great Yarmouth – 71.5%
  • Kingston-upon-Hull East – 72.6%
  • Mansfield – 70.9%
  • South Basildon And East Thurrock – 73.0%
  • South Holland And The Deepings – 71.1%
  • Stoke-on-Trent North – 72.1%
  • Stoke-on-Trent South – 70.7%
  • Walsall North – 74.2%

By comparison, these cities voted for over sixty percent for Brexit.

  • Kingston-upon-Hull – 67.6%
  • Stoke-on-Trent – 69.4%
  • Sunderland – 61.3%
  • Wakefield – 66.4%
  • Wolverhampton – 62.6%

It is an interesting set of statistics, with most of the areas not having the best of economic prospects

So far none of the leaks and policies from the various parties seem to be aimed at the areas of the UK, where there was a strong Leave vote.

Those that voted to Leave probably did so for a variety of reasons, but if you look at many with a high proportion of Brexiteers, they are areas with not the best economic circumstances.

I haven’t gone through all the constituencies, but I will, but several feature in A Look At New Station Projects, where I looled at all proposed projects.

In January 2017, I wrote Government Focuses On New Stations And Trains and I just wonder, if we will see a substantial New Stations Fund from the Conservatives, so that some of these places get better connections to where there is work, housing, education, leisure or opportunities.

It seems £10million, buys a reasonable station, so £100million a year would over the life of a parliament create up to fifty stations, especially if they built them like Ilkeston station in under a year.

I will now look at the individual constituencies.

Ashfield

Ashfield is based on the towns of Sutton-in-Ashfield and Kirkby-in-Ashfield, both have which have stations on the Robin Hood Line.

Plans exist to develop this line along existing freight routes in good condition with perhaps two or three simple stations. Add in some better trains and make the frequency two trains per hour (tph) seven days a week and it could have a large positive effect.

Barnsley East

Barnsley East is centred on the town of Wombwell.

Wombwell station is on these two lines.

Both lines go through Barnsley.

Both lines are in good condition, but the trains are dreadful. Northern will be replacing these with better rolling stock, with the eventual aim of having new Class 195 trains in service by 2020.

If you wanted to give the area a quick fix, you could send in the Class 319 Flex trains at the end of this year.

Bolsover

Bolsover is centred on the town of Bolsover.

There are vague plans to link Bolsover to the rail network using the partly mothballed Doe Lea Line, but nothing concrete. Wikipedia says this.

The Doe Lea line south from Seymour Junction to Bolsover has been mothballed as it runs through the new Markham Vale Enterprise Zone at M1 Junction 29A. It is hoped that someone will invest in this infrastructure to create road-rail interchange facilities.

I can find no reference to any progress.

Note that Bolsover’s MP is left-wing Labour veteran; Dennis Skinner.

Boston And Skegness

Boston And Skegness is a rural constituency in South incolnshire.

The Poacher Line links Skegness and Boston to Nottingham via Sleaford and Grantham.

There is an approximately hourly service along the line, using Class 156 trains and Class 158 trains, but the line probably needs two tph, with good connections to the Peterborough to Lincoln Line at Sleaford.

Castle Point

Castle Point is in South |East Essex.

The railways in this area are generally good, but c2c has expansion and fleet renewal plans.

Clacton

Clacton is in North East Essex.

The railways in this area are gebnerally good, but Greater Anglia have expansion and fleet renewal plans.

Doncaster North

Doncaster North is in South Yorkshire.

The railways in this area suffer because of bad rolling stock and not being electrified.

Note that Doncaster North’s MP is Ed Milliband.

New diesel or bi-mode trains between Doncaster and Sheffield via Rotherham would make a great difference.

If you wanted to give Doncaster North a quick fix, you could send in the Class 319 Flex trains at the end of this year.

Dudley North And Dudley South

Dudley North and Dudley South are the two constituencies for Dudley.

The Wednesbury – Merry Hill Extension of the Midland Metro, is planned to connect Dudley to Birmingham, Wolverhampton and the Merry Hill area.

Great Grimsby

Great Grimsby is centred on Grimsby.

Grimbsy Town station doesn’t receive the best of services. Changes are happening according to Wikipedia.

Great North Eastern Railway had put forward proposals in 2014 to create a rail link between Cleethorpes and London Kings Cross, calling at Grimsby Town, Habrough, Scunthorpe and Doncaster, arriving at a new modern Kings Cross station. This service would have been introduced by December 2017 if Alliance Rail’s plans had been accepted by the Office of Rail Regulation and would create the first direct link to London since 1986. In May 2016, it was announced by the ORR that GNER had been refused permission to operate these services.

In October 2017, services between Cleethorpes and Barton-on-Humber will be transferred to East Midlands Trains – the only remaining Northern operated service left at Grimsby thereafter will be the Saturdays-only one between Sheffield and Cleethorpes via Brigg.

Like most of Lincolnshire, improvement is needed.

Great Yarmouth

Great Yarmouth is at the Eastern side of Norfolk.

The railways in this area are gebnerally good, but trains are infrequent.

Greater Anglia have expansion and fleet renewal plans, with some new infrastructure from Network Rail.

If you wanted to give Great Yarmouth a quick fix, you could send in the Class 319 Flex trains at the end of this year.

Kingston-upon-Hull East

Kingston-upon-Hull East is the Eastern side of Kingston-upon-Hull.

For one of the major cities in the UK, Hull has once of the worst train services.

New trains and the development of the existing lines with perhaps electrification to the East Coast Main Line could give the area improvement.

Mansfield

Mansfield is in North Nottinghamshire.

Mansfield station is on the Robin Hood Line.

Plans exist to develop this line along existing freight routes in good condition with perhaps two or three simple stations. Add in some better trains and make the frequency two trains per hour (tph) seven days a week and it could have a large positive effect.

South Basildon And East Thurrock

South Basildon And East Thurrock is in South Essex.

The railways in this area are generally good, but c2c has expansion and fleet renewal plans.

South Holland And The Deepings

South Holland And The Deepings is another Lincolnshire constituency.

The Peterborough to Lincoln Line and the Poacher Line cross at Sleaford station, but passenger trains are elderly and infrequent.

Stoke-on-Trent South

Stoke-on-Trent South is one of the constituencies in the city of Stoke-on-Trent.

Reading the Wikipedia entry for Stoke-on-Trent station, you get the impression, that train companies have dealt Stoke a bad hand in recent times.

I have no doubt that if Stoke were in France or Germany, there would be a tram or light rail system i the city.

Walsall North

Walsall North is a constituency in the North of the West Midlands.

Walsall station is on the Chase Line between Birmingham and Rugeley.

The line is being fully-electrified, but Network Rail are badly suffering from the E-word.

If you wanted to give Walsall a quick fix, you could send in the Class 319 Flex trains at the end of this year.

Summing Up The Brexit Areas

I think that the rail industry and the politicians who control them have let down some of these constituencies.

The electrification of the Chase Line is a classic Network Rail failure, possibly cheered on by a nimby MP, actually objecting to a faster rail service.

Other areas like South Yorkshire, North Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire, need plans to widen the benefits of good public transport. Interestingly, all of these areas have good freight lines, often going through the sites of closed and much-needed stations.

I will ignore Essex in this analysis, as the county is getting improvement and the good people of the County, are just following their usual independent line.

If I can be criticised, it is that I have drawn my cut-off limits too high.

Go further down the list and you can add more constituencies to the South Yorks, North Notts, Lincoln area, which all scored nearly 70%.

  • Bassetlaw
  • Cleethorpes
  • Don Valley
  • Rotherham
  • Scunthorpe
  • Wentworth and Dearne

A lot more Essex and East London constituencies creep in as do a few in the West Midlands.

Conclusion

It is surprising how many of these depressed Brexit areas have a poor train service and probably bad bus services too. If you haven’t got a car, then you just vegetate and fade away.

Perhaps, improvement of our secondary rail routes, with more trains and stations, should be given a high priority.

May 16, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , | 7 Comments

Manor Park Station – 15th May 2017

In Before Crossrail – Manor Park, I likened Manor Park station to A Ruin With Serious Issues and gave it a score of 1/10.

I also said.

Manor Park is very unusual architecturally. I do wonder if the Luftwaffe tried to demolish the station.

Perhaps the builders just ran out of money and couldn’t afford to put in windows.

With hindsight, I think I was being generous with one point.

But these are the pictures I took today.

The builder is certainly not our friend Jerry.

When my train arrived, I stepped out close by the driver’s cab. I was surprised to see that half the old station had disappeared and it must have shown, as the driver asked me if I was OK!

I certainly was and it looks like the builders and the architects are well on the way to turning one of London’s worst stations, into one of the better.

  • Judging by the position of the gate line on the South side of the Ticket Hall, it will lead to a series of passages to the stairs and the lifts to the platforms.
  • I particularly liked the use of strips of LED lights to illuminate the Ticket Hall and the area outside the doors.
  • The staff seem to have a good view of the front glass doors from the Ticket Counter.
  • It looks to me that any bits of the old station that there were good reasons to keep, have been kept.
  • It could be a very welcoming station, that I suspect Transport for London hopes will attract a lot of new passengers.
  • I was told that the lifts are only a couple of months away.

Importantly with my Project Manager’s hard hat on, it would appear that they have managed to create much of the new station without too much disruption.

May 15, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Reverse Commuting To Cambridge North Station

Cambridge North station opens on the 21st May 2017.

Around 1070, I commuted from London to Welwyn Garden City. It was much more relaxing than sharing the busy trains into London and on early trips to Cambridge in the last few years, I’ve noticed that quite a few people commute from London to Cambridge.

So given the proximity of the new Cambridge North station to the Cambridge Science Park, I wonder how many will use the service to get to and from their place of work?

The Service On Sunday, 21st May 2017

Trains would appear to be every hour at XX:42 taking about ten minutes under two hours.

The Service On Monday, 22nd May 2017

The weekday service would appear to be more comprehensive.

  • 06:08 KX 1:02
  • 06:44 KX 0:53
  • 06:52 KX 1.14
  • 07:04 KX 1:32
  • 07:28 LS 1:32
  • 08:04 KX 1:29
  • 08:14 KX 1:00
  • 08:28 LS 1:33

Note that KX is Kings Cross and LS is Liverpool Street.

All the trains shown arrive before 10:00 or a few minutes after.

Given that Thameslink will improve this service in May 2018, by adding another two trains per hour, it is certainly a good start.

May 12, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , , | Leave a comment

The £20million Station Car Park

This article in the Oxford Mail is entitled Work begins on £20m multi-storey car park at Didcot Parkway.

Didcot Parkway station is a major Park-and-Ride station on the Great Western Railway, so the economics of spending £20million on car parking must be an investment, that the company thinks is worthwhile.

This Google Map shows the station and the existing car park in Foxhall Road.

Note that Oxford is to the North, with the Great Western Main Line going across from London in the East to Swindon in the West.

This visualisation shows the new car park, which will be built on the site of the existing car park.

The Didcot to Oxford Railway is in front, with Oxford to the right and Didcot Parkway station to the left.

The Economics

If you go up from Didcot Parkway to Paddington, the return fares are as follows.

  • Anytime Day Return – £82.40
  • Off-Peak Day Return – £25.70

Consider.

  • Parking will probably cost from £3/hour.
  • The Internet reckons that Didcot to London is about 60 miles and it will take about one hour thirty-eight minutes to drive.
  • On the other hand, the fastest trains take 41 minutes with a stop at Reading.
  • From December 2019, interchange for the City and Canary Wharf wil be possible at Reading and Paddington.

I have a feeling that another large Park-and-Ride will be needed.

This Google Map shows Swindon station.

It would surely be a station, where the existing car parks could be multi-storied.

But there are probably lots of others. This article in the Wantage Herald mentions Grove, Corsham and Royal Wooton Bassett, as possible parkway stations.

 

 

 

 

May 8, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , , , | Leave a comment