The Anonymous Widower

UK And Welsh Governments To Explore New Rail Links Between South Wales And England

The title of this post, is the same as that of this press release from the UK Government.

These are the three bullet points.

  • UK and Welsh governments today (2 February 2023) announce a new study to improve transport connectivity between south-east Wales and west of England
  • the study, backed by £2.7 million of UK government funding, will look at options for new railway stations and rail services on the South Wales Main Line
  • this project will focus on relieving congestion on the M4, a vital connector between south Wales and the rest of the UK

The stations are not named, but it is said that they could be between Cardiff and the Severn Tunnel.

The last paragraph changes direction a bit.

Lord Peter Hendy also proposed reviewing the route connecting north Wales to the north-west of England, better connectivity with HS2 and a package of railway improvements to increase connectivity and reduce journey times between Cardiff, Birmingham and beyond.

I find this development very interesting, but typical of the sensible approach one would expect from Lord Peter.

In Could High Speed Two Serve Holyhead?, I looked at the route and came to this conclusion.

London Euston and Holyhead could be a serious proposition.

With some development and a new fast ferry, it could also open up a practical zero-carbon route between Great Britain and Ireland.

Times of four and a half hours between London Euston and Dublin could be possible.

I suspect that time would appeal to green tourists, especially those in First with a good meal.

February 3, 2023 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Brent Cross West Station – 22nd January 2023

T took these pictures as I passed the site this morning.

I’m not sure about the work of art.

Changing At Farringdon To And From Northbound Thameslink Trains

For my trip this morning, I took the Lizzie Line one stop from Moorgate station to Farringdon, and then straight up the escalator to the Northbound Thameslink platform.

Changing to Northbound Thameslink services at Farringdon is very easy, if you make sure you arrive in the Western end of your Lizzie Line train.

These pictures show the change.

Note.

  1. You can only change at the Western end of the Lizzie Line platforms.
  2. At the top of the escalator, keep to the left and walk through to the Northbound platform.

You will be arrive on the Northbound platform at the back of the train.

The reverse change is also easy, so if I was coming home from Gatwick Airport or Brighton, I’d change at Farringdon to the Lizzie Line for Moorgate, from where I can get a bus to my home.

The change to the Lizzie Line will be easier, if you are in the back of your Thameslink train.

Pit Stops At Farringdon Station

One unique feature of the Northbound Thameslink platform at Farringdon station, is that unusually for a sub-surface station, it has full facilities, which are located by the escalators for the Lizzie Line.

I would very much like to see more of these.

Changing At Farringdon To And From Southbound Thameslink Trains

Changing to Southbound Thameslink services at Farringdon is similar to changing to Northbound Thameslink services, if you make sure you arrive in the Western end of your Lizzie Line train.

These pictures show the change.

Note.

  1. You can only change at the Western end of the Lizzie Line platforms, where you go up the escalator.
  2. At the top of the escalator, keep to the right and take the escalator to the station entrance.
  3. Then descend to the Southbound platform using the stairs or the lifts.

You will be arrive on the Southbound platform at the front of the train.

The reverse change is also easy, so if I was coming home from Bedford or Cambridge, I’d change at Farringdon to the Lizzie Line for Moorgate, from where I can get a bus to my home.

The change to the Lizzie Line will be easier, if you are in the front of your Thameslink train.

January 22, 2023 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Thought On Broughton Station

This Google Map shows Hawarden Airport to the West of Chester.

Note.

  1. Airbus make wings for their aircraft at their Broughton factory on this airport.
  2. The wings are flown to Europe for final assembly.
  3. The North Wales Coast Line passes the Northern end of the runway.

When I bought my return ticket between Chester and Holyhead, which was good value at £25.25 with my Senior Railcard, I got chatting with the clerk about Airbus and their Broughton factory.

He felt it needed a station and afterwards I checked and found that the Welsh Government had been trying to build one for some time.

Thinking back, I wonder if he keeps getting asked about getting to the Airbus factory and wishes that the government and Airbus would make his job easier by building a  Broughton station.

A station at Broughton might also cut the factory’s carbon footprint, by allowing more staff to go to work by train.

A Merseyrail Extension To Shotton

Shotton is already served by the Borderlands Line which connects Wrexham and Bidston.

This line is shown on the West side of this map, which shows how the Merseyrail network might look in the future.

Note.

  1. Chester could have services that terminate in the East at Crewe and Runcorn East stations.
  2. Chester already has electric services from Liverpool, which will receive new Class 777 trains in the next few months.
  3. The new trains can be fitted with a battery electric capability.

I just wonder, if a Cross-Chester Metro could be built.

  • Eastern termini would be Runcorn East or possibly Warrington Bank Quay and Crewe.
  • Shotton is only 7.9 miles from Chester.
  • Shotton low-level station used to have four tracks.
  • I suspect that Shotton or even Flint could be the Western terminus.
  • Extra stations could be added as required.

Note.

It would probably be best, if the trains were battery-electric that could use 25 KVAC overhead electrification, as this would allow them to charge at the Eastern termini.

I also feel that Crewe and Chester should be electrified, so that Chester could be reached by the new Class 805 trains running under electric power.

This would also allow Chester to become a High Speed Two destination, that was served by High Speed Two Classic-Compatible trains.

I believe that a Cross-Chester Metro is a possibility.

October 12, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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.

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