The Anonymous Widower

Work Has Started At Brent Cross West Station

I was alerted to the fact that work had started at Brent Cross West station by this article on Rail Advent.

The article didn’t say much, except that work had started, track had been moved to allow construction of the £40 million station and the station should open next year.

So I went and had a look.

I took these pictures from a Thameslink train going North through the station site.

I was sitting on the right-hand side of the train and looking to the East.

I then changed trains at Mill Hill Broadway station and took a few more pictures going South.

Again, I was sitting on the right-hand side of the train, but this time looking West.

This Google Map shows the area.

Note.

  1. The map was probably created a few months ago.
  2. There is still a shed from the Cricklewood TMD still standing, which I didn’t see.
  3. The Brent Cross Flyover can be clearly seen in the images and the map.

Work underway includes.

  • Creation of the new track layout.
  • Building of two wide platforms either side of the tracks i was on.
  • The width of the platforms may indicate island platforms.
  • Building a temporary footbridge, so workers can cross the tracks.
  • There appear to be a support installed for the station footbridge.

One impression, I got today, is that it is a large site and this may enable the building of a relatively simple station.

 

April 12, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | 3 Comments

Beeching Reversal – Reopening Sawston Station

This is one of the Round 3 bids of Beeching Reversal projects that the Government and Network Rail are proposing to reverse some of the Beeching cuts.

Sawston is a village in South Cambridgeshire, which is shown in this Google Map.

Note.

The West Anglia Main Line and the A1301 road both run North-South to the West of the village.

The railway calls at Whittlesford Parkway station at the bottom of the map.

The A505, which is a main route between West Suffolk and the M11 and the A1 (M) runs across the bottom of the map.

The new Sawston station is proposed to be in Mill Lane close to the old Spicers factory.

This second Google Map shows the area of the proposed station.

Note.

  1. There would appear to be space for a station.
  2. The site is not far from the Western edge of the village.
  3. There is already a comprehensive road junction, that would serve the station.

This third Google Map shows the area of the Whittlesford Parkway station.

Note.

  1. The station running North-South towards the West of the map.
  2. The large car-park to the East of the station.
  3. The smaller car-park to the West of the station.
  4. The station has a Holiday Inn hotel.

I have used the station hundreds of times and I believe that it could be made into a first class transport hub for commuters and visitors to Cambridge.

  • It has good road connections to North Hertfordshire, West Suffolk and North West Essex.
  • It has large amounts of car parking, that ten years ago was rarely full.
  • A step-free footbridge with lifts, needs to be added.
  •  There needs to be better bus connections to local villages.
  • There needs to be a bus connection to the Imperial War Museum Duxford.

I don’t believe massive amounts of money would be needed to realise the full potential of this station.

Services through Whittlesford Station And The Proposed Site Of Sawston Station

Currently, the following services run through Whittlesford station in the Off Peak.

  • Greater Anglia – 2 tph – Liverpool Street and Cambridge North
  • Greater Anglia – 1 tph – Stansted Airport and Norwich
  • CrossCountry – 3 tpd – Stansted Airport and Birmingham New Street

Note.

  1. tph is an abbreviation for trains per hour.
  2. tpd is an abbreviation for trains per day
  3. All Greater Anglia services call at Whittlesford Parkway,  Cambridge and Cambridge North stations and will probably call at Cambridge South station, when it opens.
  4. The CrossCountry service only calls at Audley End station between Stansted Airport and Cambridge.

I believe that the minimum services should be as follows to provide an adequate service, after the opening of Cambridge South station.

  • 4tph – Whittlesford Parkway and Cambridge North stopping at Cambridge South and Cambridge.
  • 2 tph – Liverpool Street and Cambridge North stopping at Whittlesford Parkway, Cambridge South and Cambridge.
  • 1 tph – Stansted Airport and Norwich stopping at Whittlesford Parkway, Cambridge South, Cambridge and Cambridge North.
  • 1 tph – Stansted Airport and Birmingham New Street stopping at Whittlesford Parkway, Cambridge South, Cambridge and Cambridge North.

There could even be a Cambridgeshire Metro serving all stations between Stansted Airport and Ely.

  • All services could be run by electric or bi-mode trains.
  • Possible stops would be Elsenham, Newport, Audley End, Great Chesterford, Whittlesford Parkway, Shelford, Cambridge South, Cambridge, Cambridge North and Waterbeach.
  • As they do now some fast services would skip smaller stations.
  • More important stations like Audley End, Whittlesford Parkway, Cambridge South and Cambridge North would get a 4 tph service to Cambridge
  • Other stations would get an appropriate service.
  • I would also like to see two fast tph between Cambridge and King’s Lynn, Liverpool Street, Norwich, Peterborough and Stansted.

I think that such a timetable would be possible, if the performance of Greater Anglia’s new trains were to be used to the full.

Could An Extra Stop Be Added At The Proposed Site Sawston Station?

Each extra stop adds extra time to the timetable.

Consider.

  • The faster Liverpool Street and Whittlesford Parkway takes sixty minutes with six stops.
  • The slower Liverpool Street and Whittlesford Parkway takes seventy-four minutes with twelve stops.
  • Greater Anglia’s trains through Whittlesford Parkway and the proposed Sawston station will probably be 100 mph Class 720 trains.

I think it would be reasonable to assume that every extra stop would add 120-150 seconds to the journey time.

As Cambridge South station will be added anyway, will passengers mind up to five minutes added to the timetable?

I doubt with the faster accelerating trains, that there would be a problem about an extra stop at Sawston, but the lengthening of journey times between Cambridge and London may be a problem.

A Possible Alternative Solution

Could there be a possible alternative solution based on improving facilities and services at Whittlesford Parkway station?

  • The service at Whittlesford Parkway station would be increased to 4 tph to Cambridge North, with stops at Shelford, Cambridge South and Cambridge.
  • The service at Whittlesford Parkway station would be increased to 2 tph to Stansted Airport, with stops at Audley End.
  • A step-free bridge with lifts must be installed.
  • An improved bus-service between Sawston and Whittlesford Parkway is needed.
  • An improved bus-service between the Imperial War Museum Duxford and Whittlesford Parkway is needed.
  • Both bus services could be back-to-back and probably should be run every fifteen minutes.
  • As it serves a museum, why not run some heritage buses in the Summer?
  • There should be good cycling provision between Whittlesford Parkway station and Sawston and other surrounding villages.

I very much feel, that improving Whittlesford Parkway station, may be a better value solution, than building a new station at Sawston!

Conclusion

Building a new station at Sawston may not be the best way to improve public transport in the area.

 

March 22, 2021 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Plans Submitted To Build Railway Station At Bebside In Northumberland

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

There is a picture of a double-track railway line with this caption.

The proposal includes a two-platform railway station, lifts, parking and a pedestrian and cycle footbridge over the A189 Spine Road to connect the station to Blyth next to Asda.

This Google Map shows the location.

Note.

  1. The A189 dual-carriageway road running North-South.
  2. The Asda Blyth Superstore to the East of the road.
  3. The Northumberland Line running down the Western side of the map.

If you click on the map to show it in a large size, you’ll see the Bebside Inn in the North-West corner, next to the railway and a level crossing.

The station appears to be being built South of the level crossing.

It looks to be a very suitable place for a new station.

March 22, 2021 Posted by | Transport | , , | Leave a comment

The Welsh Find A Use For Japanese Knotweed

I had to laugh at a story, which is the secondary  story in this article on Rail News, which is entitled New Station Opens Quietly – And Knotweed Is Useful At Last.

The main story is about the opening of Bow Street station to the North of Aberystwyth.

When the London Overground took over the Lea Valley Lines, I comforted a semi-distraught London Overground manager, who had just found that one station was totally overrun with this heinous invader. It was so bad, he couldn’t even check how bad it was!

But it does seem, that the Welsh have come up with a solution on the line of Make The Bugger Work.

This is the paragraph, which describes the solution.

Bow Street has also made use of a plant pest which had been growing in the area, because 5000 cubic metres of Japanese Knotweed was treated and re-used for fill at the site, saving 400 lorry loads which would otherwise have been taken to landfill.

It’s very innovation and totally appropropriate.

February 15, 2021 Posted by | Transport | , , , | 2 Comments

Station Reopening At Bow Street Brings First Trains For 56 Years

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

Hopefully, I shall be able to visit this summer.

It must be around sixty years since I was last in that area. I can remember my father driving his MG Magnette (676 RME) on the beach at Borth, whilst we spent a few days at a B & B in Savage’s Garage in Aberystwyth.

February 15, 2021 Posted by | Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

Railfuture North East – New Station At Team Valley

When I wrote Beeching Reversal – Ferryhill Station Reopening, I used this document from Railfuture, for information.

The document lists a series of campaigns and a New Station At Team Valley was one.

This is their summary of this campaign.

Construct a new Station at Team Valley where ECML passes through Team Valley near the site of
the former Low Fell station. The station could be served by a new local service from York or
Darlington to Newcastle via the ECML, the existing TransPennine Express services, the new Teesside
– Tyneside service via the Stillington freight line, or by an extension of the proposed local service
from Northumberland. This proposal is particularly relevant because the roads into
Newcastle from the south are congested at peak times and there are air quality issues to the extent
that the City Council is considering charging arrangements to help limit the traffic flow

These are my thoughts.

Location Of The Station

This map clipped from Wikipedia, shows the location of Low Fell station on the 1911 Railway Clearing House map.

Note.

  1. The still-open Dunston station in the West.
  2. Low Fell station at the Southern junction of the triangular junction.

This Google Map shows the same lines today.

Note.

  1. Dunston station towards the North-East corner of the map.
  2. The triangular junction can be picked out.
  3. The Team Valley, where according to Wikipedia, there are 20,000 jobs and large retail stores.
  4. The East Coast Main Line passing down the Eastern side of Team Valley.

This second Google Map shows, where the station might have been.

Note.

  1. The giveaway is the road leading to the bridge is called Station Road.
  2. A Royal Mail site with lots of red vans is in the South-West corner of the map.
  3. But was the station North or South of Eastern Avenue?

There’s certainly a lot of space.

Reasons For The Station

This Google Map sums up the reasons for the station.

Note.

  1. The East Coast Main Line running down the East side of the site.
  2. There are a lot of businesses in Team Valley.
  3. If 20,000 work at the site, how many visitors does it get in a day?

Several trading estates and large shopping centres have railway stations in the UK. So why not Team Valley?

I can understand why Railfuture said this in their proposal.

This proposal is particularly relevant because the roads into Newcastle from the south are congested at peak times and there are air quality issues to the extent that the City Council is considering charging arrangements to help limit the traffic flow

I certainly can’t fault Railfuture’s desire to see a station at Team Valley

Current Passenger Train Services Through Team Valley

These services currently pass the location of the proposed Team Valley station.

  • LNER – London Kings Cross and Edinburgh via York, Darlington. Newcastle and Berwick-upon-Tweed
  • LNER – London Kings Cross and Edinburgh via Peterborough, Newark North Gate, Doncaster, York, Darlington, Durham and Newcastle
  • CrossCountry – Plymouth and Edinburgh via Totnes, Newton Abbot, Exeter St Davids, Tiverton Parkway, Taunton, Bristol Temple Meads, Bristol Parkway, Cheltenham Spa, Birmingham New Street, Derby, Chesterfield, Sheffield, Wakefield Westgate, Leeds, York, Darlington, Durham and Newcastle
  • CrossCountry – Southampton and Newcastle via Birmingham New Street, Derby, Sheffield, Doncaster, York, Darlington and Durham
  • TransPennine Express – Liverpool Lime Street and Edinburgh via Newton-le-Willows, Manchester Victoria, Huddersfield, Leeds, York, Darlington, Durham, Newcastle and Morpeth
  • TransPennine Express – Manchester Airport and Newcastle via Manchester Piccadilly, Manchester Oxford Road, Manchester Victoria, Huddersfield, Dewsbury, Leeds, York, Northallerton, Darlington and Durham

Note.

  1. All trains have a frequency of one train per hour (tph)
  2. All trains call at York, Darlington and Newcastle.
  3. I have missed out some of the intermediate stations, where trains don’t call at least hourly.
  4. I have missed out stations South of Birmingham New Street.
  5. A few Northern Trains services pass through at Peak times or to go to and from depots.

I suspect some of these services could stop and to encourage commuters to and from Newcastle, Durham and Darlington to swap from car to train,

I also suspect that Team Valley station needs a frequency of at least two tph and if possible four! Four tph would give a Turn-up-and-Go service to Darlington, Newcastle and York.

Planned And Possible Future Passenger Train Services Through Team Valley

From various sources, these services are either planned or possible.

High Speed Two

High Speed Two are planning the following services, that will pass through.

  • Birmingham Curzon Street and Newcastle via East Midlands Hub, York, Darlington and Durham.
  • London Euston and Newcastle via Old Oak Common, East Midlands Hub and York.
  • London Euston and Newcastle via Old Oak Common, East Midlands Hub, York and Darlington.

Note.

  1. All trains have a frequency of one tph.
  2. All trains call at York, East Midlands Hub, York and Newcastle.
  3. All trains will be 200 metres long.

It is extemely unlikely, that these trains will stop in Team Valley station, but I would feel, that the platforms should be able to accommodate these trains and other long trains, to future-proof the design and to cater for possible emergencies, diversions or engineering works.

The longest trains on the route would probably be one of the following.

  • A pair of five-car Class 800 trains or similar, which would be 260 metres long.
  • A High Speed Two Classic-Compatible train, which would be 200 metres long.

Unless provision needed to be made for pairs of High Speed Two Classic-Compatible trains.

East Coast Trains

From next year, East Coast Trains, intend to run a five trains per day (tpd) service between London and Edinburgh via Stevenage, Newcastle and Morpeth.

These will pass straight through Team Valley station.

Northern Powerhouse Rail

Northern Powerhouse Rail has an objective to to run four tph between Leeds and Newcastle in 58 minutes.

At present there are only three tph on this route, two tph from TransPennine Express and one tph from CrossCountry. All three services stop at Leeds, York, Darlington, Durham and Newcastle.

Northern Powerhouse Rail need to decide the stopping pattern for their four tph between Leeds and Newcastle, some of which could call at Team Valley

In Beeching Reversal – Ferryhill Station Reopening, I did a similar analysis to this for Ferryhill station and concluded that the fourth service should be a London Kings Cross and Edinburgh with just two stops at Newcastle and Leeds.

Railfuture’s Proposals

Railfuture said this in their document about services to Team Valley

The station could be served by a new local service from York or
Darlington to Newcastle via the ECML, the existing TransPennine Express services, the new Teesside
– Tyneside service via the Stillington freight line, or by an extension of the proposed local service
from Northumberland.

There are four services here.

  • A local service from York or Darlington to Newcastle via the ECML.
  • The existing TransPennine Express services.
  • The new Teesside– Tyneside service via the Stillington freight line
  • By an extension of the proposed local service from Northumberland.

I shall cover these three services in the next three sections.

A New Local Service From York Or Darlington To Newcastle Via The ECML

This service could have the following characteristics.

  • It could call at York, Darlington, Northallerton, the new Ferryhill station, Durham, Chester-le-Street and Team Valley stations.
  • It could be hourly or two tph.
  • The Southern terminal could be York, Darlington or possibly Leeds.
  • The route would be fully electrified, if the route between Leeds and York were to be finally wired.

If the Southern terminal were Leeds this would give Northern Powerhouse Rail, their fourth service between Leeds and Newcastle.

The Existing TransPennine Express Services

TransPennine Express runs these two services through Team Valley station.

  • Liverpool Lime Street and Edinburgh via Newton-le-Willows, Manchester Victoria, Huddersfield, Leeds, York, Darlington, Durham, Newcastle and Morpeth
  • Manchester Airport and Newcastle via Manchester Piccadilly, Manchester Oxford Road, Manchester Victoria, Huddersfield, Dewsbury, Leeds, York, Northallerton, Darlington and Durham

Note.

  1. You can make arguments for either or both trains to stop at Team Valley station.
  2. Both trains connect to Manchester Victoria, Huddersfield, Leeds, York, Darlington, Durham and Newcastle.
  3. You can argue for direct connections to Edinburgh, Liverpool Lime Street and Manchester Airport.

The arguments will be partly settled by the number of tickets purchased.

Tyneside And Teesside Via Ferryhill And The Stillington Freight Line

Will this proposed service call at Team Valley station?

  • As this is likely to be the faster service between Tyneside and Teesside, I suspect this service will be a prime candidate to call at Team Valley station.
  • It is also favoured to call by Railfuture.

It would be useful to know how many people from Teesside regularly go to Team Valley to work or buy something.

A Service To Northumberland

This would be a new service on a disused freight line to Ashington and Blyth.

Little has been settled yet about this line.

If trains went South of Team Valley, where would they terminate?

Thoughts On The Trains

It is likely, that Cross Country, East Coast Trains, High Speed Two, LNER andTransPennine Express will be running trains capable of 125 mph on the East Coast Main Line through Team Valley station.

In Beeching Reversal – Ferryhill Station Reopening, I said this about the trains for any passenger service that uses the East Coast Main Line between Newcastle and Ferryhill.

I also feel that as some of these services will be running on the East Coast Main Line between Ferryhill and Newcastle, it probably would be desirable for these services to be run by Hitachi’s Regional Battery Trains, which would be capable of maintaining the maximum speed for the route, as all the other passenger services can at present!

Increasingly, in the UK, over the last few years, we have seen increasing numbers of 110 mph local trains working on high speed lines, like the East Coast Main Line, Great Western Main Line, Midland Main Line and West Coast Main Lines, as these increase the capacity and mix better with 125 mph expresses.

But it is my belief that in the future we’ll be seeing more 125 mph services on main lines to increase the capacity.

  • Great Western Railway are already running Class 800 trains to Oxford and Bedwyn from Paddington.
  • In Call For ETCS On King’s Lynn Route, I wrote about using 125 mph trains to speed up all services into Kings Cross.
  • When High Speed Two trains start sharing the East and West Coast Main Lines, all services would probably need to be fast services on the shared lines.

The specification of Hitachi’s Regional Battery Train is shown in this Hitachi infographic.

I am certain, that the train could be built to this specification for high speed routes, like the ones I indicated earlier to Bedwyn, Oxford, Kings Lynn and to share with High Speed Two.

  • 125 mph on electrified lines.
  • 140 mph on electrified lines with full in-cab digital ERTMS signalling.
  • 100 mph on battery power for 56 miles (90 kilometres)

Many places in the UK, will join Bedwyn, Oxford and Thanet in having high speed commuter services to their regional large city.

Could There Be A Combined Service?

As I said earlier, Railfuture are proposing these four services in the North East.

  • A local service from York or Darlington to Newcastle via the ECML.
  • The existing TransPennine Express services.
  • The new Teesside– Tyneside service via the Stillington freight line
  • By an extension of the proposed local service from Northumberland.

In the same document, they also say this about a Newcastle and Berwick service via Morpeth.

Developing a North of Morpeth Local Service by extending local Newcastle – Morpeth services to
Berwick offering an hourly service calling at all stations, possibly linking to similar service from
Berwick to Edinburgh. This service need not terminate in Newcastle and could be extended to serve
Team Valley and areas in County Durham that are on electrified lines.

It strikes me, that if you add up all their proposals, Railfuture could be proposing a Berwick and York service with the following characteristics.

Hourly or two tph.

Northern terminus of Berwick or Blyth.

Southern terminus of Leeds, York or Darlington.

Routing via East Coast Main Line to the North of Ferryhill station.

Routing via East Coast Main Line or Stillington Line and Eaglescliffe to the South of Ferryhill station.

Calling at York, Northallerton, Darlington, Ferryhill, Chester-le-Street, Team Valley, Newcastle, Manors, Ceamlington, Morpeth, Pegswood, Widdrington, Acklington, Alnmouth and Chathill.

Trains would be a version of Hitachi’s Regional Battery Train or something like it, with the specification I proposed earlier.

  • 125 mph on electrified lines.
  • 140 mph on electrified lines with full in-cab digital ERTMS signalling.
  • 100 mph on battery power for 56 miles (90 kilometres)
  • A four or five car train would probably be sufficient.

It would effectively be a High Speed Metro. And probably, one of the first of many, that will be built around the world.

Conclusion

A new station at Team Valley seems a sensible idea.

As my logic shows, I think that between Berwick and York, is a section of line, that might be able to support a High Speed Metro.

 

 

 

 

December 16, 2020 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | 1 Comment

Railfuture North East – New Station At Gilsland

When I wrote Beeching Reversal – Ferryhill Station Reopening, I used this document from Railfuture, for information.

The document lists a series of campaigns and a New Station At Gilsland was one.

This is their summary of this campaign.

New Station at Gilsland aimed at both improving links to local towns for the residents of the area
and opening up the area to a new and greener form of tourism.

These are my thoughts.

The Location Of Gilsland

Gilsland station was on what is now called the Tyne Valley Line.

The station closed in 1967.

The station towards Carlisle was Low Row, which closed in 1965.

The station towards Newcastle was Greenhead, which closed in 1967.

This Google Map shows the area.

Note.

  1. The A69 road goes across the map.
  2. Low Row is close to the A69, in the South-West corner of the map.
  3. Greenhead is on the Northern side of the A69 at the Eastern edge of the map.
  4. The blue dot at the top of the map indicates a Hadrian’s Wall site.
  5. Gilsland is to the East of the blue dot.
  6. The railway curves between Low Row, Gilsland and Greenhead.

This second Google Map enlarges the area around the village of Gilsland.

Note.

  1. The blue dots are sites, that are all related to the World Heritage Site of Hadrian’s Wall.
  2. The red dots are places to spend a night!
  3. The orange dots are places to eat.

This third map shows an enlargement of the village of Gilsland.

Note.

  1. The railway running across the map from the North-East corner.
  2. Two Hadrian’s Wall sites within walking distance of the railway.
  3. Gilsland station must have had some of the best access to one of the UK’s foremost historical sites.

This must rank as one of the most philistine of the station closures of the Beeching era.

But the Prime Minister of the time; Harold Wilson once said that we won’t need railways in the future, as everybody will have their own car.

A New And Greener Form Of Tourism

The heading for this section is taken directly from Railfuture’s reasons for reopening the station.

They are so right!

Perhaps, I’m being selfish, as I’ve never visited Hadrian’s Wall and as I no longer drive a car, it’s unlikely, I’ll ever do it under my own steam.

But a new station at Gilsland, would make it easy, if I was in the area.

Battery Electric Trains On The Tyne Valley Line

The current train service between Carlisle and Newcastle is two passenger trains per hour (tph) and several freight trains per day (tpd).

It is not a large number of trains, but they will need to be decarbonised, as all are diesel-powered at present.

In The Mathematics Of A Hydrogen-Powered Freight Locomotive, I laid out my view, that as decarbonisation proceeds, we’ll see large numbers of diesel locomotives either replaced with or converted to hydrogen power.

So in this post, I will only deal with the passenger trains.

Consider.

  • All the battery electric trains, that I’ve ridden, have been as quiet as church-mice.
  • They are very electrically efficient and zero-carbon.
  • Hitachi and other manufacturers are claiming ranges for battery electric trains of up to sixty miles and charging of batteries in less than ten minutes.
  • Newcastle and Carlisle stations are 61.5 miles apart.
  • There is electrification at both ends of the Tyne Valley Line.
  • Hexham, which is forty miles from Carlisle and twenty from Newcastle could be used to charge the trains en route.

Diesel trains are so last Century!

This would be one of the easier lines to run with battery-electric trains.

December 13, 2020 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , | 3 Comments

Boost for Liverpool’s Baltic Triangle Area As A Further £1.5m Invested By Combined Authority In New Railway Station Scheme

The title of this post, is the same as that of this story on the Liverpool City Region web site.

These three opening paragraphs give most of the details of the story.

Liverpool’s Baltic Triangle area has been given a big boost as plans to build a new station have moved to the next stage thanks to a £1.5m investment by the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority

Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram has pledged to build a new station on the site of the former St James station, which closed in 1917, which would be located in one of the fastest growing areas of the city, near to the former Cains Brewery.

Those proposals for the station on the Merseyrail network are a step closer thanks to two new developments – an agreement with Network Rail, worth £1.2m, to start the next stage of the design process, and the purchase of a plot of land adjacent to the railway cutting off Stanhope Street for £300k, protecting a potential future site for the new station ticket office building.

As Liverpool St. James station, closed over a hundred years ago, this must be one of the longest times to reopen a station, anywhere in the world.

This Google Map shows the location of the proposed station.

Note.

  1. The deep dark cutting going under the major road junction, where Upper Parliament Street and the A571 cross.
  2. The square of roads formed mainly by Ashwell Street, with Stanhope Street in the South, above the cutting.
  3. Contained in the cutting is Merseyrail’s Northern Line on which the station will be built.
  4. I also suspect, that the triangular plot of land on the East side of the tracks, is the one mentioned in the extract. It could easily be the place for a ticket office with lifts to the platforms.

Only Liverpudlians would choose to build a station at the bottom of a deep hole.

But then they don’t think like others!

I have a few thoughts and questions.

Will It Be Dark On The Platforms?

This was one of my first thoughts, as there’s nothing worse than a dark station. I also wonder, if one of the reasons the station closed was lack of passengers caused by the darkness.

This picture taken from the story, shows the cutting from the bottom.

Note.

  • Aligning this picture with the map, Liverpool Central is behind us and Hunts Cross is through the tunnel.
  • Perhaps on a good day more light gets into the cutting.

I suspect that modern lighting on the platforms could solve the problem.

It appears that the station opened in 1874 and closed in 1917, but the lines through the station were not electrified until 1983.

So as the station must have been served by steam-hauled trains, during its brief opening at the turn of the Nineteenth Century, it must have had a terrible atmosphere on the platforms.

Hopefully, the only smell, that will emanate from the new Class 777 trains, will be one of newness.

What Is On The Triangular Plot?

This Google Map shows the triangular plot of land, that could be used for the ticket office.

Note.

  1. It looks very much to be a builder’s yard or a store for building materials, as I can definitely make out packs of bricks and bags of aggregate.
  2. As there appears to be a steel staircase down to the tracks at the top of the image, it might even be something to do with Network Rail.
  3. The steel staircase is visible in the picture of the tracks.
  4. The plot certainly doesn’t contain any buildings of architectural merit.
  5. I also can’t see a pond, which might contain newts or other protected wildlife.

It would appear to be an ideal site for a station building, with all the necessary facilities.

More Information And Pictures Of The Former Station

This page on the Disused Stations web site, gives extra information to Wikipedia about the station and has some interesting pictures.

How Will The Platforms Be Accessed?

It is a long way for steps, as especially as new stations are generally built step-free.

Merseyrail already have a pair of almost identical stations; Kirkdale and Wavertree Technology Park, which both opened in 2000.

These pictures show Kirkdale station.

I suspect, platform access at Liverpool St. James station of a similar design could be devised.

  • The simplest design would surely be to put a bridge across the tracks from the ticket office, which had a large lift on both sides of the tracks direct to the platforms.
  • Stairs from such a bridge could probably be added, but they would be long and complicated.
  • It might need a two-stage process with lifts taking passengers down to a bridge over the trains and then stairs and more lifts or ramps to the platforms.

At least, as the line is electrified for third-rail, I doubt clearance will be needed for overhead wires.

Could The Station Have An Island Platform?

One of the comments suggested this. In addition, one picture on the Disused Stations web site appears to show three tracks through the station site.

So this could be an interesting possibility.

Conclusion

I think that we might see a very innovative design here, given Merseyrail’s past record.

November 1, 2020 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , | 7 Comments

Horden Station – 28th October 2020

I took these pictures at the new Horden station, as I passed through.

 

Probably, the most significant fact about this station, is that it was built quickly.

October 30, 2020 Posted by | Design | , | 1 Comment

Two New Black Country Railway Stations Receive Planning Approval

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

Planning permission has been granted for two new railway stations on the Walsall to Wolverhampton line, marking a major milestone in the project to restore passenger services to this part of the Black Country.

The stations at Darlaston and Willenhall will offer local residents vastly improved connections to Wolverhampton, Walsall and Birmingham New Street stations when they open in 2023.

The article also gives full details on the location of the stations and the rail services that will be provided.

October 27, 2020 Posted by | Transport | , , | Leave a comment