The Anonymous Widower

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

Low Moor Station

I arrived at Low Moor station on a direct service from Kings Cross.

As with several other new stations, it has been fairly very well-constructed, but the design has a few failings.

There Are Not Enough Trains

I was at Low Moor station for an hour taking pictures. In that time several local services went throiugh, but then only one train per hour stops in each direction.

At least two and possibly four trains per hour, as at Halifax, should stop.

Passengers on a wet, cold day will soon get fed up with waiting an hour for another train.

Trains to and from Manchester Airport should also stop.

It Is A Very One-Sided Station

The car park and the main access to the station appear to be on the Bradford-bound side of the station.

Lea Bridge station, that I use regularly near where I live, was built like this and you have to leave extra time to catch a train, as you have to cross the tracks on the footbridge, to go in one direction.

However at Ilkeston station, which I wrote about in Ilkeston Station Opens, the station footbridge replaces one that existed before the station was built. Passengers arrive on top of the station and then descend to the appropriate platform. Or they can walk-in at ground level from the car-drop-off areas or car parking on either side of the tracks!

What makes it worse at Lea Bridge station, is that they could have designed the station to have walk-in access from the road bridge over the lines, as the station does not have ticket gates.

There Should Be Ticket Machines On Both Platforms

I didn’t see the ticket machine, when I arrived, but one is not enough.

Imagine, you are in a hurry and have booked on-line for the 07:01 Grand Central train to Kings Cross and need to retrieve a ticket.

Will you be able to park your car, retrieve the ticket and cross the line before the train comes, especially if there is a queue for the sole ticket machine?

Surely too, ticket machines on the platforms are less likely to be vandalised, as CCTV will be expected.

Why Is There No Direct Access Between The Car Park And The Bradford-Bound Platform?

Both Lea Bridge and Ilkeston stations allow walk-in access to the one or both platforms. Why isn’t there a short flight of steps between the car park and the Bradford-bound platform?

I hope it’s not different rules being applied by different councils? It has been allowed at Kirkstall Forge station.

There Should Be Drop-Off/Pick-Up Areas On Both Sides Of The Station

Obviously, this can’t be arranged at all platforms at all stations, but many stations manage it for at least one, with a step-free bridge across the tracks.

Low Moor station doesn’t score well in this.

Poor Access With Bicycles To The Platforms

Cyclists come in all shapes and sizes, but many will find the steps unacceptably steep and will not use this station.

Or put their muddy bikes in the lifts!

Conclusion

It is a well-built, but rather poorly designed station.

I don’t think, it will attract the number of passengers it should!

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

Across South Yorkshire On A Grand Central Train

If you take a Grand Central West Riding train between Kings Cross to Bradford Interchange stations, as I did, the route could be considered somewhat of a Cook’s Tour of the South of Yorkshire.

There are stops at Doncaster, Pontefract Monkhill, Wakefield Kirkgate, Mirfield, Brighouse, Halifax and Low Moor stations. I alighted at the last station, which only opened on the second of this month.

I took these pictures on the route between Doncaster and Low Moor

These are some notes on the journey.

Hambleton Junction

Hambleton Junction was created as part of the Selby Diversion, where the East Coast Main Line was diverted away from the possible subsidence, that could have been created by the giant Selby Coalfield.

This Google Map shows the layout of the junction.

The Grand Central train turned West at Hambleton Junction to take a South-Westerly route to Pontefract Monkhill station.

It should be noted, that the mistake of the 1980s, when the Selby Diversion was created off not electrifying the Leeds to Selby Line may be rectified in the near future, according to this section in Wikipedia. This is said.

In 2009 the Network Rail route utilisation strategy electrification paper identified the North Cross-Pennine route including the Leeds-Selby-Hull Line as a high ranking option for future electrification, in terms of benefits to passenger services.[70] In 2011 funding for the electrification in CP5 (see Network Rail Control Periods) of the section from Leeds to Micklefield was announced. Funding for the section of the line from Micklefield to Selby was added to the electrification schedule in 2013.

As with all electrification in the UK, I’ll believe it, when I see it.

Ferrybridge Power Stations

The power stations at Ferrybridge, have been a landmark on the A1 since the 1960s.

This Google Map shows the large site, surrounded by major roads.

There is now a Ferrybridge Multifuel power station, but at 68 MW compared to the 2034 MW of the 1960s-built Ferrybridge C., it isn’t very large.

For comparison, according to these statistics in Wikipedia, the UK had installed 11,562 MW of solar power, which generated 10,292 GwH or 3.4% of our total electricity consumption in 2016, which was a thirty-six percent increase on 2015.

Perhaps it was a better summer!

Pontefract Monkhill Station

Pontefract Monkhill station is a simple affair, with just two platforms and no permanent buildings or ticket machine.

This Google Map shows the location of the station.

Note in the North West corner of the map is Pontefract racecourse, where C and I once had a winner.

I think it is true to say, that passenger use of Pontefract Monkhill station would improve with a few more facilities.

The train took the line past the racecourse on the way to Wakefield Kirkgate station.

Wakefield Kirkgate Station

Wakefield Kirkgate station, has been refurbished recently and whether it will see increased usage, is something on which I can’t or won’t speculate.

This Google Map shows the relationship between Kirkgate and Wakefield Westgate station, which is served by electric trains to Leeds and London.

Grand Central probably have a marketing problem with Kirkgate station, as to tickets too and from London, as they have only four trains per day and they take around two and a quarter hours, as opposed to Virgin’s two trains per hour, which take around two hours.

Their major weapon must be price.

Mirfield Station

Mirfield station is another simple station, with minimal facilities.

Brighouse Station

Brighouse station is a station that closed in 1970 and reopened in 2000.

That explains, why when I had to go to Brighouse to see a client of mine in the early 1970s, in the town, I had to drive.

It was typical of the projects, I got involved in at the time, as I was helping Allied Mills to optimise what flours they used to make bread. I was using simple linear programming with an objective function.

I can’t leave Brighouse without a few stories.

  • All the Senior Management I dealt with had been bakers and didn’t eat the company product, preferring to bake their own.
  • Bread was sold on commission to the delivery van drivers. As you could get more square sliced loaves in a van, they ignored fancy loaves, as it dropped their income. Did this infuence the UK’s like of bad bread?
  • Bread was sold on sale or return. The returned bread was put to use in animal and pet food.
  • Harold Wilson thought this was waste and banned the practice, meaning the secondary uses dried up and a lot of products became more expensive.
  • One particular recycled bread, was supposedly very suitable for grewyhounds.
  • Dartmouth Naval College insisted that the bread they received was yesterday’s as it discouraged cadets fromj eating too much!

If I remember a few more, I’ll add them.

Halifax Station

Halifax station is probably one of the busiest on the route.

This Google Map shows the station and the nearby Nestle factory.

Halifax station has a four trains per hour service to Bradford Interchange and Leeds. This is also said in Wikipedia.

On Sundays there is an hourly service to Manchester Victoria and to Blackpool North and one train every two hours to Huddersfield. New Northern Rail franchisee Arriva Rail North plans to introduce additional services to Leeds & Manchester in 2017, many of which will run through to either Liverpool Lime Street or Chester.[16][17] Through services to Manchester Airport will also operate once the planned Ordsall Chord is built.

So it will be getting better and Halifax could be the station where you go to to the West.

These extra services and after a couple of visits to the station, suggest to me that the station needs a bay platform or even a third one, that can act as bay platforms looking both ways.

This is said in Wikipedia.

In October 2014 plans were submitted to bring an old platform back into use to create three platforms together with signalling improvements.

Perhaps my feelings are correct.

Conclusion

It is a well-thought out route, through some of the least developed parts of Yorkshire, where I suspect car ownership is not on the high side.

The route, which goes in a curve from Bradford to Doncaster, South of the cities of Bradford and Leeds, does a similar job to that of the Gospel Oak to Barking Line in London, as a compliment to the radial routes.

But four trains per day is not enough and the route has the sense of dereliction that Gospel Oak to Barking and North London Lines had in London.

Perhaps the solution, is to run one of the Class 319 Flex trains every hour between Bradford Interchange or Halifax and Doncaster in both directions to tie everything together.

Currently, Grand Central’s Class 180trains take the following times.

  • Doncaster to Bradford Exchange – 90 minutes
  • Doncaster to Halifax – 75 minutes

The Class 319 Flex trains could probably match these times if they ran on electric power between Doncaster and Hambleton Junction.

Even if they stopped more often, they might even be able to run between Halifax and Doncaster in under ninety minutes. This would mean that three trains could provide a stopping service between Halifax and Doncaster.

 

 

 

 

April 21, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , , | Leave a comment

Railway Stations As Marketing Tools

It goes without saying that, one of the ways to get a passenger contribution to the cost of a station, is for the station to attract passengers to use the trains calling at the station.

Ilkeston

Look at this picture of Ilkeston station.

It was taken from the footbridge over the railway and shows that Ilkeston station is effectively two single platform stations on either side of the double-track railway.

Each platform has a ticket machine and a shelter, so all passengers arriving without tickets have no trouble getting one. I know of lots of stations, where the ticket machine is tucked away, almost as if to discourage travel.

But the real marketing trick at Ilkeston is the station footbridge replaces a footpath alongside of Station Road.

This Google Map shows, the station during construction and the old footbridge is clearly visible to the North side of Station Road.

Now the station is open with its new footbridge, how many people will walk past the station, as they go about their business and get curious and perhaps use the trains next time they go into Nottingham.

Hackney Wick

Hackney Wick station is going to be a much grander affair, than Ilkeston, as this visualisation shows.

Hackney Wick Station South Elevstion

But London Overground can be accused of very direct marketing in the design.

Note the double subway under the railway. One section leads into the actual station and the railway and the other is a pedestrian route under the railway.

They will be separated by an artistic glass wall.

How many people will be encouraged to use the railway by this design?

Lea Bridge

Lea Bridge station has been designed as a simple station, although it does have lifts.

But it was designed before Ilkeston with the entrance at one side, rather than on the bridge, where it used to be sixty years ago.

It will be interesting to see how passenger numbers stack up at Lea Bridge.

Kirkstall Forge

Kirkstall Forge station is a new station near Leeds.

It is a fully-equipped station, that relies on position, new developments and a large car-park to bring in the passenger traffic.

Ebbw Vale Town

Ebbw Vale Town station is a station of a different type, but because of a prominent location, It looks to have been a success.

When you consider that it only has an hourly service to Cardiff to pull in 168,000 passengers in its first year of operation is very creditable.

 

 

April 19, 2017 Posted by | Travel | | Leave a comment

Newcourt Station

Newcourt station is a new station on the Avocet Line that was opened in June 2015.

It is one of the simplest new stations I have seen.

  • A single platform about to take four-car trains.
  • A shelter for passengers.
  • Ticket machine.
  • Information display.

What surprised me was that the only parking is four disabled spaces.

As the station serves newly-built housing, I suspect that research has shown that most passengers will walk to the station.

It was certainly busy, when I passed through.

Handling The Next Generation Of Trains

The most modern train on order is the Aventra, which has been ordered by Crossrail, London Overground and Greater Anglia.

The smaller versions of these trains have the following characteristics.

  • Four or five cars.
  • Step-free platform-train access, if the platform is the right height.
  • Wide doors and lobbies for quick loading and unloading.
  • fast acceleration and powerful brakes.
  • Walk-through
  • Selective door opening.

I would expect trains from other manufacturers will have similar characteristics.

The platform at Newcourt station is 124 metres long, which should take most trains, but because of the selective door opening and the walk-through capability, passengers will not be too inconvenienced.

On the Avocet Line there are two trains per hour (tph), so Newcourt station should be able to handle the required four tph or one train in every fifteen minutes.

To help the driver more and more systems will appear that flag the precise speed and acceleration, so that a timetable is precisely kept.

 

April 5, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , | Leave a comment