The Anonymous Widower

Step-Free Access At Brough Station

On my last trip North, I changed trains at Brough station.

The station appears to have been recently rebuilt and has full step-free access using ramps, as these pictures show.

This Google Map shows the station.

It may work, but those ramps could take some time, if you’re pushing a heavy buggy or wheelchair.

In Winner Announced In The Network Rail Footbridge Design Ideas Competition, I wrote how the competition was won by this bridge.

So would a factory-built bridge like this be installed be installed today, if Brough or a similar simple station was being rebuilt or built from scratch?

  • Concrete bases to support the bridge, would be built in the appropriate position on both platforms.
  • An electrical supply would be provided.
  • A special train would then arrive with the bridge and an crane to lift the bridge into place.
  • A couple of hours later, the bridge would have been erected.

If the system is designed designed, it should be no more difficult than installing a new ticket machine.


How much would be saved in the design and building of new stations, if they were designed around a step-free bridge like this?

But the biggest saving is surely in the time needed to build the station?

June 6, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | 2 Comments

Funding Secured For New Entrance At Stratford Tube Station

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

The new entrance will give those coming from the Carpenters Estate direct access to Stratford station.

This Google Map shows the South East section of the station.

The main station building has the two station symbols on the top and the Jubilee Line platforms run Southwards from the building.

It would appear that the new entrance will be close to the Southernmost corner of the station building in a staff car park.

Knowing the station well, I suspect it will be a very useful new entrance for both residents and visitors to the Olympic Park.

It will make it easier to avoid the clutches of Eastfield.

The only details on the cost of the scheme is this sentence from Ian’s article.

Newham council has agreed to contribute £1 million to the scheme, which is being funded from its Community Infrastructure Levy.

As it incorporates some extra lifts in the station, the scheme is probably going to be more than a million pound one, but the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) is involved, I suspect that everything is securely funded.

Should There Be Other Small Schemes Like This?

At Shepherd’s Bush station on the Overground, in 2015, a new entrance was built to give better access to Westfield. It is not very busy during the day, but I suspect that workers at Westfield use it more than shopper. Wikipedia says it cost £1.35 million, so I should think that the Stratford scheme wouldn’t cost a great deal more.

I believe there are other places, where extra entrances could be built.

Simple Ungated Entrances

Entrances don’t have to be grand, as I showed in An Ungated Entrance Used To Create Step-Free Access At Crofton Park Station.

These two entrances are just a hole in the station fence, Oyster readers and a bit of tarmac. There must be other places, where these entrances can be installed.

An Entrance At Hackney Central Station Into Graham Road

In It Looks Like The Hackney Downs/Central Link Is Ready To Open, I also talk in detail about adding a Southern entrance to Hackney Central station, that would lead directly into Graham Road. Eith a pedestrian crossing and changes to the bus stops, it would be a very useful step-free entrance for those living between the centres of Hackney and Dalston.

A Second Entrance At Highbury & Islington Station

In Could We Create A Second Entrance To The Overground At Highbury And Islington Station?, I investigated creating a West-facing entrance at Highbury & Islington station, that would improve access for those going to football.


I believe that a lot of stations can be improved, by adding extra entrances in convenient places.

It is probably easier to do in London’s Oyster/contactless card area, as a couple of readers can sort out ticketing.


May 18, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Meridian Water Station – 4th April 2019

Meridian Water station appears to be not far away from completion.

It looks like it could meet the planned opening date of the 19th May!

April 5, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , | Leave a comment

The Train Station At The Northern End Of The Netherlands

Eemshaven station is the northernmost station in the Netherlands.

One of the reasons I went, was that the station is only a year old and I wanted to see how the Dutch build new stations.

Note this about the station.

  • It is very basic, with few facilities.
  • The single platform is very long.
  • The station is surrounded by oil and gas installations on one side and the sea on the other.

It appears that for a lot of the day, the station gets two trains per hour.

This Google Map shows the station by the beach.

I would assume that most of the cars are those of workers at the oil and gas complex.

I returned on the train, I had arrived on, after a few minutes taking the pictures.

The Stadler GTW Train

Shown in the pictures is one of the Stadler GTW trains,which work the services in the North of the Netherlands.

  • They are electric trains, with their own diesel power pack in the middle.
  • This train had three passenger cars, but some only have two.
  • Noise from the engine was noticeable and probably about the same in a Class 170 train.
  • Ride quality wasn’t bad, considering the unusual configuration. But then the track looked very neat and tidy.
  • Arriva call the trains Spurt.

Stadler have not stood still, since they built these trains and Greater Anglia’s new Class 755 trains are built by Stadler to similar principles.

At the turnround at Eemshaven with the driver. He indicated that there had been speculation about battery and hydrogen trains in the North of The Netherlands.

Level Crossing Accidents

An interesting aside is to look at the Wikipedia entry for Spurt.

Three of the trains have been involved in serious level crossing accidents.

The Dutch Plan For Hydrogen

This now a separate post at The Dutch Plan For Hydrogen.




March 27, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | 2 Comments

Government Promises To Look ‘Very Carefully’ At £218m Bid For Second Chelmsford Station

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on Rail Technology Magazine.

This is the first paragraph.

The government will look “very carefully” at a £218m funding bid for a new railway station in Chelmsford, Theresa May has said.

It was said in response to a question in Prime Minister’s Questions.

Beaulieu station has been a long time coming.

March 22, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , | Leave a comment

London’s Second Quietest Train Station Is Set To Close In May

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

This is the first paragraph.

Angel Road, London’s second quietest train station is set to close in May, the Department for Transport has announced. With just over 33,000 passengers in 2017/18, it’s beaten to the bottom spot only by South Greenford station’s 26,500 passengers.

It will be replaced on May 19th 2019, by the new Meridian Water station, which will be 580 metres to the South.

February 19, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , | Leave a comment

New Station In Soham Revealed With Network Rail To Unveil Design Proposals At Public Meetings

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on Rail Technology Magazine.

Rebuilding of Soham station has been talked about for years and it now looks like it is finally on its way.

This is a significant paragraph.

The early design work for the new station would allow for a second platform and footbridge to be constructed and a second track added as part of a future project.

I think this means, that doubling the route between Kennett and Ely stations will be done after Soham station is rebuilt.

January 24, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , | 2 Comments

Cardiff Parkway Station: Work To Start In 2020

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

This is the first two paragraphs.

Work to build a new £30m railway station on the outskirts of Cardiff is expected to start in 2020, after receiving Welsh Government backing.

The station in St Mellons will serve up to 32,000 residents, linking them to Swansea, Cardiff, London, Bristol and Birmingham and the South Wales Metro.

Cardiff Parkway station will be between Cardiff Central and Newport stations and it will be close to the existing St. Mellons Business Park.

It is planned to open in 2022.

Nothing is said about services at the station, but there currently appears to be about six trains per hour (tph) between Cardiff Central and Newport, serving places like Birmingham, London, Manchester and Nottingham, in addition to places in South Wales.

Many if not all, of the trains calling at the station, when it opens will be modern trains, designed to execute fast station stops, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see a frequency of at least six tph between the new station and both Cardiff Central and Newport stations.

  • Two tph – Cardiff and London Paddington
  • Two tph – Cardiff and Ebbw Vale Town
  • One tph – Cardiff and Nottingham
  • One tph – Cardiff and Manchester

This looks to me to be the sort of station development that should be copied elsewhere in the country.

January 24, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , | Leave a comment

Wake Up To Money – New Stations

I generally listen to this program on BBC Radio 5, before getting out of bed.

Today they asked for smaller ideas that would benefit, so I sent this message.

It costs around £10million to build a decent station on an existing railway line. We should be building tens of them to serve new developments and existing towns. Most new ones seem to be successful. James in Dalston

It was read out.

Various factors are also working in favour of new stations.

Successful New Stations

Success breeds success and there have been several examples of new station openings in the last decade, that have been very successful.

Other developments and existing towns want to have a similar success.

Innovative Design

Station design is getting better and more innovative, with features and modules cropping up all over the country.

Single-Platform Stations

Single-platform stations, like Cranbrook in Devon and Galashiels in the Borders, which both opened in recent years, have shown that single-platform stations are a more affordable alternative to an all-singing-and-dancing station with two platforms and an expensive step-free bridge.

New Trains With Fast Dwell Times

The new generation of trains like Aventras, Desiro Cities and Flirts are designed to slow from line speed, execute a station stop and get back to line speed, in a shorter time, than previous trains.

This has been achieved by.

  • Faster acceleration
  • Better braking
  • Level access between train and platform
  • Wide lobbies on trains
  • Better platform design
  • Walk-through trains
  • Better information on trains
  • Better staff organisation

Whereas a decade or two ago, an extra station stop would cause havoc with the timetable, it is now easier to add a stop at a new or existing station.

Developers Are Often In Favour

Developers seem to be moving away from a philosophy, that everybody using their office, commercial or housing development will come by car.

One developer told me, that you actually get a premium price if a housing development has its own train station.


I think that is very likely in the next few years, the number of new stations built will increase.

January 23, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , | 2 Comments

£10.6m Horden Station Gets The Green Light

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

This paragraph from the article, shows what you get for £10.6million.

Two 100-metre platforms will be built at Horden, near Peterlee, along with a footbridge connecting the platforms, a 136-space car park and bus stops.

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

And this picture is from the article.

The article also says that the new Horden Peterlee station should be open by 2020.

I shall be interested to see how the passenger statistics for this station work out. 70,000 passengers a year are predicted, but I feel the location of the station will attract some very unexpected numbers of users.

It also could be a good weather station, where on a fine day, walkers will turn up by train, to explore the Durham Coast. The station looks to be less than a kilometre from a reasonable beach.

January 10, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , | Leave a comment