The Anonymous Widower

A Short Cruise At Greenwich

I had taken the Emirate air-line to North Greenwich with friends and we decided we needed to go to the Cutty Sark.

So we took one of the Thames Clippers, from where I took these pictures.

About the pictures.

  • The first pictures show Greenwich Power Station, which generates electricity for Transport for London on a standby basis. It must be one of oldest power stations still producing electricity, although nowadays it doesn’t use coal, but six massive gas turbines.
  • The rest of the pictures show the Maritime Greenwich World Heritage Site.

The trip between the two piers took only a few minutes.

A Tourist Route Between Bank/London Bridge/Tower of London And Maritime Greenwich

I do this route on a sunny day, when I perhaps want to show a guest around London.

  • Take the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) from Bank or Tower Gateway stations to Royal Victoria station.
  • Take the Emirate Air-Line across the Thames to Greenwich. Peninsular
  • North Greenwich isn’t overloaded with attractions, unless you’re seeing a show or event at the O2. But it’s getting better!
  • Take the Thames Clipper one stop to Greenwich. They run every twenty minutes.

If you want to be boring you can always catch the DLR to Cutty Sark station.

A few points.

Docklands Light Railway

The Docklands Light Railway is often thought by Londoners, commuters and visitors as a bit of a Cinderella.

However, like Cinderella she works hard all day and provides reliable and efficient transport, where the only alternatives are buses, bicycles,  taxis and Shank’s pony.

Just after the 2012 Olympics, I met a big cheese in Transport for London on a DLR train. He felt that the DLR had been the star in getting everybody to the games.

It must be one of the most successful light railways in the world!

And yet, no-one has ever thought to build another running on the same principles.

  • Mainly elevated track.
  • Mainly step-free stations
  • Universal step-free train-to-platform access.
  • High-visibility trains for passengers.
  • Trains every three or four minutes.
  • Friendly, interested, visible staff.
  • Driverless operation with a train captain looking after passengers and driving in emergency.
  • Contactless ticketing

Perhaps the lack of a full-time driver on every train, means that many other places would have massive union problems.

Emirates Air-Line

I’ve taken many people on the Emirates Air-Line and few haven’t been impressed.

The best time in my view is just as the sun sets, as these pictures show.

Note that unless you want a souvenir ticket, just use your bank card to touch-in and touch-out! My last one-way trip cost me £3.50 and appeared on my credit card statement labelled TFL TRAVEL CH Conractactless.

Thames Clippers

Since I moved back to London in 2010, the Thames Clippers have been continuously expanding and improving.

  • .Five new boats have been delivered since the Olympics.
  • Several piers have been improved, rebuilt or added in recent years.
  • Cpmtactless ticketing can be used for all services. Payments are labelled THAMES CLIPPERS.

It should be noted that if you are a holder of a London Freedom Pass, you can get a discount on tickets at a machine.

Plans exist for the following.

  • Extending the route to new housing developments at Barking and Thamesmead in the East.
  • A new pier at Silvertown in October 2019, which could have a walking or bus link to the City Airport.

I can also see the following.

  • Extensions to the West past Putney Pier to places like new housing at Brentford and Kew Gardens.
  • Further extensions to the East to support the massive housing developments.
  • Better connections to the London Underground, London Overground and National Rail stations.
  • More use being made of the Thames Barrier as a tourist attraction.
  • Thames Clippers becoming a river tube line.
  • Thames Clippers appearing on the Tube map, just as the Emirate Air-Line does!
  • A quick and easy connection between the City Airport, Canary Wharf and the Cities of London and Westminster being developed.

The last would surely appeal to City businessmen and those wanting to celebrate a special event.

If Venice can run a boat between the Airport, and St. Mark’s Square why can’t London do the equivalet?

Crossrail

Crossrail is the Elephant-in-the-Room, that will surely make its presence felt along the South Bank of the Thames, when it is extended to Ebbsfleet, as it surely will be.

  • There will be a short walking interchange at Woolwich between Crossrail and the Tghames Clippers.
  • If Crossrail build a station at Silvertown for London City Airport, this could be another interchange.
  • If Crossrail eventually terminates at Gravesend, there could even be possibilities that far East.

The possibilities of designing the Crossrail Extension in conjunction with the Thames could open up the river has as both a leisure attraction and a transport artery.

Conclusion

London will reach towards the sea, to further enhance and add space to the undoubted Capital of the World!

 

 

A

September 13, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Connection Between City Thameslink Station And The Docklands Light Railway

In the Wikipedia entry for the Docklands Light Railway, there is a section describing a proposed Euston/St. Pancras Extension.

This is said.

In 2011, strategy documents proposed a DLR extension to Euston and St Pancras. Transport for London have considered driving a line from City Thameslink via Holborn north to the rail termini. The main benefit of such an extension would be to broaden the available direct transport links to the Canary Wharf site. It would create a new artery in central London and help relieve the Northern and Circle lines and provide another metro line to serve the High Speed line into Euston.

This map from Transport for London, shows the possible Western extension of the DLR.

With all the problems of the funding of Crossrail 2, that I wrote about in Crossrail 2 Review Prompts Fresh Delays, could this extension of the DLR, be a good idea?

Consider,

  • Victoria, Euston and St. Pancras are prosposed Crossrail 2 stations.
  • It would link Canary Wharf and the City of London to Eurostar, Northern and Scottish services and High Speed 2.
  • It would give all of the Docklands Light Railway network access to Thameslink.
  • A pair of well-designed termini at Euston and St. Panras would probably increase frequency and capacity on the Bank branch of the system.
  • The DLR is getting new higher capacity trains.
  • Bank station is being upgraded with forty percent more passenger capacity.
  • Holborn station is being upgraded and hopefully will be future-proofed for this extension.
  • One big advantage at City Thameslink, is that Thameslink and the proposed DLR extension will cross at right-angles, thus probably making designing a good step-free interchange easier.
  • The Bank Branch of the DLR currently handles 15 tph, but could probably handle more, if they went on to two terminal stations at St Pancras and Victoria..
  • Waterloo and City Line can run at twenty-four tph.

Cinderella she may be, but then she always delivers, when there is a desperate need, just as she did magnificently at the 2012 Olympics.

The only problem with this extension of the DLR, is that compared to the rest of the system, the views will be terrible.

For myself and all the others living along the East London Line, with a step-free change at Shadwell, we would get excellent access to Euston, Saint Pancras and Victoria

But could the line still be called the Docklands Light Railway, as it spreads its tentacles further?

 

March 12, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

A Trip To The Berlin Olympic Stadium

My father hated both extreme-right and extreme-left politics with a vengeance and I can honestly say, that I never heard him tell a racist joke.

My father also liked his sport and always claimed he’d first been driven to White Hart Lane in a pony and trap, before the First Wold War. He said, that you used to give a kid, a shilling to hold the horse’s head during the match.

He also used to like his athletics and one day told me with great joy, how the black American athlete Jesse Owens had annoyed Hitler by wining three gold medals.

So as I was in Berlin, I had to visit the Berlin Olympic Stadium.

I arrived at the S-bahn station and walked through to the U-bahn station from where I returned to Central Berlin.

These are some of the npictures that I took.

It was a cold walk, but would be very pleasant in the sun.

February 12, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | 3 Comments

Waterloo Upgrade August 2017 – Was It Alright On The Day?

This article in the Standard had a headline of Waterloo station upgrade: Furious commuters hit out at ‘shambolic’ queues on first weekday of major works.

This article on the BBC had a headline of Waterloo station: Stations quiet after upgrade warnings.

This article on the Independent had a headline of Waterloo station upgrade: Passengers report trains better than normal despite predictions of ‘month of chaos’.

There certainly isn’t lots of interviews on the BBC this morning with irate passengers.

This was the first paragraph from the Independent.

Commuters reported easier journeys than normal on train lines into London Waterloo on Monday morning as some passengers apparently took alternative routes or worked from home to avoid a predicted “month of chaos”.

But I think that Network Rail and South West Trains must have got it more or less right.

London thought they would have a problem during the 2012 Olympics and Transport for London flooded the streets and stations with extra staff to help passengers.

And it worked!

Network Rail and South West Trains have done the same, at least at Waterloo.

And it seems to be working!

August 8, 2017 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | Leave a comment

What Are The Retail Implications Of Crossrail?

The title of this post is from an article in Retail Week.

This article is typical of what we will see in the coming months, as commentators and analysts realise what effects Crossrail is going to have on London and the South East.

The enormity of the project is summed up by this paragraph in the article in Retail Week.

There are 40 construction sites in total and 1,700 companies involved – all the major developers are in on the act, and Transport for London is leading. London will be the greatest beneficiary, but the potential value of the Crossrail project to the wider UK economy is estimated at £42bn.

I think that most Londoners don’t know the effect that Crossrail will have on the city.

If you compare the figures with the Olympics, this article on the BBC says the 2012 Olympics cost £9bn and the UK economy received a boost in trade and investment of £9.9bn. For comparison purposes, the budget for Crossrail is £14.8bn.

It will be interesting to see what the true audited figures for Crossrail are in about 2020.

If they are this good, then we should be looking for more projects like this, all over the country.

 

May 27, 2014 Posted by | Transport, World | , , , , | Leave a comment

Thieves Target Sochi 2014

I found this story in the Moscow Times after being pointed to the thefts by the headline in The Times of Thieves Try To Scrap Winter Olympics. here’s the first paragraph of the story.

With less than three months left until the Winter Olympic Games, city authorities in Sochi are embroiled in a battle with an unexpected vice: the theft of manhole covers by metal scavengers.

Some 800 manhole covers were stolen in the last couple of weeks, most of them sold as scrap metal to any one of 20 recycling companies, city officials said.

I suppose President Putin is blaming gay thieves.

November 13, 2013 Posted by | Sport | , , , | Leave a comment

Stratford Has A Gold Pillar Box

Stratford has one of the gold pillar box, which have been put up all over the country to honour the Olympics medal winners.

Stratford got its, because this was the nearest box to the Olympic Park.

August 25, 2013 Posted by | Sport, World | , | Leave a comment

The BBC’s Gloomy Reporting

Despite the good news of the near £10 billion boost the Olympics gave the UK, BBC London is leading with two negative stories.

In one they are saying local business in London are moaning about loss of business because of the games.

And in the other, we have the residents of Surrey complaining that they have more road closures this weekend because of another cycling event. I suppose that it does make it difficult to drive the 4×4. I did hear once that you need a degree in moaning to live in Surrey.

Of course for balance the BBC is also reporting that too much of the Olympic benefit came to London.

In some ways the best legacy from the Olympics in this weather, are the new air-conditioned Class 378 trains on the London Overground and the S Stock on the sub-surface lines of the London Underground. It can also be said, that the place which has benefited most from these trains, is Derby, where they were built or are still being built in the case of the S Stock. It can also be argued that these trains would have been ordered anyway. The value of the orders is approaching two billion pounds.

July 19, 2013 Posted by | News, Sport, Transport | , , , , | Leave a comment

The Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games

I’ve now got four tickets for each of the sessions on the 25th, 26th and 27th of July.

It was fairly painless and except for a wait on the first access, probably because all the world and his wife were trying, it didn’t take too long either.

In some ways, I wish I’d bought some more tickets. I suspect the touts have, as they always have needs. But then I’m not in any need of making money that way!

But I do want to enjoy the athletics at the Olympic Stadium

April 19, 2013 Posted by | Sport | , , | 2 Comments

The Greatest British Olympian Ever

With the retirement of Sir Chris Hoy, who numerically is our greatest Olympian, the debate is starting as to who is the greatest.

There are many worthies amongst my favourites, but then only one would be on a vote for the top ten greatest Olympians.

But that one Olympian does stand out.

I remember on the 6th of July 2005, sitting with C in the kitchen listening as Lord Coe put the final speech in London’s bid for the 2012 Olympics.

She was a barrister and said it was the finest plea in mitigation she’d ever heard. He delivered it superbly. You can read the speech and othe others here and  C was right.  it was written, so that if we failed in the bid, as was expected, then Princess Anne, Lord Coe, Ken Livingstone, Tessa Jowell, Denise Lewis and the others involved, could come home knowing that they’d given it a very good shot.

Fortunately, Lord Coe got the result most people really wanted and the rest as they say is history.

Many people did not ever see, Sebastian Coe running. I didn’t see his Olympic trumphs, but I did see him on the television many times in the 1980s. he had a grace and created excitement, like no other athlete of the period.

So as someone, who won gold medals on the track and gave us the magnificent  London 2012 Olympics, there can only be one choice for Britain’s greatest Olympian.

April 19, 2013 Posted by | Sport, World | , | Leave a comment