The Anonymous Widower

Construction Has Started On The Silvertown Tunnel

These pictures show that construction has started on the Silverton Tunnel.

Note that New Civil Engineer is reporting that tunnelling has started.

My Current Thoughts On The Silvertown Tunnel

In 2015, I wrote No To Silvertown Tunnel, which I started with these two paragraphs.

My personal feelings about the Silvertown Tunnel are that it is irrelevant to me, except that it might help some trucks bring goods that I buy online or at a local shop. Although as a sixty-eight year-old-widower living alone, I don’t think my transport needs through the tunnel will be high.

I don’t drive after my stroke and I like that lifestyle, except when last night it took me three trains, a coach and a taxi to get back from watching football at Ipswich. But that tortuous late night journey was caused because NuLabor spent my tax money on pointless wars that will haunt us for generations, rather than in extending and renewing our rail system, that will nurture and enrich our future.

But my objections to the Silvertown Tunnel have changed and expanded.

New Transport Infrastructure Attracts Passengers

This may seem obvious, but there has been several cases recently in London to prove my point.

  • The London Overground has been a success beyond Transport for London’s wildest dreams and as an example the North London Line, that started with three x three-car trains per hour (tph) is now running eight x five-car tph. This is a four time increase in capacity.
  • New buses and contactless ticketing have encouraged more passengers to use the buses.
  • Electrification and new trains has transformed the Gospel Oak to Barking Line.
  • The expansion of Thameslink and new trains now carries a lot more North-South traffic through London.
  • Every time, a new section of the Elizabeth Line opens more passengers are attracted to the new line.
  • The remodelling of London Bridge station has increased passenger numbers. And shoppers!

On a personal note, I live on a bus corridor, that runs between North London and Moorgate for the Lizzie Line. Since the Lizzie Line has been fully connected, passenger numbers have risen by a big margin.

I don’t believe that the ability to attract more traffic of the Silvertown Tunnel will be any different.

More Traffic Means More Congestion And Pollution

I live close to the Balls Pond Road, which increasingly seems to be a truck route across North London.

The Silvertown Tunnel will be two lanes each way; one for trucks and buses, and one for smaller vehicles.

I can’t see that pollution and congestion around the Silvertown Tunnel and on the routes to the tunnel, will not increase.

There Is Little Or No Provision For Cyclists And Pedestrians

This will be a big problem. Especially, as the local traffic in the area will increase dramatically.

Does Central London Have Enough Parking For The Increased Traffic?

Parking in Central London is probably close to capacity now!

So What Would I Do?

Given that construction has already started, I feel it is too late to cancel.

Better Alternatives Than Driving

I feel measures should be adopted that provide better alternatives than driving.

Obviously, this won’t help with trucks, but it could reduce the total number of vehicles going through the tunnel.

These could include.

  • Increase the frequency of trains on both the Lizzie Line and Thameslink.
  • Increase the number of destinations on both the Lizzie Line and Thameslink.
  • Add an extra car to Lizzie Line trains.
  • Remove First Class on the shorter eight-car Thameslink trains.
  • Add provision on some Lizzie Line and Thameslink routes for bicycles.
  • Add a Silvertown station to the Elizabeth Line for London City Airport.
  • Add one or more pedestrian and cycling bridges across the Thames.
  • Expand of the Docklands Light Railway.
  • Expand the Thames Clipper.
  • Connect Barking Riverside station to Thamesmead and Abbey Wood station either by a rail or a fast ferry.
  • Keep the cable-car.

I suspect there are other viable ideas.

Develop Incentives To Use Public Transport

Incentives could be in these areas.

  • Better station and bus terminals encourage more to use trains and buses.
  • Full free onboard wi-fi and phone charging.
  • Special fares for some journeys.

An example of the latter could be a discount for certain cross-river journeys.

Make The Silvertown Tunnel Available For Zero Carbon Vehicles Only

This would surely cut pollution in London.

Conclusion

We should use the Silvertown Tunnel to improve London’s air quality.

November 23, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Cummins Shows Hydrogen Internal Combustion-Engined Concept Truck At IAA Transportation Exhibition

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

These are the first two paragraphs.

Cummins believes hydrogen internal combustion engines (H2-ICE) will be suitable for the 10- to 26-tonne GVW range, and showed a concept vehicle at the IAA Transportation exhibition.

The truck, which is based on a Mercedes-Benz Atego 4×2, is fitted with Cummins’ new 6.7-litre B6.7H engine. It is rated at 290hp, has a peak torque of 1,200Nm, and a range of up to 500km.

Alison Trueblood, Cummins executive director – on-highway business Europe, is extensively quoted in the article and it is worth reading what she says.

I believe that by providing a hydrogen infrastructure and converting trucks to hydrogen, by using similar techniques to Cummins could be a quick and effective way to improve air qualities in urban areas.

September 21, 2022 Posted by | Health, Hydrogen, Transport/Travel | , , , | Leave a comment

Essex Firm’s Hydrogen Lorry On Show In Stoneleigh

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

These paragraphs describe the truck.

Tevva, the maker in Tilbury, Essex, says it is the first hydrogen fuel cell-supported truck to be designed, built and mass produced in the UK.

The company adds the vehicle has a range of up to 310 miles (500 km) via the tech, with hydrogen tanks able to be refilled in 10 minutes.

It says it wants to help the transport industry adapt to a “post-fossil fuel future”.

To that end, it developed a fuel cell to top up electric battery-powered trucks, giving them a longer range while reducing the size of the electric battery needed.

I think that this truck is a superb example of disruptive innovation.

  • Tevva have looked at the 7.5 tonne truck market and have developed a truck that fits it.
  • Using hydrogen as a range extender up to to 500 km. is probably a good fit for the use of these vehicles.
  • So many local delivery companies will look at these trucks, so they can tell their customers, that they now offer zero-carbon deliveries.
  • They will also be useful to go into cities, that charge diesel vehicles.

I also suspect, that a lot of parts follow the route pioneered by the great Colin Chapman – Borrow from other manufacturers.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see other companies following Tevva’s route all over the world.

July 1, 2022 Posted by | Design, Hydrogen, Transport/Travel | , , , | Leave a comment

Greater Manchester Leaders Now Want Clean Air Zone Charges Scrapped On ALL Vehicles After Huge Backlash

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on the Manchester Evening News.

This is the first two paragraphs.

No vehicles should be charged in the new Clean Air Zone (CAZ), Greater Manchester leaders have agreed, as the scheme remains under review.

In a letter to the Prime Minister, Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham has called for a ‘non-charging’ scheme which would help fund vehicle upgrades.

How can a non-charging scheme help to fund vehicle upgrades?

I suppose that Burnham wants the Government to pay for updating all the vehicles that Mancunians might drive in the Clean Air Zone.

March 4, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , | 3 Comments

Greater Manchester Clean Air Zone Plans Put On Hold

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

These are the first four paragraphs.

The controversial rollout of Greater Manchester’s Clean Air Zone (CAZ) has been delayed.

The scheme, which would see some high-emission vehicles face daily charges, had been due to begin at the end of May. Private cars would be exempt.

The government said the pause would allow for consultation and a revised plan was due in July.

Regional mayor Andy Burnham had earlier asked the government to delay the scheme.

If Manchester don’t bring the pollution levels down, Client Earth are threatening legal action.

But to me, as a pedestrian, I do find Manchester City Centre a difficult place to walk, compared to say Birmingham or Liverpool, as the traffic seems to move about at a fast pace.

But then I blame Harold Wilson, who cancelled the Picc-Vic tunnel.

Liverpool and Newcastle received their beneficial cross-city tunnels, but Harold Wilson said that everyone would have their own cars, so we won’t need railways.

February 5, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , | 4 Comments

Heavy Traffic In The Balls Pond Road – 6th December 2021

London has too much traffic.

These pictures were taken at three in the afternoon.

There was not a zero-carbon vehicle in sight.

At least the pollution was down, as it was raining.

December 11, 2021 Posted by | Transport/Travel | | Leave a comment

Piney Point: Emergency Crews Try To Plug Florida Toxic Wastewater Leak

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

This is the introductory paragraph.

Emergency crews in Florida have been working to prevent a “catastrophic” flood after a leak was found in a large reservoir of toxic wastewater.

This Google Map shows the location.

Note.

  1. At the top of the map is an area called Tampa Bay Estuarine Ecosystem Rock Ponds.
  2. The reservoir appears to be in the South East corner of the map.
  3. There appear to be several chemical works to the West of the highway.

This second Google Map shows the reservoir at a larger scale.

Note.

  1. The picture in the BBC article was taken from the North West.
  2. The problem reservoir is right and above of centre.
  3. To its right is Lake Price, which appears to be the sort of lake to sail a boat and perhaps do a bit of fishing and swimming.
  4. Moore Lake to the South appears similar to Lake Price.

It looks to me that it is not the place to have an environmental incident.

This article in The Times says this.

Engineers are furiously pumping the phosphate-rich water into the sea to avoid an uncontrolled spill at Piney Point, whose failure could unleash a 20ft-high wall of toxic effluent.

Pumping it into the sea? Surely not?

I suspect there could have been a mixture of sloppy management and loose regulation, with minimal enforcement and I’ll be interested to see what recommendations are put forward by the inevitable investigation.

In my varied past, I was once indirectly involved, in the toxic waste that comes out of chemical plants. At the time, I was working for ICI in Runcorn and my main job was building designing and building instruments for the various chemical plants in and around Runcorn.

As they had hired me because of my programming skills, they asked me if I could do a few small jobs on their Ferranti Argus 500, which could be plugged in to both their Varian NMR machine and their AEI mass spectrometer.

With the former, to get better accuracy in analysis of chemicals, I would take successive scans of a sample and aggregate them together. The accuracy of the results would be proportion to the square root of the number of scans.

The second to my mind was more difficult and much more interesting.

This explanation of mass spectroscopy is from Wikipedia.

Mass spectrometry (MS) is an analytical technique that is used to measure the mass-to-charge ratio of ions. The results are typically presented as a mass spectrum, a plot of intensity as a function of the mass-to-charge ratio. Mass spectrometry is used in many different fields and is applied to pure samples as well as complex mixtures.

ICI at Runcorn had a lot of complex mixtures and the aim of my project, was to take a mass spectrum and automatically decide what chemicals were present in the mixture.

The mass spectra were presented as a long graph on a roll of thermal paper. I noticed that operators would pick out distinctive patterns on the graph, which they told me were distinctive patterns of chlorine ions.

Chlorine has an unusual atomic weight of 35.5 because it is a mixture of two stable isotypes Chlorine-35 and Chlorine-37, which produced these distinctive patterns on the spectra.

I was able to identify these patterns to determine the number of chlorine atoms in a compound. By giving the algorithm a clue in stating how many carbon, oxygen and hydrogen atoms could be involved, it was able to successfully identify what was in a complex mixture.

All this was programmed on computer with just 64K words of memory and a half-megabyte hard disc.

ICI must have been pleased, as I got a bonus.

One of the jobs the software was used for was to identify what chemicals were present in the lagoons alongside the River Weaver, which are shown today in this Google Map.

Note.

  1. The chemical works, which were part of ICI in the 1960s, to the North of the Weaver Navigation Canal.
  2. The two former lagoons between the canal and the River Weaver, which seem to have been cleaned out and partially restored.
  3. Was that a third large lagoon to the South of the River Weaver?
  4. There also appears to be a fourth smaller triangular lagoon between the canal and the river.

There certainly seems to have been a better clear-up in Runcorn, than in Florida.

I moved on from Runcorn soon after, I’d finished that software and have no idea how or if it developed and was used.

But the techniques I used stayed in my brain and were used at least four times in the future.

  • In the design of a Space Allocation Program for ICI Plastics Division.
  • In the design of two Project Management systems for Time Sharing Ltd.

And of course, they were also used in designing the scheduler in Artemis for Metier.

I

 

April 5, 2021 Posted by | Computing, Design, World | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Thermal Energy Storage The Key To Reducing Agricultural Food Pollution

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

These two paragraphs, introduce the article and give the aim of the project.

University of South Australia thermal energy researcher Professor Frank Bruno has been awarded almost $1 million by the Federal Government to find a solution to agricultural pollution in Australia and India.

Prof Bruno, South Australian Energy Chair at UniSA’s Future Industries Institute, will lead a collaborative project with India’s biggest private university, LPU, to develop a renewable energy-driven food processing and drying system which alleviates both pollution and landfill issues in both countries.

The big problem in India is air pollution, a lot of which is caused by farmers burning rice husks. By collecting solar energy, which will be stored as heat and used to dry crops, there is hope that this pollution can be reduced.

The whole article is very much a must-read.

Conclusion

This very much sounds like a good way to cut pollution in areas with lots of solar energy.

December 12, 2020 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage | , | Leave a comment

South Western Railway Completes Trial Of Class 159 Emission Reducing Technology

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

This is Project 4 called Green Rail Exhaust After Treatment, that I wrote about in Grants To Support Low-Carbon Technology Demonstrators.

I also wrote about the project in SWR And Porterbrook Trial New Emission-Slashing Rail Technology.

This paragraph from the Rail Advent article sums up the results.

In partnership with Porterbrook and Eminox, South Western Railway has trialled a new system that has real-world reductions in pollution from nitrous oxides (NOx) by over 80% and hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide and particulate matter (PM) by over 90%.

The technology appears to have performed well in a six-month trial.

As the proof of the pudding is always in the eating, it will be interesting to see how many systems are installed on the two hundred trains in the closely-related Class 158 and Class 159 train fleets.

June 30, 2020 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , | Leave a comment

East Midlands Railway Class 170 Trains To Get New Emissions Technology

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

These two paragraphs introduce the article.

Porterbrook has announced that it has received funding for the trial fitment of technology to reduce emissions on its fleet of Class 170 DMU trains.

The £400,000 funding will see the Class 170 ‘Turbostar’ trains, which are in operation with East Midlands Railway, fitted with Eminox SCRT technology.

The trial will be for three months, after which a decision will be made, as whether Porterbrook’s share of the over 120 Class 170 trains will be upgraded.

June 18, 2020 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , | 2 Comments