The Anonymous Widower

Up From The Depths At Moorgate Station

Moorgate station must have been built for rabbits, as it is a bit of a warren.

On arriving on the Northern Line platforms at the station a few days ago, I took the rat-up-the-drainpipe route to the surface.

This is the route I took.

  • Up the escalator to the Northern City Line platforms.
  • Straight up the Northern City Line escalators to the surface.
  • Through the barrier and then up to street level on one of two flights of steps, which are on opposite sides of Moorgate.

It is quicker and has less steps.

Crossrail

How will axxess change, when Crossrail opens.

Look at this image, I’ve clipped from this large visualisation of the massive Liverpool Street-Moorgate Crossrail Station.

The image shows the Northern City Line coming into Moorgate station.

Colours are as follows.

  • Blue – Northern City Line
  • Yellow – Circle and Hammersmith & City Lines
  • Black – Northern
  • Turquoise – Crossrail

Details to note.

Existing Northern City Escalators

The escalator shaft to the existing ticket hall is shown in white by the letter M of Moorgate.

Existing Northern Line Escalators

The double tunnels from the stairs leading to the platforms to the escalators are shown in white underneath the Northern City Line.

The escalators to the existing ticket hall are clearly shown. Both are in white.

Circle And Hammersmith & City Lines

When Crossrail opens, passengers would seem to still do, as they do now to interchange between Northern/Northern City and the Sub-Surface Lines.

But there is also a turquoise tunnel with a right-angle bend in the middle, that appears to do the following.

  • Link to the Northern and Northern City Lines at its Northern end.
  • Run under the sub-surface Lines.

Finally the tunnel connects to the big turquoise block, which I take to be the new Crossrail ticket hall.

There appear to be lifts on both sides of the Sub-Surface Lines.

Note.

  1. The lift on the North side of the Sub-Surface Lines, appears to be in a room with a window. Perhaps, the wall will be removed?
  2. The lift on the South side of the Sub-Surface Lines, appears to be in a lobby, set back from the tracks, but accessible from all three platforms on that side.
  3. I suspect they connect to the connecting tunnel below the platforms.

There does appear to be quite a bit of work to do.

The New Crossrail Station

The big turquoise block is the new Crossrail station and Ticket Hall.

Crossrail would appear to connect to the Northern and Northern City Lines, using the new subway, but it doesn’t seem that obvious how passengers will walk between the Sub-Surface Lines and the Crossrail Ticket Hall.

It

February 18, 2021 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | 3 Comments

Buses Should Have Flat Floors

These pictures were taken inside the lower-deck of one of London’s New Routemaster buses.

Now compare them with pictures taken on the lower deck of one of London’s other hybrid buses, similar to those you see all around the UK.

Note.

  1. The floor of the New Routemaster is continuous and flat. The only steps are the stairs and up into the sets of four seats.
  2. The floor of the hybrid bus, which was built on a standard Volvo chassis has several steps.

Recently, when carrying a full bag of shopping down the stairs on the hybrid bus, the driver accelerated away and I fell and banged my knee. Because of the flat floor, it is less likely, I’d have a similar problem on the New Routemaster.

Why Does The Routemaster Have A Flat Floor?

When Wrightbus designed the Routemaster, they had a clean sheet of paper and weren’t constrained to use a proprietary chassis.

  • The 18 kWh traction battery is under the front stairs.
  • The traction motor is under the floor, in the middle of the bus.
  • The small diesel generator is mounted halfway up the back stairs.
  • The bus has full regenerative braking to the battery.

Using a standard Volvo chassis might be cheaper, but there can’t be a flat floor.

Will The Wrightbus Hydrogen Bus Have A Flat Floor?

The Wrightbus StreetDeck FCEV is the Wrightbus hydrogen bus and it has entered service in Aberdeen.

It looks to be about half flat floor, but not as good as the Routemaster.

Hopefully, I’ll ride in one soon.

February 18, 2021 Posted by | Hydrogen, Transport | , , , | 2 Comments

Huge Step Taken As Greater Manchester Takes Over First Rail Station

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

This is the introductory paragraph.

Today (1 Feb) marks a significant moment for Manchester’s long-term vision for rail as Transport for Greater Manchester takes over operation of Horwich Parkway Station.

These are some pictures of the station.

Horwich Parkway station is a fairly typical parkway station, that is also a destination in its own right, as Bolton Wanderers stadium, a shopping centre, a very much bog-standard Premier Inn and a University campus are nearby.

Services At Horwich Parkway Station

Currently, these services call at the station.

  • Hazel Grove and Blackpool North
  • Manchester Airport and Blackpool North
  • Manchester Victoria and Preston

Note.

  1. All services are electric and run by Northern.
  2. All services are one train per hour (tph)

Some TransPennine Services also pass through on their way between Manchester Airport and Scotland.

My Thoughts

These are a few thoughts.

Local Authority Or Remote Management?

I like the concept of stations being managed by local authorities.

When I moved back to London from Suffolk nearly a dozen years ago, the stations in North East and East London were managed by Greater Anglia from Norwich.

  • Many of these stations were very shabby.
  • Many of these stations have now been taken over by Transport for London.
  • Stations are now managed by either the London Overground or Tfl Rail.
  • Stations seem to have improved and they are in many cases, a lot cleaner.

Perhaps, the shorter communication links to Senior Management mean, that problems get solved. Or does the local councillor know the right person to kick?

Hopefully, we’ll see a more efficient station at Horwich Parkway.

Facilities

Consider.

  • There are ramps to the footbridge.
  • There is a booking office.
  • Previously, this station was managed by Northern

It is one of those stations that on a cold winter’s day can be a bit bleak.

Hopefully, Transport for Greater Manchester will be improving the station.

Four Trains Per Hour?

Birmingham, Liverpool and London seem to like the concept of Turn-Up-And-Go stations with a frequency of four tph.

Would Horwich Parkway station  benefit from this frequency?

Two Trains Per Hour To And From Manchester Airport?

This may be beneficial,

Perhaps some of the TransPennine Express service between the Airport and Scotland could call?

Certainly, a sort out of train services at Horwich Parkway, led by Transport for Greater Manchester could be beneficial for passengers and train operating companies.

Conclusion

I shall be interested to see, if the station is improved.

 

February 3, 2021 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , | 2 Comments

All Platforms Should Be Wide Like This

It is my view, that all platforms, like this one at Angel station should be wide.

Consider,

  • It must be less likely, that passengers get knocked onto the tracks.
  • Wide platforms must be easier for all passengers to navigate.
  • Blind people with of without guide dogs must find it easier.

Let’s see a few more. And with step-free access between platform and train!

January 9, 2021 Posted by | Transport | , | 8 Comments

Feltham Station – 7th December 2020

The step-free bridge to the South-West of Feltham station, appears to be almost complete.

Note.

  1. The temporary bridge is still in place.
  2. The platform extensions are complete.

The builders appeared to be clearing up, when I passed through.

December 7, 2020 Posted by | Transport | , | Leave a comment

Syon Lane Station – 7th December 2020

The step-free footbridge at Syon Lane station has been completed and open for some time now.

I took these pictures today.

Note.

  1. The footbridge only has one lift on Platform 2.
  2. The step-free route to Platform 1 is a level footpath, which leads to the bus stop.
  3. There are three sets of stairs, two to Platform 2 and one to Platform 1.
  4. There is also a seat designed for Covid-19.

My first post on this project was Syon Lane Station To Go Step-Free, which was posted on April 30, 2019.

These smaller rail projects must be built in a more timely manner.

December 7, 2020 Posted by | Health, Transport | , , , | 1 Comment

Greater Anglia Trains Hit 10-year High For Punctuality

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on North Norfolk News.

This is the first two paragraphs.

Greater Anglia has recorded its best figures for punctuality in a decade, latest figures have revealed.

More than nine out of every ten trains ran on time in November, helping the company achieve its best punctuality result for 10 years and second-best of the past 20 years.

That is very good, with punctuality figures very close to a hundred percent.

What the article doesn’t mention, is that Greater Anglia’s trains in Norfolk and Suffolk are now typically step-free, with those in wheelchairs to be able to roll in without a ramp.

How much has this feature contributed to the outstanding punctuality?

December 6, 2020 Posted by | Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

Is This A Simple And Affordable Solution To Providing Step-Free Access At Essex Road Station?

The access to and from the platforms at Essex Road station, is not the best.

There is a set of tunnels beneath the two platforms.

  • The tunnels are connected to the surface, by a pair of large lifts and an emergency spiral staircase.
  • The tunnels are connected to the platforms by two wide sets of stairs.
  • One set of stairs is for passengers leaving the station and the others are for those arriving.

This set of pictures shows some of stations underground features.

It looks to be a difficult station to make step-free.

  • The platforms are narrow.
  • There is very little space in the station building to add more lifts direct to the platform.
  • I’m not sure,but the rail tunnels might be under the Canonbury Road, which runs outside the station.

Unless its possible to use the Greenford solution.

This picture shows the inclined lift/stairs and escalator installation at Greenford station.

Note.

  1. The inclined lift has a capacity of about 4-6 people in normal times.
  2. The staircase is double, with a handrail up the middle.
  3. The escalator is permanently set to up.

It should be noted that Greenford station has two Central Line platforms and one National Rail platforms.

Could this type of installation be used at Essex Road station?

I will look at a few points and issues.

Station Usage

It should be said, that despite the different natures of the station, we are not comparing apples with oranges, as to get between the street and platforms at both stations, passengers have to use the stairs at Essex Road station or the multi-mode installation at Greenford station.

Entries and exits to Essex Road station over the last four years are as follows.

  • 2016-17 – 811,000
  • 2017-18 – 861,000
  • 2018-19 – 857,000
  • 2019-20 – 768,000

The average is 824,000

National Rail entries and exits to Greenford station over the last four years are as follows.

  • 2016-17 – 230,000
  • 2017-18 – 151,000
  • 2018-19 – 153,000
  • 2019-20 – 170,000

The average is 176,000

Central Line entries and exits to Greenford station over the last four years are as follows.

  • 2015 – 4,720,000
  • 2016 – 4,810,000
  • 2017 – 4,680,000
  • 2018 – 4,250,000

The average is 4,615,000

The total for Greenford station is 4,791,000 or nearly six times as much as Essex Road station.

In fact, the difference is bigger than that as Essex Road station could have a pair of installations, so the capacity of each of the Essex Road installations, would only need to be a twelfth of that of the Greenford installation.

London’s Single Escalators

London has several single escalators.

Three pictures are from Moorgate and the other one is at Greenford.

Could Pairs Of An Inclined Lift And An Escalator Be Fitted In At Essex Road Station?

It would be tight to fit a pair in one staircase, but I’m sure it would be possible. Especially, if the shaft could be widened a bit.

If they could be made to fit, then a simple program of works could be applied.

  • Close one staircase and use the other staircase for both entry and exit. As there is a cross-tunnel, passengers would be able to walk between the lifts and the platforms, by walking about an extra thirty metres or so.
  • The closed tunnel would then be gutted and an inclined lift and escalator would be fitted and tested.
  • Once complete and tested, it would be opened to passengers.
  • The station would now be entrance-only or exit-only, whilst the second lift and escalator were fitted and tested.

Being entrance-only or exit-only would not be the greatest problem, as the 271 bus parallels the rail route between Highbury & Islington and Moorgate stations.

Could An Inclined Lift And A Pair Of Escalators Be Fitted?

In this installation, one shaft would be fitted with a pair of escalators and the other with an inclined lift.

A similar program of works to that I laid out previously would be applied.

Conclusion

Essex Road station could be made step-free.

Because of the bus routes in the area and the 271 in particular, it wouldn’t cause the greatest of inconveniences to close the station for some time.

December 4, 2020 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | 2 Comments

Essex Road Station – 16th November 2020

These pictures show Essex Road station.

Note.

  1. It is a station of little architectural merit.
  2. It is not by any means step-free.
  3. The atmosphere could be better.
  4. In the last few weeks, I have witnessed two falls, that could have been serious with a little less luck on those dreadful stairs.

It is certainly not the best station in Islington, let alone North London.

 

November 17, 2020 Posted by | Transport | , , , | 7 Comments

Fed Up Council Threatens Injunction Against Network Rail Over Closure Of Milton Keynes Railway Crossing

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on the Milton Keynes Citizen.

This looks like the ultimate level crossing argument between a council and Network Rail.

In some ways it’s all a bit ironic, as Network Rail’s headquarters is in Milton Keynes.

This Google Map shows the disputed crossing in Woburn Sands.

Note.

  1. The railway is the Marston Vale Line.
  2. Woburn Sands station and a level crossing is at the Western edge of the map.
  3. Swallowfield Lower School is at the Eastern edge of the map.
  4. Cranfield Road runs along the Northern side of the railway.

The row is all about the closure of the foot crossing, that links Cranfield Road and the school.

I live on a road to a primary school. At school times, there is heavy traffic on the pavement, with a lot of younger children in buggies and others with scooters.

  • A lot of the younger children are probably not going to school, but are too young to be left at home, by themselves.
  • I also see a couple of children in wheel-chairs.

I suspect the traffic to Swallowfield Lower school will be similar.

  • A bridge over the railway with steps would not be an adequate solution.
  • A bridge with lifts would be expensive.
  • A bridge with ramps would probably be difficult to fit in the restricted site.
  • A shallow subway with a ramp either side would probably be the only acceptable and affordable solution.

This picture shows such a subway at Enfield Lock station.

Could one like this, be dug under the railway at Woburn Sands?

November 11, 2020 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , | 4 Comments