The Anonymous Widower

Grab Handles On The Bakerloo Line

These pictures show the grab handles for safe entry and exit on the Bakerloo Line.

I do wonder, if the lack of handles, means a few more accidents, especially as there is a serious step-up at some stations.

February 13, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , | 1 Comment

Access To Multiple Units

I have been taking some pictures of the grab handles in the doorways of a selection of electric and diesel multiple units.

On most stations, the access between platform and train is a simple step across, but on lots of others, I have to grab the handle to make certain I am safe in the step-up or step-down.

Note

  1. The British Rail-era trains have similar designs.
  2. On some trains, you can’t see the grab handle from the platform, as it is hidden by the door.
  3. The Class 172 and Class 378 Trains are both Bombardier trains of a similar date, but the handles are very different.
  4. The Class 378 train has an asymmetric layout.

I will add more examples.

My Entry And Exit With A Large Step

When I get into a train, where there is a large step, I often poke my head around the door to get a good look at the handle on the right hand side, which I grip with my right hand to balance myself as I step up.

When I get out from a train, where there is a large step, I go to the right, grab the handle and then step out sideways onto my left leg.

I should say that I have the following problems.

  • My left hand and arm isn’t the best, as my humerus was broken by the school bully.
  • I tend to avoid using my left hand.
  • My stroke a few years ago damaged my eyesight low down on the left, so when descending I like to have something to grab.
  • I have a touch of arthritis.
  • I am only one metre seventy tall.

On the other hand, my right hand and arm are strong. I also have no vision problem on the right hand side.

Could Grab Handles Be Designed Better?

They could certainly be designed better for me!

But I am one of millions, who are less than one hundred percent!

I wonder if a University or Design Consultancy has ever looked at the problem of designing a perfect grab handle for a train.

My ideas could include.

  • A grab handle that is longer and goes lower, so it is better for short people and lder children.
  • A grab handle that protrudes slightly from behind the open door, so that entering passengers can see it.
  • A grab handle with a textured surface.
  • Should the grab handle layout be symmetrical.

I would suspect, that if a better design of grab handle could be found, this would speed up entry and exit from the train. Surely train operating companies would like that?

This is not the finished post. Any suggestions and comments will be welcomed.

 

February 11, 2019 Posted by | Transport | | Leave a comment

New Lifts At Finsbury Park Station

As I passed through Finsbury Park station, I took these pictures of the new lifts to the Piccadilly and Victoria Lines.

These lifts are particularly needed as there are no escalators between the Underground and the surface and you have to use spiral staircases.

This access is probably one of the worst design crimes on the Victoria Line, which was built on the cheap in the 1960s.

Notice that some of the signage is not complete and finding the lifts isn’t as easy, as it should be.

But then the installation is not fully finished.

February 3, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | Leave a comment

Are Platforms Being Extended On The North London Line?

At West Hampstead station today, I took this picture.

I have not found any reference to platform extensions on the North London Line and West Hampstead station in particular.

However I did find an answer from the Mayor to this question.

Further to your answer to Question No: 507 / 2013 and 1039 / 2013 is the Department for Transport ‘Access for All’ funding allocated for the financial year 2012/13 still guaranteed for the work needed to make this station step free; when will work commence and when will it be completed in making the station step free; on what do you base your assertion that local stakeholders are supportive; which local stakeholders do you claim are of this mind; and what information has been disseminated locally, to whom and in what manner, on the present proposed plan?

This was the answer.

I am determined to provide step-free access (SFA) at West Hampstead, but it is important that any scheme taken forward maximises benefits for passengers and ensures value for money.

Consequently, TfL has decided not to proceed with a standalone SFA scheme, but to take some extra time to ensure that SFA works can be integrated with further enhancements which are necessary at West Hampstead station – including platform extensions for the new 5-car service, work to reduce congestion in the ticket hall, and integration with an adjacent development. This will reduce costs, increase benefits and keep passenger disruption to a minimum.

As a result, TfL will re-apply for Access for All funding in Control Period 5 next year. Work on site could start in 2015.

It looks like the platform extension work was delayed until the work was carried out to make the station step-free.

The picture shows that the work at the station appears to be nearing completion.

When my train arrived, it appeared that the platforms are sized for five-car trains.

Will these platforms be long enough, when new stations open to connect the North London Line to High Speed Two and Crossrail at Old Oak Common station.

January 18, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , | Leave a comment

Stairs And A Lift At Cannon Street Station

These pictures show stairs and a lift at Cannon Street station, that provide access between the National Rail and Underground stations.

In my view this is one of the best installations, that I’ve seen.

  • There is a lift for those who need one.
  • The stairs are wide with an additional central hand-rail.
  • The hand-rails are double and covered in comfy blue plastic.

This may be impressive, but as yet, there is only a full step-free connection to the Eastbound platform.Underground.

Obviously, all railway stations should be step-free, but to do all stations in the UK in a short time would be expensive and probably disruptive too!

But one thing that can be done at many stations, is to improve the hand-rails.

One of the worst stations near me, is Dalston Kingsland station, which was rebuilt a few years ago with a narrow staircase to each platform.

There has already been an incident at the busy station, where four people were hurt, as reported in this article on City AM.

Were the narrow stairs partly to blame?

December 9, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , , | 2 Comments

New Lifts At Newbury Park Station

Newbury Park station now has lifts.

It also looks like the station has had a bit of upsprucing, as well!

The two clocks looked superb, alongside what is a top quality lift installation.

Two mothers with babies in prams were especially pleased, as neither knew that the station now had lifts, as they didn’t live in the area.

Transport for London are putting in several step-free installations at the outer reaches of the Central Line and like a thousand American lawyers at the bottom of the sea, it’s a good start!

December 8, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

The Bank Station Walbrook Entrance Opened Today

I was there at ten o’clock this morning to see the new Walbrook Entrance to Bank station open.

There are various features of the design that are excellent.

  • It looks like the entrance has been designed to be able to handle the full capacity of the uprated Waterloo & City Line, running higher capacity new trains with a higher capacity and possibly a higher frequency.
  • The stairs are wide and built to a standard, that will tempt  fit people to use them at busy times.
  • They will also be very safe in emergencies.
  • The route from the pedestrianised Walbrook to the gateline is clear and level, so it should handle very large numbers of passengers in safety.

It should be noted that those I spoke to, liked the entrance.

Conclusion

London and other cities need more entrances to subways and underground railways like this.

It must be one of the best in London, ranking alongside these stations on the Jubilee Line.

  • Canary Wharf
  • Canada Water
  • North Greenwich
  • Westminster

And the new entrances at Bond Street, Kings Cross St. Pancras and Victoria.

 

November 30, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | 4 Comments

Crossrail – Northern – Northern City Interchange At Moorgate Station

In New Bank Tube Station Entrance In Final Stages Ahead Of Opening, Mrlvyn said this in a comment.

I visited Moorgate Station recently and noticed the new lift of the Northern Line behind the hoarding. I then used escalator to go up to the Northern City Line which is directly above the Northern Line but there is no sign of work for the lift to stop at this level !

I have discovered from another site that Line will not be going step free due to arguments between DFT and TFL when Boris Johnson was Mayor and who should fund a hole in the wall for lift to stop!

Plus ca change! My company provided the planning computer and software for the Jubilee Line Extension. We heard stories of bad planning all the time and it certainly wasn’t a happy project.

But 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.

Circle And Hammersmith & City Lines

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

The only problem now, is if you need a lift, there is none to the deep lines or in the subway under the Sub-Surface Lines.

I am sure that the Crossrail reconstruction will address these problems.

The New Crossrail Station

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

This image shows a cross-section through it.

It will be two escalators down from street level to Crossrail. But then rhen Crossrail is deep.

A New Tunnel

In the visualisation, there is a new tunnel from around the centre of the Northern and Northern City Lines to the new Crossrail station.

I am not sure of where it joins the new construction over Crossrail, but assuming that the visualisation is to scale, the tunnel is larger than a typical Underground tunnel.

This size will mean that it will attract a lot of passengers.

At the Crossrail end, if would probably connect by a level route to an interchange floor, where the following would be possible.

  • Take an escalator or lift to and from Crossrail.
  • Take a level connection to the Westbound platforms of the Sub-Surface Lines.
  • Take an escalator or lift to street level.

I suspect that would handle all connections except for step-free access to the Eastbound Sub-Surface Lines.

At the other end of this tunnel, it would need to have large capacity and step-free access to the Northern and Northern City Lines.

Conclusion

It looks like the Northern and Northern City Lines are being given a second route to both the surface and other lines through Moorgate.

I shall go and have a look this morning.

I took these pictures.

A few observations.

  • The two escalators connecting the Northern and the Northern City Lines  are in good condition with refurbished walls and tiling.
  • There are no tell-tale blue walls on the platforms for the Northern City Line, which still retains its Network South East livery.
  • There are two blue walls on the opposite side of the cross passages to both escalators on the Northern Line platforms
  • The blue wall, facing the up connecting escalator is wider than that facing the down escalator.
  • There doesn’t seem to be any works for a lift to take passengers to and from the existing tickey hall.

It looks like it will be a tight squeeze fitting in all the access stairs, escalators and lifts between the Northern Line platforms and the new tunnel, that is shown connecting the Northern Line platforms to Crossrail.

I come to one or more of these conclusions.

  • There will be other passages dug in the future.
  • Passengers will continue to use the existing escalators.
  • I’m missing something obvious.

As Moorgate station is one of the busiest and will get even more so, there must be a sensible plan.

The only thing I can find on the internet is this page on the Acanthus Architects web site.

 

 

 

November 28, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Train-Platform Interface In London

I feel very strongly, that the floor of a train should be level with the platform, when you board a train.

This is mainly, because after my stroke, some said, that I could spent a lot of my life in a wheelchair. Luckily, the doomsters were wrong, but I do feel for those who have to use one or regularly push a buiggy on London’s extensive transport system.

So in this post, I shall be collecting examples of the good, the bad and the ugly.

I have put a note by some of the pictures, which are as follows.

  1. Only one type of train calls at this platform and as the platform is straight, it could be better.
  2. This platform was built or rebuilt, when new trains started on a new line.
  3. Taken on a Harrington Hump

These are just the start.

 

 

November 23, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , , | 1 Comment

Merseyrail Reveals Latest Station Closures For Upgrade Work Ahead Of New Trains

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on Liverpool Business News.

This is the first paragraph.

Merseyrail has announced details of the next phases of station closures as it upgrades is platforms to make them ready its new £460m fleet of trains due to come into service in 2021.

In total, there are eleven phases of work to give all platforms level access to the new trains.

I am fairly sure that no other local rail network in the UK, will have this quality of level access.

Some stations on the London Overground have similar access, but not that many. When you consider, that many station platforms have been rebuilt and they are only used by Class 378 trains, I believe an opportunity was missed.

The article says this about Merseyrail‘s new Class 777 trains.

Swiss manufacturer Stadler has started the manufacturing process at its Szolnok plant in Hungary on the new fleet of 52 trains. There, the car-body production is under way with the units being machined, welded, sandblasted and coated in special protection and premium quality paint to combat corrosion, caused by the contact with sea-water.

Most of the current Class 507/508 trains are forty years old, but they appear to me to be one of the most bottom-friendly suburban trains in the UK, with desirable 2+2 seating. I regularly travel on Class 313 trains, which are similar trains of the same vintage, into and out of Moorgate, and these are scrapyard specials compared to Merseyrail’s spotless, spacious and comfortable trains.

These pictures from March 2017, show the current trains.

They certainly look to be in good enough condition to see all the new trains into service and through their inevitable teething troubles in the next couple of years.

Conclusion

,The care being taken by Merseyrail and Stadler in the preparation for and design of their new trains, seems to indicate that they are intending to get forty years out of the new fleet.

 

November 20, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , , | Leave a comment