The Anonymous Widower

Whitechapel Station – 20th July 2015

I hadn’t intended to go to Whitechapel station, but I did this morning and got a very pleasant surprise.

As the picture gallery shows, what  I thought were bearing plates undoubtedly are!

July 20, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

An Impressive Structure In Dresden

It may only be a shelter for a number of lines at a tram interchange in Dresden, but I like it.

We should create more structures like this that combine engineering, art, beauty and practicality in suitable proportions.

June 14, 2015 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | Leave a comment

The Bridges At Blackfriars

There are actually three bridges at Blackfriars; a road bridge, a rail bridge with a station on top and between them the remains of an older rail bridge. This Google Earth image shows the three bridges.

Blackfriars Bridges

Blackfriars Bridges

From the East or right, they are in order.

1. This is the newer Blackfriars railway bridge, with its station, covered in a solar room, on top.

2. The pairs of dots beside the station are the columns of the older Blackfriars railway bridge, which has been demolished.

3. This is the Blackfriars Bridge.

These pictures were taken as I walked past the bridges from east to west.

Note how the two bridges in use are impressive structures.

I’ve often thought that the redundant piers must have a sensible use. But what?


May 7, 2015 Posted by | Transport | , | Leave a comment

Structures At Whitechapel Station

I believe that Whitechapel station, will be Crossrail’s Jewel In The East and over the Easter weekend the East London Line was closed to allow Crossrail work. These pictures show the station after the weekend.

It does seem that more big structures are going up.

This Google Earth image shows the station.

Whitechapel Station

Whitechapel Station

The image was taken some time ago, but it does show the layout of the station.

Note the orange line determining how the East London Line passes through and how the Metropolitan and District Lines go either side of the works. When the station is completed, there will be one large platform between these lines, from which escalators will descend to the Crossrail platforms about thirty metres beneath.

April 8, 2015 Posted by | Transport | , , | Leave a comment

Flimsy It’s Not!

Some of the overhead electrification installed in recent decades has been rather less than robust. These pictures show some of the structures on the Great Western Main Line and Crossrail.

If you compare these pictures with those that I took at Eccles in October 2013, they do seem to be of a similar standard.

Hopefully, this current electrification won’t have some of the problems of projects that were done earlier.

March 25, 2015 Posted by | Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

Steel Flying Arches At Shadwell Station

These pictures show the steel flying arches at Shadwell station on the East London Line. They appear to be similar in form to the brick arches at Chorley.

The purpose of these structures is to stop the walls of the cutting collapsing inwards.

They’re not pretty or elegant, but they seem to work!

September 4, 2014 Posted by | Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

An Unusual Picture

I have cut this picture out of Google Earth of the railway north-west of Chorley.

Sixteen Butresses

Sixteen Butresses

There would appear to be sixteen buttresses over the twin track railway.

They are actually some of the last examples of flying arches on UK railways. There’s more about the Chorley Flying Arches here.

I’m posting this, as the line through Chorley has just reopened after the related Chorley Tunnel has been expanded to allow for electrification. That is reported here on Modern Railways. It says this about the arches.

As well as upgrading the tunnel, the 16 historic Chorley flying arches – Grade II listed structures on the approach to the tunnel which are the only remaining examples on the British rail network – were refurbished following co-operation and consultation with English Heritage.

On the 22nd of this month, I’m going to see Ipswich play at Wigan. I think, I’ll go and look at these unique structures.

How many countries would actually restore te arches, rather than replace them with modern steel structures?

September 2, 2014 Posted by | Transport | , , , | 2 Comments

Glasgow Crossrail

I saw this bus at Glasgow Central station, whilst I was awaiting a friend to go to the Games.

The Bus Connection Between The Two Stations

The Bus Connection Between The Two Stations

It connects the station to the other main one at Glasgow Queen Street.

It may work well, but it is needed in that Glasgow has effectively two rail networks; one going south and west from Central and another going east and north from Queen Street. This is illustrated, if you book a train from say Carlisle to the North of Scotland, where you either go via Edinburgh or use the bus to get across Glasgow.

London is adding the east-west cross city Crossrail to go with the current north-south Thameslink, which is being augmented and extended. Cross city routes have one big advantage in addition to the obvious one of linking places on either side of the city together, and that is that terminal platforms in city centres can be released for other purposes. Effectively in London, about half of the Midland Main Line platforms in St. Pancras, were released for Eurostar and High Speed services to Kent, by moving many services to Thameslink, where they effectively terminated at places like Brighton.

But it’s not just in London, that this technique of using a cross-city link to improve services and increase capacity is used.

  1. Liverpool has linked the Northern and Wirral lines to those going south through a tunnel, which also allowed the old Liverpool Central station to be redeveloped on its prime site as Central Village.
  2. Manchester is linking Piccadilly and Victoria stations, by means of new track and a bridge to create the Northern Hub.
  3. Cardiff, Bristol, Birmingham and Leeds don’t really have the two station problem, but many of them pair up services to save terminal platforms. The Valley and Local Cardiff routes are extensive and many services are end-to-end, stopping at Cardiff in the centre.

Obviously, as there are a lot of buildings in the way between Glasgow’s two station, a direct rail link would have to be tunnelled.

As I walked around Glasgow, I couldn’t help noticing two impressive structures. The first was the City Union Bridge.

City Union Bridge

And the second was this viaduct across the centre of the city.

The City Union Line

They were both part of the original City Union Line, which is now used for freight and empty stock movements. But it does appear to me to go from east to south across the city.

I had read about Glasgow Crossrail before, but I hadn’t realised that the missing link was so impressive and well-maintained. The Wikipedia article says this about the link.

Since the 1970s, it has been widely recognised that one of the main weaknesses of the railway network in Greater Glasgow is that rail services from the South (which would normally terminate at Central main line station) cannot bypass Glasgow city centre and join the northern railway network which terminates at Glasgow Queen Street station – and vice-versa for trains coming from the North. At present rail users who wish to travel across Glasgow have to disembark at either Central or Queen Street and traverse the city centre by foot, or by road.

Looking at the proposed project, it does seem that it might solve a few obvious problems with the rail system in Glasgow.

The proposal also includes the reopening of Cumberland Street railway station in the Gorbals, opening the area up to the passenger railway network for the first time since the 1960s and a link to the Glasgow subway at West Street station.

Amongst other developments the ability to go between the West Coast Main Line and the North of Scotland was listed.

I would be interesting to see the costs and benefits for Glasgow Crossrail.

On the first night at the Games, I went to the athletics and afterwards I needed to get to back to Edinburgh. The trains were totally overloaded and in a bit of chaos. Surely, Glasgow Crossrail might have allowed direct trains from the Hampden area to Edinburgh, which would have eased the problem, even if it meant a change of train at Central.

July 29, 2014 Posted by | Transport | , , , | 1 Comment

An Historic Station On The Overground

Wapping station on the Overground is more or less unique. It is built into the access shaft that was used to build the Thames Tunnel, so must in some ways be the railway station in the world, with the oldest structure or building. It certainly has lots of brickwork and other interesting structures.

It’s also a good place to go to see trains going through the Thames Tunnel.

I sometimes wonder, what the well-known resident of Wapping, Alf Garnett would have thought of the Overground. Compared to the 1960s, the journey that Alf would take from Wapping to Upton Park to see West Ham United, is the same, but he would probably be complaining about the new trains on both lines, where you can walk from one end to the other.

March 2, 2014 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , | Leave a comment