The Anonymous Widower

Bank Station – 16th September 2022

On August 13th, I wrote What Goes Up Must Come Down, where I described the crane coming down over the new Bank station entrance on Cannon Street.

The triangular site, that lies between Cannon and King William Streets, has now been opened up for development, as these pictures show.

Note.

  1. I took the pictures from the top of a 141 bus, that was going to London Bridge station.
  2. It is going to be a large block on top of the station.
  3. Do the pictures indicate retail or further station entrances along King William Street?
  4. This development must help in the financing of the massive Bank Station Upgrade.

This is the last picture, shown to a larger scale.

On the end of the lowest level of the portable offices, you can just about make out a sign indicating a ladies toilet.

Is this the most inaccessible ladies toilet in London? Or even the world?

September 18, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , | 2 Comments

Extending The Elizabeth Line – A Service Between Heathrow And Southend Airports

The Wikipedia entry for Crossrail, has a section about an extension to Southend Airport, where this is said.

Stobart Aviation, the company that operates Southend Airport in Essex, has proposed that Crossrail should be extended beyond Shenfield along the Shenfield–Southend line to serve Southend Airport and Southend Victoria. The company has suggested that a direct Heathrow-Southend link could alleviate capacity problems at Heathrow. The extension proposal has been supported by Southend-on-Sea City Council.

I think there could be a big problem, in that I estimate the journey will take a few minutes short of two hours. Surely, this will mean toilets will need to be fitted.

July 7, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , | 4 Comments

Extending The Elizabeth Line – Will There Be A Need For Long Distance Class 345 Train?

I wrote Crossrail To Heathrow, Reading And Southend in August 2017.

This was a section in that post.

The Long Distance Class 345 Train

Adding Oxford and/or Southend to Crossrail services, may need a sub-class of Class 345 train to be created, due to the length of the journey. Toilets would be the obvious addition.

As an example, the safeguarded Reading and Gravesend service would be eighty-three miles.

  • A Reading and Paddington service takes fifty-seven minutes for the thirty-six miles.
  • At that speed Reading and Gravesend would take two hours and eleven minutes.
  • Even Reading and Shenfield will will take only nine minutes less than two hours.

Will all passengers be able to hold on for these lengths of time?

100 mph Capability

Greater Anglia’s Class 720 trains are 100 mph trains, but their sisters on the Elizabeth Line are only 90 mph trains.

So if the trains are to work perhaps to Gravesend, Oxford or Southend would a 100 mph capability be needed?

Conclusion

If the Elizabeth Line is extended, there may be a need for trains to be updated.

June 19, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , | Leave a comment

Put Thameslink On The Tube Map Says London Assembly

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on Ian Visits.

This is the introductory paragraph.

A report on improving accessibility on London’s Transport services has called for the fully accessible Thameslink line to be on the Tube map as a matter of some urgency.

I’m all for this happening.

I use Thameslink quite a bit, as if I’m in some places South of the River and am coming home, taking Thameslink to West Hampstead Thameslink and then using the Overground to Canonbury, from where I walk home, is a convenient route.

  • It is step-free.
  • There is a Marks and Spencer at West Hampstead, where I can do a bit of food shopping.
  • Walking from Canonbury station to my house is gently downhill.

These are some other thoughts about Thameslink,

The Underground Train With A Toilet

Sometimes, I also find it doubly-convenient, as I need to spent a penny or more. Often, the toilets on Thameslink trains are free in the tunnels under London!

How many other Underground trains have toilets?

Obviously, Eurostar does, but does anybody know of any other trains that run deep under the surface, that have toilets?

Do Thameslink Want The Extra Passengers That Being On The Map Would Bring?

This may seem a dumb question, but sometimes, I do wonder, if the answer is that they don’t!

Thameslink Would Surely Make A Good Travel Partner For Eurostar

Increasing, many visitors from the Continent to London and the South East are travelling across the Channel using the excellent Eurostar.

As the Thameslink and Eurostar platforms at St. Pancras International, there could be mutual advantages to both companies to be partners.

Suppose you were travelling on these routes.

  • Paris and Gatwick
  • Brussels and Greenwich
  • Amsterdam and Brighton
  • Rotterdam and Luton Airport

And for one reason or other you didn’t want to fly; climate change, you like trains, awkward baggage or just plain fear of flying.

Surely, using Eurostar and Thameslink would be the obvious travel companies.

Note that Thameslink have posters, saying that they are the ideal way to get to Luton Airport.

Do they have posters, saying they are the ideal way to get to Eurostar at St. Pancras?

If I was running Thameslink, I’d do the following.

  • Make sure, that all Thameslink stations accepted contactless ticketing using bank or credit cards.
  • Put information and advertising on Eurostar trains and stations, telling passengers how to get to and from any Thameslink station without buying a physical ticket.
  • Devise a simple add on ticket, that would be printed on your Eurostar boarding pass or held in Eurostar’s app.
  • Market Thameslink to the French as the UK’s answer to the RER.
  • Put travel information in at least Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese and Spanish, at St. Pancras station.

I would think, that a properly thought-out plan, could be a nice little earner for Thameslink.

 

March 21, 2020 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Only In Wimbledon

I took this picture in Wimbledon station.

Note that the wording at the top of the poster says The Championships.

Is there something I’m missing?

October 28, 2019 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , | Leave a comment

South Wales Metro: Lack Of Toilets Tram-Trains ‘Dehumanising’

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

This is the first two paragraphs.

he lack of toilets on new tram-trains that will serve the south Wales valleys has been branded “dehumanising”.

Trams proposed for the new £738m south Wales rail network upgrade, planned for 2022, will not have toilets on board.

This toilet issue was raised with Crossrail and I wrote about it in 2015, in Do Crossrail Trains Need Toilets?.

Now that the Crossrail trains have been running for some time, toilet issues don’t seem to be raised.

September 20, 2019 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , | 4 Comments

A Toilet On A London Underground Train

On my short journey between City Thameslink, and London Bridge stations, I sat next to one of the toilets.

I also made use of the facility.

As there is a lot of pressure to show Thameslink on the Tube Map, will these trains become the only trains on the Underground to have toilets?

As modern controlled emission toilets, don’t throw anything on the tracks, they can be safely used anywhere.

April 5, 2019 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , | 1 Comment

What Is It With The Welsh And Batteries?

If ordering two fleets of rail vehicles with batteries, that I wrote about in The Greening Of The Valleys, KeolisAmey Wales have now gone and ordered a third fleet for North Wales.

This article in the Railway Gazette is entitled Vivarail D-Trains For Wales & Borders.

This is the first paragraph.

Incoming Wales & Borders franchisee KeolisAmey is to take delivery of five three-car Class 230 D-Train diesel-battery multiple-units from Vivarail, which is to produce them using the bogies and aluminium bodyshells of withdrawn London Underground D78 metro trains.

Note that they are described as diesel-battery trains.

The article says the Class 230 trains will be used on these lines.

Five trains have been ordered, but I suspect it will eventually be more.

I believe that this picture shows a property of the Class 230 train, that would be ideal for Welsh routes or any other scenic lines.

They have large windows and get the interior design right and they could become an iconic way to fill a difficult niche market.

  • A reliable hourly or half-hourly service on a remote line.
  • A quality interior with everything customers expect like a fully-accessible toilet, wi-fi and power sockets.
  • Space for bikes, buggies, babies and wheel-chairs.
  • Step-free entry between train and platform was possible at some stations on the District Line and I suspect that many stations could be made, so that wheelchairs and buggies could just roll across.
  • The ability to be serviced remotely.

Note that the train is fitted with toilets from Cwmbran in South Wales.

Did Transport for Wales say, that if you fitted Welsh toilets, we’ll buy a few trains?

I suspect though, that they are much better toilets, than those I saw as a child in castles like Caernarfon, Conway and Harlech, where the inhabitants in the Middle Ages must have been quick on the job to avoid the getting shot with arrows, where it would hurt!

I suspect constipation was rare in those days!

Seriously though, here’s a video of the Class 230 trains for Wales.

This video comes from this article in this article on Wrexham.com.

How Do The Trains Work?

I obviously don’t know exactly, but I suspect the method of operation is very similar to that of some of the advanced hybrid buses, like a new Routemaster.

Each of the diesel engines have a generator, which produces electricity. This can either be fed directly to the traction motors to power the train or stored in the onboard battery.

The train’s control system manages the power and chooses, whether traction power comes from the diesel engine or the battery.

This means that the diesel engines don’t have to work all the time.

June 8, 2018 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Toilets In Class 345 Trains

I visited this topic in Do Crossrail Trains Need Toilets? over two years ago, when I said this.

Surely, a much better and more affordable solution would be to update the ribbon maps in all Underground and Crossrail trains to show if the station had toilets, in the same way, they show the step free access. Some extra signs on stations showing the status and location of toilets would also be a good idea.

Incidentally on the Essex and Reading legs of Crossrail, several of the stations already have decent toilets. Getting off a train and catching the next one, to have a relaxed toilet break, is probably not a huge delay, due to the high frequency of the trains.

London has a chance to set high standards in this area, without putting toilets on any trains.

My views haven’t changed, but I do think that now the Aventra is in limited service, I can speculate further.

Walk-through Trains, First Class And Toilets

London now has five walk-through trains.

In some ways the Class 700 train is the odd train out, as it has both First Class seating and toilets.

It should also be noted that Greater Anglia’s new Class 720 trains don’t have First Class, but it appears they have toilets.

Walk-through trains are an undoubted success, as any Overground or Underground passenger will confirm, after seeing the way other passengers move around the train to both get a seat and be able to make a convenient exit.

First Class causes problems, as it blocks off this passenger circulation, unless it as one end of the train. But this means that First Class passengers might have a long walk to their seat at the wrong end of the day.

I wonder if walk-through trains encourage passengers to not use First Class, as the freedom to circulate in Standard Class makes the travel experience better.

It will be interesting to see how posh commuters from Frinton take to Greater Anglia’s new Class 720 trains.

Another problem of First Class sitting at one end of the train, is that if toilet provision is made, there must be a toilet near to First Class.

So if you don’t have First Class in a train up to perhaps ten cars, you can get away with perhaps a universal access toilet and a standard one.

From comments I get, most people seem to like the Class 395 trains or Javelins, that work the Highspeed services to Kent. These trains are six-car, with no First Class and two toilets.

So are these trains setting the standard for the Greater Anglia’s Class 720 trains?

Toilets On Class 345 Trains

The initial layout of Crossrail with terminals at Abbey Wood, Heathrow, Reading and Shenfield, has a longest journey from Reading to Shenfield of 102 minutes according to the Crossrail web site. But there are toilet facilities at Reading and Shenfield.

However, there is the possibility, that Crossrail trains may serve other terminals like Gravesend, High Wycombe, Southend and Tring.

Tring to Southend would be a journey of two hours, so a toilet is probably a necessity.

The current Class 345 trains have been designed to be nine-car units, although at present they are running as seven cars because of platform length issues at Liverpool Street.

I’ve read somewhere that Crossrail has been designed so that the trains can be increased to ten cars, if there should be a need for more capacity.

  • Platforms have been lengthened to at least two hundred metres.
  • All stations seem to have been updated for a large number of passengers.
  • Lengthening from seven to nine cars is obviously a simple matter.
  • A similar lengthening of the Class 378 trains was not a major exercise.

So surely, it would be a simple matter to slot in a car with a toilet.

So perhaps we might see an extra tenth car added to Class 345 trains, that is tailored to the route, as this ability to add and remove cars, is a feature of all Aventras.

Hitachi’s Class 800 trains also have the capability, as I suspect every well-designed train has.

The Ultimate Airport Train

Imagine a tenth car on Heathrow services.

  • Disabled toilet.
  • Ticket machine.
  • Visitor information and shop.
  • Space for large luggage.

The mind boggles!

Conclusion

If an operator wanted Aventras with a disco car, I’m sure Bombardier would oblige! At a price!

 

August 20, 2017 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Community Toilets In The City Of London

I saw this sign on the door of a pub near Liverpool Street station in the City of London.

Community Toilets In The City Of London

Community Toilets In The City Of London

Read more about it on this page on the City of London web site.

If you look at the page, you’ll see something rare on a web site – The author of the page is credited.

Does your council have community toilets?

The web page does say, that there is a payment from the council for providing the service.

July 1, 2016 Posted by | World | , | 3 Comments