The Anonymous Widower

West Ealing Station – 12th October 2020

These pictures show the current state of West Ealing station.

A few of my thoughts.

The Size Of The Station

It is not small!

Will The Current Entrance Be Retained?

From the outside the original entrance looks to be in good condition.

Will it be retained?

I think it won’t be as the stairs are a bit of an accident waiting to happen.

Electrification Of The Greenford Branch

If the Greenford Branch is going to be electrified, the last picture shows that gantries and headspan wires are in place over the Western end of Platform 5.

The electrification could be fixed to the new station building, if it were to be electrified.

Power would not be a problem, as a main sub-station for Crossrail and the Great Western Main Line is nearby.

In Could Class 165 HyDrive Trains Be The Solution To The Greenford Branch?, I showed that a train with better acceleration could provide four trains per hour (tph) on the Greenford Branch.

I feel that a pair of powerful two-car battery electric trains could  provide four tph on the branch.

  • They would charge using a short length of 25 KVAC overhead electrification in Platform 5 at West Ealing station.
  • The route is only 2.5 miles.
  • Recharging time wouldn’t be very long, as the battery wouldn’t be enormous.

In Special Train Offers A Strong Case For Reopening Fawley Line, the Managing Director of South Western Railway; Mark Hopwood is quoted as saying, that their Class 456 trains could be converted to two-car battery trains. Converting Class 456 Trains Into Two-Car Battery Electric Trains discusses this conversion in detail.

A two-car Class 456 train equipped with batteries and the ability to use 25 KVAC overhead electrification, would be ideal for the branch and could probably provide four tph.

Conclusion

This station is starting to look like a quality station for Crossrail.

October 12, 2020 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , | 6 Comments

West Ealing Station – 12th June 2020

I took these pictures from a passing train of West Ealing station.

It looks like it will be a lot of steel and glass.

Nothing seems to have been said about improving the trains on the Greenford Branch.

June 13, 2020 Posted by | Transport | , | Leave a comment

An Interloper At West Ealing Station

These pictures show a Chiltern Railway‘s Class 165 train in West Ealing station.

Has the train just been borrowed by Great Western Railway or is there another reason?

It looks like as I passed, that I saw a Parliamentary Train, which uses the Greenford Branch to travel to High Wycombe

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

West Ealing Station – 2nd September 2019

These pictures show West Ealing station.

Some observations.

The Big Hole

A big hole is being dug on the North side of the station.

  • This is the side where the entrance will be giving access from the road at the side of the station.
  • There are no stairs or lift tower on this side.
  • There looks to be foundations in the hole!

Could these support the stairs and lift and the entrance on this side of the station? I suspect the answer is an affirmative!

Bay Platform 5 Electrification

Platform 5 is not electrified, but two gantries are at the Western end of the platform and these could easily be fitted with wires.

Perhaps at the Eastern end, the wires will be fixed to the station building, as they have been at Abbey Wood station.

An electrified bay platform would be ideal for charging a battery-electric train, that was working the Greenford Branch.

  • In How Much Power Is Needed To Run A Train At 125 mph?, I calculated that to overcome air resistance and keep a high speed train at 125 mph needs around three k|Wh per vehicle mile.
  • I know that, trains on the Greenford Branch will be going a lot slower than 125 mph, so I will treat the three kWh figure as a maximum value.
  • The maximum size of train will be two cars.
  • The Greenford Branch is two-and-a-half miles long, so a round trip is five miles.

\Multiplying all the numbers together gives a maximum energy requirement for the cruise of thirty kWh.

I think that it should be possible to design a two-car battery-electric train with sufficient range to handle the Greenford Branch.

In Will The Class 230 Trains Be Coming Home?, I speculated that the Greenford Branch could be run by a small fleet of Class 230 trains.

Could this be right? Probably not!

But!

  • The diesel version is already in service at Bedford.
  • They are the right loading gauge and weight.
  • Two cars would be an ideal length.
  • They could have upwards of two hundred kWh of energy storage.
  • They can be fitted with a pantograph for charging or a Vivarail fast charger could be used.in one or both stations.

If the battery version were to be thought too risky, the diesel version, as at Bedford could be used.

Judging by their performance at Bedford, they would probably do a quality job.

 

September 2, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

Network Rail Awards Final West London Station Upgrade Contracts For Crossrail Project

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

The stations are Acton Main Line, Ealing Broadway, West Ealing, Southall, Hayes & Harlington and West Drayton.

New buildings and step-free access is planned to be completed by December 2020.

Conclusion

About time!

May 9, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

West Ealing Station – 16th April 2019

These pictures were taken at West Ealing station.

At last there appears to be some progress, with the footbridge now under construction.

The station certainly looks to be advanced enough, to fit in  with Crossrail opening within a year, as I wrote about in Crossrail Service To Reading On Track For December Opening.

According to the Wikipedia entry for Crossrail, West EWaling station will have the following trains, when Crossrail opens.

  • Two trains per hour (tph) between Reading and Abbey Wood
  • Two tph between Maidenhead and Abbey Wood
  • Four tph between Heathrow Terminal 4 and Abbey Wood.
  • Two tph between Heathrow Terminal 5 and Abbey Wood.

What if you want to go to Shenfield?

If the Western section of Crossrail opens in December, would West Ealing station get the following service?

  • Two tph between Reading and Paddington
  • Two tph between Maidenhead and Paddington
  • Four tph between Heathrow Terminal 4 and Paddington
  • Two tph between Heathrow Terminal 5 and Paddington

That would surely be an excellent service!

If the frequency on the Greenford Branch could be doubled to four tph, there would also be an excellent interchange to the branch line.

Crossrail To Reading In December 2019

As current rumours are that Crossrail will open in December to Reading, it looks like the station will be usable.

It is planned that West Ealing station will have a Crossrail train every six minutes.

 

April 16, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , | 4 Comments

An Automated Shuttle Train On The Greenford Branch Line

The Greenford Branch Line has the following features.

  • It is 2.5 miles long.
  • It is double-track.
  • It is not electrified.
  • There is a single platform station at both ends with three intermediate stations.
  • The service frequency is two tph.
  • Trains take 11-12 minutes to go between the two terminals.
  • Freight trains also use the line.

To run the ideal four tph, trains would need to do a round trip between West Ealing and Greenford in fifteen minutes.

If we assume that the two end stops take two minutes and the six intermediate ones take thirty seconds, then that leaves just eight minutes to cover the five miles of the round trip.

This is an average speed of 37.5 mph.

I don’t have the calculation experience or knowledge of train performance to prove it, but I think that an appropriate train would  be able to run an automated shuttle, with a frequency of four tph.

The train (or tram-train) would have the following features.

  • It would be battery-powered.
  • It would be highly automated.
  • It would have an operating speed of perhaps sixty mph.
  • It would have fast acceleration and deceleration.

The following infrastructure works would also be needed.

  • The track would be improved to allow higher speeds.
  • The points would be automated.
  • Level access between platform and train would be provided.
  • A fast charging system would be added to the bay platforms at Greenford and West Ealing stations.

If four tph could be achieved on the Greenford Branch with just one automated shuttle and no electrification, this would be exactly what the operator, the passengers and the Government ordered.

February 19, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , | 1 Comment

What Is Happening (Or Not!) At West Ealing Station?

I took these pictures at West Ealing station a few days ago.

There appears to be no work going on to finish the station for Crossrail.

There has also been no announcement about what is happening to the Greenford Branch.

Surely, if the bay platform were to be electrified, it would be the ideal place to charge a battery shuttle train to Greenford station.

September 19, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , | Leave a comment

West Ealing Station – 21st June 2018

The progress to create new station buildings at West Ealing station seems to be painfully slow, as these pictures show.

It looks like there are now no platforms on the fast lines and the actual platforms for Crossrail and the Greenford Branch Line appear to be complete except for finishing off.

There appeared to be no if any work going on to built the new station building and the fully-accessible bridge.

But there did appear to be some electrification gantries and wires over the Western end of the bay platform.

Were Network Rail making sure that if it were decided to electrify the Greenford Branch Line, it would not be a difficult job?

If on the other hand, it was decided to use battery trains on the Greenford Branch, I suspect that sufficient electrification could be installed to charge the batteries.

 

June 21, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

Could Three-Car Aventras Run Services On The Greenford Branch?

Services on the Greenford Branch Line between West Ealing and Greenford stations, are currently provided by a two-car Class 165 train.

Consider.

  • There are no plans to electrify the line.
  • West Ealing station has a recently-constructed bay platform to serve the branch.
  • The branch line is a 2.7 mile double-track line with three stations.
  • The intermediate stations at Drayton GreenCastle Bar Park and South Greenford have short platforms, that can only accept two-car trains.
  • The service frequency is two trains per hour (tph).
  • Each trip takes eleven minutes.

In an ideal world, the service would be electric and four tph.

Proposals For New Trains

Most proposals seem to suggest moving the branch line to the London Overground and using one of their Class 172 trains. But these trains are now being moved to West Midlands Trains, so that proposal would seem to be a non-starter.

Three-Car Aventras

Could three-car Aventras run services on the line using battery power?

I discussed such a train in A Detailed Look At A Three-Car Aventra, after West Midlands Trains ordered thirty-six of the trains.

These are my thoughts.

Capacity Increase

A three-car train would give a fifty percent increase in capacity on the line.

Is this capacity increase needed?

The Link With Crossrail

Under Services in the Wikipedia entry for Crossrail, it is indicated that twelve tph will pass through West Ealing station, although it is not yet known how many will stop.

Surely, when Crossrail opens fully, an integrated service with good connections will be created at West Ealing.

I believe Crossrail will work in one of two ways at West Ealing.

  1. In a London Underground-like manner, all trains will stop.
  2. Perhaps four or six tph will stop.

I suspect that Londoners won’t accept the second pattern, as they are used to the Underground and the Overground, where there are not many limited-stop services and a train comes along every few minutes.

So this would mean that there will be trains every five minutes in both directions at West Ealing station, creating a steady stream of passengers for the Greenford Branch Line.

Passengers will get fed up waiting thirty minutes for the branch line train.

As West Ealing will be a well-equipped station, waiting fifteen minutes for a train will probably be acceptable to passengers.

Anything less and there will be masses of complaints.

The Link With The Central Line

What applies at West Ealing with Crossrail, surely applies at Greenford with the Central Line.

Short Platforms

I feel that selective door opening on the Aventra could handle the short platforms on the branch.

Four Trains Per Hour

I think it be possible to work a four tph West Ealing to Greenford shuttle, as the branch line is double-track.

But it may need another cross-over to be installed.

Four tph would need two operational trains.

Charging The Trains

The trains could be charged at either end of the branch line, although for practical reasons, charging might use 25 KVAC overhead at West Ealing and 750 VDC at Greenford, as these are used on other tracks in the respective stations.

But as Aventras can be dual voltage, this could be handled by the trains.

As the line is only 2.7 miles long, charging could probably be done at one end only.

Other Alternatives

It would not be balanced to ignore other possibilities.

Refurbished Two-Car Diesel Trains

Two refurbished two-car diesel trains, like say Class 150 trains could also work four tph. on the branch.

But these would probably present services and refuelling problems.

Class 230 Trains

Two Class 230 trains could also work four tph. on the branch.

Consider.

  • They could work the branch on diesel or battery, or a combination of both.
  • Trains would be refurbished to a modern standard, with wi-fi and power sockets.
  • Two-car trains would fit the stations on the branch.
  • They are designed for remote servicing.

I think that a dedicated fleet of three two-car Class 230 trains would be a viable alternative.

Conclusion

Three-car Aventras could provide a good service on the Greenford Branch Line, but there are issues and it may be more complicated than anyone thinks to run a service, that is acceptable to passengers.

But three two-car Class 230 trains would be a viable alternative.

October 19, 2017 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , | 4 Comments