The Anonymous Widower

Northern Cities And COVID-19

If you look at the official Government statistics for the total number of cases of COVID-19, as of May 3rd, the number of cases in the two major cities in the North West as follows.

  • Leeds – 1463 out of a city population of 789,194 (0.18%) and a metro population of 2,638,127 (0.05%)
  • Liverpool – 1454 out of a city population of 494,814 (0.29%) and a metro population of 2,241,000 (0.06%)
  • Manchester – 1154 out of a city population of 547,627 (0.21%) and a metro population of 3,748,274 (0.03%)
  • Newcastle – 939 out of a city population of 300,196 (0.31%) and a metro population of 1,650,000 (0.06%)
  • Nottingham – 537 out of a city population of 321,500 (0.17%) and a metro population of 1,610,000 (0.03%)
  • Sheffield – 2191 out of a city population of 582,506 (0.38%) and a metro population of 1,569,000 (0.14%)


  1. All populations come from Wikipedia.
  2. Why is Liverpool 40% worse than Manchester?
  3. Why is Sheffield the worst?

I will add a few smaller towns andcities.

  • Blackpool – 465 out of an urban population of 139,720 (0.33%)
  • Caldervale – 252 out of an urban population of 200,100 (0.13%)
  • Hull – 469 out of a city population of 260,645 (0.18%)
  • Middlesbrough – 566 out of an urban population of 174,700 (0.32%)
  • Stoke-on-Trent – 509 out of a city population of 255,833 (0.20%)
  • York – 315 out of a city population of 209,893 (0.15%)

I’d like to see full statistics plotted on a map or a scatter diagram.

The latter is a very powerful way to plot data and often they highlight data points that lie outside the underlying pattern of the data.

May 4, 2020 Posted by | Health, World | , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

York-Beverley Line

Looking for possible privately-funded rail projects, I have come across the York-Beverley Line on Wikipedia.

This is an extract from the Wikipedia entry.

Following the Government’s plans to reinstate lines closed in the 1960s which was announced in November 2017, it has been proposed that the line could reopen as a result.

The line runs between Bootham Junction on the York-Scarborough Line and Beverley Junction on the Hull-Scarborough Line.

This diagram from Wikipedia shows the detailed route.

I only know the area as a visitor, but it would appear to be a valuable new connection.

March 26, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | Leave a comment

York Station

York station is a busy station as both the East Coast Main Line and Cross Country services pass through. It is also quite large with eleven platforms.

The pictures show how you can look out along the Scarborough Bridge and the bay platform 2, where trains from Scarborough can be turned back.

The last shot is the car park where the three mobile cranes were positioned to lift the bridge into place in Dancing With Cranes And A Bridge With Help From Lego.

It is worth taking a look at this Google Map of the station.

York Station

York Station

Note the island platform poking out from under the roof at the top, with Platform 4 on the left and Bay Platform 2 on the right.

There is another simple Bay Platform 1 at the southern end, which serves the line to Hull.

Both platforms 1 and 2 could be electrified, if it was decided to run IPEMU trains to Hull and Scarborough respectively. I think that East Yorkshire services could be electrified in this manner using the power at York, Doncaster and Leeds, with perhaps some form of top-up at Hull and Scarborough.


October 20, 2015 Posted by | Transport | , , | 1 Comment


I’d never been to Scarborough before so I took the opportunity to visit on my way from York to Hull.

Looking back from a few days away, I think that Scarborough, would be a better place to stay than Hull.

I came to Scarborough station on one a Class 185 train and left in a Class 158 train, so I didn’t have to experience a Pacer. According to Wikipedia the Hull to Scarborough Line is usually worked by the very acceptable Class 158 trains, sometimes coupled to something else for more capacity. This is said.

Services are usually worked by Class 158 DMUs. Summer weekends see services operated by a Class 158 coupled to a Class 153 or extra Class 158 providing a 3/4-car unit for additional capacity. Sundays also see a variety of traction traversing the line to retain crew knowledge; this can include Class 153, Class 150, Class 142 and Class 144.


You do wonder how much traffic this route could generate if it was electrified and run by a new four-car electric train.

It would be very expensive to electrify, as until Hull is electrified, it would be a stand-alone system for about forty miles, that was a long way from any other electrification.

But if some means were to be provided to charge the trains at Scarborough and Hull, I suspect that IPEMUs could provide services between Scarborough and Hull and Scarborough and York with ease, given the easy nature of the lines.

This would also allow the TransPennine services from Scarborough to Manchester and Liverpool to be run by high-speed IPEMUs, which could bridge the electrifdication gap between Leeds and Manchester.

In an ideal world, a service should be provided between Scarborough and Whitby, which if there was an improved service around Scarborough would probably be needed to serve the tourism industry.

That area of East Yorkshire needs to be developed with respect to the leisure and tourism opportunities it offers.


October 20, 2015 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | 2 Comments

Dancing With Cranes And A Bridge With Help From Lego

I just had to put a link to this article on Rail Engineer, which is entitled Scarborough Bridge – Monte Carlo Or Bust.

It describes how the bridge that takes the York Scarborough railway line over the River Ouse in the medieval heart of York, was replaced over the half-term weekend in February, at a cost of six million pounds. This Google Earth image shows the centre of York.



The bridge is the one at the left of the image, with the station below it.

It was choreographed to an amazing degree and used three enormous mobile cranes squeezed into the car park by the bridge on the north bank of the river. Luckily the wind and the weather were kind and the project was completed on time. Perhaps, the most strange aspect of the project is told in this paragraph.

And then we should take our hats off to team member Eamon McAuley who literally built the bridge single-handed…albeit in Lego. It was remarkably detailed – including the track layout and little orange men with chainsaws – and could be deconstructed and rebuilt to follow the lifting sequence. Sitting as a centrepiece in the conference room, it proved more useful than a PowerPoint when explaining the challenges to visitors and stakeholders.

Anybody who said engineering isn’t fun, should hang their head in shame.

March 31, 2015 Posted by | Transport | , , , | 3 Comments

Vive Le Tour!

That is the headline on the wrap around The Times today.

Vive Le Tour!

Vive Le Tour!

I do think that Yorkshire has shown how to do a Grand Depart. I suspect that Utrecht next year, will follow Yorkshire’s lead.

In some ways it’s all a bit sad, as there aren’t many events like the Tour de France, that can be used to build a great event around.

Yorkshire is apparently starting the Tour de Yorkshire, London has the Marathon, Liverpool the Grand National and Newcastle the Great North Run, so perhaps we ought to get our thinking caps on, to create some more iconic events.

July 7, 2014 Posted by | Sport | , , , , | 2 Comments

Grand Central Up And East Coast Down

I went up to York on Grand Central in First and came back down in Second on East Coast.

As you can see, both trains were forty-year-old InterCity 125s.

First Class on Grand Central might have been affordable at £49.50 and it was a convenient train in that it got there just before the museum opened, but it was a very poor offering. I got an uncomfortable seat with a narrow table in a group of four and the only refreshment I had was two cups of tea.

Coming back I’d booked an open Off Peak ticket at £32.00, so I could come back at a convenient time.

I managed to get a more comfortable window seat in a group of four, with a bigger table than I had on the way up. The train seemed to be fairly newly refurbished and was probably in better condition, than it had been in all of its long life. The trolley came through twice and I bought just a bottle of water.

Both trains were on time.

It is interesting to compare these two journeys with the Copenhagen to Hamburg trip I did recently in a diesel German ICE TD.

I was in First on the German train and the seat was marginally more comfortable, than that of the seat in Second on my journey home yesterday. I also had a bigger table. But the ride was no better on the newer German train, which incidentally tilts, and there was nothing to choose between the views through the wide windows on both trains.

But the real problem on the German train, was the total lack of a decent drinks service.  The trolley on East Coast was much better. But I have feeling that the layout of German ICE trains effectively rules out a trolley. food on all three journeys didn’t include anything that was gluten-free, but that is coming if my taste of Virgin is anything to go by.

I doubt I’ll be travelling on Grand Central again, and certainly never in First. Unless I have no choice!

July 12, 2013 Posted by | Food, Transport | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Going North And Going South

These two paintings were on display in the Nation Railway Museum at York.

The artist was George Earl and the paintings are mentioned in his Wikipedia entry.

I found the paintings notable, as there were certainly Red Irish, English and Gordon Setters in the paintings.  There could also have been Red and White Irish Setters too!

July 11, 2013 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | 1 Comment

There Were Crowds At York

To say the crowds at York were big would be an understatement,as you can see from the previous post.

These pictures were taken outside. Bear in mind that I timed my trip to get there as the museum opened.

But at least my only cost was getting to York, as the entry to the National Railway Museum was free.

July 11, 2013 Posted by | Transport, World | , , , | Leave a comment

Engineering Pornography At York

I went to the National Railway Museum today to see the Mallard 75 event or the Great Gathering as it is named by some.

Here are some pictures.

Sadly only three of the six  iconic A4 Pacifics designed by Sir Nigel Gresley are still capable of steaming.

July 11, 2013 Posted by | Transport, World | , , , , | 2 Comments