The Anonymous Widower

The Bridge Over Crossrail

I’ve seen this footbridge that might give a view into the Crossrail site at Royal Oak station before.

The Bridge Over Crossrail

The Bridge Over Crossrail

I wonder if it still accessible. I’ve just looked on Google Maps and obtained this picture of the \area.

The Footbridge Over Crossrail

The Footbridge Over Crossrail


I think the bridge is clearly shown in this picture stretching across the tracks, starting from the s in Westbourne. Note too, the signal gantry, just to the right.

So it seems, if I was to go to Royal Oak station and walk along Westbourne Park Villas, I might get access to the bridge.

October 15, 2014 Posted by | Travel | | 1 Comment

Would This Help People Stop Smoking?

On my bus this morning a young lady was reading a book called How To Stop Smoking.

As I got out I wished her the best of luck. She smiled back and said it was difficult.

So did my encouragement help?

I don’t and never will know! But just as women, who are pregnant often wear a badge saying Baby On Board, would it help to give up smoking, if you wore a badge saying I’m Trying To Give Up.

Perhaps others would offer words of encouragement that helped.

October 15, 2014 Posted by | Health, World | | 4 Comments

Before Crossrail – The Proposed Schedule

Wikipedia has a schedule of proposed services. I have broken this down to get the figures for my catalogue of stations. Starting in the East, they can be summarised as follows.

Shenfield Branch

This will have 12 tph (trains per hour) in the peak and 6 tph in the off-peak, calling at all stations and going through the central tunnel to the West.

In addition, there will be other services going into Liverpool Street. Wikipedia is saying 10 tph in the peak and 5 tph in the off-peak. Some will be limited stop, but it does look like that all stations will get at least 6 tph in the off-peak and some will get around ten.

As this is a substantially better service than exists today, you must be extremely pleased if you own or have just bought a house along the branch.

Abbey Wood Branch

Like the Shenfield branch, this branch is scheduled to get 12 tph in the peak, but the off-peak level is not stated.

If the off-peak is the same as the Shenfield branch, then that figure must probably be added to the 10 tph services Abbey Wood enjoys at the moment into other London termini.

Central Section

24 tph in the peak will pass through the central tunnels, with plans for 14 tph to turn-back at Paddington.

The off-peak is not stated, but if the Shenfield branch figures are correct, then it could be something like 12 tph, with perhaps 7 tph to Paddington only.

As the Class 345 trains will be so much larger than the typical Underground train, this will be a tremendous increase in capacity across Central London.

Western Branch – Paddington to West Drayton

As West Drayton will be served by trains to all the Western termini and will also turnback a couple of trains per hour, it should get 10 tph in the peak going through the central tunnels. Wikipedia says it will get ten in the off-peak as well, so that probably means my figure of seven off-peak trains turning at Paddington is wrong.

There will also be other trains going direct to Paddington. 4 tph are currently proposed to be the Heathrow Express. I can’t see this high-priced service surviving long past Crossrail’s opening in its present form.

Heathrow Branch

Wikipedia says that 4 tph will go to Heathrow all day and hopefully all night, running all the way to Shenfield and Abbey Wood. But these services will not go to Terminal 5 and the expensive Heathrow Express will still be running.

I think that there’ll be some replanning here. I know this is old an article in the Daily Mail from 2012, but it shows that Boris Johnson and others, think that Crossrail should go to Terminal 5.

As Terminal 5 could be joined to Reading, it might be that some Crossrail services from Reading go via Heathrow.

Western Branch – Beyond West Drayton

It looks like 2 tph will go to each of Maidenhead and Reading, with an additional 2 tph going limited-stop from Reading to Paddington.



October 15, 2014 Posted by | Travel | , , , | Leave a comment

Before Crossrail – Acton Main Line

A Very Draughty Station – Rating 4/10

Acton Main Line station is not an attractive one and I certainly found it very draughty today.


It is a station that will be rebuilt for Crossrail and their plans are comprehensive.  They say this.

Crossrail is building a new Acton Main Line station just to the south of the existing building on the junction of Horn Lane and Friary Road with a location and orientation that creates a new station forecourt east of the station and a new space to the rear.

With four trains an hour under Crossrail, you won’t have to do what I did today and catch a bus to get away from the area.

I think Acton Main Line shows how areas around Crossrail stations will benefit.

October 14, 2014 Posted by | Travel | , , | Leave a comment

Before Crossrail – Ealing Broadway

More Romford Than Stratford – Rating 5/10

Ealing Broadway station will be one of the more important stations on Crossrail, ranking with Stratford. Just as Stratford will be a major interchange with suburban rail, the Overground, the Underground, the DLR and buses in the East, Ealing Broadway will in a slightly lesser fashion perform a similar role in the West.

At the moment, the station is rather a jumble of connections, with none of the elegance of Stratford or Reading. It’s got a lot of the run-down feel of Romford or Ilford.

Ealing deserves better and this station has been through a major rethink in recent months. But will there be the right connectivity between Crossrail and the Underground.

Suppose you want to get between Wimbledon or Richmond and Heathrow. Transport for London, recommend getting a bus for the first and going to Paddington for the second.

So London gets a new fifteen billion pound railway and it doesn’t easily connect to where it is needed.

I would assume that if Ealing gets full step-free interchanging between all lines, some of this will be easier, but connecting to Richmond probably needs a new Crossrail station at Old Oak Common connecting to the North London Line. Wimbledon would hopefully be a change at Farringdon onto Thameslink.

October 14, 2014 Posted by | Travel | , , | Leave a comment

Before Crossrail – West Ealing

An Untidy Smaller Station – Rating 3/10

West Ealing station is due a major refurbishment for Crossrail, with the details given here.

Crossrail also have their usual ambitious plans for outside the station. They say this.

Crossrail will relocate the station from its existing position on Drayton Green Road, which carries significant through-traffic, to Manor Road – a quieter side street.

This would seem sensible, as this would make trhe station entrance nearer to the shopping street.


October 14, 2014 Posted by | Travel | , | Leave a comment

Before Crossrail – Hanwell

A Relic From The Past – Rating 3/10

Hanwell station is very much a relic of a time long passed. With a sympathetic refurbishment, it would have a style not unlike that of Birmingham Moor Street.

The station like Slough is a Grade 2 Listed building, but as the pictures show, except for the flowers, very little is what passengers expect these days.

It must have the worst staircases on any station in the UK.

On the other hand a fellow passenger, who was speaking what sounded like an East European language into his phone and to his child, thought it was rather a nice station with lots of heritage.

Finding the station was also difficult and on their web site Crossrail feels Hanwell is very much a station, where a good job can be done. They say this.

Hanwell station is a smaller and comparatively lightly-used station located in a predominantly residential area on a quiet street some distance away from the nearest major road. Despite the attractiveness of the Grade II listed station and the nearby houses, the streetscape generally suffers from inconsistent paving quality and a lack of step-free pedestrian crossings.

It will be a challenge to get this station fit for the twenty-first century.

Ealing Borough Council are also pushing to open up the station on the other side of the tracks. It would certainly make it easier to find the station.

October 14, 2014 Posted by | Travel | , , | 1 Comment

A Cure For Obesity

There was a discussion on BBC Radio 5 yesterday about the link between obesity and lack of exercise. So I texted in my four pennyworth.

I’m going away for a few days, so I cleared up the junk mail in my hall. There was enough from fast food restaurants to heat my house for a couple of days. Perhaps if you’re obese you could be sentenced to delivering these leaflets, as the exercise might help.

The program liked it and read it out.

But on a serious note, should it be made illegal for fast food companies to distribute leaflets through peoples doors without a paid-off licence.

Perhaps someone should be paid to distribute simple recipes through the doors.

How many people receiving a very tasty and healthy recipe from say Sainsburys, would actually buy the food and cook it?

I’ve lived with only two women for most of my life; my mother and my wife. Neither were innovative cooks and often we ate the same food in rotation. As an example, I can’t remember either finding a recipe in the paper or seeing it on the television and then cooking it.

I may lack cooking skills, but I am not unadventurous, so if I see a simple recipe, I’ll often buy the ingredients and cook it.

Perhaps to improve the food in this country, we all need to be less afraid of experimenting.

Last night I cooked this simple fish recipe from Mary Berry. Tonight, I’ll cook a sausage and bean casserole from Lyndsey Bareham in The Times. This gives me two portions, one for tonight and one for the fridge. As I’m going away tomorrow until Friday, the second portion will be there ready when I return late on Friday, if I need it.


October 14, 2014 Posted by | Food, Health | | Leave a comment

Before Crossrail – East Is East And West Is West

I have now seen a good proportion of the Crossrail stations and they range from the spectacular new stations like Reading and Stratford to some much simpler ones like Taplow and Goodmayes.

But there is an East-West divide with the former Great Western stations being generally better designed and in a superior state of repair to those that were built by the Great Eastern.

Crossrail has a section on its web site called Urban Realm, which details their plans for all the stations.

Some of the more ambitious schemes involve virtually new stations like Hayes and Harlington and Southall, but they tend to be in the west.

So are we seeing another manifestation of the policy of not giving rail lines to the east, the investment they deserve?

Surely, if Southall needs a new station, then so does Manor Park?

Manor Park may well get a substantially rebuilt station, as the future development of the station is described like this in Wikipedia.

Manor Park station will be served by Crossrail from 2018. The platforms will not be lengthened so selective door operation will be used instead, allowing the freight loop to remain in use. Due to the narrow platforms, and the layout of the station, fitting lifts for disabled access would be difficult and expensive, requiring the walkways to be rebuilt and closing the station for several months. Like all the other Crossrail stations, this station will be made accessible.

As full step-free access has been promised, we may see more development at Manor Park.

October 13, 2014 Posted by | Travel | , , | Leave a comment

Before Crossrail – Southall

The Manor Park Of The West – Rating 2/10

Southall is not quite as much of a ruin as Manor Park, but it has a great air of demolition about it.

A lot of these pictures are irrelevant as Southall will be replaced completely according to Crossrail. They say this.

A new Crossrail station will be built just to the north of the existing building on the South Road railway bridge. The wider Southall area is likely to change substantially in future years due to large scale redevelopment sites such as the Southall Gas Works site which has permission for 3,750 homes. There is enormous potential for improvement in the area around Southall station.

The plans look a darn sight better, than what is there today.

October 13, 2014 Posted by | Travel | , , | 1 Comment


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