As the train went over the Digswell Viaduct just north of Welwyn Garden City, I took a couple of pictures of the view. I usually do.
But none in my opinion, are anywhere near as good, as this one, with the shadow of the viaduct on the valley floor below.
I would love to claim, I planned it all and actually booked a train north on a fine day, at the right time to get the shadow.
But it was all of course, down to luck.
It may seem strange, but yesterday was the first time, I took a train out of Charing Cross station. Here are a few pictures, as the train travelled to London Bridge.
The Millennium Bridge was not without controversy and many still call it the wobbly bridge.
But my walk shows how good the concept is and it was right to build a bridge there in the first place.
If you’re going to the Tate Modern, then in my view, it should be approached over the bridge.
It might be sensible too, to go back across using the new Blackfriars station, which is a bridge as well.
Or you could do as I did later and take the RV1 hydrogen-powered bus route to Covent Garden.
I’d actually never been in the gardens of the cathedral before, which connect the two sides of the building. As it was fairly early, it would have been a pleasant place to sit around for thirty minutes or so.
There’s more on the blue trees here.
I left Stockholm for Copenhagen late in the morning.
The journey should have taken just over five hours but the train was half-an-hour late into the Danish capital. A hotel manager I spoke to, said that the trains are always late. But I couldn’t find any published statistics, like you see on British stations.
The Stockholm to Copenhagen line is not very spectacular, except for the amazing crossing between Malmo and Copenhagen on the double-deck Øresund Bridge.
The Øresund Line, which is the high-speed rail line between Malmo and Copenhagen, illustrates some of the problems of running trains between different countries. This section called Border Technicalities in the Wikipedia article on the line, illustrates the problem. The electrification, signalling and train running systems are all different.
At least England and Scotland have the same systems and we’re vaguely the same as the French, Belgians and Germans, with respect to high-speed rail.
But then Ireland, including the North, use a different gauge.
The Swedish high speed train, called the SJ 2000, that I used on the journey has the luxury of running on 19th Century lines between Stockholm and Malmo, that were built relatively straight. But it is not particularly fast, going at speeds comparable with our Inter City 125s from London to the West Country. Our trains are thirty years older and diesel powered, but comparisons like this illustrate how good was the design of the Inter City 125s.
There have been plans released today about building another crossing of the Thames close to or downstream of the current Dartford Crossing. It’s all here on the BBC.
It will be of no use to me, as I think, I’ve only been over the current crossing, once since I moved here and that was because I was getting a lift home from Ipswich by a friend who lives in Kent.
Even my friend going home to the Netherlands on Friday, crossed under the Thames in the Blackwall Tunnel.
It could be one of those questions, where now, we might actually need the new crossing, but in say a couple of years, we might not.
London Gateway will be operational by then and will this cut down the number of truck movements around the M25?
Hopefully, there will be more trains from St. Pancras into Europe to new destinations like Amsterdam, Cologne and Geneva.
Will too, passengers for Gatwick be less likely to use a car to get there, when Thameslink is fully operational?
And who’s going to predict the effect of Crossrail?
It is a very complex problem and perhaps spending £5billion on a new bridge, might have better effect, if it was spent elsewhere?
Going south from Clapham Junction station today to Redhill, staff at Clapham said it would be quicker to go via East Croydon station.
It would appear that Network Rail is creating another of their excellent pedestrian overbridges.
I should hope they’re working on a standard system, that can be used on the many stations, that need better access.
Surprisingly, I’d never seen the opening and closing of Tower Bridge from up close. But as today, I hadn’t anything planned and the BBC London News said it would open twice at 10:30 and 17:00, I decided to go and look.
The boat that requested these openings was the SB Kitty.
I then walked on to Tower Bridge.
I timed my arrival for just before 10:30, as the BBC had announced the bridge would be opening at that time. There is a list of opening times here.
I left Bratislava on Wednesday morning. Not by train, but by taking a fast boat on the Danube.
The fare was just twenty euros and it was a very pleasant trip, that took you from one city centre to the other in about seventy-five minutes. As there are three ropund trips a day, you could easily stay in one city and visit the other.
I was particularly fascinated by the fishermen’s cottages along the banks, where they use nets to get the fish.
I have tried to nake all of the bridges, but information on the web is a bit lacking.