The Anonymous Widower

Roll On Crossrail

Yesterday was a day, when Crossrail would have been more than handy.

I went to Exeter to see an old friend and his wife and had booked myself out of Paddington on the 09:07 train.

From Hackney, getting to Paddington is not easy and I usually take the Metropolitan line to the western end of the station and walk in to the trains from the bridge. Since the new Underground station has been built, this is the easiest way to get a train for Wales and West.

Paddington station for me also presents a gluten-free breakfast problem, in that there is nowhere I would trust in the station. So I took a bus to Kings Cross station, where there is both Leon and Carluccio’s, who both do excellent gluten-free breakfasts. Yesterday, it was Leon’s turn and I left myself thirty seven minutes to get to Paddington, after finishing my egg, chorizo and beans.

But that was my downfall, as there was signalling problems on the Metropolitan line and the trains were very infrequent and crammed solid.

So I tried a taxi and the queue was hundreds long and there wasn’t a taxi in sight.

In the end I found a bus to take me up to Euston Square station, where after a wait, I got on a train to Paddington.

But I missed the train by about five minutes.

Normally, the journey takes ten minutes from Kings Cross to Paddington, but it had taken me forty-five. The Metropolitan line, which is normally one of the most reliable had let me down.

It’s on journeys like this, that Crossrail will really benefit people like me, who live in the eastern part of the capital.

I should have a choice of buses to various Crossrail stations, or I could even take the Overground to Whitechapel from Dalston Junction station, just up the road from my house.

Crossrail is going to change the east of London dramatically and not just the places, which have a station on the line.

 

 

 

November 28, 2013 Posted by | Travel | , , , , | 1 Comment

Canal Moorings With Their Own Station

When I came back from Reading into Paddington station yesterday, I walked to the back of the Inter City 125 train and took the bridge to the Metropolitan line station. Before catching my train to get home, I ventured outside to look at the new entrance, which has just opened.

As you can see the entrance is by the canal and the Paddington Basin. It’s obviously not finished yet and won’t be until Crossrail opens in a few years.

It is an area, that is crying out for a decent cafe, restaurant or bar.

August 4, 2013 Posted by | Travel | , , , | Leave a comment

Crazy Practical Plumbing

I took this picture on the pedestrian bridge over Paddington station.

Crazy Practical Plumbing

Crazy Practical Plumbing

It’s amazing what you can do with flexible rubber hose and a couple of jubilee clips! But then you’ve got to make sure the rain from the roof, goes down the drain and not where people walk.

This is an example of the sort of design I like! It’s clever, stylish, practical and above all affordable!

July 27, 2013 Posted by | Travel, World | , , , | Leave a comment

The Rebuilt Metropolitan Station At Paddington

The Metropolitan station at Paddington is emerging from the extensive building works at Paddington station.

Note that there is still quite a lot to do, like installing the lifts.

February 4, 2013 Posted by | Travel | , , | Leave a comment

The New Taxi Rank At Paddington Station

Paddington station now has a new taxi rank.

It must be one of the best ones in the UK.

It certainly means that if you’re coming into Central London from the west and need a taxi, it’s a good station to pick one up.

Note how the taxi rank is properly numbered, so you can arrange to meet on a particular number!

February 4, 2013 Posted by | Travel | , , | Leave a comment

The M4 Is Open Again

So what?

After all this is supposed to be a Green Games, so shouldn’t athletes and official be using trains to get to Stratford.  The original plans for the Heathrow Express called for the trains to go to St. Pancras as well as Paddington. So what happened to that? Here‘s a press release from Railtrack.

If the Heathrow Express to St. Pancras, had connected to ThamesLink, in say a simple cross platform interchange, that would have been the quick way to get between London’s two biggest airports.

July 13, 2012 Posted by | Travel | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What Do You Think Of It Boys?

The picture shows three High Speed Diesel Trains this morning in platforms seven, six and five at Kings Cross station this morning. Note that platform seven is to left.

Three High Speed Diesel Trains at Kings Cross

For those of you, who know Kings Cross station, they started running to the station at the end of the 1970s, which is just about the time, that the disgusting dark green extension was erected.

The irony is that they’ll  actually outlive the extension, by several years.

So good old British Rail did get some things right.  But not stations!  Where should Network Rail’s refurbishment experts strike next in London? After all, they’ve now done or have nearly finished St. Pancras, Stratford, Clapham Junction, Blackfriars, Kings Cross and Paddington. I think London Bridge and Waterloo  are being planned. But what about the others!

Vote now and vote often.

March 19, 2012 Posted by | Travel | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

High Speed Diesel Trains to the Rescue

The trains out of Paddington are some of the most overcrowded in the UK. So First Great Western are doing the sensible thing and adding an extra coach to their High Speed Diesel Trains. Currently, their trains have a two power car plus eight coach formation, whereas those on the East Coast are two plus nine.

So they have found a source of redundant buffet cars and these are being re-manufactured and fitted with seats, as reported here on the BBC.

Some reports are a bit sniffy about this approach and have called it rather stopgap.

But I would say it is a tribute to the design of the High Speed Diesel Train, that has always been capable of sandwiching any number of coaches up to nine between the two diesel power cars.

What puzzles me, is why wasn’t this simple idea, carried out sooner. But then those in the Department for Transport didn’t want anything to get in their way of their trips to Japan to clear the way for Hitachi.

Long after those civil servants have retired, High Speed Diesel Trains and their Mk III coaches will still be running.

March 10, 2012 Posted by | Travel | , , , | Leave a comment

The TBMs Arrive At Westbourne Park

This is not the best of pictures.

TBMs at Westbourne Park

But it does just show the two tunnel boring machines or TBMs for CrossRail at Westbourne Park before they move forward to start their journey to Farringdon.

I think a better picture could be taken from a main line train out of Paddington.

March 4, 2012 Posted by | Travel | , , | 1 Comment

The Paddington Basin

I ended up at Paddington station and went to have a look at the Paddington Basin on the Regent’s Canal behind.

I was told that when the basin was drained to create the new developments, the police had a sweepstake on how many bodies, shopping trolleys etc. they would find. I was told they were rather surprised, but obviously pleased that none of the former were found.

December 29, 2011 Posted by | Travel | , , | 1 Comment

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