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.
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!
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.
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.
This is not the best of pictures.
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.
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.
I was walking through Paddington station to the Hammersmith and City line, when I noticed that the High Speed Diesel Train named after Brunel was stationed under the newly-restored roof.
I wonder what he would have thought of his restored London terminus.
He might have found the pink interior to the carriage doors a bit much, especially as the Great Western used chocolate and cream.
First Great Western have been one of the better train companies on this journey. On my way to Hereford yesterday, I was accosted by, Anastasia, one of their Customer Ambassadors at Paddington, whilst waiting for the train.
I said how pleased I was with the company, adding that I hope it wouldn’t upset the journey I was about to do. It didn’t! We then got talking about Inter City 125′s and how she and the customers preferred them. She also said, that quite a few people booked so they travelled in one.
All those proponents of the IEP would not have warmed to the conversations.
THe Inter City 125s will be replaced on the main line, but they’ll outlive most of us!
This is not what you think it is on the platforms at London Paddington!
You may think it is to stop the pigeons sitting on the video cameras, but it is a fiendish device to kill them, by giving them a large electric shock. Note how one camera is angled so it can see the pigeons on the spikes. This allowed the charge to be accurately timed. The pigeons are then recycled in the meat pies on the trains from London.