The Anonymous Widower

Some Transport Related April Fools

This year was particularly good for April Fools in the papers and around the Internet.  The Times today even has a discussion on the Letters Page today, about which of their stories yesterday were real.

There were three transport-related stories, that I found.

1. Wombles fan plays April Fool’s Day joke in Kensal Green

2. Councils at loggerheads over Croxley Rail Link viaduct colour scheme

3. Like A Bat Out Of Crossrail

It is good to see that gentle humour isn’t dead yet!

April 2, 2014 Posted by | Travel | , , , , | Leave a comment

Crossrail Gets More Good Publicity

The third most visited story on the BBC’s web site today, is this story about Crossrail. Here’s the first paragraph.

Skeletons unearthed in London Crossrail excavations are Black Death victims from the great pandemic of the 14th Century, forensic tests indicate.

The story is even the subject of a Channel 4 program on April 6th.

Crossrail is certainly showing how to use archaeology as a publicity tool.

March 30, 2014 Posted by | World | , , | Leave a comment

Crossrail Goes To Reading

I talked about this happening in this post nearly a year ago.

Now according to various reports like this one in Modern Railways, it’s going to happen.

I do think sometimes that the planning of Crossrail wasn’t done by those possessed of great imagination, unlike some of those involved in the actual building of the railway.

Extending to Reading would appear to be an improvement that doesn’t need much new infrastructure or trains.

If you look at extending the Shenfield branch of Crossrail, there is no suitable station, as the only large conurbation; Chelmsford has a very cramped station.

March 27, 2014 Posted by | Travel | , , | Leave a comment

The Station Is Rising At Custom House Station

Some of the supports for the Crossrail station at Custom House have now been erected.

I met two Laing O’Rourke engineers, who were working on the project on the bridge and they said that in three months, a lot of the station will have been assembled.

They also said that the finish of the concrete was much better having been built in a factory than if it had been made on site.

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

It Just Had To Happen!

The Londonist is organising a pub crawl based on Crossrail stations.

March 2, 2014 Posted by | Travel | , , | Leave a comment

A Walk Along Oxford Street

From Portals To The Past, I decided to walk along Oxford Street to Marks and Spencer, to see if they had any short-sleeved shirts.

It is not the easiest of walks and after the exhibition, I wondered what effect Crossrail will have on this walk.

One of the guides at the exhibition had told me, she’d walked one of the new stations a few days ago and because of the 200m length of the Class 345 trains for Crossrail, the stations have very long platforms. So one problem, Crossrail will get when it opens, is that passengers will complain about the endless walks. But as you can walk inside the trains, as they are effectively one coach with lots of segments, you will align yourself with your exit, when you do a regular journey. I do this walking along the train regularly on the Overground, as I’d rather walk in a warm train, than a cold platform.

I do wonder that as Crossrail gets used more and passengers learn how to use it, they will find there best and quickest routes and especially in bad weather will walk underground, thus taking a percentage of walkers away from Oxford Street.

The double-ended stations may also end up as rat-runs for those, who know their London and have Oyster Cards or Freedom Passes to bypass large sections of crowded pavements.

Hopefully too, Crossrail will take passengers from the Central line, so that walkers will use that if going from say Tottenham Court Road to Marble Arch.

I did get my short-sleeved shirts and after exiting the shop, the heavens opened with a vengeance.

Summer came on Sunday, as the pictures of the Thames Barrier showed and now it’s gone!

February 18, 2014 Posted by | Travel | , , | Leave a comment

Crossrail’s Portals To The Past Exhibition

Crossrail have opened another exhibition called Portals To The Past, showing the various archaeological discoveries they have made.

It wasn’t as large as last year’s exhibition, but nevertheless, if you’re in the area it’s worth a look.

There was also a knowledgeable engineer answering questions.

February 18, 2014 Posted by | Travel | , , | 1 Comment

Crossrail Are Running Another Archaeology Exhibition

Last year Crossrail showed off all of their archaeological finds.  now they are running another exhibition, to show the latest discoveries.

If it’s half as good as last year’s event, it will be unmissable.

February 15, 2014 Posted by | World | , , | Leave a comment

From Canary Wharf To Walthamstow Central

On a quick examination, Canary Wharf and Walthamstow Central, are both important transport hubs in their parts of London and probably there is significant commuter traffic between the two stations.

After my trip on the cable car, I took the Jubilee line to Canary Wharf, where I had a coffee.

After looking at some other things, I found I was running a bit late for lunch in Walthamstow.

I suspect the fastest way is usually to take the Jubilee line to Green Park and then change to the Victoria line. Using my mother’s rule on seventeen stations and one change gives 39 minutes. but there was one flaw, the Jerrylee line wasn’t running past Waterloo.  At least, I wouldn’t have to walk miles in the tunnels at Green Park.

The obvious choice seemed to be to take a DLR or the Jerrylee line to Stratford and then get a bus. I chose the DLR, as I was nearer, and after a few minutes wait, I was on my way.

It was then that I made the wrong choice. The first bus to arrive was a 257, which treated me to a mystery tour of Leyton and parts of Epping Forest.

When I arrived late at my lunch, I’d taken quite a bit over an hour.

So what does the Tfl Journey Planner say?

It did suggest one all Underground route via London Bridge and Kings Cross, which was fourteen stations and two changes. Or 38 minutes according to my mother!

the others suggested were verging on the exotic, in that they generally involved taking a Central line train to Leyton or Leytonstone and then getting a bus.  One even suggested getting off the bus and taking the Overground.

I think all of this illustrates the problem of going north and south in East London, unless you can use the Northern line or the East London line.

Crossrail might improve the journey a bit, as you should be able to reach Bond Street a minute or two quicker.  But will the change to the Victoria line, require superhuman stamina?

What might help though, is if the services to Walthamstow are improved, when the Lea Valley lines come under the control of the London Overground. If the Hall Farm Curve is rebuilt, services from Walthamstow to Stratford could be of the order of twelve minutes, giving a time of Canary Wharf to Walthamstow Central of about twenty five minutes.

Tfl have the figures for the traffic, but surely creating a good service between Chingford via Walthamstow to Stratford would relieve the Victoria line, by giving those in Waltham Forest, an alternative route to Central London.

TfL haven’t published any plans for the Lea Valley lines and I’m waiting to see what they propose. If I judge them on the current Overground, it’ll have a few surprises and innovations.

January 5, 2014 Posted by | Travel | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Is This Going To Be A Beautiful Roof?

The roof on the Canary Wharf Crossrail station is coming on, as these pictures show.

Is it going to be a beautiful roof, using some of the best technology at our disposal?

After all, when Barlow, Brunel and Cubitt created their grand stations, they used the best and created masterpieces for us to enjoy nearly two centuries later.

Will they be joined by some modern masterpieces from Crossrail?

January 5, 2014 Posted by | Travel | , , , , | Leave a comment


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