Browsing Tag: transport

    Our Railway Upgrade Plan
    Articles, Blog

    Our Railway Upgrade Plan

    November 18, 2019


    Britain’s railway is more popular than ever. Passenger numbers have doubled in the past 20 years, and are set to continue to grow over the next 25 years. That’s why Network Rail need to continue to invest in building a bigger better railway for everyone. The Railway Upgrade Plan is
    Network Rail’s investment plan. It is designed to provide more capacity, relieve crowding and respond to the tremendous growth Britain’s railways continue to experience. It’s the biggest sustained programme of
    rail modernisation since the Victorian era. We have over 15,000 projects
    underway right now including the Edinburgh to Glasgow Improvement
    Programme, parts of our Great North Rail Project electrifying the Great Western Main Line upgrading and improving signalling in
    the Midlands – and we’re transforming travel in and out of London with our
    part in projects like Crossrail Thameslink and the Waterloo and
    South West Upgrade. Schemes that have taken years to deliver because of their ambition and complexity but are now becoming a reality. Over the next three years there will be an extra 170,000 seats into major cities across the
    country every single day with 6,400 extra train services a week and 7,000
    new train carriages – a 30% increase in capacity. The Railway Upgrade Plan is
    British engineering at its best. Thank you for bearing with us as we deliver a better, faster and more reliable railway.

    Crossrail railway systems: Elizabeth line permanent track installation complete
    Articles, Blog

    Crossrail railway systems: Elizabeth line permanent track installation complete

    November 16, 2019


    We’re currently on a construction train going
    through the Crossrail tunnels. We’re just about to head out through North Woolwich portal
    behind us. You can see where we are in terms of the construction phase – the tracks are
    complete, we’ve got our cable management system trays all around us that will take all the
    cables and above us we’ve got some of the overhead line systems in place that will be
    powering the train when the Crossrail trains are running as the Elizabeth line.
    So we’ve just come out of North Woolwich portal through the Thames Tunnel. We’re heading up
    now into the open section near Silvertown footbridge. So this is all the open section
    around us. You can see the cable management systems, the trays, are to the side of us
    and not overhead and also the overhead line will also be up on the side, whereas in the
    tunnels it’s above you powering the train. So everything is moved to the side as we go
    through an open section. So obviously the whole of the Crossrail project
    we’re really challenged by logistics. We’ve got a lot of materials we need to bring in.
    Everything we do has to take a lot of planning, a lot of sequencing. We have to make sure
    everything leaves on time and it’s very well prepared.
    This is the Connaught Tunnel. It’s an existing tunnel which we’ve just done a little bit
    of work to reinforce and make sure it can handle our infrastructure that we’re putting
    into the system. It looks pretty impressive, it’s always really nice when you go through
    it, but we still have all our standard equipment that we have throughout the trace. You can
    see a lot of cable management trays, the start of our overhead catenary going up on the side
    here and all our track that we’ve laid down on the ground.
    So you can see we’re just coming up to Custom House, which is one of the new stations that
    being built above ground. It’s a fantastic station as you can see and it’s really regenerated
    the whole area, or changed the whole area. We’ve done a lot of upgrades inside and out.
    There’s a lot of residents and local businesses nearby so a lot of betterment to the area
    as a result of Custom House station. As we exit through Custom House the trace,
    we’re just going through and about to exit, the trace – the track – is going to drop down
    as we go through Victoria Dock Portal and then we go back into the tunnel and we’ll
    be heading towards Stepney Green. So once we’ve finished the fit out of the
    tunnels, so we’ve completed all the mechanical and electrical work for the overhead lines
    all in and installed. Over about the space of a year we’ll be doing a lot of testing
    of all the systems and really we just test everything to it’s full capacity, make sure
    everything is working as intended, as it should, and then first of the brand new trains will
    be running through the system in December 2018. They’ll be running through the Elizabeth
    line service utilising the finalised infrastructure. We’re now heading up to Stepney Green cavern.
    So Stepney Green cavern is where the three different routes all join together. So one
    route will take you towards Paddington, the other route will take you towards Pudding
    Mill Lane and the route we’re coming up through right now that we’re on is the route from
    Abbey Wood. So they all join at Stepney Green cavern and then they go off into their different
    directions. So we’re now going through Whitechapel station.
    As you can see behind me there’s hoarding and eventually there will be platform screen
    doors and behind this is the platform. At Whitechapel there’s a crossover and we’re
    just about to switch from one track to the other. So right now we’ve come through on
    the westbound track. We’re gonna go through the crossing and switch over onto the eastbound
    track to continue our journey. We’re just passing now through Liverpool Street
    station. You can see in front of me is the hoarding for the platform. But just past Liverpool
    Street station, just up here is a different type of track. It’s called floating track
    slab. So the track is constructed with additional bearings and a few additional springs really
    just to reduce noise and volumes so that when the trains pass through they really mitigate
    and minimise any impact to the surrounding areas.
    So behind me you can see we’ve just come into Farringdon station. This marks the end of
    our journey today. I hope you’ve enjoyed the trip through the central operating system
    of the Crossrail project and hopefully when you next see this tunnel it will be on a passenger
    train in December 2018.

    Signalling on the Elizabeth line
    Articles, Blog

    Signalling on the Elizabeth line

    November 16, 2019


    Crossrail is a very challenging project, it is
    the most challenging thing I’ve ever done. If you think about Crossrail if you
    look at it from 40,000 feet it’s essentially a state of the art tunnel
    underneath London, joining to what originally were Victorian railways in
    Great Eastern and Great Western. So there’s a big mishmash of
    technologies on those on the base of those railways. Some of those
    technologies date back to the 1950s there’s a system called AWS which is
    what keeps the trains safe on Great Eastern and Great Western and then there’s an upgrade to that system called TPWS – Train Protection Warning System – which is brought in after some of the accidents we had in the 90s. So Crossrail has to
    have the unenviable task of being future-proofed in terms of having the
    latest technology and we’re buying that technology from people like Siemens and
    Bombardier and they only ever sell the latest technology. We’re also trying to
    make this railway last 100 years. It’s the first interoperable railway that we
    have in the UK and it’s interoperable because we’ve chosen a technology our
    ERTMS – European Rail Traffic Management System – to be the heart of the system
    because it’s future proofed for the Great Eastern and Great Western railways
    and also because it’s a modern safe system of separating trains. The
    challenge of making a ERTMS work in the UK is that you have to make it
    compatible with the legacy signalling systems I spoke about before AWS and TPWS but the real challenge has been making that system work as a metro
    system through the tunnel so we’ve had to incorporate into that mix another
    signalling system a third signalling system called CBTC which is
    Communication Based Train Control developed by siemens and this system is
    like I said would be what you’d see on any mass transit system it’s a
    high-precision signalling system and it’s high precision in that it can
    manage stopping distances incredibly accurately to align doors and it’s got
    additional levels of safety and interfacing with things like tunnel
    ventilation and timetabling and how the service can recover from problems that
    happen Setro scenario. So you can see because
    we’ve got a tunnel joining two legacy systems having to be future ready we’ve
    had to have three signalling systems and that means we’ve got a very complicated
    train that has to work over all of those systems seamlessly that’s what we’re
    getting to now we’re doing the final transition testing we have 200 test
    cases which we are working on completing successfully before we enter into
    passenger running and we have what’s called a regression argument against the
    software so that we don’t have to actually do regression testing to prove
    the future builds of the software I’ve unraveled any of the code that those
    test cases have proven already we’re in the endgame now of proving those
    remaining test cases between now and 2020.

    Hong Kong protest escalates bringing transport to a halt
    Articles, Blog

    Hong Kong protest escalates bringing transport to a halt

    November 16, 2019


    over in Hong Kong protesters are
    blocking roads and shutting the city’s transport system the latest burst of
    violence stems from an incident on Monday when a student was shot by a riot
    police officer while the government calls for stronger measures over the
    violence demonstrators continue to clash with authorities in the name of
    democracy cha Jonghyun has the latest Hong Kong protesters struck the city’s
    transport network for a second straight day on Tuesday in a widespread
    demonstration of anger triggered by the shooting of a 21 year old student by a
    police officer on Monday morning South China Morning Post reported Tuesday
    protesters set up roadblocks on major thoroughfares placed objects onto train
    tracks and punctured buses tires paralyzing roads and shutting down more
    than 20 railway stations throughout the day hundreds of commuters were seen
    walking along the lines tracks while protesters broke havoc by throwing
    Molotov cocktails and rocks onto the tracks Carrie Lam Hong Kong’s embattled
    chief executed criticized protesters on Tuesday for disrupting transit calling
    them selfish the SAR government’s Transport Department who will keep a
    close eye on the current situation while taking corresponding measures despite
    the Hong Kong government’s firm stance protesters plan on to continue to fight
    for greater democracy this is not a fight of depression this is a fight for
    the whole generation meanwhile Chapa Kwon the student who was shot by the
    riot police has been arrested and charged with unlawful assembly another
    19 year old protester who was held at the same location on Monday has been
    arrested on suspicion of robbery and possession of offensive weapons charles
    condition has reportedly improved from critical to serious – dongwoon arirang
    news

    The Railway At War – 1914-18
    Articles, Blog

    The Railway At War – 1914-18

    November 16, 2019


    Approximately
    100,000 employees enlisted into the armed forces
    during the First World War and of that, roughly 20,000
    were killed. The First World War was the
    first real sort of industrialised, mechanised, mass,
    industrial conflict and as part of that, it was the first
    major conflict that really utilised the full kind
    of range of possibilities of the railways. Most of the main
    railway stations in London were hugely symbolic
    as a kind of location of parting for soldiers
    and their loved ones. The most significant stations
    were Waterloo for transit through Southampton
    docks, and Victoria for Folkestone and Dover. For many people, they were the final
    frontier for the war. That was where you went to wave
    off your loved ones and it was where you
    saw them come home. Women were absolutely vital to
    the functioning of the railways during the First World War. Actually before the war started,
    there was a female contingent as part of the workforce of the railways. There were about 13,000 women but that expanded massively. That opened up a number
    of new roles for them in different areas they hadn’t really worked in before, such as manning the stations, ticket offices, ticket collections and in some cases,
    becoming guards. Another role that they took
    was engine cleaning, which sounds very
    mundane, but it is, in fact, a very important role. Without them taking on the
    roles that were left vacant by those that enlisted, the
    railways wouldn’t have been able to provide the continuity of
    service and the flexibility of service that they did. Around 1912, they started designing the ambulance trains in secret, which meant that the first ambulance trains were rolling into Southampton, ready for action 18 days after the outbreak of war. Ambulance trains made the journey
    home a lot quicker. There was an account of men who were injured, first thing in the
    morning in France one morning, being back at Charing Cross
    by 2:15 in the afternoon. On one of those huge trains, the grunt work was done by orderlies who were quite
    often untrained, very young and they would be doing
    things like changing dressings, cleaning out the train,
    serving the dinners. The vast majority of people who
    travelled on ambulance trains, particularly in the UK, would
    have survived the journey because you weren’t put on board if there was thought to be any risk. There were rudimentary
    operating facilities on board, so that staff could do
    emergency procedures to stem the flow of bleeding
    before passengers were taken to a proper hospital. We think that there were only
    about four people died on board ambulance trains in the UK,
    which is such a small number when you think that 2.7 million men travelled by ambulance train. The refreshment stands
    at mainline stations were quite sort of indicative of the
    wider war effort, particularly in the beginning of the war,
    where there was a huge sort of groundswell of voluntary
    activity to help support troops. All of the main railway
    companies erected memorials at a lot of the main stations.
    They’re still there today. They still act as a sort
    of a massive source of kind of public memorialisation. Obviously, with
    poppies and wreaths left there on the 11th of November for Remembrance Sunday. Many of the railway families –
    there’ll possibly be many generations of people
    working for the railways and therefore, they will have
    lost several generations during the conflict.

    Breaking Ground: RIA works in South Yarra
    Articles, Blog

    Breaking Ground: RIA works in South Yarra

    November 16, 2019


    We’re here at the South Yarra siding reserve,
    which is an important site and plays a pivotal role in the project. It’s where the above ground railway will connect
    into the new Metro Tunnel. We started off the new year with a bang, with
    the successful completion of the January occupation here at the Eastern Portal. During the January occupation we successfully
    completed a range of works, including the installation of 96 piles for the decline structure,
    and also the demolition of the Arthur St car park. The next stage of the works will include the
    demolition of the Williams St bridge, and additional piling works within the rail corridor. The temporary retaining wall, which we’ve
    constructed to the north side of the rail corridor, will allow us to complete the permanent
    retaining wall works later on in the year. Because we are working with a live rail environment,
    it’s very important that we plan and execute this very carefully. In the few months that we’ve been here we’ve
    been busy setting up site, conducting geotechnical investigations, relocation of services, and
    we’re already working hard in preparing for the next rail occupation which is going to
    be later this year. With the team already accomplishing so much
    in only a matter of months, this year is ramping up to be an even bigger year. Authorised by the Victorian Government, 1
    Treasury Place, Melbourne.

    Secrets of the Victoria Line
    Articles, Blog

    Secrets of the Victoria Line

    November 15, 2019


    The Victoria Line is used by over by over 200 million passengers a year, carried along by forty-seven new trains and is the only tube line to run entirely underground. But I bet that even if you’re a frequent traveller on the line, the chances are you’ll not have spotted some of the more unusual things about it. So we’re going to ride the entire length of the Victoria Line starting at here Walthamstow and try and find one interesting thing about all sixteen stations. Let’s go. So this is my favourite thing about Walthamstow station, the old, “Which train is next?” indicator. It was big, it lit up, you could see it from a distance as you came down the escalator. The modern equivalent, as you can see is having a few troubles today as there’s two trains in but… I don’t know which one to get. Now you might think all Victoria Line stations look the same but in fact they all have individual tiling motifs. Blackhorse Road station, for example, has the most obvious with a black horse. And if you don’t like the one at platform level then there’s this big, bad boy outside the station itself. Look at it, it’s life-size, isn’t it? At Seven Sisters, look out for staff getting on at the terminating platform, to be taken to the nearby Northumberland Park depot. Oh, and the motif. I don’t know what they are… …but there’s seven sisters, there are seven of them. A quick bit of online research reveals that this motif represents the seven elm trees that were planted at the nearby Page Green from where Seven Sisters gets its name. If you follow me… I’ve always quite liked this A hot air balloon mosaic. Another oddity is that Finsbury Park is the busiest station in terms of passengers on the Underground, But doesn’t have any Oyster barriers. You can get all the way to the platform without touching in. Just missed one! At Highbury and Islington, look out on the other side of the road for the Great Northern and City Railway original station building. It opened in 1904 and lasted until 1975. But the building still stands today. And on to Kings Cross, where it’s not so much a thing to see but something which you might like to know about to do. If you follow the official station signs of how to change to other lines then they make you walk down this long corridor and it takes ages to get there. Whereas if we instead go this way it brings you down this short stairway instead and it’s much quicker. Art on the Underground are currently installing 270 labyrinths all around the London Underground network this year. But at one station, there’s already one. I’m at Warren Street and obviously there’s a maze – or warren on the wall. Or is it a labyrinth? But while you’re here, there’s something else to look out for as well. My favourite thing about Warren Street is that if you pop over to the Northern Line platforms you’ll find that it wasn’t once called Warren Street but in 1907 it was called Euston Road instead. And on to Green Park where at the end of the Victoria Line corridor is the Piccadilly Line corridor. At the Piccadilly end there are more dark blue tiles and only the odd silver tile to represent the Jubilee Line. By the time we reach the other end of the corridor… Now the corridor is quite long, so we’ll do the whole speed-it-up routine again. Aaaand… We’re there. …the number of blue tiles have diminished and the number of silver tiles to represent the Jubilee Line have increased. Piccadilly. The Jubilee. Just by one the exits of the tube at Victoria station itself is a gorgeous old railway map from the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway. Worth checking out. Pimlico is the least-used station on the Victoria Line and I’m guessing you’ve probably not been here. But what I like about this is that if you come to the Rampayne Street entrance there’s a London Underground roundel sort of burnt into the concrete on the floor here. And if you look up you’ll see where it’s coming from. Now, some of the tile mosaic patterns on Victoria Line stations are hard to work out what they are. And at a first glance, you might not guess this one either at Stockwell. But take a closer look and you can see it’s a swan. A very obvious reference to the popular Swan pub across the road from the station. So we’ve got to the southern end of the Victoria Line we’ve come to Brixton, where if you come outside and look at the station building you can’t fail to miss the largest London Underground roundel on the whole Tube network. Quite a fitting end to our journey.