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Old July 27th, 2011, 11:31 PM   #841
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I'd keep trees for smaller streets, wide open spaces need light.
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Old July 29th, 2011, 01:43 AM   #842
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Deadline looms for £32 billion high-speed rail project

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The High Speed Project 2 (HS2) plan involves new high-speed lines between London, Heathrow, and Birmingham to be completed by 2026, with lines eventually being extended to Manchester and Leeds by 2032.

The Government's preferred route for the 225mph train cuts through the Chiltern Hills in Buckinghamshire, before heading through Oxfordshire and Warwickshire.

Once completedit will allow trains to travel at more than 200mph and reduce journey times between London and Birmingham to 49 minutes, according to the Department of Transport (DfT).

The government claim the HS2 project "would transform the country's economic geography," bringing in £44.3 bn in benefits and £27.2 bn in fairs over a period of 60 years.

It says the first phase alone of a national network would support the creation of more than 40,000 jobs.

Faisal Islam blogs: The Hitman and his high-speed train. But critics argue that there is little evidence to support the Government's claims on the economic benefits, as well as the DfT's argument that the environmental impact will be minimised.

An 'academic exercise'

Derek Batty from the campaign group HS2 Action Alliance told Channel 4 News the infrastructure plan is "an academic exercise".

"There is a lot of evidence the government won't listen to. It's totally flawed in terms of figures, there are just simply no specifics," he said.

"Economically it just doesn't add up. We're talking about a project that will be finished in 20-odd years, it's very difficult to envisage the consequences and there's very little detailed analysis in the plan."

The campaign group's economic concerns are echoed by a recent report by think-tank the Institute of Economic Affairs, which say the Government's flagship transport project is "a political vanity project" based on "bogus assumptions".
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Old July 29th, 2011, 04:27 PM   #843
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Crossrail seeks firm for £50m tunnel portal

Crossrail has started the race to find a contractor to build the tunnel portal at Victoria Dock in East London.

Contract C340 also involves the realignment of 420m of the Docklands Light Railway between Custom House and Victoria Dock Stations to release the site for portal construction.

The 355m long and 12m wide tunnel portal will be built in two phases to allow for the launch and recovery of tunnel boring machines during 2014.

The successful contractor will be responsible for temporary works design including control of ground movement, and be asked to improve buildability and mitigate risk on the project during the pre-construction phase.

Firms have until 28 August to complete the PQQ process and must register an interest on the Crossrail eSourcing Portal.
http://www.constructionenquirer.com/...tunnel-portal/
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Old July 30th, 2011, 06:24 AM   #844
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Rail strategy sets out plan to meet growing demand across London & South East

A long-term strategy for the railway in London and the south east has been unveiled, setting out the steps needed to cater for increasing demand for rail travel in and around the capital.

With the number of passengers travelling into London, especially at peak times, set to grow significantly by 2031, Network Rail’s London and South East Route Utilisation Strategy identifies ways to boost capacity, improve journeys and increase connectivity across the region.

Produced in partnership with the rest of the rail industry, the Department for Transport and Transport for London, the strategy builds on existing plans for major schemes such as the Crossrail and Thameslink programmes, as well as ongoing train and platform lengthening works and many other projects to increase capacity on some of the country’s busiest rail routes.

The strategy restates many previously published recommendations which, in many cases, are still required to accommodate forecast peak demand. It also sets out new interventions, for which it has sought to avoid major capital expenditure unless absolutely necessary. These include extra commuter services between the Thames Valley and Paddington, extra services on the Great Eastern Main Line into Liverpool Street, additional trains on the Lea Valley line into Stratford, more trains on the Windsor lines into Waterloo and longer trains on orbital routes.

The RUS also recommends further planning for new routes in the London area – for example improving services to Heathrow with a new western rail access, potential future extension of Crossrail services onto the West Coast Main Line and to Reading and, in the longer term, a Crossrail 2 line under the capital.

These last two in particular are indicative of a new approach which aims to increase connectivity across London, rather than see most rail journeys end, as they traditionally have, at terminus stations on the fringes of central London.

Paul Plummer, Network Rail group strategy director, said: “London relies on rail to get more than two million people to and from work each day. It’s clear that further investment is essential if rail is to continue to play its part in supporting the economy and this strategy provides a clear vision of how rail can continue to cater for the passengers and businesses of tomorrow. To make this happen, Network Rail and the rest of the industry need to focus on ways of improving efficiency and value for money.”

On a small number of routes into London it is clear that a more radical approach will be needed to meet forecast future demand. This particularly applies to the South West Main Line, which will be close to capacity even once the currently disused platforms at Waterloo are reopened.

The RUS sets out a possible long term option for an additional track on the London approaches but further development will be required. In some cases, finding solutions will require a broader debate, looking at how the railway benefits the wider economy, interacts with housing policy and can drive changes to travel patterns.

Along with the Department for Transport and the rest of the industry, Network Rail is also keen to investigate further the extent to which ticket pricing structures might enable more even distribution of passenger numbers throughout the day. The strategy’s publication follows a three-month consultation on the draft strategy (published in December 2010) with key stakeholders including train operators, local authorities and passenger groups.
http://www.rail.co/2011/07/28/rail-s...on-south-east/
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Old July 30th, 2011, 02:02 PM   #845
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Seeing as we're now on olympic countdown here, here's a couple of pics from inside St Pancras I took the other Friday.

[IMG]http://i51.************/2wgvvcn.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i51.************/xfoutd.jpg[/IMG]
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Old July 31st, 2011, 02:16 PM   #846
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fatfield View Post
Seeing as we're now on olympic countdown here, here's a couple of pics from inside St Pancras I took the other Friday.

[IMG]http://i51.************/2wgvvcn.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i51.************/xfoutd.jpg[/IMG]
Good photo's. It's great to see that someone is actually contributing something they have done themselves, rather than endless posts of newspaper articles and pictures/videos lifted from elsewhere as one prolific poster seems to take pride in doing.
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Old August 2nd, 2011, 10:18 AM   #847
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Old August 2nd, 2011, 09:36 PM   #848
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London’s railways

There’s a lot going on in London’s railways at the moment. Network Rail is rebuilding several major stations, Thameslink is well underway, Crossrail is starting, and transport plans to support the 2012 Olympics are nearing completion. It was therefore no surprise that around 200 railway executives from a variety of organisations gathered in the Capital at the end of June for London Rail 2011.

A conference organised by the New Civil Engineer, it took place in the interesting surroundings of the International Coffee Organisation Conference Centre just off Oxford Street. A small display by companies such as Comply Serve, Topcon, Siemens and CH2M Hill greeted delegates on their arrival, and representatives were on hand to discuss their offerings.

The conference programme included several topics that have been covered in detail in the rail engineer before, including new EVO trains for the tube, the McNulty Report and Crossrail. However, there were three presentations made in the morning that gave some real insight into the long-term plans of both TfL and Network Rail.

London Transport

The day’s proceedings commenced with a keynote address from Mike Brown, Managing Director of both London Underground and London Rail. Mike started by looking forward to 2031. Current expectations are that there will be 1.3 million more residents in the greater London area than there are today, with 750,000 more jobs resulting in 40-50% more daily rail journeys.

This of course will put a great load on London Transport, so Mike then ran through the changes that were being made to accommodate all that extra travel. These include the new signalling system being installed on the Jubilee line, with the Northern Line next on the list. The new Bombardier-built stock on the Victoria Line has now completely replaced the original. Stations are being improved to make the throughput of higher passenger numbers easier. The sub-surface lines upgrade is underway, with more new trains from Bombardier and new signalling incorporating automatic operation which gives better service through all the flat junctions.

On the Overground, the North London Line, which had been “dilapidated with poor services”, has been upgraded with new trains and will form part of a new outer orbital route which will soon be completed as far as Charing Cross.

There will be extra trams for the Croydon system, and the DLR now has three-car compatibility throughout the line and will shortly be extended to Stratford.

...
http://www.rail.co/2011/08/02/londons-railways/
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Old August 3rd, 2011, 11:39 PM   #849
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Crossrail works at Tottenham Court Road.

by Adam Sutton on Flickr.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/adamsut...n/photostream/
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Old August 4th, 2011, 11:49 PM   #850
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Quote:
The next stop in London's railway renaissance

Martin Bentham,
Home Affairs Editor

Something remarkable is happening at King's Cross. Hidden behind hoardings, scaffolding and sheets the railway station, until now more renowned for its squalor, prostitution and Harry Potter platform, is undergoing a transformation that would do justice to the boy magician's talents.

The final result won't be unveiled to the public until next year. But after taking a behind-the-scenes tour, I'm already filled with excitement about what seems certain to become the latest addition to London's architectural landmarks.So what is it about the £500 million revamp that's so good? Let's start with the new. At the heart of the project is a spectacular lattice-work steel canopy that will arch out from the side of the station and hang above an airy new piazza for departing passengers.

It's a startling piece of engineering that will also create what will be Europe's largest single-span passenger concourse. A starker contrast with the existing dingy and cramped departure area could not be imagined.Other modern features include another new piazza outside the station and a sleek, minimalist glass bridge stretching across the platforms to give passengers direct access to their trains.

But what's most impressive is how the new complements the old. What most Londoners will have forgotten, or never realised, is that behind the ugly entrance façade that has defaced the station since the 1970s lies a beautiful Victorian building. Built in yellow London brick in the 1850s by Lewis Cubitt, brother of famous London architect Thomas Cubitt, this is being restored and returned to full public view. The historic ticket hall will come back into use, while other period details such as cast-iron brackets, plasterwork and a wood-panelled atrium are retained.

The result is a successful marriage between the modern and the historic that thousands of passengers a year will be able to enjoy - and that projects elsewhere in London could learn from. There is none of the confrontational approach of modern buildings such as the Shard and Zaha Hadid's acclaimed but brutal Evelyn Grace Academy school in Brixton. Rather than jarring, the modern parts of the new King's Cross help to show off the old.

There's another lesson that King's Cross can provide in these times of austerity. The station project, drawn up for Network Rail by London architect John McAslan, forms the centrepiece of a far bigger redevelopment that will see the arrival of the University of the Arts, homes, offices and cultural venues on an adjoining 67-acre site. The economic benefits will be vast. Just as in Victorian times, when King's Cross and London's other main stations were built, the revamp will bring jobs, money and vitality pouring into the capital.

It's something we've already seen at neighbouring St Pancras and, as London's great railway station renaissance continues, can expect elsewhere once other planned overhauls at London Bridge and Waterloo are completed. Costly they may be, but the value of such transformational schemes must not be forgotten even when money is short.

For now, when I head north to my family home this weekend, it will be back to the unpleasant scrum of the old King's Cross. But this time the knowledge of what's to come means that the ordeal won't be so bad.
http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standa...renaissance.do
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Old August 5th, 2011, 06:23 PM   #851
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The new concourse at Kings Cross.

originally posted by chrissus83.

From www.bdonline.co.uk

there is also a great video on the BD homepage

[IMG]http://i52.************/2uqbplx.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i52.************/29vbcb6.png[/IMG]
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Old August 5th, 2011, 10:04 PM   #852
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Was down at Oxford St today and saw the Bond Street site. I don't really know the logistics but it's criminal that the hideous Bond Street station building seems to be staying and they've knocked down the reall pretty one on Gilbert Street for Crossrail.

And to make things worse I've just seen the Crossrail building design.... Yuck.
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Old August 5th, 2011, 11:28 PM   #853
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PortoNuts View Post
The new concourse at Kings Cross.

originally posted by chrissus83.

From www.bdonline.co.uk

there is also a great video on the BD homepage

[IMG]http://i52.************/2uqbplx.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i52.************/29vbcb6.png[/IMG]
It really is magnificent... far more impressive than the renders

Can't wait for the hideous 1970's front to be demolished and the original Cubitt station facade restored
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Old August 6th, 2011, 07:54 AM   #854
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And bigger pictures!

Quote:
Work steps up on London's most ambitious station redevelopment

As these incredible images detail, constructions works are picking up pace at King’s Cross Station in the heart of London’s Borough of Camden. Designed by experienced architects John McAslan + Partners, the multi-phase scheme takes a three-pronged approach: re-use, restore, and new build. The various train sheds and buildings across the Western Range are being re-used, the Station’s original Grade I listed facade from 1852 is being uncovered and restored to its former splendour, and an extensive new Western Concourse will be inserted above the London Underground Ticketing Hall.

Arguably the most arresting of the scheme’s attributes is a towering steel funnel which welcomes travellers to the Station through its metal tendrils. Rising 20m from the station floor, the white fluted structure spans the entire 150m width of the Grade I listed Western Range drawing attention to the beautiful heritage architecture beneath which has been uncovered for the first time since 1972.

Chairman of John McAslan + Partners, John McAslan comments: “It’s incredible to watch the reinvention of the station taking shape into a compelling piece of place-making for London. You can already see how the Western Concourse – Europe’s largest single span station structure and the heart of the development – reconnects this much-loved Victorian terminus to its context. It’s immensely satisfying to see the project move forward at such pace and we look forward to celebrating the project’s completion in 2012 for the London Olympics.”

With the official opening date of the station only seven months away, work is really pressing on to hit the deadline. The images to the left show just how much of the funnel structure is now in place, with restoration procedures well underway and large sections of rebuffed brickwork gleaming through the steel columns. The five buildings that form the Western Range are being fully renewed, with the Northern Wing rebuilt to its original design after it was destroyed many years ago during WWII, and the Main Train Shed and adjacent Suburban Train Shed are also being restored and exposed to the public view.


Magic new images of King's Cross







http://www.worldarchitecturenews.com...pload_id=17244
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Old August 7th, 2011, 05:37 AM   #855
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Sorry to piss on everyone's parade, but i'm not a fan. It looks nowhere near as attractive as the renders as they appeared to have a greater percentage of glass panels. Also, as i've said before, that white painted metal looks cheap, tacky and reminds me of shopping centres. It would've been far prettier for it to be left as brushed metal.

However on a positive note I think it looks very spacious and impressive.
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Old August 7th, 2011, 09:11 AM   #856
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London Bridge Quarter Public Realm Redevelopment Hits New Milestone

Many of London Bridge Station's 350,000 daily passengers are now enjoying dramatically improved concourse facilities as a major milestone was reached last weekend in London Bridge Quarter's creation of a 21st century public realm around one of the capital's key transport hubs.

Congestion for departing and arriving passengers has now been eased with the completion of 42 new ticket barriers by Cubic Transportation Systems, the transportation segment of Cubic Corporation /quotes/zigman/223833/quotes/nls/cub CUB -8.71% . The new ticket barriers represent a 40 percent improvement on the old structure. In addition, the concourse's new glass roof, which links to the Shard, has been installed and much of the old station roof has been removed giving passengers a feel for what the new terminus will feel like and the additional light it will attract. At the same time the new stone flooring continues to be installed for completion in May 2012.

The environment under the Shard's glass ceiling will mean that the gateline is visually minimized. To ensure that customers continue to flow through the station, overhead directional displays will be added later in the year to maintain the flow between trains and the underground system.

The gateline supports both magnetic and Oyster ticket checking capability. Although Cubic has been involved with the London Bridge (Shard) redevelopment project since September 2008, its critical tasks of removing the old and implementing the new ramp-less gateline were completed overnight on July 31, 2011 for a seamless transition for customers.

These improvements are part of LBQ's GBP 50 million transformation of the station concourse and bus station, and creation of a new public piazza that links The Place, a 430,000 square foot headquarters office building currently under construction, to the iconic mixed-use Shard tower.

In addition, the Shard will deliver much-needed modern retail facilities at its base facing out onto the station concourse, and new escalators from the public piazza will link to a new underground retail mall. A total of about 12,000 square feet of new retail space is being created.

The project team led by Sellar Property, LBQ's developer, is using innovative thinking to complete the station concourse transformation while minimizing passengers' disruption and inconvenience. This includes constructing a new station roof above the old roof, which is being used as a working platform, thereby significantly reducing both impact on passengers and building time.

The station concourse and a majority of the public realm works will be completed in time for next year's Olympics. Practical completion of the Shard will be the end of May 2012, while The Place will be completed in April 2013.

...
http://www.marketwatch.com/story/lon...k=MW_news_stmp
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Old August 7th, 2011, 07:41 PM   #857
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Wow, King's Cross will look great when its complete, and the London Overground stations look fantastic.
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Old August 8th, 2011, 10:16 PM   #858
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A new vision for the grande dame of Victorian rail

Since the station's entrance was tacked on to it in 1972, King's Cross in London has presented travellers with an oppressive black canopy and a vile scrum-space of a concourse. It may be in keeping with the area's grotty reputation, but it hardly fills passengers with hope or joy. That will soon change, however, with the unveiling of the station's new western concourse.

Designed by John McAslan + Partners, its 140-metre wide canopy is Europe's largest single-span station structure, a fine fusion of architecture and engineering, on the part of Arup, that barely touches the Grade I-listed western façade of the 159-year-old station. This is unquestionably the most innovative piece of British transport architecture since Stansted airport in 1991, and Waterloo's Eurostar terminal in 1993.

The elegant concourse – the key element of Network Rail's £400m modernisation of the station – marks not only its main approach, but the threshold of the £2bn King's Cross Central regeneration zone north of the station, where 67 acres of brownfield land is being redeveloped to create offices, retail and thousands of new homes.

John McAslan gave me a tour of the site. "It's a great democratic space," he said, looking out from the mezzanine balcony at the wave-like glass and steel canopy.

"It's historically democratic, too – something of the 21st century, meeting 21st-century needs, that revitalises a really great piece of 19th-century railway architecture. When the new square in front is completed, the station will be a real public place, not just a terminus."

Standing on the parapet of the station's main façade, above the two vast train-shed vaults designed by Lewis Cubitt in 1852, the relationship between old and new is striking: solar cells crown the train-sheds; a few feet away, a restoration specialist re-points Cubitt's bricks with lime mortar; and, up a steep, narrow staircase in the station's central tower, we enter a musty room with a grimy clock mechanism worthy of Heath Robinson. Below us, in a space the size of a grand Victorian ballroom that will become the new ticket hall, the clunkily ornate original iron wall brackets are being cleaned.

But it's the new concourse that will dominate King's Cross. It is six times bigger than current space and the canopy creates a new 150-metre wide approach to the station that has the feel of an airport terminal.

The concourse design is a triumph of determination over constraints. McAslan and Arup had to find a way to prop the canopy's 1,200-ton glass and steel structure on 17 individual points without any risk to the fabric of the station, or the Underground concourse and lines beneath it.

They've pulled it off, with English Heritage watching closely – and at the same time while consulting 16 stakeholders at one of London's busiest and most complex road, rail and Underground junctions.

Network Rail is to be applauded for commissioning such an adventurous design, a super-crisp brand for the modernisation of the station that will be completed before the start of the 2012 Olympics.

John McAslan: Profile of the architect

John McAslan, 54, is the archetypal can-do architect, generating a shock-wave of endless emails, texts, indecipherably scribbled instructions – and strong design. Until the King's Cross project, his practice was best known for outstanding transformations of important listed buildings such as the De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill and the London Roundhouse.

Raised in Argyll and the US, he trained at Edinburgh University and set up his practice in 1996 after working for Richard Rogers. He and his original partner, Jamie Troughton, were the first British architects to design a building at Canary Wharf; another early breakthrough project was the Apple headquarters in Stockley Park, Uxbridge. John McAslan + Partners has been British practice of the year four times, most recently in 2009. His team has proved adept in major urban and education projects, and pioneering schemes in Malawi, Haiti, India, and Turkey. McAslan's restoration of the earthquake-shattered Iron Market in Port-au-Prince made him the profession's Indiana Jones.

McAslan, pictured, is famed for not being able to leave things alone, and his pro bono projects have arisen from this trait.
http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-en...l-2332080.html
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Old August 12th, 2011, 02:37 PM   #859
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London Paddington station worst for overcrowded trains

Two into one will go – just. Commuters piling on to the 6.37am First Great Western service from Reading last autumn probably did not need telling they were on the most overcrowded train into London Paddington. For parts of their 67-minute journey, there were 610 passengers in the three standard class carriages, double the official capacity.

Other commuters from down the Thames Valley were not much luckier, according to a snapshot survey released by the Department for Transport. Rush-hour services in or out of Paddington accounted for the rest of the top 10 most-packed journeys in the south-east, all run by the same company.

The 6.37am was carrying double its load when it had a 304 capacity (a calculation which combines seats and some standing passengers), although things may have improved since, according to the government. The 6.45pm Paddington to Reading service was the second most-crowded train with 588 passengers.

In spring 2010, a comparable list of crowded trains included seven First Great Western services, with the worst its 5.02am Worcester Shrub Hill to Paddington, 67% above capacity.

Overcrowding is getting worse elsewhere, according to separate figures from the Office of Rail Regulation. Outside London, Leeds had the highest percentage of standard-class passengers forced to stand, with 14% on their feet on arrival at the city centre in the morning peak last autumn and 12.1% on departing trains in the afternoon peak. For Manchester, figures were 11.1% and 11.2%.

David Sidebottom, director of the rail customer watchdog Passenger Focus, said: "Train companies' franchise agreements state that services need to be planned so that passengers ought not to stand for more than 20 minutes. "The industry needs to address this by more trains and carriages, upgrading railway infrastructure such as new signal technology, track work, longer station platforms and new lines."

The rail regulator said overall crowding in London and the south-east – measured by the volume of passengers above planned capacity at peak periods – increased from 2.2% in autumn 2009 to 3% in autumn 2010. This was a return to 2008 levels. First Great Western had the highest levels of crowding (16.6%) across the morning and evening peak.

The rail minister Theresa Villiers said the government was investing to cope with overcapacity. "We have now embarked on one of the biggest programmes for a hundred years, including more than 2,700 new rail carriages, a £900m programme to electrify more rail lines, the vital Crossrail and Thameslink projects, the long-awaited tube upgrades and light rail extensions in Birmingham, Newcastle and Manchester."

She added: "Just yesterday [Wednesday] I was able to announce funding for extra carriages that will provide space for 8,800 more passengers on busy routes. These investments are possible because of the difficult decision we have made to increase rail fares from next year. We need to do more than just invest in the existing network. Many lines are almost full and major new capacity will be needed.

"A high-speed rail network could provide just that, freeing up space for more commuter services on the existing network as well as providing faster journeys, creating jobs and fostering regeneration."

First Great Western said the company had significantly increased capacity on many routes but added that it was difficult to keep up with demand. "Six out of the 10 train operators in the London and south-east area have had injections of rolling stock recently, so it is not surprising that they have seen improvements.

"On Wednesday, the Department for Transport approved our request for additional carriages in the Bristol area, and last year we secured the future of 30 vehicles in the west of England."

The Association of Train Operating Companies said: "Train companies now run 20% more services a day than at the start of privatisation but there are limitations to what they can do. In recent years, too much involvement by civil servants has too often held up the delivery of new carriages and limited operators' ability to plan for and respond to overcrowding."
http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/au...rowding-london
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Old August 14th, 2011, 04:20 PM   #860
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Thames cable car could be on course for Olympics

It's only seven weeks since construction began on the Thames cable car but don't bet against it being operational before the London Olympics. The £50million link from the Royal Docks to the Greenwich Peninsula is one Mayor of London Boris Johnson has personally pushed through, despite the absence of promised private investment. The project costs are being paid by Transport for London, which it said will be recouped through sponsorship and ticket sales.

Last week The Wharf went for a look at the site of the cable car's north station in Royal Victoria Dock. The rate of progress is astonishing. Piles have been driven 44m into the dock bed, and work on this stage of the project should be completed at the end of this month. The next stage will be the laying of a concrete base for the 550sq m station to stand on, before the building of the station itself begins.

It's a complicated, complex project but one TfL and their contractors Mace and Doppelmayr are determined to bring in on budget and on time - even if they won't confirm when it will open. Matthew Randall, project manager for Mace, explained some of the intricacies. He said: "Work is going well. We're on course to finish piling at the end of the month and then we start laying the concrete. We're also preparing to build the towers to carry the cable. The tallest will be 85m high, to ensure that the cable car is never less than 54m above the river. The last part of the project will be to lay the cable across, and we use a helicopter to do that, so we'll just hope it's not a windy day when we do it."

Anyone concerned about noise and safety should not be worried according to TfL project manager Daniel Alston. He said: "We'll have deflectors and cladding to reduce any noise. The design is such it keeps the noise inside the building, while passengers on the gondolas will have a quiet journey. Wind is something we have been looking at in particular. Its been designed with reference to 2007, which was a particularly windy year for this part of London. We'll have anemometers on the tower tops to measure the wind and cameras monitoring the cable. If it gets too windy the gondolas slow down. Passenger safety is the most important thing to us. What we're aiming for is 97 per cent performance criteria to keep the cable car in operation in all weather conditions."

While the cable car would be useful for ferrying spectators between the Olympic venues at The O2 and Excel, TfL restated there is no pressure to have it ready for the start of the Games next July. A spokeswoman said: "The cable car project is progressing well and is scheduled for completion during summer 2012. However, this project is not part of the Olympics Transport plan and is therefore not required to be completed in time for the Games and will be managed accordingly. This exciting new river crossing will stimulate regeneration in this area including the new Enterprise Zone in the Royal Victoria Docks."

It's certainly an impressive engineering project, and one east London will watch grow over the coming months. But will it prove to be the answer to the area's pressing need improved river crossings? The answer to that is still up in the air.

Facts and figures:
  • The cable car will span 1.1km across the Thames from North Greenwich to the Royal Victoria Dock
  • The north station will be built on piles in the dock, the south station is to be located close to the London Soccerdome and The O2. Both stations will be around 550sq m in size.
  • The cable car will have 34 gondolas, each capable of carrying up to 10 passengers. It will be able to carry up to 2,500 passengers in each direction every hour.
  • Between 20 and 25 people will work on the link when it's in operation.

http://www.wharf.co.uk/2011/08/thame...be-on-c-1.html
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