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[69] Cucumbers
[50] Bradford North Curve / Direct services Melksham to Bath and Br...
[49] FlyBMI - Gone into administration.
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1  Sideshoots - associated subjects / The Lighter Side / Re: Cucumbers on: Yesterday at 04:57:33 pm
Quote
Courgettes??

from what we read in this forum, perhaps "Squashes" maybe more appropriate!
2  Sideshoots - associated subjects / The Lighter Side / Re: Cucumbers on: Yesterday at 01:49:26 pm
I'm warming even more to BNM's idea-

Quote
GWR green IETs?

The five car units could become "half cucumbers"

And if GWR would take the idea on, perhaps they could replace the rather dull and worthy names they are using with names like - "The Cornish Cucumber", "The Cardiff Cucumber" and the "Cotswold Cucumber" Grin
3  Sideshoots - associated subjects / The Lighter Side / Re: Cucumbers on: Yesterday at 10:57:54 am
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GWR green IETs?

Especially any vinyl wrapped ones! (Is there a barcode which can be read which gives you the leasing cost?)
4  Journey by Journey / Thames Valley Branches / Re: Reading Green Park on: Yesterday at 12:02:50 am
Apologies all - having re-read the relevant paragraph of the GPDO, reproduced below, I missed a crucial element (shown in bold)-

Quote
Permitted development
A.  Development by railway undertakers on their operational land, required in connection with the movement of traffic by rail.

Development not permitted
A.1  Development is not permitted by Class A if it consists of or includes—

(a)the construction of a railway;
(b)the construction or erection of a hotel, railway station or bridge; or
(c)the construction or erection otherwise than wholly within a railway station of—
(i)an office, residential or educational building, or a building used for an industrial process, or
(ii)a car park, shop, restaurant, garage, petrol filling station or other building or structure provided under transport legislation.
Interpretation of Class A
A.2  For the purposes of Class A, references to the construction or erection of any building or structure include references to the reconstruction or alteration of a building or structure where its design or external appearance would be materially affected.


RBC is not a railway undertaker, so has to apply for planning permission.

Thanks Stuving for ferreting out the apparently missing West Berks application. Their website does indeed have all the relevant documentation and correspondence, and their closing date matches Wokingham's closing date for consultation. The "smoking gun" has been found!

The flood risk issue is very much a live one in the vicinity. The nearby major electricity and gas infrastructure facitilities had to be sandbagged by the armed forces twice in the winters of 2012/3 and 2013/4 to avoid large parts of Reading losing power from these installations being being flooded. The EA is currently reviewing its flood modelling in the area and this has caused delay in other planning applications including one that is at an appeal that has been adjourned twice since it started in September. The issue about piling putting the aquifer at risk is also understandable - the area east of the line was for many years "Smallmead Dump" - a refuse landfill for Reading.  It is a little surprising that it seems to be more difficult this time around, but the EA would no doubt claim (with some justification) that they have to deal with these matters with limited resources while continuing to discharge their day to day land drainage and flood defence responsibilities.

Let's hope we're near resolution of these issues - but my guess would be 2020 for opening at the earliest, not 2019.
5  All across the Great Western territory / Buses and other ways to travel / Re: FlyBMI - Gone into administration. on: February 19, 2019, 11:25:04 pm
This thread is being drifted by a strong tangental crosswind!

To get back a little on course/topic, I was intrigued by -

Quote
Figures for aircraft and airline fuel consumption are publicly available. Ryanair is a low-cost airline serving mainly European destinations; it seats 189 people in its Boeing 737-800s. Using typical values for sector lengths, fuel consumption and seat occupancy it can be seen that the fuel consumption is marginally greater than 3 litres/100 km/seat - based on typical sector consumption of something over 5 tonnes and a typical sector being something over an hour. This figure will obviously vary depending on sector lengths, cruising altitude, load, winds and air temperature but will remain close to 3 litres/100 km/seat - it will be neither 1.5 litres/100 km/seat nor 6 litres/100 km/seat



Surely aircraft fuel consumption is exponentially greater on take-off? Do the figures above represent cruising consumption or do they take into account take-off as well?

And to get back totally on topic - did I hear correctly that FlyBMI had an average passenger load of 18 per flight? In which case presumably each passenger's carbon footprint would have been enormous!

6  All across the Great Western territory / The Wider Picture in the United Kingdom / Re: "How fast can we build a railway station?" - Network Rail on: February 19, 2019, 10:45:24 pm
..soft like "church"!
7  All across the Great Western territory / The Wider Picture in the United Kingdom / Re: "How fast can we build a railway station?" - Network Rail on: February 18, 2019, 10:02:04 pm


Quote
Posted by: Bmblbzzz
Insert Quote
Quote from: eightonedee on February 08, 2019, 10:52:37 pm
Cholsey
Just wondering, because I'm never sure, how do you say this?

The "o" is long - like the "o" in "old"
8  Journey by Journey / Thames Valley Branches / Re: Reading Green Park on: February 18, 2019, 09:47:57 pm
Sorry - there's another answer I can give - the access is development that does not require permission - it is noted on one of the plans lodged with Wokingham to this effect (see-http://publicaccess.wokingham.gov.uk/NorthgatePublicDocs/00419682.pdf)
9  Journey by Journey / Thames Valley Branches / Re: Reading Green Park on: February 18, 2019, 08:13:13 pm
As someone who has to deal with planning authorities all the time in my professional life, I normally have considerable sympathy with those whose plans get stuck in the mire of the planning system. However as this story unfolds I am beginning to question the way this has been dealt with.

Someone really should have settled the final design of this before going for planning in what is clearly a sensitive location, due to its unusual position in relation to the boundary between three different planning authorities. Perhaps this is why Tony Page has not been sounding off in the press - someone needs to explain

1  having got full permission - why have they gone back to change it?

2  If the change is essential  - why have they not made a new full application to West Berks in the nearly one year that has passed since West Berks decided that it was not a non-material change? That decision was made on 8 March 2018!

3  Why were the new applications to RBC and Wokingham made three and a half and two and a half months respectively after the West Berks application had already been determined? And why is the RBC application also undetermined?

You can view the documents on West Berks's planning website - the only thing missing is the covering letter accompanying the form and plan - which simply shows the old and new boundaries of the site.

Sorry - I've just had a "lightbulb moment!"

Just realised the answer to 2 above lies in the catchily named Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 2015, Schedule 2 part 8 paragraph A2 - No planning permission is required for railway related development comprising alteration of a building or bridge unless
Quote
the external design or appearance would be materially affected
. This would probably override West Berks's guidance which requires a full application for moving any building. My guess is that someone pointed this out to West Berks after receiving the decision notice (which does not mention the permitted development rights), hence no further application! Someone should though have had a dialogue with the planning authority to flush this out first. This principle should also apply to the RBC element - and possibly Wokingham's too, as I do not think that a minor permitted change to a previously approved scheme would need a separate consent simply because it strays across a local government boundary, so it does not explain either the Wokingham application, nor the latest RBC one. What's going on here?

Something is odd here - there is a story to be told!
10  Journey by Journey / Thames Valley Branches / Re: Reading Green Park on: February 17, 2019, 05:12:21 pm
Quote
Having refused Reading's application to build their bus bridge (East Reading MRT), on the grounds that it would ruin the riverside environment (which looks suspiciously like a scruffy bit of ex-industrial canal bank), I wonder what objections WBC will come up with this time?

To be fair, Stuving, there was a lot of opposition (especially from "Green" groups) to the MRT. While I agree that it looks about the least attractive part of the Thames through Berkshire, there are a lot of people in east Reading/Newtown area who seem very attached to this their nearest bit of riverside greenery.

The same cannot however be said about Green Park Station. It has no effect on the amenity of any Wokingham residents at all so I cannot understand what WBC's problem is. I am also surprised that Councillor Page (who is not backward at coming forward!) has not been lambasting WBC in the local press about their delay in processing this application.
11  Journey by Journey / Thames Valley Branches / Re: Reading Green Park on: February 17, 2019, 01:54:21 pm
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Funding approved by RBC, unsurprising as they don't have to fund any of it.
http://www.getreading.co.uk/news/reading-berkshire-news/green-park-station-funding-approved-13674198

Quote
which is now expected to be completed by May 2019
Now, where's that pig flying emoticon?

It looks like your scepticism was justified-

This is what the site looked like earlier today-









12  Journey by Journey / Wales local journeys / Re: Class 175 fire Pontrilas 15 February 2019 on: February 16, 2019, 02:04:43 pm
Just as well that this was not their experimental hydrogen powered train.
13  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: GWR Performance Figures on: February 13, 2019, 06:01:19 pm
I could make a (probably ill-informed!) guess that the problem is timetable related, and a further observation.

If you look at that most complicated current GWR timetable,  T10, you will see a very complicated set of different calling patterns all running between Paddington and Reading, and an uneven spacing of services with "bunching". Many leave or arrive at the same station close together, so delay on one service affects others. To give two examples - there are 3 services close together through Goring each weekday morning towards Reading - a 7-45 (stopping electric to London), 7-55 (stopping diesel, Oxford-Reading) and 08-00 (electric limited stop after Reading for London). The first is often late, and almost invariably the others are delayed following. There are then gaps of 18 and 28 minutes respectively between the next two services. In the evening there are a number of limited stop departures that pass earlier slower trains before reaching Maidenhead, then stop there and Twyford just or so three minutes before the slow service they have overtaken, so it does not take much slippage in timings to get two late trains for the price of one. Perhaps (if it is possible) reworking the Paddington - Didcot timings so that timings west of Maidenhead are evened out might help?

The second factor is the splitting of trains at Reading - a particular problem with a train I often get when I change at Reading, the 16-57 ex-Reading stopping service for Didcot. It arrives as a lightly loaded 12 coach train, then divides. leaving 4 behind. It seldom arrives at the advertised 16-53, and usually takes longer (sometimes much longer) than the allowed 4 minutes to divide, often ending up 10 minutes or more late at Goring. Surely someone could work out a way of avoiding this delay?

 
14  All across the Great Western territory / The Wider Picture in the United Kingdom / Re: Network Rail new regions on: February 12, 2019, 09:40:01 pm
To be just a little controversial (hoping that I do not upset Welsh colleagues), I am not sure how lumping all of Wales into one "region" helps anything from an operational or passenger point of view, although I guess it might help in negotiating with the devolved administration.

The North Wales rail network is an extension of the WCML network - wouldn't it be better operationally to add it to the rather slender looking LNW region?

Anyone out there know enough about the timetabling process to know if devolving it might be a good idea or a recipe for (even worse) mismatches with trains and connections across region boundaries?

15  All across the Great Western territory / Looking forward - 2019 to 2045 / Re: Consultation: Light rail and other rapid transit solutions in cities and towns on: February 10, 2019, 12:46:23 pm
Quote
7.1 This Call for Evidence seeks ideas and evidence from all those with an interest in
introducing new light rail systems or alternative rapid transit systems in cities and
towns. Due to the devolved nature of this issue, this call for evidence applies in
England only.

This highlights a problem with this process. Surely the best evidence for many of the questions would be from those who have already been through the process of promoting and providing such systems - both here and overseas? For these questions research should be conducted with such bodies. In particular, perhaps all involved with the Edinburgh scheme, if they could be truthful and open, might usefully inform future projects, particularly in identifying the sources of unforeseen cost overruns.

As to the demand, it probably would not be too difficult to identify the relevant urban areas (including our equivalent of the Randstadt/ Ruhr areas - see Greater Manchester experience, for example) to identify where the need might be and how successful current Metros or trams have been, and then employ some decent consultants to report back.

Once this has been done, a wider consultation backed by a research paper drawn from such more focused research might be much more useful.  
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