Tuesday, 31 December 2013

The Blog at the end of the year.

And so yet another year comes to end the sun had completed one more circuit around the sun, which itself is a little older and a little closer to becoming a Red Giant and eating its children, if of course the big rip has got just that bit closer.
These titanic events which will affect vast swaths of space are nothing compared to the rather predictable life events of some Zlebs from Holly Oaks, which occupy the pages of Magazines I believe are called things like OK! and Hello? But it is the squalid faux minutia of these peoples lives that obsesses the majority of the population. While this may seem are rather sad fact, it is actually a reassuring proof of the theory of evolution.
A species created by some all powerful being would not be obsessed with the goings on of her at number 13 or the fat of some fictional relation of another fictional character in a fictional borough, in a city so far away as to be potentially fictional its self. Only a creature who presences is the result of its ancestors' ability to get sex would, in this, the early stages of self awareness, spend large chunks of its time engaged in process to satiate drives that are now unchecked by the daily necessities of getting food and shelter.
The same can be said of obesity, in the past we ate when we could and spent a lot of the energy we had obtained getting the next meal, now food is dangled in front of us from all corners, so we satiate our appetites and get fat and ill. This is an age in which the rules that separate winners from looser in Survival of the fitests or sexual selection. Are no longer enforced on a daily basis, that isn't to say that in some forthcoming crises they will not be reinstated with brutal effect, but short of an asteroid or super volcano, the imposition will be a while away.
The first fruit of our escape from daily grind where arts and religion, with which we tried to control the world or at least figure out what was happening next, we worshipped the sun because we could not guarantee it would come up again, but eventually we'd spent enough time sitting on our backsides to work out that the sun would always come up, but we had already created religion and it moved on to trying to explain why we are here, which conveniently led to some people securing power of the others. There was still enough arse time around for us to develop agriculture, better weapons, Science philosophy etc.
But somewhere along the way religion had robbed a large portion of the population of the ability to see a world that was without intent and while it could no longer blame the earthquake on an angry god, who would only be happy when the people did what the religious leaders said. This portion of the population had to find new malevolent mega minds to replace the old gods.
Various groups claim to have found this fount of evil in the Illumanti, the New World Order, Bilderberg or Skull and Bones. They are just those suffering from a new strain of the religious disease that had dogged man for millennia. The most obvious and perpetual trait of humanity is to screw things up, any group formed to do this would fracture into a thousand pieces within a week, clique would fight clique.
The progress of humanity is not governed by people but by the Brownian motion of facments of a billion ideas circulating in the fragments of a billion minds. Like the arrow of time it an emergent process that can only be glimpsed. When you walk down the street whistling to yourself you a particle in the Brownian soup, which hit a particle and might deflect it and be part of a bigger movement. There is no indication that there is a fixed direction the process works just as well going up as it does down. If we want to continue upward to greater understand and longer survival for our claid, the valve that might provide that is the leaky one of mind, if we can do no more than stop whistling at the right time it might be enough to skew the process in the direction we would like society to go. It will be trying to move a supertanker by pushing with a feather but in the end it should succeed.
I'm off to bounce some particles.

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Searching in the dust bin.

I often get annoyed about the amount of perfectly good data which is thrown away. It is like a lot of things in life you only realize the value when you can no longer get to it. I remembered reading a story a few years ago about how some  evidence of very strange matter was found in the most unusual place. I've dug up a reference and found a link to other data. Is this what Dark Matter is?

from Strange Quark Matter and Compact Stars

3.5 Unusual Seismographic Events
As already described in section 3.4, De R´ujula and Glashow speculated about the presence of lumps of stable strange matter, also referred to as strange nuggets or nuclearites, in the cosmic radiation [131].
The seismic signals caused by these nuclearites passing through the Earth would be very different from the seismic signals caused by an earthquake or a nuclear explosion [89, 131]. This follows from the rate of seismic energy produced by strange nuggets given by dE/dt = fσρv3, where σ is the nugget cross section, ρ the nominal Earth density, v the nugget speed, and f the fraction of nugget energy loss that results in seismic waves rather than other dissipation such as heat or breaking rock [90]. Underground nuclear explosions have f ≃ 0.01, chemical explosions f ≃ 0.02. In contrast to this, strange nuggets with a mass of several tons (size of 10−3 cm) passing through the Earth would imply that f ≃ 0.05.
Anderson et al. [90] looked at more than a million records collected by the US Geological Survey between 1990 and 1993 that were not associated with traditional seismic disturbances such as earthquakes. The seismic signature would be caused by the large ratio of the nuclearites speed, estimated to be around 400 km/s. Strange nuggets might thus pass through the Earth at 40 times the speed of seismic waves.
Most interestingly, Anderson et al. were able to single out two seismic events exhibiting this behavior.
One event occurred on 22 October 1993, the other event occurred on 24 November 1993. In the first case, an unknown object seems to have entered the Earth off Antarctica and left it south of India. It was recorded at seven monitoring stations in India, Australia, Bolivia and Turkey. In the second case, an object seems to have entered in the South Pacific, south of Australia, and left the Earth 16.8 seconds later in the Ross Ice Shelf near the South Pole. This event was recorded at nine monitoring stations in Australia and Bolivia. The chord length between the entry and exit points of the 24 November 1993 event is 4204 km so that the duration measured for this event, if caused by the passage of an object through the Earth, would imply a velocity for the hypothetical object of 250 km/s. The interpretation of the data as being caused by strange nuggets penetrating the Earth is backed by a Monte Carlo study that was used to identify the extent to which nuclearites could be detected by seismographic stations[90, 164]. The study showed that one would expect to detect as many as 25 4-ton nuclearite events per year if 4 ton strange nugget were to saturate the halo dark matter density. If 10% of the dark matter density were distributed in strange nuggets over the mass range from 0.25 to 100 tons one would expect about an event per year. Detection of a nuclearite would require at least six station sites to fix its impact time, location and velocity, and seismic detection of signals by at least seven stations is required in order to separate strange nuggets events from random spurious coincidences.

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

HS2 phase 2 and Liverpool

1 Purpose
1.1 Economy
1.1.1 The entire history of Liverpool has been driven by transport. In its original form it provided access to the Irish Sea and the sea routes that formed the backbone of mediaeval society, with access inland along the river.
1.1.2 The power that the sea gave Liverpool meant that it was one of the important nodes in the creation both the canal system and the railway system.
1.1.3 With the decline of the United Kingdoms Maritime power and the failure of the port of Liverpool to adapt to the changing modes of transport Liverpool is no longer seen as one of the places that must be at the heart of the UK communication system. This has led to the lack of provision in the plans for HS2.
1.1.4 It would be worth looking at the plans again to see if Liverpool can be placed directly on the system but also try to make sure that we gain the maximum benefit from reduced journey time and bring forward as many benefits to as early in the programme as possible. Whilst freeing up as much capacity as possible on the network for other traffic.
2 HS2
2.1 London
2.1.1 The most widely trumpeted benefit that is the selling point of HS2 is the reduced journey time to London. While it is true that this limit proposal will provide some benefit, it falls far short of a full connection. The benefits of a full connection are in addition to a further reduced journey time direct access to the European continental railway system, without changing trains at London.
2.1.2 The barrier that would stop access is that the classic compatible trains will not be of the minimum length to use the tunnel. There may be several reasons for this the most obvious is the lack of any platforms at Liverpool to handle such long trains.
2.2 Direct Access
2.2.1 For the shortest journey time a spur that followed the line of the current WCML spur to Liverpool would be the fastest, though it would require tunnelling under Runcorn and an additional bridge or tunnel crossing the Mersey, passing through the airport and connecting for a run in at Liverpool south parkway.
2.2.2 A secondary route is for a spur further north that would turn west, somewhere just south of the M62 and follow the M62 west. Another  option would be to reuse the disused Warrington and Altrincham junction railway, this would provide a connection via Warrington and then join the current WCML at Ditton junction.
2.2.3 This line crosses under the M6, though as various references give the closure of this line as 7.7.1985, with the track remaining until 1988 any blockage must have post construction and likely to be removable.
2.2.4 There would be some complication as this line is still in use to provide freight services to Fiddlers Ferry power station and the loading gauge would have to be expanded to take the larger trains, and while this would involve some expense it would not be prohibitive.
2.2.5 There are several road bridges and level crossing on the route, however the line can be worked from either Warrington or Ditton allowing the supply to Fiddlers ferry to be continued through the works.
2.2.6 From Ditton Junction to Edge Hill using the current WCML route is totally Quad rail. Modifying the current express lines to allow the passage of GC trains and for trains adapted to the different platform profile such as the Classical Compatible to use the platform, would allow full access as far as Edge Hill..
2.2.7 According to the Telegraph with regard to Double deck trains, “Network Rail has been told by the Government that all future engineering projects must take them into account.” (David Millward, 30 Dec 2005) which would mean that raising the OHE for GC Gauge would comply with this.
2.2.8 Another submission by the Liverpool Too group has identified an open country run-in to Liverpool connecting with existing lines via a tunnel under Bowring Park rejoining the original Liverpool to Manchester line in the Olive Mount cutting or joining the defunct North Liver Extension Line at Gateacre before a tunnelled connection at Broad Green to the Olive Mount cuttings.
2.2.9 These run-ins could be accessed from Ditton junction via cross country routes of at most 3 miles. This would reduce the complication in adjusting the Gauge from Ditton to Edge Hill as there are few bridges.
2.2.10 All the run-ins eventually converge on Edge Hill and while it may be possible to extend Lime Street to provide the Required 450m Long Platforms to handle European trains, it may not be simple. Providing a new station underground accessed from the Waterloo Tunnel would seem the simplest answer. If at about 90 degrees to the current platform alignment the underground section could also be accessed from Liverpool Central station. The location of the tunnel can be seen from the location of a ventilation shaft in the National Express Bus depot.
2.2.11 If, for some reason, that route is not acceptable a new tunnel could be drive from Edge Hill possible using the entrance to one of the existing tunnels preferably the short Crown Street Freight Tunnel. This would again avoid affecting infrastructure with other possible uses.
2.2.12 Depending on the costs of lowering the floor of the Waterloo Tunnel to accept a double track GC line, a single track tunnel could be run from the Crown Street Tunnel, providing access to a through station beneath Lime Street which could be exited via another Single line using the Waterloo Tunnel and emerging again at Edge Hill. The economics of this would depend up the cost of adaptation versus new bore.
2.3 Europe
2.3.1 One thing that does seem missing is a through station in London. Such a station to the north of Euston would provide direct access to the Channel Tunnel for trains from the north, without the need to change direction at London, this station could be implemented far easier than the total rebuild of Euston and could provide relief during that rebuild.
2.3.2 Such a station should be considered a necessity for HS2, it may bee that Old Oak Common proposals meet such a requirement but the blandness of the name rather than something like London Continental, seem to underplay the possible significance of the station.
2.3.3 The lack of emphasis on the European aspect I think reflects more the London centric nature of this plan, which concentrates on reduced journey times to London.
3 Alternates
3.1 Spurs
3.1.1 Rather than build the High Speed spurs directly into cities like Manchester and Birmingham an alternative would be to build the main line with the final few miles being via existing routes and at existing gauges, with perhaps a process of gradually expanding the gauge on these lines as works permit, to allow full access. In the meantime a Classic compatible that could tilt and had hydro kinetic braking could be developed and used as the main stock.
3.1.2 This would have advantages in that it could provide services on any electrified line in the UK and a large portion of European lines at greater speed. See APT2 below.
4 Standalone if Classic Compatible Only.
4.1 Link
4.1.1 The use of the Warrington and Altrincham line would still be a viable option freeing up capacity on the Crewe-Runcorn line and providing faster working further North. This would be at the cost of the reinstatement of an extra junction and reinstatement of 6 miles of disused rail bed, plus electrification from Warrington Bank Quay to Ditton Junction, together with the rebuilding of Platforms at Warrington.
4.2 Station
4.2.1 A new series of platforms could be created beneath Lime Street station accessed via the Waterloo tunnel, a further compromise would be to use the tunnel itself to provide a platform of sufficient length with connections via moving walkways to Lime Street. This would address some of the problems that will be created by the trains being shorter than the current Virgin services.
4.2.2 The continuation of the tunnel could be used for a Tram connection to Peel Holdings proposed Liverpool Waters and the Cruise Liner terminal at the Pier head.
4.2.3 Train tram system connecting Warrington Bank Quay via Liverpool Airport with Liverpool Lime Street using existing Bank Quay Low Level to Lime Street line, with an addition tram section providing final connection.
4.2.4 Extension of some London to Liverpool services to Edinburgh via Wigan and Glasgow
4.3 TransPennine Mainline
4.3.1 The Electrification of a route between Liverpool and Hull via Manchester, would allow a proper high-speed connection East to West, something which is badly needed. One problem that HS2 will create is that the already abysmal TransPennine journey times will look even worse when compared with north south times.
4.3.2 This would be another line that would befit from APT2 as would any Norwich to Bristol line.
4.4 APT 2
4.4.1 The primary difference between the APT that ran in the early 80s and the Pendolino is the braking system of the APT, this included a hydrokinetic element that allowed the train to brake within the existing block structure of the railway. The titling system used on the Pendolino was acquired from British Rail by Fiat Ferroviaria. This included the Hydro Kinetic system which they did not use.
4.4.2 The addition of such system would allow faster running on virtually all Electrified main lines, if those lines were fitted for in cab signalling, the track side infrastructure that would enable this, is being installed by Network Rail. This could be done at a fraction of the cost of HS2.
4.4.3 If this train was developed in place of the proposed classic compatible it would extend the benefits over a far greater area more at a greater rate. Using the high speed network now in place across Europe as the core and providing higher speeds on existing lines.
4.4.4 An APT2 capable of 250mph on suitable lines and 160 on traditional lines. On certain parts of the TGV network it would be faster than the TGVs due to the tilting especially in southern France.
4.4.5 It may also find usage, with a different gauge on Ireland. It would also provide further enhancement on the Greater Western lines and on any proposed Norwich Bristol rote.
4.4.6 It would be best to develop this as the primary rolling stock rather than a train dedicated to the GC loading gauge. These trains would be useful as soon as developed not dependent on HS2 at all and would bring the benefits forward as far as possible for as many as possible.
4.4.7 While in the early 80s this was state of the art today no part of it is novel, beyond the hydrokinetic brakes and the market stretched far beyond the UK and HS2.
5 Conclusion
5.1.1 It is by no means certain the Liverpool can obtain a direct connection within the current plans, whatever happens we must seek to maximise the potential gain from HST by highlighting where we have common interests with other areas not immediately served and by keeping mind that there are other objectives beyond direct access.
5.1.2 For Liverpool the important things is to secure a direct connection to the European hubs of Paris and Frankfurt, as a European city these are our peers not just London. This requires longer platforms in Liverpool and trains that can traverse the channel tunnel. It additionally requires a through station in London.
5.1.3 A train of the capabilities of the APT 2 outlined could provide that access with only a new station and no HS2, with HS2 the capabilities of the system would grow incrementally as would the benefits for Liverpool. The same would be true for large chunks of the UK and would perhaps be more attractive to EU investment as a Berne gauge High speed train. It is unlikely to be a technology that will fall into disuse before the trains have completed their full life cycle.

See also  Ditton to Lime Street and East of Lymm

HS2 disused line crossing

Illustration 1: Overview

Illustration 2: HS2 to Warrington Bank Quay

Illustration 3: Warrington Bank Quay to Ditton Junction

Illustration 4: Ditton Junction to Edge Hill

Illustration 5: Edge Hill to Lime Street

Illustration 6: Lime Street to River Mersey

Illustration 7: Airport Train Tram options

Illustration 8: Crown Street Cutting and Tunnel Portal

Illustration 9: Waterloo/Victoria Tunnel Portal
Copyright John Bradley 2013

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