Saturday, September 12, 2009

Friday Infrastructure: A jaunt to York

Larger size

Yep late again, fell asleep last night and meant to write this then, whoops!

Today we are showcasing something a little bit different. As you might have figured out I really like focusing on cycling and walking and using them as a viable means of transportation. However, these 2 cannot solve all our problems, in fact for many places a car is still needed in some form and distribution is needed to be done by trucks in some cases as well. That is where electric drive comes in, however for long distances there is another piece to this puzzle, which are the Railroads.

I am a huge train nut, not an avid train spotter, but I would be if I had the time. So one of the wonderful things about the city of York, UK is, yes it’s a cycling “capital” (I use that term loosely because really its still not really great for infrastructure, just better then non existent.) It is also the home of the largest train museum in the world and a vital link between London and Edinburgh being ~2 hours and 200 miles from each.

The picture for today is indeed a picture of York rail station, built in 1877 it is quite distinct and holding up well, but could use a bit of updating. They do have some bike storage and it was full when I saw it, but its very small and nothing to shake a stick at.

One might notice the sign hanging in the picture, it notes over 60 trains a day to London from this station and going online to the East Coast line website the time for some of these trains varies from just under 2 hours to about 2 hours and 10. It is ~190 miles from York station to London Kings Cross station.

For reference the distance is about the same from Boston South station to NYC grand central. There are 10 trains a day here with the regional taking 4 and a half hours and the Acela taking 3 and a half. Which is quite sad if you think about it, the Acela has a higher top speed than any of the British trains but the rails here are so bad and there are too many stops along the way that it never reaches any good speed, not the mention they had to skimp on the breaks to save money so it can’t even go its top designed speed.

It is hard to give fair information because in the uk prices are hugely dependent on how far ahead you can book. For my time in the uk I was able to book about a month+ in advance and were getting £15 fares for a whole lot of travels, I also had a 30% off discount card. The trip to London from York can cost anywhere from £11(17$) to £96(153$) with the lower fares on odd hour trains. To compare the Acela will cost lowest 93$(£58) to 124$(£83) one way and business class only. There is seriously something wrong here….

If they were truly serious about the Acela then 1 maybe 2 stops, in the uk there are 4 stops on most trains between London and York, if you needed more you take a slower regional which makes sense. There are currently 6 stops between Boston and New York for the Acela.

There is not much I can say about the station, it does its job and its great to be able to take the rails pretty much anywhere anytime in the UK. I wish I had that option here. There will be more later on how the UK system works and what I don't like about it and how it is currently run.

Google Maps
Sustrans map

National Express East Coast
York Station
City of York

No comments:

Post a Comment