I recently stumbled across the website of Cambridge Connect, an initiative “to help create an enduring system of rapid and sustainable transit that would help address the transport challenges facing Cambridge, while ensuring that the social, educational, economic, environmental, historic and cultural qualities that define the City are maintained and enhanced”. So far the energies of Cambridge Connect seem to have been mostly spent investigating and proposing a light rail rapid transit system for Cambridge, something that I agree needs to be pursued as a long-term transport solution for the city and surrounding areas. It’s also probably a good time to propose the idea again because, as I initially feared, it looks like Cambridge’s city deal money is almost certainly going to be mostly spent on relatively piecemeal improvements that make Cambridge a less attractive place to live for most people1.
An old Dublin Bus bus (now Go Whippet branded) in Cambridge
Buses (at least the ones in Cambridge) are mostly unpleasant for anyone on or near them and much of the cycle infrastructure in Cambridge is dangerous when combined with drivers not familiar with the city. Also, as argued previously, the prevalence is cycling in Cambridge is probably contributed to by the poor public transport. [↩]
Huntingdon Community Radio is a useful radio station to listen to when using the soon to be upgraded section of the A14 between Cambridge and Huntingdon (though the signal is a bit weak beyond Bar Hill). As well as playing one of the best ranges of music that I’ve heard on radio, it provides detailed information on the roads and rails around Huntingdon. However, until recently, I was puzzled by a daily occurrence on the radio station that was never announced nor acknowledged.
I really love it when alternative cues from soundtracks, like the one below, are leaked. It’s nice to hear “fresh” developments and explorations of themes, and some of the different aspects of the corresponding scene that the composer was trying to reflect, performed and recorded to the same standard as the original soundtrack. Personally, I think they should be officially released in a similar way to some of the other “behind the scenes” elements of films, like conceptual art and deleted scenes. They’d certainly make a better addition to the soundtrack album than the remixes that some albums inexplicably include.
It’s always nice to hear alternative arrangements of well-known themes. I recently stumbled upon a new source of such arrangements: Parademics. Like The Blake Robinson Synthetic Orchestra, the music is created using some pretty good sample libraries. I think I initially came across the YouTube channel when it had little other than some fan-made Pirates of the Caribbean music, but the quantity and breadth of the music have significantly improved over the last few years. I imagine that each arrangement is far from quick to make!
This is a really cool map, showing the full geographically accurate (as far as I can tell) track layout of all railways and tramways in London. London Underground, London Overground and closed railways are all included, as is Tramlink in South London. Also included are the start and end of tunnels and the location and layout of depots and sidings.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t feature any old tram lines or anything that was proposed but abandoned, even if building work had started (e.g. the Northern Line extension to Bushey Heath). However, it does include lines currently under construction (e.g. Crossrail) and that have not yet been started (e.g. the Northern Line extension to Battersea).
From the map you can get a real sense of where the railway capacity is in London as well as where stations, minor branch lines and useful non-radial links have been lost. The additional diagrams of historic track and junction layouts are particularly interesting. I am surprised and impressed that someone managed to find all of this information!
There are maps for additional cities and regions available too, from a drop-down menu above the map. I’d like to see Dublin’s railways, Luas and DART on a similar map.