View previous topic | View next topic

HS-2

Page 2 of 3
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3  Next

barbados
1342388.  Thu Feb 13, 2020 2:02 am Reply with quote

One point regarding the loadings, is it isn’t just the London o Birmingham Journey, you also need to consider the people that want to travel between Warwick and Bicester for example, and I suspect that those loadings fall in to the confidential catagory.
As a rail user, rather than a planner, I can only speak anecdotally, If I go into London, I have the choice of three stations I can go to, I never pick my nearest ine, because the trains are always full. I will go to either Gatwick, if I am in a hurry. Or East Grinstead if I’m not, because they are both terminals, and I can get a seat. At my local station, the trains arriving will be full before they leave Brighton, and if I were to travel from Brighton to London, I would certainly change at Gatwick from the crowded train to get on the less crowded express (even though it costs more) So I would suggest that some of the traffic would hop across from the local service, making the journey more comfortable for both trains.

 
AndyE
1342400.  Thu Feb 13, 2020 7:33 am Reply with quote

barbados wrote:
One point regarding the loadings, is it isn’t just the London o Birmingham Journey, you also need to consider the people that want to travel between Warwick and Bicester for example, and I suspect that those loadings fall in to the confidential catagory.


Correct on all counts. The Office of Rail and Road will tell you how many people per day board a train at each of the two stations in Warwick, and how many people per day leave a train at each of the two stations in Bicester.

It won't tell you how many tickets are sold for Warwick to Bicester journeys, since that is commercially sensitive. Neither will it tell you about the crude loading calculations done by, in effect, weighing trains. That's done by using a device to measure axle load, and the information is collected primarily for engineering and safety reasons. It's not especially accurate as a measure of passenger load, and in any case the industry considers the figures sensitive on health and safety grounds.

The figures on whether or not trains arrive with seats available are determined manually by counting people on and off trains. It's labour intensive, so it's only done for fifty or so major stations, and over a few days of each year. Train operating companies undoubtedly do further counting of their own, but don't even have to report those findings to the ORR let alone the public.

But what is clear is that there is plenty of capacity between London and Birmingham off peak. There is an issue at peak times, but so there is on many hundreds of other railway lines, and longer trains are both an easier and a cheaper solution than building a very expensive and highly contentious new line.

My good wife sometimes feels that she has to 'declare an interest' by stating that she is acquainted with Nigel Farage. So I suppose I ought to 'declare no interest' and say this: I am not being paid by any part of the rail industry or by any pressure group for expressing my opinion on HS2.

 
Celebaelin
1342420.  Thu Feb 13, 2020 3:14 pm Reply with quote

The idea as I understand it is to free up the existing West Coast line for more freight use while providing a fast rail link to serve as an eco-friendly alternative to flying.

The line itself passes very close to me (I say very close - it's about a mile or so from my place that it crosses the Coventry Road) and I know some people whose opposition is based around the negative impact on their house prices. In fact Burton Green village hall (site of my primary school theatrical triumphs) and 1 house will have to be demolished to accommodate HS2 but that is on balance neither here nor there except to those who live very close to the line. Passenger travel to London from Birmingham/Coventry is not in any way problematic - the trains are fast and frequent (from Coventry there are currently 146 trains per day taking about 90 minutes) but a new, faster line will improve goods train services as well as cutting journey times and the same will apply to other cities as the line is extended further North - it will cut one hundred minutes off the journey time to Manchester ie essentially halving it.

I'm told that infrastructure investment is currently responsible for keeping the UK economy in growth; add to that the suggested economic benefits on completion and it looks like a pretty good idea to me - in fact some might say it is long overdue.


Last edited by Celebaelin on Sat Feb 15, 2020 7:44 am; edited 1 time in total

 
barbados
1342427.  Thu Feb 13, 2020 4:33 pm Reply with quote

One thing that I think gets over looked is the net cost - as with everything, if you want to portray it as bad, you will always quote the gross cost (we only need to look at the recent political turmoil for examples of that) however, how much of that £88 Billion (which I think is how it is budgeted now with the Northern Extensions being costed separately) will pay for itself, by way of taxation on the building and manufacturing costs?

 
dr.bob
1342446.  Fri Feb 14, 2020 5:52 am Reply with quote

Celebaelin wrote:
while providing a fast rail link to serve as an eco-friendly alternative to flying.


Surely this is the whole fucking point of HS2. I get a little frustrated with all the talk about HS2 providing fast trains between London and Birmingham. As Andy points out upthread, there's no need for this service on pretty much every level and, if you're wanting to compete with flights, you're much better off providing high-speed rail links to places such as Newcastle, Edinburgh, and Glasgow.

The really annoying thing is that this is not some kind of ground-breaking new concept that people can't predict the behaviour of. Loads of other European countries have their own high-speed rail networks, so why don't we just learn from what they did?

A brief scan of the wikipedia entry for the French TGV system tells me that the first line they opened on the network was from Paris to Lyon. This is a distance, as the crow flies, of 244 miles (according to google). Almost exactly the distance from London to Newcastle.

The only reason I can see anyone would want to build a high-speed rail line between London and Birmingham is so you can get the project running at a lower cost, and then extend further north once the money has already been spent. But this is a stupidly inefficient way to developing a high-speed network.

 
barbados
1342459.  Fri Feb 14, 2020 9:00 am Reply with quote

I certainly agree the project has been inefficient, Although I think that has now been corrected by starting and then extending as necessary

 
AndyE
1342460.  Fri Feb 14, 2020 9:01 am Reply with quote

That, unfortunately, is the price that we in the UK pay for having a government which insists that railways should reside in the private sector and make a profit.

Even the present government does actually know that the present system is hopelessly broken, but appears not to have much idea just what to do about it. Re-nationalisation is politically unacceptable to it and would be high risk in any case, but no one has a better idea right now. However, and despite some evidence to the contrary*, I am not Christian Wolmar and so I shall not write an 1,500 word essay on that subject at this point.

dr.bob is absolutely right about the French TGV network, but France has four advantages over the UK here:

1. France has a tradition of centralisation. Local government finds it much harder to say 'no' to central government than in the UK, and France doesn't take much notice of les NIMBYs. Unless they are officially on strike, but that is another place where we need not go just now.

2. France is much less densely populated than England (specifically). There are far fewer houses in the way if you draw a straight line of length 244 miles across the country.

3. France dispensed with its titled aristocracy over 200 years ago, so rather less of the land which crosses that long straight line is owned by descendants of the ancien régime who have friends in government. Jacques Chirac kept that kind of company, but he was a sufficiently unpopular Président that later politicians have tended to avoid it.

4. There is no realistic prospect of any part of France breaking away to be a separate country.

No 4 above probably makes a new high speed railway to Edinburgh or Glasgow an unwise prospect at present. Public opinion in the UK doesn't much like Foreign at the moment, so why would we build an expensive new railway line to a place that might be in Foreign by the time it's open?

That leaves Newcastle. The existing East Coast Main Line to Newcastle is already the second fastest in the country, and only in two places (south of Stevenage, and between Darlington and Newcastle) is there a capacity issue. What's more, the geography means that a new line to Newcastle would in any case have to run virtually alongside the existing line.

All the East Coast Main Line really needs is for a couple of two track sections to be increased to four. The topography and dense populations makes that non-trivial to do, but the same applies to large parts of the HS2 route. So while a new line to Newcastle is our strongest case for a high spec high speed line, it's not all that strong. There are probably better horses for Mr Johnson to back.


* Mr Wolmar and I both have grey hair, both like cricket, both sit to the left of centre, and both get paid for talking about railways and buses. But he supports Queens Park Rangers.

 
barbados
1342461.  Fri Feb 14, 2020 9:26 am Reply with quote

Quote:
But he supports Queens Park Rangers.

Which of course automatically makes him wrong

 
dr.bob
1342462.  Fri Feb 14, 2020 10:59 am Reply with quote

AndyE wrote:
Re-nationalisation is politically unacceptable to it


Is it? LNER is already in public hands, and Northern will be in a couple of weeks. It seems like the network is being very slowly renationalised by default.

AndyE wrote:
3. France dispensed with its titled aristocracy over 200 years ago, so rather less of the land which crosses that long straight line is owned by descendants of the ancien régime who have friends in government.


So you're saying that the best way to improve the efficiency of HS2 is to dust off Mme Guillotine? I can certainly get on board with that idea! ;-)

AndyE wrote:
4. There is no realistic prospect of any part of France breaking away to be a separate country.


Yeah, I realised as I was writing my previous post that the current political situation makes building anything to Scotland very undesirable. Although, even if the trains were high-speed as far as Newcastle and then normal speed beyond that, it'd still make a massive difference to journey times between Edinburgh and London.

Sadly successive Conservative governments have actively shown that they give precisely zero fucks about the North East, so developing the economy of Newcastle is probably not very high on their agenda.

AndyE wrote:
The existing East Coast Main Line to Newcastle is already the second fastest in the country, and only in two places (south of Stevenage, and between Darlington and Newcastle) is there a capacity issue.


To be honest, the capacity issue doesn't seem as much of a problem as the speed issue. If it's faster to fly, people are going to choose to take the plane. If you want to reduce emissions from transport, then moving people from planes to trains seems a good way of doing it.

However, I'm not an expert, but I suspect you might be able to achieve greater reductions in emissions if you tackle more widespread modes of transport like cars and lorries rather than internal flights.

 
suze
1342468.  Fri Feb 14, 2020 12:54 pm Reply with quote

dr.bob wrote:
LNER is already in public hands, and Northern will be in a couple of weeks. It seems like the network is being very slowly renationalised by default.


On this we must wait and see. The government remains ideologically opposed to nationalisation, but is well aware that the current model is utterly broken. It hasn't a clue what to do next, and neither does anyone else.

For a dozen reasons Transport is going to be a very important area of government policy over the next decade. It has tended to be one of those ministries that nobody really wants, and to be given to a second division minister who is never going to get one of the Great Offices. That must change.


dr.bob wrote:
Although, even if the trains were high-speed as far as Newcastle and then normal speed beyond that, it'd still make a massive difference to journey times between Edinburgh and London.


It would of course, although if were building a new high speed line to Edinburgh it probably wouldn't go that way. The "Sleeper Route" via Preston and Carstairs would be cheaper to build and less constrained by geography.

dr.bob wrote:
Sadly successive Conservative governments have actively shown that they give precisely zero fucks about the North East.


Historically true, but remember that the North East voted Conservative for the first time in living memory at December's election. If Mr Johnson is keen for it do that for a second time, more fucks will have to be given than hitherto.

 
Willie
1342526.  Sat Feb 15, 2020 3:44 pm Reply with quote

AndyE wrote:
The received wisdom is that the 'tipping point' at which a business traveller switches from rail to air is three hours. From London, the only major cities which take that long by train are Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Newcastle, and there is no current proposal to give them new railway lines.


Channel Tunnel trains were originally supposed to eventually go as far as Aberdeen. unfortunately they forgot to take that into account when they designed the trains as for safety reasons they cannot go over the King Edward VII Bridge, let alone the Forth Rail Bridge.

I have little faith that HS2 trains would be any different.

 
cnb
1342532.  Sat Feb 15, 2020 5:55 pm Reply with quote

Willie wrote:
Channel Tunnel trains were originally supposed to eventually go as far as Aberdeen. unfortunately they forgot to take that into account when they designed the trains as for safety reasons they cannot go over the King Edward VII Bridge, let alone the Forth Rail Bridge.

I have little faith that HS2 trains would be any different.


The problem isn't the Edward VII bridge itself, it's a section of track on the approach. There was a plan to change it, but the work didn't happen as the project was abandoned before they got that far. As part of a project the scale of HS2 it would be trivial to fix.

I'm not aware of a problem with the Forth Bridge, other than the very low speed limit causing a delay to high speed services.

 
Alexander Howard
1342537.  Sun Feb 16, 2020 4:12 am Reply with quote

It's interesting that you could in theory take a train from Aberdeen to Constantinople as the British standard rail gauge is used across Europe, but if ever a bridge or tunnel were built across the North Channel (that's another thread) the train would stop at once as Irish gauge is broader, unless we tear up all the tracks across the island.

 
crissdee
1342547.  Sun Feb 16, 2020 6:00 am Reply with quote

Just looked that up for shits and giggles. The journey from Aberdeen to Istanbul is scheduled to take 2 days 6 hours, which is about 2 days 5 hours longer than I would want to be on even the most luxuriously appointed train.

 
AndyE
1342562.  Sun Feb 16, 2020 9:13 am Reply with quote

Alexander Howard wrote:
It's interesting that you could in theory take a train from Aberdeen to Constantinople as the British standard rail gauge is used across Europe, but if ever a bridge or tunnel were built across the North Channel (that's another thread) the train would stop at once as Irish gauge is broader, unless we tear up all the tracks across the island.


We could perhaps adopt the Spanish solution. Traditionally, a rail journey from France to Spain involved a change of gauge at the border, since French railways use standard gauge (4' 8½", 1,435 mm) while Spanish railways use Iberian broad gauge (ancho ibérico, 6 pies castellanos, 1,668 mm).

That made it impossible to run through trains to Spain. The first attempt was a night train in the 60s which used adjustable axles and a special piece of non-parallel track over which to adjust. The same system is now used for trains running to countries which use Russian broad gauge (Russkaja koleja, 1,520 mm), but it proved unreliable in Spain and was short lived.

In 1973 came the innovation of winching the carriages off the ground, driving the bogies away, and then driving new bogies in before putting the carriages back down. This had two problems, though: the lifting gear was very noisy and upset the neighbours, while passengers found the dangling unnerving. It lasted only a few years before they reverted to changing trains at the border.

Then came a new standard gauge line which made it possible to run direct trains from Paris to Barcelona with no change of gauge. There is a flyover just north of the border, because French trains drive on the left while Spanish trains drive on the right. To make it possible for those trains out of Paris to continue to Valencia, the existing railway line from Barcelona to Valencia had a third rail fitted between the existing two, so that both standard gauge and Iberian broad gauge stock could use it.

Railways in both parts of Ireland use Irish broad gauge (5' 3", 1,600 mm). The DUP has occasionally advocated for all lines in Northern Ireland to scrap that 'foreign' gauge and adopt standard gauge, or alternatively for them to have a third rail fitted so that British stock can run.

The railways of South Australia and Victoria use Irish broad gauge, simply because the Chief Engineer when they were built was an Irishman. But the Chief Engineer who built the railways of New South Wales was a Scot, so NSW uses standard gauge.

 

Page 2 of 3
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3  Next

All times are GMT - 5 Hours


Display posts from previous:   

Search Search Forums

Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group