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HS2 high-speed London-Birmingham route rail project - discussion

Discussion in 'transport' started by Oswaldtwistle, Feb 28, 2011.

  1. Garek

    Garek Living n ADDled chaos

    Rail has far less of an impact on the countryside than a motorway. I really don't think you can equate a motorway building programme with a rail building one.
  2. Roadkill

    Roadkill Hull Hipster Hate

    Really? A lot of the opposition to HS2 has been whipped up by wealthy nimbies and the right-wing press. Such people always seem to see railways as disruptive and unnecessary, but don't worry about roads.

    Besides, a railway line takes up a lot less space than a motorway.

    There's very little doubt that demand for rail travel is going to keep on rising, and the existing north-south routes are nearing capacity now. This is why rags like the Mail, which today is wittering on about how it'll only save an hour to Manchester, are missing the point. Faster journey times are a bonus, but the real reason we need HS2 is capacity.
    Maggot likes this.
  3. Ted Striker

    Ted Striker Foot's on the other hand

    Aside from a staunch "tax the shit of the motor industry and make Public Transport as cheap and common (and nationalised) as it is in most nations" stance I have on life, I think this is a bit shit.

    London to (a non-connecting, iirc) Birmingham station should not be the limit of this super project, especially if timescales of 15 years is being touted.

    I'd be much happier if the scope was somewhat wider.
  4. Roadkill

    Roadkill Hull Hipster Hate

    London-Birmingham is only phase 1 - although yes, they are taking their time over it.
  5. Garek

    Garek Living n ADDled chaos

    Also if they do this it lay the ground work for the future. What we should be aiming for is high speed to Edinburgh and Glasgow. And that will only come with this first.

    In fact this is what we should have be doing from the 60's onwards instead of committing one of the greatest act of vandalism on this countries infrastructure and then following that up with several decades of motorway building that has done far more to destroy communities and the countryside than rail ever did or could.
    editor likes this.
  6. Ted Striker

    Ted Striker Foot's on the other hand

    ^Pretty much.
  7. Minnie_the_Minx

    Minnie_the_Minx purves grundy - definitely a bloke

    How much is this all going to cost? :hmm:
  8. spacemonkey

    spacemonkey I Love Noodles

    The first 120 mile section from London to Birmingham will cost £15.8 to £17.4 billion, while the cost for the entire Y-shaped 335 mile network is £30 billion.
  9. Minnie_the_Minx

    Minnie_the_Minx purves grundy - definitely a bloke

    Yes, I know that, but how much will it really cost? That's what they reckon now, but how much will those costs shoot up?
  10. spacemonkey

    spacemonkey I Love Noodles

    Probably stick another 20-30% on top. I'm not really up to speed on the whole HS2 thing, but similar opponents were probably using the same reasoning post-war for not electrifyfing our entire rail system. We've definately suffered, and the investment at that stage would've been hugely benefical in the long run [citaton needed - anyone?]. It's embarrassing that the route between the Welsh and English capital cities still uses diesel trains, and will do up until 2017.

    2017. Diesel trains. Major european capital cities, two hours apart. FFS. :facepalm::facepalm:
  11. Bahnhof Strasse

    Bahnhof Strasse wax weasel

    45 minutes to Birmingham? Takes that to do the 10 miles from Strawberry Hill to Waterloo :hmm:
  12. Roadkill

    Roadkill Hull Hipster Hate

    Part of the reason why the Great Western Main Line is still using diesel trains is that the Western Region board made the decision in the 1960s not to go for electrification, on the grounds that it was costly and disruptive (which it is), and that diesel trains offered comparable performance, albeit with higher running costs. In retrospect that decision was wrong, but with the information they had at the time and the financial constraints they were working within, it wasn't completely unreasonable.

    The immediate problem on the GWML by 2017 - aside from fuel prices - will be that the HST trains used on that route will be 40 years old and well beyond their designed service life, new engines (which they all have) or no. Electrification can't come too soon, although I have my doubts about whether the new trains will be as nice to travel on as the HST...

    There are plenty of non-electrified lines - even quite major ones - in much of Europe, though. With a few exceptions, there are no railway systems that don't use some diesel traction, simply because it will never be cost-effective to electrify every lightly-used branch line and freight siding.
  13. Garek

    Garek Living n ADDled chaos

    When it comes to short-sightedness nothing beats opting for narrow gauge though. Where are our double decker trains :(
  14. Shifter

    Shifter Not me Guv!

    afaik slamming in to our rather low bridge and tunnel roofs.
  15. Garek

    Garek Living n ADDled chaos

    Quite.
  16. Roadkill

    Roadkill Hull Hipster Hate

    Impossible - well, unless the cash could be found to modify pretty much every bridge, tunnel, catenary and platform face on the network, which it never will be. We're stuck with the 1830s loading gauge and will just have to live with it. (The old Great Central Main Line was built to a larger loading gauge, actually, but there's no hope of reopening that.)

    There has been some raising of bridges etc to allow 9' 6" high containers (as opposed to the older 8' 6" ones) to be carried on strategic freight routes, but even that has been very costly.

    Double-deck trains were tried in the 1940s. They didn't work because it took too long to get people in and out, meaning over-long station stops.
  17. Crispy

    Crispy Fond of drink and industry

    Our track gauge is standard. It's the loading gauge that's small.
    HS2 will be built to European loading gauge, so double deckers will be able to run on it. Not for a while yet though - until the network is complete, there won't be enough demand on the HS route alone. Classic-compatible trains will make up the majority of the fleet to begin with.

    Roady: Aren't they re-using parts of the GCML route for HS2?
  18. spacemonkey

    spacemonkey I Love Noodles

    Thanks, I realised that post wasn't strongly based on fact.

    I'm looking forward to electricification as I use that line a lot.
  19. Garek

    Garek Living n ADDled chaos

    Oh yeah I know it is impossible. Just a shame.

    Confused though by wiki. I thought we had narrow gauge but it is saying we have standard :confused:

    Anyways I look forward to see what rolling stock they come up with for HS2.
  20. Roadkill

    Roadkill Hull Hipster Hate

    It's long overdue, but enjoy the HSTs whilst you have them, because I'd be surprised if their successors weren't a lot smaller inside and less comfortable to ride in...
  21. Roadkill

    Roadkill Hull Hipster Hate

    As Crispy says, we have standard-gauge track: it's the 'loading gauge' (i.e. the permitted height and width of trains) that's smaller than on the continent.
  22. Garek

    Garek Living n ADDled chaos

    Ah, missed that, sorry Crispy!
  23. Roadkill

    Roadkill Hull Hipster Hate

    Don't think so. HS2 will run alongside the surviving southern end of it, and nearby in a couple of other places, but it's all new construction AFAIK.

    With the advantage of hindsight, the GCML closure is probably the single greatest mistake of the Beeching era. Tbf the line was always under-used and unprofitable and it duplicated a lot of the Midland Main Line, so there was some logic to closing it, in the short term. But it was a superb piece of engineering - far better than most others - and would have been an ideal basis for a high-speed line in the longer term. Unfortunately, too much of the trackbed has been built over - especially in Leicester and Nottingham - for reopoening to be possible.
  24. Shifter

    Shifter Not me Guv!

    I'm not sure how I feel about this HS2 link from London to Birmingham.

    I am having trouble equating a 30 Billion spend to save, according to some reports, less than 30 minutes on a non-stop journey. I took a look at a Euston to Birmingham timetable last night and the journey is like 1 hour 40/50 or something with 5 or 6 stops along the way with 2 trains per hour. How long would the journey take if they ran a 3rd train but ran it non-stop? I mean if it was saving 60 minutes or even 40 that puts Birmingham in commuting distance of London and that is a big deal.... not that you'd be able to afford the ticket mind you.

    I am also wondering about the logic of it... I mean, if you're traveling from one city to the other you're probably going for at least the morning or afternoon probably more like a day or two, is 30 minutes either end of your going to make that much difference if you've only had to wait 20 minutes rather than 30 for the next train? And if you coupled that with upgrading the engines and rolling stock so it can go a bit faster...

    I really don't have any truck with the whole "areas of outstanding beauty" argument either, yeah beautiful areas, seen by whom, a herd of cows? This way at least we'll all get to see it from a train window but more likely i'll be reading or snoozing.
  25. Roadkill

    Roadkill Hull Hipster Hate

    HS2 is primarily about capacity, not speed.

    *edit* That said, when they extend it further north, faster journey times will make it a more effective compettitor for internal air services.
  26. spacemonkey

    spacemonkey I Love Noodles

    *dislike*

    How much leccy will these trains consume then? On an average 2 hour journey say.
  27. Shifter

    Shifter Not me Guv!

    orly? so how many peeps can these things move compared to the existing in an hour? Concorde was hellishly fast but could only move a few people at a time at enormous cost and in teh end it was the slower higher capacity jumbos that won out.

    I am not against HS2, i just am having struggles with the stats and logic.
  28. Crispy

    Crispy Fond of drink and industry

    30b is the total cost for the line, not the Birmingham section. Phase 1 to Birmingham will be 16b.
    Quicker journeys are not the reason for the new railway. The West Coast Mainline is approaching capacity (even with the £10b already spent on modernising it) and it has to do double duty of carrying intercity and local trains. Mixing different speeds and stopping patterns reduces capacity. That's why the tube can run 40 trains per hour - they're all the same speed and they all stop at every station.

    By moving the intercity traffic onto HS2, the WCML can actually carry more traffic than it currently does, by increasing the number of local trains. It's also a vital freight route, which is an even worse mix with intercity passenger trains.

    The actual speed of the intercity trains is irrelevant. The incremental cost of making the new line 200mph instead of 125mph is not very much, so may as well go fast.

    If they ran the train non-stop, it would run into the back of the all-stations train in front of it. If you want to run non-stop trains and maintain the same end-to-end capacity, you have to run all the trains non-stop. Obviously, this is not viable, so currently all Birmingham trains stop at intermediate stations. After HS2, there will still be all-stations trains from London to Birmingham, but they won't be full of people going from London to Birmingham - those people will be on the high-speed line. That means more space and more trains for everybody on the WCML. As the high-speed line pushes further North, this benefit spreads. Some HS2 objectors are angry that it does not stop at intermediate towns. That is the entire point.
  29. Roadkill

    Roadkill Hull Hipster Hate

    Concorde is not a good comparison. It was a leap into the technological unknown, and it failed partly because of unforeseen rises in fuel costs which made it uneconomic. High-speed rail is proven technology, which has already been running successfully in parts of Europe and Japan since the 1970s. Air travel is rather a different proposition to rail in any case, since routes aren't fixed in the same way as they are on the ground.

    I don't have the figures to hand, but you're looking at trains capable of taking several hundred people per service - much as existing trains can. However, existing routes are already nearly full to capacity. HS2 will free up capacity on the existing East and West Coast Main Lines, in addition to providing faster north-south services.
  30. Shifter

    Shifter Not me Guv!

    Not so, take a look at teh Met Line.

    Not so, if you run the trains on time (ok, definite flaw) you will know where the express will pass the local train, you just have to build a bypass at that location, no?

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