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All across the Great Western territory => The Wider Picture in the United Kingdom => Topic started by: RailCornwall on August 04, 2009, 09:34:45 pm



Title: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: RailCornwall on August 04, 2009, 09:34:45 pm
The government has made the demise of domestic air travel an explicit policy target for the first time by aiming to replace short-haul flights with a new 250mph high-speed rail network.

The transport secretary, Lord Adonis, said switching 46 million domestic air passengers a year to a multibillion-pound north-south rail line was "manifestly in the public interest". Marking a government shift against aviation, Lord Adonis added that rail journeys should be preferred to plane trips.

Start of a series of three days worth of articles in ...

(http://premium1.uploadit.org/ChrisCornwall3/logos/logogguard.gif) (http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2009/aug/04/high-speed-rail-adonis)


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Electric train on August 04, 2009, 09:43:10 pm
I'm getting to like Lord Adonis more and more


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: bignosemac on August 04, 2009, 09:46:32 pm
250 mph network????!!!!! One or two high speed lines may happen, but 250mph? Never.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Timmer on August 04, 2009, 09:50:05 pm
I'm getting to like Lord Adonis more and more
Me too. A politician who actually speaks sense not spin and knows what he's talking about. Shame he probably only has a few months left in the job. If the Tories get in they could do a lot worse by asking him to stay on. Can't see that happening sadly  :( Job will probably be given to someone who hasn't the foggiest about transport and couldn't careless about it hoping one day for a bigger promotion within the cabinet.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: onthecushions on August 04, 2009, 10:16:31 pm

It will be a great pity if the result of (F)GW Electrification limits our line to 125/140 mph, rather than the TGV performance that Brunel allowed for.

Perhaps we should be "First".

OTC


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: old original on August 04, 2009, 10:28:26 pm

It will be a great pity if the result of (F)GW Electrification limits our line to 125/140 mph, rather than the TGV performance that Brunel allowed for.

Perhaps we should be "First".

OTC


too right, how fast would we be going today if we were still on 7ft gauge?


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: vacman on August 05, 2009, 09:35:46 pm
We don't need 250 mph, more lines capable of 125 will do!


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: willc on August 05, 2009, 09:44:50 pm

It will be a great pity if the result of (F)GW Electrification limits our line to 125/140 mph, rather than the TGV performance that Brunel allowed for.

Perhaps we should be "First".

OTC


I know Brunel was far sighted, but I think even he might have been struggled to visualise a TGV. The problem with the existing network is that it is shared with all sorts of other trains, doing all sorts of other speeds. Coal MGRs to Didcot don't mix that well with 125mph trains now. Anything faster and you would have a serious problem.

So of course we need proper LGVs.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: RailCornwall on August 05, 2009, 10:15:40 pm
IF we do go along with this I sincerely hope that it's engineered correctly and the a significant proportion of the route is FOUR tracked, so that ultra express services, I suggest that there is at least one non stopper Glasgow - London per day, express services say stopping Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds, Newcastle can run alongside those stopping at other stations en route. This will also allow limited use of the LGV by other services too.





Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: devon_metro on August 05, 2009, 10:19:00 pm
The problem with the uk is the fact that the major citites are too close together to sustain any worthwile high speed running.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: RailCornwall on August 05, 2009, 10:57:59 pm
Hence my engineering comment,

A range of services

Ultra
Glasgow > Heathrow > London

Very Fast
Glasgow > Newcastle > Leeds > Heathrow > London
Glasgow > Manchester > Heathrow > London
Glasgow > Birmingham > Heathrow > London

Fast
Glasgow > Newcastle > Leeds > Manchester > Birmingham > Heathrow > London

Spur
HS Services using the LGV line then onto Classic tracks.

Express
Stopper at other LGV stations.

Running non stop gets the speed advantage thats lacking because of the Geography, hence the need for many four track sections.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: simonw on August 05, 2009, 11:41:09 pm
It is a great shame that no mention is made of Bristol, Cardiff or Plymouth in these plans.

Whilst I accept that Bristol/Cardiff are to close to truly benefit from a high-speed network, dramatically increasing track capacity from Bristol to London, particularly Reading on would allow for many more trains, and arguably some express trains that can do 140mph from Cardiff/Bristol direct to London.



Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: eightf48544 on August 06, 2009, 09:44:48 am
IF we do go along with this I sincerely hope that it's engineered correctly and the a significant proportion of the route is FOUR tracked, so that ultra express services, I suggest that there is at least one non stopper Glasgow - London per day, express services say stopping Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds, Newcastle can run alongside those stopping at other stations en route. This will also allow limited use of the LGV by other services too.

Certaimly 4 trcks would be good idea definitely south of Manchester,but it would be posssible to share 2 tracks North of there provided the intermediate staions were four tracked.

This is way the Japenese bullet trains operate, I've heard talks where people say if you on a train with more stops you pull into a station and < 2 minutes later a fast pases on the avoiding line. But the Japenese seem to run their to 30 second timngs.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: willc on August 06, 2009, 11:06:07 am
The problem with the uk is the fact that the major citites are too close together to sustain any worthwile high speed running.

Well, no-one appears to have told the Japanese, another small island nation, where some Shinkansen stations are as little as 20 miles apart. As eightf says, there are varied calling patterns, with fasts passing stoppers, some on short commuter runs, no different to Class 395s in among Eurostars on High Speed 1.

Tokyo-Osaka, the original line, is 515km (320 miles) long, with 15 intermediate stations. London to Edinburgh is just under 400 miles on the ECML.

But I suppose they're just strange foreigners, who don't know what they're doing, like all the other countries who have built HSLs while we have sat on our backsides.

I don't think it was a coincidence that last autumn pretty much the first thing Lord Adonis did as rail minister was to go on a fact-finding trip to Japan.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Timmer on August 07, 2009, 06:23:12 am
Nice to see yesterday's Daily Telegraph where their leader commented on keeping Lord Adonis on as transport secretary after the next election being a good idea:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/telegraph-view/5979413/High-speed-derailment.html

Quote
If Lord Adonis, rather than John Prescott, had been in charge of transport when Labour took power, with the money and mandate to do great things, who knows what might have happened? Indeed, if David Cameron wants to give his own transport plans real credibility, he should think laterally, and find a place for Lord Adonis in a Tory government.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: willc on August 07, 2009, 10:46:36 am
Nice to see yesterday's Daily Telegraph where their leader commented on keeping Lord Adonis on as transport secretary after the next election being a good idea:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/telegraph-view/5979413/High-speed-derailment.html

Quote
If Lord Adonis, rather than John Prescott, had been in charge of transport when Labour took power, with the money and mandate to do great things, who knows what might have happened? Indeed, if David Cameron wants to give his own transport plans real credibility, he should think laterally, and find a place for Lord Adonis in a Tory government.


But as I've said before, Adonis has ruled this out himself several times and Dave will have a lot of ambitious Tories hungry for office to satisfy, so I expect normal service will be resumed, where someone holds the transport job for a year or two, on the way up to bigger things or on the way down.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Tim on August 07, 2009, 11:38:37 am

But as I've said before, Adonis has ruled this out himself several times .

but he would say that at the moment wouldn't he.  He has been a Lib-Dem in the past so I wouldn't rule him out keeping his job.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: onthecushions on August 07, 2009, 05:13:31 pm
IF we do go along with this I sincerely hope that it's engineered correctly and the a significant proportion of the route is FOUR tracked, so that ultra express services, I suggest that there is at least one non stopper Glasgow - London per day, express services say stopping Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds, Newcastle can run alongside those stopping at other stations en route. This will also allow limited use of the LGV by other services too.





To run at LGV speeds (>= 168 mph, 270 kph) one needs stable formation, better clearances, more sleepers/m, better top and line maintenance and (at least) a 50kph stepped, in-cab signalling system, to name but a few. This is not therefore a mixed traffic line either for pathing or maintenance.

A (F)GW LGV would need the present main lines dedicated to TGV type services with uniform operating speeds. We could have that as far as Didcot (or even Steventon) but extra tracks would be needed Westward. TGV's do run satisfactorily at normal speeds (<= 125 mph, 200kph) on conventional mixed traffic routes (practical these infernal Frenchies). Relief line passing loops would also be desirable East of Reading (some are going in for Crossrail anyway). The extra 2 (relief) tracks beyond Didcot are also needed for freight and stopping services but would not be needed in slower areas, say from Chippenham on the Bath route and Badminton on the S Wales line.

The GW line has gentle curves (LGV ruling is 5 km radius, 2.5 at a pinch) and clearances from Broad gauge days. It makes sense therefore not to close off future advances but allow developments to leap frog - the secret of East Coast success, and of West Coast failure.

But if those masts are planted laterally 100mm too close......

OTC


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: bignosemac on August 07, 2009, 05:27:33 pm
All this speculation about Lord Adonis' job next year: Aren't we getting ahead of ourselves a little bit. Who's to say it's going to be Dave handing out the jobs? We all know it was Kinnock who had his foot in the door in 1992 only for the electorate to slam the door in his face. If a week is a long time in politics then 9 months leaves a hell of a long time for things to change. Don't write off Gordon or the Labour Party just yet. If Lazarus could do it.....


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: willc on August 07, 2009, 06:33:30 pm
But Lazarus wasn't running for election in the UK, with a skewed first past the post election system giving you huge majorities in the Commons on about 40 per cent of the votes and a tired government on its last legs after 12 years in office. Plus Dave will get a slightly easier ride from certain national newspapers than Mr Kinnock did in 1992.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: bignosemac on August 07, 2009, 07:45:29 pm
But Lazarus wasn't running for election in the UK, with a skewed first past the post election system giving you huge majorities in the Commons on about 40 per cent of the votes and a tired government on its last legs after 12 years in office. Plus Dave will get a slightly easier ride from certain national newspapers than Mr Kinnock did in 1992.

Hang on though. We had a tired government on its last legs after 13 years in office in 1992. Only takes one slip on the beach or an overconfident "Well alright!" for the tide to turn.

The print media's influence, along with their circulation, is waning. I think Dave may start to experience a dip in popularity when policies and manifestos have to be published. At the moment we know very little of the Tory party's plans. So my colours are not yet tied to any one mast, I'll wait for the manifestos. Labour face an uphill struggle, but it is not insurmountable.
And I'd rather not see Adonis pitch up as a Tory transport minister. I agree, he's doing a fantastic job at the DfT at the moment, however I'm never entirely comfortable with politicians swapping sides. He did start his political career as a Lib Dem. One change of sides is just about okay, but to change again would show a lack of any ideaology or political conviction and merely show he is only interested in power. I'm also not overly happy with having unelected ministers of state.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: willc on August 07, 2009, 09:51:10 pm
Are you really suggesting that all the people who voted Tory in 1979 or Labour in 1997 had a detailed understanding of their manifestos? I think not.

Labour in 92 had come a long way, but Kinnock never convinced a lot of people he was PM material, and Major got lucky timing-wise - his financial crisis came after the election. Brown's didn't. Blair and Thatcher looked the part as a prospective PM. Dave has yet to do so fully, but he has one big advantage - he's not Brown, which is worth more than any manifesto.

I won't be voting for Cameron, but having actually met him twice and seen him in action at public events, I can assure you he's pretty impressive.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: eightf48544 on August 08, 2009, 11:14:43 am

But if those masts are planted laterally 100mm too close......

OTC


Very good point it's just what the Treasury would do to save a few pence on the scheme.

Wasn't HS1 built to one below full Berne gauge just to save few pence?

It's a classic British trait spoiling a ship for a hapeth of tar.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: willc on August 08, 2009, 06:01:51 pm
HS1 was built to UIC GB+ gauge, which is a pan-European standard for carrying piggyback lorry trailers on rail wagons and can also handle 9ft 6in shipping containers on standard flat wagons and standard European freight wagons - hardly penny-pinching.

As the same gauge applies in France and Belgium, you couldn't even get to the Channel Tunnel with anything built to the biggest UIC standard gauge loading profile, C, which is available in Scandinavia, the Netherlands, Germany and the former Warsaw Pact countries in Central Europe and the Balkans, though I think the Channel Tunnel itself is actually bigger than C gauge, due to the size of the shuttle trains.

Network Rail is on record as saying that any expansion of GB+ in Britain could only be done during major route upgrades - so electrification presents just such an opportunity.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Btline on August 12, 2009, 06:20:20 pm
The thing I think that was short sighted about HS1 is the line speed. It should have been 200 or 250 mph - in common with current HSL constructions.

You may say it would only save about 7 mins 41 seconds - but remember that eventually we want international trains to/from Northern Britain - so the shorter the journey time the better! Let's hope HS2 is 250 mph as Adonis hints!


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: devon_metro on August 12, 2009, 08:11:06 pm
The thing I think that was short sighted about HS1 is the line speed. It should have been 200 or 250 mph - in common with current HSL constructions.

With a fleet of 186mph trains?

No offence, but sometime I wonder what planet you are on  ???


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Btline on August 12, 2009, 11:14:09 pm
I'm sorry to tell you that I'm still on Earth! :P

Firstly, the trains can go above 186 mph. ;)

But my main argument is that in about 20 years time, (by which time HS2 has opened...hopefully) they'll need replacing.

To be honest, they could do with going now - perhaps to augment an existing UK TOC's stock. They are cramped, tired looking inside, and should be switched for larger trains now HS1 has opened. But we won't go there, otherwise the words IEP, SET or HST2 will be thrown at me!


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: onthecushions on August 13, 2009, 12:22:01 am
The thing I think that was short sighted about HS1 is the line speed. It should have been 200 or 250 mph - in common with current HSL constructions.

With a fleet of 186mph trains?

No offence, but sometime I wonder what planet you are on  ???

The maximum speed possible on a rail route is defined by its curvature (radial forces) and clearances (dynamic envelope and aerodynamic forces). Brunel took this on board back in 1842, without recourse to the planet Zog.

As with Pizzas, you can add any toppings to a good base.

Mind the gap....

OTC



Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on August 13, 2009, 01:23:16 am
HS1 would never be feasible as a 250mph railway. It's just not long enough for the trains to accelerate to that sort of speed, and then maintain it for long enough for it to be worthwhile, before having to throw in the brakes for the tunnels. Getting a TGV up to 208mph for the current speed record was pretty much as high as you would be able to reach.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Btline on September 13, 2009, 01:45:22 pm
I have been thinking about the proposed High Speed Line and have been wondering whether it is a good idea.

This new line could run from London to Birmingham without stopping and then on to Manchester. However there are major places such as Watford, Milton Keynes, Rugby, Coventry, Sandwell, Dudley and Wolverhampton which will be missed out. Undoubtedly, the new line will so many of the Birmingham - London passengers, that the existing 3 tph VWC service which links the aforementioned places will be both cut, and slowed down by the need to call at additional places to get more "bums on seats". Thus HS2 would actually make the rail service WORSE for the above places.

A solution? Why not construct a new two track 155 mph line from Euston, going parallel to the WCML, with links in and out of both Watford and Milton Keynes. It would then split into two and join the Birmingham WCML branch and the Trent Valley line (with a link into Rugby just before this split. The Trent Valley line would be upgraded to allow for 155 mph operation, with a 155 mph Stafford bypass line removing the need for trains to slow down through Stafford. The 155 mph upgrade would stop just North of Crewe. This could be done in the same time as HS2 to Birmingham, but have much bigger results.

The result? The current VWC HF timetable could operated. All direct journey opportunities would be kept and most journeys would see significant journey time reductions, albeit less than with HS2. London to Birmingham would be about 1 hour, and Wolverhampton 1 hour 15 mins.

Passengers from Glasgow, Chester/North Wales, Manchester, Liverpool would all see time reductions - but still have the same stops. People from Milton would still be albe to catch the Chester train to Crewe and then change onto a Northbound service to Glasgow. As the Pendolinos can only go at 140 mph, they would be modest, but then with a IEP at 155 mph, timings would improve further.

The classic WCML south of Rugby would be freed up. Freight could be increased, and LM could run 125 mph fast service from Northampton and Bletchley, (and their Crewe/ Trent Valley stopper could be sped up south of Rugby) using IEPs.

I would also do a similar thing on the ECML. I high speed line to Leeds will only benefit Leeds. But I would add two new 155 mph tracks just beyond Peterborough, with links in and out of Stevenage and Peterborough. I would upgrade all major junctions as far as Doncaster to be fly overs, and the lines to be 155 mph. This would free up capacity for 3 tph to Leeds, extra trains to places like Hull, harrogate etc.; as well as improving journey times. i.e. more people would benefit.

Going west, install 2 new tracks as far as Reading to allow the main services to be 140 as far as Swindon. Free up space for more semi fasts for Maidenhead, Slough and Tyford.

Although the prospect of a High Speed line excites me, and the journey times quoted will make many lick their lips, I wonder whether it is the best thing for the country.

??? ??? ???


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Phil Farmer on September 13, 2009, 04:14:17 pm
     I tend to think that the argument that a new high speed line, misses too many major towns or cities, misses the point.
     
     Surely the existing network will allow passengers from places like Milton Keynes or Rugby to feed into the High Speed line at Birmingham.   After all - when you catch a flight from Heathrow to Athens for example - you would't expect it to pick up at Brussels, Berlin, Zurich or Rome on the way.

     The whole point, surely, is reduce the travelling time over long distances.

     Even a journey combining a feeder service, together with the High Speed link, would still offer a good reduction on current journey times.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: brompton rail on September 13, 2009, 04:48:18 pm
It seems that HS2 is more likely to have new stations in London, Birmingham and perhaps Manchester.  It certainly would be very difficult to accommodate High Speed Trains in New Street for example. Probably take as long to travel from London to Proof House junction as it will getting through the tunnel from Proof House into a platform. 

I am inclined to the view that building cut-off high speed lines might result in less fast journeys but benefit more places. A HS line parallel to the East Coast line which had short spurs to, say, Nottingham, Sheffield, but passed through, say, Doncaster before going to Leeds would enable faster services to many East Midland, South and West Yorkshire destinations as well as speeding up journeys between London and Newcastle and Edinburgh.  A similar line parallel with WCML and spurs towards Brum, Manchester, Liverpool, Preston (not forgetting towards North Wales) would free up space on the existing lines, speed up long distance trains, serve existing main line stations thus allowing good connections with other services to be maintained.

Has anyone stated how many passengers are carried by air between London and Manchester and Leeds compared with the current number of rail passengers. There are no flights from Yorkshire to Heathrow for example (according to press reports). High Speed lines ought to be to increase the attractiveness of rail compared with all other modes, not just air, which is likely to become even more expensive than rail!


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Btline on September 13, 2009, 07:57:19 pm
     I tend to think that the argument that a new high speed line, misses too many major towns or cities, misses the point.
     
     Surely the existing network will allow passengers from places like Milton Keynes or Rugby to feed into the High Speed line at Birmingham.   After all - when you catch a flight from Heathrow to Athens for example - you would't expect it to pick up at Brussels, Berlin, Zurich or Rome on the way.

     The whole point, surely, is reduce the travelling time over long distances.

     Even a journey combining a feeder service, together with the High Speed link, would still offer a good reduction on current journey times.

Yes, but many direct services will be lost, such as Wolverhampton/Sandwell and Dudley to Euston. Milton Keynes to Manchester may survive, but as a much slower and infrequent service, as it will need to call more often to compensate for the loss of the London - Manchester passengers.

And I think the plan is for Birmingham to be severed by a London facing branch, giving Britain's second city NO direct high speed link North.

My suggestion would speed everyone up.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: TerminalJunkie on September 13, 2009, 08:23:14 pm
And I think the plan is for Birmingham to be severed by a London facing branch, giving Britain's second city NO direct high speed link North.

That just proves you haven't read it...

http://www.networkrail.co.uk/images/5896_NewLines_routePlan.jpg
(http://www.networkrail.co.uk/images/5896_NewLines_routePlan.jpg)


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Btline on September 13, 2009, 08:26:31 pm
Thanks TJ, that's the first "plan/map I've seen with the Birmingham branch facing both North and South.

Is this NR's preferred route?

I haven't read it because I am bored of countless "reports" and "plans".


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on September 13, 2009, 09:02:57 pm
I haven't read it because I am bored of countless "reports" and "plans".

It's been in all the serious documents I've read. The latest RAIL for example quotes half-length trains (5 coaches) running four trains per-hour starting at Birmingham running north, two calling at Manchester, Preston and Glasgow, and two calling at Preston and Edinburgh. Those are in addition to 12-14 trains per hour running north from London.

It's very early days and so scant regard can be given to the length of trains and frequencies and stopping patterns, but what it does demonstrate is that Birmingham northwards is very much on the agenda.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: John R on September 13, 2009, 09:25:56 pm

I haven't read it because I am bored of countless "reports" and "plans".

Puts you at a bit of a disadvantage when putting forward your views on the subject then?


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on September 13, 2009, 09:43:25 pm
Is this NR's preferred route?

Well, the fact that Network Rail chose to publish it does rather suggest that it is their preferred route?  ::)


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Btline on September 13, 2009, 11:20:37 pm
All maps I've seen over the last few years show a single London facing branch; if this has changed, so much for the better.

Puts you at a bit of a disadvantage when putting forward your views on the subject then?

Whether or they run services North from Birmingham, my original post still stands. So the fact that I didn't drool over the latest proposal is irrelevant.

Anyway, I've stopped reading these documents. Partly as I can't be asked to spend time wafting through 100s of pages of hot air!

I used to read these reports; I used to lick my lips at the proposed improvements. But every year when the new report came out, the "completion dates" would be pushed back a year. (or more!) No progress. No action. Probably because they'd wasted the year writing another bloody report instead of actually building X line/station/signal/track!


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on September 14, 2009, 03:50:34 pm
It's also worth pointing out that Network Rail's proposals are separate from the Governments own HS2 study - though of course both might refine their plans based on each others findings.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: caliwag on September 14, 2009, 05:19:13 pm
mmm...here's what "an important think tank" is proposing for Central Scotland...have to say it seems a grim idea taking a high speed train from London (or even all points European) to a hub in the middle of nowhere, only to be crammed onto a 158, or it's latest incarnation to the Centre of Glasgow or Edinburgh...forget about Stirling...that's always going to be a 158!
Sorry it's not the South West, but you can see how some people are thinking!

Almost certainly more on this in the next issue of Rail ::)


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: caliwag on September 14, 2009, 07:51:19 pm
of course forgot to attach the relevent article...bah ???

http://www.nce.co.uk/5204225.article


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on December 03, 2009, 04:05:59 pm
From the BBC (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/west_midlands/8391874.stm):

Quote
Birmingham could get two new multi-million pound railway stations if proposals for a high-speed rail network get the go-ahead.

The first line is expected to be built between London and the West Midlands with trains running at more than 200mph, cutting journey times to less than 45 minutes from the Midlands to London.

The BBC has learned that as part of plans to accommodate the new line, Birmingham will probably need two new stations.

The first would be close to the city centre, probably in the under-developed Eastside area.

A second station is likely to be built close to Birmingham International Airport and the National Exhibition Centre (NEC), with easy access to the motorway network.

Those involved in planning high-speed lines agree New Street station, which is due for a major redevelopment, will not be suitable, although it would continue to serve the non-high speed services.

It is understood potential sites for the stations will be included in a report, due to be handed to transport ministers at the end of this month.

The report has been compiled by High Speed Two (HS2), a special company set up by the government earlier this year. Its sole aim is to plan the first line to the West Midlands, but it has also been advising ministers on options to go further north in the future.
 
High-speed rail campaigners have maintained that having two stations in Birmingham would make "perfect sense".

Jim Steer, director of campaign group Greengauge 21, said: "We will have to see the report, but my guess is that it is pretty likely. There is a very strong case for a city centre station and equally I think they will find, as our work has found, there is a very good case for a station at perhaps Birmingham International Airport."

In recent months there has been a long and drawn out debate about exactly where a high-speed station for the West Midlands should be.

Some have argued high-speed rail systems work best when lines go directly into city centres.

Others, like officials from the airport and NEC, have backed plans for an "interchange" station there.

Paul Kehoe, chief executive of the airport, said: "We truly believe in an integrated transport solution and a station here with the NEC, the airport and the M42 is a fantastic location. So let's get on with it."

Although the report will be completed by the end of December, it is not clear when it will be officially published.

The government has said it is committed to launching a public consultation in 2010, however those plans will almost certainly be delayed by the general election.

It is hoped that despite the impending election, ministers will publish the report either in February or March.
 
High-speed rail plans have achieved cross-party support and it is expected that whichever party forms the next government, planning work will continue.

But there are already concerns about the impact a high-speed line could have on the communities through which it might pass.

The report is likely to put forward several potential routes. And while the speculation about the routes continues, each of the areas which could be potentially disrupted could suffer lengthy periods of blight, where property values fall and houses become more difficult to sell.

Chartered surveyor Steven Hinton said: "It's likely to be sometime before we have a definitive route and particularly in an election year, the more delay there is, the more blight there will be and the more hardship there will be for families."

Building a high-speed network will cost tens of billions of pounds, which is expected to come from a mixture of public and private sector sources.

Planning the network is also expected to take several years to complete.

Early estimates suggest construction of the first line to the West Midlands could start in 2015 with the line opening in the early-2020s.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: paul7755 on December 03, 2009, 05:24:14 pm
Quote
The report is likely to put forward several potential routes.

I thought they'd explicitly said the report will put forward only one fully engineered route (albeit with some local options), because of the huge issues with property blight in Kent when they proposed a number of different routes for the CTRL. 

So if it proposes for instance a route based on the existing Chiltern route , that will be the route, to all intents and purposes...

Paul


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Btline on December 03, 2009, 11:07:38 pm
Only problem is the bad connexions from regional and commuters services to the HSS.

And B'ham will have 4 different city centre stations on 3 different routes!


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: RailCornwall on December 28, 2009, 02:13:38 pm
Wednesday should see the announcement of the preferred route option for HS2 to the Midlands and options further North, press speculation seems to suggest a new Terminus in London effectively combining Euston, the new HS station and Kings Cross St Pancras as the southern end.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Btline on December 28, 2009, 04:31:11 pm
Wednesday should see the announcement of the preferred route option for HS2 to the Midlands and options further North, press speculation seems to suggest a new Terminus in London effectively combining Euston, the new HS station and Kings Cross St Pancras as the southern end.

Um, a station linking Euston, Kings Cross and St Pancras? :o

Where will they fit that in? And it's congested underground anyway! Surely the best option is to extend the Backerloo and Crossrail lines to get rid of most LM stoppers into Euston. Then add a few more platforms, giving the space required for the TGVs.

Of course, if the planners at St Pancras had been competent, we could have had spac there.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: paul7755 on December 28, 2009, 04:35:35 pm
Wednesday should see the announcement of the preferred route option for HS2 to the Midlands and options further North, press speculation seems to suggest a new Terminus in London effectively combining Euston, the new HS station and Kings Cross St Pancras as the southern end.

Wednesday is the day the report is passed to the DfT, AFAICT. The announcement won't happen until Labour need a fillip in the electioneering process, I reckon - so I'd expect it to be announced formally just before before the pre-election embargo on major policy statements. 

The press speculation this week is just that...

Paul


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on December 28, 2009, 05:41:38 pm
From the BBC (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8432051.stm):

Quote
High-speed rail plans to be submitted to government

A major new station in the heart of London will be part of plans for a north-south high-speed rail line to be submitted to the government this week.

The first stage of the 250mph new line - from the capital to the West Midlands - could open by 2025.

The station would cater for up to 18 trains and 20,000 passengers an hour.

The proposal is in a report by the High Speed Two (HS2) company which has been set up by ministers to identify a viable route for the new line.

HS2 will put forward options for possible connections to Heathrow Airport and to the Channel Tunnel rail link, known as High Speed One (HS1).
 
The company says it has looked at 35 potential sites for a new station in London, but has plumped for one right in the heart of the capital.

There will be detailed proposals for the route of the line between London and the West Midlands - accurate to within 18 inches - and more general plans for its extension beyond that to Scotland.

A range of costs will be included for construction of the line which could start by 2017.

HS2 chief executive Alison Munro said it was asked to look at linking the line with the cross-London Crossrail project, the Great Western main line and Heathrow. "The report will set out a case for various options including a possible link with HS1," she said. "The proposals will include running trains from the HS2 on to the West Coast Main Line. This will not be a transport project in isolation. The final report will look at how the line will help housing and regional economic development. There will be significant levels of detail."

If the government decides to go ahead with high-speed rail it will publish a White Paper by next April.

The document would set out details such as route proposals, timescales and associated financial, economic and environmental assessments.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: FlyingDutchman on December 28, 2009, 06:45:09 pm
If they built a New High Speed Route to Plymouth, I would think it would have to be via Bristol.

Due to the Canal next door to the railway line between  Pewsey and Reading.

I think Planning new lines go down

Population.
Cost
Benifit.



Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Btline on December 28, 2009, 07:04:33 pm
If they built a New High Speed Route to Plymouth...

They won't.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Lee on December 30, 2009, 01:56:54 pm
From the Department for Transport: (http://nds.coi.gov.uk/clientmicrosite/Content/Detail.aspx?ClientId=202&NewsAreaId=2&ReleaseID=410022&SubjectId=36)

Quote from: Department for Transport
Adonis: 2010 will be the 'Year of High Speed Rail'

Transport Secretary Andrew Adonis has predicted 2010 will be the year of high-speed rail in the UK on the day he received what could prove to be a landmark report for the future of transport in this country.

High Speed Two - the company set up to advise the Government on the development of high-speed rail services between London and Scotland - delivers its highly-anticipated report today. The study is the most detailed examination ever undertaken of how to take forward high-speed rail in Britain.

Andrew Adonis said:

"This is an important report which will shape the future of high-speed rail in this country.

"High-speed rail has real potential to regenerate and reinvigorate. Our high-speed network lags behind that of many of our European neighbours and doesn't connect any of our major cities, but this report could change that.

^I am excited about the possibilities that high-speed rail has to transform transport in this country for the better, providing environmental benefits, encouraging investment and boosting business and jobs.

"Scrutiny of the report will begin immediately and we will announce how we plan to take high speed rail forward by the end of March - making 2010 the year of high speed rail in the UK."

The report from High Speed Two (HS2) presents a detailed route plan for the first stage of a north-south high-speed line, from London to the West Midlands, as well as options for extending high-speed services, and high speed lines, to destinations further north, including the North West, the East Midlands, Yorkshire, the North East and Scotland.

If the Government decides to pursue proposals for high-speed rail, it will publish a white paper by the end of March 2010. The white paper will set out detailed plans for new high-speed rail lines and services, including route proposals, timescales and associated financial, economic, and environmental assessments. This would be followed by a full public consultation starting in the Autumn of 2010, giving all interested parties an opportunity to comment before the proposals are finalised.

Notes to editors

The Government will not publish the HS2 report in advance of the Government^s response, as to do so would cause unnecessary blight in respect of options identified but not taken forward. The HS2 report will be published alongside the Government response.

HS2's business case will be supported by technical assessments, including demand forecasts and an assessment of the potential for shifting journeys to high-speed rail from air and road.  For the route between London and the West Midlands, HS2^s report will include: design specifications; environmental assessments; and, costs, funding and delivery structures.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Btline on December 30, 2009, 06:24:14 pm
A HSL just to the West Mids is a waste of time. You might as well spend half the money 6 tracking the WCML to Rugby (providing similar journey time reductions to Birmingham, but also shaving time off ALL routes on the WCML), with links put in at Wembley to Heathrow and HS1.

Then use the money saved on a similar scheme for the GWML, 2 new tracks to Reading, link to Heathrow, etc.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on December 30, 2009, 07:15:20 pm
You might as well spend half the money 6 tracking the WCML to Rugby

I've asked a similar question before regarding the GWML, but where would the fifth and sixth track go? There's no space for the majority of the route - Watford and Kilsby Tunnels are a couple of the more obvious of many barriers.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: bignosemac on December 30, 2009, 07:47:27 pm
Am I alone in being a little pessimistic for what the future holds for 'UK Rail'? There are a whole raft of aspirational network improvements out there, but I worry that a (likely) change of Government will put the ky-bosh on most, if not all, of the large projects. I cannot see where the money is going to come from. Govt. purse strings are likely to be tightened severely and private capital, with the entailing financial risk, is very unlikely to be forthcoming.

I fear another period of make-do and mend, rather than any great leaps forward.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Btline on December 30, 2009, 07:48:02 pm
Flyovers and tunnels. And the new tracks wouldn't have to stick to the rest of the route, as trains using the express tracks would not be stopping before Reading.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: devon_metro on December 30, 2009, 07:51:27 pm
Am I alone in being a little pessimistic for what the future holds for 'UK Rail'? There are a whole raft of aspirational network improvements out there, but I worry that a (likely) change of Government will put the ky-bosh on most, if not all, of the large projects. I cannot see where the money is going to come from. Govt. purse strings are likely to be tightened severely and private capital, with the entailing financial risk, is very unlikely to be forthcoming.

I fear another period of make-do and mend, rather than any great leaps forward.

Regardless of the future government I very much doubt we will see any major rail investment as being announced. To do so would be economically unsustainable in the short term and getting out of debt is the biggest concern.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Electric train on December 30, 2009, 08:32:08 pm
A HSL just to the West Mids is a waste of time. You might as well spend half the money 6 tracking the WCML to Rugby (providing similar journey time reductions to Birmingham, but also shaving time off ALL routes on the WCML), with links put in at Wembley to Heathrow and HS1.

Then use the money saved on a similar scheme for the GWML, 2 new tracks to Reading, link to Heathrow, etc.
Why phaf about trying to follow the old alignments that are often a result of Victorian land owner NIMBYisum the WCLM is rife with kinks due to this.  The new high speed routes are strategic they will run hub to hub with some services branching off to key destinations which is how the TGV routes and airlines operate


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: caliwag on December 30, 2009, 08:51:21 pm
Regardless of funding, the green issue and the strange notion of keeping up with Europe (far bigger distances and apparently no discernable nimby factor), I cannot see, by the time this lot is up and running...say 2020, where are 18000 people an hour going to come from that want to travel from London to "the North"?

Trains will be there for tourists, ageing parents, students, pass holders and a few misguided business people who cling to the face-to-face meet and a wee jolly. Everything will be so much more direct...computer based...mobile phone technology is changing so rapidly, more than most can imagine, so the notion that a 90minute and more train journey is important (with all the inevitable perterbations) is complete and utter nonsense.

Sorry these are the facts (Chiltern peeps, you can quote me)...Forget HS in the UK...Spain did it because in post-Franco years they felt they needed to catch up...and they did...I can only assume that the EU payed for it. (oddly enough the East Coast Main Line electrification had a serious contribution from the EU)

So, lets just upgrade what we have...a damn successful railway, dedicated people, with damn successful 125s (retentive tanks notwithstanding)...and rejoice.

BTW...to BT...as regards Nat XP...I rest my case, but I have a lot of time for First...FGW, Trans-Pennine, and er York buses...excellent to my mind...except the Purple ones! :-*


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: grahame on December 30, 2009, 09:07:44 pm
[snip]

So, lets just upgrade what we have...a damn successful railway, dedicated people, with damn successful 125s (retentive tanks notwithstanding)...and rejoice.


I like to prepare blog articles well ahead ... and I wrote one in 2007, for publication in 2032 and it tells you what will have become of the 125s by that time.    Like a sneak preview, 22 years ahead? - http://www.wellho.net/mouth/1729_.html?pwidth=wide


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: caliwag on December 30, 2009, 09:34:42 pm
Ha Ha...superb G. take a bit to follow up all the links, but Bahgdad to Dundee...exotic stuff. Mind if the Spanish get their tunnel to Africa, Dundee to Casablanca is on the cards...Err, weekend return please, unless it's cheaper with singles mate?  8)


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: bignosemac on December 31, 2009, 02:02:16 am
Cheers Graham, that link brought a smile to my face! And here was me thinking that in your r^le as Moderator-in-Chief of this erstwhile forum, you were somewhat immune to cynicism. ;D ;D ;D


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on December 31, 2009, 11:55:29 am
Flyovers and tunnels. And the new tracks wouldn't have to stick to the rest of the route, as trains using the express tracks would not be stopping before Reading.

Right, so, erm, you're not 6-tracking then, you're basically building a separate HS line?


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Tim on December 31, 2009, 12:15:18 pm
HSR in the UK seems to be about adding capacity as much as saving time.  The UK is a small country and most of the population is in a small corner of England. 

Massively high speeds between places like London, Bristol, Brum, Manchester, Leeds do not make sense - the current journey times are already fairly short and things like electrification, signalling upgrades and reduced congestion with perhaps 140/150 mph running on some stretches and some of the current lines speeds eased up elsewhere by adjusting alignment and cant and closing some level crossings (how much of the GWML is actually at the 125 mph speed of the existing stock? - not very much.  Some of the windy parts can't be sped up cheaply, but would it be too difficult or expensive to make some of the 110 line, 115 or 120, and some of the 80 line 85 or 90? 

We need to get over our unhealthy obsession with the French and their TGVs and go for more of a German approach where HS rail generally means sustained running at about 125 to 140 mph.

Capacity is the main restraint to incremental speed upgrades - the solutions are:

1) in-cab moving block signal if we can get it to work properly (and we will eventually I am sure)
2) faster freight paths made possible by greater use of electric traction.
3) new medium speed frieght lines to divert frieght off the main lines which can then enjoy faster journeys and existing access to city centres.  Engineeered to wider loading gauges and about 80mph running they would be much cheaper than high speed lines and may be able to use existing disused formations in many places. 
4) new metro/tram/underground system to allow closure of small stations wich slow down the mainline (ie a Bristol tramway could run next to teh railway and allow closure of St Andrews Road and the otehr small stations that slow down intercity journeys


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Lee on December 31, 2009, 01:17:57 pm
Not sure how St Andrews Rd slows down intercity journeys, but you could try this...

My thanks go to Nicki Pittman (CANBER) & Graham Ellis (Save The Train) for their assistance with the maps below.

(http://www.wellho.net/pix/leemap.jpg)

(http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/bristol/yellowlinemap.jpg)

(http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/bristol/redlinemap.jpg)

(http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/bristol/bluelinemap.jpg)

(http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/bristol/metrolinemap.jpg)


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on December 31, 2009, 01:46:50 pm
I find myself both agreeing and disagreeing with Tim.

The idea of getting freight off of the main routes is an appealing one - how many thousands of delay minutes are caused by a freight train getting in the way? But, in order to shift significant traffic off of the roads and airways (which is HS2's main selling point in helping to reduce emissions), speeds between the major cities do need improving.

I personally feel that a network which links London/Heathrow with Birmingham, Manchester/Liverpool, Leeds, Newcastle and Glasgow/Edinburgh (and arguably Bristol/Cardiff - although they're in an awkward part of the map) would do this. There could also be a couple of strategically located 'parkway' stations in the North-West or North-East in the same style as Ebbsfleet Intl (but also connecting into the local rail network) - perhaps one to cater for the Preston/Blackpool areas, one for the Sheffield/Doncaster areas and one for the Nottingham/Derby area?

With a sensible compromise of fast trains running non-stop from London to Scotland (or with a maximum of 1 stop en-route) and high-speed more regional trains running, say Edinburgh to Bristol stopping at Newcastle, Leeds and Birmingham.

Because the XC route of today has much lower average speeds, a regional service would offer the same kind of journey saving percentage wise compared with today's service as you would gain on a London to Scotland service running at 250mph all the way as the ECML and (now) WCML average speeds are much higher.

Even with the fast service on the ECML and WCML the market share of rail over air between London and Scotland is comparatively low when compared with London to Manchester - so, if the aim is to ground short flight then HS2 has to be built as you can't engineer any more significant improvements on those routes as they stand.

One thing's for sure, there's an awful lot of considered thinking to be done in order to get the best solution and value for money on what will be a very expensive commitment.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Tim on December 31, 2009, 02:48:51 pm
But, in order to shift significant traffic off of the roads and airways (which is HS2's main selling point in helping to reduce emissions), speeds between the major cities do need improving.

I agree BUT, on shorter distance routes like London-Manchester, modest cuts in journey times (although I conceed far from modest in cost) have almost completely killed off air competition.  On longer journeys like London to Edinburgh and Glasgow, I am yet to be convinced that the there are currently enough passengers travelling between those cities by air to justify the cost of hundreds of miles of new track.  Much of the recent growth of domestic fights has been at regional airports.  You can now fly Bristol-Newcastle or Manchester-Bristol.  Would HS rail take any of those markets?  No because it wouldn't go to Bristol, but speeding up the existing XC network preferably including electrification, slashing of slack and scrapping the Vomitors might. 

Where rail does badly compared to road isn't mainly for long intercity journeys, it is shorter almost commutable journeys that really cause congestion and are a high volume market that rail needs to tap.  Most people only drive long distances like Bristol-Newcastle a couple of times a year (Cristmas and holidays etc).  The day in day out congestion is caused by people who live in Bristol working in Cardiff or Bath and commuting every day.  For that kind of trip you don't need HS rail to tip the balance away from the car.  You could cut the congestion on the M4 with a 50 minute Bath-Cardiff journey time rather than 1hr 15 which becomes 1hr 30 or more once you have factored in getting to the station so that for many people today driving is quicker. 

It is journeys like Bath-Cardiff, Cardiff-Birmingham, London-Swindon, Oxford-Birmingham, Leeds-Manchester, Bristol-Exeter, Birmingham-Cambridge that cause most of the congestion on the roads because there are many people who drive those routes every day.  HSR will not speed up those journeys because 
it will only stop a very big cities.  If you speed up the conventional rail journey by say just 10 minutes on each of those routes, and allow the road journey to add 10 minutes to the jounrey (this will inevitably happen due to congestion) and give people fairly priced tickets and a comfortable seat, you will have reached the tipping point for many people on many of those routes.

If you build HS lines you may actually add to road congestion because you:

1) increase the use use of Parkway stations - I am always sceptical of Eurostar's green crudentials when their business model depends on a huge carpark at Ebbfleet.

2) slow down the classic route (as has happend when HS1 opened) whch actually stops at places people want to get to. 



Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Tim on December 31, 2009, 02:56:30 pm
Not sure how St Andrews Rd slows down intercity journeys, but you could try this...

Sorry I meant Stapleton Road.  There is space for another two tracks to be laid most of the way from Temple Meads to Parkway which would get the stoppers out of the way more easily than say Oldfield Park


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on December 31, 2009, 03:27:40 pm
You can now fly Bristol-Newcastle or Manchester-Bristol.  Would HS rail take any of those markets?  No because it wouldn't go to Bristol, but speeding up the existing XC network preferably including electrification, slashing of slack and scrapping the Vomitors might. 

You make some interesting and valid points and it all adds to the discussion about what will be the best solution. Though I'm not sure that if you take Bristol to Newcastle as an example, you could save enough time if trains still have to run on the traditional route, which passes through all those large stations between Birmingham and York and already has 125mph stretches. A 5-hour journey time of now might get trimmed down to 4h 15m - is that enough to reach the tipping balance when you compare the 1hr flight time? I'm not so sure.

It might make sense for the traditional route from Bristol to Birmingham to be upgraded for 125mph running (which has been seriously suggested before), electrified and connected to a brand new London to Scotland HS network near Birmingham (routed via Manchester, Leeds and Newcastle) where the trains could then run at HS2 speeds to the North-East and Scotland?

That way you get tangible journey time reductions and a sub 3hr journey time from Bristol to Newcastle would be possible (and sub 4hr to Edinburgh), but the cost is kept lower. As with most projects it'll be about finding the best compromise.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Btline on December 31, 2009, 05:07:39 pm
Tim has summed it up well. I don't think the demand is there for millions of seats every minute going non-stop from London to x, y or z.

Take the WCML and people who use the West Mids line. YES, a lot of them are going frm Euston to New Street. But a sizeable proportion are going Milton Keynes to Wolverhampton. Or Sandwell and Dudley to Rugby. Or Watford Junction to Coventry. HS2 will serve NONE of these flows!!

But if HS2 is opened, VT will cut back this route! Probably down to 1 or 2 tph, calling at more station. The result will be a WORSE service for many people. Or people will have to change at Birmingham on or off a high speed train, when before they could travel direct.

That's why I think 2 new tracks from Rugby to Wembley is best. It will permit ALL station calling patterns to remain, but speed up all WCML journeys. (the Trent Valley fast lines would also be upgraded to 155, and a Stafford bypass built) it would also cost a lot less (a 150 mph line instead of a 250 mph one), freeing up money to do the same on the ECML and GWML.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: RailCornwall on December 31, 2009, 05:16:34 pm
As I've said before here, the facility itself will cause demand, people will, if the fares are reasonable use the facility and expand their personal footprints regularly. Passengers will undertake regular trips to other destination cities for shopping and leisure purposes. It will also encourage a much larger travel to work area for cities such as London, Birmingham and Manchester, resulting in the levelling out of property prices in the South East overtime.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: FlyingDutchman on December 31, 2009, 05:59:49 pm
Will the New Heathrow Airport station be built under this new plan


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Btline on December 31, 2009, 06:08:05 pm
Will the New Heathrow Airport station be built under this new plan

Not that bloody Heathrow "Hub" to slow down the GWML!


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Super Guard on December 31, 2009, 11:14:54 pm
Lord Adonis writing in The Times 30/12/2009:

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/guest_contributors/article6970893.ece


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: woody on January 03, 2010, 12:46:05 am
All this talk of high speed rail (250mph) is making my head spin,back in the real world, how is FGW going to remain competitive from say west of Exeter to Plymouth /Cornwall with line speeds of only 55/65mph(secondary line speeds) in the 21st century.A railway running 20th century trains on 19th century infrastructure has little long term future.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Tim on January 04, 2010, 12:14:45 pm
As I've said before here, the facility itself will cause demand, people will, if the fares are reasonable use the facility and expand their personal footprints regularly. Passengers will undertake regular trips to other destination cities for shopping and leisure purposes. It will also encourage a much larger travel to work area for cities such as London, Birmingham and Manchester, resulting in the levelling out of property prices in the South East overtime.

I agree that more people will travel further if speeds are increased.  The HST expanded London's commuter belt out to Chippenham and Bath,  HS2 could take it out to Manchester and Preston.  But if you take that route of arguement you can't simultaneously argue that HS rail is green.  The green solution is for most London workers to live nearish to London and Most people who live in manchester to have reasonably local jobs. 

I hope that we will get some levelling out of property prices across the country, but HS rail will do no more than impose London prices on a few small parts of Northern England.  less excessible parts of the country will be unaffected and HS2 will be inaccessible to most of the country.  What really needs to happen to help the North (and other parts of the country outside the SE like Cornwall/Devon and parts of Wales) is to move decent jobs close to those places.  Isn't that more sensible then subsidising movement of the workforce to existing job hotspots.   You do need decent transport to help less-well off places develop, but improving local transport to local and regional centres is the answer.  Moderate line speed increases in places like Cornwall and tram/metro networks to bigger cities are the answer.  It would be better if the people of Burnley or Cambourne or Hartlepool   were given decent transport to jobs and training in their local city (Manchester, Exeter, newcastle, respectively) than people in Leeds and Brimingham which are already regenerating are given better links to London.  I sense that the Northern Way (a consortium of RDAs in the North of England) are begining to understand the importance of regional transport with their talk of regional improvements between the big cities of the North.  It makes more sense for Liverpool, Manchetser, Birmingham, Leeds, Sheffield to come together in a regional grouping to develop an economic centre of gravity to rival London rather than for one or two of those places to become satalites of London.  Some of Northern's line speeds are truely terrible.  Much better (and cheaper and easier) to boost those by 20 mph than to build HS2.  Also many of the post-industrial Northern towns have loads of disused rail formations which could be brought back into light or heavy rail use (ie reoppening the Woodhead tunnel as just one example) whereas there are real engineering problems in trying to run yet more raillines into London.  HS1 was hugely expensive because of the large distance of tunnels.  Putting tracks onto overgrown formations in going to be much cheaper.

Industry Insider makes some very sensible points about integrating new HS lines with modestly improved classic lines in order to get more towns onto the network and improve losts of journeys not just a few point to point ones.  If he were planning (and funding) the HS network I would support it.   

My fear is that the reality is that we will get a vastly expensive very limited HS network benefiting a few journeys only and that the classic routes will suffer to pay for it.   

The biggest compromise decision that will have to be made is to choose the speed for HS2.  I would suggest that somewhere between 150 and 180 mph would be the answer (more like germany than France - our closer spacing of citie sin more like Germany's).  We sould forget about 250mph running our geography is wrong.  To get the benefits of though services running part on existing line, part on upgraded existing line and part on new line, the new line needs to be able to accept trains running at 140/150mph.  If you mix those trains with 200/225/250 mph trains on teh HS section you really kill capacity.

If we build a 250mph track, as well being very costly most slower trains will be barred in order to run enough very fast trains to keep the track utilisation up in order to justity building it in the first place.   


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on January 04, 2010, 02:20:50 pm
I agree that more people will travel further if speeds are increased.  The HST expanded London's commuter belt out to Chippenham and Bath,  HS2 could take it out to Manchester and Preston.  But if you take that route of arguement you can't simultaneously argue that HS rail is green.  The green solution is for most London workers to live nearish to London and Most people who live in manchester to have reasonably local jobs. 

Industry Insider makes some very sensible points about integrating new HS lines with modestly improved classic lines in order to get more towns onto the network and improve losts of journeys not just a few point to point ones.

Thanks, Tim. And you make some very valid points too - especially regarding the green credentials of a High Speed line which just means more people are brought within the commuter belt of London and as a consequence trains run over longer distances to get them to the office. It's an argument also used by Christian Wolmer regarding the Javelin service.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: caliwag on January 05, 2010, 11:16:00 pm
No doubt this should be a response to a thread which I cannot locate, but it seems that Simon Jenkins hits the nail on the head...again!

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/jan/05/high-speed-rail-crowded-island


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on January 05, 2010, 11:33:24 pm
Worth trawling through some of the comments. There's the usual nonsensical bile from those who seem to spend their lives just criticising everything, but there are a few well written counter arguments to the article - one from Anders9x posted at 10:39pm is well worth reading.

Just adds to what, in a more limited way, we've been discussing on here - http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=5138.0 (http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=5138.0) - there's a whole lot of hard thinking to be done to come to the best decision!


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Btline on January 06, 2010, 12:17:40 am
I agree with the article. It's going to benefit so few at the expense of us all!

In fact, just like Southeastern and the Javelin service, but with the whole country paying, not just Kent.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: grandsire on February 08, 2010, 06:49:14 pm
Very interesting article from the Guardian a couple of days ago intimating that a Birmingham Airport link for HS2 makes much more sense than Heathrow.


http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2010/feb/07/heathrow-threat-high-speed-rail-birmingham


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Btline on February 08, 2010, 08:48:24 pm
Heathrow should have a link, but as a spur line, not as part of the route to the West Mids.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: caliwag on February 08, 2010, 10:23:56 pm
LOL...last year Doncaster, er international airport, was likewise mooted. Well, if there was space on the tracks, you could do, with a high speed spur which wouldn't cost much, airport to KX in under 90 mins. Of course lots of the commuter stuff would get in the way South of Peterboro' but makes you think. Doncaster does have a fantastic long runway, and there will be those that want to go to Hull and Grimsby...even Goole. ::)


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: eightf48544 on February 09, 2010, 05:14:03 pm
Wasn't the build up of Doncaster Airport once touted as an alternative to the third runway at Heathrow and 2nd runways at Gatwick and Stanstead?

What about Humberside Airport rail close by and Barnetby station has disabled access via the most massive ramped footbridge. It also has an immpressive array of semaphore signals as well. You can then have high speed trains on an old GC line as Watkin intended.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: bignosemac on February 19, 2010, 10:50:19 pm
Slow news day?

HS2 is the top story on tonight's (19/02/10) Newsnight.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: bignosemac on February 19, 2010, 10:50:57 pm
An unusually easy ride given to Andrew Adonis by Paxo, perhaps time constraints didn't allow him to push the point about how much HS2 is expected to cost. Paxo could also have pressed him further on the favoured route(s) contained in the report which Andrew Adonis is currently sitting on.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: eightf48544 on February 20, 2010, 12:01:26 am
Listened to Theresa Villiers this am didn't understand a word except they (the Tories) are not going to look at the report until it's published.

Can anyone explain why?


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on February 20, 2010, 12:12:02 am
From the BBC (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/8523518.stm):

Quote
Tories deny playing politics over high-speed rail plan

Shadow transport secretary Theresa Villiers has denied "playing politics" over the construction of a high-speed rail link from London to the Midlands. She confirmed that the the Tories had turned down an offer to view a copy of government plans for the route. But she said they were "not going to take Labour's route on trust" and would "reserve the right to look again" at plans once they are made public.

The government said it wanted to build a cross-party consensus on the issue.

Both the Conservatives and Lib Dems want a 250mph rail route instead of a third runway at Heathrow - the government wants one in addition to airport expansion.

The Tories have signalled their support for a high-speed route to include Heathrow, while Labour appears to favour a link or loop to the airport.

A White Paper on the new line linking London with the West Midlands is due next month and will be followed by a public consultation on options for the route.

Ms Villiers told BBC Radio 4's Today programme the paper would be "a very important contribution" to the debate, but the Conservatives did not want it "to close down the options". "We don't want there to be some cosy deal reached behind closed doors which closes out the communities that may be affected by the route," she said. "We're not going to take Labour's route on trust. We're going to reserve the right to look again at the route." She said there were "important areas of consensus" between the parties on the issue but the Conservatives would not look at the report until the public could see it as well. "We're not playing politics with this issue. It's enormously important and where the route goes will be enormously important in getting the maximum benefit from high-speed rail and also in minimising the impact on local communities affected by the route. We want to make sure that all those communities have the right get involved in the debate... before final decisions are taken."

Transport Secretary Lord Adonis said he was "very surprised" at Ms Villiers' comments, as the Conservatives had been "engaging" in the process so far. "Without political consensus on the principle of high-speed rail, it is unlikely to be taken forward as a national project in the next decade," he said. "But there will of course be public consultation on any route proposal put forward by the government."

Lib Dem transport spokesman Norman Baker said: "This peculiar decision of the Tories coupled with [shadow chancellor George] Osborne's spending cuts strongly suggest that the Tories are trying to kick high-speed rail into the long grass. The Tories can't be trusted with our railways."

Early plans suggest the new line would involve 400-metre long trains, capable of carrying 1,100 passengers, and would come at a cost of ^60bn. If the government accepts plans given to it by HS2, the company set up to deliver the project, building work could begin in 2017, with the first trains running in 2025.

Ms Villiers said that if the Tories won the next election, it would take another four to five years of planning and preparation before construction could start on a new line. That time frame would increase if they decided to rework the route suggested by Labour but she added: "We are still determined to deliver this project and deliver it in a timely and cost effective way."

Prof Stephen Glaister, director of motoring body the RAC Foundation, said: "All parties are advocating HSR [high-speed rail], yet Theresa Villiers is refusing the opportunity to see the official, independent, study into a new line, and the public might well conclude that she is happy to base her party's views more on faith than fact. One is left wondering whether she now believes the HS2 report won't be as supportive of a new north-south line as everyone is being led to believe." Prof Glaister said the White Paper should be published immediately in order to make clear the arguments for and against the new line.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: RichardB on February 20, 2010, 12:46:36 am
An unusually easy ride given to Andrew Adonis by Paxo, perhaps time constraints didn't allow him to push the point about how much HS2 is expected to cost. Paxo could also have pressed him further on the favoured route(s) contained in the report which Andrew Adonis is currently sitting on.

I didn't see the report but I am sorry to read this analysis.  For those like me who grew up with a downtrodden railway recovering from Beeching, all talk of High Speed Rail brings out wild enthusiasm.

My guess is that the preferred route is the old GWR main line to Birmingham, re-instating four tracking through most of the route.

There is a train on most days from Paddington that takes this route (11 00 or so Princes Risborough).  Take the train and see the potential.   

I'm sorry to see that, having supposedly backed High Speed Rail, the Conservatives seem now to be having cold feet.

Not a good sign for the future.  And there I will leave politics......


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Electric train on February 20, 2010, 08:30:23 am
Listened to Theresa Villiers this am didn't understand a word except they (the Tories) are not going to look at the report until it's published.

Can anyone explain why?
No matter what route is take north west out of London it will carve it's way through Tory heartlands, for instance if the old GWR/GCR route is used this will cut its way through some very blue areas which are areas where the likes of UKIP could put up a strong challenge also some of the inner London parts BNP might get a foot hold.

The Tory's have never liked the railways which is made even worse by the failure of their privatisation model of Railtrack and the myriad of competing TOC's and maintenance contractors


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Btline on February 20, 2010, 11:07:31 am
If the Tories push through the going via Heathrow option, it will make the journey time reductions much less impressive. With a bit of investment, Euston to New Street could be got down to 1 hour - which is fine. If HS2 goes via heathrow, I can't see times less than 50 minutes working. (when you consider that the preferred route will take 45 minutes)


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: caliwag on February 20, 2010, 11:14:05 am
Mr Wolmar, on the same Today programme, suggested that a serious rethink of the route, presumably by a new administration, would set the project back 4-5 years, just in time for, err, for the next election.
It ain't going to happen...where are all these 20000 pax per hour London-Birmingham going to come from, and more importantly why?
Far better value for money to continue with new hubs and let millions more benefit from the shrinking purse. The UK is not Spain, France, USA, Oz and now even Morocco...all big empty countries with I imagine no organised nimbyism. ;D  


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: devon_metro on February 20, 2010, 01:25:56 pm
The UK quite simply doesn't need a High Speed line. It will benefit only a fraction of people, now lets get some new DMUs ordered helping to alleviate overcrowding across the whole country.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Btline on February 20, 2010, 01:30:52 pm
The UK quite simply doesn't need a High Speed line. It will benefit only a fraction of people, now lets get some new DMUs ordered helping to alleviate overcrowding across the whole country.

I'm tempted to agree despite the mouth watering journey times. BUT the WCML needs more capacity. So add a 5th or 6th track as far as Rugby and spend the rest of the money on DMUs, electrification.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: devon_metro on February 20, 2010, 02:54:20 pm
The UK quite simply doesn't need a High Speed line. It will benefit only a fraction of people, now lets get some new DMUs ordered helping to alleviate overcrowding across the whole country.

I'm tempted to agree despite the mouth watering journey times. BUT the WCML needs more capacity. So add a 5th or 6th track as far as Rugby and spend the rest of the money on DMUs, electrification.

But does it? I've not heard any stories of the 3tph being overcrowded. Instant capacity relief would be installation of ERTMS cab signalling.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Deltic on February 20, 2010, 03:31:01 pm
I'm disappointed to find such a lack of enthusiasm for high-speed rail in the coffee shop.  :(

Adding additional lines to existing infrastructure is needed in certain areas (e.g. Swindon - Kemble, Oxford - Worcester) but it is disruptive to the existing service (witness the WCML upgrade) and difficult to achieve really high speed when traffic is mixed and there are lots of junctions.

I believe that the delay in starting construction is damaging the British economy or our environment and probably both.  There is at least political consensus that it is needed, years after the French have already completed a comprehensive network of high speed routes.  What is lacking is consensus over the route and this needs to be sorted out before we can move on.  But many of our main lines are operating near to capacity, our motorways are also full and we don't want to encourage more short haul air travel.

We need to free up capacity on our existing lines to provide reasonable services to smaller towns, such as Melksham! :D


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: bignosemac on February 20, 2010, 03:57:29 pm
The Newsnight item is available on BBC iPlayer until 2259 26/02/10.

http://bbc.co.uk/i/qxfy5


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Chafford1 on February 20, 2010, 04:58:26 pm
An unusually easy ride given to Andrew Adonis by Paxo, perhaps time constraints didn't allow him to push the point about how much HS2 is expected to cost. Paxo could also have pressed him further on the favoured route(s) contained in the report which Andrew Adonis is currently sitting on.

I didn't see the report but I am sorry to read this analysis.  For those like me who grew up with a downtrodden railway recovering from Beeching, all talk of High Speed Rail brings out wild enthusiasm.

My guess is that the preferred route is the old GWR main line to Birmingham, re-instating four tracking through most of the route.

There is a train on most days from Paddington that takes this route (11 00 or so Princes Risborough).  Take the train and see the potential.   

I'm sorry to see that, having supposedly backed High Speed Rail, the Conservatives seem now to be having cold feet.

Not a good sign for the future.  And there I will leave politics......

HS2 would be a completely separate line from the Chiltern Mainline. However, there may be some mileage in developing this line further (Evergreen 4?) as a cheap alternative to HS2 if money were scarce - i.e reinstatement of passing loops, 4 tracking from Dorridge to Birmingham Moor Street, running fast services into Paddington rather than Marylebone once Crossrail releases platforms at Paddington, electrification, longer platforms etc.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: grahame on February 20, 2010, 05:50:14 pm
I'm disappointed to find such a lack of enthusiasm for high-speed rail in the coffee shop.  :(

I'm not sure if higher speed or higher frequency are the best service and investment for the future. If I'm hanging around at Salisbury for 40 minutes for a train to Trowbridge - journey time 32 minutes - how would I like my 72 minutes elapsed time cut? Would I prefer a service every 30 minutes rather than at sixty minute intervals, or a journey time that's cut from 32 minutes to 22?  The heart says "make it faster", the head says "make it more frequent", and will continue to do so until the frequency of the services is at least a half of the journey reduction.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Deltic on February 20, 2010, 09:27:27 pm
I think that my point is that high speed rail would release capacity on the "classic" lines to provide more frequent services to existing stations.  Part of the difficulty in re-establishing a decent service to Melksham is that the trains must compete for space between Wootton Bassett and Swindon with four HSTs per hour in each direction.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: woody on February 20, 2010, 11:55:42 pm
Listened to Theresa Villiers this am didn't understand a word except they (the Tories) are not going to look at the report until it's published.

Can anyone explain why?
No matter what route is take north west out of London it will carve it's way through Tory heartlands, for instance if the old GWR/GCR route is used this will cut its way through some very blue areas which are areas where the likes of UKIP could put up a strong challenge also some of the inner London parts BNP might get a foot hold.

The Tory's have never liked the railways which is made even worse by the failure of their privatisation model of Railtrack and the myriad of competing TOC's and maintenance contractors
Ditto
My fear is that any future HS2 project will be at the expense of improvements to the classic rail routes (ie Great Western).All this against a backdrop of tough financial decisions that will soon have to be made by government either Labour or conservative.Certainly under the conservatives the principal that rich get richer and the poor get poorer has been clear to see at work since rail privatisation which is why FGW is still running refurbished 33year old HSTs on its main lines and pacers on overcrowded local services.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Btline on February 21, 2010, 12:18:12 am
I think that my point is that high speed rail would release capacity on the "classic" lines to provide more frequent services to existing stations.  Part of the difficulty in re-establishing a decent service to Melksham is that the trains must compete for space between Wootton Bassett and Swindon with four HSTs per hour in each direction.

But HS2 won't really. The Watford - Dudley, Milton Keynes - Birmingham and Rugby - Wolverhampton flows will still have to use the WCML, along with any services that stop south of Rugby.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Timmer on February 21, 2010, 06:36:12 am
I think the huge amount of money needed for HS2 could be spent country wide on improving services that suffer continous overcrowding by providing new and longer rolling stock. HS2 would benefit the few and not the many.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Btline on February 21, 2010, 10:36:58 am
HS2 would benefit the few and not the many.

Surprised the Tories aren't fully behind it then! ;D


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: moonrakerz on February 21, 2010, 11:17:20 am
I think the huge amount of money needed for HS2 could be spent country wide on improving services that suffer continous overcrowding by providing new and longer rolling stock. HS2 would benefit the few and not the many.

Make that man Minister for Transport !!!


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Deltic on February 21, 2010, 11:54:10 am
HS2 would benefit the few and not the many.

I disagree.  HS2 would benefit the many by freeing up capacity on existing lines to increase frequencies on current services.  I do agree that we should be ordering additional rolling stock now to augment services on existing lines.

HS2 will be many years before it is a reality but the longer we delay it, the more rail risks losing competitiveness to other modes and we risk the investment being diverted into building more motorways, which would be a disaster.  It is great that we have seen, over the last few years, the reversal in the decline of the railway network that we all probably grew up with.  I want to see progress made on HS2 now so that when more money is available after the recession we can get on with building it.  And if the rail lobby is not united behind it, it stands little chance of success which would be a great opportunity wasted.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Timmer on February 21, 2010, 12:27:11 pm
Don't get me wrong, I'm not against HS2 as I welcome any new line being built but what I ask is how will it benefit lines like Cardiff-Portsmouth and services to the West Country? The GWML has missed out on major investment for many years whereas the ECML and WCML have had billions thrown at them not always well spent I must add.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Btline on February 21, 2010, 04:00:49 pm
The WCML is only forecast to become full south of Rugby. So a better use of the money would be to alleviate the pressure here with some new dedicated fast tracks where the Pendolinos can get to 140. (and perhaps a Stafford bypass route, so permitting 140 all the way to Crewe)


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on February 24, 2010, 10:45:21 pm
A video report from the BBC (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/newsnight/8528216.stm), with some rather amusing model village footage by way of illustration: "Has cross-party support for high speed rail broken down?"


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: bignosemac on March 04, 2010, 08:15:11 pm
From The Guardian (http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2010/mar/04/heathrow-high-speed-rail?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter):

Quote
No Heathrow direct link in high speed rail plans.
Instead, airport passengers on the 200mph trains would get a connecting service from Old Oak Common in west London.

The government is preparing to publish its vision for a high-speed rail network, and is considering a London-to-Birmingham route with no direct link to Heathrow airport.

The launch of a high-speed rail white paper has been pencilled in for next Thursday (11/03/2010) and will include a detailed London-to-Birmingham proposal as well as the broad outline of a UK network. But rail industry sources said High Speed Two, the government-backed company charged with drawing up the routes, does not see a business case for basing a major rail hub at Heathrow Airport.

Instead, passengers on the 200mph trains would get a connecting service to Britain's largest airport from an intermediate stop on the high-speed line at Old Oak Common in west London. From there passengers will join a Heathrow-bound service on the Crossrail route, a ^16bn railway line linking the airport to Canary Wharf via central London that has not yet been built.

London's Euston station has been earmarked as the main terminal, according to rail industry sources. But the transport secretary, Lord Adonis, believes Old Oak Common will be just as popular with passengers because of the Crossrail connection that will ferry passengers to Heathrow in about five minutes, or Liverpool Street in the centre of the capital's financial district in around 30 minutes.

Heathrow's owner, BAA, has indicated that it would prefer a direct link to the airport ^ an argument that also has the backing of the Conservative party. A BAA spokesman said a high-speed network would boost the case for a third runway because passengers outside London would find the airport more accessible. "We expect high-speed rail to strengthen the case for additional capacity at the UK's only hub airport, and would favour a station at the airport," said a BAA spokesman.

A site near Birmingham international airport is also being considered for a parkway station on a route that will link both cities by a 50-minute train ride, with a further terminal at a new site in the heart of Birmingham. The main body of the line would then carry on from Birmingham international through the Trent valley, and join the west coast mainline north of the city to travel to Manchester and Scotland at conventional speeds until the next phase of the network is built.

The route from London to Birmingham has been planned minutely, with HS2 placing the tracks within five metres in urban areas and 25 metres in the countryside, with the view to opening in 2025 after an eight-year multimillion-pound building programme. However, the route north of Birmingham will be outlined in less specific terms by Lord Adonis.

The main planning concern for the first phase is how to push trains through the Chiltern hills in Buckinghamshire without causing excessive damage to an area of outstanding natural beauty. The government will put the routes out to a public consultation in the autumn.

The Tories, who have pledged to build a high speed network instead of a third runway at Heathrow, have reserved the right to alter the HS2 route if they win the general election. Theresa Villiers, the shadow transport secretary, is believed to be interested in a proposal by Arup, the engineering firm, to place a high-speed rail hub at the airport. Critics argue that the potential site for the hub is not much closer to the airport than Old Oak Common is.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on March 04, 2010, 11:23:18 pm
I'm sure that'll be pretty near the mark if not spot on.  Much more sensible than the Tories Hub idea.  We'll see in good time whether either scheme will come of anything...


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Btline on March 05, 2010, 09:53:14 am
HS2 SHOULD serve Heathrow, but as a spur line (so journey times are not affected).

But this whole Old Oak Common/ Heathrow Hub thing needs to STOP. Not least because it will involve a further TWO stops on FGW's "high" speed services - i.e. adding on 10 minutes onto schedules that need to be sped up not slowed further!

But I am sceptical about this whole HS2 thing anyway. I've said it many times before, why not spend a fraction of the money on 2 new tracks for the WCML as far as Rugby, also adding a link to Heathrow and HS1. (which is what Virgin want to do)


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Tim on March 05, 2010, 10:20:33 am
But this whole Old Oak Common/ Heathrow Hub thing needs to STOP. Not least because it will involve a further TWO stops on FGW's "high" speed services - i.e. adding on 10 minutes onto schedules that need to be sped up not slowed further!


I think the idea is to put the Heathrow hub at OOC so that there will be only one extra stop on the GWML. I too share your concerns that this one extra stop will impact on FGW high speed services.  If it happens we need line speed increases elsewhere to compensate.   

It does open up some further journey oportunities for folk from the SW though.  Bristol-Manchester would presumably be faster via the HS hub than via the XC route.  Possibly it could even be done direct when the GWML is electrified.   


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: eightf48544 on March 05, 2010, 11:13:24 am
"London's Euston station has been earmarked as the main terminal, according to rail industry sources. But the transport secretary, Lord Adonis, believes Old Oak Common will be just as popular with passengers because of the Crossrail connection that will ferry passengers to Heathrow in about five minutes, or Liverpool Street in the centre of the capital's financial district in around 30 minutes."

5 minutes to Heatrow I reckon that's at least an average of 120 mph!

Not sure of OOC as a hub junction on HS2 it's too close to Padd and Euston. However given it's place in the London Rail Network it does give lots of through journey possibilities from HS2 to the South Coast with links to the West London line to Clapham Jn, NL Line to Kew. A few yards of condutor rail  from  South Acton to New/Old Kew Jns and you could have through electric trains from HS2 to SWT destinations.

IF MML line is ever electrifed you could have trains from off the Midland as well.

Use for old Eurostars?

So if it's going to be OOC as a hub let's make it London Hbf with lots of platforms and electrified links in all directions, local  services to NL & WL TV Chiltern all the old SR Commuter Lines and mainline links to all the radial lines from London. From Southern clockwise to C2C.

How about Hornsey as the interchange with the ECML?

It would certainly use it for many journies from Taplow if all the links were in place and it saved me dragging a suitcase on the Tube.

Although having said all this Frankfurt Flughafen station is not far from Frankfurt Hbf but at least it is on the high speed line to Cologne.

 


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Btline on March 05, 2010, 11:38:10 am
Actually, I can see the benefits of an Old Oak Hub, as it would allow lots of current services from the West and South to run onto the high speed line, thus giving it a use other than ferrying the supposed billions that travel between London and Birmingham every hour.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: grahame on March 05, 2010, 02:08:13 pm
Actually, I can see the benefits of an Old Oak Hub, as it would allow lots of current services from the West and South to run onto the high speed line, thus giving it a use other than ferrying the supposed billions that travel between London and Birmingham every hour.

Yep ... and with Crossrail open and providing links into the centre of London it would allow longer distance trains to be terminated a little further out and Paddington to be closed and the site sold off for redevelopment ;)


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Btline on March 06, 2010, 01:09:59 am
Actually, I can see the benefits of an Old Oak Hub, as it would allow lots of current services from the West and South to run onto the high speed line, thus giving it a use other than ferrying the supposed billions that travel between London and Birmingham every hour.

Yep ... and with Crossrail open and providing links into the centre of London it would allow longer distance trains to be terminated a little further out and Paddington to be closed and the site sold off for redevelopment ;)

Yes, and why not widen the A40 Westway using the trackbed! :p


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: caliwag on March 08, 2010, 01:19:26 pm
HaHa...Mr Wolmar, the only man seeing through the fog and hype...industry take note. With typical UK dithering it'll never happen, hopefully. 8)


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Chafford1 on March 08, 2010, 06:40:02 pm
HaHa...Mr Wolmar, the only man seeing through the fog and hype...industry take note. With typical UK dithering it'll never happen, hopefully. 8)

I think you're referring to Mr Wolmar's article in the TSSA journal:

'Towards the end of this month, we will get the government^s White Paper based on the work by the HS2 team which will set out a route between London and Birmingham down to the last few inches. Everyone apparently wants a high speed line. The Tories, the Libdems and belatedly Labour have all embraced the idea. Environmentalists say it will be green, the CBI says it will be good for the economy and the unions reckon it will create jobs.

 There is much excitement among the media stimulated by squabbling between various towns in the Midlands and the North about where a line should go. The Sunday Times even ran a story complaining that the Tories had not funded the line north of Leeds and therefore it might not even go to Scotland.
 It looks, therefore, like a no-brainer. Given the political consensus and the universal approval, what can stop it? Well, actually, lots and the idea that the line could be built without serious damaging effects on the rest of the rail network is fanciful.

 The whole project is being caught up in its own hype and a reality check is urgently needed. Lets first put the overblown story in the Sunday Times to rest. The story is about a line which will not even start to be built until 2015, with a completely unquantified cost and- except you can be sure it will be more than any number so far quoted - and a purpose which has never been properly specified. The line, at best, would not reach Scotland till 2025. Yet, here they are getting up a head of steam over the details of something that may or may not happen in fifteen years time. That is like much of the coverage of HS2, quite literally much ado about nothing.

The Tories are partly to blame. They claim that their proposal is fully funded and worked out. It is, wait for it, a line that will go from London, probably via Heathrow, to Birmingham, Manchester and then through the Pennines to Leeds. That is complete madness. If the line had an L shape, and stopped in the intermediary cities, it would hardly be faster than the existing two hour service between Leeds and London. It^s a typical politician^s plan, trying to include everyone but unable to stand up to rigorous analysis.

Moreover, the Tories plan to fund the line partly through the private sector which will only make the scheme more expensive since it has no hope of being commercially viable. But even they admit that ^15bn out of the supposed ^20bn cost will have to come from the public sector, or ^1.3bn per year during the 12 year construction period.

Even if assuming that these figures are not underestimates, this shows the real danger of a high speed line. There is no way that it would be built without demands being made on the existing rail budget. During a 12 year period, there is almost bound to be an economic downturn and halfway through construction it would be impossible to cut back on the construction costs as the contracts would be let. This is not a zero sum game. The money for investing in the high speed line would ultimately come out of the budget for the maintenance and improvement of existing lines, especially in hard times.

 HS2 therefore represents a significant threat to the existing railway. You only have to go to France to see that while the TGV services are undoubtedly wonderful and far better than any services on this side of the Channel, their lignes classiques are characterised in many places by old trains, irregular services and rundown stations. France^s investment in high speed lines has been at the cost of the old railway.

 There are plenty of other reasons why a high speed line is unlikely to be built, Its environmental credentials are dubious, the state of the economy is unlikely to warrant it, rising energy prices will impact on the railway and new technology may well reduce the need for business travel.

The focus of the investment programme should, therefore, be on improving and adapting the existing railway. Given that load factors on the railways are still load, except at peak times, there is plenty of spare capacity. You only have to look at the vast empty spaces in first class at most times of the day to realise that.

 Indeed, abolishing first class would create a vast amount of extra capacity, far more cheaply than building a new line. If capacity is the main problem, then investment needs to be targeted at bottlenecks. The priorities for the investment programme beyond 2014 has just been examined by the Commons Transport Committee in a report published on February 15. The report highlights the fact that investment in railways is currently at a historic high and most of that is untouchable because it is committed in Network Rail^s current five year plan. Rightly, the committee warns that the next five year period, starting in 1914 is likely to be much tighter and says that this requires prioritisation.

That is undoubtedly right and my instinct is that the railway must focus on modest but significant schemes - infilling electrification, reopening lines on the cheap through the use of development money, boosting capacity by clever pathing and maximising use of existing track, reducing costs of running branch lines through flexible arrangements and so on.

 This may sound unexciting and modest but it isn^t. Quite the opposite. The railways could be operated far more efficiently than at the moment, and spending money on bottlenecks and small scale schemes could lead to radical improvements.

 There must, though, be room for some major schemes. By 2014, London will have benefitted from a huge proportion of the investment in the railways - Thameslink, Crossrail, HS1 commuter services, East London Line, the PPP on the Underground and so on. So rightly, the MPs - who of course have vested interests but never mind that - are seeking to see major schemes such as electrifying the Midland Main Line and improving the Manchester hub which has become a major bottlenecks.

 The railway is going through a fantastic period of investment which is bound to be cut back once these large schemes start to come on stream. After such a bonanza, it would be unrealistic to expect that a north south high speed line could be built without detracting from much-needed investment programmes. Sure there is a potential capacity problem, but it is not big enough to justify a scheme costing upwards of ^30 billion. Let^s focus on Britain^s lignes classiques and forget the pipedream.'


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: caliwag on March 08, 2010, 09:19:31 pm
Indeed thanks, I did post the link, but plainly it didn't! ???


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Chafford1 on March 10, 2010, 08:11:07 pm
From the Guardian website this evening (10/03/10)


'The government will tomorrow unveil plans for a 225mph British high-speed rail network, including a detailed London-to-Birmingham route that will create more than 10,000 jobs if the multibillion pound project goes ahead.

The transport secretary, Lord Adonis, will announce that building and operating an ultra-fast rail link between the capital and Britain's second city will boost manufacturing and technology industries in the UK. Construction could begin as soon as 2017 with 2027 a likely completion date for the first phase. The route would have to undergo a public consultation before going through parliament.

Adonis is considering a London-to-Birmingham line that starts at London Euston station and does not go through Heathrow directly, instead connecting with Britain's largest airport at a site on Old Oak Common in west London that will be called the Crossrail Interchange.

It will connect passengers to the airport via the ^16bn Crossrail route, which links Heathrow to Canary Wharf via central London and is due to open in 2017.

The route will then embark on its most controversial phase, through the Chiltern hills in Buckinghamshire, one of 40 areas of outstanding natural beauty in England and Wales.

The Chilterns Conservation Board, the public body responsible for protecting the area, has warned that swaths of the area could be "trashed" by the route.

However, part of the line is expected to run alongside a dual carriageway in the Chilterns as Adonis seeks to build the line alongside existing transport routes. It will then stop near Birmingham airport and the National Exhibition Centre at a parkway station, designed for car drivers and bus users, before continuing to a new terminal in Birmingham city centre. The main route will continue from Birmingham airport through the Trent valley to connect with existing rail lines, where high-speed services will continue to Manchester and Scotland at conventional speeds.

The journey from Old Oak Common to the parkway station will be swift, taking 31 minutes compared with the current 80-minute journey from London Euston to Birmingham New Street.

Although trains are expected to travel at 225mph, the route has been designed to achieve a top speed of 250mph. The London-to-Birmingham route has been drawn up by a government-backed company, High Speed Two, and will be published in detail, within five metres in urban areas and 25 metres in the countryside. The full High Speed Two report will be published alongside the Adonis proposals, which will become a white paper once the public consultation has closed.

However, the national route beyond Birmingham will be outlined in broader terms, with rail industry sources expecting a "V" shaped network running through Manchester to Glasgow on the west side of the UK and to Leeds and Edinburgh on the east side. Adonis ultimately hopes to reduce the journey time from London to Edinburgh from four and a half hours to two hours 40 minutes.'


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: paul7755 on March 11, 2010, 01:07:16 pm
http://www.dft.gov.uk/press/speechesstatements/statements/adonis20100311 (http://www.dft.gov.uk/press/speechesstatements/statements/adonis20100311)

The announcement has this to say about the route:

"Subject to this consultation, the London terminus for the high speed line
would be Euston; the Birmingham City Centre station would be at Curzon
Street; and there would be interchange stations with Crossrail west of
Paddington and near Birmingham Airport.  HS2 Ltd's recommended line of route
between London and Birmingham is also published today; the Government
endorses this route, subject to further work which I have commissioned on
mitigation, and to subsequent public consultation. HS2 Ltd's recommended
route would pass in tunnel from Euston to the Crossrail Interchange west of
Paddington. It would leave London via the Ruislip area, making use of an
existing rail corridor. It would then pass by Amersham in tunnel towards
Aylesbury, before following the route of the A413 past Wendover.
"North of the Chilterns, the recommended route would follow in part the
disused Great Central rail alignment before passing Brackley and entering
Warwickshire. It would then skirt to the east of Birmingham, to enter the
city via a short link, alongside an existing rail line, beginning in the
Water Orton area, with the main line extending north to the West Coast Main
Line near Lichfield."

and Heathrow/Crossrail etc:

"It is important that Heathrow is connected to any high speed line. A prime
purpose of the proposed Crossrail Interchange is to provide such a
connection, via an 11 minute direct service to Heathrow. However, the
overwhelming majority of passengers on a high speed line south of Birmingham
would be going to or from London. This is the other reason why the Crossrail
Interchange station is so important. Crossrail, a very high capacity line,
will provide fast services direct to the West End, the City and Docklands,
catering for an estimated one third of all the passengers travelling on the
high speed line. Without this Interchange to Crossrail, congestion on the
tube from Euston would be exacerbated, and passengers would be severely
disadvantaged in getting in and through central London.

"The question is whether there is a case for an additional station at the
site of Heathrow itself.  HS2 Ltd, after thorough analysis, advise that the
business case for such an additional station appears weak, given the
estimated cost of at least ^2 billion for the additional tunnelling required
to serve the site. Furthermore, Heathrow is not a single place; it is an
airport with three widely dispersed terminal centres.

"However, I am conscious that, as foreshadowed in the Government's January
2009 decision on adding capacity at Heathrow, there may be a strategic case
for a high speed station at Heathrow, particularly in the light of that
planned expansion. I have therefore appointed Lord Mawhinney, a former
Transport Secretary, to advise on the best way forward, having fully engaged
with all interested parties.  A complex decision of this nature should not
be taken in a knee-jerk fashion, but after a full analysis of the facts and
options."

Paul


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Btline on March 11, 2010, 03:25:54 pm
I can see the advantages of using Old Oak Common's Xrail link to ease possible Tube overwhelmation at Euston. Something's been thought through for once!

I assume that the Xrail trains currently planned to terminate at Paddington will all be extended to Old Oak Common to deal with these extra pax. Who know's, perhaps they were planning ahead when they decided 14 tph would stop at Padd?!!

It's just a shame that the B'ham terminus will be so unconnected from all the West Midlands' rail network. There will now be 3 different stations (4 if you count Snow Hill and Moor Street separately) in the city centre, with poor links between them. I think some sort of high capacity rapid transit system (underground, or monorail) is needed to link them all. Or scrap the New Street re-build, and build a new station (i.e. the B'ham Grand Central scheme) near Curzon Street, incorporating all the existing New Street lines, and HS2. A walkway could link it to Moor Street, to give Snow Hill line passengers (remember that it is now B'ham's busiest route!) a good link.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on March 11, 2010, 03:32:43 pm
Well, there's the proposed route out in the open then.  Watch the NIMBY's start their campaigns with venom from now onwards!

Probably what most people thought the route would be - the route from Old Oak via North Acton to Ruislip was an obvious candidate as it's fairly straight and hardly used at the moment.  The Crossrail link is a sensible compromise to the Heathrow conundrum.  The route through the Chilterns is a little further east from the M40 corridor than I would have expected, but in terms of Birmingham the largely industrial/waste land near Curzon Street is the ideal location and a stop for the NEC/Airport as an integral part of the route is sensible.   The temporary interface with the WCML just north of Lichfield will mean the busiest stretches of the WCML will be relieved of their fastest services allowing for the growth of freight and more regional trains to use the southern end of the WCML.

A lot of questions and concerns still to address (Btline's Birmingham comments being one of many), but a start nonetheless!


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: paul7755 on March 11, 2010, 03:46:29 pm
I can see the advantages of using Old Oak Common's Xrail link to ease possible Tube overwhelmation at Euston. Something's been thought through for once!

I assume that the Xrail trains currently planned to terminate at Paddington will all be extended to Old Oak Common to deal with these extra pax. Who know's, perhaps they were planning ahead when they decided 14 tph would stop at Padd?!!
The plan for Crossrail was that the terminating trains were going to run to a 'dummy station' with basic platforms some way beyond Paddington anyway, this was so that they wouldn't have to check trains were empty at Paddington before running forward (Westbourne Park maybe?) I think TfL and the lcal authority were already discussing an extra station at OOC anyway, which wouldn't cost much more.
Quote
Or scrap the New Street re-build, and build a new station (i.e. the B'ham Grand Central scheme) near Curzon Street, incorporating all the existing New Street lines, and HS2. A walkway could link it to Moor Street, to give Snow Hill line passengers (remember that it is now B'ham's busiest route!) a good link.
Odd that the DfT have referred to Curzon St as the location of the HS2 station, the actual report from HS2 Ltd calls it Fazely St consistently, and if you saw the drawing I posted earlier it has access to Moor St.

Paul


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: caliwag on March 11, 2010, 03:49:55 pm
So am I right in thinking, assuming any of this gets the go-ahead, that all points North of Birmingham, highspeed, are from International...a tad inconvenient surely or is there a triangle at the junction? :-\


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: paul7755 on March 11, 2010, 04:01:31 pm
No, there is a 'delta junction' somewhere near Water Orton, which allows trains from Birmingham (Fazely/Curzon St) to run via a west to north chord without going back to the new interchange near International.

What is interesting is that trains stopping at the interchange for Birmingham will not go back onto the HS through lines, but there will be reserved tracks for Birmingham bound trains to the junction. Have a look at the inset schematic on this drawing...

http://www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/rail/pi/highspeedrail/hs2ltd/route/westmidmap02.pdf (http://www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/rail/pi/highspeedrail/hs2ltd/route/westmidmap02.pdf)

Paul


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Btline on March 11, 2010, 07:18:32 pm
Sorry, can you give a link to the diagram, I can't find it anywhere, and my computer freezes with the size of some of those files, so I don't want to use trial and error! :P


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: bignosemac on March 11, 2010, 07:38:38 pm
Btline, I think it's more a case of the DfT site being overwhelmed with traffic, I've been unable to download any of the HS2 stuff at all today. I'm gonna try in the wee small hours, but have also ordered a few copies of the free CD-Rom for keepsies.



Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: RailCornwall on March 11, 2010, 07:56:36 pm
Some really detailed stuff on the DFT site, The one document worth looking at in some detail as far as I can see is ARUP's Route Engineering Study Final Report: A report for High Speed Two Ltd - Chapter 5 (PDF - 17 MB) - Weighs in at a huge size but even has potential construction scenarios for MegaEuston. I'm really impressed with the detail (Network Rail take note).

Hopefully some cross party consensus seems to be developing on the project too.

DFT Rail (http://www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/rail/pi/highspeedrail/hs2ltd/routeengineering/pdf/Chapter5.pdf)


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Btline on March 11, 2010, 08:10:59 pm
Have any of you seen the announcement in parliament? http://news.bbc.co.uk/democracylive/hi/house_of_commons/newsid_8561000/8561782.stm

Transport Minister Sadiq Khan does not seem to know what he's talking about, reading the statement as if he has never set eyes on it before, being unfamiliar with rail terms, and mis pronouncing St Pancras (as Pancreas).

BUT... it sounds good.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: bignosemac on March 11, 2010, 08:13:54 pm
I think it's understandable that Sadiq Kahn is unfamaliar with rail terminology - I was under the impression he was the Minister for Buses!


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: RailCornwall on March 11, 2010, 08:39:22 pm
The formal Government announcement was Andrew Adonis' in the Lords. Khan's was an information statement only as applies when the Minister is 'in the other place'.

BBC Democracy Live - Adonis unveils high-speed rail plans in Lords statement (http://news.bbc.co.uk/democracylive/hi/house_of_lords/newsid_8561000/8561779.stm)


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: paul7755 on March 11, 2010, 08:43:43 pm
Sorry, can you give a link to the diagram, I can't find it anywhere, and my computer freezes with the size of some of those files, so I don't want to use trial and error! :P

If that was a reply to my (previous) post, that was a link to the diagram - the junction schematic is an inset on the map...

Paul


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Electric train on March 11, 2010, 10:30:56 pm
Hang on a sec  ??? wasn't a "fast rail line" built on this very alignment (London - Brackley) opened about 100 years ago and closed 40 years ago

Now this what is called progress  ::)

I do think the Tory's have a Heathrow fetish which I think is quite unachievable and is potentially the biggest risk to HS2 not being built, if AURP thought it was economic to go via Heathrow they would have proposed it


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: RailCornwall on March 11, 2010, 11:39:35 pm
To the contrary actually, if you dig thoroughly they have investigated Heathrow considerably, they propose many possibilities to include the Airport in the route, currently the plan excludes them BUT should it become a viable choice the exploratory work is done.

I've spent some time tonight reading selectively and have a number of issues,

1. Linking with HS1, the choices are not good, and actually seem to come down to a single track tunnel between Old Oak Common and the link point to the North of St Pancras. The most expensive route alternative avoids St Pancras completely.
2. Manchester, could so easily have been included in HS2 from the start and the relevant integration work done as part of NR's NW initiative.
3. Birmingham, the two alternative stations aren't really that imaginative. New Street should have been looked at with the possibility of double decking either by putting HS2's platforms above or below the classic lines as is done in Berlin.
4. Euston, the plans are immense, and the St Pancras Intl rebuild will be considered childsplay in comparison. I wonder whether this will be the deal breaker in the longterm. Especially with the land take requirements.
5. Old Oak Common, the GWML/Crossrail/HEX interchange station looks far too small, I would assume the GWML TOCs would want every service to stop to gain the revenues of incoming/transferring HS2 Pax.
6. Paddington's role has to be questioned now, with services stopping and being serviced at OOC/NPJ justifying so many services going in to terminate at Paddington will be difficult.
7. Maybe in the long run this could lead to the closure of Marylebone diverting it's services back to Paddington (Blue Pullman days return). Selling Marylebone could raise a chunk of cash for use in the HS2 project build.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: RailCornwall on March 12, 2010, 12:18:47 am
.... and before I go to bed
Maybe this will see the end of a Cross Country franchise. The Norm NE to SW route given electrification of the GWML could, with HS2 be down to OOC, and then onto the GWML. timings could be quite competitive and open up the XC paths south of Birmingham for use by the GWML TOC.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: eightf48544 on March 12, 2010, 10:01:07 am
Did anyone notice that on BBC R4 they were  announcing it would be a 250 mph line.

That's 400 kph, even the French are only thinking of 350 kmh.

Or did they mean 250 kmh or 156 mph which is slower than 186 mph on HS1.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Chafford1 on March 12, 2010, 12:08:53 pm
Did anyone notice that on BBC R4 they were  announcing it would be a 250 mph line.

That's 400 kph, even the French are only thinking of 350 kmh.

Or did they mean 250 kmh or 156 mph which is slower than 186 mph on HS1.

The line will be built for 250mph (400km/h) . The trains will initially run at 225mph (360km/h)


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Chafford1 on March 12, 2010, 12:44:47 pm
The Atkins Report on alternative rail upgrades has been published on
the DfT website:

http://www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/rail/pi/highspeedrail/alternativestudy/


These are summarised in the Strategic Outline Case (see pages 73 -76
plus Annex A page 77 and options copied below) and covered in more
detail in the Rail Interventions Report:


'8.1.1 The Packages


The rail strategic alternatives to the High Speed 2 proposition
started from the point that the West Coast Main Line and the other
rail routes to the West Midlands and the North West are at full
capacity, and that no extra services can be run without any additional
infrastructure investment. The timetable has been optimised.
A total of five rail packages were identified as Strategic
Alternatives to the High Speed 2 proposition. The first of these,
train lengthening, was not taken forward for further analysis as it
was not likely to be considered as a viable alternative to High Speed
2, since it made no impact on journey times.
The remaining four packages were largely incremental, with each
subsequent package building upon the preceding one.


8.1.2 Package 2


Package 2 and 2A show that with extra infrastructure investment (in
the region of ^3.6 billion) the capacity of the WCML can be enhanced
significantly. Subject to further engineering and capacity modelling,
it should be possible to operate an extra four or five trains per hour
(tph) in a standard off-peak hour, resulting in a total of 15/16 tph
into/out of Euston.
This package has a reasonable impact on journey times. Journey times
to Manchester are forecast to decrease by 6.5 minutes, to give an
average journey time of approximately 121.5 minutes. Journey times to
Birmingham are also forecast to decrease by approximately 12 minutes,
to give an average journey time of 73 minutes ^ primarily as a result
of serving fewer intermediate stations.
Depending on the assumptions made in relation to rolling stock
procurement and timetabling contingency to assist recovery from delays
and incidents, this package has an indicative BCR of between 3.63 and
2.19. This BCR may change should the forecast scheme costs and
benefits be developed in greater detail, as part of the project
development and value engineering process.
Whilst Package 2 does impact moderately on the environment at various
locations, there are not predicted to be any very significant adverse
impacts with this package, and it is the least environmentally
damaging of the packages. This is mainly due to the fact that it does
not have any new infrastructure build on the Chiltern Lines, so does
not impact on the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).
The proposed works will be disruptive to passengers. The extent of
this depends on the scheme design and the scope of staging works, and
has not been assessed in detail at this stage.


8.1.3 Package 3
With significant investment on the Chiltern Line, in addition to the
WCML investment in Package 2, it should be possible to operate the 3
trains per hour (previously WCML) London to West Midlands services on
the Chiltern route. The infrastructure works for this package are
forecast to cost in the region of ^12.5 billion, and will free up to
three London to North West paths on the WCML.
Although the investment will electrify the Chiltern route, and have
other benefits, it will not significantly further reduce journey times
between London and the West Midlands/North West. Typical journey times
to Manchester are forecast to remain at around the 121.5 minutes
achieved
by Package 2, with times to Birmingham decreasing further to give a
typical non ^ stop journey time of around 70.5 minutes to Moor Street
station.
Depending on the assumptions made in relation to rolling stock
procurement this package has an indicative BCR of between 1.24 and
1.11. This BCR may change should the forecast scheme costs and
benefits be developed in greater detail, as part of the project
development and value engineering process.


Package 3 creates some significant adverse environmental impacts. This
is mainly due to infrastructure works on the Chiltern Lines, having an
impact on the Chiltern AONB.
The proposed works will be disruptive to passengers. The extent of
this depends on the scheme design and the scope of staging works, and
has not been assessed in detail at this stage.
In order to consider the case for enhancements to the Chiltern route
without further enhancements of the WCML, a revised version of package
3, package 3A, was developed which excluded WCML infrastructure works.
The cost of package 3A is approximately 30% less than that of package
3. Depending on the assumptions made in relation to rolling stock
procurement whilst retaining timetabling contingency to assist
recovery from delays and incidents results in package 3A having an
indicative BCR of between 1.30 and 1.19.


8.1.4 Package 4
Package 4 entails further works on the Chiltern Line between London
and the West Midlands, in an attempt to further improve the journey
times to the West Midlands. It includes a number of additional
infrastructure schemes, and is forecast to cost in the region of ^15.1
billion.
In this package it should be possible to reduce the journey time
between London and Birmingham to around 64 minutes, assuming a single
stop. Typical journey times to Manchester remain as at
121.5 minutes as in Packages 2 and 3.
Depending on the assumptions made in relation to rolling stock
procurement this package has an indicative BCR of between 1.1 and 1.0.
This BCR may change should the forecast scheme costs and benefits be
developed in greater detail, as part of the project development and
value engineering process.
Package 4 does have some significant adverse environmental impacts.
This is mainly due to infrastructure works on the Chiltern Lines,
having an impact on the Chiltern AONB.
The proposed works will be disruptive to passengers. The extent of
this depends on the scheme design and the scope of staging works, and
has not been assessed in detail at this stage.


8.1.5 Package 5
Package 5 involves additional infrastructure works to enable the
Chiltern Lines to become a viable alternative to the West Coast Main
Line as far North as Stafford. This package is likely to cost in the
region of ^19.6 billion, but running trains onto the northern
stretches of the WCML via Chiltern is may prove too technically and
operationally challenging. A considerable amount of additional work
would be required to assess whether this option is feasible
Package 5, if possible to implement, could allow a limited number of
extra services (notionally 1 tph to Warrington and 1 extra tph to
Manchester) to be operated via the Chiltern Line. It is not clear that
there is any significant demand for these services. It will not impact
on journey times achieved in Package 4. Typical journey times to
Manchester will remain at 121.5 minutes, with typical times to
Birmingham at around 65.5 minutes.
Depending on the assumptions made in relation to rolling stock
procurement this package has an indicative BCR of between 0.93 and
0.85. This BCR may change should the forecast scheme costs and
benefits be developed in greater detail, as part of the project
development and value engineering process.


Package 5 is the most environmentally damaging scheme, and has a
number of significant adverse impacts in the Chilterns AONB and
elsewhere.
The proposed works will be disruptive to passengers. The extent of
this depends on the scheme design and the scope of staging works, and
has not been assessed in detail at this stage.'




Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: RailCornwall on March 12, 2010, 01:34:46 pm
The problem is that the UK is so full of dinosaurs when it comes to progress, do we really want to be one of the few developed nations without a significant High Speed Rail infrastructure?


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: eightf48544 on March 12, 2010, 02:58:56 pm
I don't think the people who think HS2 is not all it's cracked up to be are dinosaurs.

For example I would like to see the GWML and MML lines electrified  with cross Pennine links following before HS2 is started. Perhaps even the Chiltern line. 

Also I'm not sure the distances involved in this country are enough to warrent the time savings against the cost. After all London Glasgow is basically the same distance as Paris Marseille just over 400 miles. But the only real town is Lyon 256 miles from Paris, the LGV misses Dijon but serves Avignon. Look at the fuss Amiens made when LGV Nord bypassed the city.

But we have to serve at least Birmingham, Manchester, Preston, Carlise (for connections) which makes a stop every 100 miles. That's missing out Milton Keynes, Stoke or Crewe, Warrington, Lancaster etc.

As for capacity increases judicious 6 tracking of the WCML with 4 tracks in parts  from Roade to Rugby and Birmingham. 6 tracking in places from Padd to Reading.

Extra station loops on 2 track GW lines from Reading/Swindon to Penzance (all routes) and Swansea. With electrification.

Would give the capacity increases coupled with line speed increases and electrifcation would give quite considerable improvements.

Plus a few more DMUs would relieve a lot of the overcrowding experienced on many exisitng routes by giving more seats per train rather then more trains per route.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: paul7755 on March 12, 2010, 03:01:43 pm
Maybe this will see the end of a Cross Country franchise. The Norm NE to SW route given electrification of the GWML could, with HS2 be down to OOC, and then onto the GWML. timings could be quite competitive and open up the XC paths south of Birmingham for use by the GWML TOC.

I think that's a bit unlikely. You're still going to be quicker by XC for Bristol to Birmingham surely, then there's all the other intermediate journeys across the Bristol area that XC provides.

And there'll still be the routeing guide and premuim prices to contend with...

Paul


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: paul7755 on March 12, 2010, 03:16:33 pm
I don't think the people who think HS2 is not all it's cracked up to be are dinosaurs.

For example I would like to see the GWML and MML lines electrified  with cross Pennine links following before HS2 is started. Perhaps even the Chiltern line. 

Also I'm not sure the distances involved in this country are enough to warrent the time savings against the cost. After all London Glasgow is basically the same distance as Paris Marseille just over 400 miles. But the only real town is Lyon 256 miles from Paris, the LGV misses Dijon but serves Avignon. Look at the fuss Amiens made when LGV Nord bypassed the city.

But we have to serve at least Birmingham, Manchester, Preston, Carlise (for connections) which makes a stop every 100 miles. That's missing out Milton Keynes, Stoke or Crewe, Warrington, Lancaster etc.

I don't think that can be assumed from the reports. AIUI, trains to Scotland need only stop at Manchester and optionally at 'Lancashire Interchange' - there is no necessity for any or all of them to stop at Birmingham, and the proposed track layout allows for Birmingham to Manchester trains as it is.

Going back to GWML electrification, on current plans (it has started already - at least in the drawing office) it will be complete before HS2 even starts - what's to say MML and cross pennine won't be done next anyway, again before HS2 is anywhere near use?


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: paul7755 on March 12, 2010, 03:27:00 pm
Hang on a sec  ??? wasn't a "fast rail line" built on this very alignment (London - Brackley) opened about 100 years ago and closed 40 years ago

Not fast enough though. If you look at the maps in detail, you'll find that it only uses the exact alignment here and there.  To get the curve radii required for proper HS running, many of the GC route's bends are bypassed on the inside IYSWIM. From scanning through a few of the drawings last night, I think it would be fair to say it is 'based on' parts of the route, but probably less than 20%, as far as it goes.  Old Oak to Denham and Quainton to Brackley are about the most significant sections.

Paul


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Btline on March 12, 2010, 04:25:46 pm
For example I would like to see the GWML and MML lines electrified  with cross Pennine links following before HS2 is started. Perhaps even the Chiltern line. 

Also I'm not sure the distances involved in this country are enough to warrent the time savings against the cost. After all London Glasgow is basically the same distance as Paris Marseille just over 400 miles. But the only real town is Lyon 256 miles from Paris, the LGV misses Dijon but serves Avignon. Look at the fuss Amiens made when LGV Nord bypassed the city.

But we have to serve at least Birmingham, Manchester, Preston, Carlise (for connections) which makes a stop every 100 miles. That's missing out Milton Keynes, Stoke or Crewe, Warrington, Lancaster etc.

As for capacity increases judicious 6 tracking of the WCML with 4 tracks in parts  from Roade to Rugby and Birmingham. 6 tracking in places from Padd to Reading.

Extra station loops on 2 track GW lines from Reading/Swindon to Penzance (all routes) and Swansea. With electrification.

Would give the capacity increases coupled with line speed increases and electrifcation would give quite considerable improvements.

Plus a few more DMUs would relieve a lot of the overcrowding experienced on many exisitng routes by giving more seats per train rather then more trains per route.


Well said that person!


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Deltic on March 12, 2010, 04:52:00 pm
Can you imagine the disruption to services on the WCML etc if we start adding another pair of tracks.  Remember the effect on weekend services of the 4-tracking of the Trent Valley and other aspects of the upgrade.  Hardly a recipe for a 7-day railway.  We would also achieve little reduction in journey times when it was finished.

Yes, we do desperately need some more stock in the short term but we are talking 7 years before the start of construction here.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Trowres on March 12, 2010, 10:01:41 pm
Is there anything in the reports on how passengers arriving at Birmingham Curzon St make interchange for onward journeys in the Brum area?


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Btline on March 13, 2010, 01:47:32 am
I know - it's quite a way out. Looking at Google Maps, Moor Street is almost as far away as Snow Hill!

By the way Google Streetview now covers 95% of ALL UK roads, so your home is probably on now!


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Btline on March 13, 2010, 01:55:56 am
Ok, I take that back, looking at the official maps, I see that they're NOT building it at Curzon Street! In fact, as far as I make out, the site will be bulldozed - meaning any claims that the old station building will be given a "new lease of life" are just wrong!

At least it will be adjacent to Moor Street!


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Electric train on March 13, 2010, 08:25:21 am
Is there anything in the reports on how passengers arriving at Birmingham Curzon St make interchange for onward journeys in the Brum area?
There were plans 15 years ago for the Heartlands station in Birmingham, this was going to be in the Washwood Heath area, New Street Station is such a restrictive site lengthening platforms would be almost impossible without some major city center demolition. Birmingham needs a new station to act as a hub for the future northward high speed routes and potentially for the much longer aspiration of a high speed route to the South West and South Wales


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: eightf48544 on March 13, 2010, 09:29:05 am
I think i posted something about Heartlands in another thread saying I'd found an article on it in an April Rail Magazine. I thought it was their April Fool but was assurred that it was a genuine plan.

It would seem ideal for a high Speed Station being planned as through station serving both the Strechford Aston Line and the Midland with a West to North link off the Midland.

Another advantage is that would give a quicker through route to W&SR and a station in Birmingham with good onward connectons add HS2 and it could be viable. Possibly served by either a shuttle from New Street or street trams from the city centre.

Not sure that a terminal station is the right thing for Brum.

The Germans built a new through station in Kassel on the High Speed line and bypassed the terminal Hbf station . It is served by street trams and Tram Trains running off the streets and onto the DB lines via a link at the Hbf. 


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Electric train on March 13, 2010, 11:03:29 am
The Germans built a new through station in Kassel on the High Speed line and bypassed the terminal Hbf station . It is served by street trams and Tram Trains running off the streets and onto the DB lines via a link at the Hbf. 
That is exactly the type of thinking we need to adopt, major hubs best placed for there HS purpose with good links for other rail, public and road transport


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on March 13, 2010, 11:34:50 am
BBC Newsnight video report (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/newsnight/8564283.stm):

Quote
All aboard? Parties disagree over high speed rail route

The government is recommending a new high-speed rail network, featuring 250mph trains on new line between London and Birmingham, with a future extension to northern England and Scotland.
But the idea has been on and off for five years and now there is political disagreement about routes, funding, and the environmental impact.
Newsnight's Kirsty Wark is joined by Transport Secretary Lord Adonis, Liberal Democrat Transport Spokesman Norman Baker and Shadow Transport Secretary Theresa Villiers to see how the parties line up.
Broadcast on Thursday 11 March 2010.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on March 13, 2010, 10:29:53 pm
From the BBC (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/nottinghamshire/8565865.stm):

Quote
Two visions to attract fast line trains to Nottingham

Officials in Nottinghamshire have differed over how they propose to bring a high speed rail link to the area.
On Thursday the government unveiled plans for a line to take 250mph trains from London to Birmingham, with a possible East Midlands extension.
But while the city council wants the line to come into central Nottingham, the county council said it favours a new out of town facility.
Detailed plans are not due to be finalised until 2011 at the earliest.
The new line could cut journeys from the region to London to under an hour, but it would cost billions of pounds and not start until after the Birmingham link - which itself has an earliest start date of 2017.
Officials in Nottinghamshire have said they are intent on working with developer HS2 to make sure services would come to the county, but currently have separate visions of how to do it.
The county councillor responsible for transport, Richard Jackson, said: "I think the current train station could take some electrification, but for the high speed rail it would need to be another station altogether. What we would like to see is something similar to what has been suggested for Birmingham, which is a parkway type station on the outside of the city."
But Jane Urquhart, city councillor with responsibility for transport, said: "We are very keen, however, to start detailed work with government and HS2 to prove that Nottingham deserves a world class city centre high-speed rail interchange which will act as a sound, sustainable, and value for money investment. City centre stations provide around twice the economic benefits of out of town parkway facilities, and Nottingham is the largest destination on the existing Midland Mainline."


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on April 07, 2010, 08:54:22 pm
From the Buckingham Advertiser (http://www.buckinghamshireadvertiser.co.uk/south-buckinghamshire-news/local-buckinghamshire-advertiser-news/2010/04/07/chorus-of-disapproval-at-rail-route-82398-26191799/):

Quote
Readers have thrown their support behind our Save our Chilterns campaign against the proposed high-speed rail route through the district.
Last week we launched our campaign calling on the government to backtrack on plans to lay down the track for the London to Birmingham line through the Chalfonts, Amersham and Great Missenden.
If built, it will mean trains will hurtle through the Chilterns at 225mph every four minutes, tearing up the countryside and seeing some homes bulldozed. The government decides in 2011 whether to go ahead, while public consultation starts in the autumn. If approved, work costing between ^15-^19billion would start in 2019.
Since our announcement we have been inundated with messages from readers and here is just a sample of the responses.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Electric train on April 07, 2010, 08:58:29 pm
NIMBY with some very large back yards where most of use measure back yards on square yards they use acres.

This will rumble on for a long time to come


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: TerminalJunkie on April 07, 2010, 09:04:07 pm
Quote from: Buckingham Advertiser (http://www.buckinghamshireadvertiser.co.uk/south-buckinghamshire-news/local-buckinghamshire-advertiser-news/2010/04/07/chorus-of-disapproval-at-rail-route-82398-26191799/)
[...] here is just a sample of the responses.

Let me guess: this "sample" contains none of the responses in favour of the new line?

Quote from: Electric train
This will rumble on for a long time to come

I thought the idea was for the rumble to whizz past as quickly as possible ;D


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: caliwag on April 07, 2010, 10:52:48 pm
It really will not happen...nor is it necessary.  I believe things will change so much in the time it takes to get it through planning...the way people communicate and how/why people travel, it will just be abandonned...it's all short term politicing v reality...and those that could afford it will be working very much smarter...surely?  ???


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on April 11, 2010, 07:35:34 pm
From ThisIsLocalLondon (http://www.thisislocallondon.co.uk/news/8092677.Lord_Rothschild_opposes_train_plan/):

Quote
Lord Rothschild opposes High Speed 2 train plan over its effect on the Chilterns

A descendent of the Rothschild dynasty has slammed plans to run a High Speed railway within a mile of his family^s historic home, Waddesdon Manor, it is reported today.
Lord Rothschild told The Sunday Times: ^I have serious concerns about the route which has been selected and its impact on Waddesdon Manor.
^We will carefully watch the progression of the consultation process and its eventual outcome.^
The home, east of Aylesbury, was donated to the National Trust and the paper reports the line will cut through a neighbouring 5,700-acre estate where Lord Rothschild lives.
The paper says this puts him ^at odds^ with Labour business secretary and friend Lord Mandelson.
It says Rothschild has employed a planning consultant to fight the plan, which would tunnel under old Amersham and cut through land north of Great Missenden.
The Sunday Times reports the route should follow the M1 corridor though engineers in the project believe this would be too expensive and lengthen journey times.
The Government will consult on cutting through the Chilterns later this year.
The report says it is hoped local celebrities including Fern Britton, Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne, Sophie Dahl and Sir David Jason will fight the plan.
Meanwhile, Aylesbury MP David Lidington has reported from a meeting with transport chiefs that he held with Chesham and Amersham MP Cheryl Gillan.
He said: ^I can^t say that there was a meeting of minds but I do feel that I now have a somewhat better understanding of their thinking.^
Writing on his blog, Mr Lidington reported that consultation would take place from October to March and bosses said they are ^trying to engage seriously with local people^.
Yet Mr Lidington said: ^I said very directly that I thought that a six month period, including Christmas and the New Year, to look at the entire route from Euston to Staffordshire, would be inadequate for a proper consultation and that they risked adding to public cynicism about the exercise.^
It would be scrutinised by a committee of MPs instead of a planning inquiry with building projected start in 2017, he said.
The MP said it is ^clear that relatively little detailed work has yet been done^ on the impact on the environment.
A map of ^noise contours^ will be available at the October consultation ^ but details such as how noise will be blocked out would be considered by the committee of MPs, he reported.
The Conservative MP said: ^Both Cheryl and I made our dissatisfaction with this approach very clear. I believe that local people will expect to know very soon exactly what the likely impact on them would be in terms of noise and visual intrusion if this route were to proceed. I^m afraid that this part of the conversation reinforced my view that the publication of the route plan was rushed through for political motives before enough detailed work on environmental impact had been carried out.^
He reported that the chief engineer acknowledged ^trade-offs^ between the impact and benefits and a tunnel all the way under the Chilterns would be ^prohibitively expensive^.
Mr Lidington said: It seems to me that their reasons for rejecting other Chiltern routes, along the M40 corridor and along the West Coast Main Line were in the end down to the need for a lot more expensive tunnelling (under Wycombe or under stretches of Hertfordshire respectively) if those routes were to be developed.^
He reported that the M1 corridor plan was rejected because there were too many new homes and it would ^cause serious nuisance to very large numbers of residents^.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Electric train on April 11, 2010, 08:43:16 pm
See told you the NIMBY measure they backyards in acres


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on April 11, 2010, 08:50:44 pm
This story is also in Times Online (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article7094237.ece):

Quote
Keep trains out of my 5,000-acre back yard

Lord Rothschild, the financier and a friend of Lord Mandelson, the business secretary, is leading a revolt against government plans for a 250mph railway line that will cut through swathes of the countryside.
The ^30 billion scheme from London to Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds ^ the biggest rail project in Britain for more than 100 years ^ will crash through the Chilterns, passing via the back yards of a string of rich and famous residents.
Thousands of homeowners have already registered protests at the first leg of the proposed route to Birmingham, which they say will ruin the area^s natural beauty and calm.
When the line is complete there will be 18 trains an hour, running from 5am until midnight. Journey times between London and Birmingham will be reduced to 49 minutes from 1 hour 24 minutes.
Campaigners are enlisting the support of celebrities living along the planned route, who include Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne, the music personalities, Sophie Dahl, the former model turned television chef, and Sir David Jason, the actor. Rothschild, whose fortune is valued at ^360m, is likely to prove a formidable opponent. The proposed line will run within a mile of Waddesdon Manor and its 120-acre estate, in Buckinghamshire, the Rothschild family seat that was donated to the National Trust, and will cut directly through the neighbouring 5,700-acre estate where he lives. Plans show that a 3,281ft viaduct will have to be built on his land.
^I have serious concerns about the route which has been selected and its impact on Waddesdon Manor,^ said Rothschild. ^We will carefully watch the progression of the consultation process and its eventual outcome.^
His opposition puts him at odds with Mandelson, who has stayed at Rothschild^s villa in Corfu and last year attended a shooting party at Waddesdon.
Rothschild is working with an independent planning consultant to mount objections to the high-speed line, which will be submitted to the government^s consultation. He and the National Trust want the route to bypass the area altogether and follow the M1 corridor. ^It makes more sense to follow a route which has already been developed than to ruin the tranquillity of the Chilterns,^ said a source close to Rothschild.
However, engineers involved in the project believe that building the line alongside the M1 would require extensive tunnelling under Luton in Bedfordshire and other towns, adding billions to the bill. It would also increase journey times by 10 minutes.
The developer of High Speed 2, as the project is called, says it will mitigate its impact on the countryside by using tunnels and cuttings. But residents remain unimpressed.
A Facebook protest group has almost 9,000 members, while a petition on the Downing Street website has 6,800 signatures.
Liz Williams, a member of the South Northamptonshire Action Group, plans to walk the length of the line from Birmingham to London this summer to raise further awareness.
Her protest has the support of Geoffrey Palmer, the actor, who lives just a quarter of a mile from the proposed route.
Fern Britton, the television presenter, is also interested in Williams^s protest walk, as is Rupert Heseltine, the son of Lord Heseltine, the Tory former deputy prime minister.
While his father is in favour of the line, Rupert Heseltine is an outspoken opponent. His home near Banbury in Oxfordshire will be within two miles of the route. He said: ^This train line is going to leave a scar from London to Birmingham across the countryside. It will leave broken communities, distraught families and destroyed businesses. I have friends whose farms will be destroyed. This is not about me, it^s about communities that will see no benefit.^
If it goes ahead, the government will have to buy up hundreds of homes in the Chilterns through compulsory purchase orders before the project is finished in 2026. Until then, many homeowners are in limbo.
Adam Thomas, who is disabled, and his wife, Agnes, have spent ^150,000 making their home near Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire, wheelchair-friendly. Thomas said: ^d like Lord Adonis, the transport secretary, to come down and meet us. I think he would have a lot of sleepless nights if he knew the damage this has caused.^


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: devon_metro on April 11, 2010, 08:59:00 pm
Is HS2 really needed though? Who is it going to benefit? London and Birmingham, even then it doesn't take you to the centres of the cities.

Perhaps the money would be far better spent nationwide.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: bignosemac on April 11, 2010, 08:59:39 pm
See told you the NIMBY measure they backyards in acres

I think the Rothschild's probably measure their back yard in square miles!


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on April 11, 2010, 09:26:58 pm
Fair comment: 5,700 acres is very nearly 9 square miles!  ::)

(See http://www.metric-conversions.org/area/acres-to-square-miles.htm for those, like me, who are mathematically challenged!  ;) )


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Timmer on April 12, 2010, 05:59:30 am
Perhaps the money would be far better spent nationwide.
Exactly


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: IanC on April 26, 2010, 02:31:15 am
The route of High Speed 2 was featured on this weeksCountryfile (http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00s8h8m/Countryfile_25_04_2010/)


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Henry on April 26, 2010, 09:07:47 am

  Watched Countryfile yesterday, have some sympathy with the residents in the Cotswolds.
 
   I lived in rural Kent when the M25 was constructed quite a few years back.
   Surprised the 'impartial' BBC featured this, bearing in mind an election due.
   Perhaps the 'country gentry' still has some media influence.
 


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: bignosemac on April 26, 2010, 10:42:11 am
Think you meant Chilterns, Henry.

The 'country gentry' featured a family who had moved out of London two years ago. Wonder where and how they get to work?

Initially, I thought the feature on Countryfile was unduly biased toward the NIMBYs, however there was a balanced response from a rail analyst. (Who wasn't Christian Wolmar - he must've been busy!)


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on May 20, 2010, 08:36:18 pm
From the BBC (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/8694997.stm):

Quote
Groups unite against high-speed rail link

More than 30 groups against a proposed high-speed rail link have joined forces to fight the plan.
A route between London and Birmingham with a future extension to northern England and Scotland was announced by the former Labour government in March.
The new Tory-Liberal Democrat coalition government has committed to the scheme but not said what the route should be.
But groups in Northamptonshire, Warwickshire, Staffordshire and Buckinghamshire have vowed to fight it.
They have united under the name HS2 Action Alliance which is "working for fair and just compensation".
Announcing the plans earlier this year, former Transport Secretary Lord Adonis said subject to public consultation, trains would run from Euston to Birmingham with interchange stations west of Paddington and near Birmingham airport.
The preferred route would pass through north-west London, the south-west of Aylesbury, then to the west of Buckingham and the east of Brackley and Banbury, before passing between Leamington Spa and Coventry and heading into the eastern side of Birmingham.
The proposal also includes a connection with the existing rail network near Lichfield, Staffordshire.
Work is unlikely to start until 2017 at the earliest.
But residents have said they are upset at the effect the route will have on their homes and livelihoods.
Separate protest groups have been formed since the plans were announced but now, they have decided to merge.
Graham Long, from HS2 Action Alliance told BBC News that working together was the best way to act.
"It's vital," he said. "We need to speak with one voice. We also need to raise the funds to be able to employ the sort professional help that we will have to deploy against government."


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on May 27, 2010, 10:03:53 pm
From the Witney Gazette (http://www.witneygazette.co.uk/news/8188397.MPs_join_forces_to_press_for_rail_link/):

Quote
MPs join forces to press for rail link

Three MPs have joined forces to press the new Government over proposals for the high speed rail link.

In March the then Secretary of State for Transport Lord Adonis announced that the Government plans to build a new High Speed 2 line reducing journey times between London and Birmingham and on to Scotland.

The new line is expected to cost over ^15.8bn and is set to use the track route of the former Great Central Railway line passing by Finmere and Mixbury, near Bicester.

But as the new Conservative Liberal Democrat coalition Government start work local MPs have questioned if the line will go ahead.

North Oxfordshire MP Tony Baldry, John Bercow, Buckingham MP and speaker of the House of Commons, and Andrea Leadsom, MP for the new South Northants constituency, have formed a plan of action which includes meeting ministers and encouraging action groups that are dotted along the proposed route to join up.

Mr Baldry and Mrs Leadson hope to have talks with Theresa Villiers, minister of state for transport, and Mr Bercow will call on Philip Hammond, Secretary of State for transport, to visit Buckingham.

Mr Baldry said: ^We met on how best to take forward constituents^ concerns about the High Speed Railway. We need to know whether this project is a reality or whether it was in fact hype by the previous Government to get a good press in Birmingham and the West Midlands, especially given it^s quite clear from the last chief secretary Liam Byrne, and I quote, ^m afraid there^s no money^. It seems to me the Government has got to make it very clear, very early, whether it is proceeding with the project or not. A considerable amount of property will be blighted and the Government is responsible for that blight. The important priority is to discover whether or not this is a viable project and if it^s going to move forward or if it was just a pre-election aspiration.^

The move has been welcomed by Finmere resident Mike Kerford-Byrnes, who is also chairman of the parish council.

He said: ^That^s great news, the fact they have all got together and are encouraging campaign groups to join up. I think they will be tapping into a rich seam as between the two parliaments there has been considerable activity amongst groups along the line with considerable co-operation.^


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: grandsire on July 21, 2010, 04:46:43 pm
The Mahwinney report today now rejects a Heathrow link until at least after HS2 reaches Manchester. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/jul/21/heathrow-link-london-scotland-railway


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on July 21, 2010, 09:30:54 pm
Thanks for the link grandsire.  It'll be interesting to hear how the ConLib's react to that report given that it goes against the Tories HS ideas and conforms in a large part with Labour's oroginal ambitions!


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: woody on July 22, 2010, 08:57:00 pm
High speed rail access to Heathrow: a report by Lord Mawhinney
 http://www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/rail/pi/highspeedrail/lordmawhinneyreport/                                                                                             
"I recommend that serious consideration be given to making Old Oak Common the initial London terminal for the high speed line".

"I have concluded and recommend that, in the early stages of a high speed rail network, there is no compelling case for a direct high speed rail link to Heathrow, and that a London-Old Oak Common interchange".
 Thoughts.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: inspector_blakey on July 22, 2010, 09:08:56 pm
Seems eminently sensible to me - access to Old Oak from Heathrow by rail is trivial and there's even a purpose-built depot for servicing and maintaining high-speed trains located nearby that's doing nothing much at the moment...


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on July 22, 2010, 09:09:30 pm
Thanks for your link to the actual report, woody: I've merged your topic with an existing one, where this is already being discussed.

C.  :)


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: bignosemac on August 20, 2010, 11:04:38 am
From the BBC (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-11028431):

Quote
High speed rail compensation scheme begins

The compensation scheme for people affected by the proposed High Speed Rail link between London and Birmingham is due to be launched. Anyone who urgently needs to sell their property but cannot because of the proposed line will be able to apply for the government to buy their home. An independent panel is being set up which will look at applications on a case-by-case basis. But there are fears the criteria may be too strict, and that some may miss out.

The proposed route for a high speed rail link between London and Birmingham was announced in March.

People found out if their homes would be bulldozed or whether there'd be a train running at more than 200 miles-per-hour (mph) at the bottom of their garden.

Home issues

The route would go from London's Euston Station, run just south of Aylesbury, between Coventry and Kenilworth, and then into a new station in the Eastside area of Birmingham. The track would be designed to carry trains at up to 250mph, cutting the London to Birmingham journey time to 49 minutes - that's around half an hour less than at present. Trains will be up to 400 metres long, and carry up to 1100 people. Initially there would be up to 14 trains an hour.

But to do that, some people will have to lose their homes and businesses. The Exceptional Hardship Scheme is aimed at people who live on, or very near this proposed route. But it's not for everyone.

The current route is only a proposal and was announced by the previous government. After consultation the new government might decide it wants to use a different route.  So those homes which look at the moment as if they're blighted by the project, might end up being completely unaffected. So today's scheme will only compensate those home-owners who need to sell now, not everyone who might be affected eventually. To be eligible for compensation, people need to demonstrate that need - for example if they're getting divorced or have to move somewhere else for a new job. They also have to have made "reasonable efforts" to sell their property already - this means having it up for sale for at least three months, with no offers over 85% of the pre-high speed rail market price. An independent panel assesses their application, then recommends whether the government should buy the property for the full market value.

Bill and Carolyn Hall are hoping the panel will back their case. Carolyn has multiple sclerosis and they need to sell their home to pay for her care. But after four months on the market they've had no offers.

"I suppose the acid test is that I wouldn't buy it," Bill says. "If it was me coming to have a look and I found out that there was going to be a rail link within 400m I think my interest would cool pretty rapidly."

'Devastated'

Of course many people don't want to sell at all.

Carolyn Hall visits the nearby Weights and Measures gym for help with her MS. That's run by Caroline Owen-Thomas, who's spent 18 years building up the business. But the proposed high speed line runs straight through the middle of her property. Because Caroline doesn't need - or want - to sell, she won't be eligible for the compensation fund. She'll have to wait until the route is finally decided - likely to be late 2011 - and if it remains unchanged she will have her property compulsorily purchased by the government. Caroline found out the news when one of her customers rang to tell her.

"I was completely devastated because all I could think of was this is my home, this is my business," she says. "I've put blood, sweat and tears into this, what will I do?," she adds. "How can they just demolish someone's property? What am I going to do in the future? I don't want to be anywhere else, this is where I want to be."

The government says it is going to look at the statutory compensation arrangements, and may improve them to make sure people like Caroline are compensated properly.

'Challenge'

But there are no easy answers here.

"Government is all about taking difficult decisions," says Transport Secretary Philip Hammond. "It's about balancing the benefits to the nation as a whole, to the economy, with the burdens that individuals and communities will suffer. And the challenge is to get the route which causes the least possible damage for the maximum possible benefit. Now that can never mean that nobody suffers. Our job is to make sure that we fairly compensate those who are disadvantaged by the decisions taken."


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on September 02, 2010, 08:19:31 pm
From the BBC (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-11155066):

Quote
Anti-high speed rail protester to walk route

A campaigner opposed to the proposed high-speed rail link (HS2) between London and Birmingham has started a walk along the entire route.

Lizzy Williams, 36, who suffered a brain injury in a car crash two years ago, said it would probably take her the whole of September to complete it.

She lives in a rural location just north of Banbury and said the rail proposals would destroy the area.

Fellow campaigners have organised walks to coincide with hers.

Since the car crash, Ms Williams, a former land and project manager for a construction company, has been left with weakness to the left side of her body and the need to get a lot of sleep.

"It has been quite debilitating," she said. "But some campaigners have offered to let me stay with them during the walk and I will go home some nights as well."

Ms Williams is a founding member of campaign group Stop HS2 and discussed the walk with fellow objectors through the internet.

She began at the railway bridge north of Lichfield Golf and Country Club, Staffordshire, which is the northernmost point on the published Department for Transport maps.

She then hopes to include a walk of the Kenilworth Greenway to Burton Green in Warwickshire, with fellow campaigners on Sunday.

On September 11 she hopes to have reached the Battle of Edgcote re-enactment in Chipping Warden, Oxfordshire, and then on to meet fellow campaigners from the Chiltern Society in Amersham.

The proposed railway route was announced in March and is scheduled to go from London's Euston Station, to just south of Aylesbury, up to between Coventry and Kenilworth, and then into a new station in the Eastside area of Birmingham.

The track will be designed to carry trains at up to 250mph, cutting the London to Birmingham journey time to 49 minutes.

Her progress can be followed on the Stop HS2 website.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on October 09, 2010, 01:20:33 pm
An interesting 15-page article examining HS2 can be downloaded from the link below:

http://www.railnews.co.uk/news/general/2010/10/09-hs2-unwrapped-major-feature-now.html (http://www.railnews.co.uk/news/general/2010/10/09-hs2-unwrapped-major-feature-now.html)


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Electric train on October 09, 2010, 03:41:04 pm
An interesting 15-page article examining HS2 can be downloaded from the link below:

http://www.railnews.co.uk/news/general/2010/10/09-hs2-unwrapped-major-feature-now.html (http://www.railnews.co.uk/news/general/2010/10/09-hs2-unwrapped-major-feature-now.html)

Y or S that is one question and the other what influence the Tory heartland of BucksOxonWar will have on the route


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on December 20, 2010, 07:07:20 pm
The final route (pending public enquiry) has been announced today in what must have been a very busy day for Philip Hammond!  Squeals of 'burying bad news in the snow' predictably made by opponents!

A few minor amendments to the structures on the original Adonis announced route, but nothing like what the opposers of the scheme were looking for - mind you it would be impossible to to please them without shelving the scheme.  http://stophs2.org/ (http://stophs2.org/)

The speech:  http://railwayeye.blogspot.com/2010/12/hammond-statement-on-hs2.html (http://railwayeye.blogspot.com/2010/12/hammond-statement-on-hs2.html)

The supporting documents:  http://www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/rail/pi/highspeedrail/proposedroute/ (http://www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/rail/pi/highspeedrail/proposedroute/)

Interview with Philip Hammond at a chilly Willesden Juntion High Level:  http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/road-and-rail-transport/8214840/Phil-Hammond-we-have-to-invest-in-Britains-railways.html (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/road-and-rail-transport/8214840/Phil-Hammond-we-have-to-invest-in-Britains-railways.html)

Local newspaper article: http://www.uxbridgegazette.co.uk/west-london-news/local-uxbridge-news/2010/12/20/government-backs-high-speed-rail-line-through-ruislip-113046-27858228/ (http://www.uxbridgegazette.co.uk/west-london-news/local-uxbridge-news/2010/12/20/government-backs-high-speed-rail-line-through-ruislip-113046-27858228/)

Again, despite peddling alternative proposals when they were in opposition, the ConLib coalition find themselves sticking, in the most part, to what the Labour government announced.  Especially significant is dropping of the old Tory idea of a separate station for Heathrow Airport, with them now favouring a spur to Heathrow in phase 2 of the project when it's extended to Leeds/Manchester.  I actually can't see that happening anyway, as I think it won't provide value for money and the interchange onto Crossrail at Old Oak Common's station will be the best way to continue.  We'll only have to wait until I'm drawing my pension to find out if I'm right - he says still clinging on to his 30's!   ;)


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: bignosemac on December 20, 2010, 08:12:18 pm
Would've been nice if the DfT could've put all those documents into one or two .zip files. Or offered them on CD-Rom like the last lot were back in March. Gonna take me an age to download and collate......


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: paul7755 on December 20, 2010, 08:54:52 pm
Would've been nice if the DfT could've put all those documents into one or two .zip files. Or offered them on CD-Rom like the last lot were back in March. Gonna take me an age to download and collate......

I've been looking at a few of the maps, what they've done is labelled the changed areas with a few words of description. 

But one of the main docs I clicked on seemed to be a 123 Mb download,  :o  presumably that's to stop people with slow dial up connections in the Chiltern countryside finding out what's going on...  ::)

Paul


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on January 27, 2011, 05:23:48 pm
From the BBC (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-12298708):

Quote
Chancellor George Osborne has announced that thousands of jobs will be created by a new high-speed rail link between Birmingham and London.

He told BBC WM the link would "secure the Midlands' future for the next generation" and create 8,000 jobs.

He said about 4,500 jobs would be created at Curzon Park in Birmingham's Eastside regeneration area where the line would terminate.

HS2 will start at a redeveloped Euston station in central London.

The chancellor visited Curzon Park on Thursday to inspect part of the route.

He said the new terminal would "completely regenerate the area" and connect Birmingham with cities in the north and south of England as well as with the rest of Europe through the Channel Tunnel.

"When I think what the site looks like now, that is going to be a real transformation for the east of Birmingham," he said.

He added people who would be affected by its construction, including those living in Northamptonshire, Warwickshire, Staffordshire and Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire would be compensated.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: woody on January 28, 2011, 10:43:52 am
Funny how the government can easily commit itself to HS2 to "secure the Midlands' future for the next generation"  while Great Western still awaits a decision on basics like the extent of any future electrification.Some parts of the Great Western franchise are in danger of merely getting a like for like HST replacement rather than a real service upgrade like the the East and West Coast main lines have already received.                                                                                                                               
Sad really given the vast amounts of public money that gone to waste in recent times on our fractured and faulted rail structure something Sir Roy McNulty^s value for money review and the governments consultation on the future of rail franchising policy will no doubt tackle.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: bignosemac on February 19, 2011, 07:25:47 pm
From the BBC (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-12514335):

Quote
High-speed rail campaigners gather for national meeting

Hundreds of campaigners against the planned high-speed rail line (HS2) are staging a national convention ahead of government consultation. The ^33bn rail link would cut journey times between London and Birmingham, but campaigners said the scheme was not environmentally and economically sound. More than 500 people are at Stoneleigh Park in Warwickshire for the event organised by protest group Stop HS2.

A six-month consultation process is expected to start next month.

The line would start at a redeveloped Euston station in central London and terminate at a new station at Curzon Street/Fazeley Street in Birmingham's Eastside regeneration area. HS2 would join the West Coast Main Line near Lichfield.

'Not valid'

Some residents in Northamptonshire, Warwickshire, Buckinghamshire and Staffordshire are against the scheme and several councils along the route have already voted to oppose the plans.

Chancellor George Osborne said last month that 8,000 jobs would be created as part of the plans.

Speaking to BBC News, former transport secretary Lord Adonis, who introduced the plans last year when the previous Labour government was in power, said campaigners' suggestions it would be better to invest in the West Coast mainline instead were not valid.

"I'm afraid none of those objections are valid, though of course I completely understand why those people who live on the line of the route are objecting," he said. "It always happens when you have infrastructure projects, that those who live near where they're being proposed object vigorously and, of course, what they do is to try and draw in wider arguments. But virtually the whole of the developed world is now going ahead with high speed rail because it's the green solution to providing fast, high capacity connections between cities."

But Lizzy Williams, chairman of the Stop HS2 organisation, said the route would only benefit London and there was no economic or environmental case for it.

"The business case (for HS2) does not promise economic growth that will benefit the country," she said. "It is London who will be the winner overall. What about Wales, what about the South West, what about the rural economies? It relies on laughable passenger forecasts and takes no account of the changing world we live in."

Route amended

The planned 250mph route aims to cut journey times between London and Birmingham to 49 minutes. There are also plans to extend the link to Manchester and Leeds.

The former Labour government first announced the proposals last March and they were later backed by the coalition government. The Conservatives and Liberal Democrats have said that, given financial constraints, the scheme would have to be introduced in phases.

A ^50m compensation fund has also been set up by the government for home-owners and firms "severely" affected by the route.

Rail enthusiast and pop mogul Pete Waterman, who is in favour of the plans, told BBC News it would free up other trains and passengers would see a cut in ticket prices as first class passengers switched to the faster trains.

He said he felt campaigners were being very clever about side-stepping the "not in my backyard argument".

"They're doing everything to not make that sort of statement," he said. "They're going on about economics (and) the environment but really, with railways you can make as much a game for it as against it. But at the end of the day, HS2 is, for me, do we want the country to go forward or don't we?"

In December, Transport Secretary Philip Hammond said 50% of the preferred route published in March had been amended following protests about its impact on homes and the countryside.

Jerry Marshall, chairman of the federation of action groups against the plans, said the route goes through his home but decided he would support the plans if they were in the national interest.

"As a businessman, I spent a couple of days going through the business case and I was shocked at what I found," he said. "There's a lot of wool being pulled over our eyes and the case does not stack up. If Phillip Hammond took this to Dragon's Den, he would be eaten alive."

The meeting at Stoneleigh has been discussing the arguments for and against the plans and hearing from guest speakers, organisers said.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: anthony215 on February 19, 2011, 07:30:59 pm
Some of these people in my opinion are idiots.  personally i think it is great that the governemnt are even planning to build a high speed domestic line in the uk.

It is need actually to take pressure off the west coast mainline and to provide additional capacity.

 This is also expected to provide a lot of job which is good


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: bignosemac on February 19, 2011, 07:42:10 pm
From the Oxford Mail (http://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/news/yourtown/oxford/8854713.High_speed_rail_through_Oxfordshire_could_revive_train_service_to_Milton_Keynes/):

Quote
Building a London to Birmingham high-speed railway line will make it easier to provide a train service between Oxford, Bicester and Milton Keynes, according to a new report.

Removing long-distance expresses from the West Coast main line through Milton Keynes would free capacity there, making it easier to operate trains from Oxford into the Buckinghamshire town^s Central station, said Greengauge 21, a group set up to campaign for high-speed lines.

Milton Keynes Central is three miles north of Bletchley, the junction station where the mothballed route from Bicester joins the busy main line and the line to Bedford, which would also form part of the East West Rail project.

A new high-speed line ^ called HS2 ^ which would cut across the north-east corner of Oxfordshire near Finmere and Mixbury, is a key part of the Government^s transport strategy but is bitterly opposed by some groups as the proposed route passes through the Chiltern Hills and is not seen as offering value for money.

Greengauge 21 director Jim Steer said yesterday: ^Services which simply cannot be fitted on today^s network will become viable once HS2 is built.

^Non-stop inter-city services from the North of England and the Midlands to London will transfer to HS2, making space on the West Coast main line for more freight on rail and more local passenger services.

^So, East West Rail ^ the project long sought-after between Oxford and Milton Keynes ^ becomes possible.^

Passenger trains last ran between Oxford and Bletchley in 1967. Freight services continued until the early 1990s but the line has been mothballed since then between Bletchley and Claydon Junction, east of Bicester.

The full Greenguage 21 report can be found here:

http://www.greengauge21.net/wp-content/uploads/Capturing-the-benefits-update.pdf

East-West is mentioned on pages 20 & 21 of the the report.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: anthony215 on February 19, 2011, 08:33:00 pm
If I remeber  from the plans they  were looking at running a service from Miltom keynes to Reading although if paths could be found how about running instead to swindon, Maybe if the Go-Co proposal comes off do a joint service with them or something


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: paul7755 on February 19, 2011, 09:32:06 pm
A franchised TOC cannot run a joint service with an open access operator.

The short history of Chiltern/WSMR 'co-operation' shows it is a minefield, there is ample evidence on the ORR website.

Paul


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: paul7755 on February 19, 2011, 09:36:24 pm
Would've been nice if the DfT could've put all those documents into one or two .zip files. Or offered them on CD-Rom like the last lot were back in March. Gonna take me an age to download and collate......

Has anyone noticed that the massive 123 Mb file (whatever it was) that was there on 20th December has disappeared?  I've emailed DfT asking what it was all about and where has it gone, but been fobbed off with a link to some 5 page summary or other.

I think it was a whole new updated report, but I never downloaded it...

Anyone got any ideas what was in it?

Paul


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: ChrisB on February 23, 2011, 09:14:17 am
Maybe if the Go-Co proposal comes off

Is this still a goer? Has anyone heard anything recently?


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: grahame on February 23, 2011, 10:04:31 am
Maybe if the Go-Co proposal comes off

Is this still a goer? Has anyone heard anything recently?

http://www.goco.coop/train/

... current as at 20th January (verified by a member of the Goco team at a public meeting in Swindon). See http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=6509.75


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on February 27, 2011, 12:17:43 pm
A video news report, from the BBC (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-12588563):

Quote
Hammond: 'We'll win over high-speed rail critics'

The Transport Secretary, Philip Hammond, says he believes he can change the opinions of those who oppose England's proposed high-speed rail link.

The government will next week launch a consultation into the proposed link between London and Birmingham but the scheme has attracted fierce opposition from people who live close to its planned route.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: johoare on February 27, 2011, 10:04:09 pm
I travelled to Milton Keynes and back on Friday (back roads not motorway) from Maidenhead.. I saw several signs on my journey indicating where the new train line would be crossing the roads I was on.. It did make me realise what an impact it would have locally...Although I do realise it won't literally cross over each road all the time...there will be bridges and tunnels (I hope)  :)


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: bignosemac on April 02, 2011, 11:19:08 am
From RAILNEWS.co.uk (http://www.railnews.co.uk/news/general/2011/03/30-new-group-is-launched-in.html):

Quote
New pro-HS2 group to oppose ^narrow self interest^

A NEW campaigning group supporting the construction of High Speed 2 has been launched only a day or so since the transport secretary dismissed the latest report from the anti-HS2 Taxpayers^ Alliance as ^spurious^.

The new group, called ^Yes to High Speed Rail^ has the backing of many business leaders. Its campaign director is David Begg, who chaired the former Commission for Integrated Transport.

Professor Begg said: ^We are united by a belief that high speed rail will significantly help Britain^s economy, creating jobs and boosting parts of the country that need it, particularly in the Midlands and the North. We also believe that it will make ordinary passengers^ lives easier by freeing up capacity on existing lines, bringing better services to more people.^

The anti-HS2 Taxpayers^ Alliance has already been the subject of criticism from the Department for Transport, after a new TA report claimed that towns and cities away from the future High Speed lines would suffer from deteriorating services and fewer trains because investment would be diverted away from the ^classic^ network.

Matthew Sinclair, the director of the Alliance, said: ^High speed rail isn^t the right way of getting the capacity we need. The project is set to cost taxpayers a fortune and it is increasingly clear it will be a huge white elephant. While politicians are holding out the promise of a faster journey for a fortunate few, huge numbers of people will face slower and less frequent services with more overcrowding. Everyone will still have to pay the hefty bill.^

But a DfT spokesman responded: ^This is complete nonsense, largely based around speculation, guesswork and spurious crystal-ball gazing about our future plans for investment in the existing railways,^ while transport secretary Philip Hammond added: ^It^s perfectly possible to invest in major strategic rail projects and still invest in other rail projects.^

The clash has come following a warning from Chiltern Railways chairman Adrian Shooter that ^super-rich^ people in the Chilterns are pouring money into anti-HS2 campaigning. He told a conference in Birmingham that he deplored their stance, which was based only on ^narrow self interest^.



Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: anthony215 on April 02, 2011, 03:51:26 pm
good to hear that the yes to HS2 campaign are finally getting stuck in gainst some of these nimbies.

I am supporting this new line not only because i think it would bring a lot of benfits to the uk economy and will provide a lot of jobs but that it would mean greater capacity on the west coast mainline especially for freight which could mean more lorries being taken off the motorway network.

I am not too sure about charging people extra to travel on the new high speed line however as i think this may push some people to continue using the classinc routes.



Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Timmer on April 02, 2011, 04:03:56 pm
I am not too sure about charging people extra to travel on the new high speed line however as i think this may push some people to continue using the classinc routes.
That is my concern. If it's only a few pounds more like HS1 then fair enough as it will be a premium service but if it's too expensive that's not good.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: bignosemac on April 02, 2011, 04:28:19 pm
Here's hoping that the TOC responsible for setting fares on HS2 don't make a complete hash of the fares structure like southeastern have done with HS1!!!


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: paul7755 on April 02, 2011, 07:54:09 pm
Here's hoping that the TOC responsible for setting fares on HS2 don't make a complete hash of the fares structure like southeastern have done with HS1!!!

DfT insisted on the premium fares that Southeastern charge on HS1.

The exact percentage increases were defined in the franchise spec - and AFAICS no flexibility was allowed, eg Ebbsfleet to St Pancras was defined as normal fare plus 35%.  The north Kent line was defined as plus 30% of the part of the fare from Gravesend, and the other route was defined as plus 20% of the part of the fare from Ashford.  (So in effect the effective percentage rise for longer distances such as Margate was less, around 10% of the normal fare.

I just lifted this from DfT's HS2 FAQs:

Quote
What about fares, won't they have to be very high?

Not at all. Our proposals assume a fares structure in line with that of the existing railway - demonstrating that a new high speed line could operate effectively, generating sufficient demand and revenues, without needing to charge premium fares

And this was Villiers in a recent Westminster Hall debate:

Quote
As for the allegation made by one or two hon. Members that we are
proposing a rich man's railway, and the concerns expressed about fares
by the hon. Member for Hammersmith (Mr Slaughter) and the shadow
Minister, our research indicates that 70% of passengers would be
travelling for reasons other than business, with leisure trips
particularly important. All our modelling is based on fares that are
in line with existing services. Our assumptions about the expected
fare-box do not factor in or depend on any premium for high-speed
services.

Be interesting to see what pans out if it is ever built...

Paul


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on April 03, 2011, 03:21:31 pm
From the BBC (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-birmingham-12947268):

Quote
High-speed rail campaigners in noise protest

Protesters against the proposed high-speed rail link have been simulating the noise they think the trains would make in a Staffordshire village.

The village of Whittington near Lichfield lies on the planned route of the link between London and Birmingham.

Residents used speakers to play the sound of a French high-speed train, with noise levels reaching 95 decibels.

Transport Secretary Philip Hammond has said the line, known as HS2, would mean a ^44bn boost for the UK economy.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: anthony215 on April 03, 2011, 04:30:58 pm
There is a interesting article in the latest copy of Rail about High speed 1 which shows half the stuff these nimbbies are saying is rubbish.

 I am glad to see that Rail & Modern Railways are keeping up the fight for HS2 against some of these people. I do think that governments do need to grow a bit of a backbone  instead of backing down because they are too afraid to upset some voters.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: bignosemac on April 03, 2011, 04:57:40 pm
RAIL magazine do give space for one of HS2 fiercest critics, transport journalist Christian Wolmar. His criticisms are however a bit more than just nimbyism.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on April 15, 2011, 12:53:04 am
From the BBC (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-13081206):

Quote
Will High Speed 2 look like this?

An animation was released today by High Speed 2 Limited showing a high speed train zooming pleasantly through the English countryside.

The video also shows some of the possible tunnels, bridges and viaducts that will need to be built if the scheme gets the go-ahead.

Not much indication though of the thousands of trees that will have to be planted to screen the new line.

The most striking omission though is that there is no sound - one of the issues that campaigners are concerned about.

Unsurprisingly, however, the footage looks quick, slick and hi-tech.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: bignosemac on June 22, 2011, 03:19:23 am
From the BBC (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-13848599):

Quote
HS2 rail project benefits uncertain, says review

The financial benefits of the HS2 London to Birmingham high-speed rail project are uncertain, an independent review prepared for MPs has found. The Commons transport committee asked consultants to look into the business case for the government's ^32bn scheme, due to be completed by 2026. Their review said London could benefit "possibly at the expense of less service-orientated cities on the line". It added there was little evidence on the regional and socio-economic impact.

The report was published as the transport committee held the first of five evidence sessions on HS2. It looked at the overall business case rather than the details of the route, which passes through several beauty spots as well as a large swathe of suburbs in north-west London. The first phase of HS2 will link London and Birmingham, with extensions further north later. A Y-shaped section taking branches to Manchester, Leeds and possibly further north could be finished by 2033. HS2 is a central facet of the coalition government's transport policy and was touted as an alternative to the third runway at Heathrow when the government scrapped that last year.

Key dates for evidence at committee

    * 28 June: HS2 supporters
    * 12 July: HS2 opponents
    * 6 September: Aviation and environmental groups
    * 13 September: Transport Secretary Philip Hammond

Giving evidence, Anthony Smith, chief executive of rail customer watchdog, Passenger Focus, told the committee he hoped HS2 would not be seen as a "rich man's railway". He said the way the line was presented and ticket pricing was "very important". West Coast Main Line passengers went through "eight years of pain" while it was upgraded, he said, so a new line had its attractions.

Association of Train Operating Companies chief executive Michael Roberts said he anticipated a gap between the West Coast line being "full by 2024" and HS2 running by 2026.

In written evidence to the committee, the Department for Transport said building the London to Birmingham section would create more than 40,000 jobs. It added that analysis suggested economic benefits of about ^44bn from the proposed Y-shaped network.

The report by Oxera consultancy firm said the estimates were surrounded by a "degree of uncertainty. The overall balance of non-monetised impacts - which include landscape, carbon and changes in land use - is difficult to ascertain." It went on to say there was evidence that service and tourism-orientated cities were "most likely to benefit. London is thus very likely to benefit, possibly at the expense of less service-oriented cities on the line." It added that just over a third (34%) of quantified benefits in the economic case were to long-distance passengers from London, so "the regeneration effects (if they exist) would be large in London". However, it warned that regeneration benefits in one area could be offset by losses in areas not served by the high-speed line. "The precise impacts will depend on the reallocation of conventional services on the West Coast main line and elsewhere," it said.

A total of 190 organisations have submitted evidence to the committee but Transport Secretary Philip Hammond is not expected to answer questions until 13 September.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: paul7755 on June 22, 2011, 10:25:25 pm
Good of the BBC to cut a 30 page report down to a couple of sentences for us. 

http://www.parliament.uk/documents/commons-committees/transport/HSR%20503%20-%20Oxera%20Report%20-%20Review%20of%20the%20government's%20case%20for%20an%20HSR%20programme.pdf (http://www.parliament.uk/documents/commons-committees/transport/HSR%20503%20-%20Oxera%20Report%20-%20Review%20of%20the%20government's%20case%20for%20an%20HSR%20programme.pdf)

It is worth reading the whole thing - I thought it was fairly balanced, and certainly not as negative as some vested interests are suggesting...

Paul


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: ChrisB on July 04, 2011, 10:03:15 am
The Latest News (http://www.newsbiscuit.com/2011/07/01/hornby-wins-contract-for-high-speed-rail-link/)


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: bignosemac on July 04, 2011, 10:12:49 am
 ;D ;D ;D

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eeD8hyHbZBQ


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: pbc2520 on July 28, 2011, 04:23:30 pm
(I couldn't find any reminders on this forum, apologies to those who are aware.)

http://highspeedrail.dft.gov.uk/ (http://highspeedrail.dft.gov.uk/)


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Andrew1939 from West Oxon on July 30, 2011, 04:41:54 pm
The responses from the Nimby's are to be expected and should be treated appropriately. What worries me is whether HS2 is real value for money as currently proposed. It has been reported that a quarter of the construction costs would relate to the first 4 miles out of Euston. Why not start the line from the proposed West London station? It seems to be assumed that it needs to be at Euston to be close to HS1 at St. Pancras. Although there would be transfer traffic much would go to and come from all over the London area and most would have no interest in getting to and from Euston The west London terminal would be connected to Crossrail for just as easy access to the City. The benefits are said to be for the Midlands and eventually the North so what benefit would the Midlands get from those 4 miles? At a later date a more viable and less costly route further out to connect the two terminals might be found to be viable.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Not from Brighton on July 30, 2011, 07:37:40 pm
I'm sure I saw a proposal somewhere to divert all of the WCML slow services into Crossrail tunnels and thus free up the slow lines from Willesden Junction for use by HS2 into Euston. Thus in a stroke finding something useful to do with the Crossrail 16 TPH terminating at Paddington and saving ^4Bn from the HS2 price tag.
There's probably a catch...


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: anthony215 on July 30, 2011, 09:22:18 pm
good idea in theory, but there is always a BUT.

I did read a report published a year or so ago which proposed it, i will have a look for it though.

That said there is a lot of oppostition to runing HSW into Euston which i sure i read somewhere before would mean the end of London Overground services into Euston to free up some platforms.

Wouldnt i be cheaper to build a station at old oak common which would have a interchange station with crossrail so that there is easy acess to Heathrow, Reading, London Paddington, Central London & the City?


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: paul7755 on July 30, 2011, 10:07:50 pm
I did read a report published a year or so ago which proposed it, i will have a look for it though.

I'm sure I saw a proposal somewhere ...

It's discussed in a fair amount of detail in the final version of the London and SE 2nd generation RUS.

...and we were discussing it only a couple of days ago in the 'Crossrail' thread towards the bottom of the page here:

http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=818.60

There's a link to the RUS in that thread so I won't repeat it...

Paul


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: paul7755 on July 30, 2011, 10:31:24 pm

That said there is a lot of oppostition to runing HSW into Euston which i sure i read somewhere before would mean the end of London Overground services into Euston to free up some platforms.

Wouldnt i be cheaper to build a station at old oak common which would have a interchange station with crossrail so that there is easy acess to Heathrow, Reading, London Paddington, Central London & the City?

The government have already committed to an HS2 station at Old Oak Common, with interchange platforms on the GWML for access to Heathrow.  This was part of their announcement prior to the recently closed consultation. 

The only continuing debate is really about a Crosssrail interchange, and potential LO NLL or WLL interchanges.

The works described at Euston do not include removing LO services at all, not even temporarily AIUI, and I've been through all the papers about HS2 on the DfT's website.

Paul 


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: anthony215 on July 31, 2011, 02:03:29 pm
Just been watching a few youtube videos of pete waterman campaigning for HS2 and arguing with Mr christian wolmar over it.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Btline on July 31, 2011, 02:41:01 pm
The problem I have is the effect on Wolverhampton and Coventry etc. The service is likely to be slowed down or reduced in frequency. For the former, a change in birmingham will result in no journey time saving. For the latter, no alternative.

I think high speed tracks should stop at rugby so the existing service can be maintained but with faster journey times and higher frequencies.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: ellendune on July 31, 2011, 04:59:53 pm
I see no reason why the service provided on the classic route after HS2 need be any slower than before.  Perhaps not as frequent at that speed to allow a better service for more places.

If you insist that HS2 has to stop every 30 miles it will no longer be high speed!



Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Not from Brighton on July 31, 2011, 10:25:05 pm
Lets hope there isn't a Eurostar style check-in process or it will be quicker to use the WCML.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: ChrisB on August 01, 2011, 06:04:43 am
Why on earth should there be?


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Btline on August 01, 2011, 06:17:10 pm
I see no reason why the service provided on the classic route after HS2 need be any slower than before.  Perhaps not as frequent at that speed to allow a better service for more places.
If you insist that HS2 has to stop every 30 miles it will no longer be high speed!

Umm, because most pax travelling from London to Bham will be on HS2, so there won't be the demand for 3 11 car trains per hour. They are bound to either axe this to 1 or 2, or to make all trains stop at Rugby, Milton Keynes and Watford. This will add about 15 mins to the journey time. So Coventry to Euston will be 1 hr 15 instead of 1 hr. Wolverhampton to Euston will be 1 hr 45 on classic or 1 hr 30 on HS2. (which is what they have now, without changing!)

As well as this, direct trains from Milton Keynes to Manchester, Crewe etc. are also likely to be slowed down, as well as commuter trains to Trent Valley stations. A HSL from London to Rugby would allow all flows to retain existing calling patterns, but with faster journey times and still freeing up the WCML fasts.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: ChrisB on August 01, 2011, 06:25:14 pm
Umm, because most pax travelling from London to Bham will be on HS2, so there won't be the demand for 3 11 car trains per hour. They are bound to either axe this to 1 or 2, or/b] to make all trains stop at Rugby, Milton Keynes and Watford.

Ummm - I think they'll do both, for the reason you gave. They'll be looking to fill what trains they run, but I don't think 1 tph will be the right service for Coventry / Rugby - so 2tph, along with the extra stops you listed....

Also, the fares will drop as they're no longer the Premier service to Birmingham, which in turn will attract some that currently use Chiltern as they're 50% of Virgin's fare. THe domino effect will likely mean changes at Chiltern too, as three competing services from Brum are either going to introduce some cut-throat marketing, or a reduction in services, or both.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: bignosemac on August 01, 2011, 06:49:25 pm
It'll be four competing services if the franchise map stays the same.

Chiltern
West Coast
London Midland
HS2


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Btline on August 01, 2011, 08:09:06 pm
No wonder Chiltern are extending to Oxford. I suspect they'll remain committed to Kidderminster to try and keep as many people on "direct" trains. I don't think there is enough demand for 4 TOCs to compete!

If Chris B is correct, then Coventry will lose out big time, it'll be cheaper and less crowded.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: ChrisB on August 01, 2011, 09:40:32 pm
Only by a max of 15 mins I reckon - and thats to Lindon.

Of course, other extra stops will open up other opportunities too - Lonfon Midland might lose 1tph or have different stopping patterns, so Virgin might pick up the Northamoton stop, for example, thus improving services there. We'll have to wait & see - but the RUS is quite clear that all the 3 current operators will have service frequency & stopping patterns reviewed once HS2 is up & running


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: bignosemac on August 01, 2011, 10:09:50 pm
Only by a max of 15 mins I reckon - and thats to Lindon.

Lindon, Colorado or Lindon, Middle Earth?  :P ;) ;D


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: ChrisB on August 01, 2011, 10:19:58 pm
Ho, ho....it aint easy on an iphone in a moving train...


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: bignosemac on August 01, 2011, 10:53:31 pm
You're on a moving train? More fortunate than some today.  ;) ;D


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Chafford1 on October 30, 2011, 01:26:46 pm
An article in today's Sunday Times suggests that Maria Eagle, the Shadow Transport Secretary, will announce a new preferred route for High Speed Two tomorrow, with a station near Heathrow and a route paralleling the M40 and Chiltern Lines with a Chiltern tunnel bypassing High Wycombe.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: ChrisB on October 30, 2011, 03:36:33 pm
I think you need to say tgat you lifted this directly from ukr newsgroup, rarher than from the Sunday Times?


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Chafford1 on October 30, 2011, 04:28:24 pm
I think you need to say tgat you lifted this directly from ukr newsgroup, rarher than from the Sunday Times?

I posted it on ukr newsgroup, still using my old username!  :D :D


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: bignosemac on October 30, 2011, 04:32:41 pm
I think you need to say tgat you lifted this directly from ukr newsgroup, rarher than from the Sunday Times?

Why? It appears that it was the same person who started the thread over at uk.railway. What's so wrong with cutting and pasting the same text?


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: ChrisB on October 30, 2011, 04:59:46 pm
'appears' being the operative word....

Thanks Chafford1 for confirmation. Be intresting to see where this goes - possible that DfT about to make some announcement & Labour jumped gun to take credit


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Chafford1 on October 30, 2011, 05:06:53 pm
Reading this article is rather depressing. I had hoped that the previous cross-party consensus on the route would hold. As it is, a revised route is likely to delay the project if there's a change in Government and even increase the chances of the whole thing being shelved.



Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Btline on October 31, 2011, 01:22:43 am
That's weird. When Labour proposed the current route, it was the Tories that suggested going via Heathrow.

Now the other way round? ???

Just build the damn thing!


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: inspector_blakey on October 31, 2011, 03:04:26 am
And make sure it travels via Worcester. And that the trains run non-stop from there to London whilst avoiding damaging any Cotswolds scenery... ;)


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Btline on October 31, 2011, 01:02:08 pm
And make sure it travels via Worcester. And that the trains run non-stop from there to London whilst avoiding damaging any Cotswolds scenery... ;)

You've forgotten a stop at the vast metropolis that is Charlbury! A parkway station with 4000 spaces should suffice... :P :P


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: SapperPsmith on October 31, 2011, 01:21:47 pm
Unfortunately as often happens the Adonis asked the wrong question and therefore got the wrong answer.  I still hope that someone spots this before spending too much money.

The West Midlands are irrelevant in journey time saving and therefore will not generate sufficient additional revenue to pay even a sensible proportion of the cost.  A route parallel to the M1 with stops at E Mids and Sheffield with extensions to Manchester, Leeds and Newcastle would be more sensible.  Scotland could be added eventually.  Sheffield is a huge catchment with historically poor train links to London (they only got 2 tph recently).  This would generate far more revenue and Bham is now well served with 3 operators and good journeys.

The M1 route avoids the Chilterns.  Heathrow is also a distraction - links to the GW mainline with services on Crossrail will do most of what is needed.  Replacing internal flights is not needed - GNER killed off London-Leeds and Virgin have almost eliminated London-Manchester.  This HS2 would do the same for Newcastle and Edinburgh/Glasgow.  Anyway "Boris Island" is probably a much better long term solution.

It is a pity that the cheerleaders for HS2 cannot spot any of this!


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: mjones on October 31, 2011, 01:27:16 pm
HS2 isn't, and never was, about time savings to the West Midlands, it is about providing increased capacity for both long distance and regional services, with the route to Birmingham being intended, from the outset, to be the first phase a of Y shaped network serving the places you mention. This is abundantly clear from the proposals...


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: SapperPsmith on October 31, 2011, 01:46:35 pm
 
HS2 isn't, and never was, about time savings to the West Midlands, it is about providing increased capacity for both long distance and regional services, with the route to Birmingham being intended, from the outset, to be the first phase a of Y shaped network serving the places you mention. This is abundantly clear from the proposals...

So why go there - the Manchester traffic can go on HS2 freeing capcity for W Mids.  I know what the proposals say but it doesnt make them right!


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: mjones on October 31, 2011, 01:55:19 pm
I'm not convinced you've read the proposals properly... most of the trains won't go to Birmingham at all they will bypass it and head north, initially following the existing lines then moving to dedicated high speed lines once the full Y network is built. But by serving Birmingham as well it will enable currrent fast services to divert to the high speed line, thereby freeing up a lot of capacity on the most congested section of the west coast main line. While there is no doubt some scope to move the route around a bit, the current proposals maximise the number of fast trains diverted from the existing tracks, thereby maximising the capacity that can be freed up for other services.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: ChrisB on November 03, 2011, 09:27:28 am
The map is below....

(http://www.hughendenresidents.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/HS2-Labour.jpg)


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: mjones on November 06, 2011, 09:29:37 am
According to the Sunday Telegraph, the transport select committee is going to recommend that HS2 should start in the north, leaving the southern section until later. I hope this isn't true, as if so it would demonstrate a worrying failure by the committee to grasp that the whole point of HS2 is to provide increased capacity, and that capacity is most urgently needed on the southern section. Building a northern HS2 in isolation wouldn't have any business case at all.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Electric train on November 06, 2011, 12:13:46 pm
According to the Sunday Telegraph, the transport select committee is going to recommend that HS2 should start in the north, leaving the southern section until later. I hope this isn't true, as if so it would demonstrate a worrying failure by the committee to grasp that the whole point of HS2 is to provide increased capacity, and that capacity is most urgently needed on the southern section. Building a northern HS2 in isolation wouldn't have any business case at all.
May be the Select Committee are interested in the politics of perhaps protecting their own seat in Parliament those in the proposed route because of loss of votes due to the NIMBY's those in the north because building it there would generate jobs show investment hence possibly earn them votes.  We have to remember the MP's start looking to the next election in 2012 so will be unwilling to do anything that might upset the voters and will do anything to please the voters.

Besides since when have MPs grasped anything that is common sense


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: bignosemac on November 06, 2011, 04:05:32 pm
From The Telegraph (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/road-and-rail-transport/8872413/HS2-rail-link-should-start-in-north-of-England-say-MPs.html):

Quote
HS2 rail link should start in north of England say MPs

A report by the all-party transport select committee is understood to propose that the government abandons plans to make London to Birmingham the first section of the ^34 billion scheme to be built.

Instead, MPs say Justine Greening, the Transport Secretary, should consider starting construction of the HS2 link in Leeds and Manchester, with a Y-shaped line going south to Birmingham.

The Sunday Telegraph understands that the committee was hit by internal rows over its final report, out on Tuesday, which is understood to give the project broad support, but to include some specific criticisms.

Under current plans, construction of the southern section linking London and Birmingham, is likely to start in 2017 with the first trains using the route in 2026.

The Y-shaped section north of Birmingham, to Leeds and Manchester, is likely to begin to be built in 2016 and is scheduled to open around 2032.

Turning the project on its head and starting in the north would put off for years major battles with Conservative MPs through whose constituencies the southern section is expected to pass as it cuts through the Chiltern Hills to the north west of London.

Such a move would also boost regeneration in the north of England.

Ms Greening is expected to give the government's response to the national consultation on HS2 ^ including a "final" route map between London and Birmingham ^ next month.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: northwesterntrains on November 06, 2011, 04:16:55 pm
If they want to boost regeneration in the north then new stock for local services, regeneration of stations and extra track at congested sections of line will be far more useful and cheaper than HS2.

All major towns and cities in England outside the South East have 125mph trains to and from London.  On the other hand XC services are slow, so how about a new high speed link between somewhere like Blackpool and somewhere like Newquay via Manchester, Birmingham and Bristol?


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: bignosemac on November 06, 2011, 04:41:57 pm
All major towns and cities in England outside the South East have 125mph trains to and from London. 

Norwich? Northampton? Shrewsbury? And if were talking outside the South East rather than outside the (former NSE) Network area then there are numerous places in the south that do not have 125mph trains to and from London. Portsmouth, Southampton, Salisbury.

And whilst the rest may have 125mph capable trains, on many lines or for large parts of the journey that speed is never achieved.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Btline on November 06, 2011, 08:38:18 pm
What's going to happen to all these extra HS trains from Manchester and Leeds once they slam into Birmingham? :o

No capacity. In fact, congestion will get WORSE, as they'll still need to be trains from Liverpool, Stoke, Wimslow travelling on the Classic WCML.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: mjones on November 06, 2011, 08:59:14 pm
Indeed, such a  proposal would be absurd, for this and lots of other reasons. I hope that the select committee aren't in fact about to produce such a recommendation and suspect that this is the Telegraph furthering its anti HS2 agenda by leaking a minority view in the committee. If however this is what the committee recommend in their final report then it is a rather damning indictment upon their understanding of the issues, and will seriously damage their credibility.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: RailCornwall on November 06, 2011, 09:23:00 pm
Outsource the whole lot, construction, operation, maintenance to RFF / SNCF and get the Assembl^e Nationale and Senate to legislate accordingly. We might actually get it constructed then.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: eightf48544 on November 07, 2011, 10:29:08 am
Interesting idea RailCornwall. the trouble is you'd get a junction station for Glasgow and Edinburgh somewhere near Meridan and if you are  lucky intermediate stations somewhere between Warrington and Manchester on the Glasgow branch and on the Edinburgh branch somewhere between Leeds and York although both are not far in LGV terms from Meridan, and maybe somewhere near Newcastle.

the trouble is our major population centres are too close together in LGV terms.

Don't know how many juctions you'd get with traditional lines as LGV junctions tend to cover vast acres of land to minimise the curvature not sure we'ed have room .

Look at Amiens fought hard to get LGV Nord, misses it by miles.

Which is why I'm not sure HS2 is the answer, or if so to what is it the answer?


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: northwesterntrains on November 07, 2011, 11:56:51 am
All major towns and cities in England outside the South East have 125mph trains to and from London. 

Norwich? Northampton? Shrewsbury? And if were talking outside the South East rather than outside the (former NSE) Network area then there are numerous places in the south that do not have 125mph trains to and from London. Portsmouth, Southampton, Salisbury.

And whilst the rest may have 125mph capable trains, on many lines or for large parts of the journey that speed is never achieved.

OK all major towns may be an exaggeration but the point about faster trains/routes being needed for XC type journeys is still valid.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Tim on November 07, 2011, 01:52:53 pm
If this new line is all about capacity, I would have thought that a new frieght line would be the way to go.  It would be cheaper (cos lower speed), less environmentally damaging (cos doesn;t need to be so straight or plough into city centers) and could be built to a continental loading guage.  Passenger capacity (and perhaps speed to an extent) could be increased on the existing lines with their already-built city centre stations.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: mjones on November 07, 2011, 02:03:15 pm
No, a freight line wouldn't release anything like the same capacity, for two reasons: first, there aren't as many freight trains on the WCML as fast trains that will divert to HS2, secondly, the mix of speeds between fast and semi-fast services uses far more capacity than is used when trains are all travelling at similar speeds with similar stopping patterns. 

I don't dispute that there are valid concerns about HS2, but none of the alternatives proposed offer anything like as much additional capacity for both long distance and regional services.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: mjones on November 08, 2011, 05:25:29 pm
Not surprisingly, the Telegraph's prediction about the Transport Committee report was largely wide of the mark:

"There is a good case for a high speed rail network, linking London and the major cities of the Midlands, the North and Scotland says the Commons Transport Committee. "

http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/transport-committee/news/hsr---substantive/

However, the report still includes the bizarre recommendation "A full assessment of the case for building from north to south should be carried out as a priority". When the chair of the committee was interviewed on the Today programme she agreed fully that all the capacit benefits are on the London to Birmingham section, so I suspect it only represents a minority opinion. There really isn't much to do a full assessment on: the capacity is needed in the south, so that's where you start building!

They also say "Claims that HS2 would deliver substantial carbon-reduction benefits do not stand up to scrutiny", which is a bit of a straw man, as the HS2 scheme documents are very clear that carbon savings are small, and largely dependent upon the extent to which the electricity supply is decarbonised.

They also question cost benefit analysis based on value of time, which has certainly become controversial, however it is still the standard method used in transport appraisal and it would not be reasonable for high speed rail to be treated differently from other transport schemes in that respect, simply because it suits the HS2 opponents.
Nonetheless, the campaigners have seized on it to conclude that the report destroys the business case, so it appears the report has something for everyone in it.  ::)

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-15619461


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: onthecushions on November 11, 2011, 09:22:28 pm

The HoC Select Committee proceedings have shaken my support for HS2. The promoters seemed just lobbies for the consultants, contractors, interest groups and regional chambers of trade with a lot to gain. Only NR came near to convincing me but the reasonable alternatives weren't given and  some answers were just wrong, such as no intermediate stations being possible (never heard of platform loops or high speed turnouts).

If long distance capacity is the issue (i.e to Rugby, in stage 1) then the old Great Central route is the answer. Well engineered, older main lines (such as the GW and LNW/WC) were mostly laid out for speed and with a small fraction of the ?32Bn quoted could have long stretches raised to LGV speeds. What they can't have is mixed traffic operation so HSx in the UK really requires new slow/relief lines to allow full segregation. The argument against this majored on tunnelling (the fast lines) under existing towns, really to allow all the platform roads to be used by non-TGV and stopping trains, unnecessary if this traffic were to be diverted.

I suspect that in the end the big scheme capital costs will be too much for a weakish economy like the UK and after years of dreaming (and borrowing), we'll have to live within our means again.

Thoughts?

OTC



Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: mjones on November 13, 2011, 09:45:37 pm

The HoC Select Committee proceedings have shaken my support for HS2. The promoters seemed just lobbies for the consultants, contractors, interest groups and regional chambers of trade with a lot to gain. Only NR came near to convincing me but the reasonable alternatives weren't given and  some answers were just wrong, such as no intermediate stations being possible (never heard of platform loops or high speed turnouts).

It isn't that these aren't possible, it is that they greatly increase the cost: to prevent trains that stop from getting in the way of the through trains they'd have to separated miles before, so you are talking about long sections of 4 track high speed line, not just platform loops.

I'm pretty sure I've seen  discussion of this in the detailed HS2 scheme documents.
Quote

If long distance capacity is the issue (i.e to Rugby, in stage 1) then the old Great Central route is the answer. Well engineered, older main lines (such as the GW and LNW/WC) were mostly laid out for speed and with a small fraction of the ?32Bn quoted could have long stretches raised to LGV speeds. What they can't have is mixed traffic operation so HSx in the UK really requires new slow/relief lines to allow full segregation. The argument against this majored on tunnelling (the fast lines) under existing towns, really to allow all the platform roads to be used by non-TGV and stopping trains, unnecessary if this traffic were to be diverted.

I suspect that in the end the big scheme capital costs will be too much for a weakish economy like the UK and after years of dreaming (and borrowing), we'll have to live within our means again.

Thoughts?

OTC


On what basis do you think this could be done for a small fraction of the cost of HS2? Apart from the fact that the alignments simply aren't straight enough for LGV speeds, it would require far more work in built up areas and the cost of disruption to existing services. The old GC of course doesn't provide a complete route from London to Birmingham or the WCML anyway, but HS2 does follow some of its alignment; it can't use the exact route because it isn't straight enough for high speed.

HS2 is effectively like adding an additional pair of tracks onto the WCML, nothing short of that would provide the same capacity improvement. But building on a new alignment means built up areas and disruption to existing services can be avoided. And if you are building a new route, then the cost estimates were that you only save 10% of the costs by building a conventional speed line instead, but lose a third of the benefits that high speed offers.  And that's because, irrespective of the arguments currently going on about the appraisal of time savings, shorter journey times make rail more competitive with other modes and attract more people paying more fares, so any proposed alternative that doesn't offer high speed is never going to raise as much fare revenue to pay back the construction costs.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: eightf48544 on November 14, 2011, 12:02:17 pm
One of teh things that has puzzled me is that HST2 is predicated on London to Birmingham, and North.

What happens to Rugby to Birmingham, it seems to me that even if HS2 takes the London trains there is still a need for extra capacity for local traffic on this line.

 Things like Leamington Nuneaton service via Kenilworth, Coventry and Bedworth which has been posted on Coffee Shop and presumably as DaFT loves competition a cheaper LM type semifast London Service. 

Are there any plans for 4 tracking stretches etc?


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: onthecushions on November 15, 2011, 08:31:17 pm

mjones - thanks for your reply and comments.

1. There were 125mph points at Hambleton Jns on the ECML. It's true they do need long leads and braking space - about 2000m, plus a 400m platform to TENs standards. TGV's can take off - reaching 125mph in less than 3 minutes, if published evidence is to be believed. Hopefully, HS2 would have more than 2 tracks, anyway. HSx's can't run mixed traffic for many reasons - specification, maintenance, pathing, signalling etc.

2. As a rule of thumb, 50% of main lines are straight enough for high speed (say 186mph), about 50% of the rest are upgradable and so only about 1/4 actually need new route, probably less when cost/benefit is taken into account. The down side may be some disruption as curves are eased, the up side is importantly, quicker realisation of benefits, without the fights and controversy.

3. The Great Central line reinstatement would be for freight and would not need high speeds (its quite good already). I'm not sure that the WCML case study by NR allowed for this.

4. Does anyone think that HS3 paralleling our GWML is necessary?

Regards,

OTC




Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on November 16, 2011, 11:09:30 am
2. As a rule of thumb, 50% of main lines are straight enough for high speed (say 186mph), about 50% of the rest are upgradable and so only about 1/4 actually need new route, probably less when cost/benefit is taken into account. The down side may be some disruption as curves are eased, the up side is importantly, quicker realisation of benefits, without the fights and controversy.

I'm not saying your figures are inaccurate necessarily, but where have you got your rules of thumb from?  I would suggest that in a lot of areas where curves would not have to be eased there would still need to be significant costs on providing suitable infrastructure (more of a cant in the track for example), which would mean practically the whole route would still have to be relaid.  What about tunnels?  The existing tunnels would not be able to take trains at that speed, and so if you have to decelerate and accelerate for each and every tunnel then you'd lose so much time over a purpose built route.

Also, how would having 2-tracks of High Speed line work on a 4-track railway such as Paddington to Didcot?  Clearly you wouldn't want High Speed services passing conventional platforms such as Tilehurst and Goring at 186mph, so would those platforms have to be removed?

Personally, I don't think upgrading the GWML for 186mph is practical or affordable (like I don't think a HS3 route to the south west from London would be either).  I do think that 140mph running with IEP's and cab signalling, and targeted infrastructure improvements such as remodelling Wootten Basset junction for much faster speeds could achieve some good time savings, but for a fraction of the cost.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: ChrisB on November 16, 2011, 11:14:27 am
Except to employ 000s of unemployed Northerners....


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: onthecushions on November 21, 2011, 07:50:18 pm

The "rule of thumb" came from a magazine interview with, I believe, Armitt. His speeches, when you can find them are really informative, concise but with essential figures and technical detail. The idea is not contentious and can be partly checked from published information, such as the speed map in the WCMLRUS (p23?). The dfT's case for high speed rail touches on this also on p58. There was also something called "Rail Package 2" or RP2. This was mainly to do with extra tracks and so was expensive in towns. That's why relaying the GCML is attractive. You are right of course about the formation, track etc., all high speed needs this.

I like the East Coast approach (they did copy Swindon for loco valve gear), where each new technology leapfrogged the old allowing incremental improvements each time something was renewed. it only got stuck at 125mph because of signalling for 140mph....

Now if SNCF wanted to cascade their PSE TGV's.

Regards,

OTC


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: bobm on November 22, 2011, 02:32:13 pm
The existing tunnels would not be able to take trains at that speed, and so if you have to decelerate and accelerate for each and every tunnel then you'd lose so much time over a purpose built route.

Is there still a lower limit through Box Tunnel?  I remember reading somewhere that when HSTs were first they either had to run or reduced speed or not pass in the tunnel for fear of blowing the carriage windows in.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: mjones on November 22, 2011, 08:48:14 pm

mjones - thanks for your reply and comments.

1. There were 125mph points at Hambleton Jns on the ECML. It's true they do need long leads and braking space - about 2000m, plus a 400m platform to TENs standards. TGV's can take off - reaching 125mph in less than 3 minutes, if published evidence is to be believed. Hopefully, HS2 would have more than 2 tracks, anyway. HSx's can't run mixed traffic for many reasons - specification, maintenance, pathing, signalling etc.

It will predominantly be 2 track, which is why a mix of stopping and through trains would adversely affect capacity. A business case would have to be made that the additional costs of building 4 track to faciliate intermediate stops would be justified by the additional passenger revenue from those stops, which seems highly unlikely given the lack of large centres of population on the proposed route.

Quote
2. As a rule of thumb, 50% of main lines are straight enough for high speed (say 186mph), about 50% of the rest are upgradable and so only about 1/4 actually need new route, probably less when cost/benefit is taken into account. The down side may be some disruption as curves are eased, the up side is importantly, quicker realisation of benefits, without the fights and controversy.


The minimum turning radius for 300 kmh is 4km, compared with under 2km for 200kmh; and bear in mind that tilting isn't used for high speed. So even if 50% of the existing main lines is straight enough, you can't simply 'ease' a few curves on the other 50%: the high speed sections all have to connect up via curves of at least 4km radius, so sticking to the existing alignment is pretty well impossible, and when you then have to avoid built up areas, sensitive habitats etc you will find that actually you'd have to build long sections of completely new routes, which aren't necessarily going to connect easily back to the existing corridor. If it were straightforward to fit a HSR route onto a conventional speed rail corridor then they'd have followed much more of the GCR trackbed.

Quote

3. The Great Central line reinstatement would be for freight and would not need high speeds (its quite good already). I'm not sure that the WCML case study by NR allowed for this.


But creating a new, separate, freight route doesn't create anything like as much new capacity in comparison with a new passenger route, but is still very expensive. You seem to be arguing that a huge amount of money should be spent trying to upgrade the existing line for passengers, which still doesn't create as much capacity as a new line, while also wanting to build a new line, but for freight, which offers much lower benefits. Why not spend the money on a new passenger line, thereby maximising the capacity improvements?


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: onthecushions on November 30, 2011, 02:28:04 pm
While I agree of course with your general drift, it remains true that intermediate stations are  both provided and used on high speed lines. The 70 or so miles of HS1 have platforms at Stratford, Ebbsfleet and Ashford, although they're not all used as planned. The PSE station at Le Creusot Montceau-les-Mines while not welcomed by SNCF now attracts nearly 1M users each year. Generally they have platform loops. The MP for MK (Mark Lancaster?) raised with the Chancellor yesterday the prospect of a Bucks Parkway where the Oxford Bletchley route now to be re-opened crosses HS2.

I have an an ex-BR map that shows a continuation of the Selby avoiding line to just past York, giving a continuous Doncaster-Darlington high speed section. The WCML also has its fast stretches and connecting curves of 4km (I think the norm is 5km or 2.5km at a pinch) are not out of the question. The capacity released by diverting freight is multiplied because being slower, it generates more paths for faster services.

HS2 is of course the ideal - I just think that we will eventually discover we can't afford it.

Regards,

OTC


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Btline on December 03, 2011, 06:11:51 pm
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-16017413

Delays until Jan...


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: paul7755 on December 03, 2011, 07:28:38 pm
Usual alarmist stuff I see.  "We've got 270 acres here to farm and we won't be able to get to it..."

Do the BBC ever bother trying to substantiate any of this rubbish, or do they just print whatever they get told by people with an axe to grind...  Ever since the first railways were built accomodation bridges have been provided as necessary - indeed the same applies to motorways etc.  Why ever wouldn't this policy continue?

Paul


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: BerkshireBugsy on December 03, 2011, 07:33:52 pm
Usual alarmist stuff I see.  "We've got 270 acres here to farm and we won't be able to get to it..."

Do the BBC ever bother trying to substantiate any of this rubbish, or do they just print whatever they get told by people with an axe to grind...  Ever since the first railways were built accomodation bridges have been provided as necessary - indeed the same applies to motorways etc.  Why ever wouldn't this policy continue?

Paul

Sadly "people who don't have an axe to grind" don't make interesting news (or so it seems in the media's eyes) and often get ignored!


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Btline on December 29, 2011, 04:08:39 pm
What do people think? I think the line will be given the go ahead. The Chesham and Amersham MP has been very quiet on the matter of the tunnel! I think it's a shame as they'll be less of a view onboard. I don't buy the argument that rail lines scar the landscape (living near one myself - albeit, unelectrified)

If it does happen, I expect they'll be Newbury Bypass scale opposition when trees start getting axed. This could drive up the costs...

To be honest, I think we need it, it will have eased overcrowding for all Northern Home Counties when it gets to Leeds.

When do we hear? Is it early Jan?


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: mjones on December 29, 2011, 05:04:25 pm
I'd be surprised if there is much Newbury type direct action. The environmental campaign groups are split on this, and the direct action groups seem to have moved to other issues since the high profile campaigns of the late 1990s. Will be interesting to see what the Government decides. There isn't much support within the Conservative party, on the other hand they known fully well that if they don't go ahead with this then they will have to come up with some alternative ways to deal with the capacity problems on the WCML, which also affect Tory voters. Labour hasn't helped by throwing in the 'go via Heathrow' red-herring, thereby rejecting the results of all the detailed studies they commissioned while in government...


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on December 31, 2011, 10:28:28 pm
Edit Note:

As we had at least five different topics on this forum, on two different boards, all covering various aspects of the ongoing HS2 debate, I've now merged them all here - purely for continuity and completeness.

At this stage, I've preserved the original heading in each post, so the context of the original post can be taken into account.  However, on reading through this now combined 'definitive' topic, I'm fairly sure that it actually stands up in its own right.

If anyone has any concerns or questions over this 'editorial policy', however, please do let me know!

Regards, Chris.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on December 31, 2011, 10:37:38 pm
From the Coventry Telegraph (http://www.coventrytelegraph.net/news/coventry-news/2011/12/31/hs2-could-revolutionise-travel-for-coventry-and-warwickshire-92746-30036038/):

Quote
HS2 could 'revolutionise travel for Coventry and Warwickshire'

A respected rail expert has claimed the controversial HS2 line could revolutionise travel for the people of Coventry and Warwickshire.

It comes after a YouGov poll commissioned by opponents of the ^32million project found almost two-thirds of people were now against the non-stop London to Birmingham line.

William Barter is a rail planning consultant who has worked for a host of top firms including Network Rail and Transport for London. His advice has been sought on the viability of train lines around the world and their impact.

Transport secretary Justine Greening is due to make a decision on whether to recommend the 250mph bullet train to Parliament in a matter of weeks.

Meanwhile, a fierce battle for hearts and minds is taking place between those in favour and those opposed. Mr Barter told the Telegraph HS2 could vastly improve connectivity within the West Midlands.

^The problem with the (existing) West Coast Mainline is it is one railway trying to do two or three different jobs ^ and not doing any particularly well. At peak times priority is given to fast through trains at the expense of local services. If you live in Coventry now, there isn^t a train to Milton Keynes. HS2 would divert long distance traffic on to the new line so trains would be able to stop at more local stations and serve more local markets.^

The high speed rail plan would cut through Warwickshire and along the western edge of Coventry.

Two out of the three city MPs have joined Coventry City Council and Warwickshire County Council in fighting it.

Many have raised concerns about Coventry losing its much-valued three fast trains an hour to London.

^Logically, after HS2, I can^t see any way there^s still going to be three trains an hour,^ Mr Barter said. ^But there should be two, and there will be more useful services stopping at variety of other places. For those who want the faster service to London there^s HS2. What Coventry gets out of HS2 is still up for grabs.

^What annoys me is MPs campaigning against it, saying local services might suffer. Local services could improve but only if MPs and councils get their act together and put forward the right arguments. If they don^t start trying to fight now it will be too late to campaign for these extra local services.^

Mr Barter claimed the main benefit of HS2 could be improved connectivity between the new station ^ based near the NEC ^ and the north, rather than to London.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: eightf48544 on December 31, 2011, 11:47:29 pm
I am still siting on the fence over HS2 whilst in general terms I would love to see High Speed Rail in GB, I keep coming up against geography.

It seems to me we are too small an island to justify LGV. Ideally it seems stations should be say roughly 100 miles apart to justify having to stop and accelerate.

Now Using my Road Atlas I get

London Birmingham 106 (ideal)

West Coast                                                      East Coast

Birmingham Manchester 78 (just?)                     Birmingham Leeds 109 (ideal)
Manchester Carlise 115 (ideal)                           Leeds Newcastle 96 (OK)
Carlise Glasgow 95 (OK)                                    Newcastle Edinburgh 104 (ideal)

However we've already seen Milton Keynes wants a station.

On the West Coast what about Preston? Plus Warrington and Wigan
On the East coast there's Derby Nottingham Sheffield who would probably like a station and York is not going to be too pleased not having a station.

So we really need stations every 50 miles, except perhaps in Scotland, this will increase journey times and lessen the benefits of HS2.

Unless these places are to be served by spurs on and off HS2 which will mean large flying or burrowing junctions, which are presumably fairly expensive.

Also is Euston really the right station I still the idea of through station under Euston Road between Euston and Kings Cross with a link to HS1 if we could sort out proper border controls., or become less paranoid about our borders.

Unfortunately having knocked HS2 I realy can't see an alternative to HS2 for the WCML particulay South of Birmingham. Obviously 4 tracking from Birmingham to Rugby would help as would possibly extending the 4 tracks South from Rugby to Roade, but that would then put 6 tracks into 4 Southwards.  

I am also worried that  spending a lot of moneyy on this one project will mean that cheaper schemes to ease capactiy problems on other lines will be shelved. It would be interesting to compare the costs per potential passenger of reopening to say Portishead with HS2. Just a simple division of the estimate cost by estimated number of passengers per year would give an idea.

So here's the challenge can anyone convince me one way or the other?



Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Not from Brighton on January 01, 2012, 12:01:50 am
WCML overloaded. Upgrading is not good value for money, so build new. If building new, might as well push the boat out.
The French have one (several).


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: ellendune on January 01, 2012, 12:20:43 am
I am still siting on the fence over HS2 whilst in general terms I would love to see High Speed Rail in GB, I keep coming up against geography.

If HS2 is to work then some people are going to have to learn that better journey times on classic rail and connecting into HS2 is better than no HS2.  As youy say it can't stop everywhere so some people are going to be disappointed.  But they will get better classic rail services which should still be an improvement. 

I am also worried that  spending a lot of moneyy on this one project will mean that cheaper schemes to ease capactiy problems on other lines will be shelved. It would be interesting to compare the costs per potential passenger of reopening to say Portishead with HS2. Just a simple division of the estimate cost by estimated number of passengers per year would give an idea.

So here's the challenge can anyone convince me one way or the other?

One of the main lessons learnt from WCML route upgrade was that working in a live railway is phenominally expensive.  If HS2 is not built then the sort of schemes you mention will be tried and it will cost a huge amount of money for less gain. O and it will bring the WCML to a stop again for years while they do it.

The result would be a view that the rail industry is not value for money again.  And no further investment for Portishead or anything else. 


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on January 01, 2012, 12:31:09 am
... and, interestingly, one of the results of my 'merging' of these topics is that I was reminded of some posts on this subject from a couple of years ago - which discuss exactly the same concerns: see http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=5138.msg47808#msg47808 for example.  ;)


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: eightf48544 on January 01, 2012, 08:54:27 am
Thanks for bringing Japan into the equation. i remeber going to atalk on Japenese railways at one of my clubs and one of the things we saw on avideo was a non stop train passing a stopped train stopped in the station.

But it was within 2 minutes of the first train stopping could we run to that precision?

I agree that any intermediate staions on HS2 need to be 4 track as on the LGVs in France.

Also agree with ellendune that connections into HS2 will be vital, and take the point of cost and disruption of upgrading  a classic line.

A similar point was also made by Not from Brighton. I like their idea that if we are going to build HS2 lets do it properly "puh the boat out" and not try and get it on the cheap.

So For HS2 2 points, against 0. 


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Andrew1939 from West Oxon on January 01, 2012, 02:30:56 pm
I think the Coventry Telegraph has got its Millions and Billions mixed up. If only HS2 could be built for ^32Million!


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Btline on January 07, 2012, 10:50:06 am
It is now highly likely that HS2 will be given the go ahead. A damming report by Network Rail has slammed campaigners who have suggested modernising the WCML. They say it is not good enough and will cause years of disruption. Horrified objectors woke up to the news this morning; after a long struggle, they now face the arrival of bulldozers in 5 years time.

I have to say, the stopHS2 did not help themselves by spreading LIES:

*HS2 won't benefit x [x= a town on a current railway, e.g. Lichfield, that would be relived by HS2 - LIE]
*B'ham Curzon Street is 15 minutes away from the centre [Blatantly haven't been to B'ham before - it's a 3 minute walk to New Street and a 30 SECOND walk to the Bull Ring/Moor Street station - LIE]
*Modernising the WCML will solve the problems - LIE what about commuters from Peterborough, Bedford and Milton Keynes south?
*Peak time trains from Euston are half empty - biggest LIE of them all - the campaigners blatantly don't travel by train - says a lot!
*First Class carriages are empty - not in the peaks there not, and what about the lost revenue when they're axed? - LIE

If you spread lies, you lose. Just look at the Yes2AV campaign. The British public are not stupid.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Electric train on January 07, 2012, 11:34:51 am
There are some very good common sense reasons why NR knows (and yes it is know and not think) improving / adding capacity to the existing routes will not work, NR came about in part because of the over running time and accelerating cost of WCML upgrade.  Upgrading the existing routes would also draw investment away from the rest of the National Network.

NR are not going to be the owners of HS2 they are keen to be infrastructure maintainer and operator like they are with HS1


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: paul7755 on January 07, 2012, 11:42:39 am

*B'ham Curzon Street is 15 minutes away from the centre...

This has seemed to me to have been an own goal by the DfT.  

It was always quite clear from their own drawings that the entrance to the new HS2 station will be adjacent to Moor St station, indeed extending over the road. (Queensway?)  Mentioning Curzon St at all seems to have been a sop to those who think that the old station building there ought to be still in use...

Some documents also refer to the location as Fazely St - also irrelevant. As far as passenger accessibility is concerned, the station is at Moor St.

Paul    


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Tim on January 07, 2012, 02:47:44 pm
WCML overloaded. Upgrading is not good value for money, so build new. If building new, might as well push the boat out.
The French have one (several).

Personally, I think if we need a new line it ought to be a 80 to 100 mph freight line to a huge loading gauge suitable for piggy-back lorries.  Cheaper to build than HS and less environmentally damaging (cos it can go round bends reducing the need for tunnels) and would free up capacity on Both the passenger railway and the Motorways.  Speeds on existing routes (which already go to and from were people live and work)  could be edged up to 140 150 mph were possible by getting rid of slow frieght and incremental improvements.   


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Electric train on January 07, 2012, 04:10:52 pm

*B'ham Curzon Street is 15 minutes away from the centre...

This has seemed to me to have been an own goal by the DfT.  

It was always quite clear from their own drawings that the entrance to the new HS2 station will be adjacent to Moor St station, indeed extending over the road. (Queensway?)  Mentioning Curzon St at all seems to have been a sop to those who think that the old station building there ought to be still in use...

Some documents also refer to the location as Fazely St - also irrelevant. As far as passenger accessibility is concerned, the station is at Moor St.

Paul    
The HS2 Brum station has to be seen as an interchange point, Curzon St is well place for access to other routes better to have a shuttle service to the center of Brum and other West Midlands destinations

WCML overloaded. Upgrading is not good value for money, so build new. If building new, might as well push the boat out.
The French have one (several).

Personally, I think if we need a new line it ought to be a 80 to 100 mph freight line to a huge loading gauge suitable for piggy-back lorries.  Cheaper to build than HS and less environmentally damaging (cos it can go round bends reducing the need for tunnels) and would free up capacity on Both the passenger railway and the Motorways.  Speeds on existing routes (which already go to and from were people live and work)  could be edged up to 140 150 mph were possible by getting rid of slow frieght and incremental improvements.   

While there is a lot of freight in the UK I am not sure there is sufficient to warrant a dedicated freight only line, move the most perishable commodity, people, onto its own dedicated route which will free up capacity for the 80 / 100 mph freight to path in with traffic on the classic routes


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: mjones on January 07, 2012, 04:18:40 pm

Personally, I think if we need a new line it ought to be a 80 to 100 mph freight line to a huge loading gauge suitable for piggy-back lorries.  Cheaper to build than HS and less environmentally damaging (cos it can go round bends reducing the need for tunnels) and would free up capacity on Both the passenger railway and the Motorways.  Speeds on existing routes (which already go to and from were people live and work)  could be edged up to 140 150 mph were possible by getting rid of slow frieght and incremental improvements.   


Again, this is covered in the original studies...

A new conventional speed doesn't save that much money- only 10% cheaper is the figure quoted in the studies. Maybe a slower freight line, which wouldn't need stations etc would be a bit cheaper still, but the key point is that it wouldn't provide anything like as much additional capacity, and still leaves fast trains conflicting with stopping trains on the existing lines. So you save a bit of money up front, but you get vastly less capacity, and by not offering significantly improved journey times you attract vastly fewer new passengers, so get vastly less revenue. All of which make the business case far worse than building a new high speed line.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: paul7755 on January 07, 2012, 04:30:09 pm
The HS2 Brum station has to be seen as an interchange point, Curzon St is well place for access to other routes better to have a shuttle service to the center of Brum and other West Midlands destinations


You seem to be describing what you want to happen, I'm describing what the published plan is.  A rail shuttle service isn't mentioned anywhere, and the new station is for HS2 services only - and passengers willl enter and leave nowhere near Curzon St, so it is a misleading name...

Paul


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Btline on January 07, 2012, 05:36:48 pm
They should re-brand the station as Moor Street - it could be the same complex in the end. Then build the Bordersley curves and Platform 4 at Snow Hill and get Nottingham, Cardiff, Tamworth, Leicester and Peterborough train in there too. Then it can have even better connections than the Snow Hill lines.

A new freight line would not help anyone. How many fright trains run at rush hour? We need passenger capacity now on the WCML, MML and ECML. HS2 delivers this. Each express removed from these lines can be replaced by a semi fast 12 car congestion buster special with hundreds of seats! They would go to Northampton, Derby and Peterborough.

Another LIE in the Guardian today - someone from Stop HS2 claiming it doesn't connect to HS1 unless you walk along Euston Road. Umm, what about the track connection - LIE? Why do they publish so much rubbish? Another person compared HS2 to the 3rd runway at Heathrow, saying it'll get axed. Umm, the Tories were always going to axe the 3rd runway - it was nothing to do with the local campaign!


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: mjones on January 07, 2012, 09:17:51 pm
I've just been reading the comments on the BBC news website article, and it is depressing to see just how few people seem to understand what is actually proposed:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-16453869

A typical argument is "^30 billion just to save 20 minutes to Birmingham? But who wants to go to Birmingham anyway!!!".  Or variants of the slightly more constructive "Why not spend the money on the existing network?"  Deliberate misrepresentation by the NIMBYs aside, there has clearly been a failure by supporters of HS2 to get the message out that it is first and foremost about providing new capacity, by enabling fast trains to bypass the most congested lines, and that this will bring benefits for the whole WCML from "Day 1". As long as people continue to see it as only an expensive express train to Birmingham then it will never gain widespread support.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Btline on January 07, 2012, 09:37:48 pm
It's because it is reported to make it seem it is just for Birmingham:

"The line runs from London to Birmingham and will save... blah blah...."

When it should be reported as:

"The first phase will cut 30 minutes off journey times to the West Midlands and North West. The new track will run from London to Lichfield, just north of Birmingham, with a brach to the City CENTRE".

The bit to Lichfield is always overlooked. At least the Daily Mail highlighted all the journey savings (i.e. those in Scotland).

Another misleading LIE on BBC Midlands Today - they implied the 32 Billion was for phase 1 in the headlines. Only giving the correct details in the main piece. Of course by then, people will have tut tutted - too late.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: ellendune on January 07, 2012, 11:10:45 pm
^16bn is OK for Crossrail as it will benefit London.  But HS2 benefits the provinces so ^17bn to Birmingham is clearly excessive!


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Btline on January 10, 2012, 11:10:04 am
The line has been given the go-ahead, with more mitigations:

*A longer, continuous tunnel from Little Missenden to the M25 through the Chilterns;
*A new 3m bored tunnel along the Northolt Corridor to entirely avoid major works to the Chilterns Line and impacts on local communities in the Ruislip area;
*A longer green tunnel past Chipping Warden and Aston Le Walls, and to curve the route to avoid a cluster of important heritage sites around Edgcote; and
*A longer green tunnel to significantly reduce impacts around Wendover, and an extension to the green tunnel at South Heath.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on January 10, 2012, 11:38:29 am
Not that the NIMBY's will be placated by that one iota.  Still, another hurdle in the race overcome - though plenty still lie in wait...


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: pbc2520 on January 10, 2012, 02:05:42 pm
The line has been given the go-ahead, with more mitigations:

*A longer, continuous tunnel from Little Missenden to the M25 through the Chilterns;
I think this was mostly tunnel anyway, just a 2km section above ground.  I can't see why anyone wanted this section covered - perhaps it spoilt the view from the A413 dual carriage way along side it?  Perhaps it was preferable from an engineering perspective and good for PR too even if slightly more expensive...?

Quote
*...
*...and to curve the route to avoid a cluster of important heritage sites around Edgcote; and
*...
One would hope this curve is very slight and doesn't reduce the 400km/h line speed there.

Very good news though.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Btline on January 10, 2012, 02:21:47 pm
I'm glad they're not eating up land in the Northolt Corridor, as it will enable Chiltern to fully 4 track it in the years ahead.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: EBrown on January 10, 2012, 03:22:17 pm
Here's a rather long article about it being given the green light! BBC (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-16478954)

Quote
A ^33bn high-speed rail network has been given the go-ahead by the government, despite strong opposition.

Phase one of HS2, between London and Birmingham, should be running by 2026, later extending to northern England.

Transport Secretary Justine Greening has announced extra tunnelling along the 140-mile (225km) first phase in response to environmental (http://www.dft.gov.uk/news/statements/greening-20120110) concerns.

She said it would create "jobs, growth and prosperity", but critics dispute projected benefits of up to ^47bn.

Ms Greening called the line "the most significant transport infrastructure project since the building of the motorways".

The London to Birmingham link would be followed by a second phase of Y-shaped track reaching Manchester and Leeds by about 2033, she said.

A consultation on the second phase will begin in early 2014, with a final route chosen by the end of that year.

Travelling at speeds of up to 250mph, passengers will be able to commute from Birmingham to London in 45 minutes, reducing the journey time by almost half from one hour and 24 minutes.

A Birmingham to Leeds journey will be reduced from two hours to 57 minutes and a Manchester to London journey from two hours and eight minutes to one hour and eight minutes.

Connections to existing lines should then cut journey times between London, and Edinburgh and Glasgow, to three-and-a-half hours.


Quote from: Analysis
Richard Black
Environment correspondent, BBC News


Big infrastructure projects often carry potential for both environmental benefit and harm; and HS2 is no exception.

Wildlife groups have warned it could damage around 160 important wildlife sites, and the latest modifications to the route have done little to alter that picture.

Stephen Trotter, head of Warwickshire Wildlife Trust, told BBC News he was "very disappointed"; the much vaunted extra tunnels will do little, he said, and there's still "serious concern" about destruction to woodlands and other important habitats.

All this might be bearable for environmental groups if HS2 guaranteed a big win on carbon emissions; but it doesn't.

The government's own projections show it's not certain to reduce either flying or road use.

In any case, the trains will only be a green transport option if the electricity they use comes from low-carbon sources - which hangs on continuing government support for renewables and nuclear.

Anti-HS2 campaigners argue that improving existing lines could bring more certain environmental benefits much cheaper and much sooner.


The first phase of HS2 will include a connection to Europe via the Channel Tunnel. On completion of HS2 the network will include a direct link to Heathrow.

"By following in the footsteps of the 19th Century railway pioneers, the government is signalling its commitment to providing 21st Century infrastructure and connections - laying the groundwork for long-term, sustainable economic growth," said Ms Greening.

The government estimates that the project could eventually result in 9 million road journeys and 4.5 million journeys by plane instead being taken by train every year.

"HS2 is therefore an important part of transport's low-carbon future," Ms Greening said.

There had been almost 55,000 responses to the consultation process on the project, which clearly "generates strong feelings, both in favour and against the scheme", the minister said.

She pledged a commitment to "developing a network with the lowest feasible impacts on local communities and the natural environment".

"I have been mindful that we must safeguard the natural environment as far as possible, both for the benefit of those enjoying our beautiful countryside today and for future generations."

Revisions to the route had halved the number of homes at risk, as well as reducing by a third the number due to experience increased noise, she said.

The route's key sticking points
(http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/special/uk/11/hs2_map/img/uk_rail_highspeed2_624.jpg?cachebuster=cb00000001)
 
Changes to the plans, Ms Greening said, also meant that "more than half the route will now be mitigated by tunnel or cutting", including:
  • A longer tunnel through the Chiltern Hills from Little Missenden, Buckinghamshire, to the M25
  • A new 2.75-mile (4km) tunnel to avoid impacts on communities in Ruislip, north-west London
  • A longer covered cutting, known as a green tunnel, past Chipping Warden and Aston le Walls in Northamptonshire
  • A curve in the route to avoid heritage sites around Edgcote, Northants
  • Longer green tunnels at Wendover and South Heath, Bucks
  • The Department for Transport said that 22.5 miles of the first phase would now be enclosed in tunnels or green tunnels - up from 14.5 miles for the route that went to consultation - and a further 56.5 miles of cuttings would significantly reduce "visual and noise impact".

'Wealthy few'

Justine Greening says HS2 "will support jobs, growth and prosperity for Britain in the future"
Protest groups formed to oppose the scheme say the planned route crosses an area of outstanding natural beauty and it will damage the environment.

Adam Thomas, whose home in the Chiltern hills will make way for the rail route, said: "We're going to lose our home which we've spent so long building for ourselves. But I feel more sorry in a way for the country because it's such a colossal waste of money and it is genuinely is not needed."

Opponents have also challenged the government's economic argument, suggesting the costs will be greater while the economic benefits will be lower than forecast, and that the business case for HS2 is based on an overly-optimistic prediction of growth in demand for long-distance train travel.


Quote from: Jorn Madslien
"The government insists the HS2 project will bring between ^41.4bn to ^46.9bn of economic benefits over a period of six decades, ranging from income from ticket sales to reduced congestion on the roads and the creation of hundreds of jobs^


"There is no business case, no environmental case and there is no money to pay for it," said Stop HS2 campaign co-ordinator Joe Rukin.

"It's a white elephant of monumental proportions and you could deliver more benefits to more people more quickly for less money by investing in the current rail infrastructure."

Craig Bennett, director of policy and campaigns at Friends of the Earth, said: "We need to revolutionise travel away from roads and planes, but pumping ^32bn into high-speed travel for the wealthy few while ordinary commuters suffer is not the answer.

"High-speed rail has a role to play in developing a greener, faster transport system, but current plans won't do enough to cut emissions overall - ministers should prioritise spending on improving local train and bus services instead."

However, the plan would be welcomed by "businesses up and down the country", said John Longworth, director general of the British Chambers of Commerce.

"Britain cannot continue to 'make do and mend' when it comes to its substandard infrastructure. Fundamentally, our global competitiveness is at stake," he said.

Stephen Joseph, chief executive of Campaign for Better Transport, said: "We're pleased to see the government investing in rail, rather than roads and aviation, and acting on some of the local environmental concerns surrounding HS2."

But he went on: "The process for deciding on the London-Birmingham part of HS2 has been too narrow and people feel left out.

"In consulting on the lines north of Birmingham, the government needs to involve people earlier with greater discussion of alternative options, including ways rail investment can support low-carbon growth in the communities served, and also how any new lines will integrate with existing networks and improve local as well as long-distance transport."


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Lee on January 10, 2012, 05:13:24 pm
Interesting Institute of Directors press release here. (http://press.iod.com/2012/01/10/directors-still-need-convincing-on-hs2/)

It claims that IoD members are unsure on whether HS2 provides good value for money, and in every UK region, IoD members think that improvements to existing intercity services are more important to their business.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Btline on January 10, 2012, 05:21:58 pm
I cannot believe the BBC are still saying it is a 15 minute walk from Moor Street (where HS2 terminates) to New Street. It takes THREE minutes - you can see one from the other. ::) I'd expect this kind of sloppy thing from newspapers or StopHS2, but not the BBC that have major offices there (i.e. should know where Moor Street is!)

Just watched the debate in the Commons, there is clear major support. Lots of banter about the Welsh secretary having her constiuency being put in a tunnel! ;D :P

Interestingly, the Chiltern's mega tunnel will save ^millions. ???

Shame no-one pressed for a link at Burton on Trent, so EMT and XC (?) services could be diverted (using CC stock) from day 1.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Btline on January 10, 2012, 05:34:42 pm
Quote from the Telegraph

"The decision to include a direct link between the existing high speed line from London to the Channel Tunnel and the new route up to Birmingham was the biggest surprise in the announcement by Justine Greening, the Transport Secretary."

Oh dear... ::)


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: bignosemac on January 10, 2012, 05:43:14 pm
I cannot believe the BBC are still saying it is a 15 minute walk from Moor Street (where HS2 terminates) to New Street. It takes THREE minutes - you can see one from the other. ::) I'd expect this kind of sloppy thing from newspapers or StopHS2, but not the BBC that have major offices there (i.e. should know where Moor Street is!)

Walkit.com suggest 5 mins fast, 7 mins medium, 11 mins slow. Minimum interchange time 15 mins.

Oh, and where are the BBC saying this? A link would be helpful....


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on January 10, 2012, 07:30:42 pm
From the Shropshire Star (http://www.shropshirestar.com/blogs/daily-blog/2012/01/10/leader-new-rail-link-is-bad-news-for-shropshire/):

Quote
Leader ^ New rail link is bad news for Shropshire

...

The emphasis of HS2 is more towards the central and eastern part of the country, rather than the western areas, and so the prospect is for fewer services and a link to the capital for western areas which is actually poorer.

It is a little-reported fact that the high speed trains will not go into the centre of Birmingham at New Street, but will go to a new station on the eastern outskirts of the city.

This will mean passengers for Birmingham centre will need another train journey to get there, devaluing one of the main arguments in favour HS2, in that it will cut down journey times.

Rather than being a link into the heart of the Midlands, it actually bypasses the heart of the Midlands and points northwards and eastwards, an accurate indication of the direction of the planned further extension.

So, at the cost of a huge outlay at a time of austerity, attractive countryside will be blighted for the sake of saving a few minutes. The way air travel has developed has proven that speed is not necessarily king.

HS2 is a modern Concorde which will do nothing good for Shropshire.

The money would be better spend on upgrading and improving existing routes.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: bignosemac on January 10, 2012, 07:45:41 pm
Quote from: Shropshire Star
It is a little-reported fact that the high speed trains will not go into the centre of Birmingham at New Street, but will go to a new station on the eastern outskirts of the city.

This will mean passengers for Birmingham centre will need another train journey to get there, devaluing one of the main arguments in favour HS2, in that it will cut down journey times.

Journalist research fail. Or deliberate misinformation to suit the story.

You decide.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: mjones on January 10, 2012, 07:50:17 pm

Journalist research fail. Or deliberate misinformation to suit the story.

You decide.

A bit of both probably. The complaint that people from Shropshire will have to change trains is also made in the dubious analysis of the Taxpayers' Alliance, conveniently forgetting that they already have to change trains.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Bob_Blakey on January 10, 2012, 08:44:01 pm
Although I realise that no construction will occur for at least a couple of years (or thereabouts) I am extremely pleased that the Government have given HS2 the go-ahead. I have read through the arguments, both for and against, and concluded that many of them are just plain wrong.
For what its worth my support for HS2, and high speed rail in general, is based on the following:
Recent history tells us that humankind will have a continuing wish/need to travel (in large numbers) regardless of how much high speed, high quality telecommunications infrastructure is made available.
Whether people like it or not easy-to-get-at oil is running out and the price will continue to rise. This will make medium & long distance travel/transport in private/commercial vehicles powered by the internal combustion engine increasingly unaffordable. I do not believe that biofuels and/or electric vehicles are a solution.
In very simple terms this will result in a requirement for much more capacity on the existing rail network than can possibly be provided without moving large numbers of passengers on to brand new lines.   


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: ellendune on January 10, 2012, 08:54:40 pm
Quote from: Shropshire Star
It is a little-reported fact that the high speed trains will not go into the centre of Birmingham at New Street, but will go to a new station on the eastern outskirts of the city.

This will mean passengers for Birmingham centre will need another train journey to get there, devaluing one of the main arguments in favour HS2, in that it will cut down journey times.

Journalist research fail. Or deliberate misinformation to suit the story.

You decide.

I decide "Journalistic research fail".  With all the misinformation around there seems to be no concept that clearing the WCML of express trains will leave room perhaps for semi-fasts from places like Shropshire. 


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Btline on January 10, 2012, 10:54:13 pm
Such a shoddy story from that paper. It is perfectly possible (as set out in Greenguage's report) that current Euston - Wolverhampton trains will get extended to Shrewsbury every hour or so. As for terminating on the Eastern edge - disgraceful.

If you take the 7 minute medium walking speed figure, the BBC have still more than doubled the required time. A figure of 5-10 minutes should be given. Preferably 5 (as it only takes 3). I have got off one train and got on another within 5 minutes without rushing plenty of time before.

I'm also sick of hearing about all the cities that are bypassed - no mention that some these places (e.g. Nuneaton) will get more faster and more frequent services on the WCML.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: paul7755 on January 11, 2012, 10:52:17 am
Although I realise that no construction will occur for at least a couple of years (or thereabouts)... 

I reckon the Construction start date is at least 4 years away, because introduction of the Hybrid Bill is not planned until Dec 2013, and that is the last phase 1 milestone in the newly published timetable.  (ie a construction start date is not yet mentioned.)

I'm sure the Hybrid Bill procedure takes at least a year or two to go through both houses following introduction.  I'm trying to work out how long Crossrail took (I see wiki reckons Dec 2005 - July 2008).  I think there are all sorts of hearings and debates over a reasonably long period - that's when objections etc are supposed to be heard. 

I see in the papers the current objectors are briefing about their intention to defeat the DfT in the courts over the coming months - they really have got the bit between their teeth...

Paul 


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: bignosemac on January 11, 2012, 05:28:42 pm
Quote
Leader ^ New rail link is bad news for Shropshire

...

The emphasis of HS2 is more towards the central and eastern part of the country, rather than the western areas, and so the prospect is for fewer services and a link to the capital for western areas which is actually poorer.

It is a little-reported fact that the high speed trains will not go into the centre of Birmingham at New Street, but will go to a new station on the eastern outskirts of the city.

This will mean passengers for Birmingham centre will need another train journey to get there, devaluing one of the main arguments in favour HS2, in that it will cut down journey times.

Rather than being a link into the heart of the Midlands, it actually bypasses the heart of the Midlands and points northwards and eastwards, an accurate indication of the direction of the planned further extension.

So, at the cost of a huge outlay at a time of austerity, attractive countryside will be blighted for the sake of saving a few minutes. The way air travel has developed has proven that speed is not necessarily king.

HS2 is a modern Concorde which will do nothing good for Shropshire.

The money would be better spend on upgrading and improving existing routes.

One or two replies to the article (posted upthread by Chris from Nailsea (http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=5138.msg105119#msg105119)) have debunked the misinformation regarding HS2's main Birmingham station. Nice to see the Shropshire Star (http://www.shropshirestar.com/blogs/daily-blog/2012/01/10/leader-new-rail-link-is-bad-news-for-shropshire/) printing those replies. There's one from a Justin McAree that I was worried had failed the 'right to reply' moderation. Took 'em a while to allow it.....   :-X :D

.... love the reply from 'David' as well.  ;D

bignosemac (aka Justin McAree)  ;)


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: ellendune on January 11, 2012, 06:49:56 pm
I think I can see where the 15 minutes travel time from Moor Street to New Street comes from. If you ask Google Maps for walking directions it seems to think you you need to follow a one way system and it does not know about the Stephenson Street Entrance.  So the distance is about three times longer than the direct walking route.



Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Trowres on January 11, 2012, 10:46:50 pm
If the trains are 400m long, the walking time will depend significantly upon which part of the train you occupy, and also whether you assume "free-flow" walking speed or against-the-horde-coming-for-the-next-train.

Oh, and what if you have two heavy bags to carry?


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: bignosemac on January 11, 2012, 11:42:23 pm
It's for those reasons I was more conservative with my '10 minutes' to New St and '10-15 minutes' to the city centre (Town Hall) when I replied to the article.

Btline has said he's done train to train from Moor St to New Street in under 5 minutes. Rear coach of a HS2 train into Curzon Street and onward on foot to New St maybe a push even at 10 minutes. You can bet that the official minimum connection time will be even more conservative.

I was wrong earlier when I stated that the minimum official connection time between Moor St and New St was 15 minutes. Checking with National Rail Enquiries and the person I spoke with stated it was 20 minutes. Whilst the walk may only takes 5-10 or so minutes I guess the rail industry has to allow for many variables when providing official connections. Not unlike cross-London transfers which are also very conservative.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: eightf48544 on January 12, 2012, 11:28:54 am
Recent comments from my Bucks and OXen friends include mention of at least 20 SSSIs affected by the alingment is this correct or another exageration.

I'm still undecided the score in my challenge to persude me (see previous post) is if SSSIs are affected is currently 2 - 1 in favour. Any more clinchers for the against apart why Euston lets go for a through underground station (as Berlin HBF) between KX and Euston aligned East West. Much easier to operate than a terminal station.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Btline on January 12, 2012, 04:09:11 pm
The mitigation saves some ancient woods. The thing is, it's got to go somewhere. There are SSSIs all over the place!

More LIES from newspapers in affected areas. Apparently Phase 1 is costing ^33 billion with more for Phase 2! Plus the usual tripe about it being useless for locals - despite the fact it will relieve pressure on existing commuter services.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Electric train on January 12, 2012, 04:33:17 pm
The modern railway industry is very good at protecting its environment, Network Rail has a large number of SSSI's on its land and other forms of protected environments NR has possibly one of the largest number of SSSI of any land owner in the UK and they range across the full range of types.  HS2 will destroy SSSI's and ancient woodland but measure can be put in place to limit the effects and replace them


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: pbc2520 on January 12, 2012, 11:59:14 pm
Any more clinchers for the against apart why Euston lets go for a through underground station (as Berlin HBF) between KX and Euston aligned East West. Much easier to operate than a terminal station.
Hey... or just Camden Road International!  Making use of those southern platforms after all..  I mean, who'll want tube connections when you've got the NLL?  With only a couple of carriages platformed, only a few passengers will manage to get on and off, so existing facilities should suffice.  Passport control?  Pointless... anyone entering illegally won't drift far from North London anyway.  Time to phone Frank Dobson with a Plan.
:)


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Btline on January 13, 2012, 12:56:03 am
I remember that Theresa Villers caused outrage by branding Old Oak Common as "Wormwood Scrubs International" when she was in opposition! ;D


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Btline on January 13, 2012, 09:42:50 am
It turns out that redoing the WCML would have led to several stations getting AXED.

Quote from: http://www.railnews.co.uk/news/general/2012/01/12-why-network-rail-rejected-the.html
IF the alternatives to HS2 suggested by 18 local authorities opposing HS2 were accepted, stations at Atherstone, in North Warwickshire, and Rugeley Trent Valley and Stone, in Staffordshire, would be left without any trains at all, and commuter stations between Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire, and London Euston would suffer reduced services. 

There would also be many more standing passengers on trains between London, Milton Keynes and Northampton.

These were among the main findings of a review for the government by Network Rail, which helped confirm Transport Secretary Justine Greening^s decision to go ahead with HS2 this week.

Network Rail was asked to examine the alternatives put forward by the 51M group of local authorities, led by Buckinghamshire County Council, proposing that Pendolinos should be extended to 12 vehicles, including one First Class coach being declassified, plus a range of enhancements to the present infrastructure, including a grade-separated junction near Leighton Buzzard and a new bypass line around Stafford.

Network Rail said its assessment had shown that the level of capacity proposed by 51M was insufficient to accommodate peak demand growth on the West Coast Main Line^s outer and inner suburban services, equating to ^six out of ten peak hour suburban services from London Euston with more passengers than seats resulting in 1,300 suburban passengers standing in the busiest hour every evening in 2026. By 2035 this will have increased to 2,200 passengers. 

"Two of these overcrowded trains would be the outer suburban services to Northampton on the fast lines, resulting in passengers standing for half an hour or more based on the suggested calling pattern,^ said NR.

The assessment added: ^The number of services on the slow lines that start at London Euston would be reduced by one train per hour, providing several stations south of Leighton Buzzard with a lower service frequency than today.^

Network Rail said there would be little real increase in overall capacity because some of the additional trains would run on the slow line and be overtaken by later trains, using the fast line, which passengers would opt to use. 

"In the 51M proposition there are nine services per peak hour to Milton Keynes Central, including three long distance trains per hour,^ explained Network Rail. ^However, examination of service patterns shows that two of these services would be overtaken by the fast line trains. Network Rail^s assessment of train loads shows that almost no passengers would use the slow line trains to travel to Milton Keynes Central.^

This is a problem that regularly occurs already with the 18.43 Virgin departure from Euston. Passengers for Milton Keynes crowd onto this train, even though a London Midland service is available offering twice as many seats ^ but it uses the slow line and is overtaken by the Virgin service.

The 51M plans also proposed a new grade-separated junction at Ledburn, near Leighton Buzzard, to switch trains from the fast to slow lines. Network Rail pointed out that ^suburban services that utilise the fast lines would need to be operated using 125mph tilting suburban rolling stock. Such rolling stock does not currently exist and would need to be specified and purchased as new-build stock.^

Lengthening Pendolinos to 12 vehicles ^ compared to the current plan to extend most of the present 9-car trains to 11 ^ would also require ^345 million to be spent on longer platforms.  The most costly, ^70 million, would be at Coventry where major reconstruction of the road overbridges at either end of the station would be necessary, as well as track realignment.

Significant costs would also be incurred at Lancaster (^40 million), Lichfield Trent Valley (^35 million) and at Lockerbie, Warrington Bank Quay, Wigan North Western and Wolverhampton (^15 million each).

51M proposed that Euston-Liverpool services should continue with only 9-car trains, but Network Rail said it is proposing to lengthen two platforms at Lime Street during the next control period.

In addition to longer platforms, maintenance depots would also be affected.

NR said there would have to be ^extensive alterations and re-modelling ^ at depot entry/exit connections and sidings and a general re-modelling of the depot layouts would be necessary to accommodate the longer trains. The availability of additional land to allow depots to expand, where necessary, as a result of the re-modelling required to accommodate the proposed increase in train length is likely to be a key issue.^

Network Rail also rejected the 51M proposals because of the impact of disruption during the construction phase of the necessary infrastructure work.

Its assessment said the proposed enhancements were ^significant infrastructure interventions that would almost certainly require total blockades of the line, similar to that undertaken over a ten year period for the West Coast Route Moidernisation^.

NR pointed out that use of the WCML had grown considerably since the route modernisation and the impact of similarly disruptive works ^would therefore be considerably greater than it was then, and the logistics of moving passengers on alternative routes would be much more difficult.^

It concluded: ^Network Rail considers it unacceptable to undertake a programme of works that would cause this level of disruption on the route to deliver a service that would not solve overcrowding at the southern end of the [West Coast Main Line] route. It would also likely involve a re-modelling of London Euston station.^


Moderator note: Edited to include a link to the quoted article. bignosemac.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on January 13, 2012, 06:49:25 pm
From Plastics and Rubber Weekly (http://www.prw.com/subscriber/bcopping2.html?cat=32&id=303) (no, seriously! :o ):

Quote
^Nimby^ proud boast or grave insult?

Mankind is divided into two categories ^ those who believe that mankind is divided into two categories and those who don^t.

So it is with protestors living along the projected route of the HS2 high-speed rail line, just given the green light (pace ongoing legal challenges) for its first London to Birmingham section. European Parliament member Nikki Sinclaire (Independent, West Midlands) is proud to trumpet her ^Not In My BackYard^ status, advancing pretty cogent anti-HS2 arguments. Other local objectors run the same arguments the other way to deny indignantly that they are selfish Luddites, merely peeved that their golf club^s course will be chopped in two.

Leaving Nimbyism aside, even railway guru Christian Wolmar writes sceptically in The Times about the rather low benefit-to-cost ratio (BCR) for HS2 of 1.7 ^ just ^1.70 return on every ^1.00 spent. Wolmar can find BCRs of 5 or 6 for some other schemes to boost north-south transport capacity, and hence better uses in cash-strapped Britain for HS2^s ^17bn London to Birmingham cost ^ let alone ^32bn for the full north of England scheme. Whatever the mix of private/public capital, Her Majesty^s Government is bound to make a pig^s ear of the procurement process.

The government business case rests largely on time savings over conventional rail services or car travel. But many of us rail business travellers are happy to work as we go ^ given a guaranteed seat and reliable broadband. So the ^reducing ^dead^ time not working^ argument seems pretty marginal.

HS2 factors I haven^t yet seen debated concern the West Coast Main Line (WCML) which HS2 would bypass and relieve.

WCML would get a massive capacity boost for passenger trains stopping more often and going a bit slower ^ because the capacity-hungry non-stop expresses will now be on HS2. Also, how about freight ^ all but squeezed off today^s WCML by the intensive but creaking passenger service? Surely there would be a great opportunity here for a modern, entrepreneurial rail freight service. Could be a much bigger benefit for industry than a few minutes shaved off business travel.

So, there are four classes of HS2-aware Brits ^ Proud nimbys, insulted nimbys, non-nimby pros and non-nimby antis. Where do you stand? Hopefully not on a station platform waiting for a delayed train in a freezing gale.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Lee on January 19, 2012, 05:18:47 pm
Network Rail and Passenger Focus have published a joint report entitled "Future priorities for the West Coast Main Line", in the wake of HS2 - http://www.networkrail.co.uk/hs2-wcml.aspx


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Lee on January 20, 2012, 02:53:31 pm
From Railnews: (http://www.railnews.co.uk/news/general/2012/01/20-report-confirms-benefits-of-hs2.html)

Quote from: Railnews
Report confirms benefits of HS2 for West Coast line

PASSENGERS on the West Coast Main Line, one of the busiest rail routes in Europe, could benefit from faster, more frequent trains, less crowding and better connections if the first phase of the proposed High Speed line between London and Birmingham goes ahead as planned, according to a new report from Network Rail and watchdog Passenger Focus (see post above - Lee).
 
The report says one of the biggest groups to benefit would be commuters travelling between Northampton, Milton Keynes, Watford and London, where the worst overcrowding is forecast in the coming years as demand for rail continues to grow. Initial analysis suggests up twelve trains an hour could operate on this important outer suburban route.
 
Other key beneficiaries would be passengers travelling between the major towns and cities of the West Midlands, and also between London and destinations in the Trent Valley. There are also likely to be opportunities to improve connectivity between the south end of the route and towns and cities further the north as well as more room for goods to be moved by rail.
 
Passenger Focus surveyed more than 5,000 current passengers and almost 1,000 potential new rail users, highlighting the key priorities for the capacity which would be released if HS2 is built.
 
PF chief executive Anthony Smith said, "Passengers know that with more people using the West Coast Main Line it is only a matter of time before capacity runs out. If a new line was to free up this much-needed route passengers, especially commuters, have signalled they want to be able to get seat as well as more direct services."
 
Passenger Focus added that passengers clearly stated first and foremost they want to be able get a seat. Direct services were also high up the list of priorities for both current passenger and potential users.
 
Network Rail group strategy director Paul Plummer said: "The West Coast Main Line is Britain^s busiest and most economically vital rail artery ^ but by 2024 it will be full, with no more space to accommodate the continued predicted growth in demand."
 
The conclusions of the report have been welcomed by the Association of Train Operating Companies.
 
ATOC's chief executive Michael Roberts commented: "HS2 would not only help solve a looming capacity crunch for people travelling between our major cities. By freeing up space on the existing West Coast Main Line, passengers in towns such as Rugby, Milton Keynes and Northampton could benefit from improved local services and better, more frequent connections."


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: bignosemac on January 25, 2012, 05:28:05 pm
From the BBC (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-16725504):

Quote
Stop HS2 group 'to pursue judicial review'

Campaigners against the ^33bn high-speed rail project (HS2) are to seek a judicial review of the government's decision to approve the scheme.

The first phase of HS2, between London and Birmingham, is scheduled to be running by 2026 and be extended later to northern England.

The government said last month it would create jobs and growth but campaigners said it would damage the environment.

Stop HS2 said it was seeking evidence that the decision was flawed.

The line will first connect London to Birmingham, passing through rural parts of Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Northamptonshire, Warwickshire and Staffordshire. It will then go on to Manchester and Leeds and include stops in the East Midlands and South Yorkshire.

Passengers will be able to commute from Birmingham to London in 49 minutes, reducing the journey time by almost half from one hour and 24 minutes.

Joe Rukin, from Stop HS2, said it had until April to lodge the challenge and estimated costs would be about ^100,000. The group represented more than 70 other smaller action groups based in areas stretching from north of Euston up to south Staffordshire, Mr Rukin said.

Various organisations, including councils, environmental groups and action groups, would be involved in challenging the decision, he added.

"There will definitely be a judicial review, it just depends who leads it," he said. "The intention is to make the legal challenge as co-ordinated as possible. We have a few months to lodge it and we estimate the cost will be around ^100,000."

'Great consideration'

"Of course, it [the review] will take as long as it takes and cost as much at it will cost."

He said they were also now speaking to other groups and councils further north and wanted any evidence from all groups and residents that they felt demonstrated the decision was flawed.

Confirming the rail route would go ahead last month, Transport Secretary Justine Greening described the line as "the most significant transport infrastructure project since the building of the motorways".

A spokesman for the Department for Transport (DfT) said the new network would provide passengers with more seats and connections as well as jobs and prosperity "for the entire country".

"This is not a decision that we have taken lightly or without great consideration of the impact on those who are affected by the route from London to Birmingham," the DfT said in a statement.

It said the route struck "the right balance between the reasonable concerns of people living on or near the line, who will be offered a generous compensation package, and the need to keep Britain moving".


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: paul7755 on January 25, 2012, 06:01:53 pm
From the BBC (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-16725504):

Quote
Stop HS2 group 'to pursue judicial review'

Stop HS2 said it was seeking evidence that the decision was flawed.


I predict they'll get absolutely nowhere with that ^^. 

DfT will have met all the requirements for consultation, that's why they employ so many staff, and take so long to make any decisions...   ::)

Paul


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: EBrown on May 23, 2012, 05:28:08 am
From BBC (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-18169435)

Quote
HS2 rail alternatives no solution, MPs say
Alternatives to the High Speed Two (HS2) rail link would not solve the capacity problems on Britain's railways, MPs say.

(http://news.bbcimg.co.uk/media/images/57788000/jpg/_57788321_013642711-1.jpg)
The 90-mile first-phase of HS2 would be built between 2016 and 2026


A report by the Parliamentary Inquiry into Britain's rail capacity says only the high-speed rail network can create the extra capacity needed.

The MPs found that alternatives, such as incremental upgrades to the existing network, would not be sufficient.

Opponents of HS2 say the report looked at a "limited" set of alternatives.

In January, the first phase of HS2 was given the go-ahead by the government, despite strong opposition from campaigners opposed to the environmental damage they say it will cause.

Phase one, between London and Birmingham, should be running by 2026, with the rail link later extending to northern England.

The report is the culmination of a four-month inquiry by the All-Party Parliamentary Group for High Speed Rail, with representatives from all three of the main political parties.

The group saw submissions from 60 stakeholders within and outside of the rail industry.

A panel of MPs took evidence from 11 witnesses during two inquiry sessions.

The report concludes that:

^ The rail network is close to being full as passenger numbers predicted for a decade's time are currently being reached

^ Railways are seeing growth at over 5% despite the recession.

^ Alternatives to HS2 would not meet peak demand, and would do little to help local services or freight

^ The risk of under-providing capacity are severe and are much more serious than the risks of over-providing

Graham Stringer, co-chairman of the parliamentary group, said that claims that "piecemeal upgrades" of existing lines can create sufficient capacity have been proved wrong.

He added: "All of the available evidence makes clear that the very running of our railways is under threat as we fast approach total saturation on some of the major trunk lines.

"HS2 remains the only proper and practicable solution to creating sufficient long-term capacity for Britain's railways."

Penny Gaines, chairwoman of campaign group Stop HS2, said: "The writers of the report appear to have looked at the issue through... a very narrow set of filters, and compared a very limited number of alternatives."

She added that the growth in "telepresence videoconferencing", which she said was reducing the number of long-distance journeys over all modes of transport, had not been taken into account.

Chris Howe, director of HS2 Northwest, said that the group agreed with all the findings presented by the report.

"The alternatives fail the northwest on capacity grounds. HS2 is a crucial lifeline for the north-west and midlands."


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: bignosemac on April 12, 2013, 11:26:45 pm
Tonight's (12/04/2013) BBC Newsnight had an in-depth report largely from the point of view of those that will be directly affected by the building of HS2.

Worth a watch on BBC iPlayer http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01rw1j9/Newsnight_12_04_2013/ where it'll be available to view shortly and for the next 7 days.

My personal take. I've probably got one foot in the anti- camp. Although neither side of the argument has me fully convinced. Is the capacity needed? Can the country afford it? Should the money be spent countrywide on existing infrastructure? Flip side. Building for the future. Prestige project. Economic benefits.

And for those directly affected, losing one's home matters, as does having your property blighted even if you don't have to move. NIMBYism or not. In the Newsnight piece the point is also made that, unlike other such large infrastructure projects, many of the communities through which the line runs will not directly benefit from it. There won't be a station in the area for them to use.



Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: John R on April 12, 2013, 11:43:26 pm

And for those directly affected, losing one's home matters, as does having your property blighted even if you don't have to move. NIMBYism or not. In the Newsnight piece the point is also made that, unlike other such large infrastructure projects, many of the communities through which the line runs will not directly benefit from it. There won't be a station in the area for them to use.



But if you take that view, the M4 would never have been built, nor would the railways that we already rely on today. It's inevitable that any major infrastructure change like this will result in people being displaced and homes blighted. The question should be "Is this the right thing to do, for the country?" and if it is then the answer is to ensure that those impacted are adequately compensated. Though I would agree that the current plans have so few stations that it does result in whole regions feeling that they have all the pain and none of the gain, and that probably is tactically unwise.

I noticed that Have I Got News For You tonight has a new opening sequence, including HS2 ripping through the countryside but then avoiding a stately home that I suspect is in Cheshire. Proof if it were needed that HS2 is clearly a mainstream public issue, and is likely to be so for many years.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: ellendune on April 13, 2013, 12:14:00 am
Is the capacity needed?

In short yes - not perhaps tomorrow, but if you look at the growth figures on rail use there will become a time when it is needed. And since it is going to take such a long time to build then we must start now. Remember this is not all new travellers, but a modal switch from road to rail.

Can the country afford it?

There are several answers to this question:

1) Somehow cross rail at half the price for one city is affordable (as well as another crossrail 2), but HS2 at twice the cost to benefit the whole of the North and Scotland is according to the opponents not affordable.  Is this equitable?

2) Even right wing economists accept that money spent on infrastructure does benefit the wider economy because:
  a) It reduces public expenditure from those no longer on the dole.
  b) The workers have money to spend some of which pays for service jobs (who in turn spend some of their money etc.)
  c) If improved transport encourages less movement to the south it will reduce the increase in house prices in the South, benefiting our economy which has to pay higher wages than other countries to support our very high housing costs.

Should the money be spent countrywide on existing infrastructure?

Spending money on existing infrastructure can only achieve some of the benefit. 
1) Taking out pinch points can only achieve so much. This will probably need to be done anyway before the line is completed (e.g. the new junction at Stafford)
2) The WCML is really two railways (i.e. 4 tracks). On this trains run at three speeds (non stop express trains, semi fasts and local stopping trains - goods trains can largely fit at the same speed as one of these). To get the maximum capacity you therefore need three railways so all trains aon a railway run at the same speed.
3) If the existing lines had to be widened through the towns and cities (to build a third railway) on the way there would be hundreds more houses needing demolition.
4) The non stop trains do not need to go through the towns (as the semi fasts and local trains do in order to serve the stations there) so the logic is to build a new fast line.

Building for the future. Prestige project. Economic benefits.

If oil gets too expensive transport will start to shift mode at a much greater rate and we will need more capacity or our economy will nose dive (even by present standrads).


And for those directly affected, losing one's home matters, as does having your property blighted even if you don't have to move. NIMBYism or not. In the Newsnight piece the point is also made that, unlike other such large infrastructure projects, many of the communities through which the line runs will not directly benefit from it. There won't be a station in the area for them to use.

Loosing your home clearly does matter. However relatively few people are actually loosing their homes.

I have less sympathy for those who are running themselves up into a frenzy about noise from trains some distance away making their houses unsaleable. Sounds too much like the arguments when railways first came and from HS1.  Honestly is living near a high speed line that bad.  I use to live right next to a commuter line and sometimes not remember whether I had heard a train that morning. I much rather that than live next to a Motorway.  PS I do live no more than a mile from a Motorway.





Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: bignosemac on April 13, 2013, 12:41:40 am
I take all those well made points on board ellendune. As I said, I'm slightly in the anti- camp, perhaps because of where I live. HS2 will only ever be an alternative way for me to head to the Midlands and later to the north. The rail enthusiast in me will of course enjoy the opportunity to travel at 200mph plus in the UK.

Regarding oil. Electrification on a much wider scale than already promised/budgeted for also has to happen. I just worry that the cost of HS2 will swallow up so much of the available funding that further electrification of the existing network will be a low priority. Not because it's not needed, but because the money isn't there. The danger is that the peripheries of the network will become even more peripheral, relying on Diesel rolling stock for far longer than is economically sensible.

Hand in hand with much greater electrification than already planned/promised is of course the generation. We need those new build nuclear power stations. Another political hot potato subject to NIMBYism. Although I'd have no problem with the Oldbury site being used for a new build. Can see the old nuclear power station from my front door.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: ellendune on April 13, 2013, 12:05:12 pm
I take all those well made points on board ellendune. As I said, I'm slightly in the anti- camp, perhaps because of where I live. HS2 will only ever be an alternative way for me to head to the Midlands and later to the north. The rail enthusiast in me will of course enjoy the opportunity to travel at 200mph plus in the UK.

Regarding oil. Electrification on a much wider scale than already promised/budgeted for also has to happen. I just worry that the cost of HS2 will swallow up so much of the available funding that further electrification of the existing network will be a low priority. Not because it's not needed, but because the money isn't there. The danger is that the peripheries of the network will become even more peripheral, relying on Diesel rolling stock for far longer than is economically sensible.

Hand in hand with much greater electrification than already planned/promised is of course the generation. We need those new build nuclear power stations. Another political hot potato subject to NIMBYism. Although I'd have no problem with the Oldbury site being used for a new build. Can see the old nuclear power station from my front door.

As rolling stock comes up for renewal the economics of electrification bend further in its favour - after all the HST renewal coinciding with signalling renewals is what put GW to the top of the list.  In short electric trains are cheaper to buy and operate and therefore above a certain train frequency it is cheaper to electrify.  The price of oil will be another factor determining the economic frequency.

Glad to see someone supporting carbon free generation in their back yard we have to build it somewhere or the lights will go out!


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Southern Stag on April 13, 2013, 09:44:10 pm
I just worry that the cost of HS2 will swallow up so much of the available funding that further electrification of the existing network will be a low priority. Not because it's not needed, but because the money isn't there.
At the moment though it isn't a choice between HS2 and further investment in the classic network, it's HS2 or nothing. If there were alternative proposals for WCML capacity relief being considered then I might well be swayed by them, but at the moment the only WCML, and also with HS2 phase 2 ECML and MML, capacity relief proposal is HS2, so I'm in favour of it.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: ellendune on April 13, 2013, 09:57:12 pm
I just worry that the cost of HS2 will swallow up so much of the available funding that further electrification of the existing network will be a low priority. Not because it's not needed, but because the money isn't there.
At the moment though it isn't a choice between HS2 and further investment in the classic network, it's HS2 or nothing. If there were alternative proposals for WCML capacity relief being considered then I might well be swayed by them, but at the moment the only WCML, and also with HS2 phase 2 ECML and MML, capacity relief proposal is HS2, so I'm in favour of it.

The problem is that alternative proposals for capacity relief on WCML all seem to be on line and would therefore impact on far more people. Also we all remember how much disruption the last WCML upgrade caused do we really want that over again - but disrupting even more people!

In the Newsnight piece the point is also made that, unlike other such large infrastructure projects, many of the communities through which the line runs will not directly benefit from it.

"not directly benefit" is the key. We need to remember that one way of increasing capacity is to remove stops on local and semi fast trains. So more people will benefit from HS2 than realise it. (e.g. Rugby, Milton Keynes etc.).  Of course those in the Chilterns still do not benefit but we need to remember we are country not just a collection of villages.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Electric train on April 13, 2013, 10:24:39 pm
One thing we have been very poor at doing in the UK is thinking strategically when it comes to transport, the canal were a hotchpotch and the railways that followed were the same, even the road system followed Roman roads, granted there was some thought to the motorways but only some thought.  HS2 is strategic there is no getting away from that the UK will need it in 15 to 20 years time


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: johoare on April 13, 2013, 11:31:07 pm
Loosing your home clearly does matter. However relatively few people are actually loosing their homes.

I have less sympathy for those who are running themselves up into a frenzy about noise from trains some distance away making their houses unsaleable. Sounds too much like the arguments when railways first came and from HS1.  Honestly is living near a high speed line that bad.  I use to live right next to a commuter line and sometimes not remember whether I had heard a train that morning. I much rather that than live next to a Motorway.  PS I do live no more than a mile from a Motorway.


Living in Maidenhead we have both a High Speed rail line and a motorway running through the town... In my experience it doesn't make houses unsaleable and in fact means that some people can buy bigger houses than they could otherwise afford if it backs onto the railway/motorway... I imagine these houses are harder to sell, but not unsaleable...and yes the price will go down, so some compensation could be due to the people likely to be affected similarly by HS2 because of that..

I guess there must be some houses near where the railway/motorway cross each other in Maidenhead that have the benefit of both motorway and railway noise too  ;D


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: paul7755 on April 14, 2013, 03:15:40 pm
... If there were alternative proposals for WCML capacity relief being considered then I might well be swayed by them, but at the moment the only WCML, and also with HS2 phase 2 ECML and MML, capacity relief proposal is HS2, so I'm in favour of it.

Indeed a number of alternative capacity relief proposals were considered in the lead up to the original decision.  One of the documents issued with the original HS2 plans under Adonis was all to do with possible improvements to the existing route, or the Chiltern route, and IIRC they even considered increasing capacity to Brum via Oxford.

As far as DfT are concerned, alternatives have definitely been considered and decided against.  Also, wasn't it one of the many objector's claims ruled against in the recent judicial review decision?

Paul


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: swrural on April 14, 2013, 08:55:25 pm
It seems to me a useful thought process is to consider what one would do without any acknowledgment at all of the need for very high speed (VHS).  Just accept that travellers needing VHS have the option of air (just for the sake of argument and to avoid environmental issues for the moment).

I think that one would say we have a good capacity line from London that goes up the west side of the country, but it is already filling, as it tries to do two jobs, one from the Midlands and one from the North West and Scotland.  We have one up the east side but it is filling too, because it too tries to do two jobs, one to South Yorkshire and one to the north East and Scotland.  We have a line from London that goes up the middle to the East Midlands and South Yorkshire but that is also filling.  So we need extra capacity on all three or otherwise new lines. 

Other than the London lines, we do not have a high speed line from the south west to the Midlands and north and we don't have one from the south east to those same places either.  All of those lines are rammed due to under provision of capacity rather than the absence of lines.  Apart from an embryo VHS line from London, we have no service from other major UK cities to the mainland.   From east to west of our island, the lines are there but there is no inter city service, only semi-fast ones and they are rammed too.

The only way out of this is to provide new lines or try and rebuild the old ones (e.g. GCR Woodhead and MR Buxton) and provide more trains on them.

Thus:

1.  We need new lines.

2. Any new lines may as well be VHS ones, so do that.  If we intend to connect from our major cities with the mainland or Scotland, then we need VHS lines and services from other than London because of the distances involved. That's how I see it anyway.



   

 


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: eightf48544 on May 16, 2013, 11:06:08 am
Just listened to Today had a lot on the NAO (National Audit Office) recently published report on HS2. Basically it queries whther the government has joined up the dots enough to jsutify HS2 particularly the Cost Benefit Ratio.

Since the publication of the onward routes to Manchester and Leeds I am begiinning to doubt whether HS2 is the right answer for rail.

The problem it seems to me is that of geography and the siting of towns. Basically you need stops on a high Speed line to be at least 100 miles apart which as I think I posted before gives you only 3 stops from London to Edinburgh/Glasgow. Birmingham Manchester and Carlise Western Arm. Birmingham Leeds Newcastle Edinburgh Eastern arm. Edinburgh could also be served from the Western arm. Thus Milton Keynes, Coventry, Stoke (Liverpool) Preston  Derby Nottingham Sheffield York. Don't get a look in. Although there are proposed Parkways for some of these towns.

The other problem is that there is very little integration with the existing rail Network with Birminham Leeds and Manchester having their own HS2 stations not served by convential rail. One of the things about European LGVs is that by and large the trains serve the exisitng stations in the City and in many cases they run part of their route on non High Speed Lines. The classic being the Eurostar Ski train. The problem is we don't have the space to put in the necessary junctions to allow say a train to serve say Stoke and Maccelsfield (Manchester) from HS2. Or another juction to do say (Liverpool) Warrington Wigan Preston Lancaster and maybe rejoin North of Lancaster.

I am begging to think that we mifght be better off eleminating some exisitng bottle necks. Welwyn North for a start. Stafford burrowing Junctions 4 track Rugby Birmingham to Roade Junction Long loops on Bristol Line. Even reinstate Bradford North curve. etc. Rather than go all out for a high speed line.

With ERTMs it certainly ought to possible to upgrade GWML, WCML, ECML, in part at least to 140mph running.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: anthony215 on May 16, 2013, 02:33:29 pm
Pete Waterman has been on BBC news defending HS2 and yes he does raise some very good point.

I do think HS2 would do well when it is opened, we have seen passenger numbers be underestimated on many lines which have been re-opened, the Ebbw Vale branch as an example


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: bignosemac on May 17, 2013, 12:10:13 am
I'm still not won over by the pro-HS2 arguments.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: anthony215 on May 17, 2013, 01:24:17 am
I'm still not won over by the pro-HS2 arguments.

I think the problem is that the pro- HS2  campaigners need to make more noise to promote the positive benefits of HS2, so far all I have seen on tv etc has been the anti-hs2 groups.

Pete Waterman seems to be one of few supporters of HS2 to get much TV time to argue the case for HS2.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Red Squirrel on May 17, 2013, 09:12:41 am
I'm still not won over by the pro-HS2 arguments.

I am less certain than I was - I'm now only 109% sure we need it.

  • Is it likely that Britain is the only country in the developed world that would not benefit from high speed rail?
  • If personal communications technology means that time spent on the train is now just as productive as time spent in the office, why don't they just park a load of old carriages at local stations and we'll all do our day's work sat in them. No need to move them - think of the energy we'd save!

They can play whatever games they like with the numbers; the truth is that it's a punt. The odds look pretty good to me though.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: ellendune on May 17, 2013, 09:39:05 am
I'm still not won over by the pro-HS2 arguments.

I am less certain than I was - I'm now only 109% sure we need it.

  • Is it likely that Britain is the only country in the developed world that would not benefit from high speed rail?
  • If personal communications technology means that time spent on the train is now just as productive as time spent in the office, why don't they just park a load of old carriages at local stations and we'll all do our day's work sat in them. No need to move them - think of the energy we'd save!

They can play whatever games they like with the numbers; the truth is that it's a punt. The odds look pretty good to me though.

Time spent in the train is nowhere near as productive as other time even with personal communications technology for the following reasons:

a) Very difficult to get a table - I cannot use a laptop in normal seats, my arms are too long for the rake of the seats and I cannot reach the front of the keyboard!
b) Not enough space- no elbow room.
c) Other people distracting me
d) Interacting with people electronically is no substitute for face to face - which is why I would be travelling in the first place!

I would say that I am no more than 25% efficient when on a train. 

Yesterday on a  quiet early afternoon train I was able to get a table, get the laptop out and write up the minutes of the meeting I had just been to, but that is a rarity. Even then I suspect I was only 75% efficient.


The best I can do is catch up on reading.




Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: eightf48544 on May 17, 2013, 10:53:13 am
I am very glad I did all my business travelling before mobiles and wi fi etc. Jump on the train for the 2 hour run to Derby down to the Resturant Car for breakfast then read or chat with colleagues if more than 1 of us.

Bliss and do you konw it was very rarely that there was even a phone call waitng at the office in Derby. Then back on the late afternoon train, with a beer from the buffet.

But then my productivity was never very high.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: bignosemac on June 18, 2013, 11:57:29 am
From the BBC (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-22941908):

Quote
HS2 rail plans: Think tank raises doubts over value

Demand for the HS2 high-speed rail project has "likely been overestimated", a think tank has said.

A report from the New Economics Foundation (NEF) also said the ^33bn cost does not offer value for money. Evidence that HS2 would promote economic growth or tackle the north-south divide was "limited", it added.

Ministers said demand for long-distance rail travel was growing and HS2 would "support thousands of jobs and billions of pounds worth of economic benefits".

The NEF said the government had "backed the wrong horse" and the money would be better spent on a "wider range of transport investments".

A recent National Audit Office (NAO) report has also questioned the business case and the funding for HS2.

"Demand for HS2 has likely been overestimated by oversimplified government modelling," the NEF said.

It said the project would be "carbon intensive and environmentally damaging", and it was "time to invest in transport away from London".

'A gamble'

The foundation suggested alternatives for the HS2 expenditure. It claimed:

  • ^10bn could transform rail infrastructure in northern England and the Midlands, creating new and faster east-west rail links, redeveloping stations and electrifying regional rail lines
  • ^10bn could overhaul the East and West Coast main lines, increasing the speed, capacity and reliability of north-south rail travel with less environmental damage than HS2
  • ^6bn could upgrade mass transport in Birmingham, Leeds, Manchester and Liverpool, including investments in large light rail schemes and bus networks
  • ^4.5bn could roll-out superfast fibre optic broadband across the country, which would boost business, reduce pressure on transport and "future-proof" British infrastructure
  • ^2bn could make cities outside London better for cycling and walking

David Theiss, a researcher at the NEF, said: "HS2 is the largest transport investment in the UK's history. At the moment it amounts to a ^33bn gamble. Our research shows the government is backing the wrong horse," he said. "Instead of pouring billions of pounds into a single line that will take 20 years to complete we should be spreading our bets on a wider range of transport investments that offer better value for money."

But transport minister Simon Burns said: "Demand for long-distance rail travel has doubled to 125 million journeys a year in the past 15 years and by the mid-2020s the West Coast Main Line will be completely full.

"HS2 will provide the capacity needed in a way that will support thousands of jobs and billions of pounds worth of economic benefits."

He went on: "It is not a case of HS2 and nothing else. During 2014-19 we are investing over ^9bn on the current rail network, while latest figures show that over a one year period we spent upwards of ^8.7bn on our roads."

The Department for Transport says phase one of HS2 will cut London to Birmingham travel to 49 minutes, from the current one hour and 24 minutes. This will be followed by a Y-shaped second phase, taking services on from Birmingham to Manchester and Leeds.

This is intended to virtually halve journey times between Birmingham and Manchester - to 41 minutes - and between London and Manchester from two hours and eight minutes to one hour and eight minutes.

Speeds of up to 250mph on HS2 would reduce a Birmingham to Leeds journey from two hours to 57 minutes.

It is hoped the first trains will run on the HS2 line around 2026.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: paul7755 on June 18, 2013, 12:10:51 pm
Thing is, just about anyone can set up a suitable sounding name for their organisation, a website, and call themselves a director or researcher or whatever.

That's after all how people such as Paul Withrington, Director of 'Transport Watch' managed to get coverage in the likes of the Telegraph in the past.   But how much credibility should their 'reports' be given?

BTW I see the 'Institute of Economic Affairs' mentioned here: http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=12549.0
is also linked to from the bottom of Mr Withrington's list of topics on his 'Transport Watch' home page.  Coincidence?

Paul


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: bignosemac on June 18, 2013, 12:24:24 pm
The New Economics Foundation (http://www.neweconomics.org/pages/our-history) are a bit more than just a 'whatever'.

They've been around since 1986, have charitable status and are free of any political bias and influence from special interests. Their funding is a lot more transparent than that of the IEF's.

Their report should be given just as much credibility as any pro-HS2 one.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: grahame on June 18, 2013, 01:05:58 pm
BTW I see the 'Institute of Economic Affairs' mentioned here: http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=12549.0
is also linked to from the bottom of Mr Withrington's list of topics on his 'Transport Watch' home page.  Coincidence?

The New Economics Foundation (http://www.neweconomics.org/pages/our-history) are a bit more than just a 'whatever'.

At a very quick glance, the New Economics Foundation may be asking questions on an initially thought-through alternative, whereas some of the other folks are suggesting thing which look pretty impractical to me, as has been pointed out in other posts - "How on earth could you ..."

I do find it interesting that the New Economics Foundation specifically singles out North/South, non-London/regional and Birmingham/Leeds/Manchester/Liverpool.  Missing are London to South Wales and the South West, and Bristol / Cardiff / Plymouth.  Perhaps because they're looking for direct HS2 benefit replacement, or are we the forgotten corner again?


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: eightf48544 on July 06, 2013, 09:48:57 am
interesting comment in Modern Railways by Chris Gibb (Virgin) who reckons with abit of tweaking to 135 mph from Lancaster North he can get to Glagow in 4 hours by Pendelino. However, he comments when HS trains start to run from Rugely or Lancaster off HS2 onto teh WCML as they are non tilting they willbe limited to 110. Thus reducing teh capacity on teh WCML. DOH!


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Lee on August 18, 2013, 01:40:09 pm
HS2 most definitely in the news today, with the Institute for Economic Affairs claiming that costs could reach almost double the current estimate, and the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England claiming that construction would affect the lives of more than half a million people - this Guardian article (http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2013/aug/18/hs2-budget-rail-study) is a good summarizer.

Also worth noting that the IEA report argues that their claimed ^80bn HS2 price tag could deliver ^320bn of value if spent on other projects. I suspect though, that road schemes would figure rather more prominently in the IEA proposals than the Squirrel Formula would allow...


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Electric train on August 18, 2013, 04:40:27 pm
HS2 most definitely in the news today, with the Institute for Economic Affairs claiming that costs could reach almost double the current estimate, and the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England claiming that construction would affect the lives of more than half a million people - this Guardian article (http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2013/aug/18/hs2-budget-rail-study) is a good summarizer.

Also worth noting that the IEA report argues that their claimed ^80bn HS2 price tag could deliver ^320bn of value if spent on other projects. I suspect though, that road schemes would figure rather more prominently in the IEA proposals than the Squirrel Formula would allow...

IEA don't have a political agenda do they  ::) they are about as unbiased as The Morning Star    ;D


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Red Squirrel on August 18, 2013, 07:47:40 pm
HS2 most definitely in the news today, with the Institute for Economic Affairs claiming that costs could reach almost double the current estimate, and the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England claiming that construction would affect the lives of more than half a million people - this Guardian article (http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2013/aug/18/hs2-budget-rail-study) is a good summarizer.

Also worth noting that the IEA report argues that their claimed ^80bn HS2 price tag could deliver ^320bn of value if spent on other projects. I suspect though, that road schemes would figure rather more prominently in the IEA proposals than the Squirrel Formula would allow...

Worth looking at Richard Wellings' other public utterances (Google him!) - we should all be wary when people called 'Richard' start making pronouncements about rail, particularly those with doctorates. Frankly I'm rather surprised at the Guardian for giving the man any publicity.

If you're in any doubt about where he's coming from, here's what he has to say about Britain's railways in general:

Quote

A far better option would be to move towards proper privatisation. Taxpayer subsidies could be phased out; loss-making lines could be closed; and investment could be restricted to those projects that were profitable.


Sound familiar?


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Lee on August 18, 2013, 08:13:47 pm
He's nearly a laugh, but he's really a cry.

You haven't been out watching those pigs flying over Battersea Power Station (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Animals_(Pink_Floyd_album)) again, have you?...

Still, why not quote from a song (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pigs_(Three_Different_Ones)) written by one of Maggie's biggest fans, when we are on the verge of class warfare... (http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/aug/18/david-cameron-class-war-hs2-plans)

...apparently.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Red Squirrel on August 18, 2013, 09:27:40 pm
He's nearly a laugh, but he's really a cry.

You haven't been out watching those pigs flying over Battersea Power Station (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Animals_(Pink_Floyd_album)) again, have you?...

Still, why not quote from a song (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pigs_(Three_Different_Ones)) written by one of Maggie's biggest fans, when we are on the verge of class warfare... (http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/aug/18/david-cameron-class-war-hs2-plans)

...apparently.
Indeed I have - apologies for editing it out when I found a better quote; bad form.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: onthecushions on August 18, 2013, 09:38:51 pm
I think that the HS2 issue has been muddled, as usual by sectional interest lobbying from the industries that want the contracts and UK Regions that want infrastructure without the bill.

IMHO there are two issues; the desirability of TGV's operating on the InterCity (dates me!) network and the need for more capacity particularly on the WCML.

The capacity issue is I contend because of the amount of freight routed this way, especially South of Rugby, not because of IC (VWC) & LM traffic.

The TGV issue depends on how far and at what cost the UK rail system can be made suitable.

The capacity issue could be addressed by reopening the 34 miles of the GC line between Calvert and Rugby, in many ways much the same route as HS2 but for freight mainly. While there will always be more congestion nearer London, there do seem to be a lot of disused loops etc closer in.


The TGV issue could be addressed by easing the curves on the main lines including some new stretches and improving clearances. Not every km of track needs to be cleared for 250mph. About 25% of UK main line route needs such  attention (our lines  were built to much better alignments than in mainland Europe).

I don't accept that this would be too disruptive; it was how BR created the IC network in the 1960's and 70's.

I would like TGV's out of Paddington, as well.

OTC

(and  for today only, Capt Link Hogthrob)


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: ellendune on August 18, 2013, 10:35:22 pm
I think that the HS2 issue has been muddled, as usual by sectional interest lobbying from the industries that want the contracts and UK Regions that want infrastructure without the bill.

IMHO there are two issues; the desirability of TGV's operating on the InterCity (dates me!) network and the need for more capacity particularly on the WCML.


The capacity issue is I contend because of the amount of freight routed this way, especially South of Rugby, not because of IC (VWC) & LM traffic.

The capacity issue could be addressed by reopening the 34 miles of the GC line between Calvert and Rugby, in many ways much the same route as HS2 but for freight mainly. While there will always be more congestion nearer London, there do seem to be a lot of disused loops etc closer in.

Yes you could do that but you still have to get it North of Rugby and South of Aylesbury.

The route from Rugby to Birmingham is heavily congested. I am not sure how much capacity there is on the Trent Valley route either. 

As for capacity south of Aylesbury...

The TGV issue depends on how far and at what cost the UK rail system can be made suitable.

The TGV issue could be addressed by easing the curves on the main lines including some new stretches and improving clearances. Not every km of track needs to be cleared for 250mph. About 25% of UK main line route needs such  attention (our lines  were built to much better alignments than in mainland Europe).

I don't accept that this would be too disruptive; it was how BR created the IC network in the 1960's and 70's.

They did indeed do improvements.  To do that they had the advantage of a much less busy system.  I am sure the users of FGW Coffepot would understand the need to close Wooton Basset to Filton for an 18 month (?) blockade to sort the problems out like they did in the mid 70's. 

You could also do that to sections of the WCML to do widening.  What was that about a 365/24 railway?


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Tony (Formerly FT, N!) on August 18, 2013, 11:15:01 pm
I swing both ways on this one. I see the logic of a new high-speed link from north to south, even though I am unlikely to ever take the journey. Certainly, I see the benefit of increased capacity on an overcrowded network. But I see the undoubted value of the beauty of the British countryside, something I value as much if not more so than the railway network.

I have argued against the current cost / benefit system of planning transport projects. Usually, with road it under-estimates costs and over-estimates benefits, whereas with rail it works the other way. I am not qualified to suggest whether HST is a good thing on that basis or not, but I strongly suspect that the truth is that it is close, maybe too close to call. In that case, I would go for it, because it would show commitment to the railways, it would provide construction jobs, and on past experience, it would solve more problems than the proponents suggest, and cause fewer problems than the opponents put forward.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: ellendune on August 18, 2013, 11:41:56 pm
I swing both ways on this one. I see the logic of a new high-speed link from north to south, even though I am unlikely to ever take the journey. Certainly, I see the benefit of increased capacity on an overcrowded network. But I see the undoubted value of the beauty of the British countryside, something I value as much if not more so than the railway network.

I would rather see a 2 track railway going through the landscape than a 6 lane motorway!  Many of our railways blend in beautifully into the landscape.  How does HS1 look ten years or so after it was built? I do not hear about any complaints of the noise from it either.

You could provide the capacity on the current alignments, but you would have to tear great swathes through most of the towns on the route.  I think you might find that is less popular than than going through the countryside. 

What all our economic models seem to miss is that high house prices in the South and South East are crippling this country. If we did not have to pay so much for housing then wages would be less and living standards higher. As a result the country would be more competitive.  Either we find some way of moving our economy North and West and take the heat out of the London bubble, or the UK (as opposed to London) will never be economically strong.  It is no coincidence that most of the opposition is coming from the South East.

Trying to fossilise some past idyll gives everyone a warm feeling (me included), but my children do not want to live in a museum, they want jobs and affordable housing.

Oh and the cost? How does it compare to the amount on money we put in the bail out the banks?


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Lee on August 19, 2013, 01:15:58 am
He's nearly a laugh, but he's really a cry.

You haven't been out watching those pigs flying over Battersea Power Station (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Animals_(Pink_Floyd_album)) again, have you?...

Still, why not quote from a song (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pigs_(Three_Different_Ones)) written by one of Maggie's biggest fans, when we are on the verge of class warfare... (http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/aug/18/david-cameron-class-war-hs2-plans)

...apparently.
Indeed I have - apologies for editing it out when I found a better quote; bad form.

Ha ha, charade you are... ;D

Only kidding - Indeed, it is very interesting that, in her Guardian article, Melissa Kite accuses David Cameron of manipulating the rest of society over HS2 in much the same way as Roger Waters accused the animal substitutes of manipulating the rest of society in the song whose lyrics you originally quoted.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Red Squirrel on August 19, 2013, 08:28:33 am
Scanning down the 'Rail News' aggregator, I'm staggered at how news organs of every stripe have reported on Dr Richard Beeching Welling's report on the costs of HS2.

Some of the lazier one haven't even given Beechings the credit for making the figure up - they've just used it as though it were an accepted fact - and few of them seem to have found it necessary to point out that the IEA is so far to the right as to be in danger of meeting the communists coming the other way.

I remain slightly ambivalent about this project, but I do think HS2 Ltd need to up their media game if they actually want it to happen.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: stuving on August 19, 2013, 09:46:12 am
Scanning down the 'Rail News' aggregator, I'm staggered at how news organs of every stripe have reported on Dr Richard Beeching Welling's report on the costs of HS2.

Some of the lazier one haven't even given Beechings the credit for making the figure up - they've just used it as though it were an accepted fact - and few of them seem to have found it necessary to point out that the IEA is so far to the right as to be in danger of meeting the communists coming the other way.

I remain slightly ambivalent about this project, but I do think HS2 Ltd need to up their media game if they actually want it to happen.
My reaction was similar - that's such an obvious ploy, why did so many news media fall for it? Granted it was  Sunday in August so there was never going to be a lot of other domestic news, but they were still very naive. No doubt you could also re-define the category of "costs" on their favourite projects to similar effect.

To pick up on another strand in this thread (or possible just a fibre in a strand) I thought much the same about the reporting of the recent survey showing a rise in house prices. The common view that this price rise is a good thing baffles me - do they really all believe that "what the country needs now is more expensive houses" or "our houses are too cheap"?

While I don't think that they were letting themselves be manipulated, there was a general reliance on "experts" who have a vested interest in driving more sales by more mortgage finance which - in the absence of more houses - gives them higher prices and hence fees too. I was struck by one who argued strongly in favour of more "affordable housing" - i.e. please will the government look after poor people outside the mainstream market, so supply in our market never catches up with demand.

Of course that is largely a London-centric view, but I doubt that prices are really sensibly low except is areas with serious economic problems. However, I have to say that I am not convinced that poor physical communications are the main reason for the jobs being concentrated in the South-East.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Lee on August 19, 2013, 10:08:50 am
The IEA report, entitled "The High-Speed Gravy Train: Special Interests, Transport Policy and Government Spending", has been published and can be found here. (http://www.iea.org.uk/publications/research/the-high-speed-gravy-train-special-interests-transport-policy-and-government-s)

The last paragraph in particular of the IEA blurb is rather Beeching-esque, I have to say:

Quote from: IEA
In addition to the direct costs, there will be even larger opportunity costs from the misallocation of transport investment. Institutional reform is needed to reduce the malign influence of rent-seeking special interests on transport policy. New infrastructure could then be provided on a more economically rational basis.

Here is a Railnews article (http://www.railnews.co.uk/news/2013/08/19-free-market-lobby-group-prredicts.html) on the report launch. It also contains the beginnings of a Pro-HS2 response, largely along the lines of the IEA presenting a partisan view in line with its general policy of opposing major publicly-funded projects in favour of allowing the market to decide.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Lee on August 19, 2013, 05:53:10 pm
More Pro-HS2 articles, examples here (http://www.globalrailnews.com/2013/08/19/damning-hs2-report-dismissed-as-flimsy-and-unsubstantiated/),here (http://www.cityam.com/blog/1376904189/why-hs2-wont-cost-80bn) and here (http://www.railjournal.com/index.php/blogs/keith-barrow/the-iea-assessment-of-hs2-is-pure-fantasy.html), with a general conclusion that the IEA have based their conclusions on back-of-the-fag-packet calculations.

Also some recognition of RS's point that pro-HS2 campaigners need to up their media game if they want to succeed.

There is even a poll (http://railwayeye.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/time-for-hs2-to-be-scrapped.html) for you to vote in, should you so choose...


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: onthecushions on August 19, 2013, 08:31:54 pm
I would rather see a 2 track railway going through the landscape than a 6 lane motorway!  Many of our railways blend in beautifully into the landscape.  How does HS1 look ten years or so after it was built? I do not hear about any complaints of the noise from it either.

You could provide the capacity on the current alignments, but you would have to tear great swathes through most of the towns on the route.  I think you might find that is less popular than than going through the countryside. 

What all our economic models seem to miss is that high house prices in the South and South East are crippling this country. If we did not have to pay so much for housing then wages would be less and living standards higher. As a result the country would be more competitive.  Either we find some way of moving our economy North and West and take the heat out of the London bubble, or the UK (as opposed to London) will never be economically strong.  It is no coincidence that most of the opposition is coming from the South East.

Trying to fossilise some past idyll gives everyone a warm feeling (me included), but my children do not want to live in a museum, they want jobs and affordable housing.

Oh and the cost? How does it compare to the amount on money we put in the bail out the banks?

HS2 needs a core path of 25m width for 2 track (60m for 4 track), with another 25m each side affected. This compares with a 3 lane motorway width including verges of 35.6m.

A classic two track railway could fit in an 8.5m strip.

Perhaps the towns to have great swathes cut through them could have the tunnels planned for  Buckinghamshire farmland and villages.

As an exiled Northerner, I recall that transport  links can cut two ways, often draining the life out of the Regions.

Liverpool used to have its own Stock Exchange and Insurance Industry.

I'm not against HS2, just think we should concentrate upon outcome not process, the service to be delivered, not the "way and works".

Regards,

OTC


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: ellendune on August 19, 2013, 10:30:15 pm
HS2 needs a core path of 25m width for 2 track (60m for 4 track), with another 25m each side affected. This compares with a 3 lane motorway width including verges of 35.6m.

A classic two track railway could fit in an 8.5m strip.

When I look at a railway or a motorway in the landscape, it is the ballast area or the surfaced area that impacts most.  On a motorway that is 30 metres wide. 

I do not recall it being 25 metres wide on HS1. Is it to be fundamentally different on HS2?

The verges of both blend in in time.   

The 25 metres on either side that will be affected - what will it be affected by? Will this be green landscaping?

We need to differentiate between what will be affected for a short time during construction and what will ultimately be the visual impact.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Tony (Formerly FT, N!) on August 19, 2013, 10:45:22 pm
As another exiled Northener, I agree with OTC's point about the two-way flow. But why the big need for speed? Patrick McLoughlin was recently interviewed by The Times (http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/politics/article3797639.ece). In that, he said:
Quote
^One of the things I regret is that it^s been called ^High Speed 2^ it^s not primarily about speed. It^s about capacity and how do we carry on with the growth we are seeing on the railways. If you are going to create more capacity, you may as well build the best and go for a high-speed version as opposed to a traditional rail.^

It seems that the reason for a high-speed line is not the need for a high-speed line, but the need for a line, which might as well be built to high-speed specification. On that basis, the West of England Partnership's rubbish Metrobust scheme might as well be a rapid tram system.

I agree that Something Must Be Done. Railways are very much in the ascendancy again, and money spent now will be money well spent for the future. I would hope that this will not soak up all the available cash to the detriment of smaller projects like Portishead, Greater Bristol Metro, and one dear to my heart, Four Track Now! at Filton Bank.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Tony (Formerly FT, N!) on August 20, 2013, 02:07:50 am

Ha ha, charade you are... ;D


Oh dear. Hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way, but oh, how I wish you were here! I feel comfortably numb, and my eldest daughter is called Emily.  This whole thread has Echoes, and is costing me Time.

Now, when I see Emily play with her 14-month old son and month-old daughter (yes, I know it's quick, but one of us was in a hurry) I have to ask: "By the way, which one's pink?".

FTR, I spent my 21st birthday at Bingley Hall, Staffordshire, watching Pink Floyd for the second time, doing the "Animals" tour. The first time was Knobworth, where "Wish you were Here" was brand new.

Set the controls for the heart of the sun, somebody, whilst I apologise for a momentary lapse of reason.

I had liberal Pink Floyd music on the car stereo when I was Learning to Fly, but that is enough for now. I have hit The Wall. If I open up much more, I may reveal a Saucerful of Secrets, and would have to make sure they were Obscured by Clouds, lest anyone feel tempted to Meddle. Up and Atom, heart Mother!


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Red Squirrel on August 21, 2013, 11:47:54 am
In amongst all the uncritical reporting of Dr Richard Beechings' IEA report on HS2, it is good to see at least one voice questioning his figures:

Quote

...even if you think HS2 is a costly white elephant, don't be taken in by these figures. Edge beyond the executive summary of the report and you'll find they rely on wild speculation and fag-packet estimates.

So how does the report's author manage to double the existing ^43bn budget? By adding in anything that has been proposed along the route and claiming it's an integral part of the system.

Source: City AM (http://www.cityam.com/blog/1376904189/why-hs2-wont-cost-80bn)



Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Electric train on August 21, 2013, 06:45:51 pm
Its really unfortunate that the proposal is called High Speed 2, a more imaginative name might have got the public and business more engaged, the High Speed 250 mph tag is not all of what this railway is about


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: paul7755 on August 21, 2013, 07:03:21 pm
Its really unfortunate that the proposal is called High Speed 2, a more imaginative name might have got the public and business more engaged, the High Speed 250 mph tag is not all of what this railway is about

Tend to agree.  In hindsight renaming CTRL as HS1 did sort of paint them into a corner a bit...

Paul


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Lee on August 21, 2013, 10:24:38 pm
From The Guardian: (http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2013/aug/21/hs2-high-speed-rail-cost-fears?INTCMP=ILCNETTXT3487)

Quote from: The Guardian
HS2: fears over rising cost dismissed by government

DfT hits out at 'misleading' claims days after thinktank warns high-speed rail project could nearly double in cost to ^80bn

The government has dismissed reports that the cost of HS2, the high-speed rail project, will escalate to a politically unacceptable ^73bn, saying the figures were "completely misleading".

The figure is being discussed privately by Treasury insiders, according to the Financial Times. It comes days after the Institute for Economic Affairs (IEA), a free-market thinktank, warned the project could nearly double in cost to ^80bn and should be scrapped.

Officially the scheme, which will build a high-speed network linking London to Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds by 2033, will cost ^42.6bn ^ already a rise of almost ^10bn from the original figure when HS2 was approved in early 2012. Trains will cost another ^7bn, and these figures are all at 2011 prices.

A well-placed government source said: "There may be some officials who don't like it but the fact is the Treasury are funding it and David Cameron and George Osborne fully support it. We have funding of ^15bn for the next five years and this is going ahead."

The Department for Transport (DfT) said the higher figures were only arrived at by factoring in VAT and inflation, against standard Treasury guidance.

A DfT spokesman said: "It is completely misleading to provide the figures in this way. It is impossible to tell what the level of inflation will be in 10 or 20 years' time. And it is possible that VAT will be reclaimable on the project. VAT was reclaimable for HS1 and is reclaimable for Crossrail.

"The cost of HS2 is ^42.6bn, ^14.4bn of which is contingency. We are determined to bear down on these costs and manage them to secure maximum value for money for the taxpayer."

While HS2 has cross-party support, Labour has warned it would not write a "blank cheque" and recently senior figures such as Lord Mandelson have come out in opposition.

One HS2 official quoted by the FT said: "There is definitely a feeling of paranoia in the air at the moment."

"Nobody knows what Labour would do if it got in. And there's a sense that if the costs go up again then it's game over, definitely."

The spending will represent Britain's biggest infrastructure project, and the coalition has been looking for major schemes to promote jobs and growth as the economy stalls.

However, costs such as extra tunnelling to placate opponents in London and the Chilterns have already meant extra money has been factored in.

Cost-benefit analysis of the scheme published by the DfT has been modified several times in the past two years, and opposition groups believe the economic case has been demolished.

But supporters argue that the scheme will provide extra capacity on an increasingly congested rail network, and that this ^ rather than time savings ^ is the crucial reason for going ahead.

The government source added: "HS2 funding is part of a much bigger national increase in transport investment including roads and cycling ^ it doesn't come at the expense of other projects."

A Treasury spokesman said: "The High Speed 2 programme is the most important investment in public infrastructure in a generation. HS2 has the full support of the whole government, including the Treasury."


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Tony (Formerly FT, N!) on August 22, 2013, 04:19:13 pm
Its really unfortunate that the proposal is called High Speed 2, a more imaginative name might have got the public and business more engaged, the High Speed 250 mph tag is not all of what this railway is about

A view held also by the Transport Minister.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Electric train on August 22, 2013, 07:16:48 pm
Its really unfortunate that the proposal is called High Speed 2, a more imaginative name might have got the public and business more engaged, the High Speed 250 mph tag is not all of what this railway is about

A view held also by the Transport Minister.

Maybe we should suggest a new name ............. errrrrrrrrrr  ??? let me think ...................

 ???

mmmmmmm how about .......


The Great Central  :o


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: stuving on August 22, 2013, 07:23:16 pm
Be careful what you wish for. If the government or the promoters really believed a new name would be better, they would hire consultants and then we would end up with one of those silly invented names.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: paul7755 on August 22, 2013, 08:42:22 pm
The New North West & East Main Line...

Another thing that niggles with me is the smaller scale 'own goal' of describing and continually referring to the Birmingham terminus as being at 'Curzon St'.  That just allows opponents to exaggerate the distance to New St, whereas the actual entrance will be next door to Moor St.

You might as well describe Paddington's position as being on Bishops Bridge Rd, or Waterloo as on Leake St...

Paul


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Rhydgaled on August 23, 2013, 10:18:18 pm
The New North West & East Main Line...

Another thing that niggles with me is the smaller scale 'own goal' of describing and continually referring to the Birmingham terminus as being at 'Curzon St'.  That just allows opponents to exaggerate the distance to New St, whereas the actual entrance will be next door to Moor St.

You might as well describe Paddington's position as being on Bishops Bridge Rd, or Waterloo as on Leake St...

Paul
Forget the naming, the basic fact the central Birmingham station (and the London and, to a lessor extent, Manchester ones) are planned to be termini sounds almost madness to me. For example, I think Virgin currently run Wolverhampton - London services, they couldn't use HS2 if the station is a dead-end, and there is talk about wires to Holyhead to enable running north Wales trains onto HS2. A HS2 train would probably be alot longer than the Voyagers currently used to noth Wales, you'd get much better loadings in north Wales if you could call at Central Birmingham HS2 station en-route to London. Similarly, you could run London - Birmingham services through to Manchester and Liverpool if the HS2 station wasn't a terminous.

I'm also in favor of the 'Euston Cross' proposal outlined in Modern Railways a while back, linking HSR from Birmingham/Manchester through to Ashford and the Channel Tunnel. In fact, I think Stratford - Old Oak Common should be 4-track. That way, if it is decided Heathrow should be connected to the HSR network it could be done by extending two of those four tracks to the airport (the other two would, obviously, already be heading for the north-west). That could free up some paths on the GWML by taking some Heathrow Express trains. Later still, you could extend that line from Heathrow as a HS3, either down to Southampton/Portsmouth to releive capacity on the SWT network or west to Reading and Bath (maybe even from there south towards Devon and Cornwall) to releive the GWML.

Through stations would of course add to the cost of the scheme, but by small amounts compared to the huge total cost. If we're spending so much to build a new line we may as well spend a little more to do it properly.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: ellendune on August 23, 2013, 11:14:20 pm
Forget the naming, the basic fact the central Birmingham station (and the London and, to a lessor extent, Manchester ones) are planned to be termini sounds almost madness to me. For example, I think Virgin currently run Wolverhampton - London services, they couldn't use HS2 if the station is a dead-end, and there is talk about wires to Holyhead to enable running north Wales trains onto HS2. A HS2 train would probably be alot longer than the Voyagers currently used to noth Wales, you'd get much better loadings in north Wales if you could call at Central Birmingham HS2 station en-route to London. Similarly, you could run London - Birmingham services through to Manchester and Liverpool if the HS2 station wasn't a terminous.

You have not grasped the role of HS2.  It is only meant to serve a basic network of hubs. Trains from Wolverhampton and I suspect North Wales to Euston would continue to use the WCML and would be semi-fast services. If you wanted to get there faster you would change at Birmingham. 

If the HS2 trains were all extended onto the classic lines then, as you point out there would need to be major works to lengthen platforms.

I'm also in favor of the 'Euston Cross' proposal outlined in Modern Railways a while back, linking HSR from Birmingham/Manchester through to Ashford and the Channel Tunnel. In fact, I think Stratford - Old Oak Common should be 4-track. That way, if it is decided Heathrow should be connected to the HSR network it could be done by extending two of those four tracks to the airport (the other two would, obviously, already be heading for the north-west). That could free up some paths on the GWML by taking some Heathrow Express trains. Later still, you could extend that line from Heathrow as a HS3, either down to Southampton/Portsmouth to releive capacity on the SWT network or west to Reading and Bath (maybe even from there south towards Devon and Cornwall) to releive the GWML.

Through stations would of course add to the cost of the scheme, but by small amounts compared to the huge total cost. If we're spending so much to build a new line we may as well spend a little more to do it properly.

Doubling the most expensive part of the route (the tunnels under London) would not add a small amount to the scheme.  Suggesting this sort of think is playing into the hands of the detractors who cannot bear that money should be spent on any public transport scheme outside London.

(^14bn for Crossrail and ^6bn for Thameslink - no problem - London deserves it, ^40 bn for Boris Island - no problem its a national hub that we are moving so that the rest of the nation can't use it - ^50bn for HS2 to benefit most of the rest of the country - far too expensive - just a sop to buy votes in 'the North')


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: ellendune on August 23, 2013, 11:28:43 pm
I have some new alternative money saving scheme to avoid building HS2. They all stem from the problem that we are using two pairs of tracks to run four railways (fast, semi-fast, local passengers and freight).

a) Option 1 - Keep the fast lines for Intercity express services - cease all semi-fast services. Milton Keynes, Rugby, Coventry, Wolverhampton Stafford etc. would only be served by local services which, together with freight would use the slow lines. Capacity would be optimised by running all trains at the same speed.

b) Option 2 - Abolish the express services.  semi fast services (or fast services as they would become) would stop at all medium sized stations and would use the fast lines along with express freight.  Local services would use the slow lines along with slower freight services.

c) Option 3 - Close all the small stations and run no local services - after all this is a main line not a commuter railway. The only stations on the WCML would be Euston, Milton Keynes, Rugby, Coventry, Birmingham, Wolverhampton, Stafford, Crewe, Stoke, Stockport, Manchester, Warrington, Preston, Lancaster, Carlisle, Glasgow.  Any other stations on the WCML north of Watford (which would continue to be served by the DC lines) would be closed to allow capacity for Fast, semi fast and freight services. 

Which one would you choose?



Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: onthecushions on August 24, 2013, 12:07:59 am
I have some new alternative money saving scheme to avoid building HS2. They all stem from the problem that we are using two pairs of tracks to run four railways (fast, semi-fast, local passengers and freight).

a) Option 1 - Keep the fast lines for Intercity express services - cease all semi-fast services. Milton Keynes, Rugby, Coventry, Wolverhampton Stafford etc. would only be served by local services which, together with freight would use the slow lines. Capacity would be optimised by running all trains at the same speed.

b) Option 2 - Abolish the express services.  semi fast services (or fast services as they would become) would stop at all medium sized stations and would use the fast lines along with express freight.  Local services would use the slow lines along with slower freight services.

c) Option 3 - Close all the small stations and run no local services - after all this is a main line not a commuter railway. The only stations on the WCML would be Euston, Milton Keynes, Rugby, Coventry, Birmingham, Wolverhampton, Stafford, Crewe, Stoke, Stockport, Manchester, Warrington, Preston, Lancaster, Carlisle, Glasgow.  Any other stations on the WCML north of Watford (which would continue to be served by the DC lines) would be closed to allow capacity for Fast, semi fast and freight services. 

Which one would you choose?



Why no option 4 for diverting freight?


OTC


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Electric train on August 24, 2013, 08:38:29 am
I have some new alternative money saving scheme to avoid building HS2. They all stem from the problem that we are using two pairs of tracks to run four railways (fast, semi-fast, local passengers and freight).

a) Option 1 - Keep the fast lines for Intercity express services - cease all semi-fast services. Milton Keynes, Rugby, Coventry, Wolverhampton Stafford etc. would only be served by local services which, together with freight would use the slow lines. Capacity would be optimised by running all trains at the same speed.

b) Option 2 - Abolish the express services.  semi fast services (or fast services as they would become) would stop at all medium sized stations and would use the fast lines along with express freight.  Local services would use the slow lines along with slower freight services.

c) Option 3 - Close all the small stations and run no local services - after all this is a main line not a commuter railway. The only stations on the WCML would be Euston, Milton Keynes, Rugby, Coventry, Birmingham, Wolverhampton, Stafford, Crewe, Stoke, Stockport, Manchester, Warrington, Preston, Lancaster, Carlisle, Glasgow.  Any other stations on the WCML north of Watford (which would continue to be served by the DC lines) would be closed to allow capacity for Fast, semi fast and freight services. 

Which one would you choose?



Why no option 4 for diverting freight?


OTC

Why not stay with option 0 .............. build HS2

The UK's Victorian railway infrastructure is getting to capacity, yes we can tinker with things like ETCS to reduce headways, add the odd fly over/under to eliminate flat junctions.

Remember the WCML upgrade last decade came in a ^9B and there was still working being done through CP4 and more planned in CP5 both control period spends were several B^ each, and the WCML will still not have ETCS.

Even with HS2 the WCML MML and ECML will need large investments the forcast traffic growths are predicting that UK PLC needs to invest in its transport infrastructure the other alternative is a Toll Motorway!


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: ellendune on August 24, 2013, 09:25:13 am
Why no option 4 for diverting freight?

Good point, but I am not sure where that leaves you since you would still be left with three incompatible traffic types on two railways.  Also there is nowhere to divert it to. the ECML and the MML are both full - space is being made on the line up through Spalding. So the option would be to kick the freight off onto the roads.  I suppose my option 3 involved kicking the local services onto the roads.  However there is little road capacity so at least with option 4 we are saying build another Motorway to the North. Now I wonder how much that would cost?

So

Option 4) Divert all freight off the WCML onto the roads, cancel the electric spine and invest in a massive programme of road improvements.

So as a first stage how do we improve capacity from London & Southampton to the Midlands.  Ah yes widening the M3 from Southampton to Winchester (shouldn't be any opposition to widening that cutting through Twyford Down - no one objected the first time), a new M34 from Winchester to Oxford and a widening programme on the M40 to 5 lanes (through the Chilterns of course should be no problem).  Since it is for freight perhaps we should ban cars. 


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Rhydgaled on August 24, 2013, 09:27:40 am
If the HS2 trains were all extended onto the classic lines then, as you point out there would need to be major works to lengthen platforms.
I'm not suggesting that ALL HS2 trains would extend onto the classic lines. Manchester services for example would still be captive to HS2, just they would call at Central Birmingham on the way to London/Kent. Personally, I think that'd be a much better use of the new capacity than the branching network of seperate trains for each destination currently proposed.

Doubling the most expensive part of the route (the tunnels under London) would not add a small amount to the scheme.
Ok, so doubling the tunnels under London would be expensive, but would it be cheaper to do it now or wait and see if we ever build a HS3 and/or Heathrow HSR link and then build the extra tunnels?

However, this part of my message:
Through stations would of course add to the cost of the scheme, but by small amounts compared to the huge total cost. If we're spending so much to build a new line we may as well spend a little more to do it properly.
, if you assume a 2-track Euston Cross, is probablly true. The additional cost may look expensive if quoted in isolation, but compared to the total cost of HS2 wouldn't be much.

Suggesting this sort of think is playing into the hands of the detractors who cannot bear that money should be spent on any public transport scheme outside London.

(^14bn for Crossrail and ^6bn for Thameslink - no problem - London deserves it, ^40 bn for Boris Island - no problem its a national hub that we are moving so that the rest of the nation can't use it - ^50bn for HS2 to benefit most of the rest of the country - far too expensive - just a sop to buy votes in 'the North')
I don't understand what you are getting at there. You seem to be suggesting that four-tracking HSR from Old Oak Common to Stratford is a scheme for London to benifit London. I don't see it like that at all.

The main (and almost the only) reason I support a new HSR line is capacity, the classic network is filling up and a step change in capacity is needed. The WCML is supposedly the 'most full' and serves some of the largest cities, so it makes sense to start there. However, that still leaves the GWML, the lines out of Waterloo and, to a certain extent, the ECML with a capacity problem. Sooner or later, we might need a HSR link to relieve GWML capacity and that would need somewhere to go at the London end, that's what the 4-track Old Oak to Stratford suggestion is for.

You could even get the western rail access to Heathrow and capacity relief on the GWML east of Reading by building the Reading - Heathrow - Old Oak leg, selected trains could then run that way to Euston Cross (and perhaps extend to Kent on HS1) instead of along the GWML and hence release paths into PAD. If the border-controls pepole can work something out, it would also be possible to use the Euston Cross link to provide one or two services a day from mainland Europe to Bristol, joining the GWML at Old Oak Common.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: paul7755 on August 24, 2013, 10:12:15 am
...the basic fact the central Birmingham station (and the London and, to a lessor extent, Manchester ones) are planned to be termini sounds almost madness to me.

One of the very earliest publications explained quite clearly that a through station in the middle of Birmingham was impossible to build without huge amounts of demolition.  It is where it is (on a brownfield site) by a process of elimination.

Paul


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: ellendune on August 24, 2013, 11:54:11 am
I don't understand what you are getting at there. You seem to be suggesting that four-tracking HSR from Old Oak Common to Stratford is a scheme for London to benifit London. I don't see it like that at all.

Sorry I was not clear.  What I was trying to say was that there are already those detractors who while making the case for massive investment in London, begrudge every penny spent elsewhere.  Every hint of extra cost at the moment give power to their arguments. 


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: onthecushions on August 24, 2013, 06:00:04 pm
Why no option 4 for diverting freight?

Good point, but I am not sure where that leaves you since you would still be left with three incompatible traffic types on two railways.  Also there is nowhere to divert it to. the ECML and the MML are both full - space is being made on the line up through Spalding. So the option would be to kick the freight off onto the roads.  I suppose my option 3 involved kicking the local services onto the roads.  However there is little road capacity so at least with option 4 we are saying build another Motorway to the North. Now I wonder how much that would cost?

So

Option 4) Divert all freight off the WCML onto the roads, cancel the electric spine and invest in a massive programme of road improvements.

So as a first stage how do we improve capacity from London & Southampton to the Midlands.  Ah yes widening the M3 from Southampton to Winchester (shouldn't be any opposition to widening that cutting through Twyford Down - no one objected the first time), a new M34 from Winchester to Oxford and a widening programme on the M40 to 5 lanes (through the Chilterns of course should be no problem).  Since it is for freight perhaps we should ban cars. 

I'm confused.

4-track railways handle  fast, semi-fast and stopping trains, vide the SWML and the elegant way the timetablers interweave the three types of service, mostly without conflict.

It's true that most railways approaching London are heavingly full but further out the grass grows longer, speech is slower and even the trains thin out. The capacity problem is essentially how to get North of Rugby, present soutions being the electric spine to Nuneaton and HS2.


HS2 goes past Aylesbury to Rugby as does the extant Great Central trackbed. South of Aylesbury there are two routes into London. It would probably even make sense to reinstate the GCML as well as building HS2, making it effectively (and economically) 4-track.

I don't understand why putting freight back on the roads should be an option.

OTC


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Rhydgaled on August 24, 2013, 06:34:49 pm
I don't understand what you are getting at there. You seem to be suggesting that four-tracking HSR from Old Oak Common to Stratford is a scheme for London to benifit London. I don't see it like that at all.

Sorry I was not clear.  What I was trying to say was that there are already those detractors who while making the case for massive investment in London, begrudge every penny spent elsewhere.  Every hint of extra cost at the moment give power to their arguments.
Ah, right. Thanks for the clarification.

...the basic fact the central Birmingham station (and the London and, to a lessor extent, Manchester ones) are planned to be termini sounds almost madness to me.

One of the very earliest publications explained quite clearly that a through station in the middle of Birmingham was impossible to build without huge amounts of demolition.  It is where it is (on a brownfield site) by a process of elimination.

Paul
What's wrong with using the proposed station site with a tunnel portal at the other end?

My idea is to use the same route into Birmingham and the same station site, with a new tunnel out of Birmingham.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: ellendune on August 24, 2013, 06:55:06 pm
What's wrong with using the proposed station site with a tunnel portal at the other end?

My idea is to use the same route into Birmingham and the same station site, with a new tunnel out of Birmingham.

It would have to be quite a deep tunnel as it would have to go under the current lines (as above is occupied by the GW route). The question is how far you have to go in tunnel before you find a surface route.  Tunnelling particularly tunnels of this size are really expensive.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: eightf48544 on August 24, 2013, 10:24:31 pm
Interesting the terminal question. Maybe we should learn from elsewhere. The old Germany system relied heavily of single town terminal Haiuptbahnhofs.

With the adfvent of High Speed lines they are actively looking at making some exisitng termnal Stations Through ones. It's already been done in Kassel where a through station has been built just out of town think Bristol Parkway.

There might even be a thread on here about the fuss in Stuggart building a through station under a park!

To build additional terminal stations in Birmingahm Manchester and Leeds seems very outdated.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: ellendune on August 24, 2013, 10:34:29 pm
Interesting the terminal question. Maybe we should learn from elsewhere. The old Germany system relied heavily of single town terminal Haiuptbahnhofs.

With the adfvent of High Speed lines they are actively looking at making some exisitng termnal Stations Through ones. It's already been done in Kassel where a through station has been built just out of town think Bristol Parkway.

There might even be a thread on here about the fuss in Stuggart building a through station under a park!

To build additional terminal stations in Birmingahm Manchester and Leeds seems very outdated.

I don't know about Kassel, but the other project of tis type in Germany has been Berlin hbf.  However, this should be viewed in the context of a whole city that has undergone massive rebuilding over the last 20 years. With good planning therefore it has been possible to make space for the new station.  I know on no UK city that has been rebuilt to this extent in the same period. 


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Rhydgaled on August 24, 2013, 11:03:24 pm
What's wrong with using the proposed station site with a tunnel portal at the other end?

My idea is to use the same route into Birmingham and the same station site, with a new tunnel out of Birmingham.

It would have to be quite a deep tunnel as it would have to go under the current lines (as above is occupied by the GW route). The question is how far you have to go in tunnel before you find a surface route.  Tunnelling particularly tunnels of this size are really expensive.
The route I've plotted on Google Earth seems to require a tunnel of around 3.8 miles to leave the built-up area just south of the M5/M6 junction. Of that, I've routed about 1.5miles under the B4100 and A41, on the off-chance that following a road alignment rather than running under buildings make it marginlly cheaper (cut-and-cover perhaps? I doubt it though). From there my route follows the M6 (tunneling is so expensive that I'm guessing even if there isn't enough space to run alongside the motorway it would be cheaper to build a deck above the motorway than do more tunneling) out to the M54. I've also plotted a possible twisty chord, using what appear on the arial photos to be former rail alignments, from the main route north to a point on the Wolverhampton - Bescot Stadium line (for trains from Wolverhampton to access the HSR).


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Tony (Formerly FT, N!) on August 24, 2013, 11:35:39 pm
This will be a long post, so sorry in advance. I'll try to stay firmly on track, but there are a couple of big quotes.

No shovel has yet turned a single sod in the HS2 construction, and already there is political trouble afoot. The project has hitherto enjoyed cross-party support within the coalition and the Labour opposition, as it had done when Labour was in government. The coalition called in the plans in 2010, but the task before Lord Mawhinney was not to decide whether or the not the scheme should proceed, but whether it should route not from Euston to Birmingham, but from St Pancras via Heathrow, something the Conservatives in opposition had argued for. IMO, the depth of the consensus on the need for a new route is adequately demonstrated by the result of the Mawhinney review. Though he had been transport secretary under John Major, his review supported the route put forward by HS2 Ltd, the company formed under Lord Adonis to develop the project.

Cross-party agreement is essential for a project of this magnitude, as it was with the Olympics. Without it from the get-go, I do not think we would have made it as far as we have by now. Planning and construction will take the lifetime of at least four governments. The Edinburgh tram system shows the perils. The previous Labour Scottish administration started the scheme in the face of hostility from the SNP opposition. It is only going ahead now because cancellation would cost more than completion (or because the SNP secretly always thought it made sense, but didn't want to be blamed if it went wrong). No-one would risk starting a project costing tens of billions if he thought it would be cancelled after years of work. Uncertainty causes delay and expense, as it did with Edinburgh, Crossrail and the Great Western electrification, announced and cancelled at least twice, though thankfully unstoppable now.

There have been grumblings from the back-benches, particularly those MPs with rural constituencies that will be bisected, but not served, by the line, but support has been strong at higher levels until now. Alistair Darling, former Chancellor and Transport Secretary, took to the Times (http://big quotes.) to argue for cancellation.

Quote
HS2 must terminate here. All change, please
Alistair Darling

 Last updated at 12:41PM, August 23 2013

 I can no longer back high-speed rail. There are better ways to spend ^50bn than on one line


 The great economist John Maynard Keynes is reputed to have said: ^When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do sir?^

 We might ask the same question today. When it comes to HS2, the high-speed rail link from London to the Midlands and the North, the facts have changed. The projected cost has risen from about ^30 billion in 2010 to ^50 billion in July this year.

 In the past few days it^s been reported that the Treasury now believes the cost could top ^70 billion on just one railway line. To put this in perspective, the Department for Transport spends about ^9 billion a year on all capital projects, including roads, rail and other public transport.

 It is time to revisit the case for HS2.

 I am an enthusiast for the railways. By the time I left the Department for Transport in 2006, Britain^s railways were carrying more passengers than at any time since 1947. This was down to hugely increased investment by the last Labour Government.

 The railways were starved of investment from the late 1980s while the Conservative Government delivered a botched privatisation. We virtually rebuilt the West Coast Main Line, got rid of postwar rolling stock, improved the London Underground and finally gave the go-ahead to Crossrail.

 All this, however, depended on a commitment to maintain investment year-on-year and for decades to come. HS2 runs the risk of substantially draining the railways of money vital for investment over the next 30 years.

 My experience in government also makes me suspicious of big projects that can easily run out of control. In the Department for Work and Pensions it was IT. In transport the useless Railtrack had a plan to upgrade the West Coast Main Line that would have cost more than ^14 billion, and rising.

 It assumed that we could switch from trackside signals to onboard signalling: a technology that was still in development and untested at the time. The costs were eventually cut to ^8 billion by using tried and tested technology. The result was reduced journey times all the way to Glasgow.

 Politicians are always excited by ^visionary^ schemes. One thing I have learnt is that transport, rather like banking, is at its best when it is boring. That is when it tends to work. Political visions can easily become nightmares.

 So what is the case for HS2? The most compelling argument is that we will need increased capacity between London, the Midlands and the North West. That is true. But there are also severe capacity problems on commuter lines, particularly in the South East.

 And why high-speed trains? Certainly it^s handy to cut the journey time between Birmingham and London by half an hour. But at what cost?

 The economic benefit that is claimed will come from this is highly contentious. The business case depends on an assumption that passengers aren^t productive ^ that is, that they don^t work on the train. That may be true on a commuter train but not on long haul intercity services. Arguably, more work is done on the train than in the office.

 It is also claimed that we would then have a high-speed network, building on the existing link between the Channel Tunnel and St Pancras station in London. But this new line doesn^t link with St Pancras. Nor does it go to Paddington, which connects with Heathrow. Instead it goes to Euston, an already congested station.

 Then there is the cost. This is ^50 billion on current government estimates that can^t then be spent on upgrading the East Coast Main Line, the route to Bristol and South West or the lines out of Liverpool Street to East Anglia. Nor can it be put towards improving the much-needed links between cities outside London. Put it another way. If you gave England^s biggest cities ^10 billion each for economic development, would they spend it on HS2?

 The English regions have lagged behind London and the South East and Scotland in terms of growth. They could well do with ^50 billion of investment. I^d guess that they would spend it on smaller scale investment, on housing or transport.

 It^s not just the railways. Road improvements are needed too, as well as spending to upgrade bus services and cycle routes.

 And if we do want to be visionary, why can^t we decide what we are to do with Heathrow now instead of halfway through the next Parliament? Certainly if we spend ^50 billion on HS2 there will be no money for transport links to the proposed Boris Island or to any other new airport.

 The next Government and the one after that will be very short of money to spend on the infrastructure that we desperately need. To commit ourselves to spending so much on a project that rules out any other major schemes seems foolish. And the costs are not yet nailed down.

 The facts have changed. The case for HS2 was just about stateable in 2010. I don^t believe that it is today.

 It is not too late to revisit the project. We need to ask ourselves what we would gain if it goes ahead. Equally we must then ask ourselves what we will have to lose. Politics is about priorities. That will be especially so in the coming years.

The effect of this volte face is potentially enormous. Darling left front-bench politics after the Labour defeat in 2010, to spend more time with the Buds of May. His voice remains a big voice. Only two other people served in the Cabinet continuously throughout the Blair and Brown premierships (Gordon Brown and Jack Straw). Ed Miliband and Ed Balls are quoted as saying they support HS2, but will not do so if costs spiral. Two Eds may be better than one, but this is equivocation, surely.

Patrick McLoughlin has led the charge to shore up the project. He is quoted in today's Times:

Quote
Patrick McLoughlin, the Transport Secretary, had earlier denied that crossparty support for the 225-mph line was weakening. ^The Labour Party are very much in support of HS2 and certainly when I met the core city leaders where HS2 will serve, all of them Labour Party members, they are very much in support.^

 He added: ^This scheme is very important to the infrastructure of this country and all big infrastructure projects are controversial. No doubt Alistair Darling knew that when he signed it off as Chancellor of the Exchequer.^

 Mr McLoughlin denied Mr Darling^s contention that HS2 would drain resources from other rail investment for the next 30 years, insisting that the Government was committed to putting billions into electrifying 880 miles of track over the next five years.

 ^The simple fact is Mr Darling says that it would be a nightmare if we do HS2. It would also be a nightmare if we didn^t do HS2 because what we have seen is a massive growth on our railways over the past 20 years.^

My own view is that they are both right, but McLoughlin is much more right than Darling. I say this even though my general political stance is closer to Darling's than McLoughlin's by a good cheap-day return.

Darling talks about "visionary" projects being glamorous, but says that transport works best when it is boring. I know what he means, but he has got it wrong. If a new railway is a necessity, then it ceases to be visionary unless the proposed vehicles are powered by Dilithium crystals or anti-matter. The high speed aspect could be visionary, but it makes perfect sense to me, at least, to future-proof and get the maximum benefit from the new line. I find support for this view from McLoughlin, again in a Times interview (http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/politics/article3797639.ece), this time from 22 June:

Quote
^One of the things I regret is that it^s been called ^High Speed 2^ it^s not primarily about speed. It^s about capacity and how do we carry on with the growth we are seeing on the railways. If you are going to create more capacity, you may as well build the best and go for a high-speed version as opposed to a traditional rail.^

Darling's view is more cautious, more small-c conservative. It is the same caution that scrapped the Bristol tramway and gave us instead a half-assed road building scheme in the Trojan horse of Metrobust. Darling, remember, was the man who agreed with Atkins' suggestion to rip up the Severn Beach line for a busway. He also turned down Manchester's Metrolink extension, although he relented in the face of the campaign of obstinacy that was mounted. The success of the latter two shows that he was wrong in those instances.

Darling says correctly that the business case for HS2 is crucial. This approach is exactly what got us Metrobust in Bristol rather than improvements to public transport, but he has a point. He destroys it by saying that people are productive on trains because they can work during the journey. He doesn't mention that they can't if the have to stand outside the toilet for the whole journey because of overcrowding. Capacity, not speed, is the clever bit of HS2. More people will be able to work on trains if it is built, because there will be more of them.

The cost is a bit of a red herring. On a project of this size, we will probably only be able to estimate the full cost about two years after the route is complete. Any figures quoted now will be the roughest of guesstimates. This is not to say that we should not control costs - far from it. Every stage of the route should be scrutinised with an intense scrute, and every best practice implemented.

On the terminal matter, the proposal is to use the former Curzon Street station. It was originally called Birmingham Station, but was renamed in 1852 as other stations opened. Although the Grade 1 listed former entrance is the only building to survive, the area has not been heavily developed since closure in 1966. It was then used as a Parcelforce depot until 2006. Birmingham City University have (had) plans for a new campus using some of the site, and Birmingham City Council planned to refurbish the entrance hall for rental to a quality tenant. iIt is, BTW, the oldest surviving example of monumental railway architecture in Britain. Continuing the line to New Street, Moor Street, or any other station would involve considerable demolition and/or tunneling, plus significant enlargement of the chosen station to reduce congestion. Birmingham Curzon Street ceased to be viable for passenger use because of being on the eastern edge of the city, giving rise to traffic problems even in the 1850s. It ceased to be a major interchange when New Street opened in 1854, but ceased passenger use in 1893. It has my support as the new terminus, but will need links to the other nearby stations.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: trainer on August 24, 2013, 11:41:12 pm
The new Berlin Hauptbahnhof is superb and on many levels (literally) outstanding in Europe (not been outside myself - yet).  However, as has been stated, tunnels would probably be the answer in this country in our big cities.  The problem is, as with HS1 near London, we will end up with a High Speed Underground service if we're not careful.  The London Underground is very good for speed and getting across the centre of the city - but boring.  Austrian railways are now beset with so many sound barriers, cuttings and tunnels on their 'improved' inter-city lines, they have become frustrating for those of us who rather liked the scenery.  Admittedly there are still many slower, attractive routes in that lovely country.

In this crowded isle, we will almost certainly sacrifice the traditional pleasant view from the train window in order to protect (rightly) neighbours to the railways.  HS2 will be an expensive way to transport business people around the country, but less attractive than the current lines for the leisure traveller, other than to get them to the 'nice' lines more quickly.

**Declaration of (lack of) interest: I shall probably be dead before it gets started let alone finished. (Aged 61 before you ask!)

[FTN posted as I wrote so apologies for not taking any of his substantive (and substantial) points on board, but I think he adds weight to my thinking about when/if it will ever happen]


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: grahame on August 25, 2013, 02:19:13 am
I wonder what the voter in Edinburgh South West makes of the plans to spend money on HS2?  What will it bring to him/her?  Will he / she be impressed by a sitting MP who is prepared to take a line away from the party mantra?  Is HST2 a potential differentiator between Mr Darling and his opponents in 2015? What does the voter in a Labour party leadership election think of it?  I'm not a politician and I wouldn't know the answers to these questions, but I do wonder if the merit (or otherwise) of the project for the UK as a whole is only a part of what's driving support, or lack of support, in  number of quarters.

A project that's a vote winner when it's visionary and the major spend is many years away becomes far less pallettable as it gets closer to, especially if austerity on other projects at around the same time makes it viable to suggest that project "x" has been canned because the money is being spent on it.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: bignosemac on August 25, 2013, 02:54:22 am
My major concern is the ever rising project cost and the marginal BCR.

Current Goverment utterances on the project's total cost nearly always use the figure ^42.6bn. At least Alistair Darling is using the correct current figure of ^50.1bn. This includes the ^7.5bn for rolling stock. It is a little disingenuous of Ministers to omit this figure when stating the project cost. You can't have a railway without trains (pipe down TransWilts  :P). I guess ^50bn is a headline grabbing watershed figure that the Govt. would rather folk didn't concentrate on.

I agree with many that the IEA's figure of ^80bn was somewhat fanciful, seeing as it included so many irrelevant costs. However, a Financial Times article this week is quoting unnamed Treasury sources who put the current figure for phases one and two and rolling stock at ^73bn.

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/1f331cde-0988-11e3-8b32-00144feabdc0.html?siteedition=uk#axzz2cvOTzwjw
(free registration may be required to view the article)

I'm still on the fence. I was leaning toward the anti- camp, but with ever increasing cost projections I'm now climbing down their side of the fence. I'm just not sure UK PLC can afford it.

I don't have any answers on the capacity issues, more reading up on that needed. But the cost concerns me.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: ellendune on August 25, 2013, 08:47:40 am
Current Goverment utterances on the project's total cost nearly always use the figure ^42.6bn. At least Alistair Darling is using the correct current figure of ^50.1bn. This includes the ^7.5bn for rolling stock. It is a little disingenuous of Ministers to omit this figure when stating the project cost. You can't have a railway without trains (pipe down TransWilts  :P). I guess ^50bn is a headline grabbing watershed figure that the Govt. would rather folk didn't concentrate on.

The ^42.6 bn is still the estimate. ^50.1 bn is the budget. The difference includes contingency. In setting this budget the Treasury is saying this far and no further. They have done this with the Olympics (and the project came in under budget) and Cross rail (so far on or under budget) and it has worked well.  It stops people sayign wouldn't it be nice if .... and continuing to add numerous small sums to the estimate that add up to a large sum.  Hence my comments earlier when people say changes would not cost much (even though some of them would have cost a lot).

So it is perfectly valid to still quote the ^42.6bn figure for the cost of the line as that is still the estimate. 


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Electric train on August 25, 2013, 08:52:27 am
My concern over HS2 now is not the cost, most accept its going to be in the order of ^40B +- the odd ^10B (ish), the real risk to HS2 is politicians posturing in the lead up to the next general election they all see it being fought on low public spending so none of them will want to commit to large price tag public items, I fear we are going bag to the 1980's of patch up and make do and mend


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: bignosemac on August 25, 2013, 10:01:42 am
The ^42.6 bn is still the estimate. ^50.1 bn is the budget. The difference includes contingency.

The difference in those figures isn't contingency. An additional ^7.5bn is for rolling stock. Whilst public utterences from Ministers regularly fail to include the rolling stock cost in the total, it is there in HS2 Ltd's figures and in Hansard.

The total cost of phases one and two plus the rolling stock is ^50.1bn, which includes ^16.1bn of contingency. That would make the estimate ^34bn which does, on paper, look a lot better. But with Treasury insiders forecasting a total cost of ^73bn (unknown if contingency is included in that) the project could well exceed the current forecasted ^50.1bn.

The problem with large contingency is it can lead to a lax control over spending, rather than a tight control on budget and with little incentive to identify cost savings. "The money's there, so we can spend it."

As for the Olympics, final accounts won't be released until the Olympic Delivery Authority is wound up in 2014. Latest figures, released in July 2013 predict that the final cost to the public purse will be ^528million under budget. Contingency for the Olympics was just over ^1bn. So based on current predictions over half of the contingency fund will have been spent. And there's still a very large chunk of the sale price of the Olympic Village (over ^400million) that has yet to be paid.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Tony (Formerly FT, N!) on August 25, 2013, 10:46:14 am
My concern over HS2 now is not the cost, most accept its going to be in the order of ^40B +- the odd ^10B (ish), the real risk to HS2 is politicians posturing in the lead up to the next general election they all see it being fought on low public spending so none of them will want to commit to large price tag public items,

Exactly my point. We either need a new railway or we don't, and the evidence is firmly that we do. Not building something would be irresponsible, since the need would not go away, so would need to be done another day, and will inevitably cost more.

Is it a large price tag with marginal BCR? The cost will not be evenly spread over the years of planning and construction. Land acquisition will be done at the start, and will be a sizeable chunk. Phase 2 is planned to be up and running in 2033, so the annual cost, if the whole costs ^70 billion, will be ^3.5 billion. The risk is clearly of spiralling costs eating up resources so that this becomes the only railway project in the country, and that would be awful. But Network Rail is proving to be better at managing costs than Railtrack before it, and projects are being finished on time and on budget more and more these days than before. That gives me hope that the total cost will not come as a shock, whatever it is. Planning for other projects can then be done with this in mind.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: grahame on August 25, 2013, 11:01:40 am
I too remain definitely undecided on HS2 - if I'm going to take a position I like to do it from a strong and balanced knowledge which I feel I lack in this case. I do note that Andrew Adonis is speaking very strongly in favour ...

http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/2013/08/exclusive-adonis-hits-back-hs2-critics-and-warns-labour-not-abandon-support?

I have a huge respect for Andrew - he's a former secretary of state for Transport and from initial concerns when he came to that role, he rapidly gained a very great deal of respect in many quarters. 


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Tony (Formerly FT, N!) on August 25, 2013, 11:44:52 am

I have a huge respect for Andrew - he's a former secretary of state for Transport and from initial concerns when he came to that role, he rapidly gained a very great deal of respect in many quarters. 

And so have I. My respect increased as I read the article, and thank you for the link, grahame. The New Statesman is not my chip-wrapper of choice.

Lord Adonis showed that he is more than just a political animal when he took the transport portfolio. His tour of Britain by train, and the subsequent published musings served to show that he has knowledge, passion, and pragmatism in the correct proportions, and was a safe pair of hands for such a crucial role. He is a skilled communicator, and is not afraid to point out the earlier failings of his own party.

I am also developing respect for Patrick McLoughlin, and not just for his humble origins. The arguments he made after the Darling outburst are exactly the ones made by the noble lord. He speaks for the coalition as well as the Conservative party, and despite Lord Adonis' criticism of the slow pace of action, and his gentle dig about Labour having much to do in 2015 to get the project firmly established, there is clear unanimity at the top level of the three parties. 

So a project with more history than the Labour announcement in 2010 was called in by a cash-strapped coalition looking for big savings, examined by a Tory grandee and still found to be essential. This episode shows just how much transport policy has to rise above politics. If I ever get the chance to found my National Infrastructure Authority, I shall ask Lord Adonis and Patrick McLoughlin to head it.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Red Squirrel on August 25, 2013, 11:58:48 am
For my two penn'orth, I surprise myself with my ambivalence about this project.

The cost, oddly, is not my main concern. We either need it or we don't; if we need it then we have to find the money. I am however intrigued by the change in emphasis that has taken place (it's no longer about speed, it's the capacity stoopid); I am always a bit suspicious when arguments change. However I'm also aware that adding capacity to existing parallel routes has already been done at huge cost and disruption, and that adding more capacity to those routes would be even more expensive and disruptive.

What bothers me is that ever since Beeching, the railway has focused on getting people in and out of London. London, uniquely, kept almost all its commuter lines; the further you got from London the deeper Beeching's cuts were. This has amplified the process of centralisation that has damaged the ecomony of most of the country outside the southeast. I worry that HS2 could be an extension of the London-centric mindset. If it is then it is without doubt taking us in the wrong direction.

I have taken a certain amount of flak on this forum for applying the simplistic 'Squirrel Formula' to cost re-opening various provincial routes. Often the strongest argument against a potential re-opening is that funds are limited, and we have to prioritise. But a major problem for this country is the under-supply of housing, leading to hugely inflated house prices. Meanwhile all over the country are communities that have become moribund as a direct result of the Marples/Castle axe. I suggest that the argument for reconnecting them to quality public transport (===rail) is a strong one, especially if fibre broadband was run along the tracks at the same time.

All rail investment is a punt; always has been. But investment in new provincial rail connections could actually reduce the requirement for commuting into London, which would free up capacity on the overcrowded routes, as well as making better use of skills and labour currently sitting on its hands in the regions.

Edit: typo



Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: chuffed on August 25, 2013, 12:46:39 pm
I hope other contributors are appreciating FTN's input, grasp of the complex issues involved in this project and his clarity in explaining things so well!  I find his contributions are like shafts of brilliant sunshine cutting through an impenetrable fog. Long may they continue ! They could do with him on board ! Are there any other members of the FTN fan club out there ?


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: bignosemac on August 25, 2013, 01:02:43 pm
For my two penn'orth, I surprise myself with my ambivalence about this project.

The cost, oddly, is not my main concern. We either need it or we don't; if we need it then we have to find the money. I am however intrigued by the change in emphasis that has taken place (it's no longer about speed, it's the capacity stoopid); I am always a bit suspicious when arguments change. However I'm also aware that adding capacity to existing parallel routes has already been done at huge cost and disruption, and that adding more capacity to those routes would be even more expensive and disruptive.

What bothers me is that ever since Beeching, the railway has focused on getting people in and out of London. London, uniquely, kept almost all its commuter lines; the further you got from London the deeper Beeching's cuts were. This has amplified the process of centralisation that has damaged the ecomony of most of the country outside the southeast. I worry that HS2 could be an extension of the London-centric mindset. If it is then it is without doubt taking us in the wrong direction.

I have taken a certain amount of flak on this forum for applying the simplistic 'Squirrel Formula' to cost re-opening various provincial routes. Often the strongest argument against a potential re-opening is that funds are limited, and we have to prioritise. But a major problem for this country is the under-supply of housing, leading to hugely inflated house prices. Meanwhile all over the country are communities that have become moribund as a direct result of the Marples/Castle axe. I suggest that the argument for reconnecting them to quality public transport (===rail) is a strong one, especially if fibre broadband was run along the tracks at the same time.

All rail investment is a punt; always has been. But investment in new provincial rail connections could actually reduce the requirement for commuting into London, which would free up capacity on the overcrowded routes, as well as making better use of skills and labour currently sitting on its hands in the regions.

Much food for thought there RS. Might be climbing off the fence fully into the anti- camp after reading that.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: trainer on August 25, 2013, 01:03:58 pm
I have found FTN's, BNM's and indeed other contributions helpful in making me realise that HS2 demands a far from simplistic 'yes/no' response as long-term vision, short-term economics and practicality all vie with each other for the clinching argument.  The fence is getting rather crowded as I have climbed up it from a strongly pro start and I am now definitely sitting astride with others.

Capacity can be addressed with cheaper solutions and, IMHO, very few journeys perhaps need a vastly reduced journey time.  Eurostar, TGV, ICE, Thalys etc, all offer a step change in travel from that which we have domestically, but they link cities across long stretches of comparatively low-density population.

If it ever arrives, I suspect I would be one of the first on it, though.  :)


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Electric train on August 25, 2013, 01:46:01 pm
The need for capacity has always been the corner stone of HS2, it's just that the speed has been emphasised the thought that 200 mph trains would sell.

I am sure through Busk, Herts, Warwick where the existing WCML runs selling HS2 as an increase in their train services would change the campaign. 


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: ellendune on August 25, 2013, 02:45:01 pm
Capacity can be addressed with cheaper solutions and, IMHO, very few journeys perhaps need a vastly reduced journey time. 

The starting point for HS2 was when, after the experience of the WCML route modernisation, it became clear that making alterations to a live railway was incredibly expensive.

There are schemes that can be done to provide additional capacity on existing lines for example (yes I will have missed some). 

  • On the ECML there is 4 tracking the Welwyn viaduct and from Huntingdon to Peterborough, grade separated junctions at Peterborough, Grantham etc (Hitchin has just been completed). A bridge to replace the flat crossing at Newark. Better use of the route through Lincoln.
  • On the WCML there might be completing the 4 track on the Trent Valley (adding one extra track), Grade separation around Stafford and at Rugeley. Possibly even 4 tracking from Rugby to Birmingham.

Some of these are already planned and some are even in progress.  Fundamentally though they will not provide the amount of additional capacity required.  To provide the amount of additional capacity required you need another pair of tracks to the North.

The main lesson from the WCML route modernisation was that if you are going to do provide another pair of tracks it is going to be cheaper to do this on a new route. If it is to be on a new route it either needs to be a line for fast passenger services or a freight route as these do not have to go through so many of the existing places on the current route.

Since the speed of freight fits in quite well with semi fast passenger services without loosing capacity (remember a line is at its highest capacity when all trains travel at the same speed), the obvious choice is the fast passenger services.

Up to this point I think there should be a consensus.  The question that is open to debate, in my opinion, should be what speeds do design this line for. 

Other European Countries have addressed the capacity issue by building high speed lines.  The density of population issue is an issue in France, Germany and Spain, but clearly not in Belgium and the Netherlands, though you could argue that Belgian High Speed lines are just routes to Netherlands and Germany.

I believe the question we should be asking is how much is the extra speed on the route costing and what are the benefits of that?  The cost of a high speed line is not ^42.6 bn. We should say that of the ^42.6 bn estimate for the line, ^x bn is to provide capacity and ^y bn is to increase the speed above 125 mph. (NB I deliberately use ^42.6bn estimated price of the line see my earlier post)

I would be very interested in the answer.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: bignosemac on August 25, 2013, 03:02:06 pm
Picking up on the point Red Squirrel made earlier....

Addressing the current need to travel to and from London by targeted regional investment (a broad investment plan, not just rail) will address capacity on the WCML. I believe it's only south of Rugby where capacity is the issue.

Job creation, housing, other public transport. Greatly improve those in the regions and you cut the need to travel to and from London.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: ellendune on August 25, 2013, 03:10:50 pm
Addressing the current need to travel to and from London by targeted regional investment (a broad investment plan, not just rail) will address capacity on the WCML. I believe it's only south of Rugby where capacity is the issue.

This is the case now but other points on the network the problem is not far behind. HS2 (if we are still to call it that) is to address capacity requirements further into the future. There is also capacity issues on the ECML which I think go further North. 

Job creation, housing, other public transport. Greatly improve those in the regions and you cut the need to travel to and from London.

Couldn't agree more, but I don't see any politicians in Westminster of any party with serious proposals to make this happen.  Now perhaps if we moved the capital to somewhere further North...



Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: bignosemac on August 25, 2013, 04:22:51 pm
Now perhaps if we moved the capital to somewhere further North...

So, Brennard Farm in the Forest of Bowland, Lancs, then?

http://blog.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/2012/01/where-is-the-centre-of-great-britain/

Isn't is reassuring to know that this Executive Agency of HMG has spent time in attempting to answer this very important question?  :-X :P ;D


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: ellendune on August 25, 2013, 04:47:46 pm
Now perhaps if we moved the capital to somewhere further North...

So, Brennard Farm in the Forest of Bowland, Lancs, then?

http://blog.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/2012/01/where-is-the-centre-of-great-britain/

Isn't is reassuring to know that this Executive Agency of HMG has spent time in attempting to answer this very important question?  :-X :P ;D


Somewhere around there would be fine by me.  Perhaps a bit nearer to a main railway line though. 


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on August 25, 2013, 09:37:18 pm
A very good summary of the present political situation, from the BBC (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-23823484):

Quote
HS2 chief says Labour still backs project

The chief executive of the company implementing the HS2 railway project has said she believes Labour is still strongly supportive of the scheme.

Alison Munro acknowledged that HS2 would not be viable unless there was political consensus about its merits.

Senior Labour figures have voiced concerns about HS2's rising budget.

But former Labour transport secretary Lord Adonis warned his party not to give in to the "intense" temptation to cancel the scheme. That would be an "act of national self-mutilation", he wrote, in an article for the New Statesman.

The HS2 scheme entails building a new high-speed rail link from London to Birmingham and to Manchester and Leeds.

The project's initial phase was approved in principle under the previous Labour government, and the scheme has had the backing of all three main party leaders since its conception - despite strong opposition among some backbench MPs.

Chancellor George Osborne has predicted the high-speed rail network will be an "engine for growth" for the north of England and the Midlands.

Deputy Prime Minister and Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg has suggested the scheme could help to "heal the north-south divide".

But on Friday, former Labour chancellor and transport secretary Alistair Darling said he was withdrawing his support for it. He warned of a potential "nightmare" for the rest of the rail network as a rise in HS2's budget from ^32bn to ^42.6bn would drain cash from other lines.

Another former Labour cabinet minister, Lord Mandelson, has warned the scheme could prove to be "an expensive mistake".

Asked about Mr Darling's comments, Ms Munro told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "I should point out that Maria Eagle, who is the Labour transport spokesperson, yesterday confirmed her very strong support for HS2."

Opposition leader Ed Miliband has also said he is a "supporter" of the HS2 rail project but it should be scrutinised for "value for money".

But shadow chancellor Ed Balls told the BBC on Friday that he was concerned that the budget had gone "up and up". He said: "We have consistently supported plans for a north-south rail link but it's got to work, it's got to be value for money." A future Labour government would not offer the scheme a "blank cheque", he added.

But Ms Munro responded: "We are not asking for a blank cheque and we don't have a blank cheque." She added: "I'd really like to knock on the head this talk of costs spiralling out of control. That is simply not true."

Ms Munro went on: "The current budget is ^42.6bn for the infrastructure and ^7.5bn for the rolling stock. We are absolutely determined, and the government is too, now to manage the project within that cost envelope."

The new budget included a ^14bn contingency fund, she said, but HS2 Ltd was "determined" not to use it.

Supporters of HS2 argue that aside from shorter journey times, the main argument in favour of the project is the need to greatly increase passenger capacity.

Lord Adonis said the scheme was "going through the classic 'cold feet' period which bedevils every major British infrastructure project and which, with our short-termist political culture and poor project management, often leads to them being cancelled". He continued: "This phase will continue until the 2015 election, when the temptation for Labour to claim it is 'saving' ^42bn by proposing to cancel a 'Tory' project will be intense."

The peer warned Mr Miliband not to repeat the mistakes of the Labour government in 1974 which cancelled both the Channel Tunnel and a new London airport in the Thames Estuary. "They were dubbed 'Tory extravagance' although, like HS2, their origins lay in the previous Labour government and there was nothing remotely right-wing about them," he said. "It would be a similar act of national self-mutilation to cancel HS2 in 2015, six years into the project."

Construction on the London-West Midlands phase is expected to begin around 2017, once Parliament has approved the necessary powers - probably in 2015.

The onward legs to Manchester and Leeds could start being built in the middle of the next decade, with the line open by 2032-33.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Electric train on August 25, 2013, 09:50:55 pm
There are teams in NR working now to produce the HS2 NR interfaces input to the hybrid bill planned for 2015 not to mention a number of consultancies that are working on the main route of HS2.

The planning for HS2 is actually quite advanced, the challenge will be 2015 which in May sees a General Election so which side of this will it be, current Government ........ may not want to rock the boat with its heartland through Bucks and War, incoming Government could use the excuse not enough Parliamentary time, if its a collation it will take several months for them to agree how many spoons of sugar to have in their tea let alone anything else, even worse if its a hung Parliament


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Lee on August 26, 2013, 01:27:06 am
From The Telegraph: (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/10265650/HS2-has-the-power-to-inspire-a-generation.html)

Quote from: The Telegraph
HS2 has the power to inspire a generation

This 20-year project will expand our engineering skills base and create good jobs , writes Pete Waterman

Over the recent weeks, I have watched in amazement as a series of London-based commentators have made claim after claim about High Speed Two ^ each competing with the other to make more and more outlandish predictions. It won^t surprise you that my long-held view is that entrepreneurs invest in the future while politicians manage the moment.

But all these noises off obscure why the UK needs HS2. The fact is, and there^s no getting round it, Britain^s railways have seldom been more popular. Twice as many train journeys are made today as 20 years ago ^ 1.5 billion. Not since before the Second World War has the train taken so much strain, and the network is considerably smaller now. HS2 will mark the UK^s rail renaissance. We have to do it now in order to reap the rewards of our full economic potential in the 21st century.

Now, you might wonder how a pop music producer is qualified to comment on the musings of illustrious former ministers and think-tank economists. The fact is that as a successful entrepreneur, someone who grew up with railways and understands the economic needs of the Midlands and the North, I have a unique viewpoint from which to comment.

My first big breakthrough came when the railway from Coventry to London was electrified in the 1960s and the new connectivity meant I could reach the capital in roughly an hour, inspiring me to build up a business in London but allowing me to take my earnings back to spend in Coventry.

Last weekend the media reported that 500,000 people would be affected by construction traffic and villages up to 40 miles from the route would be blighted after the Campaign to Protect Rural England published information supplied to it by HS2 Ltd. It wasn^t true: CPRE supports HS2 on the basis of its being a sustainable transport scheme, and its chief executive, Shaun Spiers, clarified that last week.

We also saw the Institute for Economic Affairs (IEA) publish a report that claimed the cost of HS2 was set to reach ^80 billion. To get to that figure it lumped in ^30 billion of other transport schemes which, it admitted elsewhere in the report, would probably never be built. This was quite rightly dismissed by HS2^s chief executive, Alison Munro, as ''absurd^.

Now, I am no economist; but even I can see that writing a list of projects that are not part of HS2, and then stating that they add ^30 billion to the cost figures published by the Department for Transport and approved by Treasury mandarins, cannot be given any real credibility.

What I can say with certainty is that the economies of northern England and the Midlands are playing an important part in the recovery of the UK from recession. Liverpool has the second fastest growing economy in the country, while Leeds has a vibrant city centre and Sheffield has attracted investment in advanced manufacturing to beat off competition from other European cities.

Private companies like Tata understand that they need to invest heavily to keep their products competitive. VW has just announced ^1 billion of investment in its Bentley car plant in Crewe, creating 1,000 jobs. We know that successful economies rely on efficient and reliable transport links. All of these cities will be served by HS2 and I am convinced they will thrive through the vastly improved connections it will bring.

I do not want to look back in 20 years and say: why on earth did we pass up the opportunity to transform our country through building a world-class, high-speed rail network providing the capacity for growth. But HS2 can be so much more.

I want the schoolchildren of the North-west to be captivated and inspired to take up careers in construction and engineering, and for the students at universities in Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds, Sheffield and Birmingham, to have the opportunity to choose where they work once they graduate.

HS2 is a 20-year programme that could transform the skills base of the country. We lament how few young people go into engineering and science. Today more than a quarter of our science, technology, engineering and maths graduates go on to take non-engineering jobs. The project will be beacon for any young person looking to the future and deciding what to study.

Through building HS2 we have a golden opportunity to expand greatly an engineering skills base that for years we thought could ebb away entirely.

High Speed Two has been predicted to create 400,000 jobs and 2,000 apprenticeships. Twenty thousand people will be employed during construction. It already provides valuable employment for 800 graduate engineers who are designing the railway and minimising its environmental impact.

None of the alternatives promoted by the London-centric commentators comes close to delivering that kind of opportunity for people all over the UK to get into work. That^s why I am a passionate supporter of HS2 as an engine for growth. Put simply we cannot afford not to build HS2.

Pete Waterman is a member of the HS2 Growth Taskforce


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Tony (Formerly FT, N!) on August 26, 2013, 11:06:18 am


So, Brennard Farm in the Forest of Bowland, Lancs, then?



Nice place. I used to take Sunday afternoon motor bike rides around the Forest and the Trough of Bowland.

EDIT: I have now read through the Pete Waterman piece. He may have given us Kylie Minogue's "I should be so lucky", but there is some good in the man, even so.

He makes points that should be coming from Government, rather than record-producing rail enthusiasts. There are rumours flying around, about the massive effect on communities that are exaggerated or just plain wrong. The same goes for the cost, leading the Labour party to announce a ^50 bn cap on the project. Whether, if they win power in 2015, they will be able to keep to that figure is a moot point, because no-one knows what will happen to the costs of materials, or what snags will be hit, or what a whole lot of other things will do. It is a good move to make it obvious that costs will not be allowed to rise uncontrollably. Previous projects have had a tendency to cost whatever the budget is, plus 10% or more. I think government in all its guises is getting better at managing that aspect, and there is greater cause for optimism on the financial front. Plus, Chief Executive of HS2 Alison Munro said:

Quote
"The current budget is ^42.6bn for the infrastructure and ^7.5bn for the rolling stock. We are absolutely determined, and the government is too, now to manage the project within that cost envelope."

The new budget included a ^14bn contingency fund, she said, but HS2 Ltd was "determined" not to use it.

As to the value of the project itself to the national good or bad, I simply don't have the knowledge or expertise to offer an opinion independently, so rely on reading the experts' views as impartially as I can. In doing so, I look not just at what is being said, but at who is saying it, and his previous track record. I place greater value on the views of Lord Adonis, Patrick McLoughlin and Pete Waterman than I do on the utterances of Alistair Darling mainly because of the latter's timid attitude to rail projects, and over-obsession with costs. Rail projects are hugely expensive, but tend to give real benefits far beyond the projections assumed in planning. The possible exception to that is the Channel Tunnel, where more optimistic forecasts needed to be used for political expediency, but even now, there is talk of building another.

Come what may, we will still need to transport people and goods around the country in 20 years time. In the post-Beeching era, we built roads rather than railways, and watched them fill up as soon as the ribbon was cut. In the post-post-Beeching era, we realise that roads can cause as many problems as they solve, and we are turning again to building railways. Railways are sustainable, according to Waterman and the CPRE. By that, I assume he means that they cause less damage than roads for the quantity delivered, are more energy efficient, and can use a variety of forms of generating motive power. No-one is suggesting that we reopen every line, but surely HS2 would not have gained the support it has if it were nothing more than a political vanity project?

I have a suggestion for Patrick McLoughlin. He needs to demonstrate that HS2 will not simply suck up all the available money for transport. There is no better way to do this than to bring forward some other much-needed rail projects. In my local area, I suggest Portishead, improvements to capacity on the Severn Beach line, and on Filton Bank, of course, Four Track, Now!


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Lee on August 27, 2013, 12:10:07 am
From The Guardian: (http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/aug/25/hs2-trains-northerners?INTCMP=ILCNETTXT3487)

Quote from: The Guardian
HS2 is certainly not for northerners' benefit

The way to build up the north is to improve rail links between its towns. Trains to London are fast enough already

The HS2 rail project is often trumpeted as helping to connect the north to Britain's wealthier south. Northerners, it seems, are expected to rejoice at the fact they can commute to well-paying jobs in the south-east without having to up sticks. But the more we learn about the project, the clearer it becomes that those at the northern end of the line won't be the main beneficiaries.

The fact is, it's already quick enough for Londoners to get to Manchester, Liverpool or Leeds, or vice versa: the real barrier isn't time, it's the one in the mind. I've lived in the north-west on and off for several years, eventually settling in Liverpool last year. The daily experience of getting into the city, or of getting from one northern town to another, is to be reminded of how much better, and how much more urgently, that ^42bn or ^50bn or ^80bn cost of HS2 can be spent. We have ancient, mucky trains; frequent breakdowns; no possibility of a direct train to Glasgow or Bristol. If you live 20 miles in the wrong direction outside Manchester you have no chance of getting to work in the city without owning a car.

The difference in quality between existing intercity travel from south to north, and the vital daily branch-line travel between northern towns and cities, is a reflection of central government's priorities. It sees growth as an exclusively south-eastern engine which, in its great munificence, powers the rest of the country ^ which must make do with a sliver of London's transport spending and find ways to milk the capital rather than build itself up.

Former transport secretary Lord Adonis, who defended the project on Saturday, seems to be more focused on maintaining an inflated perception of Britain's power and status than on improving people's daily lives. The Channel tunnel link, which he cites as an example of infrastructural investment that was put off for too long, still carries far fewer passengers than were predicted upon its opening in 1994. By the same token, HS2 trains may end up carting hordes of bumless seats from London to Manchester in double-quick time.

Comparisons with Europe are flawed. France and Spain need high-speed rail because they are enormous countries: the only really beneficial British equivalent would be from, say, London to Glasgow or Penzance without stopping. Our country is small enough to cross in a day without any particular need for greater speed.

Moreover, the great gains in faster journey times from the north to London have already been made. When I started travelling between London and Liverpool 15 years ago, it took three hours; now it takes two, which goes in the time it takes to find my seat, eat a sandwich and, for a sublime hour or so, watch cows, sheep and canals roll past and be reminded that most of the country is still actually green.But there are times when shorter journeys do matter, not least when you're stuck on a 30-year-old Northern Rail relic and the only toilet has broken down. The densely populated urban corridor lying between Liverpool and Hull has the potential to make London, or at least its self-aggrandising role as national benefactor, seem irrelevant. A fraction of the investment proposed for HS2 would transform connections between towns and cities that have effectively been written off as producers of their own jobs and wealth. Research by the Centre for Cities showed that upgrading the line between Bradford and Manchester and improving the trans-Pennine rail route would, among other transport improvements, produce economic benefits to the Leeds region in the hundreds of millions.

If Britain does need a high-speed route from north to south, it's so we can make space on the existing mainlines for stopping trains and freight. And if there's any part of the country that really needs faster journeys, it's Wales and the south-west of England, both economically isolated and in desperate need of inward investment. No one seriously needs to get to Birmingham from London any faster than the 70 minutes it currently takes. Relax, guys: Selfridges stays open till 8pm.

Here are some Letters (http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2013/aug/26/alternative-routes-nationwide-rail-upgrade) containing more views on HS2, including reaction to the above article.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Lee on August 27, 2013, 12:17:32 am
From The Guardian: (http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2013/aug/27/hs2-high-speed-rail-project-grand-folly)

Quote from: The Guardian
HS2 high-speed rail project is grand folly, say business leaders

Institute of Directors claims there is no business case for the line linking London with Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds

The Institute of Directors (IoD) has urged ministers to abandon the "grand folly" of the ^50bn HS2 high-speed rail project, saying little more than a quarter of its members believe it will prove value for money.

The IoD's head, Simon Walker, said the business case for the line linking London with Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds over the next 20 years "simply is not there".

The call comes amid increasing unease among MPs about the scheme, which the thinktank the Institute of Economic Affairs has warned could see costs spiral to ^80bn.

Labour has made it clear that the bill for the line and rolling stock should rise no further, while the other main business organisation, the CBI, said in June that investors and taxpayers needed confidence the business case was watertight and costs would be controlled.

Walker, publishing a survey of more than 1,300 business leaders, argued that the money could be better spent elsewhere. "Station upgrades, inter-city improvements, tunnels, electrification and capacity improvements should all be considered alternatives. It is time for the government to look at a thousand smaller projects instead of falling for one grand folly," he said.

IoD members have growing concerns that the line will benefit London more than the regions for which HS2 supporters claim it offers a lifeline. Even when the costs of the scheme were said to be just over ^30bn, at the start of the year, the organisation was warning that businesses needed convincing of its economic value.

Although Labour leaders still support the scheme, former grandees Lord Mandelson and Alistair Darling have said it should be scrapped. Ed Balls, the shadow chancellor, said on Friday that there would be no "blank cheque" from a Labour Treasury.

However, Lord Adonis, the former Labour transport secretary who was architect of the scheme and is now head of a review on economic growth, has said any move by Labour to drop the scheme would be "an act of self-mutilation". He has consistently argued that upgrading existing lines would be hugely expensive and disruptive, providing far less additional capacity than building new lines.

Coalition ministers plan to introduce legislation to clear the way for phase one of HS2, to Birmingham, this year ^ with construction beginning in 2017 ^ after the appeal court dismissed arguments from local councils, residents' associations and other objectors along the first part of the line that proper environmental assessments had not been made. However, the protesters still believe a successful appeal to the supreme court could stop HS2 or delay it for years.

According to the government timetable the West Midlands part of the line would be ready in 2026, with the full Y-shaped route to Manchester and Leeds completed by 2032-33.

The survey of IoD members found only 27% felt HS2 represented good value for money and 70% thought it would have no impact on the productivity of their business. The IoD said in a statement that the government assumption that time spent on a train was unproductive for business was "wildly inaccurate" as only 6% of directors said they never worked on a train. By contrast, 48% of members claimed they spent at least half the journey working, 26% worked for between a quarter and half the time, and 21% up to a quarter of the journey.

Walker said: "Some of the specific claims that the government has used to support its economic case for the project have been challenged by our members, who by and large do not feel that their business will benefit."

He concluded that the IoD could not support the government's economic case for HS2 "when so many of our members are doubtful of the benefits" and warned that for all the advantages of infrastructure investment, "the business case for HS2 simply is not there".

A Department for Transport spokeswoman said: "We need to build HS2 to free up valuable space for passengers and freight because without it, our existing rail network will be full by the mid-2020s at a cost to passengers and businesses up and down country.

"The scheme is forecast to generate more than ^50bn of benefits for the economy but we know we must maximise every economic benefit HS2 has to offer."


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Gordon the Blue Engine on August 27, 2013, 06:03:52 pm
The IOD claims 35,000 members.  This survey got a mere 1,323 responses, less than 4% of the IOD's membership - I don't know whether they had massive abstentions, or whether it was a random sample they surveyed, but either way it seems statistically flawed as a basis for the assertion that the outcome represents the views of the IOD's membership.

The cover this small survey has received in the media is totally overblown, but is of course a credit to the IOD's publicity machine!


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Red Squirrel on August 27, 2013, 08:36:11 pm
Ehrem; it's still August. Roll on the end of the Silly Season.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Tony (Formerly FT, N!) on August 27, 2013, 09:49:49 pm
That's a good point, Red Squirrel. Not only is there not much coming out of parliament, but the MPs who aren't on fact-finding missions in the Caribbean are at home, doing their own thinking without aides or whips (well, parliamentary whips, at least - what goes on Summer recess stays on Summer recess).

Good point too, Gordon the Blue Engine. Gallup polls and the like are often conducted with a sample of 2,000 or so to represent the whole 60 million of us. But they are a chosen cross-section, and are asked an open question. The members of the IOD are presumably all directors, and may not have had such detached neutrality in the survey.

The IOD report tends to suggest that they have made a couple of fundamental mistakes. The first lies in repeating the IEA's figure of ^80 billion, when the directors of HS2 Ltd assure us that they can work within the ^42 billion budget, plus rolling stock. The second mistake is to assume that the prime purpose is speed, when those of us who have been paying attention know that it is capacity. If I was a director of a manufacturing or engineering company, or even something peripheral transport or catering, I would be looking to see if there was anything in the project that I could tender for rather than poo-pooing the whole shebang.

The Bristol Post (http://www.bristolpost.co.uk/Billions-wasted-HS2-better-spent-Bristol-s/story-19712968-detail/story.html), on seeing this bandwagon rolling past, jumped right onto it. With typical Post-like accuracy, they tell us that:

Quote
The rail line from Paddington to Bristol is due to be electrified - cutting 20 minutes of the journey - at a cost of around ^800,000 per mile or ^5 billion in total by 2016.

This means the Post either a) does not know where London is; b) can't divide; or c) didn't check its facts by reading then Transport Secretary Philip Hammond's statement of 1 March 2011, which put the cost at ^704 million. I suspect a combination of all three.

I will continue to fight HS2's corner until Lord Adonis and Patrick McLoughlin change their minds. We have waited 26 years since the first announcement of GWR electrification, and the cost will be much higher than it would have been in 1977. As I said earlier, if we need capacity now, we will need it even more in 20 years time, and will suffer economically for the lack of it. Costs must be controlled at every stage, but the signs are that that is happening. The final specification should be chiselled in granite, because changes in design during construction are the source of higher bills. HS2 Ltd, like its project, must be capable of surviving a general election on its merits, not political expediency


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: bignosemac on August 27, 2013, 10:08:32 pm
The IOD claims 35,000 members.  This survey got a mere 1,323 responses, less than 4% of the IOD's membership - I don't know whether they had massive abstentions, or whether it was a random sample they surveyed, but either way it seems statistically flawed as a basis for the assertion that the outcome represents the views of the IOD's membership.

The cover this small survey has received in the media is totally overblown, but is of course a credit to the IOD's publicity machine!

A poll with 1,323 respondents is actually quite good. The ICM's, YouGov's and Ipsos-MORI's of this world tend to canvas around 1,000 people when seeking opinion on political matters. And that is 1,000 out of an adult population of over 50 million. 1,323 out of 35,000 is, I'd contend, much more statistically robust.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: bignosemac on August 27, 2013, 10:13:43 pm
but the MPs who aren't on fact-finding missions in the Caribbean are at home, doing their own thinking

MPs? Doing their own thinking? Whatever next?

They'll be suggesting ideas that are good for the country as a whole...  ::) :P ;D


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: ellendune on August 27, 2013, 10:27:01 pm
The IOD report tends to suggest that they have made a couple of fundamental mistakes. The first lies in repeating the IEA's figure of ^80 billion, when the directors of HS2 Ltd assure us that they can work within the ^42 billion budget, plus rolling stock. The second mistake is to assume that the prime purpose is speed, when those of us who have been paying attention know that it is capacity. If I was a director of a manufacturing or engineering company, or even something peripheral transport or catering, I would be looking to see if there was anything in the project that I could tender for rather than poo-pooing the whole shebang.

That is what lobbyists do these days, aided by journalists who no longer have the time (or perhaps the inclination) to check the facts.  They get a so called expert to publish some fabrication and get it published.  They then get others to quote it as if it were truth later on.  They even use it in surveys to find out what people think if the are fed the fabrication as if it were a fact. So eventually enough people believe it to be true.



Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: grahame on August 27, 2013, 10:41:15 pm
A poll with 1,323 respondents is actually quite good. The ICM's, YouGov's and Ipsos-MORI's of this world tend to canvas around 1,000 people when seeking opinion on political matters. And that is 1,000 out of an adult population of over 50 million. 1,323 out of 35,000 is, I'd contend, much more statistically robust.

There is a huge difference between a survey in which 1,000 people from a membership of 33,000 are randomly selected (say every member who's membership number ends in 01, 34 and 67) and a survey in which all 33,000 members are invite to take part and 1,000 actually do so.  There is useful information to be gained from the latter but it's can't (or rather shouldn't) be extrapolated to suggest that "xx% of our members think that ..."

Which methodology did the IOD use?  Which do those other organisations use?


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Tony (Formerly FT, N!) on August 27, 2013, 10:43:38 pm

A poll with 1,323 respondents is actually quite good. The ICM's, YouGov's and Ipsos-MORI's of this world tend to canvas around 1,000 people when seeking opinion on political matters. And that is 1,000 out of an adult population of over 50 million. 1,323 out of 35,000 is, I'd contend, much more statistically robust.

As a sample of a random or carefully selected cross section, yes it would be. As a poll of members of a society composed of members with identical job titles, and no-one else, it tends to suggest that 96% of the members didn't think it worth bothering to answer, didn't know, or weren't around to be asked.
To find out how the survey was done, including whether it was a poll of all members or just a sample, I had a look at their website, finding that:

Quote
The IoD surveyed 1,323 members online between 1st and 11th August.
 

I must admit to being little wiser about the import of the results after looking at the press release. (http://www.iod.com/influencing/press-office/press-releases/institute-of-directors-calls-on-the-government-to-abandon-hs2) This tells me that:

Quote
In August 2011 a survey of IoD members found 54 per cent rated HS2 important to their business. This figure has now fallen to 41 per cent, illustrating how businesses see high-speed rail as a lower priority than it was two years ago.

So although only 27% of respondents felt that HS2 was good value for money, 42% see it as important to their business. This presumably means that a significant number of IoD members think that even though they don't support it, they are still willing to engage with HS2 to make money.

I also find that:

Quote
Overall, 80% think that investment in existing intercity rail services is important or very important, while 73% say the same of commuter rail networks and 68% of tube/metro/tram networks.  

 By contrast, 41% think that investing in new high-speed rail links is important or very important.

Patrick McLoughlin was right. Had this project not been tarred with the brush of a high-speed moniker, support for HS2 (or HC2 as it might be called, the C-word in this case being 'capacity') would have been 50% higher. Had the money been earmarked for another 10-year campaign of disruption whilst the WCML, ECML, and others were upgraded yet again, four out of five directors who expressed an opinion would have approved.

Or if it were possible to have your cake and eat it, the IoD would be at the front of every queue, plate thrust outwards. Or at least 72%* of them would be.

(*That figure was plucked out of thin air. 67% of statistics are made up on the spot)


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Red Squirrel on August 28, 2013, 12:08:54 am
I may have given the impression that I'm off the fence as far as HS2 is concerned - I'm not. For visceral rather than logical reasons, I'll probably wait for Adonis, McLoughlin and FT, N! change to change their minds before I join the anti camp.

Having said that, I do hope HS2 limited are just keeping their PR powder dry at the moment - because they don't seem to be on the front foot. It is very frustrating that when the press gives blanket coverage to the risible Dr BeechWellings, HS2's response seem to be a muffled whimper.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Electric train on August 28, 2013, 06:58:45 am
Having said that, I do hope HS2 limited are just keeping their PR powder dry at the moment - because they don't seem to be on the front foot. It is very frustrating that when the press gives blanket coverage to the risible Dr BeechWellings, HS2's response seem to be a muffled whimper.

It possibly would not do HS2 Limited any favours joining in the "political squabble" they have a mater of fact task to do at the moment, their PR team I suspect is quite small and will be focused on local areas where they are carrying out surveys


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: eightf48544 on August 28, 2013, 10:32:28 am
I am still on the fence about HS2 whilst I love high speed trains there is no point in building and expensive LGV if it doesn't provide better faster through transport.

Take London to the Birmingham it's to a Terminal Staion away from New Street which is the hub of the Network. I believe it's the same in Manchester and Leeds terminal stations isolated from the existing Hbf.

So if I'm travelling from say Wolverhampton am I going to change and waste time in Birmingham and get HS2 to save 30 minutes or stay on a Pendelino on the WCML? Even if I'm starting from a local West Midlands station am I going to change from New Street to Curzon Street rather than just at New Street.

Or will I be forced to change as there will be no through trains from Wolverhampton/ Birmingham New Street to London?

What will the fare structure be? Will it be premium service? In which case the competing TOCS are likely to offer lots of cheap fares for their slower journies. Are there really that many business travellers from London to Birminghm?

Or am I raising stupid questions, lets just build the line and watch the passengers flock to it!


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Tony (Formerly FT, N!) on August 28, 2013, 10:36:20 am
I may have given the impression that I'm off the fence as far as HS2 is concerned - I'm not. For visceral rather than logical reasons, I'll probably wait for Adonis, McLoughlin and FT, N! change to change their minds before I join the anti camp.

Having said that, I do hope HS2 limited are just keeping their PR powder dry at the moment - because they don't seem to be on the front foot. It is very frustrating that when the press gives blanket coverage to the risible Dr BeechWellings, HS2's response seem to be a muffled whimper.

You can cross me off the list, because if Adonis and McLoughlin decide against it, I shall trample the weak in the rush to grab a parachute. My opinion is largely informed by theirs.

Like Electric Train, I don't think a PR offensive by HS2 would do any good at all. The detail of the project is theirs to explain, the vision behind the route and the justification for it is entirely the responsibility of Government and DafT. This a Government requirement, answering a need identified by Government, and paid for by the Government on our behalf. They have work to do when Parliament reconvenes, and other major distractions may occupy MPs for some large part of the first session


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Red Squirrel on August 28, 2013, 12:00:37 pm
Fair point - I should have said 'the pro-HS2 lobby'.

As to things the next Parliament may have to think about; let's hope the monkey knows how to handle a hand grenade - else all bets may be off.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: anthony215 on August 28, 2013, 02:10:11 pm
I think the pro-HS2 lobby have conducted themselves pretty well over the last couple of years. Pete Waterman, all credit to him I think has been doing a pretty good job popping up on BBC2 news etc and not being afraid to take the fight to the Nibbies who are against HS2.

A perfect example of this was when Pete Waterman was in a debate on a tv show against someone opposed to HS2.  The anti-HS2  lobbiests dont like it when you show how misleading some of their arguments are. As for any costs increasing, the whole legal cases againts HS2 are  one reason why.

I will be glad when construction on HS2 starts maybe then we start looking at HS3 which can bring some relief to the GWML which I suspect will be one of the next  mainlines needing extra capacity due to large increases in freight and passenger traffic.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Tony (Formerly FT, N!) on August 29, 2013, 07:36:57 pm
Fair point - I should have said 'the pro-HS2 lobby'.

As to things the next Parliament may have to think about; let's hope the monkey knows how to handle a hand grenade - else all bets may be off.

I may have done myself a disservice in my use of the word "informed". I read every argument, on both sides and in the middle, and hope I do so relatively impartially. Even discounting my bias towards rail, though, I find their arguments - and Pete Waterman's - to be persuasive above the others. The transport portfolio seems to be special in Government, in that it can breed long-term interest and even expertise in the right incumbent, far beyond the usual ministerial span of attention.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Lee on September 01, 2013, 07:09:21 pm
From The Guardian: (http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2013/sep/01/osborne-defends-hs2-protests)

Quote from: The Guardian
Osborne 'passionate' about HS2 project despite protests

Chancellor refuses to speculate on potential overspending, but says ^42bn budget includes 'a big contingency'

George Osborne has said he is "passionate" about the multi-billion pound HS2 project because it will change the "economic geography" of Britain and make sure the north and Midlands benefit from an economic recovery.

The chancellor would not be drawn on whether spending on HS2 could rise higher than the ^42bn budget, but insisted contingency costs had been built in to plans.

He told BBC1's Andrew Marr Show: "We have set the budget for ^42bn for the construction costs. That includes, by the way, a big contingency.

"As we demonstrated with the Olympic Games, we can deliver these big projects actually sometimes under budget."

He added: "I think we have got a good budget, which has got a very big contingency in it.

"I'm passionate about this project because time and again, we have this debate in our country about how we're going to bring the gap between north and south together, about how we're going to make sure that our growth is not just based on the City of London.

"High Speed 2 is about changing the economic geography of this country, making sure the north and the Midlands benefit from the recovery as well."

Osborne's comments came in the wake of high-profile calls for the project to be scrapped.

The Institute of Directors, Institute for Economic Affairs and former Labour chancellor Alistair Darling have all called for HS2 to be scrapped, while former Labour industry secretary Lord Mandelson has expressed reservations.

There have also been reports that the Treasury was working on a figure as high as ^73bn for the project, whose first phase, London to Birmingham, is scheduled to be completed around 2026.

The project, which cuts through Tory heartlands in the Chilterns, will then involve the construction of a Y-shaped scheme to take the rail line to north-east and north-west England around 2032.

And: (http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2013/sep/01/hs2-economic-geography-george-osborne)

Quote from: The Guardian
HS2 can change UK's economic geography, says George Osborne

Chancellor says he is passionate about high-speed rail project, dismissing speculation that government is losing interest

George Osborne has moved to dismiss speculation that the government is losing interest in the high-speed rail line between London and Birmingham, saying he is "passionate" about the project that would close the gap between north and south.

Amid reports that the Treasury is concerned about the escalating costs of the project, which have now reached ^42.6bn, the chancellor hailed the chance to change the "economic geography" of Britain.

Osborne told the Andrew Marr Show on BBC1: "I'm passionate about this project because time and again we have this debate in our country about how we're going to bring the gap between the north and the south together, how we're going to make sure that our growth is not just on the City of London. High Speed 2 is about changing the economic geography of this country, making sure the north and the Midlands benefit from recovery as well."

The chancellor, who sits for the north-west seat of Tatton, through which the proposed line runs, defended the ^42.6bn budget on the grounds that it contained a contingency of ^14bn. He said: "We have set a budget for ^42bn for the construction costs. That includes, by the way, a big contingency, right? As we demonstrated with the Olympic Games, we can deliver these big projects actually sometimes under budget. That's why we have that contingency."

The intervention by Osborne will please the HS2 company, responsible for building the new line, which has watched political support slip away in recent weeks. Senior Treasury officials told the FT last month that the line between London and Birmingham, which is due to be the first stage of a new north-south link, could cost ^73bn.

The intervention by unnamed Treasury officials prompted the former chancellor Alistair Darling, who approved the project in government, to say he had changed his mind and the time had arrived to scrap the project. Quoting the late economist John Maynard Keynes, Darling wrote in the Times last month: "The facts have changed. The case for HS2 was just about stateable in 2010. I don't believe that it is today."

The Labour party is still officially committed to the high-speed line. But Ed Balls, the shadow chancellor, criticised the government's "totally chaotic" handling of the project as he told the BBC: "There's no blank cheque from a Labour Treasury for HS2, it's got to be value for money."

The remarks by Darling were followed by a report by the Institute of Directors which called on the government to abandon the "grand folly" of HS2. A survey of IoD members found that only 27% believed that HS2 was value for money and 70% thought it would have no impact on their business.

The chancellor dismissed claims that the recent signs of economic recovery were driven by a housing boom. He tried out a new phrase as he said that as things looked up it would be wrong to let up.

Osborne told the Marr show: "I think we've got a quite broadly based recovery. But of course it's in its early stages and although things are looking up, we mustn't let up. We've got to absolutely go on doing the things necessary to fix what went wrong in our economy and this government's got an economic plan to do that."


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Rhydgaled on September 01, 2013, 08:46:58 pm
Quote
"High Speed 2 is about changing the economic geography of this country, making sure the north and the Midlands benefit from the recovery as well."
Bad choice of words there. If HS2 is about economic benifits not about capacity then I too will climb off the metephorical fence into the metephorical camp of the anti-HS2 brigade.

If you have read George Monbiot's article, "The Open Veins of Wales" (http://www.monbiot.com/2008/12/30/the-open-veins-of-wales/) maybe you will understand what I mean. If your only objective is to tackle the ecconomic north-south divide then, in my view, you create (either by upgrading or building new lines) a conventional Intercity railway like the GWML, WCML and ECML (with maximum speeds no faster 125/140mph, if you even need that) from Liverpool to York via Manchester and Leeds. I can only guess, wildly, but I suspect that would do more for the ecconomic suituation (if transport links really effect that at all) for alot less cost than HS2.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: bignosemac on September 01, 2013, 08:52:45 pm
"We have set a budget of ^42bn....."

No, George it's ^42.6bn for the phase one and two construction costs. But what's ^600 million between Govt. and taxpayer?  ::)

No mention whatsoever of the ^7.5bn for rolling stock. Again.

Still, this is only the Chancellor of the Exchequer communicating to the public how much the project will cost in total (currently...), can't expect him to give accurate figures. Can we?


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: ellendune on September 01, 2013, 09:28:39 pm
"We have set a budget of ^42bn....."

No, George it's ^42.6bn for the phase one and two construction costs. But what's ^600 million between Govt. and taxpayer?  ::)

No mention whatsoever of the ^7.5bn for rolling stock. Again.

I am normally the first person to attack the chancellor, but I think you are being unfair here. 

OK so he rounded the numbers.

He was however quite clear that this was the budget for construction costs (he did not say it included rolling stock).

He was also quite clear that it included contingencies. 

Still, this is only the Chancellor of the Exchequer communicating to the public how much the project will cost in total (currently...), can't expect him to give accurate figures. Can we?

A budget that includes contingencies.  So he is saying this is not just the current cost it is the total budget for construction.  That is what a budget is.  It has to include all those extra things that you think will be added.  That is what a budget is.

You may think that HS2 will not work to the budget - but the Olympics was completed on budget (budget ^9.29bn cost ^8.77bn (source http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/olympics/20041426 (http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/olympics/20041426)).  The mistake is not to include a contingency sum.




Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: bignosemac on September 01, 2013, 10:33:27 pm
I was taught that 0.6 should be rounded up if rounding is to be used. So if George was rounding then he should have said ^43bn.

Consistently leaving out the cost for rolling stock for HS2 is just wrong. I fail to understand why ministers and civil servants continue to do so. Every time a layman sees the figure ^42.6bn for HS2, I contend that that is what they will think is the total cost.

If HS2 Ltd and it's supporters want to get people on side, one of the first things they can do is be upfront about all the projected costs.

As for the Olympics, the budget was ^9.29bn including contingency of just over ^1bn (I'm correctly rounding down there) and just under half of that ^1bn has, to date, been spent. There's a large land sale contract worth over ^400 million that has not yet been signed off and the Olympic Delivery Authoirty is holding, "unreleased contingency against future cost pressures and a quantitative risk assessment of issues that may arise during the delivery of the remaining programme and final dissolution."* So it's to early to say definitively that the Olympics were in budget, or that all of the contingency will not be spent.

*Olympic Delivery Authority Annual Report 2012-2013 (https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/223522/ODA_Annual_Report___Accounts_2012-2013.pdf) (.pdf)


Olympics contingency was approximately 11% of total budget. HS2 contingency is 33% of the total budget. Academic studies show that contingency is expected to be expended. One third contingency may well have been arrived at by expert analysis of similar projects in the UK and elsewhere, but I'm struggling to find any examples. The closest comparison is probably HS1. That had an 18% contingency, all spent, with a further ^357 million spent by the DfT on Temple Mills depot, the cost of which was outside the original contract.

http://www.nao.org.uk/report/the-completion-and-sale-of-high-speed-1/


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: ellendune on September 01, 2013, 10:49:51 pm
I never thought I would be supporting George Osborne but on this occasion I thought he was being unusually transparent for a politician.  Yes in science we were always told to round numbers to the nearest integer, but politicians are not scientists (regrettably). 

I don't know if you have ever run a capital programme but the idea is that you set a contingency based on the risks. The earlier in the design and planning process you set the budget the higher the risks will be. 

Academic studies by whom?  I am sorry, but I have no confidence in so called experts in something else meddling in things they do not understand or have even tried to understand, but get credibility just because they have Prof of Dr in front of their name or work for something called and institute.  The recent report by the IEA is a classic example of this.

You say that budget will always be spent. If the contingency is based on risk perhaps that is a sign of good budgeting. 

I am sorry you have no confidence in my profession to work to a budget.  Just because Railtrack failed that does not mean that civil engineering projects cannot be done to a budget.  They committed themselves to a scheme without working out the scope.  They decided that they were an asset management business. Unfortunately no one has decided what that means yet. So they decided that accountants and economist were quite capably of running a hugely complex technical business.

Network Rail and HS2 on the other hand is very well staffed with Civil Engineers. 


The main problems with public sector projects is that politicians (and others) try and meddle with the specification too late in the process.  Sometimes they think they are trying to save money as it would be a shame to have to pay to change something later. When in fact that would be the cheapest thing to do. 



 


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: bignosemac on September 02, 2013, 01:23:43 am
The current projected cost for construction would actually be ^42bn and not ^42.6bn if it weren't for an alleged change to the route costing ^600million so that it avoided a more affluent part of one MPs constituency.

That constituency? Tatton. The MP? George Osborne.

Could of course be a total coincidence that the proposed route was changed in this way, adding six miles of track. But the dogleg in the route to Manchester is rather curious, particularly when you note that the area to the south and east of the dogleg is sparsely populated. Going from Crewe between Knutsford and Wilmslow to Manchester is straighter (folks in the area of Phase 1 were told the line had to be straight) and shorter. Instead there are two massive curves taking the line to the very west and north edges of Mr Osborne's constituency.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: trainer on September 02, 2013, 05:18:48 pm
That constituency? Tatton. The MP? George Osborne.

Coincidence can be so fortuitous sometimes.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: eightf48544 on September 03, 2013, 08:31:40 am
Interresting nobodies's answered my question regading the Wolverhampton passenger will they expected/forced to use HS2 because of lasck fo through trains to London?

What about Derby Nottingham to London passengers are they expected to drive to Toton Parkway when they might live quite close to town stations. I used to go to Derby a lot and catch a bus down London Road to the computer centre. Would I have gone HS2 and be dumped at Toton for sake of a shorter journey which even with a taxi the time saving would have been eaten up by the extra time for the onward journey.

Beggining to have my doubts!

 


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Sapperton Tunnel on September 03, 2013, 09:44:49 am
Interresting nobodies's answered my question regading the Wolverhampton passenger will they expected/forced to use HS2 because of lasck fo through trains to London?

What about Derby Nottingham to London passengers are they expected to drive to Toton Parkway when they might live quite close to town stations. I used to go to Derby a lot and catch a bus down London Road to the computer centre. Would I have gone HS2 and be dumped at Toton for sake of a shorter journey which even with a taxi the time saving would have been eaten up by the extra time for the onward journey.

Beggining to have my doubts!

 

I don't think all the detail has been worked out yet, after all we are still a long way a way from Phase 2 in 2032 regarding your Toton question. I think I did read somewhere that the Nottingham Tram system could/would be extended to Toton Parkway, but I can't find a link.

There is some interesting work coming out from Network Rail regarding the integration of HS2 with the existing network:

http://www.networkrail.co.uk/improvements/high-speed-rail/ (http://www.networkrail.co.uk/improvements/high-speed-rail/)


This is good bedtime reading, but they are all worth a read. If you look at the "Better Connections",  then go to the tables starting on page 18 you start to see some of the thinking and some of the concerns raised seem similar to your own.

On page 25 it notes:

Quote
Aspiration for improved connectivity (potentially Derby and Nottingham heavy rail shuttle solution) at East Midlands Hub (Toton).

I think for the next few years it will be a question of 'Watch this Space' as connections and new/revised services are worked out and refined. You might even end up with a Wolverhampton to Derby direct train!!


ST


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: ellendune on September 03, 2013, 07:19:14 pm
Interresting nobodies's answered my question regading the Wolverhampton passenger will they expected/forced to use HS2 because of lasck fo through trains to London?

No answers because we do not know what is planned. However through trains for more people or faster trains is always a thorny question.  It does rather depend on individual taste. The more places a train stops the slower it is.

It also depends what sort of service is provided to connect Wolverhampton to Birmingham.

If there was a semi fast Stafford, Wolverhampton, Birmingham service that got you to New Street with a short pedestrian connection to Moor Street (aka Curzon Street) for a High Speed train to London, then some might argue that is a better service than now if you got to London in less time.  If you had to catch the local dmu that stopped everywhere on route then you would not.

Some might prefer to take a semi fast all the way to Euston stopping (say) at Coventry, Rugby, Milton Keynes and Watford Jn. rather that change at Birmingham. However many people make this choice anyway. For them a direct semi-fast might still be a better service than you get from (say) Sutton Coldfield where you don't expect a direct service to London.

What about Derby Nottingham to London passengers are they expected to drive to Toton Parkway when they might live quite close to town stations. I used to go to Derby a lot and catch a bus down London Road to the computer centre. Would I have gone HS2 and be dumped at Toton for sake of a shorter journey which even with a taxi the time saving would have been eaten up by the extra time for the onward journey.

I have more experience of the East Midlands. As someone who was quite used to using the Nottingham Derby shuttles, using them to get to Toton to catch a High Speed Train seems to be no problem. After all not many people live in the City Centre.  I used to catch the train from Beeston to Nottingham to catch a London Train. So catching a Beeston Toton Train would have made no difference to me. As long as Totton does have heavy rail and tram connections from all parts of Nottingham and Derby I see no difference than trying to get to stations in the centre of Nottingham or Derby. The station that would seem to have no future is East Midlands Parkway. 


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Sapperton Tunnel on September 04, 2013, 09:43:08 am
Interresting nobodies's answered my question regading the Wolverhampton passenger will they expected/forced to use HS2 because of lasck fo through trains to London?
 

Having had a further root around this document may be of use:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/69743/updated-economic-case-for-hs2-_august-2012_-explanation-of-the-service-patterns.pdf (https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/69743/updated-economic-case-for-hs2-_august-2012_-explanation-of-the-service-patterns.pdf)

It was published in January 2013 as the explanation of the service patterns accompanying the August 2012 updated economic case for HS2

note paragraph 1.1.2:

Quote
The service specifications shown here are purely indicative. We are not writing a timetable now for 2032/33. The indicative service specifications were developed in order to model the potential benefits. We will continue to refine and improve our modelled service assumptions going forwards.

Going to page 11 of 13 you will see that the West Coast service from Liverpool to London is proposed to be via Wolverhampton.

The 'Do Minimum' is virtually the current calling pattern of Wolverhampton, Sandwell and Dudley, Birmingham New Street, Birmingham International, Coventry, Watford Junction and Euston by 20 trains per day and will be replaced by 16 trains from Liverpool Lime Street, via Liverpool South Parkway, Runcorn, Crewe, Stafford, Wolverhampton, Sandwell and Dudley, Birmingham New Street, Birmingham International, Coventry, Rugby, Milton Keynes and Watford Junction to Euston.

There will also be a 16 trains a day LM 'slow' or at a pinch 'semi-fast' service from Wolverhampton to Euston via Northampton as shown on page 10 of 13.


Finally, on Page 10 you will also see that the 18 trains a day on the Matlock and Derby to Nottingham route will divert via 'East Midland HS (Toton)', plus Nottingham - Derby slow services. 

ST 

 


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: grahame on September 06, 2013, 12:45:45 pm
Quote
The Government is to study the feasibility of building a new cycleway that would ^broadly follow^ the proposed high-speed rail line between London, the West Midlands, Manchester and Leeds.

The DfT said the route would ^link communities and rail stations to work, schools and shops as well as countryside and tourist attractions along the way^. The idea has already been dubbed ^Slow speed 2^.

http://www.transportxtra.com/magazines/local_transport_today/news/?ID=35693


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Lee on September 07, 2013, 07:21:22 am
From Railnews: (http://www.railnews.co.uk/news/2013/09/06-government-steps-up-hs2-campaign.html)

Quote from: Railnews
Government steps up HS2 campaign

The Government is stepping up its campaign to promote High Speed 2, after several weeks in which various opponents have been mustering their arguments against the scheme.

Although the official budget for both phases is capped at around ^50 billion, including ^7.5 billion for trains as well as a contingency budget of more than ^14 billion, there have been claims from critics that the real cost could be as much as ^80 billion.

This is firmly denied by the Department for Transport, which says the aim is to work within the budget and not to use any of the contingency margin if that proves possible.

The DfT has also confirmed that the present official figure takes into account the additional tunnels which have been agreed on environmental grounds in north west London and the Chilterns.

The Paving Bill, which will authorise expenditure on the project for the near future, has now passed the Committee Stage and is set to receive its Third Reading when Parliament returns.

But in the meantime the Government has been taking the case in favour of HS2 to the West Midlands, with a major event staged in Birmingham today (Friday).

Members of the HS2 Growth Taskforce have been meeting key figures from the region, in the first of a series of roadshows.

One major benefit is said to be the creation of tens of thousands of jobs, including as many as 50,000 in construction alone when the project reaches its peak.

Taskforce member Sir Albert Bore, who is also leader of Birmingham City Council, said: "I am pleased that the HS2 Growth Taskforce is in Birmingham to see all that the city has to offer and to consider how it could benefit from HS2.

"New research by KPMG for the regional transport authority Centro, published today, reveals that HS2 will deliver 50,000 jobs and ^4 billion of economic growth each year for the West Midlands. The figures show the benefits of connecting Birmingham and London are more than doubled when the region is also linked with Manchester and Leeds."

He was accompanied by commercial Treasury secretary Lord Deighton, who also chairs the HS2 Taskforce. He said: "With Birmingham firmly at the heart of the new HS2 network it is a great place to start our roadshows and consider the transformational effect HS2 could have on the city and West Midlands. Redevelopment at Curzon Street as a result of the new station would see the area become a vibrant hub with the potential for retail, leisure and other industries to maximise this opportunity.

^HS2 is not just a project for London or the station cities and the Growth Taskforce is determined to see the benefits stretch far and wide across the country. That is why getting out and meeting with our city and business leaders is so vital and will go a long way to informing our final report to the Government.^

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has also joined the debate by speaking in favour of a High Speed line. In a speech to the annual dinner of the CBI, he said: "Completing HS2 will help us to tackle the North-South divide that's scarred our country for too long. Giving eight of our biggest cities, across the North and Midlands, the modern rail links they deserve, as well as generating over ^60bn of benefits for the UK."

He also went to reject claims that the ^50 billion budget should be spent on improving existing lines instead, saying: "The alternatives, such as upgrading existing lines, aren't viable answers."

Even so, the promotion of HS2 is set to be countered by more arguments from those who maintain that the scheme is not value for money. Another report on HS2 is due shortly from the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee, which has been critical of the alleged benefits in recent times.

Campaigners have also been claiming that the so-called Gagging Bill, which is intended to put a brake on communications during the year before an election, could also prevent the voicing of legitimate opposition to HS2, although it has been suggested today that Ministers are set to stage a partial u-turn about some of the proposed restrictions next week.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Tony (Formerly FT, N!) on September 07, 2013, 10:00:34 am
From Railnews: (http://www.railnews.co.uk/news/2013/09/06-government-steps-up-hs2-campaign.html)

Quote from: Railnews
Government steps up HS2 campaign

The Government is stepping up its campaign to promote High Speed 2, after several weeks in which various opponents have been mustering their arguments against the scheme.

I'm glad they have been paying attention to our comments here. Sir Albert Bore sounds interesting.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Electric train on September 07, 2013, 11:19:53 am
I am also pleased that the slant has been taken away from pure speed to increasing capacity, improving connectivity between the Southeast and the other major conurbation in England.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: eightf48544 on September 07, 2013, 02:40:26 pm
Thanks to ellendune and Sapperton tunnel for answering my qusestion about Wolverhampton and Derby/Nottingham passengers.

I take the point about Beeston passengers who would presumably go to Toton Parkway rather than Nottingham, however I'm still not convinced regarding Wolverhampton passengers. If it's only the Matlock Nottingham trains that are being diverted what about people from Burton who might well change at Derby for London will they want to change twice?

One other thing that came up at SWRS last night was thai it is beleived HS2 will be continental gauge therefore its trains will be very restricted where they can run on the exosting network unless a lot of work is done on linking routes or two types of train are used.

Apart from Japan as far as I can see most LGVs have services which serve places off the high speed line the dreadful crash in Spain highlighting the problems of running high speed trains on exisiting networks,

However, it looks like HS2 trains will solely run on HS2 requiring a change to onward destinations. Rather than HS2 having more conections to the existing network and services to non HS2 stations using HS2 for the maximum distance.

Am beggining to wonder what HS2 actually adds to the rail network as an interconnected  whole.





Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: stuving on September 07, 2013, 03:33:01 pm
HS2 is planned as UIC gauge GC - the same as HS1. This is the "biggest" UIC gauge, so other UIC gauges fit inside it - rolling stock can be smaller.

The final fleet as costed is: 92 HS train sets (200m long), and 79 "hybrid" train sets of which 15 are 260 m long. The hybrid (or classic-compatible) trains fit a standard British gauge (presumably C1). The HS trains are to be chosen from standard offering for the European market, which must be within gauge GC.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: caliwag on September 07, 2013, 04:48:23 pm
Quote
The Government is to study the feasibility of building a new cycleway that would ^broadly follow^ the proposed high-speed rail line between London, the West Midlands, Manchester and Leeds.

The DfT said the route would ^link communities and rail stations to work, schools and shops as well as countryside and tourist attractions along the way^. The idea has already been dubbed ^Slow speed 2^.

http://www.transportxtra.com/magazines/local_transport_today/news/?ID=35693

Blimey...how unpleasant would that be with trains every 5 minutes or whatever the headway is proposed. Whose daft idea idea is that?...and you need a lot of tree density to attenuate the noise!


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: eightf48544 on September 07, 2013, 05:27:59 pm
Quote

The DfT said the route would ^link communities and rail stations to work, schools and shops as well as countryside and tourist attractions along the way^. The idea has already been dubbed ^Slow speed 2^.

http://www.transportxtra.com/magazines/local_transport_today/news/?ID=35693

But I thought that HS2 doesn't have many stations so how can a cycle way along side it link rail stations. I'm not riding my bike 50 miles from Milton Keynes to catch a train on HS2!


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Red Squirrel on September 08, 2013, 01:19:42 pm
Quote
The Government is to study the feasibility of building a new cycleway that would ^broadly follow^ the proposed high-speed rail line between London, the West Midlands, Manchester and Leeds.

The DfT said the route would ^link communities and rail stations to work, schools and shops as well as countryside and tourist attractions along the way^. The idea has already been dubbed ^Slow speed 2^.

http://www.transportxtra.com/magazines/local_transport_today/news/?ID=35693

Blimey...how unpleasant would that be with trains every 5 minutes or whatever the headway is proposed. Whose daft idea idea is that?...and you need a lot of tree density to attenuate the noise!

Not unpleasant at all, I'd say.

A major difference between rail and road noise is that whereas road noise is constant, rail noise is episodic. You'd be able to hear the birds singing most of the time, and there would be no exhaust fumes.

I think it would compare pretty favourably to cycleways alongside dual carriageways - and they're better than cycling along the road!


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Tony (Formerly FT, N!) on September 08, 2013, 05:18:51 pm

Blimey...how unpleasant would that be with trains every 5 minutes or whatever the headway is proposed. Whose daft idea idea is that?...and you need a lot of tree density to attenuate the noise!

At least some of us would find it interesting. Most likely, we will find that the primary purpose would be for access for maintenance vehicles. with cycling allowed otherwise.

More importantly, Patrick McLoughlin has come out fighting. In another article in today's Sunday Times (http://www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/sto/news/uk_news/National/article1310918.ece), he gives some robust arguments in favour of HS2. Read the whole article at the link. The most important part, IMHO, is:

Quote
The Conservative begins with a startling admission. Ministers were ^wrong^ to try to sell HS2 to a sceptical public on the basis of its speed and shorter journey times. He goes further, describing the 20-minute reduction on a journey between London and Birmingham on HS2 as ^almost irrelevant^.

 Does McLoughlin agree with those who believe HS2 ^ currently projected to cost ^50bn ^ to be an expensive folly? Anything but.

 In an attempt to regain the initiative, McLoughlin says the key argument for HS2 is, in fact, the prevention of a looming train overcrowding crisis.

 A new rail network, with up to 18 trains running every hour, is vital for easing the pressure on inter-city lines, he says, before explaining how passenger journeys have doubled in the past 20 years to 1.5bn in 2012-13 and will continue to grow.

 ^Every day we have 4,000 people arriving at London Euston station who are standing. That^s today,^ he says. ^We have 5,000 people arriving at Birmingham New Street who are standing. We have got to address the capacity issue.^

His bold use of the C-word gives me cause for optimism. His main argument is that we do not need a new high-speed railway, but we DO need a new railway, and it might as well be built to a high-speed specification. This problem will not go away, and will get worse with every new delay.

There is a poll accompanying the report, which shows that support for HS2 has fallen 6 points to 29% in the last two months. I shall watch with interest over the next few weeks and see if Mr McLaughlin's new charm offensive is enough to turn that trend around. There is also a short animation of what the new rolling stock may look like inside and out.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: bobm on September 09, 2013, 06:50:33 am
From the  BBC (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-24011403)

Quote
HS2 high-speed rail benefits dwindle as costs soar - MPs

The estimated benefits of the planned HS2 high-speed rail link are dwindling as costs rise, a group of MPs has said.

The Public Accounts Committee said the Department for Transport was failing to present a "convincing strategic case".

The committee added that it was instead based on "fragile numbers, out-of-date data and assumptions which do not reflect real life".

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin insisted the case for HS2 was "absolutely clear".

'Constrained times'
 
The committee said there was no evidence the line would help economies around the country instead of attracting even more business into London.

A target of getting the required legislation in place by 2015 was unrealistic, the MPs added.

The committee also wanted to know how quickly the department would fill gaps in commercial and major project expertise among its personnel.

The MPs' report said: "The department has yet to demonstrate that this is the best way to spend ^50bn on rail investment in these constrained times."

They said out-of-date assumptions included not taking into account that people could work on trains using laptops and other mobile devices.

Committee chairwoman Margaret Hodge said: "The pattern so far has been for costs to spiral - from more than ^16bn to ^21bn plus for phase one - and the estimated benefits to dwindle."

Mr McLoughlin rejected the PAC's findings and said without HS2 key rail routes would be "overwhelmed" by rising passenger numbers.

"The project will free up vital space on our railways for passengers and freight, generate hundreds of thousands of jobs and deliver better connections between our towns and cities," he said.

'Plough ahead'
 
The government will publish its own report this week arguing that HS2 will generate billions of pounds for the economy.

BBC transport correspondent Richard Westcott said the committee's conclusions were the latest in a long line of criticisms of the project.

Official estimates of the cost were increased by ^10bn to ^42.6bn earlier this year and there is opposition to HS2 in many communities along the proposed route.

The Treasury's top civil servant, Sir Nicholas Macpherson, has said there is "no blank cheque" for HS2 and the National Audit Office has warned the economic benefits of the project are unclear.

The high-speed line would run between London and Birmingham from 2026 before being extended to Manchester and Leeds from 2033.

Hilary Wharf, director of campaign group HS2 Action Alliance, said: "We have no doubt that the government will continue to plough ahead with HS2 despite PAC's devastating criticism - that there is no convincing strategic case and out-of-date information and wrong assumptions were used which do not reflect real life.

"How much longer do they think the tax payer will listen to their protestations that this ^50bn white elephant is vital to the future of the UK's economy?"


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Tony (Formerly FT, N!) on September 09, 2013, 07:33:41 am
We now have the two sides of the argument in sharp focus, and the real debate can now begin. The PAC's stance seems to be Lord Adonis' classic cold feet syndrome. Mr McLoughlin's case is strengthened by finally arguing for the right reason. Margaret Hodge likes the sound of her own voice. She is though correct in saying that costs have increased. What she doesn't point out is what it will cost if we put the decision off for 5 years, as in Crossrail, first mooted in 1941, when it would have cost a few hundred quid.

Mr McLoughlin has an unlikely supporter. HS2, Now!, I say. I know a white elephant when I see one, and this is not one. The Big Numbers is what gives this project a scary face, nothing else. Bristol Metrobust, on the other hand...


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: chuffed on September 09, 2013, 08:14:05 am
Agree with you about Margaret Hodge. Patrick McLoughlin though comes across as too much of a grey bureaucrat, and his argument needs a more colourful  character to carry the banner ...Lord Adonis has the sharp elbows and the personality  needed to do this. It would also be a very clear  expression of broad  support across party lines.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Electric train on September 09, 2013, 09:50:31 am
There is a lot of hype about escalating costs, its difficult at moment to pin the exact budget because not all of the route study work has been done (its still in progress now)

There are a number of major railway infrastructure projects being carried out now that are to budget and on or head of time, Reading Station, Thameslink, Crossrail and not only that they are World leading projects.

Our political chattering classes do not want to put trust into the engineers and project manager mainly I feel because they (the political chattering classes) will be shown to be lacking


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: eightf48544 on September 09, 2013, 10:24:37 am
Hopefully we will now get a clear idea of what HS2 is for and more impotantly to my mind how does it fit in with the exisitng network?

You will see form my previous posts my misgivings about the current plans with their stand alone terminals in Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds plus a few Parkway stations someway from the cities they are meant to serve.

I agree that we need more capacity on the network as whole but most of that requirment is in the old NSE area and around our urban conurbations, plus ratherly oddly in the West Country maybe peninsulars lend themselves to rail transport.  It is platform capacity and train length especialy in cities that is a major constraint, I'm not sure quite how HS2 addresses this problem.

I live by the GWML in the TV which is supposed to be up to capacity but even  with a therectical 2 min headway on auto it is rare that we get two trains following that closely behind each other so there is pleanty of capacity on the plain track it is terminal capacity at Paddington and junction and platform capacity at Reading, which fortunatley is now being rectified .

There are a  lot of places where relatively minor work could greatly increase capacity, abolishing all single lead junctions some redoubling of single lines coupled with increased train length would considerably increase capacity in many places.

Just think if every single car 153 service was a 2 car you double capacity on that route at a stroke and every 2 car a 3 car you increase by a third. IT should be possible with a bit of reinstatement work on exisitng platforms, not even lengthening, for most services to be at least 4 car on most routes. Look at the succes of the Penryn loop.

However, we are still faced with the problem of increasing capacity within our conurbations. True tram trains like Saarbruken. Kassel or the Karlsruhr system where the the trams do street running through the city centre serving the Hbf and join existing heavy rail suburban routes out of the town centre. Similar to Manchester but with shared use of the heavy rail with trams, heavy rail trains including freight.  


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Tony (Formerly FT, N!) on September 09, 2013, 07:40:55 pm
Just think if every single car 153 service was a 2 car you double capacity on that route at a stroke and every 2 car a 3 car you increase by a third. IT should be possible with a bit of reinstatement work on existing platforms, not even lengthening, for most services to be at least 4 car on most routes. Look at the success of the Penryn loop.


A minor point of pedantry - if you increase a 2-car to a 3-car, you add a half, not a third.

All that you say is true, but I think that taking some of the pressure off the WCML can be nothing but a good thing. There are plans for the "electric spine", linking the new deepwater container port at Avonmouth with the industrial hinterlands, and for better connections between Southampton and the places that want the goods imported through their. HS2, properly designed and built, would make things like these more easily achievable, as well as 20 minutes of the ride to Brum.

Margaret Hodge, though, was on the radio saying we need to look to make connections such as Bristol to Liverpool, something that made me wonder if she has any idea what she is on about. Unless she is proposing to tunnel through Snowdonia and under the Mersey, whilst simultaneously upgrading the Heart of Wales route. You can get from Bristol to Liverpool. I have done two different ways - the long, slow, pretty way via Newport, and the "fast" way, where you stand all the way from Temple Meads to New Street for the first leg.

I agree with Electric train also. Network Rail is proving more adept at keeping costs and timescales under control. In this case, the body that risks throwing a spanner in the works is Mrs H's Public Accounts Committee. It would be wrong for such a major project to be left to HS2 Ltd without scrutiny, of course, but launching into attack mode, seemingly without most of the facts, is not helpful.

Now if she wants a rubbish white elephant transport project based on dubious calculations of benefits to castigate and ride roughshod over, then if she comes to Bristol, I will show her one.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: ellendune on September 09, 2013, 08:16:26 pm
I live by the GWML in the TV which is supposed to be up to capacity but even  with a therectical 2 min headway on auto it is rare that we get two trains following that closely behind each other so there is pleanty of capacity on the plain track it is terminal capacity at Paddington and junction and platform capacity at Reading, which fortunatley is now being rectified .

That may be the case on the GWML, but you only get the 2 min headway all the time if all the trains go at exactly the same speed and stop at the same time.  As it is stops are not all the same distance apart and stopping and starting a heavy goods train is not exactly fuel efficient or easy for that matter.  So you are never going to achieve it on a mixed traffic railway line the GWML. 

However, HS2 does not pretend to do anything for capacity on the GWML.  The WCML and other lines going north are the problem.  The WCML has even more diverse traffic because there are more complex routes, more freight and more stopping patterns.   


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: bignosemac on September 09, 2013, 09:45:31 pm
There are a number of major railway infrastructure projects being carried out now that are to budget and on or head of time, Reading Station, Thameslink, Crossrail and not only that they are World leading projects.

Reading and Crossrail. So far so good time-wise. I've no idea about budgets with those though.

Thameslink. Not so easy to say definitively that that is on time. It really depends on when you started the clock. Thameslink 2000 anyone? And in June of this year the National Audit Office sounded a note of caution about the delivery of the whole programme by 2018, in particular because of the delay in ordering the necessary rolling stock.

http://www.nao.org.uk/report/progress-in-delivering-the-thameslink-programme/

Optimistically cautious or cautiously optimistic?  ;)


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: ellendune on September 09, 2013, 09:49:53 pm
Reading and Crossrail. So far so good time-wise. I've no idea about budgets with those though.

Thameslink. Not so easy to say definitively that that is on time. It really depends on when you started the clock. Thameslink 2000 anyone? And in June of this year the National Audit Office sounded a note of caution about the delivery of the whole programme by 2018, in particular because of the delay in ordering the necessary rolling stock.

Ok so the bit the rail industry is delivering is on time (starting from the point the politicians actually gave the go ahead). The bit that DfT is delivering is the problem.  Interesting.



Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Tony (Formerly FT, N!) on September 09, 2013, 10:15:24 pm
There are a number of major railway infrastructure projects being carried out now that are to budget and on or head of time, Reading Station, Thameslink, Crossrail and not only that they are World leading projects.

Reading and Crossrail. So far so good time-wise. I've no idea about budgets with those though.


Crossrail is either on time, or 3, 15, 30, or 56 years late, depending on which proposal is seen as firing the starting gun. As with a lot of other schemes, it may be a bit late, but it's probably a good thing some of the earlier ideas didn't get built. They were smaller in scope, and would not have had the advantages of the most modern equipment and techniques.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Rhydgaled on September 09, 2013, 11:27:32 pm
I know a white elephant when I see one, and this is not one. The Big Numbers is what gives this project a scary face, nothing else. Bristol Metrobust, on the other hand...
Now if she wants a rubbish white elephant transport project based on dubious calculations of benefits to castigate and ride roughshod over, then if she comes to Bristol, I will show her one.
How do you define 'white elephant'. If it means an expensive scheme that is hardly used, then HS2 is not one. If it means an expensive scheme with some fairly major flaws, but still gets heavy usage, then HS2 might be.

Ok so the bit the rail industry is delivering is on time (starting from the point the politicians actually gave the go ahead). The bit that DfT is delivering is the problem.  Interesting.
Same story with IEP as far as I can tell. Hitachi will probablly do a decent job of building the trains, but DfT think they should be replacing 2+8 IC125s with 5-car MUs and replacing IC225s rather than covering PAD - Oxford fast services with IEP trains.

I agree that we need more capacity on the network as whole but most of that requirment is in the old NSE area and around our urban conurbations
If the capacity issues are mostly in the NSE area (personally I'd guess the ones that can't be solved by train lengthening are mostly in the London area) then perhaps the HS2 price tag could be better spent.

Instead of building all of HS2 straight away, why not build a hub of a nationwide HSR network: my suggestion of a four-track Old Oak Common - Stratford International version of the 'Euston Cross' proposal. In the shorter term, class 390s, 395s, IEP trains etc. could run through London rather than terminating. Later, you can extend outwards, from Old Oak to Heathrow/Reading and Birmingham Central. Then from Heathrow/Reading to Southampton/Bristol and Birmingham Central to Manchester Piccadilly/Mayfield. At this point you could order 200mph trains to utilise the new lines and send the 390s/395s etc. back onto the classic lines. Then you could extend from Manchester Piccadilly/Mayfield to Preston/Glasgow, from Bristol to Plymouth and Stratford International to York.

How would the cost, and capacity benifits, of the 4-track Old Oak - 'Euston Cross' - Stratford proposal compare to HS2?


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: paul7755 on September 10, 2013, 03:19:12 am
There are plans for the "electric spine", linking the new deepwater container port at Avonmouth with the industrial hinterlands, and for better connections between Southampton and the places that want the goods imported through their...

The DfT's version of the Electric Spine in the 2012 HLOS has no mention of Avonmouth at all, just the routes north from Southampton.  Where are you getting that description from?

Paul


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Lee on September 11, 2013, 10:21:19 am
From The Guardian: (http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2013/sep/11/hs2-rail-project-economic-boost)

Quote from: The Guardian
HS2 rail project will provide ^15bn boost, transport minister claims

Patrick McLoughlin to make speech in Birmingham where there has been a mixed reaction to the high-speed link

Patrick McLoughlin, the transport secretary, will on Wednesday make the economic case for the HS2 rail project by insisting that the high-speed link will give an annual ^15bn boost to the economy, with the north and Midlands gaining at least double the benefit gained by the south.

In a speech in Birmingham, McLoughlin is planning to depict HS2 as a "heart bypass" for congested train lines and roads, claiming that speed will be a secondary concern, though the link will reportedly reduce the train journey between London and Birmingham to just 45 minutes.

"Speed is not the main reason for building the new railway. The main reason we need HS2 is as a heart bypass for the clogged arteries of our transport system," McLoughlin will say.

There was mixed reaction in Birmingham, one of the cities most affected, to the government's insistence that it would ease busy train lines.

While the city council, business leaders, big companies and local transport chiefs are campaigning strongly for the multibillion-pound scheme, it is clear that smaller business owners, commuters and many of the general public remain to be convinced about the project.

Steve Brittan, president of the Birmingham chamber of commerce, and managing director of BSA Machine Tools in the city, said it was vital for the region that more effective transport links were created.

"We're at the centre of the country and we're surrounded by transport difficulties," Brittan said. "The roads are full, the trains packed. We don't have the capacity to get people around effectively. On the roads we're stuck between lorries and white vans while our railway system is more than 100 years old and too small to work."

Geoff Inskip, chief executive of the regional transport authority Centro, said that without HS2 the west coast main line, which links London to the Midlands, the north of England and central belt of Scotland, would be full by the early 2020s and services would face closure.

"We need more capacity or the system will become too crowded to function," he said.

The chamber and Centro are part of Go-HS2, a group in the city campaigning for the project.

Also signed up are the Labour-led city council, which believes the line will create up to 50,000 jobs in the West Midlands and boost its economy to the tune of ^4bn a year, Birmingham airport, and the NEC exhibition centre.

A passionate HS2 backer is Deborah Smith, who runs a PR firm from Solihull and is behind the Hands up for High Speed 2 website. A relative newcomer to the West Midlands, she believes HS2 will help bolster the region and stop talented young people feeling they had to leave for London. "I feel that HS2 is a once-in-a-generation chance to do something bold to really invest in the regions outside London," she said.

Smith accepts her motive is to help her two sons, now aged three and five, to grow up in a prosperous and forward-thinking area of which they can be proud.

In Birmingham's jewellery quarter, most small-business owners were more cynical.

Eric Goodby, 54, who runs an engraving and jewellery design firm with his father, Ken, 81, claimed Birmingham would be turned into a glorified dormitory town for London commuters.

A few doors along, Carl Longshaw, a metal spinner who produces goods ranging from hubcaps to replica FA Cups, dismissed HS2 as a terrible idea. "It's a white elephant, too expensive and it goes too close to my home in Tamworth," he said.

Colin Ashford, who makes cufflinks, medals and regalia for Freemasons, in a Victorian workshop, doubted the government's figures on jobs and growth. "I'm not sure where they get them from," he said.

But Andy Williams, manager of the Creative Watch Company, was enthusiastic. "It would be good for the city and good for the region. Anything that has the potential to get more people here has to be welcomed."

Commuters on the 7.49am Wolverhampton to Birmingham New Street service on Tuesday morning were also divided. The London Midland train arrived 14 minutes late, partly because it was stuck behind a late-running Virgin train from Manchester to London.

Sally Gray, a shop worker, said she was fed up failing to get a seat on the train. "And you also have to factor in an extra 10 minutes every day because it can be late. I'd be all for the high-speed service if it frees up this line."

Simon Jones, an office worker, said he tended to believe not ministers but the public accounts committee. "All you hear is that it is going to be over-budget and won't really work. I'm deeply sceptical. I'm not sure we're good enough at delivering huge projects like this. I hope I'm proved wrong."

This week, the committee blasted the HS2 project, claiming it was beset by spiralling costs, lack of expertise and unrealistic delivery timetables.

And: (http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/sep/11/hs2-domestic-afghan-war)

Quote from: The Guardian
HS2 isn't the next Olympics. It's a domestic Afghan war

In high-speed rail as in war, when Cameron and Osborne take refuge in the flag it is a safe bet they know they have lost

The plan for a new high-speed train has become the Afghan war of British domestic policy. There is no more debate about whether it makes sense. The only question is how long can its apologists hold out, as costs soar and supporters slip away in the night. Has Patrick McLoughlin, the brave, embattled transport secretary, the guts to tell his bosses in Downing Street that the line cannot be held and retreat is in order?

The latest body blow to the benighted project came on Monday from parliament's "unofficial opposition", Margaret Hodge's ever trenchant public accounts committee. It dismissed HS2 as based on "fragile numbers, out-of-date data and assumptions that do not reflect reality". This follows a scathing report from the National Audit Office. Even the official cost has risen to ^50bn, with the Institute of Economic Affairs putting it at ^80bn. To Hodge's committee, that there are better uses for such lavish transport spending is beyond argument.

Ministers are trapped. They are surrounded by a praetorian guard of public relations and project consultants hired with ^253m of taxpayers' money. This political-industrial complex is the sort that develops behind every "grand project"; firms know they will lose a fortune if the project is cancelled. Meanwhile David Cameron and George Osborne, scarred by U-turns everywhere, are determined to portray HS2 as the next Olympics. They cannot bear to climb down from something so spectacular, so glorious and so "tomorrow". Like aircraft carriers and nuclear power stations, high-speed trains are toys for Tory boys, no questions asked.

In a desperate attempt to regain enemy ground, McLoughlin staged a weekend breakout. He said that high-speed rail was not, after all, about high speed but "capacity". His train from Derby was "bloody crackers". It irked him that no new railway to the north has been built "for 120 years", which seemed reason enough to blow ^50bn.

Meanwhile Cameron, never knowingly out-cliched, said HS2 was "vital to Britain if we are going to succeed in the global race". Osborne declared himself "passionate" about it. In infrastructure, as in war, when politicians take refuge in the flag and national prestige it is a safe bet they know they have lost.

HS2 is crazy. The biggest infrastructure project in British history is for "club class" passengers on just one line, requiring a donation of ^1,700 from every taxpayer, excluding revenue subsidy (^3,000 if the IEA is right). This in turn has been calculated at a third of a million pounds for each potential traveller diverted from the present line.

High-speed rail is no longer tomorrow's transport but yesterday's. Its development has ground to a halt even in long-distance France and Spain as using too much energy and too much subsidy. It has all but vanished from consideration in America. The benefit is to a small number of premium fare travellers, minimising the relief of capacity on existing services. HS1 from the Channel Tunnel to London may delight those few who use it, but the National Audit Office points out its passenger forecasts were "hopelessly overoptimistic".

McLoughlin may direct attention to capacity, but that is not how this line was planned or justified. If capacity is the issue, everyone knows that intercity first class is not under pressure. Commuter lines in London, the north and the west desperately need ^50bn, not to mention the road network, used by far more businesses than rail.

Lines into Euston are not London's most crowded, compared with Waterloo and Paddington ^ the latter host to the two most overcrowded services, from Henley and Didcot. The rise in intercity passenger numbers is slackening off. As for pretending that HS2 will help "compete" with China and Japan, their trains are far more crowded than ours.

Expanding rail capacity is costly and complex, but not as much as driving a brand new pathway to Euston. Here it will not even link with Heathrow, Crossrail or the continent via St Pancras. It will not even go to Birmingham New Street. It will blitz much of London's south Camden because decades ago a rail planner thought businessmen deserved a more comfortable trip to Euston, and no one had the gumption to think otherwise. The project is completely out of date. There are not just better ways of spending money on trains, every other way makes more sense.

A book out this week is the closest politics gets to pornography. It is called The Blunders of Our Governments, by those veteran voyeurs of politicians at play, Anthony King and Ivor Crewe. It analyses decisions ^ such as on poll tax, child support, ID cards and individual learning accounts ^ that were taken for the best of reasons, only to be blighted by the failure of those in power to show the guts to call a halt when they could see things had gone wrong.

Pride, ambition, a desperation to succeed and a terror of the press drive those charged with spending public money ever deeper into the mire. None of their officials dares tell truth to power. Lobbyists, especially computer salesmen, clamour for more. Only money talks, and the talk is from those getting the money, not those supplying it.

As in war, true courage lies not in splurging ever more blood and treasure to mask yet another mistake. It lies in stopping, thinking and, just sometimes, admitting a policy was wrong. The curse of British politics is not a U-turn. It is treating a U-turn as a weakness rather than a strength.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Lee on September 11, 2013, 10:37:15 am
From GlobalRailNews: (http://www.globalrailnews.com/2013/09/11/regions-to-benefit-most-from-hs2/)

Quote from: GlobalRailNews
Regions to benefit most from HS2

A new report has suggested that Britain^s regions would benefit most from HS2, quashing claims that the high-speed line would only bring greater prosperity the Southeast.

KPMG believes the line would boost the UK^s economy by ^15 billion a year, with Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester set to experience the greatest economic boost.

The report suggests that Birmingham could see its economy grow by between 2.1 and 4.2 per cent, Leeds by around 1.6 per cent and Manchester between 0.8 and 1.7 per cent.

It predicts that London would benefit least, with growth of just 0.5 per cent.

Richard Threlfall, KPMG^s head for infrastructure, building and construction, said: ^There have been repeated calls for a business case for the HS2 scheme focused on jobs, productivity and growth.

^KPMG^s analysis forms a key part of that business case, setting out the economic impact across the country of the HS2 scheme. It shows beyond reasonable doubt that HS2 brings net benefits to the country of many times the scheme^s cost. It shows the UK will be ^15 billion a year better off with HS2, recovering the cost of the scheme within just a few years.^

KPMG^s analysis follows a report by the Public Accounts Committee further fuelling the argument against the new line.

The report argues that HS2 has not yet set out a convincing case for that the benefits of the line would outweigh the project^s potential ^42.6 billion price tag.

Welcoming the KPMG^s report, a spokesman for HS2 said: ^This KPMG Report makes a hugely significant contribution to the progress of HS2. Increased rail capacity, with faster and more reliable connectivity, will contribute to the economy right across the UK.

^The North and Midlands are set to gain at least double the benefit for the south.. There is now clear evidence of the economic boost HS2 represents in terms of jobs, productivity and growth. HS2 is the right project at the right time.^

The report signals something of a fightback against a flood of negative reports from national media outlets. A battle which will continue later this morning when Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin speaks at the Institute of Civil Engineers to again stress the need for HS2.

The managing director of consultancy WSP in the UK believed that HS2 ^doomsayers^ had failed to look beyond the cost of the project.

Mark Naysmith said: ^HS2 is not simply a rail project, the development opportunities around new stations alone will be a major catalyst for regional growth.

^Furthermore, no one has yet to come up with a realistic alternative that can serve the same purpose. Ploughing the money into existing lines just isn^t justifiable and doing nothing is clearly not an option if we want to remain competitive and progressive.^

From Rail Network: (http://www.railnetwork.info/article.php?article_id=5485)

Quote from: Rail Network
HS2 opponents challenge fears of railway capacity crisis

Fears that Britain^s railway network will be full if HS2 is not built have been disputed by opponents of the project.

The HS2 Action Alliance says industry and Government figures undercut ministerial arguments that the high-speed line is vital to tackle an overcrowding crisis.

Over the past week ministers have tried to shift the argument for HS2 away from speed to the need to provide more seats because trains will be full.

The first stage of the 351-mile project will see trains running to Birmingham, easing pressure on the West Coast Main Line into Euston.

But according to Network Rail, figures produced two years ago long distance trains coming into Euston are only 60 per cent full during the morning peak.

This contrasts with Paddington, where trains are 99 per cent full and Waterloo, where the figure is 91 per cent.

Other figures, which the Department for Transport previously refused to release, emerged during the judicial review proceedings brought by HS2 opponents.

They also raised questions about the level of demand, including data showing that evening peak trains out of Euston were 52.2 per cent full.

The DfT has said its latest estimates show that trains leaving Euston during the evening peak could carry as many standing as seated passengers unless HS2 is built.

But according to the HS2 Action Alliance studies the figures produced by Virgin, the current operators on the line, show the rapid growth in demand is over.

An alternative approach, advocated by the 51M group of local authorities who challenged the scheme, suggests space could be provided by converting one first class carriage to standard and lengthening trains from nine to 12 cars.

Extra services could be laid on by eliminating three pinch points between Euston and Crewe.

The problem of overcrowding faced by commuters from Milton Keynes, one of the major existing problems, could be solved by allowing them to use Virgin Trains services which only allow passengers to disembark.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: anthony215 on September 11, 2013, 10:46:41 am
Just been watching Patrick McLoughlin's speech.

A few extremely good points raised especially about the infrastructure on the west coast mainline in particular the recent argument between Virgin and Network rail over direct services between London & Shrewsbury/Blackpool. The issue of overhead wiring on the route has been raised.

(I liked  his thrase  "try and run the M1 up the old kent road" )

I agree a lot of the suggested alternatives will probably be even more disruptive than HS2 such as widiening the west coast mainline through Watford etc.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Red Squirrel on September 11, 2013, 11:12:15 am
From The Guardian: (http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2013/sep/11/hs2-rail-project-economic-boost)

Quote from: The Guardian
HS2 isn't the next Olympics. It's a domestic Afghan war

...As in war, true courage lies not in splurging ever more blood and treasure to mask yet another mistake. It lies in stopping, thinking and, just sometimes, admitting a policy was wrong. The curse of British politics is not a U-turn. It is treating a U-turn as a weakness rather than a strength.


Well Simon Jenkins would say that, wouldn't he? No-one can accuse him of inconsistency on this - he's been firmly in the 'anti' camp since the scheme was approved (http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2012/jan/10/high-speed-rail-waste-money-hs2).

Looking back over his column, it think it would be an exaggeration to call him a BANANA (Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anyone); he's more of a BANBSIAOSSI (Build Absolutely Nothing But Spend It All On Social Security Instead).

I'm not saying we should dismiss this 'anti' press, but I think it's worth checking who's behind these articles - are these voices just a small number of shouty people who think they can smell blood, or is there really a groundswell of opinion turning against HS2? My suspicion is that few people are actually changing their minds, but that the anti camp think now is the time to get out the powder they have been keeping dry.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Lee on September 11, 2013, 11:37:24 am
I'm not saying we should dismiss this 'anti' press, but I think it's worth checking who's behind these articles - are these voices just a small number of shouty people who think they can smell blood, or is there really a groundswell of opinion turning against HS2? My suspicion is that few people are actually changing their minds, but that the anti camp think now is the time to get out the powder they have been keeping dry.

I'm simply aiming to put views from both sides of the argument across when posting articles. I'd agree that some correspondents have rather more "form" than others, but I'll leave it down to forum members to make their own minds up when reading them, as indeed you have on this occasion.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Red Squirrel on September 11, 2013, 12:11:10 pm
I'm not saying we should dismiss this 'anti' press, but I think it's worth checking who's behind these articles - are these voices just a small number of shouty people who think they can smell blood, or is there really a groundswell of opinion turning against HS2? My suspicion is that few people are actually changing their minds, but that the anti camp think now is the time to get out the powder they have been keeping dry.

I'm simply aiming to put views from both sides of the argument across when posting articles. I'd agree that some correspondents have rather more "form" than others, but I'll leave it down to forum members to make their own minds up when reading them, as indeed you have on this occasion.

I wasn't meaning to criticise; I just think that (for the benefit of those who may not study the form book as you or I might) it is worth pointing out who wrote these quotes, as well as which newspaper they were published in - particularly when they are opinion columns. 'Who is saying it' is every bit as important as 'what they are saying'; for example if Dr Richard BeechingWellings of the IEA said that 'there may be a case for HS2' (or indeed for government spending money on anything) that would be truly astonishing.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: ellendune on September 11, 2013, 10:12:35 pm
The comment about the trains on the GWML being more overcrowded than on the WCML. My trains from Birmingham to Coventry and back today were both 11 car trains.  The Waterloo to Exeter train I met on Saturday looked like 12 cars. 

Even the longest trains on the GWML are only 8 at the moment.

There is therefore a lot of scope to grow capacity on the GWML by increasing train length.  SWT is trying to increase capacity on other lines by lengthening trains to 12 cars.  There is less scope to do so on the WCML.  So the WCML is going to hit the need for a new line sooner assuming the same rate of growth.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: grahame on September 11, 2013, 11:29:00 pm
There is therefore a lot of scope to grow capacity on the GWML by increasing train length.

As I recall, that's not going to be easy at Paddington


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: ellendune on September 11, 2013, 11:33:40 pm
There is therefore a lot of scope to grow capacity on the GWML by increasing train length.

As I recall, that's not going to be easy at Paddington

Good point the extension of the concourse area over the years has taken a lot of capacity there.

However, Crossrail will get over this problems from the inner suburban trains. 

It would probably be possible to make a few platforms available for longer trains. P1 is the obvious, but perhaps a few others?


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Tony (Formerly FT, N!) on September 12, 2013, 12:18:54 am
Quote from: paul7755 link=topic=5138.msg139392#msg139392 date=1378779552
The DfT's version of the Electric Spine in the 2012 HLOS has no mention of Avonmouth at all, just the routes north from Southampton.  Where are you getting that description from?
Paul

Probably I should have said connecting Avonmouth to the electric spine, rather than suggesting it is part of the Electric Spine. More like an Electric Hip?

My source is West of England Partnership Joint Transport Executive (http://www.westofenglandlep.co.uk/transport-and-infrastructure/joint-meetings-of-local-authority-partners/joint-transport-executive-committee/)'s minutes of meeting on 12 September 2012, item 5:

Quote
15. Looking beyond 2019 to Control Period 6 the HLOS requests the rail industry to identify the most efficient electrification schemes including the freight linkages Derby ^ Birmingham ^ Bristol along with the Government^s longer term aim to provide high capacity electrified routes from all major ports to the long distance electric rail network is set out. It is assumed this will include lines to Portbury (Portishead) and Avonmouth.

Electric Spine is a CP5 aspiration. After 2019, in CP6, other major ports are joined into it, meaning electrification from Avonmouth and Portbury to join the spine at Derby. So far, the call is to identify the schemes with the highest benefit to cost ratio. Avonmouth intends to have a new Deep Sea Container Port, which will involve a huge increase in rail traffic to and from there. The timing according to their website (http://dsct.bristolport.co.uk/comments) said "By 2015" when I first looked in 2010, but now says:

Quote
D. When will this happen?

We are currently waiting for global economic conditions to improve. Once construction start the terminal will be ready in about 3 years.

If it has to wait for CP6 before work starts, it could not start running before 2022. Let's hope not.

How do you define 'white elephant'. If it means an expensive scheme that is hardly used, then HS2 is not one. If it means an expensive scheme with some fairly major flaws, but still gets heavy usage, then HS2 might be.

The term comes from a fabled gift by a king to another visiting king. It is a very special elephant, being white, and being a king's gift, it must be cared for. So when it gets home, it cannot be put to work, but still eats a great deal. It is thus useless, and a very expensive gift. HS2 is certainly not useless, and I believe strongly that it should be built. The white elephant that I would show to Margaret Hodge is Bristol Metrobust.

In other news, the government fight-back to sell HS2 to a sceptical public has begun. Patrick McLoughlin, with timing so serendipitous that it makes me wonder if the brouhaha of recent days has been choreographed, delivered his speech at the Institute of Civil Engineers, as reported by the BBC (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-24040674) Hardly likely to be a hostile audience, but he produced a report by KPMG (http://www.kpmg.com/UK/en/IssuesAndInsights/ArticlesPublications/Documents/PDF/Market%20Sector/Building%20and%20Construction/hs2-regional-economic-impacts.pdf), like a larger Paul Daniels producing a rabbit in book form from a hat. This report tells us that all is well, and HS2 will produce massive benefits for everybody, albeit not for 15 years after the first train runs. The nay-sayers at the Institute for Economic Affairs like it - not a lot. Even though the report was clearly commissioned some time ago, they accuse the government of changing the statistical methods for measuring benefits - as if!

Daniel Finkelstein, in the Times (http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/opinion/columnists/danielfinkelstein/article3865753.ece), argues for HS2 because it will bring about chance meetings of minds. I value his opinion as a rule, but find his argument this time a little tenuous and unconvincing. Which is a shame.

As for expanding the existing routes, don't forget that the extension of platforms at Waterloo alone is, IIRC, to cost northwards of ^250 million. HSTs can't be made longer, other than by coupling, and rolling stock is at a premium. Then there's the 10 to 15 years of chaos and delay whilst the work is done. No thanks.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: ellendune on September 12, 2013, 06:22:26 am
As for expanding the existing routes, don't forget that the extension of platforms at Waterloo alone is, IIRC, to cost northwards of ^250 million. HSTs can't be made longer, other than by coupling, and rolling stock is at a premium. Then there's the 10 to 15 years of chaos and delay whilst the work is done. No thanks.

As I see it the stations West of Paddington to Maidenhead are being made 10 car (?) for Crossrail and Reading is being made with long platforms albeit to allow use of a and b ends, The main stations seem to have retained long platforms from an earlier age.  So on the main line at least it does seem to be only Paddington that is the problem. 

As for HSTs - It would be IEPs that would be made longer and some of thema re going to be 10 car. So is Paddington long enough already for them?



Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: stuving on September 12, 2013, 08:25:13 am
As for HSTs - It would be IEPs that would be made longer and some of thema re going to be 10 car. So is Paddington long enough already for them?

As far as I can see - yes, or very nearly, for P1-P10. The current layout at Paddington is quite generous with both the concourse and the space between the gateline and the platforms, especially given that the Lawn is there as well. As a result, the trains do not reach much past the first (from the concourse end) aisletransept.

Since the platforms don't show up too well on Google Earth, what you can measure is from aisletransept 1 to the end of the canopies at 220 m on P4, and to the near edge of Bishops Bridge Road it's 247 m. So it only needs a little bit more inside the station or under the bridge to reach the 260 m that a 10-car IEP needs. Some platforms are, I think, a bit narrow by modern standards at the far end, but a small amount of modification ought to be enough - and P1-3 are officially longer than this anyway.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Red Squirrel on September 12, 2013, 10:10:00 am
It struck me when reading the last few posts that we could almost rename the GWML as 'HS0'; at least the core Bristol - London route. It is an object lesson in the benefits of vision, and not cutting corners, when investing in infrastructure.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Rhydgaled on September 12, 2013, 11:12:26 am
How do you define 'white elephant'. If it means an expensive scheme that is hardly used, then HS2 is not one. If it means an expensive scheme with some fairly major flaws, but still gets heavy usage, then HS2 might be.

The term comes from a fabled gift by a king to another visiting king. It is a very special elephant, being white, and being a king's gift, it must be cared for. So when it gets home, it cannot be put to work, but still eats a great deal. It is thus useless, and a very expensive gift.
Thank you. I can now agree with you that HS2 is not a white elephant, since I do not believe it will be useless. However, it could be a heck of alot more useful than it would be as currently planned.

However, if the argument the government is using to support HS2 is ecconomic rather than capacity then I do not support the scheme. I suspect, if transport links help the ecconomy anyway, that greater ecconomic benifits for northern England would come from building new Intercity lines like Liverpool - Manchester - Leeds - York than HS2, probably at less cost.

It is on capacity grounds that HS2 is useful and on that basis I support it in principal. However, as I have said it could be far more useful. My main gripes are:
1. Having Euston as a London terminus rather locks it in as a stand-alone line, not part of a national network that could grow to relieve capacity on other main lines
2. Having the central Birmingham station as a terminus preventing through trains from Liverpool/Manchester/Glasgow calling at Birmingham on the way to London. This means Birmingham needs it's own seperate trains to London, wasting capacity and wasting electricity/energy/CO2 (a distance that short only needs 125mph trains to beat the competition (road), especially given the lack of intermediate stops, so why give it a 250mph rail link?)
3. I cannot see the Leeds spur being particularly useful in capacity relief terms, or (given the lack of town/city centre stations on route and, I guess, lack of Leeds - Birmingham links) actually that useful at all. Actually, I may have found a white elephant there. Not HS2 as a whole, but the Leeds spur.

Given the main case for a HSR network is capacity, I would suggest that future lines have slightly more intermediate stops (and less full-speed running where this allows a cheaper route).

As for HSTs - It would be IEPs that would be made longer and some of thema re going to be 10 car. So is Paddington long enough already for them?
They are not really 10-car IEP trains though are they. They are 2x 5-car IEP trains, with a total seating capacity similar to a 9-car IEP train. DaFT. Now that 'extra coach' really is a white elephant, as are the proposed 5-car IEP trains themselves. Give us a uniform 9-car fleet please (perhaps with a few real 10-car sets on East Coast).


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Lee on September 12, 2013, 11:32:27 am
Ah, the dawn of a brand new media day...

From the Department for Transport and HS2 Ltd (https://www.gov.uk/government/news/property-owners-protected-by-hs2-compensation-scheme)

Quote from: Department for Transport and HS2 Ltd
Property owners protected by HS2 compensation scheme

Proposed measures to compensate residents affected by HS2 are announced.

New proposals setting out compensation for residents affected by the first phase of HS2 have been published today (12 September 2013) by Transport Minister Simon Burns.

The measures go significantly beyond what is required under statute.

The government agreed to re-consult on compensation following a High Court ruling in March. The proposals aim to assist property owners who are affected by HS2, as well as supporting the local housing markets along and around the line of route between London and the West Midlands.

Simon Burns said:

^
HS2 is a vital scheme that will help rebalance our economy and generate economic growth. It will free up vital space on our railways for passengers and freight, generate hundreds of thousands of jobs and deliver better connections between our towns and cities.
^
However, we will do everything possible to minimise the effect on those living on the route. We are committed to fairly compensating those who are affected and I want to hear views on the generous and comprehensive measures we have set out.
^
This is a complex area which we are determined to get right. That is why we pledged to look again at how to help property owners - including consulting on a property bond - and that is exactly what we have done.^

The proposals include:

^express purchase - a streamlined system of purchasing properties that are within the safeguarded area - giving greater certainty to owner-occupiers closest to the line that the government will buy their homes at the full un-blighted value, along with additional compensation of 10% up to a value of ^47,000 and reasonable moving costs

^a long-term hardship scheme - for owner-occupiers who have strong personal reasons to move but cannot do so, other than at a significant loss because of HS2 - like the exceptional hardship scheme the government introduced in 2010, which is still operational, this would have no defined geographical boundary

^two possible approaches to renting homes to their former owners following government purchase

The government is also consulting on 2 potential options which would provide further assistance in rural areas, these are:

^property bonds - a transferable guarantee that the government would act as the buyer of last resort for those living close to the route

^a voluntary purchase scheme - for owner-occupied properties within 120 metres of the route.

To support the consultation a series of information events for local communities will be held along the line of the HS2 Phase One route from London to Birmingham.

The previous consultation on measures to assist and compensate property owners took place from October 2012 to January 2013.

The government is now re-consulting on most elements of that consultation as well as additional measures. However, to avoid unnecessary delay there is no re-consultation on proposals for:

^restoring confidence in the value of properties above tunnels

^how we should seek to ensure the replacement of any social rented housing that is lost as result of HS2

Separate announcements will be made about these shortly. Meanwhile, the government has published a non-technical summary of the Impacts of tunnels in the UK.

The consultation launched today (12 September 2013) will run for 12 weeks, closing on 4 December. Final schemes should come into operation by next summer.

I'll duck now...


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on September 12, 2013, 11:42:28 am
As for HSTs - It would be IEPs that would be made longer and some of thema re going to be 10 car. So is Paddington long enough already for them?

As far as I can see - yes, or very nearly, for P1-P10. The current layout at Paddington is quite generous with both the concourse and the space between the gateline and the platforms, especially given that the Lawn is there as well. As a result, the trains do not reach much past the first (from the concourse end) aisletransept.

Since the platforms don't show up too well on Google Earth, what you can measure is from aisletransept 1 to the end of the canopies at 220 m on P4, and to the near edge of Bishops Bridge Road it's 247 m. So it only needs a little bit more inside the station or under the bridge to reach the 260 m that a 10-car IEP needs. Some platforms are, I think, a bit narrow by modern standards at the far end, but a small amount of modification ought to be enough - and P1-3 are officially longer than this anyway.

Official platform lengths are as follows:

1:  307m
2:  277m
3:  273m
4:  249m
5:  252m
6:  253m (HEx)
7:  251m (HEx)
8:  237m
9:  245m
10:  255m
11:  165m (or 291m if blocking platform 12)
12:  171m
13:  150m
14:  144m

So, without modifications, and allowing a suitable amount of extra length for stopping short of the buffers, then there's only really 2 platforms that could accommodate 10-car 260m IEP's at present.  That figure rises to 6 platforms currently able to accommodate 9-Car IEP's at present.  When I say 'at present' I'm not 100% sure whether a couple of signals might need to be moved as they're not currently right at the end of the platform in all cases.

Should the platforms for the Heathrow Express be changed from 6/7 to 8/9, and platforms 12 and 13 combined to create one long platform (at the same time releasing the full length of platform 11 to all trains), then you have 4 platforms capable of holding 10-car IEP's and 9 capable of holding 9-car IEP's without major surgery to the quite small concourse area at Paddington or the complex trackwork at the station throat.  It already gets mighty busy there on most evenings, so reducing concourse capacity by moving the buffer stops is asking for trouble in the future if you ask me - even with many passengers down in the new Crossrail station!

So, that's my guess as to what will happen as a minimum so there's enough capacity for the new trains.

As for HSTs - It would be IEPs that would be made longer and some of thema re going to be 10 car. So is Paddington long enough already for them?
They are not really 10-car IEP trains though are they. They are 2x 5-car IEP trains, with a total seating capacity similar to a 9-car IEP train. DaFT. Now that 'extra coach' really is a white elephant, as are the proposed 5-car IEP trains themselves. Give us a uniform 9-car fleet please (perhaps with a few real 10-car sets on East Coast).

That is certainly very true.  From the draft specification a 10-car IEP has just 14 more extra standard class seats that a 9-car and 11 less first class ones, so an extra carriage for just 3 more seats!


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: eightf48544 on September 12, 2013, 12:51:07 pm
That is certainly very true.  From the draft specification a 10-car IEP has just 14 more extra standard class seats that a 9-car and 11 less first class ones, so an extra carriage for just 3 more seats!

 ???


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: paul7755 on September 12, 2013, 04:30:27 pm
To be precise I think the comparison above is only about 5 car IEPs running in a pair, which is not actually a 10 car IEP... 

A proper 10 car unit would only need the same First class and catering facilities as a 9 car, with the extra vehicle probably being an extra standard class coach with about 80 seats?

Paul


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on September 12, 2013, 06:49:23 pm
Yes, sorry if I wasn't clear - the 10 car IEP would be two 5-cars working in multiple compared to a single 9-car unit as that is the current spec.  Whether in time the 9-car electric's are extended to 10-cars in the same style as the recent Pendolino lengthening is quite possible, so perhaps more major surgery to clear most platforms for 10-car 260m long trains will be more prudent?


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Tony (Formerly FT, N!) on September 12, 2013, 11:28:38 pm
We, as a forum, have slipped into the error of criticising the IEP project's rolling stock because even if the platforms at Euston and Birmingham were lengthened, it could not provide a cheaper alternative to HS2. The two projects are massive, both in terms of delivery and of cost. They are intended to achieve different outcomes.

IEP and the conjoined twins of GWR and ECML electrification are primarily to allow the replacement of the HSTs with an electric option. Doing nothing would mean either commissioning yet another high-speed diesel series - the HSTs were meant to fill the gap between steam and electricity, remember. Or we could refurbish 30-year-plus-old trains yet again, or give up on high speed rail for those routes entirely. The secondary objectives are to increase capacity, speed up journeys, and reduce the environmental impact of rail travel. A tertiary effect will be the cascading of stock of reasonable standard, for use on services such as the proposed Greater Bristol Metro.

HS2, despite the misnomer, is primarily to add capacity to passenger and goods services between north and south by means of a brand new railway, capable of high speed. The secondary objectives are faster journey times, the reduction of emissions of carbon dioxide and other pollutants per tonne of payload, a reduction in internal air travel, and a whole lot of jobs in construction, engineering, and property law.

HS2 is not really a big bang, but it is more than a mere wet fart - probably best described as a medium sized bang. It draws a number of lines. No new railway, other than the odd short chord to connect two bits, will use anything other than electricity as the source of motive power. The days of locomotive power for passenger transport are over, as surely as steam will serve only the fantastic and brilliand heritage sector, and the EMU will rule the roost henceforth. They have no fixed length, other than the platforms they serve. The cost of extending those in a working station is huge.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Rhydgaled on September 13, 2013, 01:49:43 pm
No new railway, other than the odd short chord to connect two bits, will use anything other than electricity as the source of motive power. The days of locomotive power for passenger transport are over, as surely as steam will serve only the fantastic and brilliand heritage sector, and the EMU will rule the roost henceforth.
Not strictly true. Scotland are building a new diesel railway and locomotive haulage isn't completely obsolete. LHCS and Multiple Units both have their advantages and disadvantages. MUs win hands down in the vast majority of cases, but there is the odd spot where LHCS would do as well as an MU for a similar cost. That spot is long distance, limited stop, services (ie. Intercity). Isn't the Railjet in Europe rather new? That's LHCS.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: bignosemac on September 23, 2013, 05:00:19 pm
From The BBC (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-24209709):

Quote
Labour ready to cancel HS2 'if costs rise'

Labour is questioning whether the HS2 rail project is "the best way to spend ^50bn for the future of our country".

Shadow chancellor Ed Balls told the party conference they still backed the idea of a new north-south rail link, but there could be no blank cheque.

And shadow treasury minister Rachel Reeves said the party would cancel it "if we don't think it's good value for money and costs continue to rise".

Supporters say HS2 will provide much needed extra rail capacity.

BBC transport correspondent Richard Westcott said Labour would not commit to cancelling HS2 before the election, but would review it if they won.

He said Labour would look at whether it was the best way to spend ^50bn, or whether they should look at other options, like different routes or big improvements to existing lines.

The project's first phase would see 225mph trains running on a new line to be built between London and the West Midlands by 2026. A second phase would see the line extended further north, with branches to Leeds and Manchester by 2033.

The estimated cost of the plan has risen in the past few months from ^34.2bn to ^42.6bn - plus ^7.5bn for rolling stock - and some senior Labour figures such as Lord Mandelson and Alistair Darling now oppose the project.

HS2 has had the backing of all three main party leaders since its conception - despite strong opposition among some backbench MPs.

Supporters of HS2 argue that apart from shorter journey times, the main argument in favour of the project is the need to greatly increase passenger capacity.

'No blank cheque'

In his conference speech Mr Balls said: "We continue to back the idea of a new north-south rail link."

He went on: "But under this government the HS2 project has been totally mismanaged and the costs have shot up to ^50bn.

"David Cameron and George Osborne have made clear they will go full steam ahead with this project - no matter how much the costs spiral up and up. They seem willing to put their own pride and vanity above best value for money for the taxpayer."

Mr Balls added: "Labour will not take this irresponsible approach. So let me be clear, in tough times - when there is less money around and a big deficit to get down - there will be no blank cheque from me as a Labour chancellor for this project or for any project. Because the question is - not just whether a new high-speed line is a good idea or a bad idea, but whether it is the best way to spend ^50bn for the future of our country."

Construction on the London-West Midlands phase is expected to begin around 2017, once Parliament has approved the necessary powers - probably in 2015.

The onward legs to Manchester and Leeds could start being built in the middle of the next decade, with the line open by 2032-33.

And the analysis from BBC Transport Correspondent, Richard Westmacott:

Quote
It may not sound dramatic but, believe me, this is a big shift in Labour's stance on this highly controversial project which does still, just about, have cross-party support.

Up until now the party has assured me, and everyone else, that it is committed to building the line, as long as the price doesn't go up any more.

Now Labour's telling me that it will review the project after the general election in 2015, if it gains power. In other words, ministers may not build the line, even if the price stays the same.

Instead, officials will look again at whether we really do need to spend so much money on a brand-new, high spec train line, or whether they could spend less on alternatives.

They wouldn't go into details but that could potentially mean a slower line on a different route, or beefing up the lines already there.

In the past Labour has always said that HS2 was the only way to deal with a looming capacity crunch on our railways, and that no alternatives can generate the step change in capacity needed for the future.

Clearly, that's now changed.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Alan Pettitt on September 23, 2013, 06:33:35 pm
Cancel the whole thing,  we've already put a couple of billions in to the West Coast Main Line,  Why do so many people want to commute between London and Birmingham?  Maybe put the money in to a train that can get you frome Frome to Yeovil in time for work?


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: ellendune on September 23, 2013, 07:17:39 pm
Cancel the whole thing,  we've already put a couple of billions in to the West Coast Main Line,  Why do so many people want to commute between London and Birmingham?  Maybe put the money in to a train that can get you frome Frome to Yeovil in time for work?

Umm - If you had read the rest of this thread you would know it was nothing about commuting between Birmingham and London.  I suggest you look at the relative populations of Frome and Yeovil compared to the combined populations of London, Birmingham, Manchester, Nottingham and Leeds. 


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Tony (Formerly FT, N!) on September 30, 2013, 09:56:56 pm
If anyone hadn't noticed that this is the party conference season, they will now. This is the one time of the year when the parties can shout spite ( or spout sh... - thank you, Rev Spooner) without the other parties getting a right of reply at the same forum. The Conservatives can say what they like, without fear of upsetting the Lib Dems, and Labour can snipe from the margins, laying the groundwork for blaming everything they find when they get back into power on the other lot. And Ed (or is it David) Miliband can try to explain what "One nation" means to the four nations in the United Kingdom.

Poor old HS2 has been plonked on the political coconut shy, and people are throwing more at it than just little wooden balls. The broad consensus that existed between the leaders of the major parties at least has become a competition to see who can heap the most opprobrium on what was, last month, an essential piece of infrastructure, and vital to the economic well-being of the whole country, as well as to the regeneration of the frozen wastes of "The North" (from whence I fled). None of this is because we don't need HS2 like we did last month (we do, and will do so even more in 5 years time), nor because we can't afford it (we can - I did the math a few posts back), nor because it will be an underused white heffalump of a scheme (need I mention Bristol Metrobust?). It is all for the sake of a few headlines, and maybe getting a newspaper or two onside in what will be at most the penultimate conference round before the knives are sharpened for the next General election.

The pretty maiden, so ardently courted by many suitors, now finds that her champions have turned their backs on her. Pontius Pilate did not wash his hands so quickly.

The logic (if there is any) is warped. Many, many millions have already been spent. They will constitute cash down the khazi if it is scrapped, or even put on hold. If we start again in 5 years time, it will cost double, and whatever expertise and equipment we have put on standby will have gone elsewhere. There are many farm, land, and house owners along the route whose properties will be affected if the line is built, and even more so if it isn't. Those people's lives will be more affected by delay than by action - look at the two properties for sale in Sipson, putative site of Heathrow's third runway for many a year, and you will see what I mean. Being removed from Hell and placed merely into Limbo does no-one any good. As the Bard of Avon put it, "If it were done when 'tis done, then 'twere well It were done quickly" I wish I had his turn of phrase.

These shenanigans belittle the astute corporate entity that is HS2 Ltd. By association, they belittle the very nature of public/private partnerships, because they reveal that Government wants the rewards, but will play with the risks when it suits. DaFT, under the aegis of Lord Adonis, has created this paradigm of how to do major infrastructure, and the model was endorsed by the first (ineffectual IMHO) minister Justine Greening, and the second (very effectual IMHO) Patrick McLoughlin. This from a natural Labour voter. The best thing to do is to to finalise the guesstimate of costs, then tell HS2's boss Alison Munro to get on with it. If she does it on time and on budget, she gets a mighty bonus. If she doesn't, then she gets strung out to dry.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Red Squirrel on September 30, 2013, 10:33:28 pm
Politrics is a funny old game; it is (I think) fair to assume that at the next election the Lib Dems will be going back to their constituencies to prepare for oblivion, which leaves a lot of spare protest votes flying around. The Tories obviously fear that a fair number will go to UKIP, who of course are in outright opposition to HS2. Will the Tories find it worthwhile to trade the scorn that'll be heaped on them if they abandon the HS2 project, to try and regain the votes they look like losing to UKIP in the Home Counties? And then there's the bit I've never understood - why do Labour hate railways? More track milage was closed under Labour than the Tories, and under Bliar and Brown (IIRC) 400m of track was re-opened in England - and yes that's metres, not miles. Somehow I don't hold out much hope that Steve Miliband will be much better.

Wonder what the Monster Raving Loony Party's Transport Policy looks like? (cue: FT, N!)

Edit: changed 'can' to 'abandon', for clarity.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Tony (Formerly FT, N!) on October 01, 2013, 07:18:17 am

Wonder what the Monster Raving Loony Party's Transport Policy looks like? (cue: FT, N!)

Oh, I wish! Bring back the screaming Lord! Give me Tarquin Fin-tim-lin-bin-whin-bim-lim-bus-stop-F'tang-F'tang-Ol^-Biscuitbarrel (to my shame, I didn't have to look that one up).


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Red Squirrel on October 01, 2013, 09:58:46 am

Wonder what the Monster Raving Loony Party's Transport Policy looks like? (cue: FT, N!)

Oh, I wish! Bring back the screaming Lord! Give me Tarquin Fin-tim-lin-bin-whin-bim-lim-bus-stop-F'tang-F'tang-Ol^-Biscuitbarrel (to my shame, I didn't have to look that one up).

Ah, I thought you might have something to say about how 'MetroBus' fits in with the MRLP's Transport Policy...


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Tony (Formerly FT, N!) on October 01, 2013, 04:32:56 pm
Sorry RS, I had little time to think before work. Someone has to ruin run this country. I have to agree, though, Metrobust ticks every box in the loony department. I can see, in my mind's rose-tinted eye, David Sutch when he pipped the SDP for 5th place in Bootle, 1990, shouting "Landslide!" He posed many questions, like "Why is there only one Monopolies Commission?". He made more sense than the major parties have over the past few days.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: bobm on October 04, 2013, 04:14:14 pm
Transport Minister Simon Burns, who was been championing HS2 for the government, has stood down from the government to run as a Deputy Speaker.

From the BBC (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-24396224)

Quote
Transport Minister Simon Burns has resigned from the government to run for the position of deputy Commons Speaker.The MP for Chelmsford has been responsible for the controversial HS2 rail link during the past year, having previously been a health minister.

(http://news.bbcimg.co.uk/media/images/70284000/jpg/_70284995_70282481.jpg)

One of the three deputy Speaker positions is vacant after previous incumbent Nigel Evans stood down to fight sexual assault charges.

Mr Burns has clashed with Speaker John Bercow several times in the past.

On one occasion, Mr Burns described the man under whom he now seeks to serve as a "stupid sanctimonious dwarf".

BBC political correspondent Ross Hawkins said the Conservative MP had apologised afterwards - but only to groups of people who felt insulted, not necessarily to the Speaker himself.

'Forever grateful'
 
Were he to be elected, relations between the pair would not be altogether comfortable, our correspondent added.

There are plenty of Conservatives who do not support Mr Bercow and might vote for Mr Burns just to irritate him, he continued.

MPs are elected to the role of deputy Speaker, under reforms proposed by Mr Bercow shortly after he took on his role in 2009.

To stand for election, MPs need to be sponsored by at least six other MPs.

One of the other candidates for the role is Nadine Dorries, who in 2009 described the Speaker as "oily" and suggested he was "mistrusted by up to half of the House".

The successful applicant will join existing deputies, former Labour MPs Dawn Primarolo and Lindsay Hoyle, in helping to chair Commons business.

'Loyal and dedicated'
 
Mr Burns' decision comes ahead of an expected reshuffle of middle-ranking Conservative ministerial ranks in coming weeks.

In his resignation letter to Prime Minister David Cameron, he wrote: "It has been a privilege to serve in your administration for the past three and a quarter years and I will be forever grateful to you for giving me that opportunity in both the Departments of Health and Transport.

"You can rest assured that I will continue to support your leadership of both the Conservative Party and the government."

The PM's response described the MP as a "loyal, dedicated and committed colleague".

Mr Cameron said: "I know that this will not have been an easy decision for you to make, and one you will have given a huge amount of thought to.

"After serving the government so ably for over three years, you will certainly be missed, but I completely understand and respect your decision."


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: bignosemac on October 19, 2013, 11:32:09 am
From the BBC (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-24589652):

Quote
HS2 'losers' revealed after report omitted figures

(http://news.bbcimg.co.uk/media/images/70578000/jpg/_70578709_dft.jpg)
KPMG's report listed the regions that would benefit, but left out the rest

The areas that could lose out if a new north-to-south rail link is built have been revealed for the first time.

HS2 would make more than 50 places across the UK worse off - such as Aberdeen, Bristol and Cardiff - research by KPMG suggested.

The government said HS2's ^17bn cost is part of a ^73bn package of transport improvements in the next parliament.

It claimed the measures would benefit areas which HS2 will not serve, long before the high-speed line opens.

KPMG's findings were only released in a freedom of information request passed to BBC Two's Newsnight programme.

HS2 Ltd's chief executive has called them "unsurprising".

The KPMG report, which was hailed by the government when it was published in September, said the line could boost the UK economy by ^15bn a year.

It listed the regions it said would benefit, with Greater London (^2.8bn) and West Midlands (^1.5bn) the biggest winners.

But the 92-page document omitted data for those parts of the UK not on the proposed line which stand to be net losers from the project.

Economic output would be worst affected, according to the research, in:

Aberdeenshire, Aberdeen City and Moray (-^220m)
Norfolk East (-^164m)
Dundee and Angus (-^96m)
Cardiff (-^68m)
Norfolk West (-^56m)

James Bream, policy director of Aberdeen's Chamber of Commerce, said it was "really disappointing" that such a huge number was left out of the original report.

He added the negative impact for the whole north-east of Scotland could be "significant to say the least."

Dundee and Angus could lose as much as 2% of its annual GDP, KPMG found.

Kettering, Suffolk West and Cambridgeshire East are all listed as zones that could see a 1% drop in GDP.

The accountants used data from HS2 Ltd's assessment of the direct transport impacts of the scheme, which would connect London to Birmingham and to Manchester and Leeds.

But the Department for Transport said HS2 was vital to "rebalance the economy".

A spokesman said: "These figures show it boosts the north overall more than the south.

"Of course the line does not serve every city and region and these figures reflect that."

The DfT say ultimately the line would reduce journey times to Edinburgh and Glasgow by an hour.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: ellendune on October 19, 2013, 11:43:50 am
I take that means ^220 m less than it otherwise would have been, not ^220 m less than now.  Not sure what the GDB of Bristol is but I guess this is not a large percentage and although Bristol has a huge disparity between rich and poor it is, on average, a wealthy part of the country.  Some targeted investment in infrastructure such as the Metro project (and other projects) could probably recover that. 


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on October 19, 2013, 09:37:22 pm
Transport Minister Simon Burns, who was been championing HS2 for the government, has stood down from the government to run as a Deputy Speaker.

From the BBC (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-24396224)

Quote
Transport Minister Simon Burns has resigned from the government to run for the position of deputy Commons Speaker.

The MP for Chelmsford has been responsible for the controversial HS2 rail link during the past year, having previously been a health minister.

(http://news.bbcimg.co.uk/media/images/70284000/jpg/_70284995_70282481.jpg)

Simon Burns was unsuccessful in his bid - from the BBC (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-24553607):

Quote
Conservative MP Eleanor Laing elected deputy Speaker

Eleanor Laing has been elected as one of the three deputy Speakers of the House of Commons.

The Conservative MP for Epping Forest beat six other challengers for the right to fill in for Speaker John Bercow in his absence.

In the final round of voting, she saw off Conservative Brian Binley by 273 votes to 240.

There has been a vacancy on Mr Bercow's team since Nigel Evans stood down to fight sex offence charges.

The other candidates, all Conservative MPs, were David Amess, Henry Bellingham, Simon Burns, Nadine Dorries, and Gary Streeter.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: bignosemac on October 19, 2013, 11:54:55 pm
He gambled. He lost. Back to the back benches and having to survive on a mere ^66,396 per year, plus expenses.  ::)

He was prepared to take a five grand cut in salary (premium would've been ^36,360) to climb the political greasy pole to the position of First Deputy Chairman of Ways & Means (Deputy Speaker).

Turns out the pole was just a bit to greasy. Bet he now wishes he didn't give up his Minister of State position with its premium of ^41,370.

Of course, no politician is in it for the money.  :-\

Congratulations to Eleanor Laing though. And we can all be grateful that Nadine Dorries was resoundingly defeated in the first ballot.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Tony (Formerly FT, N!) on October 21, 2013, 07:20:39 pm
The baton was picked up by Baroness Kramer, our new Minister of State for transport, who was most recently on the commission for banking standards. She has some form in transport, having been shadow minister in 2007, as well as having been on the board of Transport for London.

For her first major speech on HS2, she chose the less than hostile setting of the Railway Engineers' Forum. Selling HS2 to them would have been as difficult as selling cheap beer to darts players (or me, for that matter).

I shan't quote the whole speech,  (https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/railway-engineers-forum)as the noble lady has much to say. But a couple of snippets show that she is wildly in favour of the scheme, but with her enthusiasm founded on the rock of logic:

Quote
I am sure commuters on the West Coast Mainline will remember the problems caused during the ^9 billion upgrade programme^.
Yet the extra capacity released by this huge project has already been filled, and with passenger numbers growing, thousands of commuters are standing during the morning peak.
And despite the huge investment, it wasn^t enough to finish the job.
The overhead wiring on the West Coast line is getting on for 50 years old.
If upgrading existing lines were a feasible and effective answer to rising demand^.
And a genuine alternative to HS2^.
Believe me ^ we would do it.

On the fiscal aspect, this lady who used to run an infrastructure financing consultancy across Europe said:

Quote
Of course we need to build HS2 within or under budget.
We will.
The budget for HS2 is ^42.6 billion. Not the scare stories I^ve heard in recent months claiming a cost of ^70 billion.
It^s ^42.6 billion.
Spent carefully over several decades.
For a full network to Leeds and Manchester.
And that is an upper limit with a contingency - ^14.4 billion in reserve which we are determined to bear down on.
The head of Network Rail said in July he expects the final cost of construction to be significantly less than ^42.6 billion.

She talks a good talk. Those engineers must have been drooling. HS2 has a new champion. She may be a Lib Dem, but she is very clearly on message.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Rhydgaled on October 21, 2013, 09:04:03 pm
Has anyone already posted this (http://www.transport-network.co.uk/HS2-could-be-built-in-reverse/9572#.UmWIXaz5yM0)?


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: bignosemac on October 21, 2013, 10:14:36 pm
Has anyone already posted this (http://www.transport-network.co.uk/HS2-could-be-built-in-reverse/9572#.UmWIXaz5yM0)?

It probably comes as no surprise to forum regulars that, over recent months, I've moved off the HS2 fence and set foot in the anti- camp.

However, there may just be some merit in David Higgins idea of starting HS2 in the north.

The baton was picked up by Baroness Kramer, our new Minister of State for transport, who was most recently on the commission for banking standards.

The perils of skim reading. It took two looks at this post for me to realise it said 'banking' and not 'baking'. :-[

I've recently learnt that I need glasses for general eyesight improvement. Not used to wearing them at all times yet. Perhaps that explains.  ???


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Tony (Formerly FT, N!) on October 22, 2013, 07:11:44 am
I think you can claim an exclusive there, Rhydgaled.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: eightf48544 on October 22, 2013, 07:45:55 am
As bignosemac has posted: It probably comes as no surprise to forum regulars that, over recent months, I've moved off the HS2 fence and set foot in the anti- camp. I am coming to a similar opinion.

This is based on it's links with the existung system in particular the fact taht it servres terminal staions in Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds which means passengers from places like Wolverhampton Bradford which currently have through London trains will now have to change to get on HS2, lessening the time savings compared with a through train. It's even worse for passengers from Sheffield they have to get to Meadowhall and from Derby and Nottingham, Toton Parkway.

However, the people it does benefit are  from stations between Edinburgh and York on the ECML and Glasgow and Preston WCML. Who will make substatial savings to London.

Bignaosemac also says, however, there may just be some merit in David Higgins idea of starting HS2 in the north. The only point i would make is where would it feed into the exisitng netwrk once it gets to the joining point of the Manchester and Leeds branches North of Birmingham otherwise you have to wait until it was complete all the way to Euston.

I would be much more supportive if Euston was an underground through station to HS1 and Birmingham Manchester and Leeds were through staions with connectons into the existing network.

In fact Birmingham really ought to be on route


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: bignosemac on October 22, 2013, 10:46:05 am
A list of articles about how HS2 will have a negative impact on the local economies of various areas in the West and South West:

Hidden figures show ^20m blow to B&NES economy from HS2 high-speed rail link (http://www.bathchronicle.co.uk/story-19964751-detail/story.html?) The Bath Chronicle.

North Devon to take ^18 million hit under high speed rail plans (http://www.northdevonjournal.co.uk/story-19959777-detail/story.html?) Western Morning News.

HS2 is blow for Exeter's economy as city set to lose ^14.15m (http://www.exeterexpressandecho.co.uk/story-19962578-detail/story.html?) Exeter Express & Echo


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Rhydgaled on October 22, 2013, 11:16:50 am
I would be much more supportive if Euston was an underground through station to HS1 and Birmingham Manchester and Leeds were through staions with connectons into the existing network.

In fact Birmingham really ought to be on route
My sentiments almost exactly. The only thing is that I'm not sure the Leeds spur should be included at all.

I think the fact that the ICWC trains from Chester/Holyhead, Liverpool and Manchester to Euston don't go through Birmingham is a major fault with the existing WCML. Of course it makes sense to do things the way they are with the existing infrustructure, but if you're building a new line you should be improving on the WCML not just duplicating it like-for-like. A stop at Birmingham en-route on Manchester/Liverpool/Chester services would be great, and could make a case for through trains from Manchester and Liverpool to Paris and Brussels.

An underground through station in London (the 'Euston Cross') proposal would be good also, so some trains from HS2 can run through to Ashford/Dover.

Personally, I think there should be passive provision for additional capacity to be added between Old Oak Common through to Stratford International. That would allow a later HighSpeed project on a south-west - north-east axis, say Heathrow to Stansted initially (although Stansted airport would be served by a spur onto the classic lines, rather than a new HS station). Later, the north-east line could extend to either York or Leeds and the south-west line could be extended from Heathrow either to Southampton or somewhere in the Chippenham/Bath area where it could have links into the line to Bath and Bristol and the line to south Wales. The latter would pass south of Reading with spurs onto classic lines both east and west of Reading, to allow some trains to go via Reading. This would also provide a western rail access to Heathrow that keeps off the GWML.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: paul7755 on October 22, 2013, 11:58:26 am
David Higgins statement was reported differently elsewhere:

Quote
High Speed 2^s incoming chairman David Higgins said he would look at speeding up the delivery of the ^21.2bn second leg of the scheme.

Speaking to the House of Commons transport select committee on Monday, he said he would like to build the leg from the West Midlands to Manchester and Leeds faster than the current timetable.

He said: ^I think if you are in the North you would want to see the benefits earlier. I do not think people want to wait until 2032 to 2035 to see the benefits and that is something I will look closely at.^

http://www.cnplus.co.uk/news/sectors/rail/sir-david-higgins-hs2-second-phase-could-be-built-early/8654324.article

'Starting in the north' is contradicted in the last paragraph of the earlier quote anyway.  I certainly don't think it has any legs, and contrary to bnm's view above, I don't think it is actually Higgins' idea at all.  What he's probably done (without searching for the TSC transcript) is to answer the question posed tactfully whilst avoiding saying the idea was a complete none starter...

Paul



Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: caliwag on October 22, 2013, 02:11:03 pm
It's a bizarre idea to start in the North anyway as the argument has moved from speed to 'full to capacity' out of Euston...well there's no way any commuting lines in the North that are 'full to capacity', and certainly that could not be solved by a few more or longer units.
There was also the 'straw-clutching' argument about the food supply chain breaking down because of lack of capacity...didn't exactly set the world alight that one!


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: bignosemac on October 28, 2013, 06:29:26 pm
From the BBC (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-24700561):

Quote
HS2 alternative 'would mean years of rail disruption'

A government-commissioned report says the alternative to a new HS2 high speed rail link would see 14 years of weekend route closures and longer journeys.

The report, by Network Rail and Atkins, says upgrading existing rail lines would severely affect the East Coast, Midland and West Coast mainlines.

It says that would double travel times between Leeds and London.

The study will inform the government's updated business case for HS2, which will be presented on Tuesday.

It will be the fifth official presentation given by the government on HS2.

Dispute

HS2 is designed to shorten journey times between London and the Midlands and the north of England, but has attracted stiff opposition from some quarters because of doubts that the cost - last estimated at ^42.6bn - will bring sufficient benefit.

Those living along its route also fear the disruption it will bring to their areas.

A previous report in September, by the consultants KPMG, said the project would be markedly beneficial to the UK economy, and boost overall growth by 0.8%.

However, that report failed to convince critics and KPMG itself included a caveat which said it had made the "implicit assumption" that transport connectivity was the only supply-side constraint to business location, and that it had ignored other possible constraints to growth, like labour or land shortages.

Some critics of HS2 see a plan to improve the existing lines as a better use of public money. But the report says that, in total, this would require 2,770 weekend closures involving 144,000 hours of work.

The BBC's transport correspondent, Richard Westcott, says he has been told it would cost ^20bn to upgrade the UK's three existing north-south train lines.

Modelling a typical weekend, the report argues that the journey time from London to Leeds could be increased by two hours and 10 minutes to more than four and a half hours while the work is going on.

A journey between Huntingdon and Peterborough would be doubled to an hour.

Atkins has also concluded that residential and commercial demolitions would be required.

'Hellish'

Hilary Wharf, director of the campaign group HS2 Action Alliance, said the report was seriously flawed and that upgrading the existing lines would bring bigger benefits to more passengers.

"This government-funded report is a complete fabrication. The main alternative to HS2 involves longer trains and reduced first-class capacity to provide more standard class seats," she said.

"No work is required at Euston to deliver the necessary capacity increase. Work is only required at three locations on the WCML [West Coast Main Line], and this is comparable to the work being carried out on the route at present."

A government source said: "We need to do something because our railways are nearly full, but the alternative to HS2 is a patch and mend job that would cause 14 years of gridlock, hellish journeys and rail replacement buses.

"The three main routes to the north would be crippled and the economy would be damaged."

And the British Chambers of Commerce said changing tack now would be bad for businesses: "Politicians flirting with a U-turn on HS2 are guilty of electoral short-termism and opportunism of the worst kind.

"Business communities in dozens of cities and towns, from many parts of the UK, remain strongly supportive of HS2."

On Sunday, the Treasury Minister, Danny Alexander, told the BBC's Andrew Marr programme that he was "very confident" the HS2 high speed rail project would be delivered within its ^42.6bn budget.

The fifth Government sponsored business case for HS2 is due out tomorrow, 29th October 2013.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Electric train on October 28, 2013, 08:53:51 pm
In my opinion HS2 is not about whether UK PLC can afford to do it in monetary terms ............... Its whether we can afford not to do it and live with over stretched system built in the 19th centaury.

We are 20 years behind the rest of Europe, I just did a trip London to Amsterdam 2 and bit hours to Brussels 50 min connection and 2 hours to Amsterdam; the high speed links through France, Belgium and the Netherlands the stations are outstanding


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: caliwag on October 29, 2013, 11:30:06 am
This though from John Redwood in the Spectator...

http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/coffeehouse/2013/10/do-we-really-need-the-extra-capacity/?

In an earlier article, in the Spectator, there's mention of a Labour group looking at the Great Central, again!


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: caliwag on October 29, 2013, 12:28:48 pm
A further interesting view from Margaret Hodge, c/o Transport Info site

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/hs2-rail-link-may-run-beyond-the-department-for-transports-abilities-warns-margaret-hodge-8909572.html


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: chuffed on October 31, 2013, 05:38:47 pm
350 votes for, 34 against for the 2nd reading seems a pretty substantial majority. I wonder how many of the 49% of the MP's who stayed away were ' no' voters ? I noticed that our local representatives were once again conspicuous by their absence.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: eightf48544 on October 31, 2013, 09:48:37 pm
I agree that there is a general lack of capacity all over the country but it's mostly confined to large urban centres  where it's mostly station capacity to serve a number of routes. On the routes themselves we are still suffering from the reduced capacity caused by the rationalisations of the 70 and 80, route singling, single lead junctions, long signal sections all of which reduce capacity quite considerably.

We've seen a lot of redoubling schemes such as the Cotswolds and Swindon Kemble although untimately terminal capacity at Paddington will determine how many extra trains can be be run.

I'm not sure how HS2 solves those problems in Birmingham Manchester and Leeds by having separate terminal stations to which pasnegers will have to walk when changing from their local trains.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: ellendune on October 31, 2013, 10:24:53 pm
I agree that there is a general lack of capacity all over the country but it's mostly confined to large urban centres  where it's mostly station capacity to serve a number of routes. On the routes themselves we are still suffering from the reduced capacity caused by the rationalisations of the 70 and 80, route singling, single lead junctions, long signal sections all of which reduce capacity quite considerably.

We've seen a lot of redoubling schemes such as the Cotswolds and Swindon Kemble although untimately terminal capacity at Paddington will determine how many extra trains can be be run.

But where is the redoubling scheme that could improve capacity on the West Coast Main line south of Birmingham - it is already 4 track and widening would have a big impact on the towns and villages it passes through (even those that no-longer have a station).

The latest study identified some widening schemes but still creates nowhere near the same capacity as HS2


I'm not sure how HS2 solves those problems in Birmingham Manchester and Leeds by having separate terminal stations to which pasnegers will have to walk when changing from their local trains.

That is an argument at Sheffield and East Midlands (which you do not mention), but if you look:

  • at Manchester the new station will be nearer to the main concourse of Picadilly than the through platforms of the existing station and much nearer than Victoria - which is well connected by tram.
  • in Birmingham Curzon Street Station entrance is actually next to Moor Street Station which if you follow the signs rather than Google maps is 5 minutes walk from New Street
  • in Leeds I am not sure, but as I recall it is only a little further than Birmingham

None of these are as far apart as most London Termini which most people regard as acceptable if not ideal


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on November 05, 2013, 09:41:01 pm
From the BBC (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-24823826):

Quote
HS2 minister issues correction over departmental budget

(http://news.bbcimg.co.uk/media/images/70921000/jpg/_70921614_70921613.jpg)
Robert Goodwill joined the government in October

The minister overseeing the HS2 rail project has issued an official correction after getting muddled over the size of his department's budget.

Robert Goodwill suggested in the Commons last week that the transport department's overall budget was ^50bn. The actual figure is less than ^13bn.

He told MPs the ^42bn cost of HS2 equated to just 10 months of his department's overall expenditure. In fact, it would equate to its whole budget for more than three years.

Mr Goodwill, who became a minister in October's reshuffle, made the mistake in response to a question from Tory MP Cheryl Gillan, a critic of the planned high-speed rail link between London, the Midlands and the north of England.

She asked him how he responded to doubts expressed by the National Audit Office (NAO) about the government's ability to deliver the project on time and on budget.

"He is now claiming to have one of the largest infrastructure budgets of any government department, but the NAO does not think the department is fit to run it," she said.

In response, Mr Goodwill said his department had "a lot of experience in managing big projects" before suggesting its annual budget was "about ^50bn".

Comparing the figure with the cost of HS2, he said: "If rolling stock were excluded and nothing else was done with the department's budget, this project would be the equivalent of about 10 months of the department's total budget. That puts it into context."

But the Department for Transport has issued a correction in a written statement to Parliament, clarifying that the minister had actually been thinking of a completely different budget.

It said "the figure quoted was actually a figure for the government's annual capital investment budget".

A spokesman told the BBC: "As set out in the Spending Round the department's total annual budget is ^12.8bn for 2015/16. The government's annual capital investment budget for infrastructure is ^50.4bn for 2014/15."

But Labour's transport spokeswoman Mary Creagh said it was "alarming that a transport minister is so out of touch he doesn't even know his own department's budget".

"It's easy to see how David Cameron's government gets big projects wrong when ministers' maths is this dodgy."


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Electric train on November 05, 2013, 10:19:45 pm
From the BBC (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-24823826):

Quote
HS2 minister issues correction over departmental budget

(http://news.bbcimg.co.uk/media/images/70921000/jpg/_70921614_70921613.jpg)
Robert Goodwill joined the government in October

The minister overseeing the HS2 rail project has issued an official correction after getting muddled over the size of his department's budget.

Robert Goodwill suggested in the Commons last week that the transport department's overall budget was ^50bn. The actual figure is less than ^13bn.

He told MPs the ^42bn cost of HS2 equated to just 10 months of his department's overall expenditure. In fact, it would equate to its whole budget for more than three years.

Mr Goodwill, who became a minister in October's reshuffle, made the mistake in response to a question from Tory MP Cheryl Gillan, a critic of the planned high-speed rail link between London, the Midlands and the north of England.

She asked him how he responded to doubts expressed by the National Audit Office (NAO) about the government's ability to deliver the project on time and on budget.

"He is now claiming to have one of the largest infrastructure budgets of any government department, but the NAO does not think the department is fit to run it," she said.

In response, Mr Goodwill said his department had "a lot of experience in managing big projects" before suggesting its annual budget was "about ^50bn".

Comparing the figure with the cost of HS2, he said: "If rolling stock were excluded and nothing else was done with the department's budget, this project would be the equivalent of about 10 months of the department's total budget. That puts it into context."

But the Department for Transport has issued a correction in a written statement to Parliament, clarifying that the minister had actually been thinking of a completely different budget.

It said "the figure quoted was actually a figure for the government's annual capital investment budget".

A spokesman told the BBC: "As set out in the Spending Round the department's total annual budget is ^12.8bn for 2015/16. The government's annual capital investment budget for infrastructure is ^50.4bn for 2014/15."

But Labour's transport spokeswoman Mary Creagh said it was "alarming that a transport minister is so out of touch he doesn't even know his own department's budget".

"It's easy to see how David Cameron's government gets big projects wrong when ministers' maths is this dodgy."

And these folks are allegedly running the country  ::)


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Rhydgaled on November 06, 2013, 12:19:05 am
And these folks are allegedly running the country  ::)
Unfortunately it isn't alleged, they are running the country (or rather certain transport-related elements of it). Why else would most of the over-400-seat Intercity trains on the crowded Great Western network be slated for replacment by 315-seat Intercity trains by the same bunch that apparently are asking seating in the current trains to be further increased by replacing some first class with standard? Ok, some of the replacment trains currently planned will have 627 seats, but they are a very small fraction of the fleet.

HS2, like IEP, is a much-needed project which has been badly specified by DaFT to the extent that both are terminally flawed.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: bignosemac on November 06, 2013, 06:44:54 am
Unfortunately it isn't alleged, they are running the country (or rather certain transport-related elements of it). Why else would most of the over-400-seat Intercity trains on the crowded Great Western network be slated for replacment by 315-seat Intercity trains by the same bunch that apparently are asking seating in the current trains to be further increased by replacing some first class with standard? Ok, some of the replacment trains currently planned will have 627 seats, but they are a very small fraction of the fleet.

HS2, like IEP, is a much-needed project which has been badly specified by DaFT to the extent that both are terminally flawed.

21x 9 car versus 36x 5 car is hardly a 'small fraction'.  ::)

As for seating, it isn't a straight comparison with current HST diagrams when you factor in increased frequency on the majority of the routes which will see the Class 800s and 801s. Overall, after full delivery, and including Thames Valley cascaded/new stock, there will be a 40% increase in seats into Paddington versus the May 2011 timetable. Faster journey times too.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: eightf48544 on November 06, 2013, 09:08:11 am
Maybe more seats but who wants to travel in 737 seat? With possibly no window


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Rhydgaled on November 06, 2013, 08:48:46 pm
Unfortunately it isn't alleged, they are running the country (or rather certain transport-related elements of it). Why else would most of the over-400-seat Intercity trains on the crowded Great Western network be slated for replacment by 315-seat Intercity trains by the same bunch that apparently are asking seating in the current trains to be further increased by replacing some first class with standard? Ok, some of the replacment trains currently planned will have 627 seats, but they are a very small fraction of the fleet.

HS2, like IEP, is a much-needed project which has been badly specified by DaFT to the extent that both are terminally flawed.

21x 9 car versus 36x 5 car is hardly a 'small fraction'.  ::)
18 and 32 diagrammed. That's 14 more 5-cars than there are 9-cars, quite a big difference compared to only 5x 5-car sets (180s) today I believe.

As for seating, it isn't a straight comparison with current HST diagrams when you factor in increased frequency on the majority of the routes which will see the Class 800s and 801s. Overall, after full delivery, and including Thames Valley cascaded/new stock, there will be a 40% increase in seats into Paddington versus the May 2011 timetable. Faster journey times too.
Pretty much only Bristol (Parkway and T.M.) and the Cheltenham service that's supposed to double in frequency though isn't it? Perhaps a new hourly semi-fast to Westbury too (not sure if that's still on the cards). Add the sparks effect and Princess effect and I imagine most of the extra seats will be filled quite quickly. Lastly, a 40% increase in seats into PAD doesn't matter one jot to the passenger trying to get on a 5-car train in Swansea or Reading which used to be 8 carriages.

Anyway, back to that other terminally flawed but very necessary project, HS2...


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Tony (Formerly FT, N!) on November 06, 2013, 10:26:23 pm
Amen, Rhydgaled! These are interesting times for HS2, with frenzied activity in parliament and elsewhere to keep it alive. The first vote sailed through, but it seems that Conservative rebels are keeping their powder dry for now, and let the vote through to ensure the best deal for landowners along the route if the project goes ahead. David Cameron has deployed the classic politicians's fudge of launching a review to look for savings. This is despite HS2 Ltd insisting that they will build the railway for well under the ^42.6 billion budget.

I hate to politicise this thread, and hope this is seen as comment only. UKIP is against HS2, and if they pick up disaffected voters along the route, DC and his party are headed for problems, along with a number of other pet coalition projects, like wind farms. So he is positioning himself in the role of cost-cutter and champion of business, whilst finding time and the chance to paint the labour party into a corner. This was, after all, a labour baby at conception, even if it has been consigned to the orphanage rather than being adopted. The most likely outcome for the Lib Dems at the next election as things stand is that they "Go back to their constituencies, and prepare for oblivion". Labour will have the chance to take advantage of a split Tory / UKIP vote, plus a seemingly substantial number of LibDem defectors. It would make sense to decide its attitude to its own brainchild now, and to cement that policy whilst the heat is on, to reduce the chance of HS2 being a national political hot potato come the next general election, and more an issue for voters in country seats it would never win anyway.

If the project is done to the timetable, phase one alone will see three elections at least before the first train runs. This project really needs the same sort of cross-party consensus enjoyed by the Millennium Dome and the Olympics, and seemed until recently to have it. My feeling is that order will soon come from the chaos in the debating chamber, through detailed discussions behind closed doors in committee rooms. The effort will be made to reduce the temperature of the argument on the Hustings. How successful that will be remains to be seen.

I recommend no one party to anyone, and know that the very intelligent members of this forum will weigh all the evidence and make their decision unswayed by my musings above, come the day.

As I prophesied earlier, business nationally has now seen an opportunity. Whilst we were planning fireworks yesterday, HS2 Ltd was hosting a "Supply Chain Conference" for businesses interested in snapping up a piece of the action, in Birmingham (where else?). According to the press release  (http://www.hs2.org.uk/press/high-demand-high-speed-rail-supply-chain-conf) there are contracts worth ^10 billion up for grabs. 800 delegates from 600 businesses attended. There will be more of these events, which will not only build networks of potential bidders, but will, I think, steer business opinion more clearly towards support.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: ellendune on November 06, 2013, 10:34:51 pm
I largely agree with your analysis FTW. However I find it difficult to believe that in the safe Tory Seats of middle England there would be enough Tory voters switching to UKIP to make the Torys loose. After all it is relatively few people who even think they are affected.  If there a few more marginal seats perhaps it would make a difference, but almost all are very safe seats.



Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Tony (Formerly FT, N!) on November 06, 2013, 10:41:08 pm
Time will tell, ellendunne. I base my thoughts on reports in the press informed by polling/ We all know how a party can gain eminence locally on a single issue, and it seems this is keeping Tory high command awake at night.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on November 07, 2013, 10:49:56 am
Unfortunately it isn't alleged, they are running the country (or rather certain transport-related elements of it). Why else would most of the over-400-seat Intercity trains on the crowded Great Western network be slated for replacment by 315-seat Intercity trains by the same bunch that apparently are asking seating in the current trains to be further increased by replacing some first class with standard? Ok, some of the replacment trains currently planned will have 627 seats, but they are a very small fraction of the fleet.

HS2, like IEP, is a much-needed project which has been badly specified by DaFT to the extent that both are terminally flawed.

21x 9 car versus 36x 5 car is hardly a 'small fraction'.  ::)
18 and 32 diagrammed. That's 14 more 5-cars than there are 9-cars, quite a big difference compared to only 5x 5-car sets (180s) today I believe.

Though to truly compare you need to work out what fraction of the total trains will be running as 5-car sets as some with be doubled up to 10-car sets of course.  Nobody knows the answer to that yet.  Some trains will be ideally suited to 5-car operation as well and may reduce the number of totally empty carriages that run on some late night services that are currently full length HST's, but I also share your concerns that others may indeed be swamped - some very careful diagramming will be required.

Whatever the final figures it won't be a 'very small fraction' of trains that are longer than 5-cars as you suggest.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: stebbo on December 01, 2013, 02:40:23 pm
Thoughts on two different topics involved here:

1. Although I personally find the whole bi-mode train ridiculous (for reasons I've stated in other threads before), the principle of working 5 car sets in tandem at peak hours and on busier lines could work. To take the Cotswold Line as an example, running a 5 car set between Hereford and Worcester and 10 cars between Worcester and Paddington (or 5 cars Hereford to Oxford at certain times) could work well - shades of the old Cathedrals Express.

2. More seriously, in my own personal view, is the detailed article in today's Sunday Telegraph on HS2 and its costs/environmental impact and also the extra powers the government appears to be taking in the legislation to close less economic routes. The latter issue is reckoned to have a potential impact particularly on routes affected by HS1 where steps are apparently being taken to force passengers off certain routes onto HS1 thereby rendering the older (and presumably cheaper) routes less viable. Also, it appears public support for the whole HS2 proposal is going through the floor - though I'd like to be certain the opinion poll referred to did canvass a good number of people outside of areas affected by HS2.

Now I know the Telegraph may not have the full story and is not everybody's cup of tea, but isn't this whole HS2 project getting way out of hand and over budget for potentially limited gain? And couldn't a chunk of the current budget - let alone the actual budget - be used to improve existing services both between London and the north and elsewhere? I read a short while back that the two busiest stations in London are Paddington and Waterloo, not Euston, Kings Cross or St. Pancras. And of course how long before increases in cost in HS2 cause existing railway budgets to be raided?

I've always had my doubts about this project and, like it seems many others, they are increasing all the time. What's the view of others?


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Rhydgaled on December 01, 2013, 03:49:32 pm
Some trains will be ideally suited to 5-car operation as well and may reduce the number of totally empty carriages that run on some late night services that are currently full length HST's, but I also share your concerns that others may indeed be swamped - some very careful diagramming will be required.

Whatever the final figures it won't be a 'very small fraction' of trains that are longer than 5-cars as you suggest.
You're right, 'very small fraction' was an incorrect use of language. I should have said 'the majority' of the new fleet will be 5-car, as opposed to the current fleet being majority 2+8 IC125s with 5-car 180s being a very small minority.

the government appears to be taking in the legislation to close less economic routes.
What?? Is a repeat of Beeching being threatened?

the two busiest stations in London are Paddington and Waterloo, not Euston, Kings Cross or St. Pancras.
This is why I think HS2 in it's current form is a mistake. I don't doubt the argument that a duplicate line for the WCML would provide much-needed extra capacity but if that's enough of an argument to build the line (and personally I think it is, if done right and you can find the money without painful cuts elsewhere, which I doubt) then there should also be new lines to release capacity on the GWML and ECML. You can't build all 3 new lines all at once due to workforce size and funding constraints, but if you can make passive provision for HS-ECML and HS-GWML while building HS-WCML (rather than, as currently planned, building HS-WCML as a stand-alone project with little or no thought to integrating it into a larger network) then, in my opinion, you should.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: ellendune on December 01, 2013, 05:14:49 pm
If you are referring to Andrew Gilligan's opionon piece in the Sunday Telegraph http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/road-and-rail-transport/10486330/HS2-is-a-blueprint-to-ruin-land-and-lives.html (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/road-and-rail-transport/10486330/HS2-is-a-blueprint-to-ruin-land-and-lives.html) there is nothing really new in it. It is just a propaganda peice for the anti HS2 lobby. 

The closure powers he refers to are if is is expedient for HS2 (no mention of HS2). This refers to things like the low level line between Trent Junction which is being closed to make way for HS2 - this is already known. The trains will still be able to use the adjacent high level lines. 

The costs of tunnelling are of course expensive as he says, but that is only because they are trying to appease the people in the Chilterns who have so much say in Parliament (for some reason).  The new head of HS2 has a brief to reduce costs and we will have to see how he does it. He compares it to the annual subsidy on rail, but in truth it will be over a number of years. Yet somehow spending the same amount of money on public transport in London is seen as essential to the continued life of the city.

You mention Waterloo and Paddington eing the top stations by usage.  You are not entirely correct. The figures for 11/12 on the ORR website give the top few stations as:

Waterloo    94,045,510
Victoria    76,231,290
Liverpool Street    57,106,502
London Bridge    52,634,024
Charing Cross    38,004,790
Euston    36,608,546
Paddington    33,736,546
Birmingham New Street    31,213,842
King's Cross    27,874,732
Glasgow Central    26,639,418
Leeds    25,020,032
St.Pancras    22,996,472

However it is not just about total usage, but about where there is lack of capacity.  If you think the GWML needs additional capacity you are probably right, but the biggest constraint is Reading - which is being dealt with and the next strategic pinch points are Reading to Paddington and perhaps Didcot to Swindon. The former is not an easy fix. The latter is relatively easy fixed with 4 tracks (GWR started this). The question is whether the combined WCML, MML and ECML capacity constraints - which HS2 is designed to deal with are more urgent or important to the nation. They do serve a far large population. 

We do think that we in the west should get investment - of course we are we are special people.  However, I could not argue that it should ahve higher priority than these other routes.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Rhydgaled on December 02, 2013, 10:52:30 am
If you think the GWML needs additional capacity you are probably right, but the biggest constraint is Reading - which is being dealt with and the next strategic pinch points are Reading to Paddington and perhaps Didcot to Swindon. The former is not an easy fix. The latter is relatively easy fixed with 4 tracks (GWR started this). The question is whether the combined WCML, MML and ECML capacity constraints - which HS2 is designed to deal with are more urgent or important to the nation. They do serve a far large population. 

We do think that we in the west should get investment - of course we are we are special people.  However, I could not argue that it should ahve higher priority than these other routes.
Personally, I can't see much point in the Leeds spur of HS2, it looks to me like a white elephant that will not really help the ECML and MML. Leeds - London traffic would probably be better served by an East Coast HS-line and the fact it is not possible to serve Nottingham and Derby with London trains effectively with a single route means HS2 wouldn't help the MML much either.

I agree that the highest priority for a new line on capacity grounds is London - Birmingham - Manchester, but this should be built with passive provision for it to become part of a larger network. For example, the Reading - London section of the GWML could be relieved in future if the Old Oak Common - Central London section of HS2 allows more trains. A new through station in central London, with the same number of platforms as Euston is planned to have for HS2 trains, would probably have capacity for double the frequency compared to the proposed Euston terminus. That would be passive provision for more trains, which would materialise if you then built the first section of a HS-GWML, running from Old Oak Common to Heathrow and (passing south of Reading) onto join the existing Reading - Westbury line. There could be a spur to the SWT line into Reading to allow services from Heathrow/London to run into Reading. Even just the Heathrow - Old Oak section (instead of the proposed Heathrow spur of HS2) could allow Heathrow Express (assuming only Heathrow Connect is being diverted onto Crossrail) to be taken off the GWML and, perhaps, run as an extension of the SouthEastern HighSpeed service.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: eightf48544 on December 02, 2013, 12:13:48 pm
On due consideration I am now agianst HS2.

This is 4 main reasons.

it's London terminal is Euston. it should be athrough station linking HS 2 and HS1 or at least teh Great Eastern

Birmingham is a terminal station a long way from New Street. It should be through station with links to Wolverhampton.

Manchester is a terminal station it should be at through station with links to the North West network, although possibly in its favour it's right by Piccadilly

Leeds is a terminal station a long way from Central, again it should be a through station with links to the West Yorkshire network.

If you look at the LGVs in France Germany and Spain they all serve the principle stations on the existing network with through trains and often terminate at places not served by the LGV.

I'm not against building a high speed line in principle I just don't see the point spending millions on a line that serves 3 cities with terminal stations.

I am still undecided on the point of the proposed stations at East Midalnds and Medowhall.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: stebbo on December 02, 2013, 12:40:15 pm
I wasn't just referring to the Andrew Gilligan piece. There's a whole load of stuff at the front of the Sunday Telegraph - and I am aware (as I think I said) that it might be biased and I would like to know how widely the poll was taken. It clearly has less weight if confined to the residents of the Chilterns and east Oxfordshire.

And no, I don't want to see all the extra investment in the West. I have consistently thought and said that the cross-country routes could use electrification. For example, why is electrification out of Birmingham being extended to Bromsgrove but no further? Surely it makes sense to wire Bristol to Birmingham and then Birmingham to the ECML.   


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: paul7755 on December 02, 2013, 01:09:02 pm
For example, why is electrification out of Birmingham being extended to Bromsgrove but no further? Surely it makes sense to wire Bristol to Birmingham and then Birmingham to the ECML.   

Birmingham to Bromsgrove and Birmingham to Bristol are two fundamentally different service groups.

Bromsgrove provides space for a better terminus, with central turn back platform, for the intended 3tph LM Cross City local suburban service with balanced destinations of 3 each to Bromsgrove and Redditch.  Rolling stock is already being provided for this improvement. 
 
XC Bristol to Birmingham and Sheffield to the ECML would be almost certainly a CP6 project, I'd expect after the currently planned work it would be about the highest priority.  But it also requires a subsequent major change to XC's rolling stock fleet to make it viable. 

Paul


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Rhydgaled on December 02, 2013, 01:53:26 pm
On due consideration I am now agianst HS2.

This is 4 main reasons.

it's London terminal is Euston. it should be athrough station linking HS 2 and HS1 or at least teh Great Eastern

Birmingham is a terminal station a long way from New Street. It should be through station with links to Wolverhampton.

Manchester is a terminal station it should be at through station with links to the North West network, although possibly in its favour it's right by Piccadilly

...

I'm not against building a high speed line in principle I just don't see the point spending millions on a line that serves 3 cities with terminal stations.
Agreed, I am in favor of the principle of HS2 (aside from the Leeds spur) but disagree with the terminal stations, particularly the Birmingham and London ones.

The Birimingham station (unless they've changed it) is actually in a good position, close to Moor Street and New Street, but there needs to be a tunnel portal instead of buffer stops at one end of it, HS2 trains to Manchester/Liverpool/Chester/Holyhead (if wired)/Glasgow etc. could then call at Birmingham central on route rather than only Birmingham airport. A new classic line spur to Wolverhampton off the HS2 line north of Birmingham might also be a good idea.

Manchester I'm not as worried about, since it is a fair distance from London and going via both Birmingham and Manchester (rather than just Birmingham) might slow up Glasgow trains a little too much, but providing London-Birmingham/Manchester/Glasgow, Birmingham-Manchester/Glasgow and Manchester-Glasgow services all in one train does sound appealing and might help fill trains enough to warrant high frequencies on all routes.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: stuving on December 02, 2013, 07:40:14 pm
On due consideration I am now agianst HS2.

This is 4 main reasons.

it's London terminal is Euston. it should be athrough station linking HS 2 and HS1 or at least teh Great Eastern

Birmingham is a terminal station a long way from New Street. It should be through station with links to Wolverhampton.

Manchester is a terminal station it should be at through station with links to the North West network, although possibly in its favour it's right by Piccadilly

Leeds is a terminal station a long way from Central, again it should be a through station with links to the West Yorkshire network.

If you look at the LGVs in France Germany and Spain they all serve the principle stations on the existing network with through trains and often terminate at places not served by the LGV.

I'm not against building a high speed line in principle I just don't see the point spending millions on a line that serves 3 cities with terminal stations.

I am still undecided on the point of the proposed stations at East Midalnds and Medowhall.

... or look at it this way.

No-one prefers a train that stops on their route. The disadvantage of going point to point is that it needs more station capacity (platforms and paths) to terminate a train from A at B and start it as a new one to C, and run a separate trains from A to C, rather than one from A to C via B.

On the other hand it's much easier, and cheaper, to get (or expand) a terminus in a city centre than a through line. And all the termini are within a train's length (200m) of the (or an) existing main station.

So if you put your money into termini, you should get as many seats on each route, faster journeys, but maybe not as frequent.

Then you add in "hybrid" trains that run on HS2 and then onto other places on "classic" lines, such as A to D and B to D. These do not also serve C to D, but then the line from C to D isn't high speed and already has trains.

So I don't think the choice such a clear-cut one. Of course you may still not like some of the compromises HS2 have arrived at; neither do I. For example, I think more "hybrid" and fewer "captive" trains looks a better bet, and I'm not convinced these new termini have enough platforms. But remember that we didn't have all of the inputs they had (luckily for us).



Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Lee on March 07, 2014, 06:21:02 pm
The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has launched a consultation (https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/high-speed-rail-college-possible-location) on a possible location for a new high speed rail college. A final decision on the preferred location is expected in June 2014, and the college is expected to open in 2017.

The consultation closes on 30 April 2014.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: caliwag on March 07, 2014, 08:11:33 pm
Ha...the attached will stop HS2 in it's tracks (excuse the tabloid pun) if the serious are prepared to digest it.

http://www.christianwolmar.co.uk/2014/03/rail-740-hs2-is-the-wrong-scheme-in-wrong-place/


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: bignosemac on March 07, 2014, 08:52:55 pm
Quote from: http://www.christianwolmar.co.uk/2014/03/rail-740-hs2-is-the-wrong-scheme-in-wrong-place/
A Freedom of Information request has revealed that on a typical autumn weekday, there remains plenty of spare capacity for both suburban and long distance services at all times.

That comes as no surprise whatsoever to me. Cost has always been my over-riding concern with HS2, but I've also long been aware that the capacity arguments put forward by the pro HS2 side may not be as bad as they were leading us to believe.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: paul7755 on March 07, 2014, 09:14:21 pm
Isn't the whole point of HS2 to pre-emptively provide the capacity that is believed necessary in 20 to 30 years time?

Paul


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: ellendune on March 07, 2014, 09:26:33 pm
Ha...the attached will stop HS2 in it's tracks (excuse the tabloid pun) if the serious are prepared to digest it.

http://www.christianwolmar.co.uk/2014/03/rail-740-hs2-is-the-wrong-scheme-in-wrong-place/

We all know that Christian Wolmar has been against HS2 from the start.  I don't think this adds much to the debate amongst those who look at the detail so no it will not stop it in its tracks. 

There is a debate to be had as to whether this is the right scheme, but so far the anti HS2 brigade have only put forward shallow arguments that while they may make good headlines in the Daily Mail, they have not stood up in court where arguments get a more serious consideration.





Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: bignosemac on March 07, 2014, 09:52:39 pm
Nothing ruled on by the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court was about whether HS2 was needed. Merely that all steps already taken were lawful.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Lee on March 12, 2014, 01:43:24 pm
Consultants report backs HS2 station at Sheffield Victoria - http://www.railnews.co.uk/news/2014/03/12-report-suggests-hs2-station-in.html


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: brompton rail on March 12, 2014, 02:50:59 pm
Amongst the reasons are Sheffield Victoria (city Centre) station would generate more development than out of town at Meadowhall, where the existing shopping centre threatens the City Centre. Hopefully this approach will be adopted, both in Sheffield and at Derby / Nottingham where a station midway between these 2 cities is proposed, connected by tram / train services. Would passengers from London to Bristol and v.v. be keen to have to travel from the City Centre by tram to Parkway before boarding a faster train to London?


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Lee on March 13, 2014, 12:45:16 pm
Interesting tactics being deployed by the Stop HS2 folks - http://www.bucksherald.co.uk/news/more-news/call-for-hs2-opponents-to-stand-up-and-be-counted-1-5930983

Interesting too that they need more money to pay their campaign manager's wages.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Tony (Formerly FT, N!) on March 13, 2014, 04:31:56 pm
The message is clear - dip your hands to your pockets or the campaign manager walks. I shall keep my cheque book closed.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Lee on March 14, 2014, 05:14:14 pm
Michael Roberts gives a rallying call to the pro-HS2 folks - http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/mar/14/hs2-future-backbone-britain-railway-high-speed-line


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Lee on March 15, 2014, 10:16:25 am
Shall I compare thee to Brunel's Great Western Railway?... - http://hs2northsouthrailline.tumblr.com/post/79464814964/the-railways-will-do-as-much-for-mankind-as-the


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Rhydgaled on March 15, 2014, 05:32:23 pm
Sorry, from the photographs I've seen of HS1, modern HighSpeed railways aesthetically speaking aren't a patch on alot of the old railway infrustructure. Why can't they build things that look nice anymore?

As for "HS2 needs to be plugged effectively into the existing network, not seen as a stand-alone project", haven't I posted this (my Birmingham HS2 proposal map) (http://rhydtest.web44.net/ptBlog/?page_id=77) yet?


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Red Squirrel on March 16, 2014, 10:43:40 am
Sorry, from the photographs I've seen of HS1, modern HighSpeed railways aesthetically speaking aren't a patch on alot of the old railway infrustructure. Why can't they build things that look nice anymore?

Victorian railway infrastructure divided opinion in its day no less than the new stuff does now. Personally I love a brick arch and a rivetted iron girder as much as the next squirrel, but a new concrete viaduct can be very elegant too.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on March 16, 2014, 06:07:13 pm
Personally I love a brick arch and a rivetted iron girder as much as the next squirrel ...

See also http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=5560.0  ;) :D ;D


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Lee on March 17, 2014, 12:28:10 pm
The long-awaited HS2 Plus report (http://www.hs2.org.uk/david-higgins-launches-his-vision-for-hs2) has been published.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Lee on March 21, 2014, 09:31:55 am
The HS2 Growth Taskforce report, entitled "HS2: get ready", has been published - https://www.gov.uk/government/news/hs2-will-drive-urban-regeneration


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Lee on March 25, 2014, 12:49:29 am
Government confirms scrapping of HS1-HS2 link - http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/hansard/commons/todays-commons-debates/read/unknown/255/


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: stuving on March 25, 2014, 08:18:56 am
Government confirms scrapping of HS1-HS2 link - http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/hansard/commons/todays-commons-debates/read/unknown/255/

That statement, plus following questions from back-benchers, has now sneaked to into Hansard.
The statement itself, re-pagraphed for infants, is here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/high-speed-rail-24-march-2014 (https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/high-speed-rail-24-march-2014)


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Lee on March 25, 2014, 08:24:56 am
Cheers stuving.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on March 25, 2014, 11:47:41 pm
From the Western Morning News (http://www.westernmorningnews.co.uk/Ministers-urged-shift-London-train-depot-Cornwall/story-20846830-detail/story.html):

Quote
Ministers urged to shift London train depot to Cornwall

The Government has been urged to move a major train depot from London to Cornwall so the far South West can reap economic benefits from the ^50 billion high-speed rail line from the capital to the north.

South West politicians, business leaders and passengers have complained the region has to make do with a second-rate rail network while the proposed High Speed 2 (HS2) project sends 250mph modern trains between London and Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds.

In the House of Commons, Sarah Newton, Conservative MP for Truro and Falmouth, called on the Government to move the Great Western Old Oak Common train depot from west London to Penzance as part of the programme, creating 60 jobs in Cornwall.

A major new railway station has been planned at the Old Oak Common site, which is poised to be an inter-change for HS2, the Great Western line and the under-construction Crossrail project. Bosses are eyeing a 2026 opening.

During a urgent ministerial statement on HS2, Mrs Newton asked: "HS2 could have real benefits for Cornwall, especially if the First Great Western train depot at Old Oak Common is relocated to Penzance. You have received proposals from me, First Great Western and the (Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership). When will you be able to let us know your decision?"

In response, Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: "You raise just one of the many issues that need to be looked at and resolved but I certainly think that Old Oak Common will become a major new transport focus for future generations and has a very important role to play. So getting the maximum development in that area is very important as well."

The Great Western train depot at Long Rock just east of Penzance stores British rail-class high speed trains and Voyagers deployed cross-country. The logic behind moving more trains to west Cornwall would be to have them at one of either end of the Great Western line.

Mrs Newton said afterwards: "This is a good way to bring high-quality jobs into Cornwall. And I and my colleagues will be making a strong case so that the depot comes to Penzance."

Last week, Torbay Liberal Democrat MP Adrian Sanders called for the Great Western line to be electrified as far west as Penazance as a sweetener for the agreeing to HS2.

Elsewhere during the session, South West Devon Conservative MP Gary Streeter asked the Transport Secretary for assurances that HS2 will leave enough money for an alternative or complementary route to the vulnerable Dawlish as soon as one is identified by Network Rail.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: bignosemac on March 25, 2014, 11:56:07 pm
And when the weather interferes?

Bad enough with just a handful of trains trapped. With a large part of the fleet based in Cornwall it would be even more difficult to run long distance services.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: ellendune on March 26, 2014, 12:13:25 am
And would there be a huge increase in Cornwall to London trains or just a load of empty carriage workings?


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Southern Stag on March 26, 2014, 12:14:58 am
Of course the maintenance of the new IEP trains is already set to be at the ex-Eurostar depot at North Pole not far from Old Oak Common. I believe some work has already started to prepare the depot for IEP.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Lee on March 26, 2014, 09:50:05 am
The Design Council on why they think the 1960s Euston station should be kept, and on their view that its loss would be as big as that of the original Victorian building it replaced - https://www.designcouncil.org.uk/news-opinion/defence-euston-station


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on March 26, 2014, 11:26:05 am
And when the weather interferes?

Bad enough with just a handful of trains trapped. With a large part of the fleet based in Cornwall it would be even more difficult to run long distance services.


..........then why not use this as a catalyst to divert funding to create more robust infrastructure in the South West as well as creating jobs rather than blowing billions of ^ on HS2 which virtually no-one wants or needs to cities such as Birmingham and Manchester which already have more than adequate transport facilities to the South............if people appreciated that there is life West of Exeter then we may be able to avert it becoming more of an economic and industrial wasteland........I must declare an interest here as I am a Janner in exile and still smarting from last night's defeat to Exeter!  >:(


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: ellendune on March 26, 2014, 07:09:35 pm
And when the weather interferes?

Bad enough with just a handful of trains trapped. With a large part of the fleet based in Cornwall it would be even more difficult to run long distance services.


..........then why not use this as a catalyst to divert funding to create more robust infrastructure in the South West as well as creating jobs rather than blowing billions of ^ on HS2 which virtually no-one wants or needs to cities such as Birmingham and Manchester which already have more than adequate transport facilities to the South............if people appreciated that there is life West of Exeter then we may be able to avert it becoming more of an economic and industrial wasteland........I must declare an interest here as I am a Janner in exile and still smarting from last night's defeat to Exeter!  >:(

What percentage of trains from Paddington end up at Penzance?

So there rest would just have to be very long empty stock workings. A waste of time, manpower and energy and making a less robust service regardless of Dawlish. Moving Old Oak Common depot to Long Rock is at best ill-conceived!

It is also wrong to say no one wants HS2 - just because you don't.  Like it or not there is at the very least an arguable business case.  And as for lots of services to the South from the North that is so, but there are lots of people - at least 20 times more than live west of Exeter. And in case you haven't looked up there large parts of the North have been an industrial wasteland for many decades.

Yes the far South Wests needs economic regeneration and yes it needs a more robust rail service, but not at the expense of the north and not but ill thought out depot locations.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Electric train on March 26, 2014, 09:43:24 pm
Of course the maintenance of the new IEP trains is already set to be at the ex-Eurostar depot at North Pole not far from Old Oak Common. I believe some work has already started to prepare the depot for IEP.
Some work!!!! for the last 9 months Hitachi's contractors Volkafitzpatrick have been knocking place about, its now in an advanced state

On the point of moving maintenance to the West, the principle HST depot is in the West at Laira.  OOC and North Pole (IEP) are where they are for a good reasons ............... operationally needed otherwise the railways would have already located the depots elsewhere

The Design Council on why they think the 1960s Euston station should be kept, and on their view that its loss would be as big as that of the original Victorian building it replaced - https://www.designcouncil.org.uk/news-opinion/defence-euston-station
I agree we should not loose this 1960's eyesore, future generations will have nothing to learn from our lessons of how to get things wrong  ;D

Actually it is an iconic building, displaying the optimism of the 1960's the need for a "modern Britain" to move out of austere post war decade of the 1950's it is light and airy even today the concourse still has a light and airy feel, they just need to get rid of all the detritus (retail units) to improve it.  I agree the platforms are poor ............. well actually rubbish


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Southern Stag on March 26, 2014, 09:54:23 pm
Of course the maintenance of the new IEP trains is already set to be at the ex-Eurostar depot at North Pole not far from Old Oak Common. I believe some work has already started to prepare the depot for IEP.
Some work!!!! for the last 9 months Hitachi's contractors Volkafitzpatrick have been knocking place about, its now in an advanced state

On the point of moving maintenance to the West, the principle HST depot is in the West at Laira.  OOC and North Pole (IEP) are where they are for a good reasons ............... operationally needed otherwise the railways would have already located the depots elsewhere

I didn't realise how far advanced it was. No chance of them abandoning the work if it is so far complete then.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Southern Stag on March 26, 2014, 09:55:16 pm

What percentage of trains from Paddington end up at Penzance?

So there rest would just have to be very long empty stock workings. A waste of time, manpower and energy and making a less robust service regardless of Dawlish. Moving Old Oak Common depot to Long Rock is at best ill-conceived!
5 HST sets stable at Long Rock depot each night. A very small percentage of the overall fleet of up to 54 HST sets.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Electric train on March 26, 2014, 10:06:51 pm
Of course the maintenance of the new IEP trains is already set to be at the ex-Eurostar depot at North Pole not far from Old Oak Common. I believe some work has already started to prepare the depot for IEP.
Some work!!!! for the last 9 months Hitachi's contractors Volkafitzpatrick have been knocking place about, its now in an advanced state

On the point of moving maintenance to the West, the principle HST depot is in the West at Laira.  OOC and North Pole (IEP) are where they are for a good reasons ............... operationally needed otherwise the railways would have already located the depots elsewhere

I didn't realise how far advanced it was. No chance of them abandoning the work if it is so far complete then.
No, I think the depot connection goes in some time soon at the Ladbroke Grove end facing in the UP direction.  I think there is still a connection onto the West London Line but all of the third rail has been removed.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on March 26, 2014, 10:36:55 pm

What percentage of trains from Paddington end up at Penzance?

So there rest would just have to be very long empty stock workings. A waste of time, manpower and energy and making a less robust service regardless of Dawlish. Moving Old Oak Common depot to Long Rock is at best ill-conceived!
5 HST sets stable at Long Rock depot each night. A very small percentage of the overall fleet of up to 54 HST sets.

Not saying a maintenance depot at Long Rock is a good idea, but how many HST sets will be left after the IEPs arrive though?


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Southern Stag on March 27, 2014, 12:09:51 am
Unlikely to be a huge number more than that I'd guess. But then for major work there is already a much more suitable depot in the shape of Laira.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Andrew1939 from West Oxon on April 02, 2014, 07:23:17 pm
New cross-London plan for HS1 and HS2 with direct HS1 trains to Oxford and Heathrow?

Link: http://www.oxfordprospect.co.uk/New-cross-London-plan-for-HS1-and-HS2.html


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: grahame on April 02, 2014, 07:47:38 pm
And on to Hastings ...

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-26832350

... in an article timed at 10:45 yesterday morning - 1st April.   I wonder ...


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Electric train on April 02, 2014, 08:11:56 pm
And on to Hastings ...

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-26832350

... in an article timed at 10:45 yesterday morning - 1st April.   I wonder ...
Not as daft as it sounds, the 1950's plan to electrify the Ashford / Hastings routes that last saw the light of day in the 1980's has had the dust knock off it again.  They are looking to run the 395's on the route the aim to speed up the service from Bexhill to London.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: grahame on April 02, 2014, 08:28:03 pm
Not as daft as it sounds ...

Oh I agree ... it's the last diesel passenger service for many miles at the moment ...

The clever thing about Chris-from-Nailsea's Portishead post yesterday was that it was close enough to being real as to have people double-thinking.   And I rather suspect that electrification to Hastings ... and to Portishead, come to think of if, isn't way out.   But I do think one of yesterday's posts wasn't serious and the other probably was, even if it's at GRIP minus 2 at the moment (something that's said in the lead up to an election)


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on April 02, 2014, 08:47:13 pm
The clever thing about Chris-from-Nailsea's Portishead post yesterday was that it was close enough to being real as to have people double-thinking.

Oh, I say: thanks, but it was just an attempt at an April Fool ...  :-[ :P ::) ;D


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Rhydgaled on April 03, 2014, 09:23:50 am
New cross-London plan for HS1 and HS2 with direct HS1 trains to Oxford and Heathrow?

Link: http://www.oxfordprospect.co.uk/New-cross-London-plan-for-HS1-and-HS2.html
Actually a similar idea to one of mine, if only there was a decent HS1-HS2 link. Build a spur off HS2 from Old Oak to Heathrow and extend the Javelins to Heathrow to free up Heathrow Express paths on the GWML. The Euston Cross proposal was sadly ruled out though, so this sadly probablly is going nowhere. The Old Oak - Heathrow link could also be extended at a (much) later date to create a new HS line towards Bristol/Taunton/South Wales


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on April 09, 2014, 01:59:32 pm
From the BBC (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-26952238):

Quote
New HS2 compensation announced

(http://news.bbcimg.co.uk/media/images/74130000/jpg/_74130751_74130750.jpg)
Compensation of up to ^100,000 will be available - even if residents decide not to move

Details have emerged of compensation packages for homeowners and businesses near the HS2 high-speed rail link - even if they do not want to move.

Under the proposals the state would buy properties within 60 metres of the line at the full market value. Those up to 120 metres away, who do not want to move, would be eligible for a payment of 10% of the home's value.

The changes to compensation packages are still to be consulted on but are expected to come in from 2015.

HS2 Action Alliance, which opposes the project, said it believed around 500,00 homes would eligible for compensation.

Ministers are also considering relaxing the rules on buying up homes of those living more than 300m from the London to Birmingham route.

Homeowners and small businesses must currently prove they would suffer from "exceptional hardship" from the building of the line. It is proposed this should be replaced by a "compelling reason" to sell.

For homes and small businesses up to 60 metres of the line the state would buy up properties at the full unblighted market value, plus 10% (up to ^47,000).

For those within 60 and 120 metres of the line who do not wish to sell the government would pay out cash compensation of 10% of the market value, up to a maximum of ^100,000.

Those within 120 and 300 metres would be offered between ^22,500 to ^7,500 on a sliding scale, based on distance from the line. The payments are proposed to be tax free.

No limits have been set on how far away from HS2 applicable properties will have to be. Senior HS2 officials say this is because the local environment can vary widely.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said there would be a consultation on the plans. He said: "I completely understand the concerns and anxieties of those living near the line and it is only right that those people are properly looked after. I believe this package of compensation and assistance will enable us to help people more. But I want to get it absolutely right, so I am asking for further views on some aspects before we finalise plans."


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: stuving on April 29, 2014, 09:48:44 am
Here, for the record, is one of many reports of yesterday's parliamentary vote.
From the BBC (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-27184269)

Quote
MPs reject calls for HS2 rail plans to be halted
(http://news.bbcimg.co.uk/media/images/74474000/jpg/_74474608_74474603.jpg)
The HS2 link between London, the Midlands and the north of England is expected to cost ^42.6bn

MPs have rejected calls for the proposed HS2 rail link between London and the West Midlands to be scrapped, despite a Tory rebellion.

MPs threw out a proposal by ex-minister Cheryl Gillan for the plan to be halted by 451 votes to 50, a majority of 401.

Transport Minister Robert Goodwill said it was an "important step" in taking the controversial project forward.

A total of 34 Tories voted against the government, while a total of 46 Tories missed the vote or abstained.

Thirty-two Conservatives backed Mrs Gillan's amendment, while one - James Gray - acted as a teller for the rebels.

After rejecting Ms Gillan's amendment, MPs approved the general principles of the bill in a second vote by 452 to 41 votes, a majority of 411.

Twenty-four of the rebel Tories voted against the government again this time, as did two other Tories, John Redwood and Sir Richard Shepherd.

Last June, 21 Conservative backbenchers opposed the government in a Commons vote laying the groundwork for HS2 and the size of the rebellion was expected to be larger on Monday.

The High Speed Rail (London - West Midlands) Bill 2013-14, which would authorise the first phase of the multi-billion project, cleared its first parliamentary hurdle when it was given a second reading by MPs.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Tony (Formerly FT, N!) on May 06, 2014, 06:06:10 pm
This is now gaining an unstoppable momentum. Only 34 Tories, and 14 others, voted against the amendment, these mainly being from constituencies where the adverse effects will be most visible and audible. It is little surprise they are offering empathy, with an election next year. The attempt at stopping the bill was doomed to failure from the off, as both Labour and Lib Dem policy is for support.

Plans are one thing, heavy plant in the petunias another. The compensation plans are formed, the need for capacity has been demonstrated, and now the newspaper editors are lining up behind HS2, or at least The Times is.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on May 20, 2014, 11:55:58 pm
From the Falmouth Packet (http://www.falmouthpacket.co.uk/news/11203809.MP_urges_Government_over__Train_Care_Centre__for_Penzance/):

Quote
MP urges Government over 'Train Care Centre' for Penzance

Andrew George MP says he is urging the Secretary of State for Transport to get behind a Cornish bid for rail investment.

Cornwall Council has been working alongside First Great Western, Network Rail and the Department for Transport on plans to upgrade the Sleeper Service and provide a new Train Care Centre in Penzance, which will include more than 50 jobs.

A private exhibition in Westminster was held on Thursday, May 8, to highlight the proposals, with the Transport Secretary, Patrick McLoughlin MP, attending the event.

Mr George said: ^The least any Government can do is give Cornwall a fraction of the multi billion pound transport investment going into wealthy London and the South East.

"With ^17 billion for Crossrail through London and another ^50 billion for HS2 from London to the north if our services don^t get any investment the Penzance to Paddington service will look like a branch line.

^This is an excellent bid and the least that the Government can do. This is especially excellent news for Penzance as it places it at the fulcrum of the service.

^I have been involved in many discussions as this proposal has developed in recent months. I^m delighted that we have this opportunity to reinforce the message to the Transport Secretary today. What we need now is for the Government to get behind Cornwall^s rail bid.^


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: bobm on June 05, 2014, 11:42:50 am
Royal Mail's view on HS2 as reported in  Post & Parcel (http://postandparcel.info/61378/news/companies/royal-mail-greatly-concerned-about-planned-high-speed-rail-route/).

Quote
Royal Mail has raised concerns over the route of the UK government^s controversial High Speed Rail project, which proposes a major new transport route from London to the North of England.
 
HS2, as the ^43bn project is known, is the subject of a bill currently going through the House of Commons. It proposes a high-speed rail link between London^s Euston station and the city of Birmingham, with a second phase running up to Manchester and Leeds. Construction is slated to start in 2017, with the first phase open in 2016 and the second in 2032.
 
The project is already resulting in mail company UK Mail Group moving its headquarters and central hub to Coventry, out of the path of the planned rail link.
 
Royal Mail Group backs the HS2 project in principle, and wants to work with the government to support the project.
 
But, last month the company signed up to a Commons petition opposing the project as it is currently planned.
 
The newly-privatised universal postal operator said in a statement issued through London-based lawyers Bircham Dyson Bell LLP that it has various sites that would be directly affected by the construction of the HS2 project.
 
The company said three major delivery offices covering a ^very substantial^ part of London would be subject of compulsory purchase orders, along with the Greenford Mail Centre in the London Borough of Ealing and the Castle Bromwich Delivery Office in Birmingham.
 
The Greenford Parcel Sort Centre, a leased building, would also be affected by the rail project, and represents a key part of Royal Mail^s operations during the pre-Christmas peak parcel season, handling 15m parcels in November and December.
 
Royal Mail said that without sufficient mitigation measures, it would not be able to carry out its statutory duty to deliver the mail if the HS2 project goes ahead in current form.
 
^The proposed works will affect much of your Petitioners^ operational property necessary for the collection and delivery of mail over major parts of London and Birmingham,^ the company warned.
 
^The performance by your Petitioners of their statutory duties is also dependent upon road transport within the areas of the works proposed in the Bill. Your Petitioners are greatly concerned that, without adequate protection and mitigation, the disruption to the road transport network caused by the proposed works may result in your Petitioners being unable to fulfill their statutory duties.^
 
Royal Mail added in the petition submission that it would be prepared to prove that its property, rights and interests are ^injuriously and prejudicially affected^ by the HS2 project.
 
Compulsory purchases
 
The company said even if it is not forced to hand over sites under compulsory purchase orders, construction and tunneling in the vicinity could cause ^significant loss and damage^ to its business.
 
The loss of the Camden Delivery Office to a compulsory purchase order would cause a particular headache, Royal Mail said, because similar sites ^are not generally available^ in North London. Talks with the HS2 project managers are ongoing, Royal Mail said, but the mail company has failed to identify an alternative site, and said that it would not vacate its current delivery office unless an alternative site is found, even under a compulsory purchase order.
 
Royal Mail^s submission also complained that proposed compensation for the loss of its sites was not sufficient.
 
^Unless the Bill is amended as proposed above,^ the company concluded, ^the Bill should not be allowed to pass into law.^


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: lordgoata on June 05, 2014, 12:20:59 pm
Quote
Construction is slated to start in 2017, with the first phase open in 2016 and the second in 2032

Ah! That explains it. Most of the ^43bn is being spent on a time machine.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Tony (Formerly FT, N!) on June 05, 2014, 09:15:05 pm
Quote
Construction is slated to start in 2017, with the first phase open in 2016 and the second in 2032

Ah! That explains it. Most of the ^43bn is being spent on a time machine.

I'm not surprised, I've spent millions on my time machine. It's not working now, although it was fine next month.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Red Squirrel on June 05, 2014, 10:01:13 pm
Quote
Construction is slated to start in 2017, with the first phase open in 2016 and the second in 2032

Ah! That explains it. Most of the ^43bn is being spent on a time machine.

I'm not surprised, I've spent millions on my time machine. It's not working now, although it was fine next month.

...and that explains why you style yourself 'Four Track, Now!'

The Tralfamadorians never suffer from such confusion...


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: eightf48544 on October 17, 2014, 11:34:13 am
There is warning that this thread has not been posted in for 120 days but I heard something this morning on The today programme that HS2 are looking to start issuing I presumme tenders for various construction contracts. The interviewer i think JH asked why if it's not been approved by parliament. I think it Kirby the MD replied tha wanted to have eveything lined up and ready to go when approval was given.

I still have three main objections to the HS2 proposal, not the concept but the three terminal staions in Birmingham. Manchester and Leeds in my opinion these should be through staions connected to the mainnetwork and enable through trains off HS2 to serve Wolverhampton, Preston and York for example. by linking across Birminham, Manchester and Leeds.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Rhydgaled on October 18, 2014, 12:09:59 am
I still have three main objections to the HS2 proposal, not the concept but the three terminal staions in Birmingham. Manchester and Leeds in my opinion these should be through staions connected to the mainnetwork and enable through trains off HS2 to serve Wolverhampton, Preston and York for example. by linking across Birminham, Manchester and Leeds.
I agree with you, Birmingham in particular (and I'm not sure about the Leeds spur at all). If tunnelling out the other side of Birmingham, as my map shows (http://rhydtest.web44.net/ptBlog/?page_id=77) is 'too difficult' then I think it might be better to forget both the Leeds and Birmingham spurs and just go to Manchester, with some of the released WCML capacity used for more-frequent Pendolinos through Birmingham New Street. I think the same station site in central Birmingham looks ok, just sink it into a cutting with a tunnel portal leading through to Manchester with a branch off that, once the line's emerged from the tunnel, to join the classic lines to Wolverhampton.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Electric train on October 18, 2014, 08:35:57 am
I still have three main objections to the HS2 proposal, not the concept but the three terminal staions in Birmingham. Manchester and Leeds in my opinion these should be through staions connected to the mainnetwork and enable through trains off HS2 to serve Wolverhampton, Preston and York for example. by linking across Birminham, Manchester and Leeds.

There is a misconception that HS2 will only serve Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds when in fact HS2 will be providing the route for Glasgow, Preston, there are other destinations off of the traditional WCML.  HS2 must be viewed as the UK railways version of a motorway; HS2 principle task is to provide capacity to relive congestion on the Southern end of the WCML, MML and ECML, this freed up capacity will then allow the freed up capacity to run more trains, also to reduce journey time to Glasgow etc.

The NR "on networks" enabling has commenced already in certain locations


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: eightf48544 on October 18, 2014, 10:33:40 am
Agreed it can serve places on the WCML North of Manchester, but my point it doesn't give not give  station interchange in Birmingham Manchester and Leeds all of which have thriving suburban services. So if I lived in Bourneville or Sutton Coldfield I would probably still  travel via New Street and catch a WCML pendelino rather than waste most of the time saving walking to Curzon Street.

Unfortunately, we are still suffering from the Railway Mania of the 1850s with multiple unlinked stations in our big cities rather than the single  strategically planned Hauptbanhofs as in Grmany. New terminal stations on HS2 add to the problem of providing a fully linked rail network.

I have a short piece of video of an ICE and IC (to different destinations) entering Mannheim station in parallel, with the IC actually overtaking the ICE, but both stopping either side of the same platform. It  happens most hours. Now that's what should happen with HS2 with other trains having cross platform interchange in Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds.

I have no objection to building a high speed spine to the North initially and maybe even to the West, it's far less obstrusive than a 6 or 8 lane motorway, both visually and aurally so long as it links to the conventional network and serves the existing stations plus takes freight at night.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: ellendune on October 18, 2014, 11:44:00 am
Agreed it can serve places on the WCML North of Manchester, but my point it doesn't give not give  station interchange in Birmingham Manchester and Leeds all of which have thriving suburban services. So if I lived in Bourneville or Sutton Coldfield I would probably still  travel via New Street and catch a WCML pendelino rather than waste most of the time saving walking to Curzon Street.

As far as Manchester is concerned the new station will be immediately adjoining Piccadilly. Indeed it will be closer to the existing concourse than the through platforms. This then has excellent links to the tram system which gives access to Victoria. 

As far as Birmingham is concerned the concourse of the new station will be immediately next to Moor Street Station.  The redevelopment of New Street includes a direct walking route to Moor Street which could be improved to give a moving walkway (it is only 5 minutes walk anyway - not much further than the route to the through platforms at Manchester Piccadilly).  After all the distance to New Street along the new route is still only less than an HS2 platform length!

Note: if you ask Google for a walking route from New Street to Moor Street it says 8 minutes by the current circuitous route (which is better than the 15 minute route it used to give).

As for Leeds the distance from the concourse to the South Entrance of Leeds Station is less than 1/2 a platform length away, so with a moving walkway what is the problem?



Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on October 25, 2014, 07:34:20 pm
From the BBC (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-29768921):

Quote
HS2: Phase two report proposes new station for Crewe

(http://news.bbcimg.co.uk/media/images/78532000/jpg/_78532434_hs2ii.jpg)
An artist's impression shows how the proposed station in Crewe would look

A report into the route of the second phase of the controversial fast train project HS2 is expected to recommend a new station be built in Crewe.

It means a bid by council leaders for Stoke to be included on the line is likely to be rejected.

Monday's announcement is set to recommend sticking with a plan to split the line in two after the London to Birmingham stage opens in 2026.

HS2 will then be extended to Manchester and to Leeds via Sheffield by 2032.

The scheme's boss, Sir David Higgins, has spent months looking at whether the government has got the right route for the second phase of HS2 in the north of England.

The government's earmarked route for the western branch of the second phase of HS2 - which will see trains will travel at 225 mph (362km/h) - ran through Crewe.

The initial plans suggested HS2 would connect with the West Coast Main Line south of Crewe, before continuing in a tunnel under the town heading north.

But both Crewe and Stoke launched business cases for new stations to be built.

The Crewe option proposed an out-of-town station while Stoke offered a city centre station linking up to its university quarter.

Stoke council had suggested its route was greener and cheaper and would deliver benefits to more people.

Another station between Derby and Nottingham may also have to be moved to a slightly different location, said our correspondent.

Construction on the ^50bn HS2 project is due to start in 2017.

Objectors to HS2 have said the scheme will cause an unacceptable level of environmental damage, loss of homes and disruption to many communities.

But in January the Supreme Court rejected a legal bid to force further scrutiny of the first stage of the government's plans.

Alongside HS2, Sir David's report will also update the government on what has been dubbed HS3 - a plan to speed up existing services between Leeds and Manchester. He has long warned that poor transport is throttling growth across northern England.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Electric train on October 26, 2014, 07:43:17 am
From the BBC (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-29768921):

Quote
HS2: Phase two report proposes new station for Crewe

(http://news.bbcimg.co.uk/media/images/78532000/jpg/_78532434_hs2ii.jpg)
An artist's impression shows how the proposed station in Crewe would look

A report into the route of the second phase of the controversial fast train project HS2 is expected to recommend a new station be built in Crewe.

It means a bid by council leaders for Stoke to be included on the line is likely to be rejected.

Monday's announcement is set to recommend sticking with a plan to split the line in two after the London to Birmingham stage opens in 2026.

HS2 will then be extended to Manchester and to Leeds via Sheffield by 2032.

The scheme's boss, Sir David Higgins, has spent months looking at whether the government has got the right route for the second phase of HS2 in the north of England.

The government's earmarked route for the western branch of the second phase of HS2 - which will see trains will travel at 225 mph (362km/h) - ran through Crewe.

The initial plans suggested HS2 would connect with the West Coast Main Line south of Crewe, before continuing in a tunnel under the town heading north.

But both Crewe and Stoke launched business cases for new stations to be built.

The Crewe option proposed an out-of-town station while Stoke offered a city centre station linking up to its university quarter.

Stoke council had suggested its route was greener and cheaper and would deliver benefits to more people.

Another station between Derby and Nottingham may also have to be moved to a slightly different location, said our correspondent.

Construction on the ^50bn HS2 project is due to start in 2017.

Objectors to HS2 have said the scheme will cause an unacceptable level of environmental damage, loss of homes and disruption to many communities.

But in January the Supreme Court rejected a legal bid to force further scrutiny of the first stage of the government's plans.

Alongside HS2, Sir David's report will also update the government on what has been dubbed HS3 - a plan to speed up existing services between Leeds and Manchester. He has long warned that poor transport is throttling growth across northern England.

Now this what HS2 is truly about, spine and hub.  This is how HS2 will free up capacity on the existing network


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: ellendune on October 26, 2014, 08:39:04 am
And the site at Crewe certainly has the space for something like this on railway land.  I note the separation of WCML and Regional services.  At present the line from Stoke & Derby comes into a bay platform to the East of the station, see no reason to change this - would be alot of engineering for very little benefit as no through trains - unless it is needed fro freight. 


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: eightf48544 on October 26, 2014, 11:13:15 am
Not sure I understand where the new station will be presuambly South of the old.

So   what happens to the Derby trains as Mentioned by ellendune. Don't foget this line was only electrified from Kidsgrove to Crewe relatively recently and can be used as divisonary troute for Manchester and other WCML trains depending on where the dsiruption is. What about the Manchester to Shrewsbury Wales trains will they have to reverse?

What happens to the current station?

Possibly a case of HS2 not providing prper connectivity with the exisitng network. By which I mean it should be possible to catch a train from any existing station which has a service stopping at Crewe and change onto HS2 at Crewe.

Can understand why Stoke is miffed!


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: John R on October 26, 2014, 11:24:13 am
Not sure I understand where the new station will be presuambly South of the old.


Maybe it's just a complete rebuild (like Reading) to accommodate HS2. Given connectivity at Crewe, it does seem a better option than Stoke.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on October 26, 2014, 11:32:33 am
I can also understand why Stoke is miffed, but I can see how Crewe is a far better location for a HS2 hub station, ideal in fact, given its location and the massive envelope of railway land that still exists there.  Surely it is going to provide excellent connectivity with the existing network given the number of radial lines (six directions) which currently feed it?  Far more than Stoke for example.

The finer details will no doubt come when an official announcement is made tomorrow, but surely given the space available any of the current feeder routes will still be able to access the new station, be it via a tunnel or viaduct, and that's if they need altering much at all.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: ellendune on October 26, 2014, 01:07:18 pm
Not sure I understand where the new station will be presuambly South of the old.


Maybe it's just a complete rebuild (like Reading) to accommodate HS2. Given connectivity at Crewe, it does seem a better option than Stoke.

I was assuming it was going to be a massive rebuild. I cannot see why it should not be.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Electric train on October 26, 2014, 08:13:31 pm
Crewe is the logical choice over Stoke, the reason why Crewe developed originally was because it was the logical place for a railway hub (junction).

My guess the old station will redeveloped, its not that well placed anyway with its main entrance / exit onto a fairly narrow road bridge and is not a very functional station as it stands now.

My guess is there will be a few more of hub stations announced over the next few months, perhaps not on the scale of Crewe


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Tony (Formerly FT, N!) on October 26, 2014, 11:21:09 pm
Crewe is an excellent place to change trains - I have done this many times. My impression is that it occupies a lot of land, probably used as sidings in days gone by, but capable of use by a new railway.

I have never yet left the station to see what Crewe has to offer as a town.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Electric train on October 27, 2014, 06:22:44 pm
I have never yet left the station to see what Crewe has to offer as a town.

Then you are fortunate  ;D

Over the years I have stayed in Crewe quite a bit, used to have a desk in an office in Crewe, didn't use it much but every now and the boss would say oii paperwork   >:(

The station is quite a walk from the town centre 10 mins ish, there is not a lot in the town centre in the way of shops or there wasn't the last time I was there about 8 years ago.  Don't get me wrong its pleasant enough but I wouldn't go out of my way to visit the town centre


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: ellendune on March 21, 2015, 10:27:38 pm
A recent reasoned local response to the HS2 proposals with some reasonable local concerns and some positive suggestions from local churches in Euston. 

http://www.stpancraschurch.org/fileadmin/user_upload/files/Events/Euston_Voices_Rpt.pdf (http://www.stpancraschurch.org/fileadmin/user_upload/files/Events/Euston_Voices_Rpt.pdf)


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: bignosemac on March 25, 2015, 04:11:07 am
From the BBC (http://):

Quote
HS2: Government has no 'convincing case' for ^50bn rail line

The government has no convincing case for spending ^50bn building the HS2 rail link between London and the North, a report by the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee says.

The government's main arguments in favour of HS2 - increasing railway capacity and rebalancing the economy - were still to be proven, Peers said.

There are less-expensive options than HS2, they said on Wednesday.

A government spokesman said HS2 would deliver big benefits.

Lord Hollick, chairman of the Lords' committee, said overcrowding on the West Coast Main Line was largely a problem on commuter trains and on long-distance services on Friday nights and some weekends.

"The Government have not carried out a proper assessment of whether alternative ways of increasing capacity are more cost-effective than HS2," he said. In terms of rebalancing, London is likely to be the main beneficiary from HS2. Investment in improving rail links in the North of England might deliver much greater economic benefit at a fraction of the cost."

'Satisfactory answers'

Lord Hollick called on the Department for Transport to provide detailed answers to the questions set out by the committee.

"Parliament should not approve the enabling legislation that will allow HS2 work to begin until we have satisfactory answers to these key questions," he said.

The peer sets out arguments against the investment in a YouTube video.

A Department for Transport spokesman said the case for HS2 was "crystal clear" and claimed it would have a "transformational effect".

"It is a vital part of the government's long-term economic plan, strongly supported by Northern and Midland cities, alongside our plans for better east-west rail links confirmed in the Northern Transport Strategy last week. Demand for long distance rail travel has doubled in the past 15 years... it is crucial we press ahead with delivering HS2 on time and budget and we remain on track to start construction in 2017," the spokesman said.

'No blank cheque'

Shadow transport secretary Michael Dugher said that Labour supported HS2. However, he added: "It's vital that ministers win public confidence for this important investment and ensure that the economic benefits are felt as widely as possible. We have said there will be no blank cheque for the project under Labour."

Rhian Kelly, CBI director for business environment, said a modern railway was needed to deal with lack of capacity on the West Coast Mainline.

"HS2 will better connect eight of our 10 biggest cities, boosting local economies along and beyond the route together with complementary road and rail investment. It's vital we avoid any further delays to the project," she said.

The Lords report echoed a similar report published by the Commons Public Accounts Committee in January.

The MPs said that ministers lacked a "clear strategic plan for the rail network" and were "sceptical" about whether HS2 would deliver value for money. The ^50bn price tag included a "generous contingency" that could be used to mask cost increases, they added.

The first phase of HS2 will be between London and Birmingham opening in 2026, followed by a V-shaped section to Manchester and Yorkshire.

It promises to reduce journey times to London from 81 minutes to 49 minutes, and slash the trip to Manchester by an hour to just 68 minutes.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on March 21, 2016, 11:29:26 am
The feasibility study into how Scotland/North of England journey times to London could be reduced (to three hours or less from Glasgow/Edinburgh) by either upgrading the West or East Coast lines, or extending HS2 further north has been released in a 'broad options' document:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/broad-options-for-upgraded-and-high-speed-railways-to-the-north-of-england-and-scotland (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/broad-options-for-upgraded-and-high-speed-railways-to-the-north-of-england-and-scotland)

A very interesting read, and it's clear that all three options have their benefits and disadvantages.  I'll be very interested to see how this develops over time.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: John R on March 27, 2016, 10:43:25 pm
What I find surprising about the analysis is the discussion around the constraints of Shap and Beattock. It says that the slower speeds attained by freight services significantly constrain the number of passenger services that would be possible, with electric hauled freight taking 15 mins and diesel hauled freight up to 30 mins in comparison with passenger services taking 6 minutes.

Surely before we spend billions to build bypasses of these lines, we should mandate electric haulage (and maybe should be even today for resilience reasons (it mentions trains slipping to a stand in wet conditions)). Admittedly the time saving would be less but the discussion around these locations is more around capacity and resilience. 


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Electric train on March 28, 2016, 08:04:31 am

Surely before we spend billions to build bypasses of these lines, we should mandate electric haulage (and maybe should be even today for resilience reasons (it mentions trains slipping to a stand in wet conditions)). Admittedly the time saving would be less but the discussion around these locations is more around capacity and resilience. 

The "mandating" to FOC how they operate is counter to the DfT open competitive market for freight hauled in the UK.  The FOC would say there is not sufficient end to end electrification for many of their freight operations, Southampton to Glasgow for example the "freight spine" having been parked to at least CP 6 but more likely CP 7.

The answer for Shap and Beattock is "flighting" the trains with freight reception facilities at each end of shap and Beattock


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on May 24, 2016, 08:11:20 pm
Interview on Ian King Live on Sky with Alsthom positioning themselves (and their double decker TGV/AGV's) as potential suppliers of the trains for the new line.

http://news.sky.com/video/1701566/double-decker-trains-for-hs2


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: ChrisB on May 24, 2016, 08:13:46 pm
Are the HS2 tunnels going to be abke to take diuble-decker traibs with pantographs then?


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: stuving on May 24, 2016, 08:25:51 pm
Are the HS2 tunnels going to be abke to take diuble-decker traibs with pantographs then?

Don't see why not. To reuse a previous post on my own:

HS2 is planned as UIC gauge GC - the same as HS1. This is the "biggest" UIC gauge, so other UIC gauges fit inside it - rolling stock can be smaller.

So if that's what Alstom are working to, yes.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: ChrisB on May 24, 2016, 08:29:03 pm
Strewth, they'll be some tunnels.

Apols for the typos, the keys in an iphone aren't very easy to hit


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: ellendune on May 24, 2016, 09:03:00 pm
Of course those trains would not be able to run on the 'classic' routes


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Rhydgaled on May 26, 2016, 09:13:47 am
In the news this morning: HS2 is an over-priced, gold-plated project and will fail in many of its objectives, a group of transport experts has warned (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-36376837). They seem to be saying the same thing as me, but in different words and perhaps for slightly different reasons, that HS2 is 'the wrong railway for the right reasons'. The reasons are:
  • to increase capacity
  • to improve connectivity
  • to regenerate the North and
  • to reduce climate impacts
The BBC report states that "the critics say it will only achieve one of these - capacity. Many key rail journeys, they say, would be worse, including to Nottingham, Stockport and Wakefield."

They suggest that 190mph is normal for HS lines in mainland Europe, and seem to be proposing that HS2 should be the same. I do think that the 250mph proposed is overkill, esspecially if going at 190-200mph instead would allow more important wildlife habitats like ancient woodland to be avoided. However, in order to meet the objective of reducing greenhouse gas emmisions, my view is that any routes which are only competing with road travel (and not aeroplanes as well), such as London-Birmingham shuttle services, should on no account be faster than 140mph.

Of course, you cannot have 140mph trains cluttering up a high-capacity HS route, so in my opinion the London-Birmingham shuttles need to be dropped from HS2's proposals, but sadly the BBC report makes no mention of this.

As for the other two objectives, regenerating the north and improving connectivity, it seems to me that another of HS2's weak points is that it does little, if anything, to improve connectivity between Birmingham and the 'northern powerhouse'. If you want to rebalance the economy away from London, surely improving connectivity from Manchester, Liverpool and Leeds to Bristol via Birmingham, and the TransPennine upgrade, are more important than improving links to London.

Rather than HS2's current deformed Y-shape (with the stunted third branch to Birmingham Curzon Street), it could instead be an X-shape, with Curzon Street at the centre, Leeds at the north-east, London south-east, Bristol south-west and Manchester/Liverpool north-west. Given that CrossCountry's route from Leeds to Bristol is not electrified yet, I would suggest that the north-east to south-west stroke of the X could be an upgrade of existing lines, at least initially. Thus HS2 itself would just be a single London to Manchester route, with no branches, but with classic trains on the Leeds-Bristol axis joining for the run through Birmingham, both to share a station and allow for a HS3/4 from Leeds to Bristol if required in the distant future. Perhaps dropping the Leeds spur of HS2 and electrifying the classic line instead would save enough money to pay for the necessary tunnels at the north/west end of the Birmingham Curzon street station.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on May 26, 2016, 09:39:13 am
As for the other two objectives, regenerating the north and improving connectivity, it seems to me that another of HS2's weak points is that it does little, if anything, to improve connectivity between Birmingham and the 'northern powerhouse'.

Aren't Birmingham to Leeds, York and Newcastle being reduced by over an hour by HS2 on current journey times?  Manchester being more than halved from 1h 28m to 41m?  Preston from 1h 31m to 53m?  I'd hardly call that 'little, if anything'.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Rhydgaled on May 26, 2016, 10:55:11 am
As for the other two objectives, regenerating the north and improving connectivity, it seems to me that another of HS2's weak points is that it does little, if anything, to improve connectivity between Birmingham and the 'northern powerhouse'.

Aren't Birmingham to Leeds, York and Newcastle being reduced by over an hour by HS2 on current journey times?  Manchester being more than halved from 1h 28m to 41m?  Preston from 1h 31m to 53m?  I'd hardly call that 'little, if anything'.
Birmingham to Leeds, York and Newcastle maybe, but isn't that another relatively short-distance shuttle with no air competition? As for Manchester and Preston, again no flights and I wasn't aware there would be any HS2 trains to those destinations from Birmingham. Birmingham airport yes, but not Birmingham itself owing to Curzon Street currently being planned as a terminus.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: ChrisB on May 26, 2016, 12:04:58 pm
Birmingham to Northern Powerhouse....if not those stations you've just dismissed, where?


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Noggin on May 26, 2016, 01:59:26 pm
Anyone got a link to the actual report so we can all read without the intermediary of journalists looking for a controversial angle?

Much of the higher cost per KM is explained by our geography, land prices, contingency budgets and also that we have a planning system that doesn't just declare projects of public utility and say "sod you" to anyone inconvenienced.

Also, because we built our railways earlier, we also have a smaller loading gauge and shorter platforms, which preclude using standard continental vehicles and double-decker stock. Presuming that we want to "future-proof" what we are building now and build to HS norms, that gives us a headache when it comes to city centres, as we can't use the existing "last mile" into stations like Manchester Piccadilly and Birmingham New Street (which are equally at capacity). So we are going to have to build new HS stations in city centres, which are going to be horribly expensive, and new parkway stations which seem to please no-one.

I think it's a quite reasonable assertion that the interface with the classic network is the Achilles' heel of HS2.

1) In designing Euston/Birmingham/Manchester/Leeds as end-on terminii, costs and scope were constrained, but at the risk that they would be short-lived and expensive white-elephants, in the same way that Waterloo International was. Manchester in particular should have been designed from the outset as a N-S/E-W interchange to permit a HS transpennine link, Leeds could have been similarly designed, Birmingham could have been built to support a line south to Bristol.* Of course that would have been far, far more expensive. 
2) Where there are out of town interchanges, it would have been better if they could have integrated with the classic rail network at places like Meadowhall, Birmingham Airport, Manchester Airport (and there should have be an East Midlands airport station seeing as the line goes below the runway).
3) I can see the reasons for not running HS2 through Sheffield and Nottingham (amongst other places), but there should have be provision for loops that could be used by classic-compatible trains both north and south-bound.
4) The effect on the likes of Stockport, Wilmslow, Wakefield, Stoke etc which currently have a good intercity service should have been considered

The question is, has anyone in power realised that this is a serious issue and will it be dealt with before too much gets built on white elephants?

* I'd even go far as to suggest that there should be an end-on connection to HS1, with HS2 services terminating in Ebbsfleet, but that's a bit controversial!


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: ellendune on May 26, 2016, 06:59:37 pm
Much of the cost is explained by the large amount of tunnelling needed to (fail to) placate the people in London and the South East.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: John R on May 26, 2016, 09:01:57 pm

Rather than HS2's current deformed Y-shape (with the stunted third branch to Birmingham Curzon Street), it could instead be an X-shape, with Curzon Street at the centre, Leeds at the north-east, London south-east, Bristol south-west and Manchester/Liverpool north-west. Given that CrossCountry's route from Leeds to Bristol is not electrified yet, I would suggest that the north-east to south-west stroke of the X could be an upgrade of existing lines, at least initially. Thus HS2 itself would just be a single London to Manchester route, with no branches, but with classic trains on the Leeds-Bristol axis joining for the run through Birmingham, both to share a station and allow for a HS3/4 from Leeds to Bristol if required in the distant future.
What about the spur to Pembroke Dock?  ;D


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: stuving on May 27, 2016, 04:53:55 pm
Has anyone found the study at the source of this (e.g. of yesterday's BBC item (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-36376837))? Its authors were led by Professor Tony May from Leeds University, listed (as emeritus - he retired some time ago) in the staff of their Institute for Transport Studies. The BBC also quote Professor James Croll of UCL, listed there as Emeritus Professor of Civil Engineering, Dept of Civil, Environ &Geomatic Eng.

But where, and under whose name, is the study "published"? The comparisons being made in these press reports are clearly nonsense (apples and newts, that kind of thing). Do they also have any less headlineworthy but more sensible ones, I wonder?


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on July 17, 2016, 05:21:01 pm
From the BBC (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-36820702):

Quote
HS2 rail project backed by new transport secretary

The new transport secretary, Chris Grayling, has said he has no plans to scrap the high-speed HS2 rail project.

The initial plan is for a new line from London to Birmingham, with later extensions to Manchester and Leeds.

The Stop HS2 campaign group had called on Mr Grayling to urgently review the project on cost grounds, and the effect on towns and cities near the route.

But Mr Grayling told BBC Radio 4's The World This Weekend: "I have no plans to back away from the HS2 project."

After Mr Grayling's remarks, Stop HS2 campaign manager Joe Rukin told the BBC News Website the transport secretary's comments were "hardly a ringing endorsement" of the project.

Mr Grayling told the BBC: "The thing that's important for people to understand is that HS2 is not simply a speed project, it's a capacity project. We have lines at the moment which have seen huge increases in the number of passengers, the amount of freight in recent years."

He said the West Coast mainline was becoming "really congested", and was limiting the capacity of services to places like Northampton and Milton Keynes.

Mr Grayling added: "Of course it makes sense if we're going to build a new railway line for it to be a fast railway line, to increase travel times or reduce travel times from north to south, that's logical. But actually we need a better transport system for the 21st Century and HS2 is part of increasing the capacity of our transport system."

MPs are due to vote on phase one of HS2 later this year. If they approve the bill, that should signal the go-ahead to start building the section of line from London to Birmingham.

The company building the line, HS2 Ltd, is also set to hand out £11bn worth of contracts in the next couple of months.

Last week pressure group Stop HS2 called on the government of new Prime Minister Theresa May to undertake a fresh review of the rail project, saying a failure to do so would be "irresponsible".

Its campaign manager Mr Rukin told the BBC on Sunday that a recent National Audit Office report had indicated that HS2 was £9bn over budget.

He also said the project had failed a recent Department for Transport review, on the issues of both costs and the scheduling of work.

He said that for these reasons HS2 should not be allowed to commence with its tendering processes.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: paul7755 on July 17, 2016, 06:09:20 pm
Quote
After Mr Grayling's remarks, Stop HS2 campaign manager Joe Rukin told the BBC News Website the transport secretary's comments were "hardly a ringing endorsement" of the project.
Does Joe Rukin seriously think anyone is listening to him anymore? 

I suggest DfT give him about as much credibility as SHRUG...

Paul


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: eightf48544 on July 17, 2016, 09:33:35 pm

I think it's a quite reasonable assertion that the interface with the classic network is the Achilles' heel of HS2.

1) In designing Euston/Birmingham/Manchester/Leeds as end-on terminii, costs and scope were constrained, but at the risk that they would be short-lived and expensive white-elephants, in the same way that Waterloo International was. Manchester in particular should have been designed from the outset as a N-S/E-W interchange to permit a HS transpennine link, Leeds could have been similarly designed, Birmingham could have been built to support a line south to Bristol.* Of course that would have been far, far more expensive. 
* I would have said North West to Wolverhampton Shrewsbury Chester and North Wales.

Otherwise I entirely agree with you I always thought it stupid to build termini rather then end on links with classic network. Especially in Birmingham where Curzon street is some way from New Street. Who is going to come into New Street and interchange with HS2 when there will still be a Pendelino to Euston on another platform possibly as a through train from Wolverhampton..


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: bignosemac on November 04, 2016, 11:10:04 am
The franchise to run services on HS2 will be let together with Inter City West Coast (ICWC) services.

From the BBC (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-37869643):

Quote
:
A new rail franchise combining the current InterCity West Coast main line with HS2 high-speed services has been announced by the government.

The new franchise will be called the West Coast Partnership and is scheduled to start on 1 April, 2019.
The operator will be responsible for services on both the West Coast Main Line from 2019 and running the initial HS2 services in 2026.

Construction of the HS2 line is scheduled to begin next year.

It is planned that HS2 will eventually link London, Birmingham, the East Midlands, Leeds, Sheffield and Manchester.

The contract will run for the first three to five years of HS2's operation.

'Backbone of Britain'

The West Coast franchise is currently run by Virgin Trains as a joint venture between Stagecoach and Virgin.

The government will invite tenders for the new franchise in October or November next year, setting out what it wants from the winning bidder.

Transport Minister Andrew Jones said: "HS2 will be the backbone of Britain's railways, creating more seats for passengers on the West Coast and increasing capacity on the rest of the network.

"By combining the franchise we are ensuring we get the right people on board at an early stage to design and manage the running of both services in the transition stage. The new franchise will attract highly experienced companies, who have the right experience, which ultimately means a better deal for passengers - both now and in the future."

Passenger protection

It is hoped that HS2 will reduce overcrowding on the existing network and generate economic growth across the country.

Critics say it is too expensive and will damage the environment, but last month the Transport Secretary Chris Grayling confirmed the government intended to press ahead with the project.

Sir David Higgins, chairman of HS2 Ltd, the company responsible for building the 55.7bn railway, said: "I have always been clear HS2 will not be a standalone railway but fully integrated with the wider network. It will provide a new backbone for our railways, modernising services to better serve towns and cities up and down the country."

Anthony Smith, chief executive of the independent watchdog Transport Focus, said passengers would be pleased to see a "co-ordinated approach to delivering services".

But he warned: "Less competition could too easily lead to premium pricing so passenger protection will have to be a priority.

"We will now be working with all bidders to share our detailed work on what current West Coast and future HS2 passengers want."

Virgin Trains will be awarded a new short-term contract of approximately 12 months to continue operating West Coast services following the end of the current franchise in 2018.

So no competition between HS2 and ICWC. That'll be good for passengers then.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: simonw on November 04, 2016, 11:29:33 am
Not sure anyone would be willing to take on a franchise for Birmingham-London on HS2 in the early days, if ever.

So combining it with WCML franchise is probably sensible.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: ChrisB on November 04, 2016, 11:39:34 am
And ICWC will have more stops than now, so won't compete on equal footing - as ICWC & LM do know.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: bignosemac on November 04, 2016, 11:47:13 am
I suspect the Govt don't want real competition as that would affect the revenue forecasts for HS2. No doubt we will instead see a plethora of complex fare routeings and validities just as we did when HS1 domestic services were introduced.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: ellendune on November 04, 2016, 02:11:50 pm
Not sure anyone would be willing to take on a franchise for Birmingham-London on HS2 in the early days, if ever.

So combining it with WCML franchise is probably sensible.


I agree.  More competition can be obtained later when HS2 is fully open by splitting them into two franchises.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: eightf48544 on November 04, 2016, 03:05:41 pm
Interesting comments about services to places like Nottingham Stockport etc.

A similar situation arouse in Madeburg after reunification the line from Madeburg to Hanover was electrified and the town enjoyed at least an hourly ICE service to Hanover and the Ruhr.

With the opening of the HS Line direct from Berlin to Hanover, Magdeburg lost those services and is now mainly loco hauled IC's.

Talking of loops to serve other destinations DB has recently doubled tracked the line from Braunsweig  to Hildesheim (Hanover) to allow trains from Magdeburg to Hanover to call.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: SandTEngineer on February 23, 2017, 02:35:21 pm
HS2 Phase 1 received Royal Assent this morning: http://www.railwaygazette.com/news/single-view/view/hs2-phase-1-bill-receives-royal-assent.html

....so spades in the ground soon ;) :D


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on February 23, 2017, 04:32:53 pm
HS2 Phase 1 received Royal Assent this morning: http://www.railwaygazette.com/news/single-view/view/hs2-phase-1-bill-receives-royal-assent.html

....so spades in the ground soon ;) :D

.......for what will be one of the most colossal white elephants in history (in my humble opinion)


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on February 23, 2017, 04:55:49 pm
Well, we'll find out in a decade or two.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Tim on February 23, 2017, 06:23:41 pm
HS2 Phase 1 received Royal Assent this morning: http://www.railwaygazette.com/news/single-view/view/hs2-phase-1-bill-receives-royal-assent.html

....so spades in the ground soon ;) :D

.......for what will be one of the most colossal white elephants in history (in my humble opinion)

I am not convinced that HS2 is the best use of money.  I would have preferred an upgrade of existing lines and if a new line is needed to provide a capacity boost on the WCML route then I'd have favoured a new freight line which would have been for a moderate speed (therefore far cheaper and less environmentally damaging to build) and of piggyback loading gauge.

But I don't think it will be a white elephant.  I think it will be well used, better used than the Chunnel.     


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Tony (Formerly FT, N!) on March 01, 2017, 06:13:35 pm
Well, we'll find out in a decade or two.

By which time the government will be criticised for making it too small. "Why not four-track, now?" they will cry.

This has always been about capacity first, speed second. We need more rail links between south and north. If we are going to build them, why not make it high speed, rather than building it for 100mph line speed then having to upgrade it?


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on March 01, 2017, 09:29:40 pm
"Why not four-track, now?" they will cry.

Rather like Kenneth Williams, in a 'Carry On' film: "Infamy, infamy - why did they all have it infamy?"  ;) :D ;D



Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: ellendune on April 29, 2017, 10:27:02 am
From The Guardian

Theresa May remains 'absolutely committed' to HS2 rail link (https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/apr/29/theresa-may-remains-absolutely-commited-to-hs2-rail-link?CMP=twt_gu)

Quote
Theresa May has committed to delivering the HS2 high-speed rail link.
The prime minister was reportedly coming under pressure from Tory MPs in the south to cancel HS2, which the government projects will cost 55.7bn.

But her announcement will end speculation that she was preparing to drop the new north-south railway from the Conservatives general election manifesto.

In an interview with the Yorkshire Post, May said: We remain absolutely committed to HS2. It is a very important infrastructure project for the country. It is important that we increase capacity on this mainline and I believe that HS2 is the right way to do that.

Im very keen that we do have a country that works for everyone, and that means every part of the country, and thats why weve introduced the modern industrial strategy, weve consulted on that and had very good and positive constructive response from business on that.

Because we want to ensure that in every part of the country we are identifying the benefits they have, the types of economic development that are best suited. How can we encourage that?

Infrastructure development is a hugely important part of that, its why in the autumn statement we were clear that we were putting extra money through to 2020 in infrastructure development.

......

The article continues


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Red Squirrel on April 29, 2017, 11:24:23 am
...The article continues

Indeed it does:

Quote
May was more cautious about fully committing to an HS3 or northern powerhouse rail link. [...] The PM told the newspaper: The issue is there are a number of options that are being looked at in relation to HS3 or northern powerhouse rail. But what I would say is those big projects are not the only way in which we are looking to invest in transport in the region.

Hmm...


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: simonw on April 30, 2017, 11:27:22 am
What other options exist to kickstart the Northern Powerhouse?

The M62 already exists and is thoroughly overloaded around Manchester and Leeds.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: ChrisB on April 30, 2017, 07:20:37 pm
All the suggestions re spending the funding relating to HS2 is on revenue expenditure (NHS, Policing). It's a capital project, probably borrowing.

Different kettle of fish. Don't need to cancel this funding to borrow for those purposes anyway


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: John R on April 30, 2017, 09:14:20 pm
All the suggestions re spending the funding relating to HS2 is on revenue expenditure (NHS, Policing). It's a capital project, probably borrowing.

Different kettle of fish. Don't need to cancel this funding to borrow for those purposes anyway

Very true, but it's so hard to get people to understand the difference.  Of course, you could always PFI HS2, and end up paying 5 times as much over the next 30 years and saddling successive governments with the bill and huge costs for any contract variations. (Actually, isn't that a bit like IEP, as we're already finding with the debate over muzzled or unmuzzled power?)


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Electric train on May 01, 2017, 08:35:32 am
All the suggestions re spending the funding relating to HS2 is on revenue expenditure (NHS, Policing). It's a capital project, probably borrowing.

Different kettle of fish. Don't need to cancel this funding to borrow for those purposes anyway

Very true, but it's so hard to get people to understand the difference.  Of course, you could always PFI HS2, and end up paying 5 times as much over the next 30 years and saddling successive governments with the bill and huge costs for any contract variations. (Actually, isn't that a bit like IEP, as we're already finding with the debate over muzzled or unmuzzled power?)

An example of Government investment via borrowing is HS1, UK Gov PLC sold its interest in this company with a profit, not only the line its self a separate deal is the land around Kings Cross the old Good Yard which was owned by BR at the time it offered up for development.

The same will happen around Euston there is a lot of land already owned by Government or local authorities


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on May 01, 2017, 08:45:17 am
All the suggestions re spending the funding relating to HS2 is on revenue expenditure (NHS, Policing). It's a capital project, probably borrowing.

Different kettle of fish. Don't need to cancel this funding to borrow for those purposes anyway

Very true, but it's so hard to get people to understand the difference.  Of course, you could always PFI HS2, and end up paying 5 times as much over the next 30 years and saddling successive governments with the bill and huge costs for any contract variations. (Actually, isn't that a bit like IEP, as we're already finding with the debate over muzzled or unmuzzled power?)

Remind me.................how much is the overspend on Great Western electrification based on the original estimate? (so far).


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: SandTEngineer on July 17, 2017, 11:49:13 am
Major HS2 construction contracts announced today (17/07/2017): http://www.constructionenquirer.com/2017/07/17/winners-revealed-for-6-6bn-hs2-phase-one/

Quote
Winners of 6.6bn worth of major construction contracts for HS2 Phase One were confirmed by the Government today.

Transport secretary Chris Grayling confirmed the deals which will see the route reach Birmingham by 2026.

Plans were also confirmed to extend the route from Birmingham to the north west, East Midlands and Yorkshire.


The winning contractors for Phase One are:

Area South
Euston Tunnels and Approaches SCS JV (Skanska Construction UK Ltd, Costain Ltd, STRABAG AG)
Northolt Tunnels SCS JV (Skanska Construction UK Ltd, Costain Ltd, STRABAG AG)

Area Central
Chiltern Tunnels and Colne Valley Viaduct Align JV (Bouygues Travaux Publics, VolkerFitzpatrick, Sir Robert McAlpine)
North Portal Chiltern Tunnels to Brackley CEK JV (Carillion Construction Ltd, Eiffage Genie Civil SA, Kier Infrastructure and Overseas Ltd)
Brackley to South Portal of Long Itchington Wood Green Tunnel CEK JV (Carillion Construction Ltd, Eiffage Genie Civil SA, Kier Infrastructure and Overseas Ltd)

Area North
Long Itchington Wood Green Tunnel to Delta Junction and Birmingham Spur BBV JV (Balfour Beatty Group Ltd, VINCI Construction Grands Projets, VINCI Construction UK Ltd, VINCI Construction Terrassement)
Delta Junction to WCML Tie-In BBV JV (Balfour Beatty Group Ltd, VINCI Construction Grands Projets, VINCI Construction UK Ltd, VINCI Construction Terrassement)

Preparatory works are already underway, with main construction work starting in 2018/19 following a period of detailed design work.

Grayling said: This is a hugely important step in the construction of Britains new railway and underlines this governments determination to deliver an economy that works for all.

David Higgins, Chairman of HS2 Ltd, said: This is a huge day for the HS2 project and for the country. These contracts will support 16,000 jobs here in Britain and will create opportunities for thousands of SMEs.

In total, construction of the full HS2 route to the north-west and Yorkshire will create up to 25,000 jobs and 2,000 apprenticeships.

Balfour Beatty and VINCI said its joint venture deals were worth a combined 2.5bn.

Mark Cutler, Balfour Beatty VINCI Managing Director for HS2, said: This iconic rail infrastructure project will create significant opportunities for the UK construction industry and will drive growth in skills, jobs and prosperity.

We look forward to building on our successful track record delivering high profile projects, and help to engineer Britains second great railway age.

Carillion said its joint venture deals with Eiffage and Kier were worth a total of 1.2bn.

It added: These Lots will be awarded in two stages.

Stage One will be a 16-month period to develop a design, a programme and a Target Cost for the construction of the works.

Stage Two is the construction of the main works and this is expected to take between four and five years to complete.

Nine consortia were shortlisted for the work in March 2016 when the total contract value was estimated at between 7.1bn 11.8bn.

The consortia to miss out were: ASL (Acciona Infraestructuras, John Sisk & Son, Lagan Construction Group), Catalyst (Bechtel), Fusion (Morgan Sindall Construction and Infrastructure,BAM Nuttall, Ferrovial Agroman (UK), LFM (Laing ORourke Construction, FCC Construccion,J. Murphy and Sons) and Momentum Infrastructure (Dragados, Hochtief Infrastructure, GallifordTry Infrastructure).


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Rhydgaled on July 17, 2017, 12:05:42 pm
Quote
Area North
Long Itchington Wood Green Tunnel to Delta Junction and Birmingham Spur BBV JV (Balfour Beatty Group Ltd, VINCI Construction Grands Projets, VINCI Construction UK Ltd, VINCI Construction Terrassement)
Delta Junction to WCML Tie-In BBV JV (Balfour Beatty Group Ltd, VINCI Construction Grands Projets, VINCI Construction UK Ltd, VINCI Construction Terrassement)
Sounds like the death knell of any hope of a properly integrated HS2 to address the north-south divide instead of the London-centric broken-Y network which will only waste electricity and lead to a need for HS3 and HS4 from London to York (ECML relief) and London to Bristol (GWML relief). Too late to do anything about it now?


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: John R on July 17, 2017, 01:22:50 pm
Sorry, I don't understand why splitting the construction of a railway into separate contracts has any bearing on future plans.  The first phase of HS2 is now fairly well defined, by means of what has been approved by Parliament. 


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: broadgage on July 17, 2017, 05:13:03 pm
I think that the time has come to actually build it.
We have had years of studies, reviews and consultations, and eventually the day comes to say "enough of studying and consulting, get on and build it"

Hopefully it will go better than the GWR electrification !


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: John R on July 17, 2017, 05:37:41 pm
That is indeed what is happening and the letting of contracts demonstrates that. Enabling work should start later this year (Ie the diversion of utilities, tree felling etc). I'm sure there will be Swampy type resistance in places, but Phase 1 is now unstoppable).


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on July 17, 2017, 05:46:27 pm
Probably the most expensive white elephant in history.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: SandTEngineer on July 17, 2017, 06:12:24 pm
Here is the DfT Press Release for the new routes announced today (17/07/2017): https://www.gov.uk/government/news/huge-economic-boost-for-the-north-of-england-as-transport-secretary-confirms-hs2-routes

Quote
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling today (17 July 2017) confirmed Britains high speed rail lines to the north-west, East Midlands and Yorkshire.

The decision will mean new connections between Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, Sheffield and the East Midlands with all of them being linked to London by the line.

It is set to bring a massive economic boost for the north and the Midlands by increasing productivity and creating new business opportunities.

And the new line will free up thousands of extra seats and additional services on local lines. New research shows the impact of HS2 could more than double rush hour seats from Manchester Piccadilly towards Stoke and Crewe; and from Leeds towards Wakefield. It could also almost double peak seats from London to Peterborough and east coast destinations further north.

Todays announcement will mean journeys from Birmingham to Manchester in 40 minutes a trip that takes more than 80 minutes on services currently.

By providing new routes for intercity services, HS2 will free-up space on our existing railways for new commuter, regional and freight services, taking lorries off our roads.

HS2 Phase One and Phase Two map.
(https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/image_data/file/65447/960-hs2-phase-two-map-with-key.jpg)

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said:

Britains new railway line will bring huge economic benefits across the country and help ensure this government delivers on its promise to spread wealth beyond London and the south-east.

But as well as creating skilled jobs, apprenticeships and business opportunities, it will also mean real day-to-day improvements for people across the country.

By building a whole new railway line for high-speed intercity connections, we will free up local services, meaning more comfort, more seats and more trains for passengers across the north and the midlands.

We will now press ahead with building the line, while continuing to ensure affected communities get appropriate support and are treated with fairness, compassion and respect.

David Higgins, Chairman of HS2 Ltd said:

Today we have taken a huge step forward in connecting 8 of our largest cities, freeing up space on our railways and building a catalyst for growth across the country. Once completed 30 million people will be served by HS2 across over 25 stations, helping to change the economic geography of the country, and bring prosperity to the midlands, the north, and beyond.

The Transport Secretary also announced the decision to award the first stage of 6.6 billion worth of new contracts today supporting 16,000 jobs across the country.

An upcoming bill for the section from the West Midlands to Crewe will effectively act as a planning application, with the line expected to open in 2027 if approved by Parliament.

Todays announcements confirmed the new route for the eastern section and plans to serve the station in Sheffield city centre.

The government has also confirmed it will ensure homeowners on the Shimmer estate in Mexborough, South Yorkshire, can secure a comparable local home.

The government has also asked HS2 Ltd to take forward the provision of a northern junction back on to HS2, which would support delivery of a city-centre to city-centre connection between Leeds-Sheffield in less than 30 minutes as part of Northern Powerhouse Rail.

New plans for the route to Crewe include:  the possibility of building a new hub station in Crewe to improve connections across the north-west potentially introducing HS2 services to Stoke

The government remains on track to open the link from London to Birmingham in 2026, the route to Crewe in 2027 and the routes to the East Midlands, Yorkshire and Manchester in 2033. Preparatory work on Phase One has already commenced, with major construction starting in 2018 to 2019.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: bignosemac on July 17, 2017, 06:38:41 pm
Two things with Carillion.

One is whether they'll be around for the length of the contract. They're in a parlous financial state at the moment. Looking to arrange a debt-for-equity swap or rights issue to avoid bankruptcy or emergency takeover. They have though recently managed to screw an extra 10m out of Somerset taxpayers. That though is a very small fillip. They're debt is currently around 700m. They'll be hoping for heavy front loading from this government contract.

Second is I hope they're better at building railways, on time and on budget, than roads. The recently opened Taunton Inner Distributor Road, for which they were lead contractor, was two years late opening and nearly 50% over budget. 31m final bill picked up by Somerset County Council instead of 21m.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on July 17, 2017, 06:43:51 pm
Two things with Carillion.

One is whether they'll be around for the length of the contract. They're in a parlous financial state at the moment. Despite screwing an extra 10m out of Somerset taxpayers.

Second is I hope they're better at building railways, on time and on budget, than roads. The recently opened Taunton Inner Distributor Road, for which they were lead contractor, was two years late opening and nearly 50% over budget. 31m final bill instead of 21m.

I hope you're not suggesting that a major railway infrastructure projects could end up massively delayed and/or overspent?

Surely that would never happen?  :D


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: SandTEngineer on July 17, 2017, 06:56:50 pm
I'm sure in a 9 year build programme that there will be comings and goings of various contractors and sub-contractors.  Thats nothing new.  Have a look at various early railway builds where contractors went bust and were replaced or the build was taken back 'in house' ;)

The other major factor is its much easier to build on a 'green field' site than an existing railway.  HS1 is evidence of that.

.....and, of course, Network Rail won't be allowed to go anywhere near the HS2 project..... :P ;)

Now then, what about the 'Far Southwest Powerhouse' Dawlish Avoiding Line...whoops, thread drift... ::) :P


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Rhydgaled on July 17, 2017, 08:58:31 pm
Sorry, I don't understand why splitting the construction of a railway into separate contracts has any bearing on future plans.  The first phase of HS2 is now fairly well defined, by means of what has been approved by Parliament. 
Were you are refering to my post, immediately before yours, where I said "the death knell of any hope of a properly integrated HS2"? If so, what I meant was that, now that contracts have been awarded for construction of the poorly-designed section, it is probably too late to fix the design.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: John R on July 17, 2017, 09:54:00 pm
Yes, I was.  I thought it was the comment about the splitting of the contract that prompted the point.  The fact is though that the ship had long since sailed in terms of the design of Phase 1. Passing of the Act set everything in stone, but the reality is that the route etc was locked down a couple of years ago so cancellation was (what appears to have been) your only hope. 


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: grahame on July 18, 2017, 07:24:54 am
Noting Birmingham to Leeds ... and noting comment in various places about Cross Country being fast from the South West to Birmingham, taking an age from Birmingham to Leeds / York, then being fast again ...  would anyone care to comment on a really long distance direct service from the South West to North East and Scotland to compete with airlines?


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: chuffed on July 18, 2017, 07:55:27 am
Bristol-Newcastle 0800 direct Easyjet 30 I hour
Bristol-Newcastle 0830 Cross Country 159 5 hours

End.Of.Contest.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: eightf48544 on July 18, 2017, 08:36:18 am
I am not against building a high speed line but I have several reservations about the current plans.

Top speed 360 kph seems unnecessarily high and require more robust infrastructure and with the much shorter distance the higher speed amounts to only a few minutes faster journey.


I like the link through Sheffield and the connections to the WCML to give through trains to Stafford Crewe Liverpool even Blackpool!

However I think the terminal station in Birmingham is a White Elephant, difficult to get to. If I lived in teh West Midalsnd and used a train to get to New Street am I going to go to New Street walk to Curzon Street to save a few minutes to London when I can change at New Street save the walk still arrive in Euston.

Where is Birmingham Interchange is it served by the exising railway?

Birmingham should have had a through station under New Street connecting by tunnel with the existing Network. if they can tunnel through the Chilterns then it should be possible to tunnel under the Balk Country. 

The terminal stations in Manchester and Leeds are not quite as bad  as they are closer to the main station.  However they should still be through stations. That would save the junctions from HS2 for the Wigan and York Spurs . It would also mean HS could connect across North of Manchester and South of Leeds.



Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Tony (Formerly FT, N!) on July 18, 2017, 09:15:25 am
I am not against building a high speed line but I have several reservations about the current plans.

Top speed 360 kph seems unnecessarily high and require more robust infrastructure and with the much shorter distance the higher speed amounts to only a few minutes faster journey.

I am also not against HS2. The line is primarily about capacity. As we need to build it, we may as well make it high speed to future proof it. That is my understanding of the logic.

Quote
I like the link through Sheffield and the connections to the WCML to give through trains to Stafford Crewe Liverpool even Blackpool!

Hurray! I may get to ride on it yet! Electrification between Preston and Blackpool North is going on apace, unlike in sleepy Bristol, as my recent rail journeys to visit Mum have revealed.

Quote
However I think the terminal station in Birmingham is a White Elephant, difficult to get to. If I lived in the West Midlands and used a train to get to New Street am I going to go to New Street walk to Curzon Street to save a few minutes to London when I can change at New Street save the walk still arrive in Euston.

I assume that there will be an extension to Birmingham's excellent tram network to connect Curzon Street? I find myself changing trains at least twice monthly at New Street, and it looks pretty full to me.

Quote
Birmingham should have had a through station under New Street connecting by tunnel with the existing Network. if they can tunnel through the Chilterns then it should be possible to tunnel under the Balk Country. 

Billiards and snooker are indeed popular here! As to the low-level New Street station idea, it's a good one, so good that I would imagine it has been looked into and, for one reason or another, discounted.

Quote
The terminal stations in Manchester and Leeds are not quite as bad  as they are closer to the main station.

Manchester Mayfield station is still there, right next to Piccadilly and the Ordsall Chord, although HS2 will probably see it demolished to build offices etc to take advantage of the stimulus to the local economy that will come with HS2.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on July 18, 2017, 09:23:28 am
However I think the terminal station in Birmingham is a White Elephant, difficult to get to. If I lived in teh West Midalsnd and used a train to get to New Street am I going to go to New Street walk to Curzon Street to save a few minutes to London when I can change at New Street save the walk still arrive in Euston.

Birmingham should have had a through station under New Street connecting by tunnel with the existing Network. if they can tunnel through the Chilterns then it should be possible to tunnel under the Balk Country.

I also think a through station at Birmingham would also have been very desirable, rather than the Curzon Street terminus, but Curzon Street will be served by extensions to the Midland Metro which is expanding quite considerably over the next ten years and will act as a feeder from many parts of Birmingham (including New Street itself) as well as local buses from other areas. 

Then of course you've got Moor Street which is right by Curzon Street and I think it's very likely that it will see additional trains routed to it as a result of the HS2 station opening.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: SandTEngineer on July 18, 2017, 10:16:16 am
...and the station build shortlist has been issued today (18/07/2017): https://www.gov.uk/government/news/hs2-reveals-station-design-and-euston-master-development-partner-shortlists

Quote
HS2 Ltd announces the station design contracts shortlists for London and Birmingham and for the long-term development around Euston station.

High Speed Two (HS2) Ltd today revealed the designers and engineers in the running for the prestigious station design contracts for London and Birmingham as well as a partner to take forward long-term development around Euston station.

The winning designers will work with HS2 Ltd to develop and refine the detailed plans for three brand new stations, at Birmingham Curzon Street, Birmingham Interchange and Londons Old Oak Common, as well as a major expansion of London Euston.

The shortlists for the station design contracts include, Arup, Mott MacDonald, WSP, Arcadis and a Jacobs/BuroHappold/Idom joint venture. All the bidders have been invited to tender for at least two station packages.

The stations will welcome tens of thousands of passengers every day from all over the UK, providing easy and accessible onward connections to local transport, airports and connecting rail services as well as step-free access from street to seat. In total more than 170,000 new jobs are expected to be created in the wider development areas surrounding the four stations.

HS2 Ltd Chief Executive, Mark Thurston said:

Todays announcements are a major milestone for the project, setting the scene for the next stage of the station design process. Together with the successful bidders, we will go on to deliver one of HS2s most tangible legacies - three brand new stations and the long-term transformation of Euston.

All four projects represent exciting opportunities to showcase the very best in engineering and design while also delivering value for money.

We are looking for partners to help us deliver stations which not only provide unparalleled levels of accessibility, ease and convenience for our passengers, but who will work with local communities to ensure we also help unlock wider regeneration, new jobs, homes and opportunities.

HS2 Ltd today also published the names of the bidders in the running to win the Euston Master Development Partner contract. The winner will advise on, and later take forward, sustainable mixed-use development opportunities, including new homes, offices and retail space above and around the revamped London Euston. This includes working with HS2 Ltd, Network Rail, the station design contract winner and local authorities to deliver a unified masterplan to unlock the full potential of the area.

The following bidders have been shortlisted and invited to participate in dialogue:

Westfield Europe Ltd
Euston Regeneration Partnership (Led by Argent Related Services LLP)
Canary Wharf Group
Land Securities Property Holdings Limited
Lendlease Europe Holdings Limited
This comprehensive approach has the potential to deliver up to 22 hectares of development space as well as improving accessibility and creating new public and green spaces across the wider Euston site.

Managing Director, Network Rail Property, David Biggs, said:

This brings us another step closer to realising an exciting and vibrant new district in the heart of London.

The opportunities are vast. A regenerated Euston Station not only affords us the ability to improve connectivity and exceed the expectations of those travelling by train. It also allows us the rare chance to create new space for homes and businesses, to craft a desirable destination for people to live, work and meet.

The new station can be a catalyst for local regeneration and increase connection across the local community, bringing huge benefits both to the area itself as well as the country as a whole.

Contracts for the station designs and the Euston Master Development Partner will be awarded early next year.   


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: paul7755 on July 18, 2017, 10:38:50 am
A through station for Birmingham was definitely considered, analysed and determined to be unbuildable.  A tunnel is possible, but building a suitable sized station box fully underground, complete with all the passenger handling facilities, would have been completely unaffordable under an existing city centre site.

Where is Birmingham Interchange is it served by the exising railway?

It will be near the M42/M6 junction and the NEC.  Massive additional carparks.  AIUI it will be connected to Birmingham International by some sort of rapid transit system.

Paul


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: John R on July 18, 2017, 11:08:18 am
A through station for Birmingham was definitely considered, analysed and determined to be unbuildable.  A tunnel is possible, but building a suitable sized station box fully underground, complete with all the passenger handling facilities, would have been completely unaffordable under an existing city centre site.

An earlier question about Birmingham Interchange, it will be near the M42/M6 junction and the NEC.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: paul7755 on July 18, 2017, 11:15:41 am
...completely unaffordable...

Fixed, thanks. 


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: ChrisB on August 03, 2017, 02:05:06 pm
However I think the terminal station in Birmingham is a White Elephant, difficult to get to. If I lived in teh West Midalsnd and used a train to get to New Street am I going to go to New Street walk to Curzon Street to save a few minutes to London when I can change at New Street save the walk still arrive in Euston.

Birmingham should have had a through station under New Street connecting by tunnel with the existing Network. if they can tunnel through the Chilterns then it should be possible to tunnel under the Balk Country.

I also think a through station at Birmingham would also have been very desirable, rather than the Curzon Street terminus, but Curzon Street will be served by extensions to the Midland Metro which is expanding quite considerably over the next ten years and will act as a feeder from many parts of Birmingham (including New Street itself) as well as local buses from other areas. 

Trains to/from EUS will be downgraded in terms of service calling patterns - they will stop at more stations with possibly fewer tph as fewer pax will travel from the West Midlands, preferring HS2, so more stops to ensure few empty seats.

You can *walk* from BHM to Curzon Street in 10mins - Moor Street is around 7-8mins. By the time you've waited for a tram, and the tram reaches Curzon Street, you'd have walked it.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on August 03, 2017, 04:26:17 pm
Yes the walk will no doubt suit some people nicely, though of course walking won't be suitable for all so
it's important to have the tram connection.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Electric train on August 03, 2017, 09:53:03 pm
Whilst Curzon St will be the Brum city point for HS2, it has the be remembered HS2 is not just a point to point line.   The way SE Trains uses HS1 is possibly the best UK example, trains run fast on the high speed line to a station (like Curzon St) and the go forward perhaps on conventional lines to other stations like Derby or on another part of the high speed network, this is the way the high speed lines work in Europe


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Rhydgaled on August 06, 2017, 10:05:00 am
Whilst Curzon St will be the Brum city point for HS2, it has the be remembered HS2 is not just a point to point line.   The way SE Trains uses HS1 is possibly the best UK example, trains run fast on the high speed line to a station (like Curzon St) and the go forward perhaps on conventional lines to other stations like Derby or on another part of the high speed network, this is the way the high speed lines work in Europe
HS1 and HS2 are very different in that HS1 only has one terminal station; on HS2 trains to Curzon Street won't be able to 'go forward' as you put it because continuing forwards will mean they collide with the buffers. That H(and similar at Manchester and Leeds stations) is the reason I think HS2 is the wrong solution to the need for a new railway. To emulate HS1, HS2 phases 1 and 2a should have run London Euston - Birmingham Curzon Street - TUNNEL - Crewe, with connections onto classic lines allowing trains from London to branch off just after Birmingham to Wolverhampton and at Crewe to Liverpool, Chester and Glasgow.

In addition, although rather different from HS1, I think there should have been a number of links just south of Birmingham Curzon Street allowing trains from Crewe (and points north) to head for Bristol and trains from Leeds (and beyond, via phase 2b of HS2) to run into Birmingham to New Street and thence on to Bristol.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Electric train on August 06, 2017, 01:29:07 pm
Whilst Curzon St will be the Brum city point for HS2, it has the be remembered HS2 is not just a point to point line.   The way SE Trains uses HS1 is possibly the best UK example, trains run fast on the high speed line to a station (like Curzon St) and the go forward perhaps on conventional lines to other stations like Derby or on another part of the high speed network, this is the way the high speed lines work in Europe
HS1 and HS2 are very different in that HS1 only has one terminal station; on HS2 trains to Curzon Street won't be able to 'go forward' as you put it because continuing forwards will mean they collide with the buffers. That H(and similar at Manchester and Leeds stations) is the reason I think HS2 is the wrong solution to the need for a new railway. To emulate HS1, HS2 phases 1 and 2a should have run London Euston - Birmingham Curzon Street - TUNNEL - Crewe, with connections onto classic lines allowing trains from London to branch off just after Birmingham to Wolverhampton and at Crewe to Liverpool, Chester and Glasgow.

In addition, although rather different from HS1, I think there should have been a number of links just south of Birmingham Curzon Street allowing trains from Crewe (and points north) to head for Bristol and trains from Leeds (and beyond, via phase 2b of HS2) to run into Birmingham to New Street and thence on to Bristol.

They will "run through" by reversing ............. now here's the radical bit  :o   ;D .................. the driver gets out of the leading cab and another driver gets in what was the rear cab and continues the journey .............. platform dwell time might be a minutes longer than any other stopping point


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: stuving on November 02, 2017, 02:41:20 pm
The list of bidders for the high-speed rolling stock contract was announced today (https://www.gov.uk/government/news/hs2-reveals-bidders-in-race-for-275-billion-trains-contract):
Quote
The shortlisted bidders are: Alstom Transport; Bombardier Transportation UK Ltd; Hitachi Rail Europe; Patentes Talgo S.L.U and Siemens PLC. They will all be invited to tender for the contracts, which will cover the design, build and maintenance of at least 54 trains coming into service from 2026.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: SandTEngineer on February 15, 2018, 09:57:01 am
This is an interesting explanation of the justification for HS2: https://mobile.twitter.com/PermanentRail/status/963901621682999301


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: stuving on February 15, 2018, 10:31:15 am
This is an interesting explanation of the justification for HS2: https://mobile.twitter.com/PermanentRail/status/963901621682999301

That "connecting the populations and businesses" argument was always a large part of the case made for HS2, and there were similar heat maps in their presentations.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: eightf48544 on February 15, 2018, 12:39:33 pm

They will "run through" by reversing ............. now here's the radical bit  :o   ;D .................. the driver gets out of the leading cab and another driver gets in what was the rear cab and continues the journey .............. platform dwell time might be a minutes longer than any other stopping point

Only  minutes extra! Have you taken into account how long it take to reboot the train to go the other way?

Lymington!


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: stuving on October 09, 2018, 10:41:43 am
According to the GOV, " HS2 reveals design vision for new stations in Birmingham and Solihull. HS2 will release images for 2 of its brand new stations, marking a significant milestone for the programme, cementing the projects commitment to the Midlands and emphasising the regions place at the heart of Britains new high speed network."

But of course pictures have been sneaking off for back-street assignations with dodgy reporters, and have been appearing in sort-of public (i.e. mostly paywalled). However, Construction Enquirer has several to look at. (http://www.constructionenquirer.com/2018/10/09/striking-hs2-midlands-stations-designs-revealed/)

For reference, Grimshaw were lead on the Birmingham Corzon Street  design, and Arup for the Solihull Interchange. My reaction is that they are inevitably big, but grandiose rather than grand, but then that is traditional for railway stations.

(I was going to post a couple, but they are huge and won't scale down nicely.)


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: SandTEngineer on October 11, 2018, 04:50:21 pm
Public consultation on HS Phase 2b launched today (11/10/2018): https://www.gov.uk/government/news/hs2-launches-public-consultations-on-plans-to-extend-the-railway-north


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on October 12, 2018, 01:44:07 pm
As well as that, designs for the two stations in Birmingham, Curzon Street (by Moor Street) and Interchange (the one by the NEC) were recently released:

http://www.constructionenquirer.com/2018/10/09/striking-hs2-midlands-stations-designs-revealed/

I like both of them.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: broadgage on October 26, 2018, 11:01:43 am
As well as that, designs for the two stations in Birmingham, Curzon Street (by Moor Street) and Interchange (the one by the NEC) were recently released:

http://www.constructionenquirer.com/2018/10/09/striking-hs2-midlands-stations-designs-revealed/

I like both of them.

So do I.
My only SLIGHT reservations regarding such large and innovative structures are can they be delivered on time and on budget, and will the structures be RELIABLY safe and weathertight, even in extreme weather.

Hopefully no glass panels that are liable to fall, as at Waterloo international, nor any inflatable roof sections in which birds can peck holes.
I am in favour of innovative and impressive stations and other public buildings, providing that "innovative" is not code for "hugely delayed, over budget, and bits drop off in high winds"


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Red Squirrel on November 04, 2018, 12:20:36 pm
Grayling strikes again:

Quote
HS2 could be dramatically scaled back amid public opposition to the scheme, the Transport Secretary has admitted.

Chris Grayling said that the second phase of the line, which would connect Birmingham to Leeds, was "not in the bag".

His comments, to rail industry figures, represent a major departure from the Governments previous insistence that construction of the scheme would proceed as planned despite mounting questions about its costs and value for money.

Source: The Telegraph (paywalled) (https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2018/11/03/end-line-hs2-transport-secretary-admits-northern-leg-56bn-project/)


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: mjones on November 04, 2018, 02:16:31 pm
While the main demand for new capacity is met by the first HS2  phase, there is absolutely no point whatsoever in building it to high speed European gauge if it doesn't go any further.  Expensive, heavy, non tilting classic compatible trains that would be slower than Pendolinos north of Birmingham would not be justified for only  100 miles of new HSR. It would be a staggering waste of money to go ahead with phase 1 as currently planned if there is doubt over phase 2, and I'm a supporter in principle.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on November 04, 2018, 02:39:58 pm
The whole thing is a colossal waste of money and should be scrapped without further ado.

The money could be far better spent elsewhere.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Red Squirrel on November 04, 2018, 05:48:27 pm
The money could be far better spent elsewhere.

Ah, if only macroeconomics were that simple...


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Chris125 on November 12, 2018, 06:30:08 pm
Grayling strikes again:

The Telegraph were being a touch disingenuous - Grayling wasn't advocating HS2 be scaled back, just urging the rail industry to continue making the case and not become complacent about the second stage being a 'done deal'.

HS2 rejects claims phase two may not get built (https://www.constructionnews.co.uk/companies/clients/hs2/hs2-rejects-claims-phase-two-may-not-get-built/10036854.article)

Quote
"According to the Sunday Telegraph, Mr Grayling was quoted as telling a rail conference in London that HS2s second phase was not in the bag and could be scaled back.

The Telegraph reported the transport secretary as saying: It [HS2] will be a fantastic railway, one of the best in Europe but it still needs support if it is to definitely go to Leeds.

HS2 dismissed the claims as nonsense, while the Department for Transport said in a statement that the claims were completely and utterly untrue.

CN understands that Mr Grayling was referring to the parliamentary process of approving HS2s separate phases when making his comments.

The DfT said: The Sunday Telegraph story is absolute nonsense it takes statements out of context that were made at an event several weeks ago not attended by the newspaper.

It is completely and utterly untrue to suggest the transport secretary does not think HS2 will be completed as we would have made clear to the Sunday Telegraph had the paper contacted the DfT for comment.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Tony (Formerly FT, N!) on November 12, 2018, 06:41:51 pm
I'm glad that has all been sorted out, then. I feel confident once again.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Red Squirrel on November 13, 2018, 12:51:51 pm
The money could be far better spent elsewhere.

Ah, if only macroeconomics were that simple...

Or to make a fuller argument:

Quote
HS2: a magic money tree?
27 September, 2018

Unthinking populism has led some to put forward scrapping HS2 as a solution to worrying projections of economic losses from Brexit. Heres 50bn we could save and spend instead on (say) the NHS.

But scrapping HS2 does not create a magic money tree.

Rather, it would be an act of extreme short-termism, signalling no belief in the future of the UK.

For a start, aborting the capital spend on HS2 means losing the stream of economic benefits it generates at roundly the rate of 2 benefit of every 1 outlay.

More reliable, quicker rail journeys, more capacity for commuters, fewer lorries on our motorways; fewer people travelling by car and air   so fewer accidents, and less carbon; a huge stimulus for businesses to locate in Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Preston, Crewe, Leeds, Sheffield, York, Darlington and elsewhere; a chance to re-structure services across the existing rail network benefits that translate into higher productivity and a more balanced economy worth 100bn+ would all be foregone.

But thats not all.

The belief that scrapping HS2 would provide the state with a magic money tree overlooks the fact that HS2 can and surely will be used to return a huge cash pay-out directly back to Treasury.

Just look at the experience with HS1 (the channel tunnel rail link, as was). Just two years after its completion, it was sold on a long-term concession to a major pension fund. At a stroke, HM Treasury recouped around 40% of the lines capital cost. The pension fund is happy: it has a secure and reliable income stream from track charges levied on Eurostar and other users of the countrys only high-speed line to date, on which demand for train paths growing steadily, year-by-year. So much so, that it recently changed hands at a premium. And it doesnt stop there. The concession is time limited, so 30 years on, it can be sold again, no doubt for a much higher amount.

Now compare HS2 with HS1. Rather than 2-3 international trains/hour and a handful of commuter trains for Kent (with half of the lines capacity yet to be taken up), HS2 will start with 11-12 intercity trains each hour. The income prospect is much higher than with HS1, even on a per mile of route basis (the first phase of HS2 is twice the length of HS1). If a similar or equivalent approach is taken, much more than 40% of the Treasurys cash outlay on HS2 could be returned by this route alone and again, just a few years after its opening.

True, Government hasnt said it will do this with HS2. It might favour another way of recouping its capital outlays on HS2. It might use the proceeds from HS2s first phase to fund the second. It knows these options are bumper bonus opportunities for Treasury ten years hence.

Even this is only part of the fiscal bonanza. The economic stimulus from HS2 will have a whole range of tax implications. Higher productivity means more profit and so more tax, expanding employment, higher pay levels and so more tax income. Greater investment by the private sector to capitalise on the gains HS2 offers and note, the development boom around Birminghams Curzon Street station has already started   is likewise a source of extra tax revenue.

So yes, in a sense, HS2 will be a magic money tree once it is built. But scrapping HS2 would mean huge cash returns to Treasury as soon as the line opens will be lost.


Source: Greengauge21 (http://www.greengauge21.net/blog/hs2-a-magic-money-tree/)


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: ellendune on November 13, 2018, 09:29:37 pm
Glad someone else here has grasped that macroeconomics is different. 


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on November 15, 2018, 06:08:29 am
The money could be far better spent elsewhere.

Ah, if only macroeconomics were that simple...

Or to make a fuller argument:

Quote
HS2: a magic money tree?
27 September, 2018

Unthinking populism has led some to put forward scrapping HS2 as a solution to worrying projections of economic losses from Brexit. Heres 50bn we could save and spend instead on (say) the NHS.

But scrapping HS2 does not create a magic money tree.

Rather, it would be an act of extreme short-termism, signalling no belief in the future of the UK.

For a start, aborting the capital spend on HS2 means losing the stream of economic benefits it generates at roundly the rate of 2 benefit of every 1 outlay.

More reliable, quicker rail journeys, more capacity for commuters, fewer lorries on our motorways; fewer people travelling by car and air   so fewer accidents, and less carbon; a huge stimulus for businesses to locate in Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Preston, Crewe, Leeds, Sheffield, York, Darlington and elsewhere; a chance to re-structure services across the existing rail network benefits that translate into higher productivity and a more balanced economy worth 100bn+ would all be foregone.

But thats not all.

The belief that scrapping HS2 would provide the state with a magic money tree overlooks the fact that HS2 can and surely will be used to return a huge cash pay-out directly back to Treasury.

Just look at the experience with HS1 (the channel tunnel rail link, as was). Just two years after its completion, it was sold on a long-term concession to a major pension fund. At a stroke, HM Treasury recouped around 40% of the lines capital cost. The pension fund is happy: it has a secure and reliable income stream from track charges levied on Eurostar and other users of the countrys only high-speed line to date, on which demand for train paths growing steadily, year-by-year. So much so, that it recently changed hands at a premium. And it doesnt stop there. The concession is time limited, so 30 years on, it can be sold again, no doubt for a much higher amount.

Now compare HS2 with HS1. Rather than 2-3 international trains/hour and a handful of commuter trains for Kent (with half of the lines capacity yet to be taken up), HS2 will start with 11-12 intercity trains each hour. The income prospect is much higher than with HS1, even on a per mile of route basis (the first phase of HS2 is twice the length of HS1). If a similar or equivalent approach is taken, much more than 40% of the Treasurys cash outlay on HS2 could be returned by this route alone and again, just a few years after its opening.

True, Government hasnt said it will do this with HS2. It might favour another way of recouping its capital outlays on HS2. It might use the proceeds from HS2s first phase to fund the second. It knows these options are bumper bonus opportunities for Treasury ten years hence.

Even this is only part of the fiscal bonanza. The economic stimulus from HS2 will have a whole range of tax implications. Higher productivity means more profit and so more tax, expanding employment, higher pay levels and so more tax income. Greater investment by the private sector to capitalise on the gains HS2 offers and note, the development boom around Birminghams Curzon Street station has already started   is likewise a source of extra tax revenue.

So yes, in a sense, HS2 will be a magic money tree once it is built. But scrapping HS2 would mean huge cash returns to Treasury as soon as the line opens will be lost.


Source: Greengauge21 (http://www.greengauge21.net/blog/hs2-a-magic-money-tree/)

Figure now closer to 100 billion rather than 50 billion

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/2018/09/08/time-scrap-hs21/


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Red Squirrel on November 15, 2018, 09:03:48 am

Figure now closer to 100 billion rather than 50 billion

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/2018/09/08/time-scrap-hs21/


For what, though? Most of the article is paywalled, but John Armitt is talking about 'additional upgrades'; do these have additional benefits?


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: simonw on November 15, 2018, 09:11:12 am
I am not against Hs2 because of cost, route or BREXIT.

I am against HS2 because I don't believe that the UK's size and population distribution lend itself to high speed rail. Major cities are to close and its is inconceivable to run long routes without stopping at Birmingham, Manchester|Leeds. The consequence of this is why should we spend 50-100BN to save a few minutes of individual journeys.

As a country we need better rail links, faster services, more rail resilience.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Red Squirrel on November 15, 2018, 09:48:01 am

As a country we need better rail links, faster services, more rail resilience.

We do. But it's not a zero-sum game.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: paul7755 on November 15, 2018, 12:29:14 pm
I am against HS2 because I don't believe that the UK's size and population does not lend itself to high speed rail...
Fair point, but the double negative reverses your meaning...  ;D

Paul


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on November 15, 2018, 01:24:31 pm

Figure now closer to 100 billion rather than 50 billion

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/2018/09/08/time-scrap-hs21/


For what, though? Most of the article is paywalled, but John Armitt is talking about 'additional upgrades'; do these have additional benefits?

Do those additional upgrades include such things as the cost of all the tram links, as well as things like Crossrail 2?  I believe when such cost increases have been quoted before they have had all manner of things linked, however tenuously, with the project.  Many of which could and should be built anyway as standalone projects.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: ellendune on November 15, 2018, 09:43:11 pm
Major cities are to close and its is inconceivable to run long routes without stopping at Birmingham, Manchester|Leeds. The consequence of this is why should we spend 50-100BN to save a few minutes of individual journeys.

As a country we need better rail links, faster services, more rail resilience.

How many times does it have to be said that HS2 is not about speed but capacity. Taking the long distance fast non stop trains off the WCML, ECML and to a lesser extent the MML, means that the remaining capacity on those lines can be used more efficiently. 

Much of these lines are already 4 track.  Because the distances on the WCML and ECML in particular are long with large populations at the northern end (unlike the GWR line which has a relatively low population at its western end) there are a significant number of trains that run non stop London to Warrington or York. Running these among slower trains stopping eats train paths due to the gaps that have to be left so that faster trains do not catch up the slower ones before there is a place for them to pass.

Also if you look at the timetable you will find there are relatively few trains that go London to Manchester via Birmingham so the argument that trains will not get up to speed before they stop at Birmingham and then again before they reach Manchester is a fallacy.   

You could achieve the same by widening one of the existing lines with an additional pair of tracks, but then you would have to tear the heart of every town on the route to provide the space for the new tracks.  That is already unpopular in a small area around Euston, not sure how well in would go down in Harrow, Watford, Berkhamsted, Bletchley, Rugby, Nuneaton, Tamworth, Stafford or Stoke... I could go on. There would also be the costs of completely rebuilding the stations on the selected line.  Then there is the massive disruption to the existing railway while it is built. The WCML route modernisation caused so much delays and additional cost that I think that is what effectively ended any prospect of major route widenings. 

The only question remains is that if you are building a new line (and much less than the cost of widening an existing one) do you pay a small premium to make it even faster?  That was the question to argue about HS2.  However at this stage the cost of redesign to a slower route would probably exceed any resulting construction cost savings. 

 


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: grahame on November 15, 2018, 10:19:18 pm
As a country we need better rail links, faster services, more rail resilience.
How many times does it have to be said that HS2 is not about speed but capacity.

Your are correct ... but why the heck "HS" for High Speed then. NASBuC?


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Red Squirrel on November 16, 2018, 08:57:43 am
As a country we need better rail links, faster services, more rail resilience.
How many times does it have to be said that HS2 is not about speed but capacity.

Your are correct ... but why the heck "HS" for High Speed then. NASBuC?

Maybe because you build it for capacity, but sell tickets with its speed?


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: broadgage on November 16, 2018, 11:53:34 am
The extra speed will no doubt be welcome, but as has been said, the new line is partly to provide much needed extra capacity.
The existing west coast route is largely full. An extra route for the fast trains will provide more paths on the existing line for stopping services.

There is growing concern regarding the environmental costs of road and air transport.
A new fast line from London to the north should attract some longer distance passengers away from air and onto trains.
This would reduce the need for costly, hugely disruptive, and bitterly opposed airport expansion.
The extra capacity then available on the classic route should enable the provision of more trains with less risk of overcrowding, and hopefully persuade some motorists to take the train instead.
There will also be more room for freight on the classic route, reducing HGV traffic.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: mjones on November 16, 2018, 12:18:55 pm
Ellendune "The only question remains is that if you are building a new line (and much less than the cost of widening an existing one) do you pay a small premium to make it even faster?  That was the question to argue about HS2.  However at this stage the cost of redesign to a slower route would probably exceed any resulting construction cost saving"

I agree with what you said. My recollection from one of the earlier assessment documents was that high speed added 10% to the construction costs compared with a new  125mph line but added proportionally far more to the business case by attracting far more long distance users. My concern now is that the additional tunnelling Tec needed to placate the nimbies could have increased this penalty quite a lot. Furthermore, the route selected had a  better business case than an alternative that followed the M1 corridor because it was a few minutes shorter, so did better on time saving and model shift calculations.  Again, I wonder whether the additional tunnelling costs would now favour the alternative route.  However,  you are quite right that changing route now would be so expensive and time consuming that it is unlikely it would be beneficial overall. We just have to get on and do it, as other European countries have.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Red Squirrel on November 16, 2018, 12:53:49 pm
...as other European countries have.

Not just our fellow Europeans, either; China is particularly effective at rolling out high speed rail almost on a production-line basis: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0JDoll8OEFE


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: simonw on November 16, 2018, 02:47:01 pm
I have never been against building more capacity.

How about a new network of lines for long distance trains only, with a design speed of 200Kmh, no slow trains. This is not high speed, and will be a lot cheaper than HS2. Build with tunnels where possible and integrate into existing cities outside of the current main station, but close enough to allow|encourage local fast transit systems to develop. The saved budget could help kickstart proper local transit systems within the UKs large metropolitan areas.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: stuving on November 16, 2018, 03:05:50 pm
...as other European countries have.

Not just our fellow Europeans, either; China is particularly effective at rolling out high speed rail almost on a production-line basis: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0JDoll8OEFE

And now Africa - the latest is Tangier-Rabat-Casablanca (the new line ends just short at Kenitra). Opened yesterday by guess who; Morocco being still pretty much a French chasse garde.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: ellendune on November 16, 2018, 03:11:52 pm
I have never been against building more capacity.

How about a new network of lines for long distance trains only, with a design speed of 200Kmh, no slow trains. This is not high speed, and will be a lot cheaper than HS2. Build with tunnels where possible and integrate into existing cities outside of the current main station, but close enough to allow|encourage local fast transit systems to develop. The saved budget could help kickstart proper local transit systems within the UKs large metropolitan areas.

Thats a debate to have if we build any more, but I would expect a design change to even the later phases of HS2 now would add cost rather than save it. Also remember this:

My recollection from one of the earlier assessment documents was that high speed added 10% to the construction costs compared with a new  125mph line but added proportionally far more to the business case by attracting far more long distance users.



Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Red Squirrel on November 16, 2018, 03:12:16 pm
The saved budget...

HS2 is an investment, whereby you borrow money in order to make a greater return. There is no 'budget' to save; that'd be like applying to take out a mortgage on a house and then saying actually you'd like spend the money on school fees instead.

A lot of these local improvements are more difficult to see as obvious moneyspinners. This is probably more indicative that the powers that be are not good at measuring social benefit (or, indeed, of understanding any justification for spending money on public transport outside the M25) than that these schemes are not worthy. But it's not a zero sum game - you can do both, if you accept that it is a legitimate thing for governments to spend our money on things that are good for us.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: mjones on November 16, 2018, 04:01:25 pm
I have never been against building more capacity.

How about a new network of lines for long distance trains only, with a design speed of 200Kmh, no slow trains. This is not high speed, and will be a lot cheaper than HS2. Build with tunnels where possible and integrate into existing cities outside of the current main station, but close enough to allow|encourage local fast transit systems to develop. The saved budget could help kickstart proper local transit systems within the UKs large metropolitan areas.

But the vast extent of tunnelling is a major contribution to the greater cost of HS2 compared with European schemes.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: broadgage on November 16, 2018, 04:49:07 pm
I have never been against building more capacity.

How about a new network of lines for long distance trains only, with a design speed of 200Kmh, no slow trains. This is not high speed, and will be a lot cheaper than HS2. Build with tunnels where possible and integrate into existing cities outside of the current main station, but close enough to allow|encourage local fast transit systems to develop. The saved budget could help kickstart proper local transit systems within the UKs large metropolitan areas.

But would it be a lot cheaper than HS2 ? I rather doubt it.
Tunnels are very expensive, and are still almost as expensive if intended for lower speed.
Land purchase for new surface construction is very expensive, and is about the same cost for lower speed as for high speed.
Having termini for these new routes outside of existing stations adds more cost for land purchase. The local transport between the new station and the old one would also cost money and take up space.
Also customers would be strongly opposed to adding two more changes to a journey, two more opportunities for strikes and signalling failures.

IMO, The time for any more studies, consultations, alternative proposals, and reviews into HS2 is over. We have had years of that. Time to get on and built it.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: stuving on November 16, 2018, 05:05:53 pm
I have never been against building more capacity.

How about a new network of lines for long distance trains only, with a design speed of 200Kmh, no slow trains. This is not high speed, and will be a lot cheaper than HS2. Build with tunnels where possible and integrate into existing cities outside of the current main station, but close enough to allow|encourage local fast transit systems to develop. The saved budget could help kickstart proper local transit systems within the UKs large metropolitan areas.

But would it be a lot cheaper than HS2 ? I rather doubt it.


According to HS2, 9% cheaper. They were asked to cost that alternative following the High speed rail international benchmarking study (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/high-speed-rail-international-benchmarking-study), which ought to inform the current discussion. Of course you don't have to accept their figure (or PwC's) without question.

It's the same one I also posted a link to on another thread since, while it contains material specific to HS rail, most of it applies to any rail project.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on November 16, 2018, 05:59:10 pm

Figure now closer to 100 billion rather than 50 billion

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/2018/09/08/time-scrap-hs21/


For what, though? Most of the article is paywalled, but John Armitt is talking about 'additional upgrades'; do these have additional benefits?

Here's the full article;

Its hard to think of a more over-priced, underwhelming project than High Speed 2 (HS2). A new poll finds that a plurality of the public is against it: 38 to 26 per cent, with opposition much higher in some regions. The financial figures are astonishing. Last month, the Telegraph reported that 4.1 billion has already been spent on it, that the official cost is put at 56 billion, but that Sir John Armitt, the infrastructure tsar, believes another 43 billion may have to be spent on additional upgrades to make the investment worthwhile.
The total potential end cost discounting likely overspends is approaching 100 billion. Thats three years of defence spending, or almost a year of financing NHS England.
With so many more people working from home it is generally agreed that flexible patterns are the future why obsess about improving what is essentially a commuter route to the capital?
HS2 is a classic example of a politicians dream turned mad: precious time and resources are redirected to chasing a high-profile folly. If Britain really has all that money to spend, why not direct it towards improving the existing rail network, which is in an abysmal state in many parts of the country? How about investing cash in the motorways and roads? Or what about telecommunications? It is estimated that just to compete with Japan or Korea, we need to spend 30 billion upgrading Britains telecommunications network to full fibre. Indeed, with so many more people working from home it is generally agreed that flexible patterns are the future why obsess about improving what is essentially a commuter route to the capital?
The time has come to pull HS2. If nothing else, the money is better earmarked for the challenges and opportunities of Brexit not this white elephant on wheels.



Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: ellendune on November 16, 2018, 06:27:32 pm
Yes well perhaps the Telegraph should ask Talgo (a private company) why it is spending all that money on a factory in Longannet to make new trains when they could spend it on the office party or more bonus for the directors. 

The simple answer that if they spent their investors capital on revenue expenditure those investors, who were expecting the company to get a return on the capital invested, would sack the board.  HS2 is an investment from which the country expects to get a return - like it did with selling the HS1 concession just after it was built!

You would expect the Telegraph whose readership should include many businesspeople to understand this simple fact!




Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on November 16, 2018, 06:36:56 pm
Yes well perhaps the Telegraph should ask Talgo (a private company) why it is spending all that money on a factory in Longannet to make new trains when they could spend it on the office party or more bonus for the directors. 

The simple answer that if they spent their investors capital on revenue expenditure those investors, who were expecting the company to get a return on the capital invested, would sack the board.  HS2 is an investment from which the country expects to get a return - like it did with selling the HS1 concession just after it was built!

You would expect the Telegraph whose readership should include many businesspeople to understand this simple fact!


If Corbyn wins a General Election and renationalises the railways as he has promised, to whom would the HS2 concession be sold, and how/how long would it take for the return on a 100 billion investment of taxpayers money to be realised?


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: mjones on November 16, 2018, 06:50:13 pm
The case for HS2 has nothing to do with Corbyn's nationalisation policies (Some of us would prefer "Where's" Jeremy Cornyn to be focusing on more urgent things right now anyway). It is based on an appraisal of a wide range of direct and indirect benefits,  to users, to the risk network,  to the economy,  to society and the environment. There are arguments to be had about the details of how that case is made, but the Telegraph article doesn't actually consider it at all, it simply groups together a list of unsupported and often unconnected assertions.

The additional 43 bn referred to is almost certainly local transport schemes that connect with Hs2, but which,  as II says, have benefits of their own, and are l
Almost certainly needed anyway.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: ellendune on November 16, 2018, 07:03:00 pm
Yes well perhaps the Telegraph should ask Talgo (a private company) why it is spending all that money on a factory in Longannet to make new trains when they could spend it on the office party or more bonus for the directors. 

The simple answer that if they spent their investors capital on revenue expenditure those investors, who were expecting the company to get a return on the capital invested, would sack the board.  HS2 is an investment from which the country expects to get a return - like it did with selling the HS1 concession just after it was built!

You would expect the Telegraph whose readership should include many businesspeople to understand this simple fact!


If Corbyn wins a General Election and renationalises the railways as he has promised, to whom would the HS2 concession be sold, and how/how long would it take for the return on a 100 billion investment of taxpayers money to be realised?

Good point, but if a sale is of benefit to a private company then it should also produce a return to a Nationalised one. Always assuming that politicians can learn to keep their hands off and let these businesses run themselves like a private company as they do in continental Europe, where provided they are run in the same way that a holding company normally runs subsidiaries (They let the management get on with it as long as they produce the agreed results).


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Red Squirrel on November 16, 2018, 08:37:52 pm
....a classic example of a politicians dream turned mad: precious time and resources are redirected to chasing a high-profile folly

Interesting that the same piece also mentions Brexit. You may see a parallel; I couldn't possibly comment.

If Corbyn wins a General Election...

Then the Tories will sell it next time they get back in. Who knows; by then they may have rediscovered to concept of 'competence', and actually make some money...


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on November 16, 2018, 10:32:17 pm
....a classic example of a politicians dream turned mad: precious time and resources are redirected to chasing a high-profile folly

Interesting that the same piece also mentions Brexit. You may see a parallel; I couldn't possibly comment.

If Corbyn wins a General Election...

Then the Tories will sell it next time they get back in. Who knows; by then they may have rediscovered to concept of 'competence', and actually make some money...

Ah, if only macroeconomics were that simple........ ;)


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: grahame on November 18, 2018, 02:41:50 pm
From Auto Express (https://www.autoexpress.co.uk/car-news/105261/why-build-hs2-for-403m-per-mile-when-a-road-costs-10m-per-mile)

Quote
'Why build HS2 for 403m per mile when a road costs 10m per mile?'

With HS2 costs spiralling, Mike Rutherford asks if money should be put into roads instead

Normally Im not the sort who kicks someone or something when he/it is down. But with HS2 the proposed alternative to normal trains, cars, buses, coaches and planes normality goes out the window.

The crackpot project has barely begun, yet were already seeing financial anomalies, lack of logic and annihilation of the homes/communities/countryside in its path.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: ellendune on November 18, 2018, 03:15:05 pm
From Auto Express (https://www.autoexpress.co.uk/car-news/105261/why-build-hs2-for-403m-per-mile-when-a-road-costs-10m-per-mile)

Quote
'Why build HS2 for 403m per mile when a road costs 10m per mile?'

With HS2 costs spiralling, Mike Rutherford asks if money should be put into roads instead

Normally Im not the sort who kicks someone or something when he/it is down. But with HS2 the proposed alternative to normal trains, cars, buses, coaches and planes normality goes out the window.

The crackpot project has barely begun, yet were already seeing financial anomalies, lack of logic and annihilation of the homes/communities/countryside in its path.

The first question I ask is where does the 10m per mile figure come from?  What sort of road? The improvements to M4 Junction 16 Cost 10m alone with no new bridges! The A1(M) Leeming to Barton improvement is estimated to cost 400m for 12 miles. That just converts an existing dual carriageway to motorway.

If of course it was going to include a significant amount of tunnelling then A303 Stonehenge by-Pass will cost 1.6bn for 7 miles! That's not even motorway standard and its currently estimated at 230m per mile!

Construct a new urban motorway (e.g. at the Birmingham and London End with huge land costs then thats even more

And what if you deduct the cost of stations from HS2?  Since road users pay for their own. 

We need to compare like with like here!


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Red Squirrel on November 18, 2018, 03:26:12 pm
We need to compare like with like here!

I'm not sure that would be Mr Rutherford's style.

Moderately amused by his description of Chris Grayling as '...train-spotter-cum-part-time Transport Secretary'... wow; that's an interesting view!


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Lee on November 18, 2018, 03:57:12 pm
Personally, I'm still trying to square the vision I have of Grahame Clarkson flicking through the Auto Express and picking that story out for us  ;D


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on November 18, 2018, 05:12:52 pm
From today's Sunday Telegraph;

HS2 gagging deals are keeping residents in the dark about new high-speed line, report says.

The company behind the HS2 rail link is gagging local authorities with non-disclosure agreements that keep residents in the dark, a new report states.
The major review of Englands planning system warns HS2 Ltd is stoking resentment among communities who discover their councils are prevented from revealing details about the construction of the high-speed line.
The Sunday Telegraph has learnt that 26 local authorities across the country have signed NDAs with the company at the early planning stage.
The authorities involved include Warwickshire, Staffordshire and North Yorkshire county councils.
Nick Raynsford, the former Labour planning minister who carried out the review for the Town and Country Planning Association, said the practice was fuelling a corrosive sense on the part of the public, that planning is no longer protecting their interests.
His report says the panel received a great deal of evidence from communities affected by the HS2 project.
Their concerns had four distinct aspects, including the widespread use of confidentiality agreements by the HS2 company.
These agreements may serve a legitimate purpose in the eyes of those charged with the delivery of the project, but they have created real anger among local politicians and even more resentment from affected communities when they have discovered their existence, the panel wrote.
The report quotes one anonymous council leader who said the NDAs create a sense that the public are a constituency to be kept in the dark until such a time as their voice is effectively meaningless.
Whatever the commercial benefits of such agreements, they are not in the public interest, the leader said.
A list disclosed under the Freedom of Information Act states that 28 NDAs were in force in April, all but one of which became effective after 2013 and have no end date.

An HS2 spokesman said: Non-disclosure agreements help to avoid placing homes and businesses in unnecessary blight, protect commercially sensitive information, and help protect the personal information of those potentially affected.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: stuving on November 18, 2018, 06:03:37 pm
And in today's Sunday Times (Business bit) "HS2 delayed by a year as budget balloons".

But first, look back at this from New Civil Engineer (https://www.newcivilengineer.com/latest/exclusive-hs2-civils-design-deadline-pushed-back-eight-months/10032032.article) in June:
Quote
HS2 civils design deadline pushed back eight months
High Speed 2 (HS2) civils contractors have been given an extra eight months to adapt their designs to meet target costs, New Civil Engineer can reveal.

New Civil Engineer understands that HS2 bosses have pushed back the notice to proceed (NTP) deadline from November until June 2019.

The additional time has been given to allow the contractors to cut costs on the project, which New Civil Engineer reported last week were currently coming in around 1bn above the target cost.

The main civils works contracts are divided into two stages, with HS2 giving the NTP at the end of stage one which focusses on concept/ scheme design.

The NTP would then allow contractors to start detailed design and construction, which is scheduled to begin in early 2019.

Stage one has been divided into six checkpoints. At the end of the sixth checkpoint, which was originally scheduled for the end of November, contractors must produce a design to a defendable target price.

The initial over budget costs are believed to have been submitted as part of the third checkpoint, which was scheduled for the end of April.

This expected contractors to produce scheme design maturity for whole life cost model, 50% to 60% of the high risk design and 100% of the elements design.

Following the initial costings, New Civil Engineer understands that HS2 bosses had originally postponed the NTP until February 2019. However contractors were contacted last week about the increased deadline.

It is understood that the initial cost estimates for all four of the joint ventures working on the seven packages have come in over budget.

While one source said that the collective price was coming in at around 1.2bn over budget, another said that some bids were as much as 30% to 40% higher than their individual target price.

A spokesperson for HS2 maintained that the project remains on track, and within [the] original cost package.

Contractors were appointed in July last year to come up with a cost to build phase one of the line which runs from Euston Station in London to Birmingham Curzon Street.

It is not known if the later date for the notice to proceed will impact on the opening date of the line.

Now, if the haggling over the final cost hasn't produced the right number (6.6Bn) yet, so that date on June 2019 is likely to drift back to October - that would provide all the inputs needed for the ST article. After all, given hearsay figures of 1.2Bn and 30-40%, any ST journalist should be able to come up with "about 10 billion".

But we'll see - hearsay and gossip are often true, after all.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: broadgage on December 01, 2018, 04:25:31 pm
"HS2 Chairman, sir Terry Morgan, expects to be sacked"

According to BBC news website, and presumably other media also. Little information as to why he expects this. He has only been chairman for a few months.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: eXPassenger on December 01, 2018, 05:01:51 pm
"HS2 Chairman, sir Terry Morgan, expects to be sacked"

According to BBC news website, and presumably other media also. Little information as to why he expects this. He has only been chairman for a few months.

The story in The Guardian yesterday implied that he had been brought in as a safe pair of hands to prevent cost overruns because he had done such a good job delivering Crossrail on time and budget.  This view is now being re-considered.


Title: Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion
Post by: Tony (Formerly FT, N!) on December 05, 2018, 11:39:29 pm
"HS2 Chairman, sir Terry Morgan, expects to be sacked"

According to BBC news website, and presumably other media also. Little information as to why he expects this. He has only been chairman for a few months.

The story in The Guardian yesterday implied that he had been brought in as a safe pair of hands to prevent cost overruns because he had done such a good job delivering Crossrail on time and budget.  This view is now being re-considered.

A bit like the football manager hearing that he has the full support of the Chairman.



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