Do we need HS2?

Discussion in 'Infrastructure & Stations' started by shakey1961, 15 Nov 2016.

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  1. shakey1961

    shakey1961 Member

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    Do we really need HS2? I'm not very clued up on it. However, with internet technology making meeting people much easier via video link, will there be a need for high speed travel in the future?

    Can not the WCML have it's speed increased and the bends straightened out?

    I am happy to be educated about it all.
     
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  3. Monty

    Monty Established Member

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    It's a common misconception that HS2 has been about quicker journey times to and from the the capital. It's not, that's more of a bonus. It's capacity, the WCML is full and there is little capacity for much else, NR have only just recenrly finished spending millions on upgrading the route but it's only just alleviated the issues not solved them completely. The fact that it's being built as a high speed route and to a European loading gauge is just common sense and an added bonus.
     
  4. Chester1

    Chester1 Established Member

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    This has been covered many times. The short answer is video conferencing has been around for many years and during that time rail use has grown at 4% or more a year.
     
  5. The Planner

    The Planner Established Member

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    We don't need facts here, you should know this.....
     
  6. class26

    class26 Member

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    The simple answer is YES.

    It is cheaper and easier to build a new line than do what you suggest to the WCML. Then considered how long it would take to achieve very little on the WCML ?
    HS2 will benefit both west coast , east coast and MML, freeing up space so many destinations that presently do not have services to the capital can do so as all the present traffic will be on HS2. That`s a huge gain that straightening a few corners on the WCML would not achieve.

    The argument about speed is easily answered. When building a new line you build it to modern standards which just happen to be 200 mph. 100 mph is 19th century technology. It costs little more to build a new line at higher speed compared to tweaking an existing line with trains wizzing around everywhere.
     
  7. neonison

    neonison Member

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    Is there still not a premium associated with building a 200mph line compared with say a 125 mph line? Surely at higher speeds curves need to be easier giving less opportunity to weave around existing villages/woods etc?

    I get the whole point about capacity but once you take speed out of the equation could not lower cost options such as GC revival been considered?
     
  8. Carlisle

    Carlisle Established Member

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    Government ministers etc promoting HS2 as a means to free up capacity for more freight seems totally laughable right now in the light of DB Schenkers recent announcement of 350 redundancies
     
    Last edited: 15 Nov 2016
  9. kevjs

    kevjs Member

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    Let's take Nottingham as an example:-

    GC route

    In your way you have:-
    • A whole housing estates (Meadows - with parts currently being rebuilt for the third time)
    • A huge block of flats and shopping centre (former Nottingham Victoria)
    • tram line (pretty much all the way from Ruddington Lane to Broadmarsh and only opened a year ago),
    • art gallery,
    • the district heating system
    • a tourist attraction (GCRN)
    • and nature reserve

    New build line
    • Fields
    • Existing Railway Land
    • Some minor property removal

    And that's just one city on the route, and we've not even gone north of the old GC station!

    Which do you reckon is going to be cheaper and less destructive, especially considering the impact on the cities on the route when you destroy significant parts of the infrastructure in the process?. Hmm.

    AIUI the bits of the GC route still in use are already operating at (or near) capacity anyway - certainly not enough to fit in HS2 without significantly reducing suburban services in London.

    It's not like the GC route has been left unused for decades
     
    Last edited: 15 Nov 2016
  10. The Ham

    The Ham Established Member

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    Yes there is a premium with building a faster line. However, the more you weave about the more land that you use. As a simple example; if you take a right angle triangle to go direct could be 50 miles to go round the other two sides would be 70 miles. In doing so you end up needing 20 more miles of construction (OK, probably less because it would need to be bends and not right angles, but is only meant as a simple illustration).
     
  11. PR1Berske

    PR1Berske Established Member

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    The short answer is No.

    We need broadband infrastructure and regional rail upgrades.

    Building a new line into Euston helps nobody. And HS2 advocates know this. Their argument about capacity falls apart, because WCML has no capacity problems. Their speed argument falls apart because it will cost £40bn to cut just 10 minutes from the Euston commute.

    Real investment in the future would mean internet, broadband and WiFi. Not giving Euston another thing on the fingerclick say-so of a London based establishment.

    HS2 ain't just a white elephant. It's an entirr enclosure of white elephants.
     
  12. Altfish

    Altfish Member

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    Why can't we have HS2 and these as well?
     
  13. Trog

    Trog Established Member

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    Have you seen the traffic on the South end of the WCML? It makes north of Rugby and the GWML look like a deserted country cross road at 3am on a snowy February morning. Every time I worked on the TV or the GWML I kept finding myself wondering what had gone wrong as there were so few trains.
     
  14. The Planner

    The Planner Established Member

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    The WCML isnt full? Explain to me where we are going wrong then and how do you solve it, or will it be like all your previous HS2 posts that when challenged you go quiet.
     
  15. Deerfold

    Deerfold Established Member

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    So why is anyone arguing for it?
     
  16. tbtc

    tbtc Veteran Member

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    The 1990s called... they want their argument back :lol:

    Seriously though, I'd have agreed with your argument if you'd made it in 1999. Broadband, video conferencing, remote working... painted a picture of thousands of people "working from home" due to technological advances.

    But, we had all of those advances and rail passengers are still going up - call it three percent a year, call it five percent a year, but there comes a time when extra capacity is needed. All of our connectivity has still created a world where we are meeting up more.

    Okay, there are some villages in the Highlands that don't have broadband - I'm sure Wifi isn't great in mid-Wales - but these aren't the people filling the WCML/ MML/ ECML. Any roll out of technology to rural areas is a separate argument.

    We already have eleven/ twelve coach trains on the WCML (every four minutes?). We'll soon have 10x26m long IEP on the ECML. There's no capacity alongside the current route for a pair of extra tracks (other than a few isolated sections). Pinch points like Welwyn aren't getting better. When do you accept that we'll need a new line from "the north" to London?

    And, if you're going to build a new line, you might as well make it straight and fast. You might as well allow longer trains (like 400m ones). You might as well design something that has learnt lessons from Victorian routes (to avoid the problems they have had).

    You might as well try to take traffic off the WCML (by serving Manchester/ Birmingham), MML (by serving the East Midlands/ Sheffield) and ECML (by serving Leeds, Newcastle) - otherwise you'll need to build three new lines (one to relieve each of the existing busy routes).

    What's the alternative? Hope that passenger numbers go down, some "chip on the shoulder" stuff about hoping that London flounders (so that fewer people will want to go there), move a handful of Civil Servants out of the Capital, some idea about re-opening a scenic branchline that Beeching closed fifty years ago?

    HS2 is like IEP - an imperfect answer to a genuine problem which appears to be the least bad option - both get my vote. We should have a rule that anyone moaning against them has to at least suggest some form of alternative - because it's easy to sneer and a lot harder to come up with some realistic alternative.

    You want "regional rail upgrades"? Well, what is the Manchester Hub/ Northern Hub about? EGIP? TPE electrification? The GWML? East-West? All the new units on order (that won't go anywhere near London) - the 331s, 195s etc. We've never had a period of as many "regional rail upgrades", certainly not in my lifetime. What else is on your wishlist?

    As for "WCML has no capacity problems" and a conspiratorial mention of the "London based establishment"... I don't know where to start! :lol:
     
  17. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    No. The same benefit can be delivered by improvements to the existing rail network.

    At significantly higher cost. With a lot more disruption. Over a much longer time span.

    HS2 is the cheapest, fastest, least disruptive way to deliver any meaningful increase in capacity and lower running costs for the north-south rail network.
     
  18. GrimsbyPacer

    GrimsbyPacer Established Member

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    HS2's speed increase won't make much difference for connecting passengers, say a Mansfield passenger going to London would have to change at Nottingham either onto a tram or a hypothetical new service to Toton (ofcourse it will increase car usage on the M1) before waiting for the train which will likely only run every 20/30mins. While the Midland Mainline will be electric, and have speed improvements (like those already done since the HS2 report) long before then.

    The east branch is silly, if Nottingham, Sheffield, & Leeds passengers are to use HS2 either the current services or HS2 would be hard to maintain. How would Nottingham keep it's current Midland Mainline services with the competition if it was used more? What would that mean for Leicester and Beeston?
    Sheffield HS2 services now use the current track from Chesterfield in the plans, how on Earth does that not replace current Midland Mainline services without causing a bottleneck to get worse?
    And HS2's ban on freight is counter productive as that would be best for capacity and the environment.

    The line wouldn't be as bad if Derby, Nottingham, Leicester, Doncaster, Wakefield connections were added to allow future service patterns if the highspeed network was to be extended.
    Also the line lacks a simple chord which would allow HS2 services to Leeds to run to York and beyond, which could also be used HS3 (or whatever it's called now). It's all poorly planned out, at this cost it should be perfect.
    A least bad solution as some call it should never be promoted.
     
    Last edited: 15 Nov 2016
  19. 6Gman

    6Gman Established Member

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    :lol: :lol: :lol::lol:

    That's just not true. However often you say it.
     
  20. snowball

    snowball Established Member

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    A couple of ploints in reply to The Ham:

    1) The actual variations in route length due to plausible small changes in alignment are much, much less than in your example.

    2) Reducing the design speed of a proposed route, and thereby reducing the minimum permitted curve radius, can lead to shortening a route as well as lengthening it. For example, you might be able to replace a long, large radius curve by two shorter, tighter curves connected by a straight.
     
  21. tsangpogorge

    tsangpogorge Member

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    Why not just build phase one, is the WCML stretched for capacity north of Rugby too?
     
  22. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    Yes.

    *filler*
     
  23. HSTEd

    HSTEd Established Member

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    HS2 will crush the London-Leeds market, the London-Sheffield Market and a significant fraction of the London-Nottingham market (from park and ride and people who just happen to live on that side of the city).
    If the current service level can't be maintained - so be it.
    The purpose of the railway is to move people efficiently from A to B, not to maintain existing service patterns for the sake of it.
    How many people are left on the London-Sheffield trains north of Chesterfield if we exclude people travelling to Sheffield from London or Chesterfield? Could they really not be accomodated on some of the other trains on the route?
    Freight is slow and would there would have to be significant gaps in the service pattern in the morning to allow the slovenly freight trains to get out of the way - it also puts even stricter gradient restrictions on an already expensive project.
    HSLs are permitted a continuous Lickey Incline after all.
     
  24. The Ham

    The Ham Established Member

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    Is there a ban on freight on HS2, or is it just that they haven't assumed that it would be used for freight. There is a big difference between the two.

    I can see that it would be far from ideal to have freight, as it uses up a lot of paths. However a high speed mail train at quieter times of the day would be possible without using paths.
     
  25. HSTEd

    HSTEd Established Member

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    If we assume we are running on HSL from 0500 to 0000 intensively (and I see no reason not to, in the morning we have early rising commuters and in the night we can pick up the leisure traffic. After all why not go for a night out in the big smoke or even go from the big smoke to manchester so you are not being ripped off so much) and I see little margin for freight to do anything but get in the way once you consider engineering reservations.
     
  26. GrimsbyPacer

    GrimsbyPacer Established Member

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    HSTEd, saying you don't care that many places will have a worse service is awful, everyone is paying for this line, susposedly to benefit the economy, but it looks more and more likely to benefit some towns at the expense of others.
    If you think it's okay to ruin rail services in some towns just so some business snobs get faster trains I'm appalled.
     
  27. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    I don't believe he said that. My reading of his post is that the current service patterns may be difficult to justify post-HS2 not that people will get worse service. If a town were to lose the 3.5hr direct train to London, but get a 2hr service with one change is that worse service?
     
  28. 507021

    507021 Established Member

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    Admittedly, I was initially against the idea of it but having thought about it for a while, I do think HS2 is needed. The reason behind my change of viewpoint is that trains can only get so long, after that if extra capacity is needed then more lines need to be constructed, and I think that definitely applies here.
     
  29. NSEFAN

    NSEFAN Established Member

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    This is really what people seem to be arguining about. It'd be nice if we could just rip up the old routes and relay them as modern 4 or 6 track high-speed railways, that way everyone could have both faster and more frequent direct trains to more destinations. This however isn't possible for cost or practicality reasons, so we have to decide which stations should be on the new high-speed railway, and who should have to change if they want to catch a faster service to London, compared to the direct, stopping train.
     
  30. PR1Berske

    PR1Berske Established Member

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    I answer every time. Two things. By 2033, we will have a very different transport priority list, so HS2 is not guaranteed to be needed by then.

    Targeted improvements at specific WCML pinchpoints and smart timetabling have been my responses to HS2 advocates every time, and I stick by that still.

    But I say again. We don't need it now. We'll certainly not need it in 30 years time.
     
  31. J-2739

    J-2739 Established Member

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    Yes we do, yes we do, yes we do...!!

    New line=New capacity
     
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