Do we need HS2?

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

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  1. Voglitz

    Voglitz Member

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    The official forecasts in the November 2015 Strategic Case update suggest that the West Coast line would be 'over-capacity in 2033'.

    Or more precisely, some trains on the southern part of the West Coast fast lines could be over-capacity in 2033, on Friday evenings, in one scenario.
     
  2. Agent_c

    Agent_c Member

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    Last time we tried the line improvement thing the WFML was out for a very long time and it didn't do much. eliminating bends would require huge swathes of cities and towns to be flattened... making the project more controversial and more expensive. Same for just adding more tracks.

    A new line is the best, cheapest and least controversial option.
     
  3. The Planner

    The Planner Established Member

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    So its people capacity, not path capacity. Until the mindset of "turn up and go" or moving people away from an "we don't want to wait" one changes then frequency is always going to be increased regardless of the fresh air moved.
     
  4. Agent_c

    Agent_c Member

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    A line being over capacity is not the same as a train being over capacity. Altho This many passengers I'm sure would attest that by your own definition it is already full today.
     
  5. tbtc

    tbtc Veteran Member

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    The crucial Mansfield to London market?

    One so insignificant that it's never had direct services since privatisation (despite Midland Mainline extending some London services to/from Barnsley, Matlock, Burton on Trent etc)?

    If I were designing HS2, I wouldn't be worrying greatly about the Mansfield market - it's not Mansfield passengers that are clogging up the ECML/ MML/ WCML at the moment.



    Evidence of the "ban on freight"?

    And, whilst you are at it, evidence of the kind of freight suited to operate at high speeds? Maybe you could find a use for those spare 125mph 67s whilst you are at it?

    Where's the space at places like Wakefield for 400m trains (bearing in mind that you don't want to withdraw any existing services and you apparently don't want to demolish any buildings)?

    Everything that gets built in the real world is the "least bad solution" - it's called being pragmatic.

    I've wondered before about an alternative to HS2, which would consist of maybe five "high speed" lines from London to run to the fringes of the old Network South East area - say London to Winchester/ Swindon/ Northampton/ Cambridge - so that all "London" services beyond there could run non-stop on a dedicated line, with the current "conventional" routes from Winchester/ Swindon etc being filled with stoppers (that would connect at Winchester/ Swindon etc for passengers doing such journeys).

    It was just a daft idea, but I had the idea that the benefits of each mile of HS2 became less important the further you went beyond London (though, of course, the construction costs are significantly more expensive at the London end).

    I don't mind debating alternatives to HS2 like this (I just draw the line at "couldn't they do some clever stuff with the scheduling").

    I say that it's acceptable to remove services from some stations to improve services on busier services. At the moment there are some places that get a better service (because they are on a line to London) than they would get if they had to stand/ fall on their own two feet.

    Agreed.

    I'd rather that the railway focussed on the realities of twenty first century demand, rather than amending services to suit some chip-on-the-shoulder stuff about Big Bad London.

    Stick the resources where the actual demand is.

    Hmm... The Planner versus PR1Berske... the specialist subject "planning an efficient timetable on the WCML"... I think there can be only one winner here :lol:

    One minute we should stop spending money on HS2 and spend it on "conventional" lines instead... then we are spending so much on the "conventional" network (like the electrified 125mph MML) that we don't need HS2.

    One minute HS2 is no use for anyone in the East Midlands because it won't be of any use since it doesn't serve central Nottingham/ central Derby... then the service from central Nottingham/ central Derby to London will be a two coach 158 because everyone else will have shifted to HS2?

    Anyone else getting confused here?

    I remain convinced by threads like this that most enthusiasts would love HS2 if only it ran on wholly reclaimed railway alignments.

    Personally, I don't care about such things, but if there had been an LTMR (London Toton & Meadowhall Railway) that Beeching scrapped in the 1960s then support would be much higher.

     
  6. 6Gman

    6Gman Established Member

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    1. Of course they could - PR1Berske says so! :D

    2. I understand "The Planner" has a professional background in train planning (as have I). Has PR1Berske ever shared his qualifications with us?

    3. I was anti-HS2, and still don't think it's the ideal option, but it's the only one on offer.
     
  7. HSTEd

    HSTEd Established Member

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    I can certainly pack many more trains onto the WCML, but that would involving turning into a line with only two stopping patterns - one per track pair.

    I doubt that is what PR1Berske has in mind.
     
  8. Voglitz

    Voglitz Member

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    Everything that gets built in the real world is not necessarily the "least bad solution".
     
  9. muddythefish

    muddythefish On Moderation

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    I don't see the point of terminus stations in Manchester, Birmingham or Leeds (and preferably not London too). Surely it's better use of stock and better connectivity if these were through stations?
     
  10. snowball

    snowball Established Member

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    You're the third person to say this in a few hours, either in this thread or in "HS2 in the news". The answer is still the same, and a very obvious answer too. It costs a lot more, and is a lot more destructive, to build a new line into a city centre and out the other side than just to build a line into the city centre. It's hard enough to find one suitable route, but a through station would require not just two routes, but for them to be roughly in a line with each other.
     
    Last edited: 16 Nov 2016
  11. swt_passenger

    swt_passenger Veteran Member

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    Hardly any. As I've just pointed out in another thread, where it runs in the general area of the closed GC the HS2 curves and gradients are usually quite different, and the HS2 route doesn't exactly 'overlay' the existing formation, but smooths all the existing curves out. It is all shown in the phase 1 maps on the DfT HS2 site.

    I expect in most cases, once all the modern civil engineering is done it will completely replace all traces of the GC - the basic formation will be about twice as wide anyway.
     
    Last edited: 16 Nov 2016
  12. TBirdFrank

    TBirdFrank Member

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    1950

    Liverpool to London via the LNW
    Liverpool to London via the GC
    Manchester to London via the LNW
    Manchester to London via the GC
    Manchester to London via the Midland route

    2000

    Liverpool and Manchester to London via the LNW

    No wonder its bloody congested!

    You want capacity - relink the disconnected cities - in the manner of the old routes, not necessarily on the old alignments and provide a railway that will sere the whole country, not the premium fare payers of London, Birmingham and Manchester.

    The consulting and engineering industries have sold us a massive pup which does nothing for 95% of the population under the pretext of reducing congestion on one single line of route. If your journey starts in Tilbury and ends in Oldham the benefit will be utterly nominal but is going to cost every taxpayer in the UK around £1,000 each.

    Sorry but I am not daft enough to be taken in!

    The real disgrace is that since 1994 a figure around this sum, which could really have been invested, has already been cascaded through the Major version of the UK railway directly into the pockets of Branson and Lockhead, Souter and Gloag, and if a constructive view to the advantage of the entire UK were to put forward, still could be used positively to put such as the Bradford - Ripon - Northallerton section back, re-open the entire Waverley route, electrify the Nith Valley, rebuild the Withered Arm and others, and still have change out of HS2/3
     
  13. HSTEd

    HSTEd Established Member

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    But none of those projects is actually particularily useful.
    Also its kind of disingenuous to list Manchester and Liverpool seperately in the 1950 situation and not in the 2000 one.
    And the Midland route was retired because it was obviously so slow as to be hopelessly uncompetitive.
     
  14. Shaw S Hunter

    Shaw S Hunter Established Member

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    The fact is that *all* routes into London from the north are congested and it's the growth in suburban (commuter) traffic that is the major reason for needing some additional capacity. And that means building new track, preferably to modern standards rather than pointlessly mimicking Victorian standards of route engineering. On the WCML there is also a need for additional capacity for freight movements north of Birmingham to accommodate traffic like containers from Southampton and Felixstowe. HS2 allows the long-distance ("Inter-City") services to be completely removed from the classic routes thereby freeing capacity for the aforementioned traffic.

    It may be hard for some to accept but it is a fact that London is the major economic engine for this country nowadays and it needs the suburban capacity to function. Of course you could try telling the financiers and traders that there isn't enough room for them in London anymore and would they kindly move to Leeds or Manchester. Except they would be more likely to move to Paris or Amsterdam or Frankfurt. This is the 2010's not the 1950's.
     
  15. Starmill

    Starmill Events Co-ordinator

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    HS2 absolutely must happen, the only shame is that it has taken from 2009 to now (7 years) to get to a point to where we are ready to begin construction. These things mustn't be rushed... but I would hope the planning, consultation and legislative timetable could be reduced by at least a third in future.

    One of my favourite things about HS2 is that it will finally end the frustration of being able to physically get to places quickly... on trains that do not stop there. For example, Manchester to Leicester is quickest in one change at Nuneaton. Sadly there are just four services a day that do that and none on the way back. after HS2 there could be an hourly service to Nuneaton and Rugby - and thereby half-hourly fast trains from Nuneaton to London which is currently a pretty neglected market.

    Another good example is Cambridge. Currently no 'mainline' service other than to Birmingham New Street. Post-HS2 there will be track capacity to run some trains from Yorkshire or the North East into Cambridge rather than London (e.g. Leeds - Cambridge).

    This concept is rapacious in the current network... tell me what do you think will change?
     
    Last edited: 16 Nov 2016
  16. J-2739

    J-2739 Established Member

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    Thanks for the description :)
     
  17. The Planner

    The Planner Established Member

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    That doesn't quite work unless you ignore the decline in railways vs car ownership of the 60s and 70s and the general explosion in railway passenger growth over the last 20. Would be interesting to know how many trains per hour to London there were on those routes in comparison to today.

    Again, that doesn't work either, you can argue against every infrastructure project as "does nothing for 95% of the population". Northern Programmes/Powerhouse does nothing for me, nor does Crossrail, nor does Great Western electrification, nor does East West etc etc...
     
  18. The Ham

    The Ham Established Member

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    Average rail usage is about 5%, so any rail improvement doesn't directly improve things for 95% of the population.

    However, indirect benefits could include a few more people taking the train over driving meaning that road travel is easier, or at the very least doesn't get any worse for a few years after opening.

    The West Country could complain that they have little money spent on them, but without the remodeling of Reading station it would have not been possible for there to be an increase in services between Reading and Cornwall.

    Shock horror, £1,000 that's a lot of money, but that is being spent over a 16 year timeframe, so it's only £62.50 each per year, however what also needs to be remembered is that a lot of tax comes from companies and so our personal "cost" will be lower than that. Also not all people who are tax payers now will be in 15 years time, likewise there will be tax payers in 15 years time who aren't now (possibly including some who are currently in reception class at school).
     
  19. DarloRich

    DarloRich Veteran Member

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    My biggest bug bear is the lack of a link to the wider HS network in Europe. It seems very short sighted and could be provided for about £2.50 when considering the price of the whole project.


    Sorry but i do not think you really understand what you are saying or the concept behind these proposals.

    It is interesting that those railway types most against this proposal are the ones with cheap fares and less crowded trains. Those of us fighting into London on a regular basis know the network is full.

    This is an argument to do nothing, ever, as at some point in the future we might not need it anymore :roll:


    You can stick by it all you like - they wont make enough of a difference quickly enough and nor will they support the aim of the government to transfer and change economic activity in the country.

    On WCML south there is no space for more trains. Give me some examples of targeted improvements and "smart timetabling" that could make an impact in this area.

    Rail usage is growing at 3-4% year on year. Where are we going to put these people? Admittedly we don't know what the future economic landscape looks like post brexit and that is something that might get the project cut. However we cant wait 10 years and then decide we need this line. We have to decide that now and start work.


    Well put.

    Exactly.

    Heathrow does nothing for me but building a new runway seems like a good idea. The M25 & M1 do nothing for me but are clearly a vital artery in our economic communication. Felixstowe does nothing for me directly but our economy would fail without it. Cars do nothing for me but we would be consigned to the dark ages without them. etc etc.
     
  20. GrimsbyPacer

    GrimsbyPacer Established Member

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    DarloRich, just because I'm poor shouldn't affect my argument, I know it's those with money who like the scheme as they are the ones that benefit, but that shouldn't make the rich viewpoint more important.

    The scheme is being sold as something that will help the North, but all it looks to do is make people commute, and shop out of the region more often. We already have fast London lines, they haven't made the North better. But the Class 185s have in my opinion. The investment is mis-placed. Leeds would be better off with the tramway it was promised, line reopenings elsewhere or example. Sheffield's situation is a mess totally, the route poorly worked out, no possibillity of Leeds to further North services for example is stupid and would unnecessarily force a change at Leeds from a Cross Country service instead of direct trains from your Darlington.

    If there's something you claim I don't know what I'm talking as I'm not a rich London going traveller, please point it out so I can respond.
     
    Last edited: 16 Nov 2016
  21. Deerfold

    Deerfold Established Member

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    Why is commuting out of the region so bad? I spent 8 years commuting from Keighley to London, earning money in London and spending much of it in Yorkshire. Would you rather I'd moved away?

    Leeds would be better off with a tramway - but that was taken away before HS2 was planned. These were not alternate options.

    How much of Leeds are you prepared to be demolished to allow it to have a through route?
     
  22. GrimsbyPacer

    GrimsbyPacer Established Member

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    The route to York I was proposing was a triangle junction near to where the York line branches off from the Toton Line (like the HS2 junction near Birmingham).

    If people are commuting to London they are earning alot of cash, so not only does this mean only the rich will likely use the line, but also the skill force in the North is reduced, so companies relocate to London more as Northern skill is easier to take from the region. Just imagine the situation reversed where most Londoners commute North, would that boost London's economy?

    Edit, to answer your question whether I'd prefer commuters to move to the area they work in, the answer is no. People should generally be in a situation to get employment in Yorkshire (or where they live) rather than London, I know that's not the case now, but I think HS2 won't do anything to improve local employment chances, but will drive more jobs south.
     
    Last edited: 16 Nov 2016
  23. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    This is a false premise. Fares will be set to maximise profit and they'll make more money selling a lot of cheap tickets and a few expensive tickets than by selling just a few expensive tickets. There are very expensive fares between Manchester and London today, does that mean only rich people use the trains?
    Another false premise. Why would a company which is already located in the North move to London because of easier travel to London from the North? And even if they do move, which is worse for northern cities: having skilled residents who commute to work in London or having the same people move to London permanently?
     
    Last edited: 16 Nov 2016
  24. paulweaver

    paulweaver On Moderation

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    When can we expect some indicative service patterns on the old wcml post phase 1 and post phase 2?

    You're right that there's no current capacity problem on the majority of long distance trains - there's 120 people across 7 carriages on this morning's peak Manchester-Crewe-London train, with (generously) maybe another 20 joining at Nuneaton (3 people have joined my current carriage). That's way under half full, and this is a busy service.

    I was trying to think of something better than the current HS2 proposals to tackle this problem. The best I came up with was linking crossrail1's unused western capacity at Old Oak Common, dedicating 1 pair of lines from Milton Keynes south to crossrail1, the other pair to Northampton-Euston services (and then crossrail2), running 24tph all stops on crossrail and 16tph plus freight on the 'fast' lines with varied semi-fast stopping patterns

    You'd then avoid tunnelling from Euston to OOC as the new pair would effecively be using crossrail, then tunnel north via Watford (possibly with an underground station there), 6-track up past Tring, avoiding Leighton Buzzard by passing east, arriving to a new "fast" station on the other side of Milton Keynes near the motorway, then merging north of Milton keynes. Services would run Euston-OOC-(Watford)-(Milton Keynes) then either Northampton or Rugby as now.

    Code:
    CrossRail   PAD -           OOC - Track 1 Slow Line -   Harrow - Watford - Track 1 slow line - Tring - MKC
    CrossRail   PAD -           OOC - Track 2 Slow Line -   Harrow - Watford - Track 2 slow line - Tring - MKC
    Slow Euston EUS - Track 3 - OOC - Track 3 Fast Line -   Harrow - Watford - Track 3 fast line - MKC - Track 1 Slow Line - Wolverton - Northampton
    Slow Euston EUS - Track 4 - OOC - Track 4 Fast Line -   Harrow - Watford - Track 4 fast line - MKC - Track 2 Slow Line - Wolverton - Northampton
    High Speed: EUS - Track 1 - OOC - Track 5 Tunnel   - Watford Underground - Track 5 highspeed - MKEast - Track 3 Fast Line - Roade Fast Lines
    High Speed: EUS - Track 2 - OOC - Track 6 Tunnel   - Watford Underground - Track 6 highspeed - MKEast - Track 4 Fast Line - Roade Fast Lines
    
     
  25. Deerfold

    Deerfold Established Member

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    I wasn't - I was earning a better salary than from available local jobs, but still less than the London average wage.

    You didn't answer the question I asked - would you rather I'd moved away? That would have been my alternative, so the North would not have gained my skills.

    I can't speak for the West Coast but on the East between Leeds and London many morning peak trains run very close to full and in the evening peak it was not unusual for people to be standing to Peterborough, sometimes further.
     
    Last edited: 16 Nov 2016
  26. gsnedders

    gsnedders Established Member

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    So I think we can all agree that the real solution to this is to complete the WCML Modernisation Programme, especially moving block signalling. :lol:
     
  27. keithboddey

    keithboddey Member

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    Why are Train "load factors" kept confidential.....lets get how busy the west coast trains are out in the public domain......they we will all know whether spending all that money is good.
     
  28. muddythefish

    muddythefish On Moderation

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    Tunnelling would be the solution and the through station wouldn't need to be that wide as trains wouldn't be stopped long like a terminus. I'm sure you'll cite extra cost but what is the cost of providing a lavish terminus with all its facilities.

    An east west Manchester through station with HS 2 coming in from the south would have other benefits as the hub for HS3 with trains goiing out in either directions to Liverpool and Leeds. A Leeds through station would see trains continue to Newcastle and Edinburgh. A London through station would connect with HS1. Seems far more sensible to me.
     
  29. Bevan Price

    Bevan Price Established Member

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    No. The Midland route was "retired" because "Roadbuilder" Marples, Beeching**, etc., saw it only as a disposable duplicate route between Manchester & London, totally ignoring its value as a route between Manchester and the East Midlans cities.

    (** Wilson & Castle would have liked to stop many of the Beeching closures, but were under heavy pressure from the "finance" sector over government spending, and rail closures were one of the consequences.)
     
  30. 6Gman

    6Gman Established Member

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    Or just reverse the train - no locos to run round these days! :)
     
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