High Speed Rail Scotland

Noddy

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While I have no intention to weigh in on the merits of a through HSL to Scotland and of serving Heathrow, I just want to mention that having long-distance trains stop at major airports and offer through-ticketing so as to guarantee connections is not so rare on the continent. German Rail has done this for years and recently it is being done in Austria as well - ÖBB trains to Vienna Airport have replaced some domestic flights and carry Austrian Airlines flight numbers.

While it is not for everyone, it is a good alternative for lots of people, especially the huge „fly to XYZ for the weekend with a carry-on-bag“ crowd as well as for business travellers, who usually avoid large amounts of luggage. Pressure to reduce short-haul-flying is only going to increase.

Once HS2 and NPR reach Manchester Airport, something very similar could be established in the UK.
Absolutely. It will happen in the U.K. no doubt. Given that LDHS trains already stop at, or near to, a number of Airport stations, inc Heathrow, I do wonder why this hasn’t happened already though? I suspect it’s largely to do with the fact that these services are largely the flagged carriers combining with the national(ised) rail operator (eg your example of OBB/Austrian Airlines) But I think FQTV would know more about this.
 
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The Ham

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Absolutely. It will happen in the U.K. no doubt. Given that LDHS trains already stop at, or near to, a number of Airport stations, inc Heathrow, I do wonder why this hasn’t happened already though? I suspect it’s largely to do with the fact that these services are largely the flagged carriers combining with the national(ised) rail operator (eg your example of OBB/Austrian Airlines) But I think FQTV would know more about this.
I suspect that it's too do with it being better for the airline to keep their passengers flying, with more (now I'm not suggesting that all would do so just more would) of a shift to rail then the airlines could be more inclined to use rail based connections, especially if now and now if the UK comes within 2 hours of our major airports.
 

The Ham

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We’re talking about the 60% (quoted earlier) of ‘domestic’ U.K. travellers, who transit at Heathrow here. So the choice is I lift my main heavy bag once on to an airport scale somewhere in the world and then don’t see it again until I collect it again at my destination airport (in this case probably Glasgow/Edinburgh), or I get it back at Heathrow where it’s my responsibility again, to get across the airport, two stations and on and off two trains. I’m not a granny so I ‘can’ take it but I know which I’d prefer.

Yes the numbers here and their impact on HS2 is likely to be small to tiny. But, in the context of this thread, we’re talking about the number of passengers who fly between the central belt and Heathrow and vastly reducing those numbers (or not).

In my view the only way to do that would be to have really significant cost penalty (unlikely) or really significant time penalty. The later really only happens if HS2 is continued all the way to the central belt. Which, if you are basing your potential numbers on the people travelling by plane isn’t going to happen (but that’s flawed imo anyway).
Cost could become more of an issue, the revival of Flybe is likely to increase the cost of tickets for internal flights. Another cost implication is if carbon offsetting become mandatory, whilst that's currently £7 for a London/Glasgow return flight, this is likely to increase as more of the easy wins happen.

Again there's still going to many who would continue to fly, however as those who aren't transferring to a long distance flight start to shift to rail (and they are much more likely to be those doing a city break using hand luggage only, now given the restrictions on liquid and other limits there'll be some who'll find air too restrictive) that's going to harm the airline's bottom line on the internal flights.
 

Bald Rick

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Yes the numbers here and their impact on HS2 is likely to be small to tiny. But, in the context of this thread, we’re talking about the number of passengers who fly between the central belt and Heathrow and vastly reducing those numbers (or not).
Ahh, I think we are at cross purposes. What we’re talking about in this thread is people who fly between the central belt of Scotland and London. Heathrow is of course part of that, but barely a third. Transfer passengers are about a fifth. The other 4/5ths is up for grabs.
 

Noddy

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Ahh, I think we are at cross purposes. What we’re talking about in this thread is people who fly between the central belt of Scotland and London. Heathrow is of course part of that, but barely a third. Transfer passengers are about a fifth. The other 4/5ths is up for grabs.
Re Heathrow:Are you sure, because thats not what others have suggested, although happy to be wrong. Gsnedders gave a figure of 60% of domestic users at Heathrow were in transit earlier in the thread.

Re: Those not transferring at Heathrow (your figure is 4/5). These travellers are not likely to be going to Heathrow, so very unlikely to be connecting to Heathrow at OOC from HS2 and effectively they’re irrelevant from this point which is about transit passengers.
 
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Bald Rick

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Re Heathrow:Are you sure, because thats not what others have suggested, although happy to be wrong. Gsnedders gave a figure of 60% of domestic users at Heathrow were in transit earlier in the thread.

Re: Those not transferring at Heathrow (your figure is 4/5). These travellers are not likely to be going to Heathrow, so unlikely to be connecting to Heathrow at OOC from HS2 so they’re irrelevant to this point.
36% of London - central belt air travellers are via Heathrow. 60 % of 36% is 21.6%, ie about a fifth of all London - Central belt air travellers are in transit at Heathrow. The rest are not. The discussion is about high speed rail to Scotland, and how air travellers could be persuaded to transfer to rail; my contention is that almost 4/5ths of them are not transfer passengers, and therefore more likely to transfer to rail than the transfer passengers.
 

Noddy

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36% of London - central belt air travellers are via Heathrow. 60 % of 36% is 21.6%, ie about a fifth of all London - Central belt air travellers are in transit at Heathrow. The rest are not. The discussion is about high speed rail to Scotland, and how air travellers could be persuaded to transfer to rail; my contention is that almost 4/5ths of them are not transfer passengers, and therefore more likely to transfer to rail than the transfer passengers.
And my point has been entirely about transit passengers through Heathrow/OOC (Eg see post 307). Sorry if that’s not been clear enough.

I have no doubt the Central Belt-London City could be almost eliminated by HS2. Just very sceptical about Central Belt-Heathrow as 60% of passengers on those flights are ‘harder’ to attract.

EDIT. Looking at the CAA figures for 2019 it’s about 1.2million passengers if we assume the 60% rule is correct.

EDIT2: On the wider point of 4/5s being ‘up for grabs’, (as others have said before me) I’d be sceptical given that this includes large flows to Luton, Stanstead, Gatwick etc which include wide catchment areas well beyond the influence of Euston or OOC. I’d also be very sceptical that only 20% of domestic passengers (especially those from the Central Belt) at Gatwick were transferring. London City I absolutely get. Those other airports, not so much.
 
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The Ham

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And my point has been entirely about transit passengers through Heathrow/OOC (Eg see post 307). Sorry if that’s not been clear enough.

I have no doubt the Central Belt-London City could be almost eliminated by HS2. Just very sceptical about Central Belt-Heathrow as 60% of passengers on those flights are ‘harder’ to attract.

EDIT. Looking at the CAA figures for 2019 it’s about 1.2million passengers if we assume the 60% rule is correct.

EDIT2: On the wider point of 4/5s being ‘up for grabs’, (as others have said before me) I’d be sceptical given that this includes large flows to Luton, Stanstead, Gatwick etc which include wide catchment areas well beyond the influence of Euston or OOC. I’d also be very sceptical that only 20% of domestic passengers (especially those from the Central Belt) at Gatwick were transferring. London City I absolutely get. Those other airports, not so much.
Someone flying from Gatwick could, as you right point out come from a large area, as an example this could be traveling from Guildford or Farnborough.

Therefore travel time to Gatwick or Old Oak Common are likely to be fairly comparable (especially if the Southern Approach to Heathrow is built, where both could then be a direct train journey), whist there would be advantages and disadvantages to each. Where rail wins out is that it would be running a service at least every hour and wouldn't have so many restrictions on luggage. Conversely flying would allow you not to need to monitor your luggage whilst traveling and less time actually moving.
 

Steven_G

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I commuted to London over 13 years and did all the airports. Worst was always Heathrow for travel time. Early morning times were 90mins to cater for stacking.

City was the best with the DLR connection and lack of delay but of course, Easyjet the cheapest.

The train we calculated home-to-office was 30mins longer even with the fastest on the WCML.

If that 30mins could be chopped off and the service less busy along the proposed HS1 route, I'd would have taken the train every time.
 

Speed43125

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Where rail wins out is that it would be running a service at least every hour and wouldn't have so many restrictions on luggage. Conversely flying would allow you not to need to monitor your luggage whilst traveling and less time actually moving.
I'm not sure about most people, but I've definitely come across families that are extremely nervous about luggage on open luggage racks, obviously the baggage claim carousel can be just as uncertain, but the aspect of having an open luggage rack, at least on XC with lots of stops does seem to unnerve people. But as has been discussed, its people travelling on business that we are trying to attract with speed.
 

cle

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Ahh, I think we are at cross purposes. What we’re talking about in this thread is people who fly between the central belt of Scotland and London. Heathrow is of course part of that, but barely a third. Transfer passengers are about a fifth. The other 4/5ths is up for grabs.
Thanks. Bit of a strawman there, Noddy. The thread is about HSR in Scotland overall, not as prescriptive as "Scots who transfer on BA at LHR and would they take the train to OOC and then again to LHR?" - the answer of course being no, they wouldn't. They probably wouldn't even if it went directly into T5.

This is about everybody from travels from London to Scotland (plus inbound transfers) and Scotland to London including onwards transfers. All airlines, all 5 London airports, and existing rail up both WCML and ECML.

Side note - but I'd also suggest that many transferring on BA are still going to Europe or on short trips, and so probably on hand luggage.

But the fact is that this railway would include an infinite combination of journey destinations, purposes, traveller age/ability, frequency and luggage quantity. Modelling is difficult and so we go on what we know would make up the business cases; weekly travellers, business trips, students and so on.
 

Noddy

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Someone flying from Gatwick could, as you right point out come from a large area, as an example this could be traveling from Guildford or Farnborough.

Therefore travel time to Gatwick or Old Oak Common are likely to be fairly comparable (especially if the Southern Approach to Heathrow is built, where both could then be a direct train journey), whist there would be advantages and disadvantages to each. Where rail wins out is that it would be running a service at least every hour and wouldn't have so many restrictions on luggage. Conversely flying would allow you not to need to monitor your luggage whilst traveling and less time actually moving.
Yeah but with Gatwick it isn’t just Guildford or Farnborough (which are probably just as close to Heathrow), it’s the whole of Kent, most of Sussex, great swathes of south and SE London. Form Croydon the trip to Gatwick is pretty much the same as to Euston but only involves a single train. As opposed to a train and the underground. So you just can’t automatically assume that X number will transfer or even be up for grabs.

You are absolutely right that rail wins hands down on being able to offer a more regular clock face timetable. However, this is really only an advantage if I can easily and cheaply change my train. If my ticket is fixed to only one train it’s of no real benefit to me.

Regarding luggage I’m completely the opposite to you. If I was travelling with loads of luggage I’d much rather go by plane-its a case of drop and forget. I don’t have to worry about it. But maybe that because I’m used to travelling internally and internationally with skis/snowboards etc.


I commuted to London over 13 years and did all the airports. Worst was always Heathrow for travel time. Early morning times were 90mins to cater for stacking.

City was the best with the DLR connection and lack of delay but of course, Easyjet the cheapest.

The train we calculated home-to-office was 30mins longer even with the fastest on the WCML.

If that 30mins could be chopped off and the service less busy along the proposed HS1 route, I'd would have taken the train every time.
Where were you flying from?
 

Noddy

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Thanks. Bit of a strawman there, Noddy. The thread is about HSR in Scotland overall, not as prescriptive as "Scots who transfer on BA at LHR and would they take the train to OOC and then again to LHR?" - the answer of course being no, they wouldn't. They probably wouldn't even if it went directly into T5.
See post 307 and preceeding ones. They’re explicitly or implicitly referencing the ‘domestic’ market and transit at Heathrow.

EDIT: Looking back at FQTV posts they say up to 80% of BA Heathrow domestic passengers (post 287) are in transit which could be up to 28% of the central belt-London market. So by the time you add 20% at Gatwick, plus others who simply aren’t going anywhere near London, means you might be looking at maybe half the market being ‘up for grabs’ (not 4/5s).

There are a lot of maybes there but I don’t believe we should be claiming that HS2, in its present form, is going to destroy the Central Belt-London air market. London City: Yes, that can be a real target. The other airports are much harder.
 
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si404

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Form Croydon the trip to Gatwick is pretty much the same as to Euston but only involves a single train. As opposed to a train and the underground.
You wouldn't take the Underground (unless going via Victoria) as it takes longer. Though if you arrive at North Terminal at Gatwick you travel on Gatwick's people mover about as far as Euston-KXSP on the tube.

St Pancras isn't that far to walk from Euston, and at Gatwick you'd still have to walk from baggage claim to the station (or people mover and then a second walk). It's really not a massive change.

And you can get the train to/from Kent from Euston/St Pancras - unlike Gatwick.
 

Noddy

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You wouldn't take the Underground (unless going via Victoria) as it takes longer. Though if you arrive at North Terminal at Gatwick you travel on Gatwick's people mover about as far as Euston-KXSP on the tube.

St Pancras isn't that far to walk from Euston, and at Gatwick you'd still have to walk from baggage claim to the station (or people mover and then a second walk). It's really not a massive change.
Really not convinced at all!

And you can get the train to/from Kent from Euston/St Pancras - unlike Gatwick.
But point taken on this.
 

Bald Rick

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There are a lot of maybes there but I don’t believe we should be claiming that HS2, in its present form, is going to destroy the Central Belt-London air market.
Oh it won’t destroy it, but it will reduce flights by around half.
 

HSTEd

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What fraction of traffic to the central belt airports is London flights?

Given how close Prestwick was to collapsing, even before coronavirus, is it enough to force consolidaion in the market?
 

gsnedders

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What fraction of traffic to the central belt airports is London flights?

Given how close Prestwick was to collapsing, even before coronavirus, is it enough to force consolidaion in the market?
Prestwick isn't near any major population centre though, and the expansions of Edinburgh and Glasgow have been enough to satiate the Central Belt market.

It's about a quarter of passengers from both Edinburgh and Glasgow that are travelling to London. There's nowhere else over 10%.
 

Bald Rick

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What fraction of traffic to the central belt airports is London flights?

Given how close Prestwick was to collapsing, even before coronavirus, is it enough to force consolidaion in the market?
No chance. London flights represent less than a quarter of passengers, and I suspect less than 20% of air traffic movements. Even if all London flights were removed, the airports would be as busy as they were about 7-8 years ago.
 

Noddy

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Oh it won’t destroy it, but it will reduce flights by around half.
Earlier you said 4/5s was up for grabs, and now you are saying it will get 50%. Where are you getting that figure from?

The three main factors in people decision making are likely to be cost, time, and convenience. Given that we have no idea what the cost will be, and convenience is difficult to measure (at least without really detailed studies) your argument appears to largely be based around the time saving. Please accept my apologies if this isn’t the case. But given this you appear to be saying saying that a saving of 48 minutes (Edinburgh) and 50 minutes (Glasgow) is enough to convince 50% of the entire air market to shift. Given what we know about the market, with 25% being transit passengers, and it being split across five major airports covering pretty much the whole of the SE and some of the south midlands, I’m deeply sceptical about this. Maybe 50% of the non-transit passengers. At a push.

Now if you were talking about a high speed line all the way to the central belt I’d be very much inclined to agree, because it would save another hour, increasing the influence of Euston/OCC on folks decision making. But at the moment it’s only going as far as Wigan, and unfortunately, it might not even get that far.
 

cle

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You said HS2 in its current form, but this thread is about HSR in Scotland - we have to assume HS2 to Phase 2B is in place for our scenario, given nothing has even been scoped or approved north of the border. And so HSR-S would be incremental to the 3h45 or so which folks are saying. Pushing to the 3h30 is really where the sep change comes in, in modal shift.

It will not be exhaustive - people fly from London to Paris and Brussels to a lesser degree still.

People might be heading to Cambridge and fly to Stansted, similarly with Brighton and Gatwick. Those won't change - and are Easyjet, not BA. BA are leaving Gatwick now anyway. There are a million reasons why Scotland-SE England flights will continue, T5 transfer being one but not all. But the trend will only be towards the train - as COVID has proven remote working (less business travel demand overall, perhaps, but also productivity and trust away from desk) - the train lends itself to that.

The true litmus test on this topic is how the London-Amsterdam travel market evolves with Eurostar as frequencies increase. Similar journey times to Scotland with HS2, a lot of flights across all of the SE's airports - and more competition due to KLM. So we'll shouyld watch that in the coming years as it ramps up and the journey becomes direct/check-in facilities activate.
 

Noddy

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You said HS2 in its current form, but this thread is about HSR in Scotland - we have to assume HS2 to Phase 2B is in place for our scenario, given nothing has even been scoped or approved north of the border. And so HSR-S would be incremental to the 3h45 or so which folks are saying. Pushing to the 3h30 is really where the sep change comes in, in modal shift.
But Bald Rick said 50% would shift. Not me. That’s my point. It won’t happen unless a really significant section is built north of Wigan. I even said so I’m my last post.

The modal shift is a bell curve. Except for the reasons mentioned above, London-central belt is flat and wide, rather than tall and narrow (see Paris-Lyon, Madrid-Barcelona).


It will not be exhaustive - people fly from London to Paris and Brussels to a lesser degree still.

People might be heading to Cambridge and fly to Stansted, similarly with Brighton and Gatwick. Those won't change - and are Easyjet, not BA. BA are leaving Gatwick now anyway. There are a million reasons why Scotland-SE England flights will continue, T5 transfer being one but not all. But the trend will only be towards the train - as COVID has proven remote working (less business travel demand overall, perhaps, but also productivity and trust away from desk) - the train lends itself to that.

The true litmus test on this topic is how the London-Amsterdam travel market evolves with Eurostar as frequencies increase. Similar journey times to Scotland with HS2, a lot of flights across all of the SE's airports - and more competition due to KLM. So we'll shouyld watch that in the coming years as it ramps up and the journey becomes direct/check-in facilities activate.
I don’t think EasyJet V BA has anything to do with it given we are basically talking about total numbers/market share.

Not sure about the Amsterdam comparison given you need to allow 45-60 min to get through security at St Pancras, on top of the four hour journey time.
 
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Bald Rick

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Earlier you said 4/5s was up for grabs, and now you are saying it will get 50%. Where are you getting that figure from?

The three main factors in people decision making are likely to be cost, time, and convenience. Given that we have no idea what the cost will be, and convenience is difficult to measure (at least without really detailed studies) your argument appears to largely be based around the time saving. Please accept my apologies if this isn’t the case. But given this you appear to be saying saying that a saving of 48 minutes (Edinburgh) and 50 minutes (Glasgow) is enough to convince 50% of the entire air market to shift. Given what we know about the market, with 25% being transit passengers, and it being split across five major airports covering pretty much the whole of the SE and some of the south midlands, I’m deeply sceptical about this. Maybe 50% of the non-transit passengers. At a push.

Now if you were talking about a high speed line all the way to the central belt I’d be very much inclined to agree, because it would save another hour, increasing the influence of Euston/OCC on folks decision making. But at the moment it’s only going as far as Wigan, and unfortunately, it might not even get that far.
I’m really not helping myself here, by not making things clear.

The premise of this entire thread (since I joined it about halfway through) was that a high speed line all (or at least most of) the way from the end of HS2 at Golborne to Scotland could be justified by capturing London - Scotland air traffic. I disagree with this premise.

I do agree entirely about the cost / journey time / convenience equation, which is something I have banged on about for years when writing on these pages in discussions about mode share / switching. Probably too often.

Specifically about this discussion:

1) rail already has around 25-30% of the London - Central belt air/rail market, with journey times of c4h30

2) HS2 2b will knock almost an hour off those journey times (22%), and increase frequencies, making it more attractive. This will capture around half* the current air traffic, including a small but not insignificant proportion of transfer traffic at Heathrow. To make the maths easy, let’s say it moves rail/air market share from 25/75 to 60/40.

3) of the remaining 40% flying, somewhere between one third and one half (15-20% of the 40%) will be transfer passengers at Lonodn airports, principally Heathrow, and most will not swap to rail even with further journey time improvements.

4) that leaves around, say, 20-25% of the existing air/rail London - Central belt market who will still be flying post HS2 2b, but not transferring at a Lonon airport, ie around 2m passengers.

5) spending double digit billions on further high speed line construction through the north of England and Scotland is a big price to pay to win 2m passengers a year. The journey time benefits accruing to the rail passengers already on the services post HS2 2b are also unlikely to justify it.

* the ‘half of existing passengers’ is consistent with the results of other high speed rail projects with similar journey times. It is also supported by modelling, including some I did a long time ago. It could, of course, be wrong. Perhaps most relative is that knocking 40 minutes off London - Manchester rail journey times (25%), and trebling frequency, reduced flights MAN - London airports from 40 rotations and 2m pax pa in 2005 to 8 rotations and half a million pax today. Other posters have quite rightly pointed out that the improved rail service wasn’t the only reason for this change, but it was a very significant factor.

A final point, just checking my notes from 2005; there were more air passengers from London - Central belt back then than there are now, c6.2m then vs 5.8m now. Interestingly the fall has been almost entirely from Glasgow, whereas Edinburgh is much the same. Rotations from Glasgow have reduced from 44 daily to 30, whilst Edinburgh is broadly the same. And of course, in that time, rail journey time to Glasgow has fallen by about 40-50 minutes (14%), and frequency doubled, whereas to Edinburgh journey times are roughly the same, and frequencies have increased, albeit mostly at off peak times. On top of it all, the market has grown, and all the growth has come to rail.
 
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Noddy

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I’m really not helping myself here, by not making things clear.

The premise of this entire thread (since I joined it about halfway through) was that a high speed line all (or at least most of) the way from the end of HS2 at Golborne to Scotland could be justified by capturing London - Scotland air traffic. I disagree with this premise.

I do agree entirely about the cost / journey time / convenience equation, which is something I have banged on about for years when writing on these pages in discussions about mode share / switching. Probably too often.

Specifically about this discussion:

1) rail already has around 25-30% of the London - Central belt air/rail market, with journey times of c4h30

2) HS2 2b will knock almost an hour off those journey times (22%), and increase frequencies, making it more attractive. This will capture around half* the current air traffic, including a small but not insignificant proportion of transfer traffic at Heathrow. To make the maths easy, let’s say it moves rail/air market share from 25/75 to 60/40.

3) of the remaining 40% flying, somewhere between one third and one half (15-20% of the 40%) will be transfer passengers at Lonodn airports, principally Heathrow, and most will not swap to rail even with further journey time improvements.

4) that leaves around, say, 20-25% of the existing air/rail London - Central belt market who will still be flying post HS2 2b, but not transferring at a Lonon airport, ie around 2m passengers.

5) spending double digit billions on further high speed line construction through the north of England and Scotland is a big price to pay to win 2m passengers a year. The journey time benefits accruing to the rail passengers already on the services post HS2 2b are also unlikely to justify it.

* the ‘half of existing passengers’ is consistent with the results of other high speed rail projects with similar journey times. It is also supported by modelling, including some I did a long time ago. It could, of course, be wrong. Perhaps most relative is that knocking 40 minutes off London - Manchester rail journey times (25%), and trebling frequency, reduced flights MAN - London airports from 40 rotations and 2m pax pa in 2005 to 8 rotations and half a million pax today. Other posters have quite rightly pointed out that the improved rail service wasn’t the only reason for this change, but it was a very significant factor.

A final point, just checking my notes from 2005; there were more air passengers from London - Central belt back then than there are now, c6.2m then vs 5.8m now. Interestingly the fall has been almost entirely from Glasgow, whereas Edinburgh is much the same. Rotations from Glasgow have reduced from 44 daily to 30, whilst Edinburgh is broadly the same. And of course, in that time, rail journey time to Glasgow has fallen by about 40-50 minutes (14%), and frequency doubled, whereas to Edinburgh journey times are roughly the same, and frequencies have increased, albeit mostly at off peak times. On top of it all, the market has grown, and all the growth has come to rail.
Thanks Bald Rick for your very eloquent post, and I apologise that sometimes mine are not so, especially when written in haste. What would probably be a 2 minute verbal discussion becomes an extended ‘debate’.

I still think you are over-egging it though. For example for Edinburgh HS2 say it will take 3.40 after Phase 2, and this represents a 48min saving over the ‘fastest times’. Well that’s an 18% reduction (not 22%). Furthermore a very quick check shows that tomorrow I can catch a train from Kings Cross which does it in 4.21 (and still manages a stop at Berwick!). That’s less than a 16% saving. If we were to split the difference and say it’s a 20% saving using your modelling that’s a 9% difference, which reduces your 50% figure to 45%.

The *modelling however, if based on many other international routes, is flawed. As we know the model shift between air and train is a bell curve, but in most situations on most routes the flow is limited to one airport v one station. Occasionally it’s two. In one or two cases (New York) it’s maybe three. In London’s case the (central belt) market is spread, relatively evenly, across at least five major airports. This means that rather than having a tall and narrow bell curve between 3-5 hours and the average time (to convert between modes) being 4, the bell curve is much flatter (and distorted) between 1.5-5 hours, and the average time is shifted towards a shorter journey. From a rail perspective you have to work much harder to attract the same number of passengers, because their journey choices are not defined by a single airport/route.

I’m not saying we should build a Scottish extension because I think your figures are wrong. I’d be surprised if it was economically viable even if it was the difference between having the entire entire air market or not. My point in that regard, is that for northern extensions you need to look beyond just the current London-Central Belt air market, to understand the overall potential market of a northern extension. (Eg Manchester-central belt would be about 1hr 15 compared to 3hr 20 by train and 3hr 30 by car today).

Finally as you (and others) have said, and are threaded throughout this discussion, there are many other factors at play including cost, frequency, taxing of air flights, future carbon passports but they’re largely red herrings. Many of these are great unknowns, but you don’t don’t need any Scottish extensions (or even HS2 Phase 2) to change these things.
 
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The Ham

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Thanks Bald Rick for your very eloquent post, and I apologise that sometimes mine are not so, especially when written in haste. What would probably be a 2 minute verbal discussion becomes an extended ‘debate’.

I still think you are over-egging it though. For example for Edinburgh HS2 say it will take 3.40 after Phase 2, and this represents a 48min saving over the ‘fastest times’. Well that’s an 18% reduction (not 22%). Furthermore a very quick check shows that tomorrow I can catch a train from Kings Cross which does it in 4.21 (and still manages a stop at Berwick!). That’s less than a 16% saving.

The *modelling, if based on many other international routes, is flawed. As we know the model shift between air and train is a bell curve, but in most situations on most routes the flow is limited to one airport v one station. Occasionally it’s two. In one or two cases (New York) it’s maybe three. In London’s case the (central belt) market is spread, relatively evenly, across at least five major airports. This means that rather than having a tall and narrow bell curve between 3-5 hours and the average time (to convert between modes) being 4, the bell curve is much flatter (and distorted) between 1.5-5 hours, and the average time is shifted towards a shorter journey. From a rail perspective you have to work much harder to attract the same number of passengers, because their journey choices are not defined by a single airport/route.

I’m not saying we should build a Scottish extension because I think your figures are wrong. I’d be surprised if it was economically viable even if it was the difference between having the entire entire air market or not. My point in that regard, is that for northern extensions you need to look beyond just the current London-Central Belt air market, to understand the overall potential market of a northern extension. (Eg Manchester-central belt would be about an hour compared to 3.5 by train and car today).

Finally as you (and others) have said, and are threaded throughout this discussion, there are many other factors at play including cost, frequency, taxing of air flights, future carbon passports but they’re largely red herrings. Many of these are great unknowns, but you don’t don’t need any Scottish extensions (or even HS2 Phase 2) to change these things.
Whilst the shift to rail maybe a bell curve there's other factors which come into play.

For instance of passenger numbers fall you may only see a single morning/evening flight in each direction. That had a much bigger impact on people opting to use rail than a small time saving.

Likewise needing to travel to Glasgow/Edinburgh to get a better timed flight than from the local airport.

All of which effectively shortens the journey time for rail compared to flying and so shifts more people than would otherwise be the case.

Based on Southamtom/Manchester being 200,000 passengers and 1 fairly small flight in each direction morning and evening, then once you get to 400,000 between two Scottish airports and one London airport that's the same frequency. Given that there's several London airports once you get below about 2 million passengers there's going to be few middle of the day flights and/or you're going to see a cut in the number of London airports served.

If you start to see people being forced to use set airports that's going to impact on their journey times (just getting rid of Gatwick would add about an hour to the travel time for a lot of people then needing to go to Heathrow).

The other factor to consider is what Whalen when things go wrong and a flight is cancelled, if you're an airline running 5 flights each way a day across a few airports then chances are you can move people around (either between flights at the same airport or by moving then to a nearby airport). If the only other flights that day belong to a competitor then you're going to overnight those passengers and delay them significantly.

Over those long distances then chances are rail would be able to get people through as there's several options available.
 

class26

Member
Joined
4 May 2011
Messages
751
Thanks Bald Rick for your very eloquent post, and I apologise that sometimes mine are not so, especially when written in haste. What would probably be a 2 minute verbal discussion becomes an extended ‘debate’.

I still think you are over-egging it though. For example for Edinburgh HS2 say it will take 3.40 after Phase 2, and this represents a 48min saving over the ‘fastest times’. Well that’s an 18% reduction (not 22%). Furthermore a very quick check shows that tomorrow I can catch a train from Kings Cross which does it in 4.21 (and still manages a stop at Berwick!). That’s less than a 16% saving.

The *modelling, if based on many other international routes, is flawed. As we know the model shift between air and train is a bell curve, but in most situations on most routes the flow is limited to one airport v one station. Occasionally it’s two. In one or two cases (New York) it’s maybe three. In London’s case the (central belt) market is spread, relatively evenly, across at least five major airports. This means that rather than having a tall and narrow bell curve between 3-5 hours and the average time (to convert between modes) being 4, the bell curve is much flatter (and distorted) between 1.5-5 hours, and the average time is shifted towards a shorter journey. From a rail perspective you have to work much harder to attract the same number of passengers, because their journey choices are not defined by a single airport/route.

I’m not saying we should build a Scottish extension because I think your figures are wrong. I’d be surprised if it was economically viable even if it was the difference between having the entire entire air market or not. My point in that regard, is that for northern extensions you need to look beyond just the current London-Central Belt air market, to understand the overall potential market of a northern extension. (Eg Manchester-central belt would be about 1hr 15 compared to 3hr 20 by train and 3hr 30 by car today).

Finally as you (and others) have said, and are threaded throughout this discussion, there are many other factors at play including cost, frequency, taxing of air flights, future carbon passports but they’re largely red herrings. Many of these are great unknowns, but you don’t don’t need any Scottish extensions (or even HS2 Phase 2) to change these things.


Can I also point out that come the new timetable there will be regular trains from Edinburgh to kings X in 4 hours flat. I hope that with HS2 it can better 3 hrs 40 as a 20 minute saving isn`t that great
 

Noddy

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11 Oct 2014
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Can I also point out that come the new timetable there will be regular trains from Edinburgh to kings X in 4 hours flat. I hope that with HS2 it can better 3 hrs 40 as a 20 minute saving isn`t that great
HS2 say that London to both Glasgow and Edinburgh will be 3 hrs 40 min after Phase 2.
 

Noddy

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11 Oct 2014
Messages
355
Location
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Whilst the shift to rail maybe a bell curve there's other factors which come into play.

For instance of passenger numbers fall you may only see a single morning/evening flight in each direction. That had a much bigger impact on people opting to use rail than a small time saving.

Likewise needing to travel to Glasgow/Edinburgh to get a better timed flight than from the local airport.

All of which effectively shortens the journey time for rail compared to flying and so shifts more people than would otherwise be the case.

Based on Southamtom/Manchester being 200,000 passengers and 1 fairly small flight in each direction morning and evening, then once you get to 400,000 between two Scottish airports and one London airport that's the same frequency. Given that there's several London airports once you get below about 2 million passengers there's going to be few middle of the day flights and/or you're going to see a cut in the number of London airports served.

If you start to see people being forced to use set airports that's going to impact on their journey times (just getting rid of Gatwick would add about an hour to the travel time for a lot of people then needing to go to Heathrow).

The other factor to consider is what Whalen when things go wrong and a flight is cancelled, if you're an airline running 5 flights each way a day across a few airports then chances are you can move people around (either between flights at the same airport or by moving then to a nearby airport). If the only other flights that day belong to a competitor then you're going to overnight those passengers and delay them significantly.

Over those long distances then chances are rail would be able to get people through as there's several options available.
But again please read my post. I point out many of these things in my last paragraph. All could be done/could happen without any northern extensions and probably Phase 2 (certainly without 2B) being built. So they’re basically red herrings/irrelevant to the key points.
 

Bald Rick

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12,042
Based on Southamtom/Manchester being 200,000 passengers and 1 fairly small flight in each direction morning and evening, then once you get to 400,000 between two Scottish airports and one London airport that's the same frequency. Given that there's several London airports once you get below about 2 million passengers there's going to be few middle of the day flights and/or you're going to see a cut in the number of London airports served.
On this.

Firstly, 200k pax a year is the equivalent of 2 x A320 rotations a day, unless you think you can fit nearly 300 people on a daily ‘fairly small flight’. In practice I assume Manchester - Southampton was around 4-5 daily rotations of smaller aircraft. Obviously it’s not now Flybe have gone to the wall.

Secondly, look at Newcastle. Even with a half hourly train service, and journey times well under 3 hours, and a much smaller catchment population than Glasgow / Edinburgh, it still supports 5 London rotations a day and half a million passengers. Like Manchester, most of these must be transfer passengers.

So, there will be a reduction in London - Central belt flights (as there has been already), in my view around half (a couple of years after Phase 2b is complete). @Noddy disagrees, and thinks it will be a smaller reduction. But I think @Noddy and I both agree it is unlikely to be more than a halving, partly because of transfer traffic, and partly because of those passengers who have a journey that starts or concludes sufficiently close to an airport to make the flight much more attractive. I guess we’ll see. All of this, of course, assumes that the aviation industry, the rail industry, and the economy, is back to ‘normal’ by the time HS2 is open.
 

Noddy

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Location
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So, there will be a reduction in London - Central belt flights (as there has been already), in my view around half (a couple of years after Phase 2b is complete). @Noddy disagrees, and thinks it will be a smaller reduction. But I think @Noddy and I both agree it is unlikely to be more than a halving, partly because of transfer traffic, and partly because of those passengers who have a journey that starts or concludes sufficiently close to an airport to make the flight much more attractive. I guess we’ll see. All of this, of course, assumes that the aviation industry, the rail industry, and the economy, is back to ‘normal’ by the time HS2 is open.
Agreed!
 

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