HS1 - HS2 Connection Ideas

Discussion in 'Future High Speed Rail' started by Ayman Ilham, 14 Jul 2017.

  1. Ayman Ilham

    Ayman Ilham Member

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    If the gap was bridged between HS1 and HS2 through Camden allowing through services from cities outside London to the continent, what services do you think would work well? For a start, Stratford International can finally live up to its name, serving as a good interchange for London. An example of a possible service could be Manchester Piccadilly to Brussels Midi, with Birmingham Interchange, Stratford International and Lille as intermediate stops. A possible extension to Germany if ICE actually start UK services could be to Frankfurt and/or Berlin via Cologne.
     
  2. Starmill

    Starmill Established Member

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    It would be physically possible now to run some through trains, which is what the Eurostar fleet was originally ordered to do.

    None of this helps us resolve the issues of passport control and tunnel security. However, the extension of a through service to Amsterdam will hopefully demonstrate that these are not insurmountable barriers.
     
  3. RichmondCommu

    RichmondCommu Established Member

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    I wonder how many people fly from Manchester to Brussels everyday? I would be surprised if its enough to fill a train and the same applies to Birmingham - Brussels, at least in my opinion. Nice idea but I don't think you'd get the numbers.

    Once you start looking you start looking at Germany the journey time can never compete with flying. Not only that but I regularly fly from London to Dusseldorf to visit my son who lives in Essen. I've looked at using the train but its cheaper to fly and I really don't ever see that changing.
     
  4. Chester1

    Chester1 Member

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    I don't think any route would be commercially viable. They were technically possible until recently with previous adapted Eurostar trains but there was no business case. The general rule of 3 hour limit applies to every service from Birmingham or the north to Paris or Brussels, let alone further afield. London to the south of France and Switzerland only opperate very limited services and even the Amsterdam service will be only 2 per day. If a city to city train journey takes longer than 3 hours it is ussually quicker and cheaper to fly. It is not worth paying for border control facilities for one or two trains per day. That is why on north bound journeys the long distance Eurostar services must empty the train at Lille to do passport checks. Any international service on HS2 would reduce capacity for domestic services. This would mean that probably only 1 path per hour could be spared, maybe 2 if they are highly lucrative. I guess its plausible that between Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds, Nottingham and Sheffield they could support just enough services once or twice a day to manage 6-8 trains per day on each branch of HS2 just about making passport control centres viable. However, Birmingham Interchange will be next to the airport and Manchester Airport should have its own station so why not use any spare paths for a high speed airport to city centre services? International trains on HS2 is a nice idea but the economics don't really add up, the money and train paths are better used for other purposes.
     
  5. Starmill

    Starmill Established Member

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    Well, it's not quite so bad. It's how many people are prepared to travel from Manchester (Piccadilly), Birmingham (Interchange) and London (Stratford International) to Lille (Europe) and Brussels (Midi). With a flight it's just people from Manchester to Brussels.

    However, you would want your 400 metre train with a passenger capacity of potentially up to 1000 people to be departing with <90% of seats paid for in order to be viable I would think. That is rather a stretch.

    You will also have the question though, do you permit passengers to travel from Manchester Piccadilly to Stratford International on this service? Doing so would increase revenue but then you would either have to segregate them or check them in. The same applies to Lille to Brussels passengers, although there is already a solution in place for this.


    It would take something big to deal with the fares issue, such as a very large and sustained increase in the price of aircraft fuel (possible, although not in the short term) or new taxes on the airline industry, perhaps to better account for the vast air or noise pollution they cause, or to help regulate demand for landing slots (which seem very very unlikely from this government which is doing almost nothing to increase environmental protection).
     
    Last edited: 14 Jul 2017
  6. JohnR

    JohnR Member

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    A quick check shows 3 flights direct to Brussels from Manchester. But another 20 or so with 1 connection and a total flight time of 4 hours. However, the fact is that something like HS2 direct will actually generate more traffic. They said exactly the same thing when the Chanell tunnel was built - and when HS1 was built.

    Theres a lot more flights to Paris....
     
  7. RichmondCommu

    RichmondCommu Established Member

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    I would be astonished if many people fly from Brussels to Manchester with one change. HS2 direct might generate more traffic, after all there is a market for most products but the key thing is whether the market is big enough to make it sustainable.

    London to Paris is quicker by HS1 so HS1 has been a success and I don't think anyone doubted that it would be but you certainly don't have the same level of service to Brussels. Just look at the number of trains compared to Brussels.
     
  8. RichmondCommu

    RichmondCommu Established Member

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    That's fair enough but I would also wonder how busy the flights are from Birmingham to Brussels if you were to combine the two to try and make high speed rail travel a viable option.
     
  9. Ayman Ilham

    Ayman Ilham Member

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    It appears that Manchester to Paris would probably be a bigger market than to Brussels, although I chose Brussels in my example, as it could be extended to Germany and the Netherlands or even Luxembourg if there's even any kind of market for that! :lol: Would be a lot easier if Britain was part of the Schengen!
     
  10. Bald Rick

    Bald Rick Established Member

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    Manchester - Paris passenger numbers were 567,000 per year last year. Sufficient to fill one Eurostar each way per day.
     
  11. RichmondCommu

    RichmondCommu Established Member

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    Whilst I largely agree with your sentiments the problem is you then start pushing up the costs of family holidays in Europe which are already not helped by how weak Sterling is. The other issue is that the alternatives to traveling down to the 'Med simply take too long and start eating into peoples annual leave entitlement.
     
  12. Starmill

    Starmill Established Member

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    The cost of such holidays is only likely to increase significantly more quickly than wages anyway. I know lots of people who used to holiday in Southern France, Spain, Portugal or Italy in particular who now go less or not at all. I've noticed some going to Morocco or Turkey instead, and some to Devon & Cornwall or West Wales - although I haven't looked into any data on any of this.
     
  13. Starmill

    Starmill Established Member

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    Numbers on what? Airlines? Or connecting Eurostar passengers?

    I must say if I could pick a non-London UK city to a European city link by rail, Paris to Manchester would probably strike me as the one likely to be most used.
     
    Last edited: 14 Jul 2017
  14. RichmondCommu

    RichmondCommu Established Member

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    Irrespective of whats happening in Morocco and Turkey at the moment people are even less likely to do anything other than fly to those destinations.

    There are some lovely parts of Devon & Cornwall but if you're used to family holidays by the 'Med you would have to be pretty skint to risk the weather in this country.
     
  15. ABB125

    ABB125 Member

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    Perhaps a connection could be built so services like Ashford/Stratford to Birmingham/Manchester could run. This would ease pressure on Euston, avoid passengers having to walk between Euston and At Pancras, and potentially speed up journeys from the south east to the north.
     
  16. Chester1

    Chester1 Member

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    The journey time would be 3 and a half hours each way if there was passport control at Manchester, closer to 5 hours if people need to get off the train to go through passport control in London or Lille. Its too long by at least half an hour if not 45 minutes to an hour. I come back to my main point that the service could probably attract enough passengers to fill a service or two a day but not enough to be commercially viable or be worth losing paths for domestic services on HS2.

    Off topic but Morocco is growing as a tourist destination and certainly is much safer and more stable than Turkey. During the Arab Spring it stepped from being a monarch led system with some democracy to something closer to a constitutional monarchy. The governing party is a moderate islamicist party with a good relationship with the king. Its very much a political succes story compared with its neighbours and is growing in popularity as a tourist destination because its Atlantic coast remains warm enough for a beach holiday for longer than the med. Its also in the later stages of constructing its first high speed railway.
     
  17. Ayman Ilham

    Ayman Ilham Member

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    Actually, that works really well! People going from Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds or wherever could ride a high-speed train straight to Ashford International to connect with the Eurostar (which would likely stop on the same platform) and avoid walking half a mile through London! I still want Stratford International to live up to its name though!
     
  18. gingerheid

    gingerheid Member

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    However 1 train a day can never compete against 8 or 9 flights a day for convenience, and one train a day is not worth putting infrastructure in place for :(
     
    Last edited: 15 Jul 2017
  19. The Ham

    The Ham Established Member

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    People going on holiday will put up with a random times flight from a random located airport because it is cheap. As such there are a few things that trains could do to make services attractive to people going on holiday.

    Only charge for children over 5, that would make the train cheaper for lots of families with small children.

    Not have such strict rules about child to adult ratios as flying, for instance if you have a young child and then have twins (or just three or more small children) that means no flying (or only flying with extra adults, possibly grandparents) for quite some time.

    One final other advantage of going by train is that for parents it is potentially easier to entertain the children than if you are stuck in an airport or on an aircraft and certainly easier to change a nappy in a good train toilet than on an aircraft.

    Have through ticketing, as the combination of travel from your home to the airport and from the airport to your destination can add quite a bit too your travel costs. As such it could be possible to advertise the cost of typical costs (say 7 days of airport parking plus a flight Vs the train) to show that for those that do that it would work out cheaper. Even showing food costs, for some, could sway them. Given that you could take a wider range of things to eat and drink on a train than you can on a plane could also mean the need to purchase less drinks.

    It could be that the trains start of with a trail of a service leaving once a week at about 09:00, then arriving just before 13:00 meaning that leaving home is at a reasonable time and the not a long wait before you can check into your accommodation. It would also mean with a return at about 14:00 with an arrival time of about 18:00 the return wouldn't be difficult either.
     
  20. Ayman Ilham

    Ayman Ilham Member

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    Finally, a person who thinks like me! :D The thing I love about trains is that it's just city centre to city centre fast and easy, no hassle! Also, you get to see much more than you would by plane and you don't need to worry about hidden costs that the budget airlines might fire at you! High speed trains probably have more comfortable seats than Ryanair or Easyjet as well! :lol:
     
  21. The Ham

    The Ham Established Member

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    Quite, you just need to aim the trains at times that the airlines can't compete with because they are busy at those times, for instance:

    A train heading to Euro Disney leaving Manchester at about 17:00 and arriving at about 22:00 (when it would be difficult to get your child from school and get them to the airport on time).

    Trains heading from business centres in Europe at 17:00 on a Friday and heading out Sunday evening (when the airlines have full planes).

    Trains running summer Saturdays to holiday destinations (when the airlines are full).

    However not at 22:00 on a Wednesday in November when the airlines will be selling their tickets at £20 return the day before travel because no one wants to travel at that time.
     
  22. Bantamzen

    Bantamzen Established Member

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    Taking into account that a Manchester / Leeds - Paris service would be city centre to city centre, 3.5, even 4 hours really isn't that bad. Considering that flying you would have to take into account the 2 hours you would have to give for checking in & security, a 1 hour or more flight, then probably another 30 minutes on the other side just to reach your transit, and then transit time you could probably set off from home from many places in the North and still arrive at your hotel in Paris at around the same time, be it by plane or train.

    Security and passport control is obviously an issue, but given that all HS2 stations save Euston & OCC are brand new builds, if a link were to be offered would it really be that difficult to incorporate a scanning & security system, and some system of isolating platforms due to be served by international offerings? Given the overall cost of the build, it really wouldn't add that much at all.

    As for demand, the biggest mistake often made by people is that they look at current demand & assume that it will by in large stay the same. But people's habits are changing, city breaks are getting ever more popular and though there are lots of low-fare seats out there the reality is that many people booking don't get the cheapest ones. And once you start to throw in things like extras for baggage, airport taxes, even car parking or the cost of getting a taxi to the airport, the price can soon rack up. If a future HS2/HS1 operator could find use of some off-peak capacity to extend services to places like Paris from the Midlands and the North, I'm pretty sure a new market would emerge. After all open access operators like CG can offer much longer transit times than VTEC to the capital from some locations, yet people do still use them.

    Its probably not what people want to hear, but one of the risks of HS2 is that it's prime purpose simply becomes a new commuter line from London, with its peak flows being to the capital in the morning, and in the opposite direction in the evening peak. This could lead to a lot of "fresh air" being carried up and down the lines given that HS2 offers far more London-bound capacity that the mains it is to replace. So why not keep an open mind to the possibility of using at least some of that capacity for Euro destinations and plan accordingly? The skies around the UK are becoming increasingly congested, and in 15 years or so we might be glad of the opportunity to take some of the pressure off it.
     
  23. Ayman Ilham

    Ayman Ilham Member

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    So maybe Manchester and Leeds to Disneyland Paris with the 373 (they're still too young to go to scrap just yet) also picking people up at Birmingham Interchange and Stratford International at weekday afternoons before a school holiday or weekend (so mostly on Fridays) departing 17:00, which would be useful for taking the kids straight from school!

    As for the businessmen, get out the Velaros on Sunday afternoon heading out (with return journeys departing 17:00 on Friday) on the following service diagrams:
    Manchester to Zurich via Stratford, Lille, Strasbourg & Basel (TGV/Eurostar)
    Birmingham to Frankfurt via Stratford, Lille, Brussels, Liege & Cologne (ICE)
    Leeds to Amsterdam via Sheffield, Stratford, Brussels & Rotterdam (Eurostar)

    Leeds to Amsterdam service can also run on summer Saturdays, as well as Manchester to Berlin (ICE) via Stratford, Brussels, Cologne, Dusseldorf & Hannover and there could be a new Eurostar/TGV/AVE service from London to Barcelona via Lille & Lyon

    This'll really open up more opportunities for Interrail Global passholders and Stratford International will make the perfect interchange for the various international services and finally live up to its name, which are the two reasons I started this topic in the first place :D
     
    Last edited: 17 Jul 2017
  24. DPWH

    DPWH Member

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    Adding an extra international platform with associated waiting room, security CCTV, signalling, land-take, track for 1 tpw seems somewhat excessive.

    Where are the staff going to come from? Are they going to work 4 days in London and then be sent north for a shift 1-2 days per week?
     
  25. The Ham

    The Ham Established Member

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    If there was a will to do it, then it could be possible to make it work. If designed well; platforms could be secure by design, tickets could be "validated" for travel by immigration staff limiting access to a platform, and so on.

    Staff could work at other international ports and airports nearby, or do Manchester and Birmingham airports not have any immigration controls?

    Anyway, what do we care if people are trying to leave the UK illegally? For entry into the UK then we just use the existing methods (improved if needed).
     
  26. Ayman Ilham

    Ayman Ilham Member

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    If only the UK was part of the Schengen Area, then we wouldn't have any of these problems at all!
     
  27. Starmill

    Starmill Established Member

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    I know. It's such a shame we never were.
     
  28. Ayman Ilham

    Ayman Ilham Member

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    Just cos the government are too paranoid about immigration!
     
  29. RichmondCommu

    RichmondCommu Established Member

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    The Schengen Area works well on the continent where people commute over borders on a daily basis without having to go through passport control. Given that very few people (certainly in comparison) commute from the rest of Europe to the UK and vice versa (with the exception of Ireland) not being part of the Schengen Area is hardly an issue. And of course it allows us to keep tabs on who enters our country.
     
  30. Bantamzen

    Bantamzen Established Member

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    It doesn't have to be totally separate facility, just a couple of existing platforms with the functionality built in and the ability to isolate a platform when international services are due to run. Given that most stations will not be through platforms, and so would be very easy to isolate if / when needed. And frankly we have no idea what security measures might be needed in 5/10/20 years time, for all we know tighter security into public buildings / stations etc might well have tightened.

    As mentioned above, there are customs staff at Birmingham, Manchester & Leeds/Bradford airports, not to mention other regional airports like Liverpool, Doncaster, East Midlands etc. I'm sure many of these staff will live within a commutable distance of any of the HS stations that might offer international services so could be rostered as required.
     

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