HS2 starting in the North

Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by JohnCarlson, 6 Nov 2011.

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  1. JohnCarlson

    JohnCarlson Member

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  3. Oliver

    Oliver Member

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    That argument reminds me of the NOL Eurostars and NightStar services; ideas to appease regional interest groups rather than addressing the real transport need. HS2 should be built in whatever way will generate the greatest number of users as soon as possible. Given that the London-Birmingham section will undoubtedly be the busiest section of the whole scheme, that would seem the natural place to start. It doesn't seem likely that the start-in-the-north alternatives will offer similar returns.
     
  4. Nym

    Nym Established Member

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    The only things that should be 'happening in the north' while HS2 is being built between Birmingham and London are the beginnings of infersturcture needed for HS2.

    For example, in Manchester.

    Work should be started on the terminus in Manchester City Centre, (IMO, Mayfeild & Barring St Industrial area gets flattened and built up as the terminus, possibly using the Facade of Mayfeild, linked in with moving walkways etc into Piccadilly with a new high level concourse connecting over Fairfeild St with the HS2 station, Platforms 13 - 16, the glass face onto Fairfeild St (Where one of way too many costa coffees is, next to Pt 12, providing a much wider link to Pt 13 - 16, improved access from further down Fairfeild St, modifications to the A635 to provide vehicle access, and provision for extention of the A635 as a D2AP road to meet the A57/M67 further out.

    Outside of the station, widening the viaduct approaches to 10/8 track, segregating each traffic set on the approach to Piccadilly / Mayfeild into

    HS2 U&D, Airport U&D, Stockport Slow U&D, Stockport Fast U&D, East Manchester U&D

    As a tempoary measure, the HS2 lines would join in (possibly grade seperated, possibly not) with the fast lines at Longsight (where it would be sensible to send the HS2 lines into a tunnel).

    Then work in the Manchester Area can begin on tunneling out to Sale Water Park and co-operation with Metrolink to share the alignment through Wythenshawe to meet up with Manchester Airport (North of the M56 Spur), with the though lines also initally following this route, or turning a sharp bend and following the Stockport - Altham alignment and heading off to cross the ship canal on the old embankments, new bridge and new D2M/D3M combined road bridge over the ship canal and mersey. Kind of like a big spread out delta junction.

    When on the other side, Manchester West Parkway would be built at J11 on the M62 mainly for P&R and Northbound connections, then linked into that Chat Moss Line for Liverpool via St Helens and WCML for onward connections to Preston & Glasgow.

    Some parts of this project are utterly massive, and some of the assets, such as the alignment into Manchester (if it can be linked into an existing line temporaraly) since almost all approaches are at capacity, the HS2 station would cirtanly come in handy as it would allow 400m services to run from Day 1 in the peaks.

    And if the approaches where joined up on the approaches into Manchester and a temp link put into the Styal branch or near Cheadle Hume, with Manchester S and Manchester W Parkways provided, HS Commuter services could begin as soon as they where completed.

    Then to join Manchester into the HS2 network as a whole, just join the dots from Rugley to Ringway.

    So yes, some work should be done up north early on, but it shouldn't detract from the major works in London being done first.
     
  5. jcollins

    jcollins Veteran Member

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    Investing in High Speed Rail in the North now will put the North in a similar situation to France - modern high speed electric trains running alongside clapped out diesels. However, the difference will be even greater than it is in France as their TGVs are not brand new and their old diesels aren't as bad as our Pacers.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    I think it could offer similar returns but it would need to be in conjunction with Manchester-London services running via Birmingham, which I'm not sure is possible due to the number of paths on the WCML.

    One of the main benefits of HS2 in the north is that paths in to Leeds and Manchester are pretty much at maximum capacity so a new line will allow local trains to take up paths used by London services currently.
     
  6. JohnCarlson

    JohnCarlson Member

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    I am a little unclear about the strategy for HS2 south of Birmingham. If the government were proposing to have a line that uses frequent double deck trains that are as long as feasible and that the fairs are significantly lower than the existing rail fair i could see the point of that. Generating loads of new traffic (probably).

    However if the scheme is that fairs will be higher and many of the people travelling between Birmingham and London via the new HS2 will simply be people who would have been using the WCML, including those who would be starting their journeys north of Birmingham. The difference being that they are paying more and getting there slightly faster and getting there in a whole new set of trains which presumably will have to be capable of travelling around 220 mph but will only be able to do that on the HS2 section, then at first site this to me doesn’t hold water.

    Its something that I have noticed about the plans for HS2 people saying that it is being built in anticipation of demand increasing when there are so many parts of the network running at capacity now.

    I am not any kind of expert on the Manchester/ Leeds links to Birmingham but it would appear to me that if the HS2 infrastructure were to be built there first then significant improvement could be made by just having existing trains on new tracks. Manchester needs a lot of rail investment anyway.
    Without wanting to get into a discussion on immigration it would seem to ne that the UK’s population will increase significantly over the next twenty years. Boosting spending in the north where jobs are scarcer is likely to give it more jobs and get people to move there. Concentrating it in the south will simply provided jobs where unemployment is low and exasperates existing problems.
     
  7. DXMachina

    DXMachina Member

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    Given that HS2 is to be built as the southern section of the WCML is approaching max capacity any notion that entails delaying construction of the southern section is a waste of breath....

    It'd be bad government to do so anyway: if something must be built it should be done as soon as possible rather than allow the opponents the extra time to come up with a blocking strategy
     
  8. tbtc

    tbtc Veteran Member

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    Agreed - the London - Birmingham stretch has to be done first, 99% of the "benefit" of HS2 is having the southern end (which frees up capacity on congested lines etc).

    If people want to do infrastructure improvements in "the north" then there are a large number of small enhancements that would be much better to do than starting on HS2 (Todmorden curve, Holmes chord, resolving the single track bottleneck at Dore, speeding up the Lancashire Triangle electrification...)
     
  9. ivanhoe

    ivanhoe Member

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    We are an extremely densely populated island and HS 2 is not the panacea for all of our transport problems. My concern with the whole scheme being Brum & Manchester centric is how far will the benefits roll out to other towns and cities in those areas? Will Wolverhampton see the benefits that Brum receives? Will Liverpool or Preston get any roll on benefits?

    I don't have the answers , I am afraid but the key is not the fastest journeytime , but regular, reliable services. As an aside, Calais which use to be 2 hours from Paris, and can be done now in one hour. Is Calais anymore prosperous as a result? Believe me, it still depends on cross channel ferries for it's reason d'être. Just a thought!
     
  10. JohnCarlson

    JohnCarlson Member

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    Could capacity not be increased by just having longer trains?

    Iv'e nothing against the idea of London to Birmingham HS2 but the wcml has just had an upgrade and I cant see this argument that higher fairs will generate greater demand.

    John
     
  11. Matt Taylor

    Matt Taylor Established Member

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    There will be no 'evening out' of investment unless the country is turned upside down so that the capital is further away from continental Europe, and even if Inverness suddenly became our capital city with a huge population and the rest of the highlands were covered in urban sprawl all that would happen is that people would fly to Europe rather than go by any form of train.

    As has already been mentioned, the drastic way that short haul air travel has changed in the last fifteen years has put an end to any romantic notions of having an economically viable high speed rail service in this country.
     
  12. sprinterguy

    sprinterguy Established Member

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    There's not much extra length you can really add to many of the trains on the WCML. If it was possible to procure sufficient additonal rolling stock, I suppose all the LM 350s could operate in 8-car formation, but eleven carriages is realistically the top whack as far as Pendolino length goes. Plus, just increasing train lengths on the WCML would do nothing to increase the frequencies of services for intemediate stations.
     
  13. Nym

    Nym Established Member

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    The control systems on pendos can't go past 11 car, speaking to some Alstom engineers the other week...
     
  14. DXMachina

    DXMachina Member

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    The southern WCML is 173 years old

    There's only so far you can upgrade an antique - they flunked the upgrade anyway and restricted it to 125mph. Consequently, its been a failure, hence the need for HS2.
     
  15. sprinterguy

    sprinterguy Established Member

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    I had a feeling that I'd heard that stated before. I was keeping that in mind when I made my previous post.
     
  16. Nym

    Nym Established Member

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    Remember aswell that an 11 car pendo is longer than a 12 car 350.

    And yes, I do think that the WCML in terms of major upgrades has gone as far as it can, but HS2's timetable needs to be accelarated, with work starting as soon as possible, tomorow if it could be done, on the termini, parkway stations and city approaches.

    From Day 1 we should be working on:

    Euston
    Old Oak Common
    Birmingham Parkway
    Birmingham CZS
    Manchester S Parkway
    Manchester W Parkway
    Manchester Mayfeild (Barring St)
    Leeds Central

    TBH, I don't know what can be done with Leeds, theres space to widen some of the lines into Leeds City and re-spec them as the HS2 guage, then build a 2nd station for local services IMO the only realistic option for city penitration is going to be a terminus.

    Manchester: Thats easy, pick an alignment, flatten Baring St and build there, it's all mainly industrial land and is next to Piccadilly.
    West and South parkway stations at Culceath near the Chat Moss and WCML and at Manchester Airport forming a large Delta Junction around Alty and Wythenshawe.

    Leeds: I think the only real option is to have this as the end of a branch.

    With the inital network having a Y Junction south of Doncaster, possibly at Sheffeild, with one line to Doncaster for the ECML services, and the other line, as full HS Guage to Leeds, theres a fair few routes I can spot on arial photos and space for 2 or 3 HS platforms in the car park.

    Beyond that when HS full guage operations are extened through York to Newcastle, should do this via Doncaster and York via building a paralell line, but it should still call, and connect with conventional lines at both these junctions.

    When HS3 or 4 is built, it will join in at Doncaster and form a crosspath junction to access leeds from HS3/4 and continue as such to Newcastle and Edinburgh.
     
  17. tbtc

    tbtc Veteran Member

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    No, but I don't think anyone is pretending that it will.

    However, this one line will provide capacity on a number of routes (e.g. if the London - Leeds/ Edinburgh traffic is going via HS2 then that frees up spaces over Welwyn on the ECML).

    A step in the right direction (but not a cure for all our problems)
     
  18. DXMachina

    DXMachina Member

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    The future of rail isn't intercity anyway - HS2, 3, 4 etc will be great for long-distance travel whenever they get built, but what matters to the majority is travelling 3 to 30 miles each way daily in reasonable comfort, reliability and affordability

    If HS2 moves enough trains off the WCML that LM or whoever has the franchise can send a few more commuter EMUs along it every day, and some of the M1 lorry freight can transfer to it, I'll be happy
     
  19. brianthegiant

    brianthegiant Member

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    I think the other reason for starting south and working north, is that our existing (tiny) section of the European 'high speed / high capacity (HSHC)' network runs from Folkestone to London.

    I've decided to coin the term 'high speed / high capacity (HSHC)', because clearly we need to get beyond the myopic 'why spend £33B to save 10minutes' arguments. Most on this this forum will at least understand its not just about speed but also about inter-operability, signalling technology, capability for double deck/ longer trains to standardised (& hence cheaper) designs.

    The idea of building another captive bit of HSHC in the North doesn't stack up from a rolling stock perspective, since all trains operating between the 2 would have to be the costly & spec constrained 'classic compatibles'

    By contrast, if we start at the south & connect to HS1 from the beginning, part of the business case lies with direct trains to the continent. Whilst regional E* never happened, my feeling is that the reduced risk factor and inter-compatibility of running on dedicated HSHC lines makes Paris-Birmingham etc much more appealing for DB, E* etc.

    Once you have a Birmingham-Paris (,etc?) service running successfully, then planing & marketing a Manchester/Leeds - Paris becomes an easier sell.
     
  20. HSTEd

    HSTEd Established Member

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    Direct trains to the continent are made impractical by the security problems it woudl appear, and the majority of the stock on HS1 will be captive to London-Birmingham (due to it being double decker commuter units for the most part with no first class and probably 2+3 seating)
     
  21. bluenoxid

    bluenoxid Established Member

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    Would Leeds be easier served via Park and Ride and some service extensions into the centre of Leeds rather than trying to push a major railway station into it. My concern is that the whole thing would be a very significant amount of money adapting for existing infrastructure and city when it would be easier to run services out to a park and ride.
     
  22. Chris125

    Chris125 Established Member

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    Absolutely crazy, you wonder if they actually listened to anything said to them. If the only reason is to appease NIMBY's in the Chilterns then my opinion of the TSC has just dissapeared, what a waste of money and people's time.

    Chris
     
  23. DXMachina

    DXMachina Member

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    saying that euro-gauge stock is captive between Birmingham, London and Ashford International might give some more opportunities for services
     
  24. Jonny

    Jonny Established Member

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    HS2 is only going to be a faster link to London for the North-Western fork anyway; there would be a marginal advantage to Derby/Sheffield/Leeds with the other leg of the "Y". For the rest of Yorkshire (Doncaster, Hull, York etc.) and the North-East, a third line probably from London Liverpool Street via Cambridge and Lincoln would be a better bet; possibly with a link at Stratford (London) for diversions/scheduled detours into St Pancras. I support high-speed rail but I think HS2 as the main line from London to the North-East is a bridge too far. Cross-country (Birmingham, Oxford, South Coast and Bristol) and to Heathrow Airport, maybe, but not London proper as a destination.
     
  25. Nym

    Nym Established Member

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    Will be just as fast if not quicker and take pressure of the ECML for inter-reigonals and freight though...
     
  26. Offertonhatter

    Offertonhatter Member

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    Hi, I am a new member and liked reading this interesting thread.
    So the question is what do we want HS2 to do for us? Well increased speed between London and the major conubations is a must. Not just a 10mins here, 20 mins there, but a major increase in speed. Increase in capacity is needed too, as the shortly to arrive 11 car Pendos will help short term, but even they will fill up quickly (even on 3tph Manchester services). Release capacity on the existing WCML to get more freight off the roads and back onto rail. Another plus will be local commuter services can be given better access than now (as case in point in South Manchester currently)

    Route? well the old Great Central route would be perfect for HS2. It was straight with a lack of major curves and gradients. That would certainly resolve the bulk of the route as most of the old route is still there. Spur off south of Rugby for Birmingham, and north of Rugby for the North West and Yorkshire. Rugby itself could be a major interchange too.

    I like the idea of Mayfield Road being the hub for HS2 in Manchester, but it needs serious thinking on how to use the area properly. My preference would by a hybrid of terminus and through station. Two Platforms to add to the seriously congested Piccadilly to Oxford Road link (with 4 lines between the two - maybe even to Deansgate). Minimum two platforms for HS2, and a further miniumum of 2 Platforms to move another service into it (Airport link? Virgin itself?) This will release additional capacity for an already crowded main station at Piccadilly.
    At the southern end, It must link into St Pancras to work with HS1 with a link straight into HS1 itself for through trains from the north to the continent.
    Via Heathrow? Not sure, why do this when a better option would be to pursuade the Major carriers to fly to Manchester, Birmingham and Liverpool (that is not likely)

    Just my tuppence worth.
     
  27. Nym

    Nym Established Member

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    There isn't any real viable routes that wouldn't cost a rediculous amount of money to be able to form a through route, shaddowing the current viaduct directly, even double decked would mean a lot of demolition.
    The only way that I can see to get through platforms would be to build one level higher than the current station and run down Whitworth Street, onto Oxford Road and climb out onto the Castlefeild Viaduct to leave again. But this is way too expensive.
    There will be additional platforms at Piccadilly anyway soon for the Northern Hub, as the realistic level of services through Oxford Road will become anything up to 16tph plus freight
    The airport link services will continue through to oxford road to potentally provide onward electrified services, depends on how much gets electrified
    Virgin can't move into 'Mayfeild' they would need to cross the paths of the slow lines services from Stockport and the airport line services.
    It would make sense to provide space for the Styal Branch (Airport Line) Stoppers to terminate in the 'Mayfeild Side' but this would only really be a benifit if Ardwick - Slade Lane where 6 tracked so that Airport line services are independant of Stockport Slow services.
    But if this isn't to happen, it would be better for all 'slow lines' sevices to be sent through Piccadilly to somwhere, don't know or care where, but it avoids a lot of conflicting movments.
    If it where provided, most services arriving from the airport would be continuing through to Oxford Road anyway, so having the electric stoppers continuing to Liverpool via Chat Moss or Bolton wouldn't hurt too much.
    If this can't be done and the 6 track is provided (will need some new viaducting anyway) then it would make sense to terminate airport shuttles on the Mayfeild side rather than Piccadilly side, although few passengers will use these services to get to Manchester Airport, most either using HS2 or Non-Stop services from their provinces.
    Via Heathrow. Stupid, yes
    Link to HS1, should be happening
    Branch to Heathrow, yes, good idea.
     
  28. Holly

    Holly Member

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    An advantage of starting in the North is that due to "Southern Nimby" delays, an earlier start could be made while the Nimbys are still arguing. This could enable engineering problems to be wrung out sooner and ensure that the Southern section is later implemented in a more trouble-free way. Also improvements over the years in technology (such as quieter technology) could be of greater benefit in denser, more urban, more Southern landscapes.

    Also, as relatively more of the Northern WCML is two-tracked and relatively more of the Southern section of the WCML is quad-tracked any capacity increase benefits favour the North to a greater degree than a simple ratio of relative volumes would suggest.

    So, if it means an earlier start to construction then starting in the North could be a brave, brilliant and beneficial way to go. I envisage an initial HS section that connects to the WCML somewhere near Birmingham Airport and somewhere near Crewe or Warrington.
     
  29. Paul Sidorczuk

    Paul Sidorczuk Veteran Member

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    I can see quite a few problems in the Wythenshawe area as the Manchester Metrolink will have much on-street running, e.g. Simonsway, Shadowmoss Road, with tightly constructed radius curves that would not be suitable for heavy rail operation.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    I am intrigued as what the comparative costs and times might be, once the "Y" axis of HS2 to Manchester and Leeds from Birmingham is constructed, for journeys by rail and air from Manchester (Airport) to Paris, when looking at the current rail charges between Manchester and London as a benchmark.
     
    Last edited: 7 Nov 2011
  30. Nym

    Nym Established Member

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    Would be pretty much following, line for line the alignment chosen for the origonal M60, two buildings are in the way and thats all...
     
  31. route:oxford

    route:oxford Established Member

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    It would be the ideal way to confirm this Government's commitment to the North.

    Build the "d" line between Birmingham - Leeds - Newcastle and Birmingham - Manchester - Leeds.

    For onward routing to Scotland, gauge improvements on the existing network (such as an avoiding line for Morpeth) - unless Transport Scotland is prepared to fund a new line for international services.
     
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