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If HS2 was cancelled?

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snakeeyes

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Just a thought, if HS2 was cancelled, what if all the money £50 billion had to be spent on rail projects, reopen the GC? rail tunnel to Ireland? Woodhead?
 
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yorksrob

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I would have thought creating a secondary route by reopening Matlock - Chinley would be a good move.
 

Agent_c

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If you Cancelled HS2, you'd have to spend all the money on a new HS2 to deal with the capacity issues on the trunk lines.
 

tbtc

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HS2 isn't coming from existing "rail" budgets, so if it gets the chop then we can probably forget about all that money.

"Woodhead" will be covered by HS3 (or Northern Powerhouse Rail, or equivalent), if you are talking about a fast(er) route between Sheffield and Greater Manchester.

The GC? Well, what bits of it? The southern end essentially exists. There's still *some* capacity on the MML (we could find a way of replacing five coach 222s with something that has more seats before we need to worry about a broadly parallel line). EW will provide a better link between the MML and WCML.

A tunnel to Ireland? Not now we are coming out of the EU, no. We should really have got them to pay for that kind of project before voting out... Eurostar struggles to complete against the Paris - London flights, and I can't see rail being competitive on Dublin - London. The line from Holyhead to Chester doesn't serve anywhere of significance in between, so there aren't going to be a lot of intermediate passengers.

We are getting lots of money spent on upgrading the "classic" network (e.g. electrification of the GWML/ MML, EW, EGIP, the Manchester Hub), and any other worthwhile projects have a chance of being included on that spending list if they can wash their face financially.

Maybe the question should be (as Agent_c suggests) how you'd solve the need for additional capacity between London/ Birmingham/ Manchester, between London and Leeds etc? (If the answer is rebuilding piddly little branch lines that closed fifty years ago then I'm out!)
 

BigCj34

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HS2 isn't coming from existing "rail" budgets, so if it gets the chop then we can probably forget about all that money.

"Woodhead" will be covered by HS3 (or Northern Powerhouse Rail, or equivalent), if you are talking about a fast(er) route between Sheffield and Greater Manchester.

The GC? Well, what bits of it? The southern end essentially exists. There's still *some* capacity on the MML (we could find a way of replacing five coach 222s with something that has more seats before we need to worry about a broadly parallel line). EW will provide a better link between the MML and WCML.

A tunnel to Ireland? Not now we are coming out of the EU, no. We should really have got them to pay for that kind of project before voting out... Eurostar struggles to complete against the Paris - London flights, and I can't see rail being competitive on Dublin - London. The line from Holyhead to Chester doesn't serve anywhere of significance in between, so there aren't going to be a lot of intermediate passengers.

We are getting lots of money spent on upgrading the "classic" network (e.g. electrification of the GWML/ MML, EW, EGIP, the Manchester Hub), and any other worthwhile projects have a chance of being included on that spending list if they can wash their face financially.

Maybe the question should be (as Agent_c suggests) how you'd solve the need for additional capacity between London/ Birmingham/ Manchester, between London and Leeds etc? (If the answer is rebuilding piddly little branch lines that closed fifty years ago then I'm out!)

According to the Financial Times the Eurostar has an 80% market share on London-Paris and London-Brussels lines. There have been teething issues with the Channel Tunnel but it's definitely come on to its own now.

As for an Ireland-Britain link, Dublin to Holyhead would be the best in terms of cities served, as it could easily have links to Liverpool, Manchester, Birmingham and London, but it would be by far the longest undersea tunnel ever created or the 4th longest bridge, it'd be a difficult sell. A Belfast-Scotland link would be more sensible but it'd be difficult to have a Dublin-London service that could compete with flying.
 

class26

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Just a thought, if HS2 was cancelled, what if all the money £50 billion had to be spent on rail projects, reopen the GC? rail tunnel to Ireland? Woodhead?

Holyhead - Dublin.

Spend billions to take on Ryan air ? Complete waste of money.

Probably the best thing would be to build some by passes so fast expresses could overtake stopping trains and be sped up in the process ie Morpeth, Durham, the more twisty part of the WCML, Dawlish etc
How much extra capacity that would create is debatable but would speed up services. On the ECML if the 2 by passes above were built with other upgrades (Newark etc) and the ECML where possible was increased to 140 mph the journey time to Scotland wouldn`t be that much different to HS2.
 

najaB

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Probably the best thing would be to build some by passes so fast expresses could overtake stopping trains and be sped up in the process ie Morpeth, Durham, the more twisty part of the WCML, Dawlish etc
How much extra capacity that would create is debatable...
Very little. In fact, you could create tons more capacity at a single stroke by slowing everything down to 60mph - no longer any need to path slow freights and fast express trains around each other, trains can run closer together without catching up to the service in front.
 

Busaholic

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As the money isn't there in the first place, there won't be any other projects to spend the money on! It's all as illusory as Johnson/Gove/Duncan Smith's £350 million p.w.
 

class26

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Very little. In fact, you could create tons more capacity at a single stroke by slowing everything down to 60mph - no longer any need to path slow freights and fast express trains around each other, trains can run closer together without catching up to the service in front.

But if you did the airlines would have a field day on the London to Scotland market and probably more
 

6Gman

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Just a thought, if HS2 was cancelled, what if all the money £50 billion had to be spent on rail projects, reopen the GC? rail tunnel to Ireland? Woodhead?

If Hs2 was cancelled the £50bn wouldn't exist!
 

Haydn1971

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Just a thought, if HS2 was cancelled, what if all the money £50 billion had to be spent on rail projects, reopen the GC? rail tunnel to Ireland? Woodhead?


As so many people have said above, the £50Bn doesn't exist for redistribution. HS2 represents a huge investment over a period of nearly two decades, the way that infrastructure projects work is that the cost of the scheme is offset by the economic benefits that that scheme delivers.

For a project that offers a BCR of 2 provides £100Bn of economic benefits for the £50Bn invested. I understand that HS2 is current 1.7 which is low for a major infrastructure project, but HS2 is quite unlike anything else and the true economic gains are really difficult to measure using traditional transport economic methods. The true gains from HS2 will far exceed 1.7, from the released capacity on the current north-south main lines, enablement of new regional and sub-regional services and a rebalance of employment opportunities that will come from the outrageously cheap fares that HS2 could deliver.
 

najaB

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But if you did the airlines would have a field day on the London to Scotland market and probably more
I never said it was a good idea! Just that if what you want is capacity *and nothing nore* then there's a heck of a lot cheaper way to achieve it than by sticking expensive plasters on the current network.
 

matacaster

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Reopen Great Central and elctrify with new section to Birmingham and possible additional platforms at Marylebone under existing station. Also to serve Manchester and Sheffield with new (faster, straighter) route through to Leeds.

Reopen rest of Waverley route.

Make S&C W12 or UIC gauge, electrify and move all freight from northern WCML onto S&C then Waverley route (redoubled + UIC and electrified).

Reopen LSWR route to South West.

Electrify to Aberdeen
 

GrimsbyPacer

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... opportunities that will come from the outrageously cheap fares that HS2 could deliver.

Ha! As if HS2 will be cheap.
Private rail companies will never lower their prices as long as shareholders want a big return, and HS2 will need to charge to pay for itself before it becomes a political football like the APT.
 

Xenophon PCDGS

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Just a thought, if HS2 was cancelled, what if all the money £50 billion had to be spent on rail projects, reopen the GC? rail tunnel to Ireland? Woodhead?

In the current economic climate, a sum of £50 billion would not stand a cat in hell's chance of being spent on rail, when the NHS is crying out for money.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Very little. In fact, you could create tons more capacity at a single stroke by slowing everything down to 60mph - no longer any need to path slow freights and fast express trains around each other, trains can run closer together without catching up to the service in front.

Your mention of slowing everything down to 60mph will be music to the ears of Vivarail and Adrian Shooter who have the very product (Class 230) that has a top speed of 60mph.

(Did anyone seriously think that I would miss this opportunity afforded me to have the opportunity to further denigrate the Class 230 product?)
 
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class26

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I never said it was a good idea! Just that if what you want is capacity *and nothing more* then there's a heck of a lot cheaper way to achieve it than by sticking expensive plasters on the current network.

Surely the aim ought to be to have as many trains as possible running at the same top speed (whatever that is) with similar acceleration. Reducing to 60 mph does sound a little drastic !
 

The Ham

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Invest £20 million in a national strategy looking at reopenings, ways of linking existing lines so as to avoid filling up services by people having to go into London and back out again and improving capacity at bottle necks. Then realising that without long distance capacity it wouldn't bring add much benefits and so build a pair of lines from Crewe to London with plans to link in other major cities. Then and only then start progressing on a large scale the minor projects.
 

daodao

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Surely the aim ought to be to have as many trains as possible running at the same top speed (whatever that is) with similar acceleration. Reducing to 60 mph does sound a little drastic !

There appear to be several forces driving the progress of HS2:
1. A vanity project, to keep up with other "advanced" countries in having high speed lines linking England's major cities.
2. A desire for speed so that people can get away from the depressed North as quickly as possible and facilitate even greater development in the South-East of England.
3. A need for greater capacity on rail routes from London to the North.

The UK, particularly following Brexit, is not as wealthy as most Western Eropean countries (including Germany/France/Italy) and can't afford to pay for massive infrastructure projects like HS2.

England is far smaller than most other countries so the need for speed is less; it is only just over 2 hours from London to Leeds or Manchester by current trains.

There is a capacity problem on some main lines north of London, but it is essentially confined to the London-Birmingham/Crewe section of the WCML. (There are also some bottlenecks on the ECML, in particular the Welwyn viaduct and through Peterborough due to closure of the old GE/GN joint line from March to Spalding, but these could be dealt with by short bypasses.) Significant expenditure could be saved by not building the 2nd phase of HS2, i.e. beyond Crewe and through the East Midlands, where the need is much less from a capacity perspective.

Trains could divert off HS2 to Derby/Sheffield and Stoke/Manchester and extend beyond Crewe to Liverpool/Scotland/North Wales via existing lines. Birmingham services should run into the current New Street station to facilitate connections there and extensions beyond to Walsall/Wolverhampton. Leeds should still be served by the ECML and Leicester/Nottingham via the MML. All trains for this limited HS2 construction should be "classic compatiible" to enable them to run on existing main lines.

This slimmed down version of HS2 might just be affordable. Hopefully, the sensible Chairman May will reassess this oversize project promoted by her hubristic predecessors before construction starts.
 
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Hadders

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There appear to be several forces driving the progress of HS2:
1. A vanity project, to keep up with other "advanced" countries in having high speed lines linking England's major cities.
2. A desire for speed so that people can get away from the depressed North as quickly as possible and facilitate even greater development in the South-East of England.
3. A need for greater capacity on rail routes from London to the North.

The UK, particularly following Brexit, is not as wealthy as most Western Eropean countries (including Germany/France/Italy) and can't afford to pay for massive infrastructure projects like HS2.

England is far smaller than most other countries so the need for speed is less; it is only just over 2 hours from London to Leeds or Manchester by current trains.

There is a capacity problem on some main lines north of London, but it is essentially confined to the London-Birmingham/Crewe section of the WCML. (There are also some bottlenecks on the ECML, in particular the Welwyn viaduct and through Peterborough due to closure of the old GE/GN joint line from March to Spalding, but these could be dealt with by short bypasses.) Significant expenditure could be saved by not building the 2nd phase of HS2, i.e. beyond Crewe and through the East Midlands, where the need is much less from a capacity perspective.

Trains could divert off HS2 to Derby/Sheffield and Stoke/Manchester and extend beyond Crewe to Liverpool/Scotland/North Wales via existing lines. Birmingham services should run into the current New Street station to facilitate connections there and extensions beyond to Walsall/Wolverhampton. Leeds should still be served by the ECML and Leicester/Nottingham via the MML. All trains for this limited HS2 construction should be "classic compatiible" to enable them to run on existing main lines.

This slimmed down version of HS2 might just be affordable. Hopefully, the sensible Chairman May will reassess this oversize project promoted by her hubristic predecessors before construction starts.

I'm sorry but I disagree with your assessment. We absolutely need HS2 and tinkering with the odd bypass here, or chord there will not solve our capacity problems in the future.

Look at the success of HS1 - many were saying it shouldn't be built, it would ruin the countryside, it'd be a white elephant etc. None of this has happened, many of the trains are wedged and the classic routes are still busy too.

We get this sort of debate every time a major infrastructure project is proposed in this country. I remember the same NIMBYS objecting to the M40 motorway.

Let's just do a proper job, get on and build it.
 

47802

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There appear to be several forces driving the progress of HS2:
1. A vanity project, to keep up with other "advanced" countries in having high speed lines linking England's major cities.
2. A desire for speed so that people can get away from the depressed North as quickly as possible and facilitate even greater development in the South-East of England.
3. A need for greater capacity on rail routes from London to the North.

The UK, particularly following Brexit, is not as wealthy as most Western Eropean countries (including Germany/France/Italy) and can't afford to pay for massive infrastructure projects like HS2.

England is far smaller than most other countries so the need for speed is less; it is only just over 2 hours from London to Leeds or Manchester by current trains.

There is a capacity problem on some main lines north of London, but it is essentially confined to the London-Birmingham/Crewe section of the WCML. (There are also some bottlenecks on the ECML, in particular the Welwyn viaduct and through Peterborough due to closure of the old GE/GN joint line from March to Spalding, but these could be dealt with by short bypasses.) Significant expenditure could be saved by not building the 2nd phase of HS2, i.e. beyond Crewe and through the East Midlands, where the need is much less from a capacity perspective.

Trains could divert off HS2 to Derby/Sheffield and Stoke/Manchester and extend beyond Crewe to Liverpool/Scotland/North Wales via existing lines. Birmingham services should run into the current New Street station to facilitate connections there and extensions beyond to Walsall/Wolverhampton. Leeds should still be served by the ECML and Leicester/Nottingham via the MML. All trains for this limited HS2 construction should be "classic compatiible" to enable them to run on existing main lines.

This slimmed down version of HS2 might just be affordable. Hopefully, the sensible Chairman May will reassess this oversize project promoted by her hubristic predecessors before construction starts.

To a point I agree I would look at keeping HS2 as far as Crewe but I would still retain full spec HS2 trains for the Birmingham route, you would need to put reasonable amount of money in upgrading the ECML and dealing with such as Welwyn.

Also this might not be a popular choice for many but I think we do need to put more money into our roads and motorways, our motorways were built for the traffic of 40 years ago and the upgrades since then have been little more than tinkering around the edges, so that now some of motorways can barely cope with off peak traffic never mind peak traffic.

The big question we have to consider with transport as well is if we move to electric cars then that reduces some of the pollution impact of roads, and if driverless vehicles without a driver just in case become a viable reality in the next 5 to 10 years as many of those involved are claiming then the argument about the need for public transport for those that cannot drive goes out of the window of course that doesn't solve the congestion problem instead it makes it worse. But for those parts of the country where congestion isn't a big issue maybe the idea of trains and buses becomes a thing of the past and you just take a driverless taxi instead at a much cheaper rate than current taxis.
 
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daodao

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I'm sorry but I disagree with your assessment. We absolutely need HS2 and tinkering with the odd bypass here, or chord there will not solve our capacity problems in the future.

Look at the success of HS1 - many were saying it shouldn't be built, it would ruin the countryside, it'd be a white elephant etc. None of this has happened, many of the trains are wedged and the classic routes are still busy too.

We get this sort of debate every time a major infrastructure project is proposed in this country. I remember the same NIMBYS objecting to the M40 motorway.

Let's just do a proper job, get on and build it.

I didn't suggest don't build HS2 at all. I am suggesting that HS2 from London to Birmingham (New St not Curzon St) and Crewe, with links to the Midland line via Burton and the North Staffs line via Stoke, will suffice in addressing the capacity problems. This is essentially phase 1 of the project. More than that is not required in my opinion. For example, 2 tph London-Manchester doesn't justify the massive disruption and cost of building a semi-underground line though South Manchester.
 

Altfish

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If HS2 was cancelled I doubt very much that the railways will see any of the money.
With this government it will go towards tax cuts for business
 

GrimsbyPacer

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If HS2 is cancelled, good riddence!
I know the HS2 fanatics will start the usual bullying of anyone who dislikes the project, but the fact remains that it's a huge cost, it's benefits have been questioned by many experts with doubts, it's not exactly perfect and could easily harm the areas it's meant to help.

We need guarantees for current train services would not be made worse in any way in my opinion, and future services should have been considered already.
Also the areas that stand to lose fortunes in economic damage, like Leicester need help to cover the shortfall the KMPG report showed (which HS2 Ltd tried to hide).
 

NSEFAN

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GrimsbyPacer said:
We need guarantees for current train services would not be made worse in any way in my opinion
... but the whole point is to get rid of longer-distance express passenger trains so that the current infrastructure can be served with more stopping and semi-fast trains, so there can be better local and regional services. What would the point be in building a dedicated express route and not taking advantage of the freed-up capacity on the older one?
 
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