My idea for Birmingham X-Rail post HS2

Discussion in 'Future High Speed Rail' started by Blamethrower, 28 Apr 2015.

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  1. Blamethrower

    Blamethrower Member

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    I had a bit of time, so I thought about how to improve B'ham transport post HS2, I came up with the following - Birmingham X-rail

    - Reduce platform width at Curzon street and add 2 platforms for Bham X-Rail
    - Make Curzon St and Moor Street "Birmingham Central" as 1 station
    - Build an underground station between Snow Hill and Moor Street @the far end of New Street
    - Build a new station at the NIA
    - Add 2 tracks to Wolverhampton from NIA

    Have a look at the attachment, crude I know, but I think Birmingham has the potential to increase it's cross-city transport corridor capacity using HS2 as the enabler.

    Potentials:


    • Easy to transfer to New Street
      Easy to transfer to all Bham destinations

    Obviously there are loads more benefits than this, probably a few issues too, but I feel that this is the chance that Birmingham needs to integrate it's transport systems
     

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  2. adrock1976

    adrock1976 Established Member

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    Regarding the 2 tracks from National Indoor Arena to Wolverhampton, have you thought about how to squeeze them in, bearing in mind that the Birmingham Canals Navigation main line may be in the way?

    In peace

    Adam
     
  3. Geezertronic

    Geezertronic Established Member

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    Building a new underground station may be cost prohibitive, wasn't that investigated as a way of avoiding a new station? Personally I'd like to see if it is possible to make Curzon Street a through station then re-route services away from New Street into Curzon Street but the cost of the tunnelling may be prohibitive in itself.

    Some good ideas but as always, costing it wouldn't be fun.
     
  4. Noddy

    Noddy Member

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    I do think the cost of most of those schemes is going to be too prohibitive (eg new underground station between Moor Street and Snow Hill), or just to difficult (eg NIA station).

    However I do think combining Moor Street and Curzon Street into one joined up station is entirely sensible, and encourage cross city and region interchange.

    Personally I'd also like to see a link into Curzon Street from the Camp Hill line - useful for both locals and Cross Country trains heading from the south-west onto HS2 towards the NW and NE.
     
    Last edited: 28 Apr 2015
  5. Voglitz

    Voglitz Member

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    Adding platforms on the eastern New Street approach would be a complex and disruptive process. It would be easier to do, if the HS2 station were not built.

    The city council 'Curzon masterplan' included improved pedestrian routes around the HS2 station site. It seems likely that the building works would be disruptive to trains entering New Street from the east.

    In the Snow Hill tunnel? That's not really feasible.

    Yes, that is doable.

    The costs could be significant, because the whole ~18 km is through an urban area. The benefits would be modest, if the NIA to New Street section remained as double track only.
     
  6. PauloDavesi

    PauloDavesi Member

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    You are proposing billions of pounds of expenditure, and years of disruption, with the associated costs for the people of Birmingham for something that benefits about 1% of the population.

    How are you proposing this fantasy scheme is financed?

    I'd suggest that there are many more cost effective ways to improve the local infrastructure, at less cost and with less disruption to the population.
     
  7. Noddy

    Noddy Member

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    Well here's a contradiction if ever I saw one.

    Looking at the masterplan (available here) I see no reason why building works would be disruptive to trains entering New Street from the east. All (new) access routes are either over or under the four-track existing cutting into New Street. I've added some images too:
     

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    Last edited: 30 Apr 2015
  8. Blamethrower

    Blamethrower Member

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    Yep, checked on google Earth, might require a bit of slewing here and there but there is space to add 2 tracks up until Wolves. Most of this area is industrial wasteland too, needs help with regeneration.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    That's what infrastructure projects require, they don't just magically appear.

    Let me ask you, how is crossrail funded in London, how about Thameslink? Perhaps the channel tunnel, HS1 and the Olympics?

    All infrastructure that could be argued only benefits 1% of the population.

    Seeing as you purport to know how much infrastructure projects cost, and have the keys to the treasury, please can you enlighten us as to your ideas to integrate transport in the countries 2nd biggest city?

    Seriously, please let us know about your cost effective ways to improve the infrastructure without disruption and cost.

    My point is that whilst these upgrades could potentially be expensive (new st underground) if it's mooted for London, no-one bats an eyelid
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    I agree that none of this will come to fruition, however, it is entirely doable. If the will is there, anything can be done.

    UK cities need to start thinking big in their infrastructure plans and start lobbying the government to give them powers to approve these sort of schemes.

    HS2 is a huge enabler, I would like to see the exact same proposals implemented in the other cities that HS2 touches.

    ie. Crossrail South Yorkshire, Crossrail East Midlands, Crossrail Leeds, Crossrail Manchester (Pic/Vic)

    Each has it's own challenges, but they CAN be done, there just needs to be the WILL to spend on city infrastructure outside of the M25. If they can sink shafts to build underground stations in London then they can do it in Birmingham (providing the soil allows it of course).
     
  9. The Ham

    The Ham Established Member

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    The thing which makes building underground in London sensible is the high land costs, elsewhere it can be cheaper to build on the surface.
     
  10. NotATrainspott

    NotATrainspott Established Member

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    Only London, Glasgow and Bradford have any real need for a Crossrail scheme, given that these are the places where there are multiple major termini separated by a city centre. In all others, cross-region transport is already possible, and all that would be required in many cases for a London Overground level of service would be electrification and possibly some minor capacity upgrades.

    What most cities need is better surface transport and tram schemes are the best way of delivering it. Unlike heavy rail, it is possible for these to run on the streets in pedestrianised areas in the city centre without the need for huge expenditure on underground stations, which then aren't as accessible or easy to use. Underground stations would add hundreds of millions of pounds to the cost of any scheme, which would be money far better spent on extending the network further out and into different areas.
     
  11. Blamethrower

    Blamethrower Member

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    That is kind of my point.

    Cross city transport is possible now, but it needs to be enhanced post HS2. Bham will have 4 major city centre stations (curzon, new, moor, snow) and what I am saying is that a rebrand, some new small city stations and an overall integration strategy is required.

    Most of the infrastructure is already there, it just needs to be tweaked to give a much more reliable and frequent service.

    At the moment, Bham is a mess and I believe HS2 should be the enabler for a classic network upgrade along the lines of thameslink/crossrail.

    Trams, for what it's worth, are not the answer, because in most cases they have to sit in traffic, which defeats the object of not using the car.

    I lived in Duesseldorf for a year, they already have an established tram network, however, year by year, they are burying them under the streets to become U-Bahns, releasing the above streets traffic handling capacity and increasing reliability of the trams.

    London grew as a result of the investment in the tube, unless other cities get this kind of investment, it will be gridlock without end in 10 years time. Give people an alternative then they won't need to use cars.

    From Wolverhampton to Solihull, the west midlands is a massive conurbation, with the combination of thameslink/crossrail/buried trams, it could really get moving again
     
  12. sprinterguy

    sprinterguy Established Member

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    I'm not sure how you envisage widening to four tracks between Smethwick Rolfe Street and Sandwell and Dudley in particular. The railway essentially runs on a ledge high above the Birmingham Canal Navigation, hemmed in on the other side in part by the A457. Even to the north of this stretch four tracking seems quite drastic: That's a heck of a lot of bridges to rebuild, just for one.
     
    Last edited: 8 May 2015
  13. NotATrainspott

    NotATrainspott Established Member

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    I understand what you mean about providing a single 'Birmingham Central' station, and I agree wholeheartedly. However, there is not much of a case to make major changes to the heavy rail lines given that the cost would be immense and the benefits limited.

    Trams are a necessary step towards any more expensive transport mode, since traffic has to build up on specific corridors which could then sustain an underground metro service. Even then though the combination of tram and enhanced heavy rail will bite away at the case for a wholly separate system, since trams are more than capable of dealing with most short-distance journeys (and do them in a better way, with hop-on-hop-off small tram platforms rather than massive underground stations) and the heavy rail network would be the go-to solution for longer distance journeys.
     
  14. Blamethrower

    Blamethrower Member

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    Yeah, I'm with you on that but how can it be more expensive than Thameslink or crossrail or the jubilee line extension?

    If there is to be truly a "northern powerhouse" then investing in mainlines throughout the main conurbations has to be done.

    I will never buy the argument that "it's too expensive" because we are shown time and time again that anything can be achieved providing there is the political will to do so.

    Trams just make roads worse for cars and like i said, often are stuck in the traffic they're trying to avoid. By all means get a tram network up and running, but build it with a long term plan to bury them cut and cover style.

    Or should I say German style :)
     
  15. Trainfan344

    Trainfan344 Established Member

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    I walked between Snow Hill and New Street last Saturday, mustn't have taken more than 10-15 mins, will be quicker when the trams come. Moor Street is closer still to New Street (about 5-10 min walk). Curzon Street isn't going to be that far away. I don't see the point in X-rail in Birmingham, it doesn't need it. What it does need is electrification of the Snow Hill Lines in 10-15 years time as the 172s get on a bit and new rolling stock for the X-city line. (323's getting a bit tired now).
     
  16. anme

    anme Established Member

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    My experience of modern tram networks is that trams are rarely stuck in traffic, and I'm not sure they make roads worse for cars. However, if they *did* make roads worse for cars, isn't that a benefit?
     
  17. Kettledrum

    Kettledrum Member

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    Birmingham's central stations are much closer together than Manchester's and probably too close to make a X-Rail work - even if space could be found under or on the surface.

    The incredibly short tram extension from Snow Hill to New Street currently being constructed has taken years (decades?) in the planning and years to construct, so some of your aspirations are probably too ambitious.

    That said, the transport policy in Birmingham is all over the place, with emphasis on an inadequate "SPRINT" bus system, not light or heavy rail at all.

    Something has to be wrong when you have existing rail corridors derelict (like South Staffs line) or freight only (Camp Hill line and Sutton Park line) which could be adapted for passenger use and used to enhance the passenger network - but aren't.

    Building chords and platforms to link these with existing infrastructure would come ahead on my priority list than a need to link the central stations.

    Alternatively, I'd love to see a monorail solution linking the central stations in Birmingham, but it's not going to happen.
     
  18. The Planner

    The Planner Established Member

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    Camp Hill isn't freight only, XC use it all day. It has no stations, but it isn't freight only. South Staffs isn't cheap to do. The West Mids and Chilterns route study is being worked on from what I hear so I expect plenty of suggestions such as those and the Camp Hill chords will appear.
     
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