Released Capacity

Discussion in 'Future High Speed Rail' started by KingAugustine, 8 Dec 2016.

  1. KingAugustine

    KingAugustine New Member

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    Wanted to get some opinions on one of the most important aspects of HS2 - how to use the released capacity on the classic lines.
    Will there still be 125mph services on the WCML, or will that be an unnecessary waste of capacity? What will be done about 'problem' cities like Coventry, which couldn't possibly support 3 fast tph to London, but will see any reduction as a worse service? Professor McNaughton's slides suggest still 2 fast tph, which would perhaps provide only a limited number of extra paths. How about Nottingham / Derby / Sheffield, will their current classic services to London stay pretty much as they are?
    Are there radical possibilities for maximising capacity? Are the current suggestions deliberately conservative in order to avoid negative publicity?
     
  2. ys123

    ys123 Member

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    What about stoke? Will it be economically viable to run pendolinos from stoke given that manchester and Stockport will use HS2? Or will they just have the hourly London Midland slow service and anyone wanting a faster service will take a train to Crewe to catch HS2? Or will they have a stoke to London pendolinos service stopping at all the main stations that it currently misses out (Stafford, rugby, MKC to name just a few).
     
  3. Holly

    Holly Member

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    One of the aims of HS2 is to increase the number of future freight paths on the existing network. Consequently there will be places, such as Stoke, that will inevitably end up with worse passenger service than today. Freight does not mix well with HS on the same rails.
     
  4. The Planner

    The Planner Established Member

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    How do you know they will get a worse service, nothing is decided yet.
     
  5. glbotu

    glbotu Member

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    Remember, there will be a junction to HS2 just North of Nuneaton (I think). As such, I'd suggest Stoke will probably get 1tph Classic Compatible (via HS2) and 1tph "Pendolino" (via WCML) to serve Rugby/Milton Keynes/Watford. Many moons ago, I had an "indicative service diagram" and that's what it suggested.
     
  6. snowball

    snowball Established Member

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    I assume you mean the link north of Lichfield.
     
  7. jcollins

    jcollins Veteran Member

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    From what I've seen the post-HS2 proposal is for 1 Pendolino service an hour between Manchester and London via Stoke which will include calls at Stockport, Macclesfield and stations south of Stoke. I'm not sure if they'll be any Stoke services which don't go to Manchester.

    It's envisaged Wilmslow will lose it's London service in favour of the HS2 service from 'Manchester Airport HS2 station' which hasn't gone down that well with some people but I'm sure the bus drivers who drive the routes to Wilmslow station will appreciate a reduction in the number of taxis at Wilmslow given many of the drivers think it's acceptable to park outside the designated taxi bays and block the bus route!
     
  8. tbtc

    tbtc Veteran Member

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    There are all number of possibilities - I'd probably expect a lot of the current "fast" services on conventional lines to be slowed down slightly with an extra stop or two (e.g. Coventry to London would still be fairly fast but everything stopping at Milton Keynes plus alternately at Rugby/ Watford too... services from Derby/ Leicester to London would still be fairly fast but picking up one or two stops at Market Harborough/ Wellingborough/ Kettering/ Bedford/ Luton/ Luton Airport).

    Also worth considering different southern termini:

    Sheffield to Leicester may continue but (instead of running non-stop to London) then stop at Bedford, Bletchley, Bicester and Oxford.

    Leeds to Peterborough may continue but (instead of running non-stop to London) then stop at Ely, Cambridge and Stansted.

    Birmingham to Watford may continue but (instead of running non-stop to London) then stop at Shepherd's Bush, Clapham Junction, East Croydon and Gatwick.

    Just suggestions - but we could see the existing links north of London being retained without the service necessarily having to run into London.
     
  9. edwin_m

    edwin_m Veteran Member

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    Leicester-London doesn't benefit at all from HS2 so the existing non-stop service needs not only to continue but to be speeded up if possible. There should be a few minutes gained from electrification and Market Harborough remodelling assuming they have actually happened by 2032.

    Extending these fasts non-stop to Nottingham would give a journey time of around 85min with one stop. This remains attractive compared with 53min on HS2, a change at Toton and maybe 15min more on a connecting train (or much more if the connection is by tram). So to maintain connectivity to Nottingham city centre I suggest the existing MML fast service should also continue and be accelerated where possible. Times for Derby would be similar but with HS2 taking London to Chesterfield/Sheffield passengers loadings would be less. So I would suggest a future 4TPH MML service could be:
    - London-Leicester-Nottingham
    - London-most stations to Toton, possibly continuing to Sheffield or onto HS2 northwards
    - London-Mkt Harborough-Leicester-Loughborough-Derby
    - London or East West Rail via Bedford, most stations to Nottingham
    - 2TPH most stations to Corby

    I'm assuming Toton takes over the Park and Ride role of East Midlands Parkway, which becomes a local station only.
     
    Last edited: 9 Dec 2016
  10. MarkyT

    MarkyT Established Member

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    Derby might also (commercially and politically) justify an hourly fast also stopping only at Leicester (thus giving Leicester a 30 minute interval fast service to St P), but there's little point extending these further north as HS2 is likely to grab the vast majority of the London market at Chesterfield and Sheffield. One further stop towards the south for these expresses might be justified with not much further time penalty, say either Luton, Bedford or St Albans.

    I'd also keep a half hourly 'semi' alternating Derby and Nottingham. Or to be clever going via Toton hub and splitting portions for both cities. That would give principal southern MML stations an excellent link to HS2 going north and, for HS2 travellers, add to the numbers of connecting trains between Toton and both cities.

    Both Derby and Nottingham themselves already get plenty of other direct links to and from Sheffield and points north via other services, either also in the EMT franchise portfolio or with other operators such as Cross Country. Removal of MML London services north of Derby could allow their paths to be taken over by additional journeys on those routes. Some of these services from Nottingham in particular could be diverted via the new Toton station to increase further the service density between the hub and the city centre.

    Probably a fair assumption. The 'semi's' could continue to call there. Bedford could also become a stop for all traffic apart (perhaps) from the Leicester fasts as it's interchange hub role increases with EWR developments.

    Future service planners need to beware of recreating the skip stop hell of the the old MML. Some local journeys between adjacent stations south of Leicester were very inconvenient in BR days, because very few trains stopped at both, meaning a time consuming and expensive overtravel and double back manoeuvre was often required (a similar problem to Pewsey - Hungerford on GWR today).
     
  11. edwin_m

    edwin_m Veteran Member

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    Something like that may be possible if you assume a fifth path is available to Leicester and beyond, which may happen, but I was trying to stay within the existing number plus one extra to Corby and ended up with London-Derby having three stops like the "fast" Nottingham does today. I also wanted to retain the link between Sheffield and intermediate MML stations Loughborough and southwards.

    Splitting at Toton is an interesting idea as it would also provide the high quality link to Derby and Nottingham that is important even if the existing route stays as the main one for London journeys. However I'd suggest that the objective is not frequent links to Toton, but actually tight connections to/from both cities for every calling HS2 service. This obviously depends on the HS2 timetable and could be very difficult to achieve given the complexity of the area and capacity constraints in Trent and Nottingham. Derby re-modelling should increase the capacity there, though Nottingham re-modelling in 2013 didn't make that much difference.
     
  12. LesF

    LesF Member

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    We know that numerous towns and cities will get a worse service due to HS2 because the guesstimated costs include the £8.3bn they expect to save by CUTTING existing services.
    The claim that HS2 will "free up capacity on the classic network" is a fraud.
     
  13. anme

    anme Established Member

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    How do we know that?

    How can that possibly be true?
     
  14. Ironside

    Ironside Member

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    Given the continued increase in passengers that remain ahead of the predictions used for the business case for HS2 there should be sufficient demand for nearly all the wcml capasity post HS2.
     
    Last edited: 10 Jan 2017
  15. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    Could you explain this statement, please? How does removing express trains (the VT ones) from the WCML not result in spare paths?
     
  16. Voglitz

    Voglitz Member

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    How many 'express trains (the VT ones)' would be removed by HS2?

    Evidence from HS2 Ltd's technical director suggests that 'released capacity' is largely illusory.

    As things stand, there are spare paths everywhere in the off-peak, and everywhere in the peak (apart from in the tidal direction, on the first 40-odd miles out of London).
     
  17. The Planner

    The Planner Established Member

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    That report is 3 years old, things have moved on. Interested to see where all these "paths everywhere" are on the south of Rugby.
     
  18. Voglitz

    Voglitz Member

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    The number of paths is less than the acknowledged line capacity in the off-peak everywhere on the line, and during most of the peak as well.
     
  19. The Planner

    The Planner Established Member

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    Which is what though? If there is a more efficient timetable that makes use of that capacity you claim I would love to see it as clearly we are all missing a trick.
     
  20. Class 170101

    Class 170101 Established Member

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    Not entirely convinced the 18:46 FO Euston to Preston is an efficient use of track capacity. I think it might be better at 18:37 where only a 125mph path can be fitted yet 18:46 will fit a 110mph path as far as Rugby then onto Trent Valley in a similar way to 17:46 train everyday but isn't used the rest of the week due to the Friday Only Path. Can be followed by an 18:49 110mph path I would have thought as far as Ledburn (or is it Bourne End Jn?)
     
  21. HSTEd

    HSTEd Established Member

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    You might get a bit more capacity if you were to withdraw all the 350s in favour of something nuts like 12-car 395s.
    But without tilt they won't be that much quicker.

    But all this is clutching at straws, you might get a few percent more capacity in, but that will be overwhelmed inside a year or two.
     
    Last edited: 10 Jan 2017
  22. Voglitz

    Voglitz Member

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    12 fast paths taken in the off peak, 15 in the peak, according to the HS2 technical director.

    So, if 15 is taken as the line capacity, ~25 percent extra is potentially available most of the day.

    On the slow lines, there seems to be much bigger wastage, from freight paths which aren't used.

    There doesn't appear to be much of a market for additional West Coast paths outside of the high peak, and no sign of anything being overwhelmed.
     
  23. HSTEd

    HSTEd Established Member

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    So because there are free paths at 11PM we should not bother providing more peak capacity?
     
  24. The Planner

    The Planner Established Member

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    So how do you solve that? remove those paths and if freight requires them then what?
     
  25. MarkyT

    MarkyT Established Member

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    This discussion is going round in circles! OF COURSE HS2 adds capacity to the WCML network. It is effectively adding another pair of tracks all the way to Birmingham and Manchester. It will not be plus 50% for the WCML however, as from Birmingham to London, some of the new capacity will also be used by high speed services from the east of the country, but nonetheless the new line will be able to take the complete high frequency London service of the fastest trains from the major NW cities and Birmingham. This makes great sense as in addition to improving journey times and consequent rolling stock utilisation, it speed segregates those trains from others that also call at intermediate stations on the traditional route. Calls at the intermediate stations by trains remaining on the existing route will no longer be limited to the same extent as the fast lines line will no longer have to be kept clear for the very fastest 'non (or very limited) stop' services which are often already heavily loaded anyway by the time they reach southern extents of the route. Travel between some of these intermediate stations is inconvenient today with service often provided by the fast services performing skip stop patterns, alternately calling at different stations, which also usually results in comparatively infrequent stops at any particular call for London trains (making the service fairly unattractive). The post-HS2 WCML timetable is not anywhere near being fully defined clearly, but I would put money on it include many more fast line calls at the important intermediate towns and interchanges - i.e. Watford Junction, Milton Keynes and Rugby. The latent demand is there but the existing service falls far behind that provided at towns of equivalent size and importance ranged at similar distance from London on other radial main lines.
     
  26. LesF

    LesF Member

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    Of course "removing express trains" results in spare paths. But the estimates include the £8.3bn saving by removing them. If they were to be replaced with other services there would be no saving. But HS2 are counting on the savings so there is no intention of replacing removed services with others. They can't have it both ways.
     
  27. JamesT

    JamesT Member

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    That depends if the replacement services cost as much to run.
    Pendolinos have additional staff costs to run the catering and additional track charges compared to say a commuter 350 which is likely to replace it.
     
  28. HSTEd

    HSTEd Established Member

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    Then how would you cost the benefits of the extra capacity?
    Would you prefer they do a hugely complex calculation involving the benefit cost ratio of the replacement services - or would you prefer they take this route which is calculate the saving sfrom the services that are superfluous once HS2 is finished?

    This is not having it both ways. It is not their problem how those paths are used, they are simply making them available. They are saving the railway £8.3bn in providing trains in those paths that will not be needed under the new order of things.
    What happens to those paths after that is not their concern.
     
  29. Voglitz

    Voglitz Member

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    The OP titled the discussion "Released Capacity". Released capacity is not the same thing, at all, as adding capacity on another line.

    All the available evidence suggests that the capacity released by building HS2 is minimal. As far as West Coast south is concerned, it's possible that usable capacity might fall, as a result of the platform reduction at Euston.

    Not if "major NW cities" includes Chester or Stoke-on Trent.

    Since the West Coast route is more or less four track all the way to Crewe, there already is speed segregation. The planned HS2 rolling stock utilisation is very poor, but apparently this has now been recognised.

    Travel between lots of stations is inconvenient today (e.g. Luton and Milton Keynes, Watford Junction and St Albans City). It doesn't follow that HS2 is a cost effective way of improving connectivity in southern England, or anywhere else.
     
  30. The Ham

    The Ham Established Member

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    Quite, if there was no saving by removing services you could then see some unprofitable services run because their costs have already been paid for.
     

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