Why are people opposed to HS2? (And other HS2 discussion)

Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by ABB125, 24 Jan 2019.

  1. The Ham

    The Ham Established Member

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    Indeed, of like to see the alternative which could cater for the 50% increase in passenger numbers we've seen in the last 9 years on the roots between London and the region's which benefit from HS2:

     
  2. DynamicSpirit

    DynamicSpirit Established Member

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    Bristol TM to Parkway could be done without much damage because the trackbed was already wide enough (I'm guessing, though I'm not certain, that maybe, much of used to be 4-track in the distant past?). But that's not the case in many places. Trying - for example - to add more tracks to the WCML (which some people have seriously suggested as an alternative to HS2) would require demolishing many thousands of homes - far more than HS2 required.

    If you think the benefits of HS2 are small, then I can only assume you've not really looked at the arguments for it. It would allow most places along the southern WCML to have a much more frequent service (due to the removal of long-distance non-stopping trains from the line, freeing up paths), would also free up paths on the overcrowded Manchester-Stockport corridor. If Phase 2 is built, it would have the same impact on the ECML - which in turn would allow regular services from London to places like Grimsby, Lincoln and Scunthorpe (not currently possible because of limited capacity on the ECML). Then there are the journey time savings. London-Birmingham is the one most often quoted, but more significant is reducing Birmingham-Leeds from 2 hours to about 40 minutes, Birmingham-Manchester and Liverpool (currently painfully slow) to under an hour for Manchester and not much more for Liverpool, and so on - making rail much more competitive against the car along those corridors. Then at the Southern end, the station at OOC would make it massively easier for people in much of West London to access trains to the North, as well as giving easier access to Heathrow (that alone could remove a lot of cars from the roads). HS2 would be absolutely transformational to the rail network across a very large part of the country, extending far beyond the places that HS2 directly runs to.
     
  3. En Attendant

    En Attendant Member

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    Maybe if HS2's proponents were prepared to accept a bit of a shave off the top speed, to maximise capacity, more people would believe that its purpose is capacity rather than speed
     
  4. En Attendant

    En Attendant Member

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    And if the WCML upgrade taught us anything, it is that having a new line in place before you start upgrading an existing main line would make life an awful lot easier.
     
  5. EM2

    EM2 Established Member

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    Just out of interest, why do you say that a lower maximum line speed will allow an increase in capacity?
     
  6. TrafficEng

    TrafficEng Member

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    I'd say I'm not really the right person to direct the question to. It would be better asking the people of the places already mentioned, plus the people and businesses in the Isle of Man, Jersey and Guernsey, as well as those based near and reliant on links provided by various regional airports. Aberdeen being a good example.

    What we should be striving for is an integrated transport system (a phrase which has fallen out of fashion lately) in which we consider all the modes and the benefits and disbenefits that come with them. A simplistic policy approach of "rail good, air bad" will be a bad policy, and doomed to failure.

    Don't forget that domestic aviation isn't just moving people around, many domestic flights will also carry some cargo. Since HS2 isn't going to provide wagon-load high-speed freight then we can presume the loss of domestic air freight capacity will see a transfer to road.

    I maintain the point that the removal of some branch-line (feeder) services had an impact on the viability (and need for subsidy) of the rail network as a whole. In modern parlance an uneconomic branch line might be called a 'loss-leader'.

    It is OT, but the removal of track and trackbeds made very little difference to the feasibility of long-term reopening routes. By the time the route was needed again the infrastructure would have deteriorated to the point it needed total replacement anyway. In many cases the loss of land to redevelopment is a valid point though.

    For those that have a volume of international aviation that can sustain the airport operation then yes. But just because an airport has "International" in its name doesn't mean it comes anywhere close to being viable without domestic traffic as well.

    Bear in mind as well that some of the domestic traffic is connecting to larger airports for onward international travel. If domestic flights were somehow 'banned' then it is just as likely those connections will be made via short-haul 'international' flights (e.g. to Schiphol) than they would by the passenger enduring several hours on a train and multiple changes to get to Heathrow.

    Yup. But it just doesn't work that way when a valuable piece of land with development potential is no longer required for a transport use. (see 'Beeching' above)

    I'm not suggesting domestic aviation is always a good thing. I'm suggesting it is not as simple as saying that rail (e.g. HS2) can eliminate the need for a viable domestic aviation system. There may be unintended consequences - which could include a net increase in passenger air miles, or economic hardship in some of the remoter parts of the UK.
     
  7. Grimsby town

    Grimsby town Member

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    I honestly don't understand why
    Not only can new services such as Grimsby to London and Leeds to East Anglia be operated because of released capacity but new stations can be built in places that would probably be large enough to have stations but don't due to the lack of capacity. Examples include Rossington, Bawtry and Tuxford on the ECML and a number of places between Bedford and Leicester on the MML.

    A lot of the criticism towards HS2 is flawed anyway. The while environmental argument is ridiculous as it fails to consider the alternatives of not building HS2. HS2 will cause a huge amount of modal shift from cars on cross country service and reduce air travel from Scotland to London. Alternatives such as reopening old routes are likely to have similar affects on trees and wildlife as old railway lines are generally overgrown.

    If people think HS2s business case is poor now reducing speeds meaning the east can't be served by the same alignment as the west will destroy the business case. There will be cost savings but as the majority of benefits of HS2 will be journey time savings the small reduction in costs will not cover the reduction in benefits.
     
  8. TrafficEng

    TrafficEng Member

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    I'm not sure how that comparison really helps us much. The post you were responding to referred to "new long distance infrastructure". I might be wrong, but I took that to mean infrastructure that covers long distances, such as a new motorway connecting London to Birmingham which would have a significant impact on the local communities it passes through, without much benefit.

    The Lower Thames Crossing (although it will carry long-distance traffic) is more of a local improvement, addressing issues including connectivity that impacts directly on the local area. There is also some understanding locally that the existing crossing arrangements at Dartford are not satisfactory, and it might be the case that part of those existing arrangements may not have a long-term future.

    I don't know whether that tree planting is a 'positive impact'. I understand much of it is a mitigation measure.

    And we could just plant the trees and not build the railway - which would have a greater positive impact for far less cost. (Just saying <D )

    The Dartford Crossing is already subject to what amounts to a congestion charge scheme to discourage use (compare to bridges elsewhere in the UK where tolls have been removed as promised). The provision of an additional crossing point will almost certainly be balanced by modification of the charging scheme to limit traffic growth potential at Dartford. Longer-term it is possible some of the existing crossing capacity will be closed or restricted to priority traffic.
     
  9. MightyTRexUK

    MightyTRexUK Member

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    Rubbish. We are no running out of land.

    https://fullfact.org/economy/has-92-country-not-been-built/

    Besides, look at a 2 track electrified railway and a 4 lane (both directions) motorway and tell me which takes up the least amount of area.
     
  10. The Ham

    The Ham Established Member

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    The post I was replying to said:

    Whilst the Lower Thames Crossing isn't long distance in its length it does enable long distance travel by freeing up capacity on the strategic road network.

    Are your suggesting that if HS2 was built in 15 mile sections as damaging to the natural world as the Lower Thames Crossing that that wouldn't be a problem, whilst because it is long in length then we should campaign against it?

    Either the area of ancient woodland matters or it doesn't, it shouldn't matter if it is for a when which is long or short?

    The point I was replying to was that people would campaign against a new motorway, well the Lower Thames Crossing is one which is 15 miles long and it's going through with little opposition.

    The problem we have, and it's a round peg into which we are trying to fit a larger square peg, is that we have a growing population and unless we all reduce our travel by 10% then there'll likely be a need for more roads
     
  11. HSTEd

    HSTEd Established Member

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    At less than 320km/h you won't be able to replace multiple main lines so the extra capacity becomes essentially useless.
     
  12. En Attendant

    En Attendant Member

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    You could if you build a lower speed 4 track line. And how does reducing capacity through higher speeds allow more main lines to be 'replaced' ?
     
  13. En Attendant

    En Attendant Member

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    Directly, by allowing more trains to run more closely together. Indirectly, by reducing the cost of building a 4 track line for at least part of the route.
     
  14. Yindee8191

    Yindee8191 Member

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    What they mean is that to take passengers from a mainline, HS2 has to offer a quicker journey (if it’s about the same price but say the ECML is quicker, people will take that). If we want passengers who would usually take the ECML or MML to take HS2 instead, providing the most capacity benefits and utilising the newly created capacity as well as possible, it needs to be fast enough to offer time savings (or at the very least equal times) over journeys on the classic network.
     
  15. HSTEd

    HSTEd Established Member

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    In order to draw people from the existing lines you have to beat them in travel times.

    Since the new line will inevitably be less direct than at least some of the routes, they have to be substantially faster.

    The capacity of a HSl is so huge no single main line axis could saturate one
     
  16. The Ham

    The Ham Established Member

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    The proposed operational top speed is the same as other high speed lines, so by cutting s bit off the top speed is likely to not change the type of rolling stock which is used.

    Whilst it would allow tighter radii to be used, there's likely to be few advantages in doing so.

    As others have pointed out in the past the main cost saving (and then it's typically a saving of 10%) is if the speed is sub 115mph, however this would mean that HS2 want able to reduce journey times compared to the exciting route and so it would really be a White Elephant as everyone would use the existing lines.

    As such I don't understand why it would be an advantage to go slower, therefore can you explain why it should be slower? If there's a good reason to do so I'll be willing to accept a lower speed, however to date no one has given one.
     
  17. class26

    class26 Member

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    Spot on, I just hope all the nay sayers read this comment !
     
  18. The Ham

    The Ham Established Member

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    Firstly HS2 has been specified to have trains with 1,100 seats, this means that each train has more capacity than a 9 and an 11 coach class 390 combined. This is important to understand, as it shows just how much of an improvement the it will be over the current services.

    Now given that there's proposed to be 17 useable paths with a capacity of 18,700 seats an hour, and so over a 18 hour operational day that's 336,600 seats in each direction, how much extra capacity would we gain by going slower?

    For each extra path we gain 20,000 seats (5.9% capacity uplift) a day. Therefore to gain the same capacity uplift as the 80x's have given us over the HST's we'd need an extra three paths.

    However that would require us going slower (I know the point you are making), however to do do would mean that there's less point HS2 serving York and Leeds from London. Which then means that the paths for those services could then be used by other services. As such only do you increase the total number of paths but you increase the number of paths which each of the remaining services can have.

    However wherever a service goes off HS2 and onto the existing network there's going to be limits on the number of services which can go that way. This further reduced the number of places that the extra and reallocated services can run to. This then means that you'll have to use quite a few more of the paths to serve Manchester and Birmingham.

    However between London and Manchester we've already gained 100% over the existing fleet, and so there's a question of how much more capacity do we need to provide? As if we then end up with doubling the frequency, chances are there would be an over provision (easily 4x the current capacity) and so not all the paths would be needed. Which would paradoxical mean that HS2 could have gone faster anyway as but all those paths would be able to be justified to be run.



    The point of this long introduction is to ask a very valid question. If by going slower it reduces the number of places which could be served and therefore significantly increases the capacity to a relatively few places, why would you need to provide that much capacity from day one?

    Let's just think, how much extra capacity could we be left with? Basically we're going to be limited to each pair of extra paths being allocated 1 each to Birmingham and Manchester. If we gain 6 extra paths (24tph) then that's 6 each at least to Birmingham and Manchester (4x the capacity of the existing), however there'll still be a need for some existing services on the existing network. If we assume 2tph that adds a further 1 HS2 trains worth of capacity, bring the tally to 7 trains.

    Now if we reduce speeds so there's no advantage over London to Leeds, York or Newcastle then that's likely to add at least one extra path each, bringing the total to 8tph or over 5 times the current capacity.

    Whilst it could be needed later down the line, there's the potential to build further HS lines to cater for that. However in the meantime you've been forced to build more capacity for the ECML as well as build HS2. Those additional works are unlikely to be less than the savings from showing down HS2 (see my previous post) and so you'll end up paying more and getting less, unless you can explain what difference going slower on HS2 would make and why it would be useful?

    Now whilst it could be argued that we would benefit from extra paths as otherwise we could find that HS2 would be so successful that we end up running out of capacity and needing to build new HS2 lines to cater for demand. However let's do that when we need to, rather than providing far too much capacity too early on.

    However it should also be noted that such logic would also indicate that we should have built HS2 before now. As such it's unlikely to be a good case for scrapping the project.
     
  19. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Because you don't need as great a separation between trains. The faster you go, the lower the line capacity.
     
  20. The Ham

    The Ham Established Member

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    For those who think otherwise, here's some justification for this being the case:

    More seats per driver (see my previous post about how a 9 coach plus an 11 coach 390 have nearly the same number of seats combined as the HS2 trains).

    Even if you were to have two guards per service this wouldn't increase your costs, however it's unlikely to be justified as the stations will be gated.

    Likewise you could increase catering staff, but chances are you could have 3 on board (1 dedicated to first class, 1 to standard class and 1 to provide support to the other two). However that's still less than the 4 on the existing two services.

    By reducing journey times that means that you need fewer staff to run the same number of diagrams, as rather than it taking 4 hours of traveling time to do London/Manchester it's now 2 hours (simplistically). That's not going to allow staff to run double the services, but easily 50% more. As such you've further cut the cost per passenger over the existing.

    Then there's the rolling stock, by reducing journey times each train can do London Manchester, back and be ready to go again faster. This did from the current ~5 hours to do this to ~3 hours. Now this is where it isn't so straight forward as the HS2 trains are likely to have 16 coaches (25m) compared to the existing 9 or 11 coaches of the 390's.

    Therefore we need to do a bit of maths. Currently 3tph running a mixture of 9+11 coach units. However for simplicity we'll go for 9+9+11. That's 29 coaches an hour, we need them to run for 5 hours before they can start over again, so that's 145 coaches.

    HS2 is 16 coaches for each train, so that's 48 an hour, we need them to run for 3 hours before they can start over again, so that's 144 coaches.

    Therefore we basically need the same number of coaches as we do currently, even though the trains will be longer. As such the cost of the rolling stock won't be any more than currently. However on a per passenger basis it will be lower, as each coach will be used on more services per day than currently the costs will be spread over more people.

    That then means that the running costs per passenger are quite a bit lower, allowing tickets to be sold more cheaply for that element of the ticket.

    Now before anyone gets excited about the big build costs, in going to cover that too. HS2 is expecting to carry 100 million passengers per year. Let's say it's going to cost £100 billion, that means that the cost per passenger in the first year is £1,000.

    However HS2 isn't a scheme which will be of use for 1 year and so that cost can be spread over more people as it's going to last for a number of years.

    When it's spread over 60 years the cost is £16.66 for each passenger movement (so £33.33 for a return ticket). However if you did this over a longer timeframe the costs come down.

    Now clearly for someone doing London to Birmingham that's a lot compared to existing tickets, whilst for someone doing London Scotland that's hardly anything.

    As such the cost would need to be spread out more on a cost per mile traveled.

    Yet even that is only part of the story. Given that this is government spending they can get some of the money back through other sources.

    One such source is tax receipts. If we assume that a driver will be paid £75,000 a year then they will be paying £17,500 in tax. If there's 100 drivers (just a random number with no science behind it) for HS2 services over a 60 year period that's £100 million in taxes.

    However that's just for 1 job and doesn't include the extra value that pay adds to the economy when it is spent. In that those 100 drivers will then need to eat, be housed, have hair cuts, have holidays, undertake hobbies and generally be a fairly normal member of society. All that spending will pay other people who in turn will be taxed who will then spend money and so on.

    That's before you consider that during construction all those workers and construction companies will be paying taxes and so directly paying back money which they've been paid to build HS2 and therefore reducing the true cash cost of HS2.
     
  21. EM2

    EM2 Established Member

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    That depends on the signalling used, amongst a number of other factors, not just the line speed.
     
  22. Ianno87

    Ianno87 Established Member

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    Braaking distance increases proportional to the *square* of speed, so optimal headways are achieved at lower speeds.

    However, High Speed lines speeds are easily capable of providing 3 minute planning headways, which is what you need for 18 trains per hour.
     
  23. JamesT

    JamesT Member

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    Isn’t HS2 being designed with 2.5minute headways to give a capacity of 24tph, but then only using 75% of the paths for reliability?
     
  24. En Attendant

    En Attendant Member

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    I had to sit down and study this post for some time to ascertain just how.many illogical points are made in it.

    The point of lower speed is lower cost and higher capacity.

    Your point about maintaining highest possible speeds to justify HS2 seeving Leeds and points north raises the question of whether it is the best way to serve places so far off its core route.

    You impose this odd arbitrary criterion that any additional paths added to HS2 by increasing capacity must consist of captive services to Manchester and Birmingham. There is no reason whatsoever for that, except maybe you can get the highest absolute number of seats onto HS2 that way. Maybe if the trunk line was cheaper, we could afford a greater extent of captive line, and send more seats to other destinations.

    It doesn't seem to worry you that HS2 will be full from day one, but will not serve many substantial urban areas, will serve others inadequately, and will in some cases lead to a worse service for the cities concerned.

    I keep asking this question on this forum but no-one ever wants to answer it: donpeople who argue that HS2 must be built without any variation whatsoever from the current plan ever ask themselves why the project has so little support, even among people who want to see more people using rail, and why it has virtually no support outside areas which will have enhanced commuter services to Euston following it, and the handful of cities which will receive captive services to their city centres ? I find this particularly odd on a thread which is meant to be about why people are opposed to HS2. Nobody seems to want to address the actual.thread subject.

    Another persistent feature on this thread is that anyone who questions any aspect of HS2 is immediately popped into the 'anti' category. HS2's proponents might perhaps want to reflect on the lack of support for the project and try to get people favourable to the idea of a new north-south line in principle on side.
     
    Last edited: 19 Jan 2020
  25. D365

    D365 Established Member

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    If HS2, as you say, is projected to be running at capacity from day one, what would be the point in diverting it to add additional station stops when the trains are already full?

    Hm, if only we had an existing long distance rail route that could continue to serve said settlements.

    That explains why stophs2 [other anti-progress action groups and political parties available] are doing so well...

    Perhaps the majority of people who are in favour of high speed rail don't feel the need to shout about it.
     
  26. class26

    class26 Member

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    I`ll answer you -

    The lack of support is because there is so much ill informed,. disinformation out there. Speculation based on now much more than gut feelings or prejudice doesn`t get the debate anywhere.

    You comment above that HS2 will not "serve many substantial urban area2 is a good example. It will serve the W Midlands (Birmingham,) manchester, liverpool, Leeds , Newcastle, Glasgow and Edinburgh. the only major urban areas it will not directly serve are Teeside, Bristol and Southampton / Portsmouth but it could never serve the last 2 as they are in completely the opposite direction to HS2.
     
  27. En Attendant

    En Attendant Member

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    Except it won't, really, will it ? It will serve 4 cities with colossal amounts of capacity which far exceed their current demand. It will serve the others with 'classic compatibles' which will not do much to reduce journey times, and which will in at least one case lead to a reduction in the number of available seats compared to the number which the current set-up will provide to that city within a year or two of now.

    Perhaps if HS2's proponents stopped overstating its benefits, fewer people would believe that it won't produce any benefits at all.
     
  28. En Attendant

    En Attendant Member

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    Well, that's a compelling response I must say to people who do not support HS2 because they see a vast amount of money being spent on a line which will not serve where they live.

    I'm not arguing for additional trains in HS2 as planned. I'm arguing for it to be redesigned to provide more capacity.


    Why is it the fault of anti-HS2 groups that HS2's supporters have proved so bad at persuading the public that it is a good idea ?


    That's an interesting way of interpreting silence on the subject. It's equally possible that there are a lot of people who don't agree with the current HS2 plan, but don't feel the need to wade into the debate because HS2's proponents do such a terrible job of arguing its merits
     
    Last edited: 19 Jan 2020
  29. MarkyT

    MarkyT Established Member

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    From respected analyst Piers Connor's excellent paper, 16 tph is a realistic figure for a railway like HS2, possibly with a bit of wiggle room for a little more if ATO is applied, which seems highly likely. 16tph is 75% of 21.33. 16.6 is 75% of 22.1.
    http://www.railway-technical.com/books-papers--articles/high-speed-railway-capacity.pdf
    Braking distance may scale non linearly, but technical and operational headway (in time and thus affecting frequency) does not grow proportional to that because the braking distance is covered in less time as speed increases. Taking it to extremes, a train travelling at infinite speed would be an infinite distance away immediately it passed a specified location allowing another to be dispatched immediately behind it! It should be noted that the main constraints on the headway are about limited junction turnout speed and ability to accelerate into standard paths from these rather than the plain line separation at speed itself.
     
  30. class26

    class26 Member

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    No, It will serve, London , Birmingham, Liverpool, Leeds, Newcastle, Glasgow and Edinburgh. I make that seven. Neither you or I know what will follow phase 2 but the Scots will almost certainly be clamouring for the line to extend into Scotland.
    Which city do you refer to that will have less seats ?
    The full benefits you speak of are by no means being overstated The reverse in fact. There really isn`t time on here to give anything like a full representation of the full benefits. Milton keynes for example. No HS2 trains will stop there but it will benefit hugely.
    Northampton ditto
    Cross Country also benefits. Bristol / Brum and th4e south west to Leeds / Newcastle / Scotland etc , etc
    The list is a long one.

    I am not going to waste any more of my Sunday afternoon typing in the numerous benefits as I suspect you will never be persuaded , Pity

    I challenge you to outline how you think 100 billion could be spent differently to achieve the same benefits even if only capacity
     

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