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

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

  1. MightyTRexUK

    MightyTRexUK Member

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    So if the trains are full from day 1 with the current proposed destinations how will adding more destinations help. Won't these people not be able to board a full service. Also these people who were taking up space on the trains going to places like Manchester, Birmingham etc.. A good number will move to hs2, therefore they will be able to have a better service with more space.
     
  2. class26

    class26 Member

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    ............and of course if it is full from day 1 that means it has been confounded the doom mongers and we had better start planning for its successor NOW !
     
  3. si404

    si404 Member

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    Indeed, I believe a major constraint on HS2 pathing is airflow issues only allowing 1 train between ventshafts in the bored tunnels between Old Oak and South Heath. Therefore lower speed means longer to clear the section between shafts and thus either higher costs to build more shafts or longer headways and less frequency! I'm sure 300km/h isn't a problem, but slower might be.

    And, as the line's alignment is designed, lowering the minimum design standard is pointless as a cost-saving exercise as costs of redesigning will cancel out what small savings in cost might be achieved (especially as we've already done a round or two of value engineering looking at things like lower speed alignments in places). Where there might be a saving is rolling stock, but the plan was always to go with what already existed and then modify that for stuff like level boarding when it came to train spec setting, rather than ask for 400km/h just because that's the design speed. 300km/h will be fine, for now. By 2200 (which is closer to now than the WCML to Euston opening) they will probably running trains that can and do do more than 400km/h on the alignment.
     
  4. MarkyT

    MarkyT Established Member

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    Agreed deliberately descoping the alignment design speed to simply what track, train and signalling can achieve today economically would be ludicrous. Gentler curvature, in particular, will still be of benefit for wear and tear reduction regardless of the speed attained. Had Brunel caved in and built a much cheaper (say) 60mph limited GWR alignment in the 1840s, today's high-speed services would not have been possible, or the higher costs and complexities of heavier tilt trains would have been required in the 1990s, as on the WCML.
     
  5. TrafficEng

    TrafficEng Member

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    If so, wouldn't it be the case that similar principles should apply to domestic services on HS1, with the additional benefit the line is shared with Eurostar and some freight services to help defray the capital (and maintenance) costs?

    Ok, the volumes might be different, but if a passenger only spends half the time on a Javelin than they would on a classic route train then the principles you outlined regarding costs ought to apply. Thus resulting in cheaper fares on the HS1 route.

    Does anyone have figures comparing HS1 fares to equivalent classic route fares?

    Personally I'd expect the Government to want to recover the billions sunk into HS2 as quickly as possible with HS2 being marketed as a 'premium' service with fares increased to match. The removal of equivalent service capacity on the classic routes creates a captive market that has to pay the increased fares or else endure interminable journeys on the new stopping services we've been promised will populate the classic lines.
     
  6. Purple Orange

    Purple Orange Member

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    The price of HS2 trains will surely be set in order to recover as much cost as possible as quickly as possible, but that does not mean fares will be higher. Higher fares may mean trains that are not full, but lower fares may mean a packed train from day 1. No doubt somebody in HS2 has been doing an analysis of price v volume to establish the optimum price points, which could be lower for an average ticket than it is today, but the train service is brining in the most revenue possible.
     
  7. TrafficEng

    TrafficEng Member

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    Since posting I've been looking through other parts of this thread and see the subject of fare levels has been a matter of discussion before and appears somewhat controversial.

    My take on the posts I've read is there is 'no evidence' that fares will be increased. Which presumably means there is no evidence they will be decreased either.

    May be best to park the discussion there then.
     
  8. MarkyT

    MarkyT Established Member

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    Fair enough. Current peak time walk-on flexible fares on WCML are already eyewatering, as are equivalent air fares. HS2 merely moves the 'same' fast trains to new infrastructure, so I'd expect fares to be very similar in real terms at similar times of the day. Yield management techniques will, I suspect, incentivise the unloading of some extremely good value tickets at less popular times simply due to the capacity available.
     
  9. Meerkat

    Meerkat Established Member

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    HS2 fares will be yield managed. That is likely to make them initially cheaper in order to fill the significant capacity increase.
    My concern is whether competition will be allowed, or whether franchise specs on WCML/Chiltern are fixed to prevent a slower cheaper alternative.
     
  10. Ianno87

    Ianno87 Established Member

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    Doesn't stop Chiltern/LNWR today if such a thing were possible...
     
  11. Meerkat

    Meerkat Established Member

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    WCML doesn’t have loads of seats to fill
     
  12. JonathanH

    JonathanH Established Member

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    If fares are set higher, it leads to resentment of the investment. 'Why did you build HS2 to make our journeys on the old route that we were totally happy with slower?'

    Ten years on from the domestìc services on HS1 starting, services between Tonbridge and Ashford or Bromley South and Medway are still slower than they were before HS1 opened and there aren't more of them.

    The fact that the operator of fast trains on the WCML and HS2 is the same is clearly intended to ensure that the service on the fast lines on the WCML does not compete with the service on HS2.

    As for Chiltern / the local operator on the WCML, I think that one of the problems of HS2 in people's minds is the fact that it challenges the current situation.

    Should any future fast trains from Newcastle or Leeds to London on HS2 if the later phases don't get scrapped be run by the same operator as the WCML or ECML?
     
  13. The Ham

    The Ham Established Member

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    Why do we need more capacity than double the existing, with then now retained in the existing WCML?

    If we slow down the trains to get more capacity, other than the core stations where else will these extra service be able to serve? Given that the existing rail lines are very busy and is the main point of providing a new pair of lines.

    It's unlikely that extra services to Scotland could run, or if so maybe one or two.

    However if we're gaining 6 that still leaves 4.

    Although that's only half the story as the London Leeds/York/Newcastle times won't be faster, so there's likely to be extra paths so as to not over provide capacity. Such could provide extra paths to be used to serve, where exactly?

    Before you suggest other urban places which are currently served by WCML services, these will benefit by the majority of long distract services being removed from the WCML. Whilst those which remain will have fewer passengers on board, which then provides more space for those areas.

    However if it is such a roaring success then there's going to be a good case for expanding the High Speed lines which we have. However in the meantime we need to create a line which tries to bring the widest number of benefits to as many people as possible. That is likely to look like something which doesn't do everything is trying to do well (Jake of all trades and master of none), however that doesn't mean that we shouldn't build it. What we should do though is to ensure that if we were to expand the network that there is consideration given to how this would work.

    I would suggest that there's a lot of opposition from groups of people who fall into some of the following camps:
    - those who want to pay as little tax as possible and don't like big infrastructure projects
    - those who don't want rail (for many reasons, sometimes linked to the above)
    - those who it impacts on that they are being required to move
    - those who want to carry on flying and see that HS2 could limit the numbers doing so, which in turn is likely to reduce the number of services available to them
    - those who want to stop the over development of the UK or other environmental reasons
    - those who think that it will harm the existing rail network (remember that Beeching's idea was to cut the local lines and create a core intercity route to make it profitable)
    - those that want better rail for the services which directly benefit them, which HS2 doesn't
    - other reasons which I've not identified

    On the supporting side there's quite a much shorter list.

    Then there's a whole load of people who don't care much either way.

    As such the level of support is likely to be, or at least appear, much lower.

    Many of those who support HS2 then try and explain why it's needed, why some of the arguments against are flawed and generally try and inform as to why if should gain more support.

    Even if that more support is so that those who like driving don't have to share the roads with as many other people are now people then use rail.
     
  14. MarkyT

    MarkyT Established Member

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    Here is the 2011 Andrew McNaughton document for HS2 about headway that the Piers Connor document references:
    https://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~jdamery/tmp/hs2 minimum headway august2011 v3 1 final.pdf
    I do not believe that any additional practical capacity could be created by reducing the operational speed due to the phenomenon that although the braking distance expands with the square of the speed, that distance is covered more quickly as speed increases, so time interval separation, and thus headway frequency, scales far more linearly. The predominant factor is the converging junction speed constraint, and the ability of a train joining the mainline to accelerate to linespeed within a standard path. Clearly, if the mainline speed is a little lower then the speed difference to overcome is smaller, but I don't believe there is any moderate to high-speed intercity operation anywhere that achieves more than about 20tph, which is nearly what HS2 aims to achieve anyway. Any more than that would be operationally fragile, and unabe to recover easily from even the smallest perturbations. I don't really have a strong opinion on what the operational speed should be initially except that it must be achievable by all trains sharing the particular sections concerned to maximise capacity. That could differ on the various Phase 2 sections and compared with the Phase 1 / 2A trunk depending on what the intended traffic mix will be viz a viz Northern Powerhouse / Midlands Engine services that may share various parts of the infrastructure and what rolling stock such operators intend to acquire.
     
  15. AndrewE

    AndrewE Established Member

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    etc., etc.
    There is no doubt that Virgin price-gouging has resulted in some lightly-loaded WCML trains when you would expect peak-hour services to be full-to-bursting (especially given the airline style yield-management that we were told that Franchised TOCs would bring.) In fact they don't give a toss about numbers of passengers transported, just maximum cash yield... Who'd have thought it?
    So how well are we going to control the operator of HS2? Please don't say "The Regulator will manage it" because there is hardly one of them that has any credibility at all.
    We need a publically-accountable operator with a public transport remit. Nothing else works, as we have found out to our cost.
     
  16. HSTEd

    HSTEd Established Member

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    When you can stack 14+ 400m double deck trains per hour, there is no real way a single main line axis can possibly saturate that.

    And that's with intercity seat layouts.

    So the line has to pull traffic from all three north-south main lines.
     
  17. En Attendant

    En Attendant Member

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    You're still not getting this. You're writing off everyone who doesn't agree with every aspect of HS2 as planned as being somewhere on a spectrum between neoliberal nutjobs and dungaree-clad railway nostaligsts. You cannot recognise that there are a fair number of people like me who support the principle of more rail capacity between north and south but don't agree with the way HS2 intends to provide it.

    The fact that you cannot envisage what other services HS2 could provide if its capacity was greater sums up your worldview nicely.
     
  18. En Attendant

    En Attendant Member

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    If you read what I've actually written, you will see that I am suggesting extra track capacity (albeit running at Lowe speeds) to serve more people (and more places) rather than building something very expensive and very full.

    I don't know what "Also these people who were taking up space on the trains going to places like Manchester, Birmingham etc.. A good number will move to hs2, therefore they will be able to have a better service with more space" means.
     
  19. En Attendant

    En Attendant Member

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    Commuters north west of London will benefit, but I'm not sure that's going to help you sell the project to the millions across the country who question why nothing is built in this country which isn't designed to benefit the people of the south east.

    The benefits to anywhere outside London, Manchester, Birmingham and Leeda will be marginal. Even the last 3 cities mentioned will not benefit that much because, instead of improving capacity generally for long distance services in and around those cities, we will have very expensive but very limited infrastructure designed only to link them to a couple of other places, meaning that HS2 will relieve relatively few classic lines. Places not on the classic lines will see fairly marginal improvements to journey times and no improvements to capacity. The city which will see reduced capacity is Liverpool - due to have 2 TPH to London fairly shortly, willhave 2 classic compatibles carrying fewer people than 2 11 car Pendolinos.

    You might find me easier to persuade if you stopped pretending that HS2 as currently designed will benefit far more people than it actually will.

    Glad to see that you accept that HS2 will actually cost £100 bn, which at least makes you.more honest than some of its proponents. A cheaper, higher capacity new line from north to south, and a start on fixing the many other capacity constraints in our network, is what I'd do with £100 bn.
     
  20. JonathanH

    JonathanH Established Member

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    I don't see how you avoid this? Are you suggesting a need for stations on the route if HS2 on 'greenfield' sites? That really isn't what it is about.
     
  21. En Attendant

    En Attendant Member

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    Surely if speeds on the mainline are reduced, the problem of the turnout speed from the branches will reduce. And aren't the branches designed to enable trains to reach close to main line speed before joining the main line ?
     
  22. En Attendant

    En Attendant Member

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    I don't know where you get the stuff about greenfields from. I'm suggesting that, instead of building what is essentially a network incompatible with the rest of the network which connects 4 cities, we should build new capacity at the many points (including on the approaches to and around the centre of) several of our major cities where it is necessary. I accept that this includes a new line leading north west from London because of the constraints on the WCML. I don't think HS2 as planned best suits this purpose.
     
  23. JonathanH

    JonathanH Established Member

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    I thought you were implying a need for more stations on the HS2 route.

    Didn't they get rid of the idea of having captive rolling stock?

    How does it only link four cities? Doesn't it have connections to the rest of the network?

    Does this add disproportionately to the cost?
     
  24. The Ham

    The Ham Established Member

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    In not writing off people as nut jobs, I was explaining why it would appear that there's not a lot of support for HS2. I didn't give a view as to why they hold those views or even if those views were any more or less valid than those who support HS2. In fact there's probably some who support HS2 who are benefiting from the project (although not everyone, as some suggest).

    I certainly don't think that HS2 as planned is perfect and I'm willing to listen to those who provide an argument as to why it should be changed. However, the problem is that whatever we do is likely to result in a compromise.

    The compromise currently being put forward is that we opt for a lower frequency of services to facilitate the linking of the ECML to the network to ease capacity constraints on that without the need for additional works/lines.

    The fact that we'll provide double the current capacity on HS2 due to the capacity of the trains allows us to do this.

    If we need more capacity at a later date then we'll cross that bridge at that point in time, however that's not something that we should be overly concerned about just yet.

    We could build HS2 so that it served more individual places, for instance we could make it serve Coventry, we could even make it serve Cardiff. However without knowing where you're suggesting, other than just vague "urban areas" then how can we evaluate your suggestion.

    If you look back through this thread you'll come across the suggestion of smart timetabling, however the person suggesting it didn't provide an answer as to what that looked like and so there was no way of comparing this against what was proposed.

    Going back to the suggestions above of Coventry and Cardiff both would likely increase costs (although the latter much more so), not least due to the need to buy more urban land with the developments on that land.

    I've asked you explain where the HS2 services would go if not the core stations, I've even suggested that it's unlikely that we'd be able to prove then to many places away from the HS2 network. As such can you please explain where those extra, let's say 6 to start with, trains would serve?

    Are you taking about extra stops on the HS2 network? Are you taking about more places beyond the HS2 lines?

    Whilst it is possible to increase the capacity by going slower, that capacity has to be useful and has to be justified. For instance there's little point serving Banbury (population ~44,000) at its just too small to justify a train with 1,100 seats calling at it in a regular basis. As it's 2.8 million passengers a year would just about fit onto 4 HS2 trains a day. Even allowing for other passengers you'd not need much more than 1tph and that's assuming that those Banbury passengers all want to go where the HS2 services are going.
     
  25. DynamicSpirit

    DynamicSpirit Established Member

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    Since you seem to be implying that everything that is built benefits the people of the South East, I wonder if you could explain how the following recently built railway things are designed to benefit the people of the South East?
    • The Tweedbank line
    • Manchester-Liverpool/Blackpool electrification
    • Manchester Metrolink expansions
    • The Halton Curve
    • The Ebbw Vale line
    • Glasgow-Edinburgh electriification
    • The Liverpool Lime Street capacity improvements and 4-tracking towards Broad Green
    • Ilkestone station
    • The Alloa line
     
  26. The Ham

    The Ham Established Member

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    How is HS2 not compatible with the rest of the network?

    I'll give you that you can't run through trains at Manchester, which quite a few people would suggest is a failing of HS2. Especially given that we're wanting to build NPR .

    However the train services will serve places like Glasgow and Edinburgh (amongst others), which are just a little way off the HS2 infrastructure.
     
  27. DynamicSpirit

    DynamicSpirit Established Member

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    If you accept that this requires a new line leading NW from London, how do you propose to build this line more cheaply than HS2? Bear in mind that much of the high cost of the Southern part of HS2 comes from tunnelling out of London and building what amounts to a new underground station at Euston, which would be presumably be just as much required by any alternative new line. Also, HS2 almost entirely runs through open countryside between London and Birmingham - which is the cheapest and least disruptive place to build it. You seem to be suggesting you want a line that stops at more places. That presumably implies you'd need to route it through some towns instead - which is an awful lot more expensive than routing a railway through open countryside.

    (Also I'm pretty sure HS2 is quite compatible with the rest of the network. If it wasn't, they wouldn't be proposing classic-compatible trains that can run off HS2 onto the conventional network).
     
  28. En Attendant

    En Attendant Member

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    You've answered your own questions. I'd be looking at another route into London involving less tunnelling eg along the M1 corridor. If I had to approach from the northwest, I'd try to avoid having to tunnel under quite so much of the 'open countryside'. Maybe pick somewhere where land was not quite so expensive. Also, I would probably rest content with a station at Old Oak Common rather than spending billions more heading to Euston (which I suspect will be little more pleasant for passengers in 2026 than it is now).

    HS2 is not compatible with the existing network in the sense that it relies on UIC gauge trains to provide much of the capacity uplift promised, but the money is not available to build lines to this standard to more than a handful of destinations. Perhaps it would be if we weren't spending quite so much on a route designed to achieve unprecedented speeds far above what the trains are actually likely to run at.
     
  29. En Attendant

    En Attendant Member

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    HS2 will make the services to Scotland from south of Crewe slightly faster. It will lead to journeys beginning north of Crewe being slowed down, because of the lack of tilt capability of the classic compatibles
     
  30. En Attendant

    En Attendant Member

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    I wonder what fraction of the overall cost of HS1, or Crossrail, the combined cost of all those projects would represent.
     

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