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

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

  1. En Attendant

    En Attendant Member

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    A lot of talk on here about capacity uplift seems to assume captive services will still run. Maybe you'd better speak to the posters concerned.

    HS2 has little connectivity to the rest of the network. Trains will run off one branch towards Liverpool and Scotland, and off another on a short branch ro Sheffiled and towards Newcastle, and that's it. No additional connections to the south, south west of east. Some extraordinarily myopic features built in eg no northward connection to the line from Sheffield, despite the Sheffield-Leeds service being one of the worst between nearby major cities in the country: no Birmingham-Liverpool HS2 service, leaving instead an almost-all stops service taking 1 hr 45 mins to cover 80 miles.

    Your worries about adding to the cost of HS2 somewhat miss the point. We should be working out what the most urgent problems on the network are, and addressing those. Funny how cost is always wheeled out as an excuse not to do something which deviates from the current HS2 plan, and yet HS2's proponents seem entirely comfortable with the astonishing growth of the cost of fulfilling the current plan.
     
  2. En Attendant

    En Attendant Member

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    Ok, how about Coventry, Wolverhampton, Chester, Shrewsbury, Blackpool, Leicester, the centres of Nottingham and Derby, Bradford, Hull and Sunderland ? All these places are on lines supposedly being supplanted by HS2, yet not served by it. How about some more services to Stoke, so it doesn't end up with fewer trains than it currently has ? How about connecting to anywhere south or south west of Birmingham on the cross-country network, given that the system has been designed with a terminal stub at Brum rather than as a proper bypass for the cross-country route ? How about building a few miles of track north from Sheffield station so that HS2 might get people to Leeds in less than the aeon it currently takes ? How about running a Liverpool-Brum service over HS2 rather than leaving it to rattle on at its current pathetic speed ?

    Of course anything which is designed will have to involve a degree of compromise. I don't think HS2 as planned manages that compromise very well. If it is necessary to engineer it for very high speeds in order to justify using it to supplant the ECML (bearing in mind that it is repeatedly stated on here that it is unlikely that services will initially run at the maximum design speed), maybe the question should be asked whether a different scheme serving ECML destinations (perhaps a bypass section for the southern ECML, expanding to a supplementary high speed line serving cities on the ECML and MML) would be sensible. (If our politicians had any gumption, or if it was possible to build anything in this country that didn't reflect the obsession of the powers that be with the south east, the eastern leg of HS2 would still be built to relieve the slow and congested Birmingham-Leeds corridor). If those speeds are being built to remove demand for air travel between London and Scotland at some future date (it being entirely unknown when, if at all, HS2 will ever reach the border), perhaps other mechanisms which have little to do with rail should be applied to that problem. If, as is always being said on here when anyone suggests that HS2 might be inspired by a national inferiority complex over the speed of trains, it is all about capacity, let's build it in a way which reflects that.
     
  3. FelixtheCat

    FelixtheCat Established Member

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    My emphasis.

    That's what HS2 is...
     
  4. En Attendant

    En Attendant Member

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    Tell me, how will HS2 help sort out the Gordian knot of capacity around Manchester, or tackle other pinch points in the vicinity of Liverpool, Sheffield, Leeds, Newcastle and Glasgow, or enable all those cities (and others) to run frequent local rail services of the sort London enjoys to all of their surrounding areas over tracks which are currently clogged with long-distance trains.

    (I appreciate that some more services between Piccaddilly and Stockport, and New Street and Rugby, may be possible, assuming that any capacity theoretically released by HS2 isn't in fact taken up by residual long distance services running to the places which it doesn't serve.)
     
  5. Facing Back

    Facing Back Member

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    You've confused my slightly. Having a look at the HS2 website there is a connection from northbound from Sheffield Midland heading to Leeds, where classic HS2 trains can join the new track north of Sheffield. There is also no reason why HS2 trains cannot run from Liverpool to Birmingham. I appreciate that there is an impassioned debate about whether "HS2" means "track" or "service" but I'm going with the latter.
     
  6. En Attendant

    En Attendant Member

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    Where is this northbound connection from Sheffield intended to rejoin the HS2 mainline, and what if anything do HS2 plan to do about the congested northern approaches to Sheffield station ?

    I am aware that it would be possible to run a Liverpool-Brum service via HS2, albeit it would spend nearly 40 miles on overcrowded classic tracks before it reached Crewe. Why doesn't HS2 as planned include such a service ?
     
  7. Facing Back

    Facing Back Member

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    I have no idea why a new track between Liverpool and Crewe isn't envisaged for phase 1 or 2 - And I have no problem with it being added so long as it doesn't stop the first shovels hitting the earth.

    As to where the northbound connection from Sheffield rejoins, I refer you to the HS2 website which shows that connection.
     
  8. MarkyT

    MarkyT Established Member

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    I think you're a little out of date on this. NR is investigating raising speeds for non-tilt trains north of Wigan. Pendolinos are relatively heavy for their installed power. Some of this is due to the tilt gear and the heavy bogies necessary to accommodate it in the 'Anglo Italian' model of tilt. More modern trains like the new TPE stock and the future classic compatibles are lighter and more powerful, and could potentially approach or even improve on current Pendolino sectional times overall if they could use their better performance to accelerate more quickly out of restrictive curves, and even improve a little on current non-tilt curve speeds selectively where this is shown to be safe and practical, something that has not been necessary to date because of the Pendolinos' ability alone to exploit the higher EPS (tilt speed) limits and that traction's monopoly on the fastest schedules. Even so, the fastest Pendolinos between Preston - Glasgow typically only improve on 110mph limit TPE Desiros by 17 minutes today, and that's sometimes with three fewer stops (2h 18m vs 2h 35m) than the TPEs. Assuming no non-EPS improvements, it seems plausible a TPE Desiro might be able to do the Pendolino stopping pattern comfortably only 10 minutes slower than today's tilting trains. The new even more powerful CAF and Hitachi TPE trains, and classic compatibles, ought to be able to shave some more from this penalty, even without a review of EPS limits, and with a comprehensive study, and maybe a few minor targetted infrastructure interventions, it is possible the entire 10 minutes might be clawed back. With the full extent of HS2 Phase 2B West, London - Preston will be 50 minutes faster anyway, so even with a 10-minute penalty north thereof, London - Glasgow will be 40 minutes faster overall. Going further some manufacturers are offering active suspension systems that can correct for roll, steer axles, and even provide a small amount of tilt, all with much lighter bogies than the Pendolinos and class 221, thus not affecting acceleration so much. The tilt would be limited to around 1 degree with active 'Wako' roll correction techniques as offered by Bombardier on new trains such as the Swiss Twindexx, providing some small improvements in curve speeds and, along with active axle steering techniques, offering compelling wheel and rail wear benefits compared to today's Pendolino steamrollers. Similar lightweight 1% limited tilt systems are also incorporated in many of the Japanese N700 Shinkansen series trains, which in the latest models has allowed a 30kph increase in permitted speed through the tightest 2500m curves of the original (1965) Tokaido route between Tokyo and Osaka compared to the last non-tilting trains plying the route (285kph vs 255kph). Another advantage of minimal tilt like this is that car body sides need not taper inward towards the ceiling so aggressively as in the Pendolinos and Voyagers. Old APT-style tilt is dead. Long live modern intelligent active lightweight suspension! - edited to show correct phase 2 Preston journey time saving from London: 50mins not 34.
     
    Last edited: 20 Jan 2020
  9. The Ham

    The Ham Established Member

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    London Crewe is set to be 35 minutes faster, that would require North of Crewe to be quite a lot slower.

    If I've got my maths right you'd need 535 miles of 125mph running Vs 110mph running to reduce the journey time savings to 0.

    Given that Crewe to Glasgow is 240 miles the most time lost its 16 minutes, that would only be the case if there were no stops and the line speed was 125mph all the way.

    Given that neither of these is true then the amount of lost time will be less than this.
     
  10. Ianno87

    Ianno87 Established Member

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    If the track capability is there, no reason why it couldn't be added if the numbers stack up for it.

    The HS2 service patters are sinply indicative to demonstrate a case exists for the scheme. A commercial operator with s slightly different hat on may tweak and optimise these further if they see further opportunities.
     
  11. The Ham

    The Ham Established Member

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    It has been proposed that XC consider changing where in Birmingham that their services go so as to be closer to the station at Curzon Street. This alone will aid with transfer between services and so would enable that people would be more likely to change trains.

    When considering whether people will do so you have to look at the amount of time that they will save, given that Birmingham to Leeds will be an hour faster, even taking 30 minutes off of that to allow for changing will make it worth doing for quite a few people.

    I fear that you are trying to make HS2 fix too many problems and therefore trying to have direct services from everywhere to everywhere. The problem with this is that you can always find another place which misses out. Let's assume that we did run services from Southampton, what about Portsmouth and Brighton?

    Anyway much of the South East would be able to access Old Oak Common and therefore improve journey times. Let's take Southampton to Manchester as an example, it currently takes 4:15 to travel on the XC services at a frequency of 1 train an hour, so how long will it take if we go via HS2?

    We can't be sure at this stage, as there's no timetables, however the following gives us a fairly good guide:

    Existing services allow you to travel between Southampton and Paddington in 1:30.

    Euston to Manchester will be 1:10 using HS2.

    Allow 20 minutes to assume that you've just missed the previous Manchester HS2 services.

    Given that it'll take a few minutes to get between Old Oak Common and Euston/Paddington that then gives you your allowance for changing trains.

    That results in a 3 hour journey time, it also allows you to travel twice an hour.

    Now whilst that requires 2 changes of trains the risk of missing your connection at either location is fairly small. We've already allowed for a non perfect connection at Old Oak Common, even if we did so again at Reading (on the southbound journey, on the northbound journey it's less of a problem as Reading to Old Oak Common would be a lot more frequent) it would add a further 30 minutes. This would still be 45 minutes faster.

    If we were to do the same to Birmingham it would be closer.

    Southampton to Birmingham is 2:40.

    We'd still need the same maximum 1:50 to get from Southampton to being on HS2 service and then 0:49 minutes to being at New Street. As such you'd probably not bother, however there's the option to do so if there's problems on the XC network.

    Now whilst you'd see more of an improvement of there was a direct connection with HS2, however how would you do so?

    If you added a junction then that would then impact on the ability to run as many services, especially if it was away from a station.

    Even if you didn't impact on the capacity from the maximum, where do these services run between? Does Southampton justify a direct service to Manchester, what about Leeds?

    Given that HS2 services would be able to carry 1,100 passengers over 400m (2.75 seats/m, which as aside is comparable to 2.7 seats/m of the class 80x's, which would result in 1,076 seats, we could quibble over 24 seats if we like, but it's likely to be there or there abouts), there's unlikely to be need many services running, especially given quite a few of the existing passengers wish to go to other places served before you reach Birmingham.

    As such you're likely to be better off changing trains to get there faster than waiting for the next direct service.

    Whist there could be a case for building a junction to allow SW services to connect to the HS2 network, there would need to be new trains to run the service, as such it's not as easy as just running the existing trains. Therefore the overall picture needs to be considered before building something which may not be usable for some time.
     
  12. class26

    class26 Member

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    Well one line cannot go to EVERY conurbation in the UK , please be realistic otherwise it would have a very strange route. It is a compromise obviously and has to be.
    . The fact that it covers B`ham manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, Newcastle and the Scottish central ticks many boxes
    What you do no acknowledge is that many places that presently have an infrequent inter city service will have a greatly increased service via the WCML. This is crucial to HS2 and a point never emphasised strongly enough.

    Many infrastructure projects it seems go ever budget , not just rail and this endless arguing and dithering only serves to allow prices to go up due to the greater length of time taken to construct the line through inflation
    80 billion / 100 b etc I know this is a big sum when you say it like that but it still isn`t ONE years cost of the NHS and is spread over many years.
     
    Last edited: 20 Jan 2020
  13. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    They won't be double-deck, as only Birmingham will be wholly self contained.
     
  14. En Attendant

    En Attendant Member

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    'Potentially' 'it should' 'it is possible'. Not 'it will'.

    And for £100 bn Glasgow gets.... 24 minutes shaved off. That'll persuade lots of people out of their planes.
     
  15. HSTEd

    HSTEd Established Member

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    This is only because there is currently no need for them to be self contained.

    If they were capacity constrained they would go double deck

    The cost of replacing rolling stock is negligible compared to physical capacity enhancements.

    If the Y is built a very large fraction of the trains over the core will be Captive.
    9/14 or so
     
  16. DynamicSpirit

    DynamicSpirit Established Member

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    I'd be astonished if the engineers who planned out the route didn't consider that option. And on a quick look at Google maps, it looks to me like the M1 has many far tighter curves than would be possible on a 125mph+ railway line (hardly surprisingly because the M1 has presumably been built for speeds of 70mph-ish, not 125mph-ish). There are also a lot of places where there is no spare land on either side of the M1 - most obviously, most of the route from Brent Cross as far as the edge of London. Then there are the issue of bridges etc. HS2 involves bridges over quite a few country lanes that are - I would guess - 5 to 10 m wide. If you closely follow the M1 you're going to have to either build viaducts or tunnel under a fair few motorway junctions that are more like, hundreds of metres long. Somehow I very much doubt that would come out cheaper than HS2. And you also have the problem that the route would likely end up slower than, not faster than, the existing WCML. Not a good option for getting the fastest trains off the WCML.

    I don't think the countryside tunnelling has much to do with the expense of the land - which is generally pretty cheap in countryside. More to do with people wanting to keep the countryside pristine (a factor which strangely didn't seem to apply when the M40 was built through much of the same countryside). The limited gradients on railway lines is probably also a factor.

    That will only work if you're willing to pay to build another new railway line connecting OOC with the bits of London further East (in addition to Crossrail, which by itself will have nowhere near the capacity to accept 18 train-loads of people an hour a large proportion of whom will want to head for central London). I think you'll find that would end up a lot more expensive (and more inconvenient to a lot of people) than just tunnelling HS2 to Euston.
     
  17. En Attendant

    En Attendant Member

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    Except that, all those places will still need to be served by the WCML. The capacity added to it will be minimal. Provincial cities will continue to have pathetic local services by comparison to other more swnsibly-run countries, except (maybe) on a handful.of.lines directly bypassed by HS2.

    You could serve all of these places if, instead of spending your.money on a point to point line between 4 cities running at unfeasible speeds, you built lines bypassing the most congested parts of the WCML which could be used by all WCML services serving the relevant areas.
     
  18. En Attendant

    En Attendant Member

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    As Liverpool-Brum services are as busy as Manchester-Brum ones, this rather calls into question whether the people responsible for these indicative patterns have taken into account where people want to go in planning service patterns.
     
    Last edited: 20 Jan 2020
  19. HSTEd

    HSTEd Established Member

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    There is no excuse for the state of the HS2 budget.

    It stinks of corruption and graft.
    For £106bn you could build the entire damn thing underground and have change left over.
     
  20. En Attendant

    En Attendant Member

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    If I'm the one who is trying to make HS2 do too much, why are you arguing in favour of it being built to very high speed so it can connect London to Leeds via Tamworth faster than the exisTING ECML does ?

    Your entire post illustrates the bunkerised thinking which bedevils HS2. Because someone has decided that there should be a terminal stub at Brum, the whole idea of running XC services directly from the eastern leg towards the south and south west has been lost. Yes people can change (after however long a transfer from New St on foot or (maybe) tram - where else realistically will the XC services realistically stop ? - but why does no-one seem to have considered the option of just running the trains through to existing track ? XC needs new trains (and electrification, and line speed and capacity improvements) regardless of whether HS2 is built.

    You keep saying 'if you add x to the network you'll also have to add y', as if this is a bad thing. If, instead of point to point lines between a few cities, we planned new lines improving capacity as necessary across the network, we could bring higher capacity and faster services to all the places currently served by long distance trains.

    Aanother point you make which underscores the problems with how HS2 has been planned is your suggestion that HS2 should be lauded for making many journeys quicker via London than via out of London routes. Should we really be encouraging more travel demand towards London, while non-London long distance routes remain, in general, a shambles ? But, because HS2 has been planned essentially to connect London (and to.a lesser degree, Birmingham) to a handful.of cities faster, while making life better for commuters into London from the area to its northwest? This is the inevitable effect.
     
  21. En Attendant

    En Attendant Member

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    Quite. Even HS2's strongest proponents should be concerned about this, as it is doing more to undermine their aspirations than anything else HS2's opponents could throw at it
     
  22. En Attendant

    En Attendant Member

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    Hence why I said 'M1 corridor' ie broadly following its route, not going up the hard shoulder. Who knows, yoummight even be able to serve some places between Brum and London.

    I appreciate that, whatever direction you approach London from, you will need to.put the last few miles in tunnel.


    I suspect you'll find that land in the sought after and well-heeled Chilterns is pretty expensive, by country standards. And whatever the reason for it, HS2 certainly relies on an awful.lot of tunneling.


    What about those Crossrail trains which will be terminating at Paddington ? Euston seems to cope, albeit not spectacularly well, with distributing its passengers on to a collection of tune lines which are already busy with London commuters.
     
  23. DynamicSpirit

    DynamicSpirit Established Member

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    Oh don't get me wrong. I'm very concerned about the amount. It does seem very high and I'd certainly like to know the reasons for that.I'm also sympathetic to your concerns about connections terminal stations and connections with the existing network. Personally I'd feel a lot more comfortable if all the stations were built as through stations, and Birmingham Interchange was sited where the existing Birmingham International station was and the line served Nottingham City Centre and so on and so on. But there comes a point where you have to accept that engineers and planners who know far, far, more than I do about the building railway lines have spent years studying possible routes and assessing all the various compromises you need to make to get something that's viable, and these people do actually probably know how to do their jobs. And if this is the route that those experts who have worked full time on the project have decided is the best route, then we need to accept that and get the thing built, rather than going back to the drawing board and delaying another 10 years or so while people try to work out a different route that satisfies all the competing demands various interest groups have.

    I also feel more confident in accepting the route because on a number of occasions on this forum when I've questioned aspects of HS2, only to find some of those here who are involved with the rail industry patiently explain in depth why the 'obvious' solution that I thought would be better wouldn't actually work. (I realise you're relatively new here so you wouldn't have seen those discussions).

    And I get the imipression that a lot of your objections amount to something like, 'don't build it because it's not absolutely perfect in every way'. Unfortunately, if we took that attitude, we'd never build anything.
     
    Last edited: 20 Jan 2020
  24. DynamicSpirit

    DynamicSpirit Established Member

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    If you mean, terminating from the East, I'm pretty sure they will only be terminating at Paddington because OOC won't have opened and HS2 won't have been built when CR opens. I'm also pretty sure that once OOC opens, those trains will terminate at OOC, not at Paddington.

    You still won't have enough capacity. Crossrail will have something like 24 tph, each one shorter than the HS2 trains (half the length in the case of 'captive' HS2 trains). At least half of those CR trains will be coming from places like Heathrow, Maidenhead and Reading, and so, heading Eastwards, will be already half-full by time they reach OOC. And they won't just have HS2 passengers to contend with. An awful lot of people will arriving at OOC from places like Reading, Bristol, Oxford, and Cardiff on GWR trains, and you can expect a very high proportion of those people will be expecting to change to Crossrail at OOC to complete their journeys into central London. There's just no way Crossrail would be able to cope with all those people AND everyone off HS2 if HS2 didn't run through to Euston.
     
  25. 60019

    60019 Member

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    HS2 is going to use tapered, baffled, tunnel mouth shrouds to reduce the piston effect, with some improvements over the versions used on other recent lines. The long noses on Shinkansen trains are needed because their tunnels lack those mouth structures and it would be difficult in many cases to retrofit them.

    You'd probably end up using the old alignment as far as Teigngrace, if not Heathfield, because that's pretty much the only corridor out of Newton Abbot in the right direction. The Exeter end is harder, because the levels around Alphington make it difficult to cut through the post-closure road network, so the line would have to either thread around Exminster and Matford past the end of the M6, or come in from the north via what's left of Riverside Yard (which means a reversal)

    I wonder if some of the chilterns environmental preservation hassles both HS2 and GWML electrification could be bought off by the government offering to restore the hills there, as has been proposed for Twyford Down. Even if it was more expensive (which it probably would be, at least in the short term), it would be a headache for Highways England instead of Network Rail, and the environmental benefit would be greater.
     
  26. FelixtheCat

    FelixtheCat Established Member

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    Astonishingly, HS2 doesn't solve every single capacity problem in the country. Here's an abridged copy & paste job from something I wrote:
    Full version here.


    HS2 originally planned Sheffield to be a through station at Meadowhall. However, the local council wanted the line to come right into the city centre. It was not possible (without vast disruption and additional cost) to have a through station in the city centre, so it was made a dead-end terminus. Thus, this change is the fault of the local council.

    I guess that it's because the current Liverpool - Birmingham service is more of a Regional Express than an InterCity service.
     
  27. Nicholas Lewis

    Nicholas Lewis Member

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    HS2 is touted as a capacity project by many of its defenders and when pressed say the issue is congestion south end of WCML which is probably the correct diagnosis but for reasons that are largely self inflicted by this industries current structure. Namely WMT/LNWR running long distance trains which should start further North and too much freight traffic, which could be routed via other routes, all eating into capacity. Even with HS2 we are looking at min 10 years to fix any of this so action needs to be taken now to optimise the route for national needs and hopefully the Williams review will move us to a concession based operation whereby operators arent competing against each other but that services patterns are built around traffic flows and decent guaranteed interchanges with connecting services are planned in for feeder and secondary traffic.
     
  28. FelixtheCat

    FelixtheCat Established Member

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    How would a train coming from further north increase capacity?

    Where would the freight trains go?
     
  29. D365

    D365 Established Member

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    Take Milton Keynes as an example, which is a town that will benefit from HS2 (despite not being served by HS2). You say that HS2 should follow the M1 corridor. The M1 itself goes nowhere near the city centre, so you'd already be looking at a different (read: compromised) alignment just to serve MKC station. And then you end up with exactly the same problem as now, funnelling trains through the same station corridor.

    I'd love to see answers to this, especially your latter question. I can't see where WCML freight flows could be rerouted easily.
     
  30. si404

    si404 Member

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    Indeed.

    To add:
    1) the reason that HS2 tunnels in the Chilterns is because it's the Chilterns - which have been proposed by the Glover review of designated landscapes to be England's next National Park. You could run it flat along the valley bed that forms a fairly flat corridor through (and I do mean through - there's a reason the Grand Union Canal, West Coast Mainline, Great Central Mainline and M1 were all initially proposed going through the Chilterns at the Misbourne-Wendover corridor (the GCML half does, but from Missenden south it avoids it)) the Chilterns not that far off a straight line between London and Birmingham (it is on a straight line between Denham and Solihull). NIMBYs in Amersham and surrounds, coupled with YIMBYs in Herts, moved the London-Birmingham line east onto more hilly routes), with minimal demolition/tunnelling (you'd have to have a short tunnel in the Old Amersham vicinity, and another under Chalfont St Peter), but you create issues with the chalk stream ecology, the scenic quality of the AONB, etc. So the route is heading along the sides of the valley, which means tunnels and deep cuttings to deal with gradients, and visual impact.

    2) the reason that the M1 (we'll ignore the urban bit in London, and the bit through Luton/Dunstable that they physically cannot widen the alignment of the motorway without demolishing loads of housing - these bits would clearly be tunneled) is due to running through the Chilterns against the grain. OK, this part of the Chilterns is mostly not protected (purely as when they examined land to protect, someone had built a motorway there 5 years earlier! That and Herts wanted to expand Hemel and St Albans), but there's no way you will run a route that's 200km/h in that corridor that doesn't have fairly heavy earthworks and or viaducts/tunnels - to get over the more-developed-that-the-current-route 'nothing' and to deal with the hills. The M1 gets nearly as high as HS2 will, despite travelling through a lower bit of the Chilterns (the M40 at Stokenchurch crosses the 250m contour as it too ignored the natural flow of the land, HS2 will get to 160m, the M1 140m. But the M1 sits atop the hills there, whereas HS2 is always down the bottom).

    3) the reason that HS1-esque follow motorways but smooth out corners approach wasn't taken with HS2 was due to the big environmental problems created by narrow islands of land trapped between railway on one side and motorway on the other, making it difficult for animals to escape and all that.

    So a longer, slower, more-environmentally destructive route is proposed with apparently little reduction in cost. Why? What gains are there? Luton would be hard to serve (assuming a 4-track alignment) given the need for a tunnel to get past the urban area.
     

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