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

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

  1. TrafficEng

    TrafficEng Member

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    For clarity - the person quoted is an Infrastructure Commissioner, and this one is a 'she' not a 'he'.

    "The Commissioners provide expert, impartial advice to the government on infrastructure".
    https://www.nic.org.uk/who-we-are/

    The Government are currently reviewing the scope of HS2, and quite possibly whether it happens at all. The horse may still get humanely destroyed. The water may still be diverted.

    I'm sure if any of the Infrastructure Commissioners happen to be reading this thread on a public forum they will be highly amused to know their views have been equated to "hot air".

    Out.
     
  2. MarkyT

    MarkyT Established Member

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    A terminal can point into a city with its narrow 'head-end' at the buffer stops. The bulk of the construction in what you suggest would have to be a little further east than planned today to allow for the throat and curve at the east end, which could put the public entrances and certainly the platforms further from the city centre and Moor St and New St stations. More significantly, it would place the eastern approach at a much lower level that would probably require more surface land acquisition or possibly tunnelling. All in all, more expense I would think. The other factor is that Curzon St as a terminal is already largely designed and ready for construction, consulted, with planning formalities completed, and integrated with a broader regeneration plan. A complete change of concept would set all this back, cost billions more no doubt, and much of its benefit would be contingent on commitment to further modernisation and electrification of lines heading south and west (not that that shouldn't go ahead at some point anyway, but please remember we cannot build everything at once). To cap it all, any train coming from the eastern leg then going south via Coventry to Oxford and beyond would probably still have to reverse in the new station anyway unless you build a vast new loop line around the west of the city with connections to both the Gloucester and Oxford routes.

    As I said before there's more time and opportunity to revise Manchester Piccadilly and integrate it into NPR. In that respect I agree with the Oakervee conclusions. I'd prefer a through underground design for NPR platforms, with a 'boomerang tunnel' included if necassary, as there will be a lot of east-west trains concentrated on that corridor, which will not likely be splitting and joining unlike my suggestions for XC trains Curzon Street. That shouldn't be a problem, as all trains are going to stop at Piccadilly, so the speed penalty of a tight curve will not be important. If the tunnel isn't practical then I'd accept engineering advice on that.

    While on the one hand, you criticise the cost of the current scheme, much of what you suggest would add huge cost and further delay to the start of any construction.
     
  3. The Ham

    The Ham Established Member

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    Where has anyone suggested that XC services will ceases to run? (I have on other thread suggested that there may be limited value in XC to run services between Birmingham and Manchester on the South Coast services with a view to improving services through Manchester, but I've also shown why XC services from the South Coast would also benefit, without the need to run across stations, from HS2).

    As if they do cease to exist then there'll be a load of stations which are missed. As such, although HS2 will attract passengers from XC services, those XC services will continue to exist.
     
  4. En Attendant

    En Attendant Member

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    If I have identified the site proposed for the HS2 station (the huge open area alongside Curzon Street, bisected by New Canal St) it is already a substantial way east of the city centre and the existing stations. Adding a western throat and curve will not make much difference.

    'We've already spent billions on a suboptimal plan' is, as I've said before several times on this thread, not the best argument I have ever heard in favour of a very expensive infrastructure project, particularly when the design is going to lock an obvious flaw into the network, well, forever really.

    'The line towards Bristol will.need work on it' is, frankly, a rubbish excuse when that work needs done anyway, HS2 or no HS2. Again, the necessity of sticking to the letter of the current HS2 plan is being used as a reason by an HS2 supporter to avoid investment elsewhere on the network.

    Why do you need to split and join XC services at Brum ? In my experience, they're as crowded south of New St as north. And if XC services were diverted onto HS2's eastern leg, it's not as if you'd need to join them because there weren't enough paths.

    I have to say that, on this particular point, the same arguments keep being repeated to justify HS2-as-is, and they're bot getting any more convincing with repetition.
     
  5. En Attendant

    En Attendant Member

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    Several posters on this thread have argued that there is no need to provide a south/southwestern connection from HS2 to XC at Brum because everyone will be able to change to HS2 at Brum. That suggested to me that they were advocating XC stopped running north of Brum. Unless we're keeping XC, largely to serve Burton-on-Trent, and releasing approximately zero capacity between Brum and Derby (at least) by building the eastern leg of HS2.
     
  6. The Ham

    The Ham Established Member

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    True, however what about those who have come from the SW or South and have changed at Old Oak Common or are going the other way, to get to/from the lower ECML?
     
  7. class26

    class26 Member

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    Except we are building for services faster than anywhere in the world's, and speeds which (many on here accept) HS2 services will never reach, and increasing cost, and reducing capacity, in the process[/QUOTE]

    You are wrong, it is being future proofed which is sensible as no one , even you can predict what technology will come along in 10, 20 years time
     
  8. class26

    class26 Member

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    But if it was that expensive from the start it would never get the light of day.
     
  9. si404

    si404 Member

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    This post of yours is yet again the willful refusal to actually engage with the thrust of what I was saying, and to misrepresent it (and what the infrastructure commissioner said!). :rolleyes:

    The horse might yet get turned into glue, but it's not going to be brought back into the stable and turned from a racehorse into a pack horse. The costs of doing so will wipe out the savings - and you clearly know that to be true because you actively do not engage with it. The waters may be diverted away from the bridge but the ones we're talking about has long gone under the bridge. There's no rescoping the design speed of the alignment and so discussing changing it is a load of guff.

    Nowhere does Bridget Rosewell (sorry Bridget, in the unlikely event you are bothering to read this thread, you are a woman working for the Infrastructure Commission - I apologise for using a generic he to refer to you and for getting who you belong to wrong. I just read the quotes given because that was what was being highlighted.) say that the line should be replanned to a lower design speed. She says that she has never understood the decisions made on speed, that it affected the route alignment and was a mistake. She's then suggested capping train speeds at 320km/h not 360km/h (bare in mind that the design speed is 400km/h), to save money on trains by not pushing the boundaries one which is fair enough and something that I myself said yesterday/Saturday was sensible (I went further and said 300km/h) - that is something else.
     
  10. The Ham

    The Ham Established Member

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    Several posters have said that adding a XC junction to HS2 wouldn't be advisable (due to lack of electrification & difficulty in providing bimodal trains which would be fast enough) and that people would be able to change trains.

    I don't recall anyone even hinting that XC services would cease to run. Unless I've missed something, can you highlight where someone has done so which I've missed?
     
  11. MarkyT

    MarkyT Established Member

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    The planned head end of the terminus is just over the road from Moor Street's entrance and the adjacent Bullring centre. It's a few minutes walk through the St Martins Queensway tunnel to New Street. It's hardly out of the relatively compact centre, although clearly on the edge. I wouldn't want to move the westernmost entrance any further east though. I simply don't agree that reversals are the big deal you make out. Reversing as a concept was suggested by me much earlier in this thread, whereby a full length HS trains from the NW or NE could split in the 7 platform Curzon St terminus with portions working on to the South Coast or South West. That would maximise capacity per path on each northern branch while keeping half-hourly frequency on each route heading south. Each portion would be a 200m set, so considerably higher capacity than most of the Voyager formations currently used.

    Here's my idea for the classic connection from the terminus throat. Platforms 1-3 would be London services, 4-5 for northern departures, and 6-7 for trains going south and west:
    curzon5.jpg
     
  12. The Ham

    The Ham Established Member

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    There's a problem, many who support HS2 want it to go ahead (as well as improvements to the existing network), however if we extend the scope of the project that increases the cost.

    If we add various additional parts to the scheme then the overall cost of the scheme increases.

    Given the fact that many are opposed due to the cost if there was a headline figure of (say) £200 billion then that's more likely to leave the country with no HS2 or any of the improvements which could be developed following is building (including a link to the South West).

    The operational speed of HS2 is expected to be 320kph (which other countries do have lines and trains which run at that does) but with the potential for higher speeds. That potential is only to design it so that the design doesn't inhibit the potential to do so at a later date.

    Likewise it could be possible to increase the frequency by lowering speeds at a later date, however to do so would likely reduce the benefits to Leeds/York/Newcastle's journey time to/from London.

    Such a reduction in speed could be possible at a later date, however to do so would most likely be most beneficial if there was a further HS line following a more direct route towards the East Coast of the UK.

    Such a line could run from a different London Central station to an Eastern outer hub station before going onto Cambridge and then onwards to Leeds/York before either heading to Newcastle or serving it.

    We could then build another HS line from the West which connects at Old Oak Common and the Eastern outer hub station and onwards to HS1.

    The cost? Probably high enough that if you put it out into the public domain that it would likely kill all HS projects. However over a 20 to 40 year period would make it affordable.

    That would be in ADDITION to improvements to the existing network.

    I would be surprised if many, if any, of those who support HS2 would object to the principal of extra HS lines and continued speeding on the existing network.
     
  13. jfowkes

    jfowkes Member

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    With two exception, none of these are an example of a classic enhancement that has been de-prioritised (or suggested to be) as a result of HS2. They're all addons/changes to the HS2 scope, which is not the same thing.

    One exception is about electrification SW of Birmingham, and that's also really a question about the scope of HS2, just on the classic network rather than on dedicated HS lines.

    The other exception is the comment about Castlefield, which was not about HS2 really. Just a comment about how that poster believes the corridor's problem can be solved/reduced/mitigated.

    I guess I was looking for an example of someone saying something like "we don't need to electrify the MML through Leicester to Derby and Nottingham because of HS2".
     
    Last edited: 20 Jan 2020
  14. D365

    D365 Established Member

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    Exactly the point that I wanted to make.

    HS2 Phase 2b arguably makes the case for MML electrification stronger, especially since the cost of the Clay Cross - Sheffield section will no longer be borne under the Network Rail budget.
     
  15. The Ham

    The Ham Established Member

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    Sorry, but I can't see those posts.

    There are people who are questioning the justification of individual schemes and staying that they shouldn't be bundled together to create a super scheme. The problem with such a super scheme would mean that if it gets cut then all those schemes get cut in one go.
     
  16. The Ham

    The Ham Established Member

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    At I've said, I'll be happy if NPR was built first.

    However in doing so it would increase the cost of that project, which would put it at greater risk of being cancelled.

    However it then significant reduces the costs of HS2 (as it no longer has to fund Central City stations) and so would make HS2 now likely to happen.
     
  17. The Ham

    The Ham Established Member

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    Indeed, however HS2 could bring benefits to Manchester, here's a suggestion as to what that could look like from a different thread:

    The problem is that it's going to take time to implement, however trying to do something else is likely to result in taking just as long if not longer.

    It's where the is HS2 going ahead or not going ahead had been unhelpful, in that no one will invest money which is going to be wasted if HS2 goes ahead. Likewise they can't come up with a scheme without knowing if HS2 will go ahead as there's the risk that they over provide.

    Now over provision isn't a bad thing, unless it means that the budget is too high and it results in that scheme being cancelled.

    If HS2 had been given the full go ahead two years ago then other infrastructure may well have been developed to provide extra capacity to help until HS2 was built. Alternatively it could have been asked to fast track works around Manchester to see if improvements could have been delivered sooner.

    As it is there's been delay and so little can be done until there's an answer.
     
  18. Noddy

    Noddy Member

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    The Ham has answered many of your points along the exact same line I would. The only thing I would add is most of that it’s taken well over 10 years of planning, not to mention billions of pounds to get to this point already. We have a ‘shovel ready project’. Other projects such as NPR or a SW arm are decades away from being built. Once we have one successful and popular (internal) high speed line it will be far easier and less controversial to develop other HS lines (as the Japanese, French and pretty much everyone else has done). Changing the scope will just add more money and seeing as a lot of folk think ‘HS2 is only going to save 20 minutes to Birmingham’ it’s just more reason for politicians to bin the whole thing. And we won’t get back the 10s of billions which will already have been spent on it by that point, and the remaining money won’t be put towards NPR but more likely ‘spent’ by politicians on station infrastructure in Leeds, extra trams in Manchester, and building more roads because somehow we’ve ended up in a situation where building a new railway is more controversial than building new roads.
     
    Last edited: 21 Jan 2020
  19. D365

    D365 Established Member

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    Exactly my thoughts, although I don't think we've built a road on the scale of HS2 in recent years though.
     
  20. miami

    miami Member

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    People in St Asaph will travel from Rhyl or similar and benefit from HS2 from Crewe to Birmingham
     
  21. krus_aragon

    krus_aragon Established Member

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    It's still a bit tenuous to mention rail-related improvements for a small place that no longer has a rail connection, alongside the likes of Edinburgh and Manchester. Mentioning Rhyl itself would be more relevant in terms of benefits to rail passengers (although it wouldn't suit the exclusive list of cities you were using).
     
  22. nick.c

    nick.c Member

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    The need for extra capacity on the WCML has long been recognised. British Railways completed a study for a new high-speed line from the outskirts of London to near Crewe back in 1989. The January 2000 issue of Modern Railways called for the WCML to be 6-tracked from Euston to Crewe. HS2 Ltd itself was set up in 2009. Surely now in 2020, the Government should bite the bullet and give the go-ahead for Phase 1 and Phase 2a.

    Phase 2b Eastern Branch maybe a different matter. Although making use of spare capacity on the London to Birmingham core to bring high speed services to the North East makes good sense and provides “regional fairness” to both sides of the Pennines, as far as I know, it doesn’t fill a capacity gap that has been recognised for decades and there are alternatives.

    I hope that the Government presses ahead with HS2 to Crewe now, but takes more time to reflect on the rest. If intercity passenger growth continues its relentless climb and HS2 construction costs come in under budget (entirely possible), then I’m sure there will be a clamour for additional sections of high-speed line.
     
  23. matacaster

    matacaster Member

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    I don't think cancelling hs2 would cause anything but joy in the world of architects, estate agents, planners, designers and all!
    I. Fairness it would upset the construction companies who haven't had a chance to feed at the trough yet.
    Why?
    Because these people have made £9B without a spade touching the ground. They have already got their money and, because it won't be built, have no liability for any consequences of their work.

    Moral of story make sure you control your budget. £9B with nothing much to show for it.
     
  24. Ianno87

    Ianno87 Established Member

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    Other than a fully designed up, costed, consulted route that has gone through parliamentary scrutiny and recieved powers, of course.

    Worth spending money to get right, don't you think?
     
  25. JonathanH

    JonathanH Established Member

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    Do you think they should build some symbolic mile of track in the middle of the route so that people can point to that as construction work having commenced and then plan the rest of the route?
     
  26. matacaster

    matacaster Member

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    Perhaps it would be worth considering who benefits from hs2?

    1. Londoners?
    Well, if you live in London and south east, you are hardly going to pay London House prices to work for less money in the rather characterless Birmingham. If your company moved to Birmingham, perhaps the faster journey might help, but in that case you'd likely sell your London pad and buy a much cheaper bigger house in Birmingham. Should you want to get a bigger house and your firm stays in London, you are likely a winner with hs2.
    2. You live in Birmingham or near. Now with hs2 you are a real winner, because you can now possibly get a job in London, with London wages and entertainment etc whilst commuting. So, your Birmingham employer loses you and even more highly paid jobs go to London.

    Can someone please advise how Northern or Birmingham businesses thrive as a result of hs2 Unless whole areas of government move north?
     
  27. jfowkes

    jfowkes Member

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    Better access to clients and services in Birmingham, Nottingham, Derby, Sheffield, Leeds, York, Crewe, Manchester, Liverpool, Newcastle, Glasgow and Edinburgh.
     
    Last edited: 22 Jan 2020
  28. AndrewE

    AndrewE Established Member

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    I think you would find (if you lowered yourself enough to explore them) that there are lots of very nice areas in and around all the northern cities, and quite often within the areas served by their suburban railways. They are ideally suited for commuting into those cities, but maybe not for a second hop to London (and the onward travel from the London terminus.)
    A friend of mine moved from London and was appalled to find that he had to pay more for a nice house near his work in Kenilworth!
     
  29. Grimsby town

    Grimsby town Member

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    Why would a business stay in London when it could have connectivity to more people (potential workers) in less time being located at the centre of the HS2 network in Birmingham. If I wanted to access the best talent in the country I'd locate in Birmingham pay London wages and enjoy my increased profits compared to locating in London sue to reduced rent.
     
  30. Noddy

    Noddy Member

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    Why would planners etc be delighted? HS2 will encourage development in areas close to the line-and not just housing but also things like new public transport (eg new tram links to the new stations in Birmingham and Nottingham) and new businesses who want good connectivity.

    Er, in case you haven’t noticed massive numbers of spades have already hit the ground. Just look at Google Maps (the aerial images) between Birmingham Interchange and Kenilworth, or at Curzon Street for two quick examples.
     
    Last edited: 22 Jan 2020

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