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

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

  1. MarkyT

    MarkyT Established Member

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    Effectively the original plan for the WCML route modernisation, although much of the sinuous southern end of the alignment is already maxed out with tilt so a higher top speed capability couldn't offer any more benefit. Even with tilt, pendolinos only offer a two minute improvement over conventional 110mph emus on Euston - Milton Keynes for example (30m vs 32m), With longer non-stop segments on faster sections to the north, the difference increases clearly.
     
  2. FelixtheCat

    FelixtheCat Established Member

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    Likely, that's because of the space between a Tring stopper and one that runs semi-fast. There will be points where the two trains come to within a path, but one doesn't necessarily see it. Also, 3 minutes is quite a bit of time, but a train every 3 minutes is a railway at capacity.
     
  3. Bald Rick

    Bald Rick Established Member

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    The slows are effectively at capacity south of MK, as trains catch each other up at various points in the journey. Also, not all freight paths are used every day, so it sometimes appears more empty than the timetable says.
     
  4. Railwaysceptic

    Railwaysceptic Member

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    The slow lines don't have a train every three minutes. In fact neither do the fast lines throughout the hour. The reason I'm surprised is that other busy twin-track lines with a mix of fast, stopping and freight seem to manage. The prime example is the ex LSWR main line between Basingstoke and Eastleigh. Another example is the West Anglia Main Line via Tottenham Hale to Hertford East, Stansted and Cambridge. This has no freight but an intense passenger service with a variety of stopping patterns and seems to be far, far busier than the WCML slow lines.
     
  5. matacaster

    matacaster Member

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    Can someone clarify the situation on WCML southern end which appears to be "full", but doesn't seem to have anything like as many trains as 4-track capacity would suggest was available. With 3 minute headway and 4 tracks and nothing in the way (like a stopper), and say 12 trains on each track per hour, isn't that say 24 northbound and 24 southbound per hour which I doubt happens.

    Whilst I realise that there will be morning and evening peaks, so it will vary dependent on time of day, in general

    -On the slow lines (and possibly some fast), capacity is soaked up by Emus stopping at stations where there is no loop to platform off main line or they catch up service in front
    *how much of this is caused by trains stopping at stations on slow lines
    *could new loops with platforms be added to ensure that stopping trains didn't block the slow lines
    *if so how many stations affected
    *how difficult / expensive would it be to source trains with near identical chgaracteristics?
    *from where (south) to where (north) are these emu? paths an issue?

    -Obviously freight absorbs some capacity on slow lines at southern end of WCML
    *how many freight paths are there per hour?
    *how many are used?
    *from where (south) to where (north) are these freight paths an issue?

    -How does usage level of 4-track WCML compare to 4-track MML in terms of trains / hour?

    -How much is congestion at Euston affecting usage?
     
  6. DynamicSpirit

    DynamicSpirit Established Member

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    Can't answer all your questions, but applying a bit of reasoning to a couple of them...

    It's a lot harder than that. Suppose you added a loop at a station that the slow trains stop at, so that the fasts can overtake the slow. So you have a slow train a few minutes in front of a fast train approaching the station. To let the fast train pass, the slow train will probably have to wait several minutes at the station. And now you have another problem: If you are really trying to run 3-minute headways, then there's already another train behind the fast train - so there still isn't a slot for the slow train to fit into. Unless of course you force the following train to be a slow one that stops at this looped station too, so it can wait for the following train - which logically, must be a fast one. You can probably see you're now forcing severe constraints on the timetable. And - worse - to make this work, you're going to have to have the slow trains wait for several minutes at practically every other station. I'm sure you can see how popular this won't be with passengers! Conclusion: Even if you add passing loops at lots of stations, you probably still can't run 3-minute headways and have different stopping patterns.

    Then look at the cost of passing loops. Most stations are - quite sensibly - in built up areas, close to town centres: Exactly in the places where there is no land to build any more track, without some incredibly expensive building demolition.

    I thought the LNR trains already had near identical characteristics to each other? If you mean, identical to the Virgin trains... that'd be almost impossible because the characteristics of the Virgin trains include tilt. To be able to tilt, their profiles have to be a lot narrower (so they don't collide with oncoming trains while they are tilting). And if you want to start making the LNR commuter trains narrower so they can tilt (but will be able to carry fewer passengers).... good luck! ;)
     
    Last edited: 12 Jun 2019
  7. The Planner

    The Planner Established Member

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    The WCML slow lines have a 4 minute headway, not 3. You cannot have a train every 3 minutes anyway unless they are all doing the same thing.

    You are also not really comparing apples with apples, for example between Basingstoke and Eastleigh the headway is 2 minutes for any train not following one that stops. A quick look at somewhere like Wallers Ash and you have only got 6 tph in each direction off peak. Tottenham out to Stansted is 3 minutes and picking a place at random such as Harlow you have 7 or 8tph.

    You also then need to look at how you flight things, for example, out of Euston if you left at xx.00 and you stopped at Watford for a pick up then you tend to depart Watford 15 minutes later. Factor into account you have to accelerate away from a stand and that a non-stop trains does Euston to Watford in 12½ minutes it isn't best practice to send one out of Euston at xx.03 as you would also have to path the following train out by 2½ minutes to keep the headway. To keep that following train out of Euston on green signals and ergo line speed you can't really depart until xx.06, straight away you have lost a path based on 3 minute headways. Same applies for MK etc.. you will always have periods of "white space" which you cannot fill.
     
  8. Bald Rick

    Bald Rick Established Member

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    I am by no means an expert on the WCML timetable (@The Planner is), but to answer some of your questions, in no particular order:

    There are nominally 3 freight paths on the WCML in the standard hour, two on approximately standard timings, and the third goes where it can fit in. None of these run in the peak hours peak direction, as there are extra passenger trains.

    Path usage varies through the day / week / year. Fridays are quieter, autumn is busiest. But, typically they are all used at some point during the week, and at least half are used every day.

    The timetable is constructed such that trains make use of ‘shadows’ left by other trains. For example, the freight paths come in at Camden in the hole left by the DC services leaving the slow lines there. The LNR fast that crosses down fast to down slow at Ledburn Junction drops in between 2 MK terminators (one LNR, one Southern), and effectively take the path of the former north of MK. One of the standard freights fills the gap created by 20 minute gap in Euston slow line departures between the xx04 (Tring stopper) and xx24 (Rugeley semi fast), but at Tring the freight is 4 minutes behind the former and 5 minutes in front of the latter. The other standard freight path has the same slot on the opposite half hour.

    Many of the freights join at Camden, then dive off at Wembley for crew relief or other purposes (it’s the first opportunity from Ipswich / Gateway / etc) before rejoining.

    Because of the varying stopping patterns, and different times needed to clear junctions / accelerate (ie between a 4 car 350 and 700m long Freightliner) just about everything is on or close to minimum headway somewhere on its journey between Euston and MK. There will be gaps in some places, but you can’t fill them because the gap doesn’t exist further along the line.

    My best advice would be to draw it all on a piece of graph paper, and you’ll find it a very busy bit of paper!

    Euston congestion - for trains - isn’t an issue, the layout was designed very well. However passenger congestion at the station is a worry, and the station wouldn’t be able to take many more in the way of passengers without a major rebuild, and neither could the tube station. Happily HS2 solves those issues.

    Station loops are rarely the answer, as the ‘looped’ train loses a minimum of 5 minute sjourney time, often more. To avoid this you need dynamic loops, covering at least 2 stations plus half a mile or so each side. Then you are building two new tracks right alongside, and rebuilding stations and all the cost and disruption that brings. And ultimately, it doesn’t create many paths, as the looped train needs two.

    The WCML South of MK is pretty similar to the MML south of St Albans, but the WCML is much busier for much more of its length.

    MML Standard hour has 5 EMT and 10 Thameslink departures from St Pancras (ignoring the 2tph Thameslink to Kentish Town). Plus 2 freight. 17 total, 11 north of Luton, 7 north of Bedford.

    WCML has 12/13 fast line departures from Euston, plus 4 slow line (ignoring the 3-4tph to the D.C. lines), plus the Southern service joining at Wembley, and the three freight. 20/21 total, 16/17 north of MK (generally to Rugby).
     
  9. matacaster

    matacaster Member

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    Thanks to dynamic spirit and bald Rick for those explanations.
    Cheers chaps
     
  10. jfowkes

    jfowkes Member

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    We also shouldn't forget that running a railway very close to capacity is asking for trouble. Every incident costs more in time, money and passenger goodwill. Every spare bit of capacity you use in normal operation is capacity you can't use when things go wrong.
     
  11. FelixtheCat

    FelixtheCat Established Member

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    Read carefully. I said that trains come within the 3 minutes at some point. The variation in stopping patterns and speeds make it impossible to run a train every 3 minutes.

    Fewer trains, fewer speed differentials.

    Actually, the WAML really struggles in terms of capacity. The intermediate stations between Cheshunt and Tottenham Hale don't get the service that they require (especially during the peaks). The faster services to Cambridge and Stanstead Airport are not as fast as they could be, and the moment any train is late, one ends up with trains stacking at either end of the route. That route is at capacity for most of the day. Really, it needs to be 4 track as far as Broxbourne (or at least Cheshunt) for it to properly cope with the demand.
     
  12. tasky

    tasky Member

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    Just wanted to add my thanks to this post, which explained something I'd always wondered about passing loops and I found very interesting
     
  13. The Planner

    The Planner Established Member

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    Another thing you would need to consider with any loop option is how long and fast the turnouts for the loop are. If they require approach control on the divergence then you can also kiss goodbye to anything fast behind it following on a headway as it will catch the stopper as it goes off into the loop.

    As has been said previously, you have a stopper, fast behind it, assuming a line with good signalling to allow a 3 minute headway. Slow stops at the station, fast passes 3 minutes later, slow can leave 2 minutes after at best so a 5 minute dwell. If the loop is slow or short then chances are the following train has to be 4 minutes behind and your dwell is going up again.
     
  14. Geezertronic

    Geezertronic Established Member

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    Do they use the passing platform at MKC on the down in timetabled use for trains to pass? I have only seen it used when there was delays and the non-stop service behind us overtook us.
     
  15. Halifaxlad

    Halifaxlad Member

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    With all these classic compatible trains to run as two, 200m units splitting at Crewe, does anyone know the affect this will have on capacity ?
     
  16. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    There will be a lot of it?

    Crewe has plenty of platforms, I doubt it will be a great issue.
     
  17. FelixtheCat

    FelixtheCat Established Member

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    Not quite.

    It has 5 through platforms, one of which is occupied by the Northern stopping services. That leaves 4.

    The layout isn't that straightforward either; one can't have 2 Up, 2 Down throughs because the higher numbered platforms don't have access to/from Manchester. The opposite is true with trains to/from Chester (only platforms 6 and above give access).

    With HS2 trains occupying platforms for ~10 minutes at a time, and existing services continuing to exist, platforms quite easily become scarce.

    Further, it leaves a headache for timetablers/signallers with trains blocking multiple lines when leaving/entering the station (mostly true for the southern end).
     
  18. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Are they actually going to wait there for 10 minutes at a time? Surely that will kill off the time benefits of HS2?
     
  19. The Planner

    The Planner Established Member

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    Crewe will have an element of remodelling to accomodate HS2 and the split and joins will be less than 10 minutes. Considering there is no timetable yet the impact can't be quantified anyway.
     
  20. FelixtheCat

    FelixtheCat Established Member

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    What sort of re-modelling?
     
  21. The Planner

    The Planner Established Member

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    HS2 arrives at Basford Hall so that area gets altered, still talk of extra platforms on the west side and various other tweaks. None of its confirmed yet.
     
  22. HowardGWR

    HowardGWR Established Member

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    SR is allowed 4 minutes to split /join class 377 trains at Horsham. Why should it take any longer with HS2 with perhaps more modern couplings?
     
  23. FelixtheCat

    FelixtheCat Established Member

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    The 10 minutes figure comes from an estimate from me. It refers to the platform occupations time, which is actually 7 minutes at Horsham (arrives - 4 minutes - first part leaves - 3 minutes - second part leaves). I assumed that more time would be allowed for long distance services. I also currently have the West Highland timings in my head, where 10-12 minutes is allowed at Crianlarich between the first half arriving and the whole train departing.
     
  24. The Ham

    The Ham Established Member

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    (From another thread which wasn't that relevant to the subject)

    Given that Lichfield is getting a junction from HS2 to the WCML as part of phase 1 there's no need to wait for phase 2 for such services.
     
  25. DynamicSpirit

    DynamicSpirit Established Member

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    Another Commons report on HS2 published... link This one is a Commons Library Briefing paper. If I've understood correctly, these are produced by Commons research staff in order to inform MPs.

    I haven't had time to look through it properly, but it seems critical of HS2, but also lacking in detail. It claims that the cost will be about £65M, not £55M, at 2015 prices, but doesn't really specify the source of this claim. Also can't help noticing that it unquestioningly quotes the suggestion that the money from HS2 could be spent on the NHS instead - despite the obvious flaw that that's confusing capital with current spending.
     
  26. Polarbear

    Polarbear Established Member

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    I’ve skimmed though that report & it’s not very well written. The NHS funding argument is almost delusional as £56bn would get swallowed up in a very short space of time, with no follow up spending behind it.
     
  27. RLBH

    RLBH Member

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    I've yet to hear a demand for 'Cancel Project XYZ and spend it on the NHS' that wouldn't be swallowed up within a year by normal cost inflation.
     
  28. The Ham

    The Ham Established Member

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    One of the criticisms in the report is that the growth rates expected are lower on 2013 than in 2009, however that doesn't show the true picture.

    I'll explain by using 2009 as the base year and starting with the base number of passengers being 100.

    Using the 2.2% growth referenced from then gets you to 169 by 2033, to put this in perspective between 2008/09 and 2017/18 growth between London and the regions which benefit from HS2 phase 1 are already at 170.

    Now if you look at the 1.9% growth referenced in the 2013 report, due to passenger growth between 2008/09 and 2012/13 this then means that t.
    hislower growth results in 200 passengers in 2033. As such although the expected growth rate has fallen the actual number of passengers is expected to be higher.

    This then means that future growth only needs to achieve 1.1% growth to reach the 200 target.
     
  29. FelixtheCat

    FelixtheCat Established Member

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    Note: Moved thread to prevent thread drift.

    Predictive statistics are complicated and difficult to calculate, but the sustained rail growth over the past few decades shows no sign of slowing down and appears to be increasing, especially for the long distance sector. Your next phrase is very telling as...
    ...which means your "argument" falls down as evidence has been provided by one side, but you have not provided evidence to show the opposite (IE: there will be no growth).


    If you could provide some evidence to back up your assertions, that would be very useful.

    As has been done to death, longer trains only create a small amount of new capacity and only cater for the short term increase in demand. 10/11/12 car peak services are already rammed, so what do you do about those? Increasing the length further without major infrastructure work (see the layout of Coventry station as an example) would cost a significant amount of money, so why not build HS2 with that money?

    Also, busy trains in Birmingham does not mean there are not busy trains in London. There are a lot of busy trains in London.

    This is all based on the incorrect assumption that HS2 funding negates other railway funding. This is simply incorrect, as has been explained frequently. I've quoted a post that explains the basics below. It even includes a graph.
     
  30. The Ham

    The Ham Established Member

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    There's a very valid question to answer, how can something be a vanity project when there's already more passengers using it than were predicted to use it to justify the opening of the first phase?

    Yes past growth doesn't mean that future growth is assured, however being at the point we're at means that a much smaller (1.1% growth per year vs 2.5% growth per year) growth is needed to reach the target.

    It is a very different position to that those opposed to HS2 were suggesting would be the case when they pointed at HS1 as an example of why we shouldn't build HS2 as the growth wouldn't be seen.

    The total West Midlands passenger numbers have grown from 59,420 to 93,720, so that's 58% growth, within the West Midlands it's up from 38,309 to 60,284 it's also 58% growth. 58% is lower than 70%.

    If we get to 200% (the 2033 figure) then those 70% full trains are then 82% full, likewise the 43% full average daily loadings would be 50% full, so what most people may think.

    However what happens if we see 2.5% growth for the next 15 years (I use 2.5% as that's the growth seen by Virgin in the last 12 months)?

    Those 70% full trains hit 101% full and the whole day average his 62% full.

    However that's not going to be evenly split across all trains, so there's going to be some very busy trains.

    The likely result would be fewer stops enroute so as to minimise the risk of overcrowding, meaning more people needing to travel on the local services (as an example cut Coventry from a long distance train and those passengers would need to use local services to get between Birmingham and Coventry).

    £100bn in the next 7 years, that means that either you think most of that funding will be required by Phase 1 & 2a (so what's the total cost) or if that's the total cost that it will all be built by 2026, which is it?

    Even at £100bn over 15 years (not that I accept the £100bn figure) that's £6.7bn a year and so not that much more than the £6.1bn which has been given by the government for railways last year.
     

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