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

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

  1. FelixtheCat

    FelixtheCat Established Member

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    The ECML has the 2 track section between Disgwell and Wolmer Green Junctions, and the 2-3 track sections between Huntingdon and Peterborough. Those both constrain capacity significantly.

    If you still don't think that the ECML is at capacity, I invite you to create your own peak time timetable :) .
     
  2. Glen-Ped

    Glen-Ped On Moderation

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    From the ECML wiki:
    Most of the length of the ECML is capable of 140 mph subject to certain infrastructure upgrades. Below is the foreword of the Greengauge 21 report:
    "Upgrading the East Coast Main Line to 140 mph operation as a high priority alongside HS2 and to be delivered without delay. Newcastle London timings across a shorter route could closely match those achievable by HS2."
    No mention of running out of capacity. From:
    https://orr.gov.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0010/17974/east-coast-letter-20-05-15.pdf
    Summary
    The detail provided demonstrates that there are capacity choices available on the ECML.
     
    Last edited: 1 Jul 2019
  3. quantinghome

    quantinghome Member

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    This is classic quote-mining. Find a report you can grab a quote from which appears to agree with your opinion and hey presto, job done! That's how debate works isn't it? :frown:

    Everyone agrees that there are potential upgrades which could be made to the East Coast Main Line. So your finding that capacity choices are available is pretty trivial and already well-understood. The real question is whether the upgrades give more or less overall benefit compared to HS2. Those on this forum with detailed working knowledge of capacity issues on the East Coast Main Line have said that the largest potential upgrade (4-tracking Welwyn viaduct and tunnels - very complex, disruptive and expensive btw) will perhaps add another two trains per hour, which given smaller train lengths on the existing lines is equivalent to a single train per hour on HS2.

    The basic problem with a mixed-use railway such as ECML (and the same is true for WCML) is that trade-offs always have to be made between capacity, speed, connectivity, station stops and reliability. If you want high capacity and high speed you lose connectivity and station stops. Increase station stops, lose speed or capacity. Run more trains closer together, lose reliability. This is why HS2 works. It removes or significantly reduces the number of trade-offs you have to make and everyone benefits. Leeds gets faster, longer trains to Sheffield, Birmingham and London; Newark and Retford get a more frequent and regular regional service.
     
  4. Glen-Ped

    Glen-Ped On Moderation

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    Facts do tend to enhance and reinforce debate. Upgrades to the East Coast Main Line would give more or less overall benefit compared to HS2. Even Greengauge 21 confirm that.

    On the East Coast Main Line (ECML) the bottlenecks are at:
    • The section track at Welwyn North over the Digswell Viaduct and through the Welwyn tunnels. This has been recognised for decades as a problem and could be solved at a fraction of the cost of HS2 and deliver a far greater return on the investment.
    • Between Huntingdon and Peterborough.
    • Just north of Newark station at the Nottingham to Lincoln Line.
    • The section of track between Stoke Tunnel and Doncaster.
    • The north throat of York station including the Skelton Bridge Junction.
    • South of Newcastle to Northallerton.
    We should be investing in getting rid of these bottlenecks starting with the Welwyn bottleneck. Then run trains at up to 160mph on sections of the line. Then Leeds is accessed at the same time as HS2 from London. Leeds is only 169 miles from London as the crow flies. HS2 running NW then east then north to Leeds is the long way around.
     
    Last edited: 1 Jul 2019
  5. quantinghome

    quantinghome Member

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    I'm well aware of where the ECML bottlenecks are. But there's no reason to think that building them will be more beneficial than HS2. Yes, HS2 will cost more but it will give far more capacity than the incremental upgrades you propose.

    160mph on an existing railway? It's a complete fantasy, but one that I've heard occasionally on this forum before. Is this really your first day on here?
     
  6. Glen-Ped

    Glen-Ped On Moderation

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    The APT of 35 years ago was designed to reach 155mph with the track and signals of then. Modern trains can reach 160mph easily on section of the ECML.
     
  7. quantinghome

    quantinghome Member

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    Sure, it's technically possible. Test trains have actually exceeded 160mph on the ECML. The problem is achieving this in regular service over long distances rather than a one-off over a short section of track. For a start you'd need in-cab signalling to go above 125mph. Presumably these fast trains would run non-stop as you'd need them to run at high speed over long distances for there to be appreciable journey time reductions. Then you'd need to work out how to timetable these much faster trains alongside the stoppers. Or would you cut out stopping services? The existing curves on the line would limit speed, as would track formation, underlying ground conditions, condition of structures etc etc. In all likelihood you'd find you'd need to build an extra pair of tracks alongside the line. And if you're doing that, how is it that different to HS2?
     
  8. RLBH

    RLBH Member

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    Technically, you probably can do those speeds in places, and with the ERTMS/ETCS signalling systems do so safely. The problem is that once you've got five East Coast expresses an hour doing it, you don't have space for other trains on the fast lines, so they have to go onto the slow lines. Except there are already trains on the slow lines. So do people from Hertford now have to walk into the City to work?
     
  9. Glen-Ped

    Glen-Ped On Moderation

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    Far too many short urban/regional trains are on mainlines. They need new/opening of lines that are optimum for their usage. In short, get them off, as they should not have been on the mainlines in the first place. Mainlines have been stolen by region/urban trains, look at what Thameslink did to the MML. They only electrified the MML to the Thameslink northern terminal it is that bad.
     
  10. Ianno87

    Ianno87 Established Member

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    Classic example is following the 2000s West Coast Upgrade. Multiple capacity pinch points were resolved to be able to run more trains (Euston, Milton Keynes, Rugby, Proof House, Nuneaton, Trent Valley, etc.), but the result was places like Watford and Nuneaton losing a decent chunk of their long distance connectivity.

    Why?

    Essentially *they* became the capacity constraint; the historic long distance calls were in effect only possible because of localised spare capacity unable to be used for extra trains due to wider network constraints.

    So if you're talking about 140mph speed upgrades, more 4-tracking, etc. to the ECML, it's likely that the likes of Stevenage, Grantham etc. may have to be on the receiving end of difficult choices to enable more trains to run overall to make use of this newly created capacity.

    This is not the case with HS2, where such places are more likely to be the beneficiaries, not the victims, of such a project.
     
  11. yoyothehobo

    yoyothehobo Member

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    So, we need a new line to pick up all the commuters from basically Milton Keynes/Northampton/Peterborough to allow the current Fast services on the ECML/MML/WCML a much quicker run through. Of course, to be of any use to these people the new line would have to go through the centre of these towns, sounds very disruptive and expensive.

    Now suppose you try it the other way round and create a railway for long distance trains that dont conflict with slower trains and as they dont need to stop at these towns, dont actually need to go anywhere near them and can run through the countryside on dedicated tracks on a much straighter alignment towards the next large conurbation. They could even run really fast.
     
  12. Glen-Ped

    Glen-Ped On Moderation

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    These commutes from Milton Keynes/Northampton/Peterborough are far too long. This sort of commuting should be discouraged.
     
  13. yoyothehobo

    yoyothehobo Member

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    Yes how dare they, they should work in the local tractor factory, find joy through work etc... Also considering that the train from MK, is a good 10 minutes quicker than my walk to work commute in Leeds, should I not do that?
     
  14. Glen-Ped

    Glen-Ped On Moderation

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    50-60-70 mile commutes is ridiculous.
     
  15. yoyothehobo

    yoyothehobo Member

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    Also, if they are not commuting to London, WHERE else are they going from those places. Why bother giving them any trains?
     
  16. yoyothehobo

    yoyothehobo Member

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    Distance is meaningless. It is time which is important it is quicker to get to central London from MK, than it is the ends of some of the tube lines, should people not commute on those?
     
  17. Ken H

    Ken H Established Member

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    taking nuneaton as an example, the problem is that the fast line platforms are on the fast lines. If they were on loops then stopping there would be less of an issue, as trains behind could overtake as the stopper does its station call.
    Tight site so would be a challenge. But as a general point we have bunged platforms on running lines and that eats capacity. Milton keynes Central and Birmingham International are stations built in my adult lifetime and both eat capacity. Time to bite the bullet and put some on loops.
     
  18. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Like the loops they actually did put in at MKC and Tring? The latter (and the slow line one at MKC i.e. P2) are mostly used for terminating services, but they can be and are used for overtakes too.
     
  19. Ken H

    Ken H Established Member

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    This will turn in the 'capacity at leeds' thread - never enough bays!
     
  20. Ianno87

    Ianno87 Established Member

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    Loops often do not add capacity and can eat it up; every overtaken train requires a path in front of and a path behind the train doing the overtaking. And you're still binding the entire timetable around making a particular overtaking move (essentially assuming you can timetable the entire WCML around Nuneaton! When really it's south of Rugby that drives everything, and needs to drive everything)...and assuming you can align to do exactly the same the other way too. And get it to perform well.
     
  21. Ianno87

    Ianno87 Established Member

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    Very rarely are they used for *planned* overtakes. The fast line utilisation is generally too dense to be timetable-able.
     
  22. Ken H

    Ken H Established Member

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    i was giving Nuneaton as an example of an possible opportunity. I dont know MK or Watford station well enough to comment on them.
    Doncaster, Stafford, Crewe and Lancaster have platform on loops. Dunno how much overtaking goes on there though.
     
  23. 6Gman

    6Gman Established Member

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    Trains stopping at Nuneaton could be looped onto the Down Slow platform.

    There is a reversible fast platform line available at MKC.

    And trains could be looped at International.

    But as already explained looping a train for several minutes creates as many (more?) problems than it solves in many cases.
     
  24. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    It's not true to say that adding a loop in this way increases capacity.
    Very little because it would eat up capacity, as stated above.

    My understanding (from a trusted source) is that @Ianno87 is an experienced & well respected train planner and knows a little bit about these things! So if he says something in the area of train planning, then you can be pretty sure he's right!
     
  25. Ken H

    Ken H Established Member

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    OK
    So why not?
    being able to overtake must surely increase capacity
    I am sure Ian knows his stuff - but what he says seems counter intuitive to me...
     
  26. nlogax

    nlogax Established Member

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    Surely the sort of loops being spoken of here would only decrease journey times for a select few paths, and that's it.
     
  27. civ-eng-jim

    civ-eng-jim Member

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  28. Aictos

    Aictos On Moderation

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    That’s your view, I used to commute that sort of distance every day for a good number of years which took me 90 minutes from Station A to Station B via Station C.

    I had no choice in this as that where my job was and secondly at the time I couldn’t afford to move, in any case when a job came up closer to home that was 20 to 30 minutes away if that I went for it.
     
  29. The Ham

    The Ham Established Member

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    If we take the example of a bus pulling into a layby, the bus had to wait for a gap in the traffic on the road before it can pull back out again. That gap needs to be as big as the gap that it takes to slow down on the way in.

    If you're doing this with trains, unless you are running a train into the loop behind the train that's stopped for the speed train to pull back out into that's an empty path which could have otherwise been used by a train.

    Now with a few trains an hour you could shuffle trains a bit to make it work (especially if you back fill into the path of a train which has done it elsewhere "upstream" of the stop) however there comes a point when the flow of trains/vehicles is so high from upstream that there's then no gaps for them to pull back into. As such if you do you need to stop the traffic to let them back out again slowing down everything behind them causing congestion.
     
  30. 6Gman

    6Gman Established Member

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    There is an example (sort of) of overtaking at Crewe involving the fast Euston - Glasgow overtaking a London - Birmingham - Crewe - Liverpool Desiro (and something similar on the Up).

    BUT

    It only works because the "loop" stretches all the way from Stafford to Winsford (30 miles or so). At Madeley the Glasgow is 4.5 mins behind the Liverpool, by Basford Hall Jn it's 3.5 - they are both booked off Crewe at the same time. By the time the Desiro has got to Winsford (on the slow line) the Glasgow is * far enough ahead to give it a clear run.

    * Well, it's booked to be far enough ahead. If the Glasgow is even slightly late it can impact the Liverpool.
     

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