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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    That's at a diverging point, both for the Birmingham branch and the eastern leg. The complex intersection to the station's north also allows trains to run between central Birmingham and one leg without conflicting with London trains heading to and from the other leg.
     
  2. FelixtheCat

    FelixtheCat Established Member

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    Vox-pops are not evidence. They are words.

    The onus is on you to provide evidence to back up your arguments. Otherwise, you're just standing naked in a square shouting "the world is flat! I bought my pants from the emperor!"

    It's been an entertaining couple of days, but now we've established a lack of evidence (or maybe a lack of effort on your part), I'll leave it there :) .
     
  3. si404

    si404 Member

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    To add to what others have said about diverge, the route is four-tracked from south of Interchange to where the Birmingham branch has its north-facing merge(s), and there all sorts of stuff so flows don't cross.
     
  4. Ken H

    Ken H Established Member

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    I know someone who commutes from Dusseldorf to Venlo(NL)- 60Km. He works from 7:00 to 15:30 to miss the traffic. because of where he lives and the location of his work, the trains isnt feasible. He works from home Mondays and Fridays. Its not just Brits.
     
  5. Ken H

    Ken H Established Member

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    I have a legacy (and fairly rare) IT skill. I have to go where there is work for me. Long commutes and staying away have been a feature of my life since the mid 90's. I could retrain, but i can't be arsed as i am 63.
     
  6. pt_mad

    pt_mad Established Member

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    I suppose an interesting question would be, how high would the fares need to have gotten, or how full the triains or stressful the commute to have made you decide having a low skilled lower income paid job within 10 miles of home? Or maybe if yours hours were extended in your job would you have decided enough is enough with the hours of your life taken up?
     
  7. pt_mad

    pt_mad Established Member

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    This is another element. In my experience a good many London commuters don't seem to work Fridays. The satellite town stations are not don't seem to be as busy in the Friday am peak as Monday to Thursday. And this is perhaps making long commutes worth it, if the worker only has to be physically in the office for 4 days a week?
     
  8. Ken H

    Ken H Established Member

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    I am lucky now. I work from home and rarely go into the office, and when i did commute, I drove. My places of work have never been anywhere near a railway station. My current office is on the outskirts of leicester. one bloke commutes by train/bus. but he has a 35 minute bus ride from the city to work each way, and a 10 minute walk from the station to the bus station.
     
  9. The Ham

    The Ham Established Member

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    Currently, on a per million people basis, most regions are comparable in terms of numbers of civil servants. The lowest one is the South East with the highest being London, yet if you average the two they also fall in line with the others.

    Chances are this is to do with if you are going to have an office for something (say passport office) it's easier for those in the South East to get to it if it's in London than if it's in most of the rest of the South East.
     
  10. RLBH

    RLBH Member

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    Interestingly enough, Germany has the second longest commutes in Europe. You're always going to have some people who travel long distances for whatever reason. When it starts becoming the norm, that's probably a sign that there's something out of balance. The most extreme case, IMHO, is the Japanese 747s that were specially designed and outfitted to serve long-distance commuter routes. I believe they were finally killed off by the Shinkansen.
     
  11. MarkyT

    MarkyT Established Member

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    I believe this was mainly being driven by the insane property prices in Tokyo, once the most expensive place to live in the world, that forced huge numbers into mega commutes. Rail operators invested in massive double decker Shinkansen sets to meet the same demand but these are now being phased out as, after over two decades of recession, property prices have stabilised and reduced significantly in real terms so people can afford to live closer to their workplaces again.
     
  12. Geezertronic

    Geezertronic Established Member

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    Interestingly enough, I am the same (although with respect not as old :)). I live in Birmingham, local office is Solihull, project office is down near London, Data Centres are in London or Wales. Commuting (efficiently) by train has become more expensive than claiming 0.35p per mile
     
  13. EastisECML

    EastisECML Member

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    I'm not sure if I'm against HS2, but I have concerns over its design. The lack of interchange at Birmingham where on that same site Arup had previously proposed a 'grand central' station which would have been idea. The interchange at Old Oak still appears to be up in the air. The T-station at Leeds when Leeds could be a really good through station for high speed services. And the general lack of any long term integrated network plan.

    If there was a plan set in stone that had the following:

    1) An 'all in one' new station for Birmingham rendering New Street obsolete.
    2) A station underneath Manchester Piccadilly with tunnel taking line out of the city and onto two branches to Leeds/Bradford and Sheffield.
    3) An extension into a new station in Liverpool.
    4) The mainline going through Leeds and then out to York and the North East.
    5) A new classic line through Sheffield for 'off line' HS2 and other services.
    6) Clearly defined upgrades on both branches to Scotland with perhaps a new line from York to Tees Valley and onto Newcastle.

    I think it would be great. But so far it seems to be just an expensive way of recreating the limits of the current network and a bitter reminder that getting to and from London is all that will ever matter. It's all very well building for the deman you currently have, but what about building for what you want to happen? This isn't going to relieve any pressure on London, it's likely to just make things worse.
     
  14. DynamicSpirit

    DynamicSpirit Established Member

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    The obvious problem with that is that what you're proposing would add tens of billions to the cost - and the current £55bn price tag is already one of the main rallying points for those opposed to the project. HS2 as currently designed might not be perfect but it is something that can (hopefully) just about carry enough public and Government support to actually get built. I fear your ideas - nice though some of them sound - would at this stage have turned turn HS2 into something that's far too expensive and ambitious to even make it off of the first plans. Let HS2 get built and prove itself to be the success that I'm sure it will be. At that point, it becomes realistic to start talking about how to extend it (for example, to Scotland).

    Also you seem to imply closing and replacing Birmingham New Street. But New Street is (a) almost perfectly sited for the town centre and (b) has the rather nice benefit of being sited exactly where the existing railway lines are (quite important for a railway station, I think ;) ). It's not exactly the friendliest or best-designed of stations, is roughly adequate for the purpose it serves. Why spend what would certainly be many billions of pounds re-creating what you already have? I personally also have some doubts about the terminal design of Curzon Street, but I also accept that given that there isn't a infinite amount of money to build HS2 with, it does make sense as something that's massively more affordable than any of the other proposed options.
     
    Last edited: 3 Jul 2019
  15. MarkyT

    MarkyT Established Member

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    The site proposed is really the only place a straight, quarter mile long, seven platform station could fit anywhere near the city centre on the surface. Interchange with Moor St will be very easy with the head ends positioned adjacent to each other. Under its 'One Station' initiative Birmingham city is also committed to improving interchange between Curzon St/Moor St and New St via the St Martins Queensway tunnel. My preferred option for this would be to remove road traffic entirely from the tunnel, install travellators, provide some retail/refreshment units along the route, and improve quality and security. The walk can be achieved in around five minutes today if you know where you're going. It's mostly under cover. It's shorter than many airport terminal to terminal or terminal to gate walks and similar to many subterranean passageway connections on London Underground.
     
  16. EastisECML

    EastisECML Member

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    The Grand Central proposal would also have been sited where the existing lines are. And have the benefit of being able to accomodate more and longer platforms than New Street as well as approach tracks from one side at least. Terminal designs are unnecessarily limited when all you need to do is build a station with the means for the tracks to be extended at a later date. HS2 seems to deliberately prevent this possibility.

    What seems to be overlooked with our existing inter-city services is all of the smaller journeys between regional cities they allow that on their own wouldn't be much of a business but together work well. Getting from Newcastle to London for example currently is fine. But being able to get from Newcastle to Edinburgh, Glasgow, York, Leeds, Sheffield, Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, etc is also very important and it's the same for other cities. I'd rather we had some grand plan for these connections before anything else.
     
  17. quantinghome

    quantinghome Member

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    I agree with some of these proposals and as others have said some of them could be added to HS2 in the future.

    I'd disagree with taking the main line through Leeds though. It would mean longer journey times for services going further north and would cost billions extra. Where could you route it without producing some very slow approaches to the station? Also given the current HS2 plans are for 3 trains per hour (tph) to Leeds and another 3tph north of Leeds (excluding Birmingham services), a through station would give you 6tph Leeds-London and 6tph from Leeds to further North, onto which you would add a similar number of NPR trains. I don't think that level of service would ever be necessary. Perhaps some trains would terminate at Leeds, but in that case why not build a terminus station?

    The emerging plans for Leeds are going to include a junction to allow through-running at Leeds which I think is reasonable.
     
  18. kevin_roche

    kevin_roche Member

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    In an article published today on the New Civil Engineer website:

    https://www.newcivilengineer.com/latest/hs2-old-oak-capable-becoming-terminus-03-07-2019/

    Is this death by a thousand cuts? We could end up with a new line running from Old Oak Common to Birmingham International which nobody uses.
     
  19. MarkyT

    MarkyT Established Member

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    That might work as a temporary measure for Phase 1 to cope with delays in construction at Euston or a reprofiling of expenditure, but I confidently predict the line will never reach its potential without a central London terminal as well as the west London hub. I believe the Euston tunnel TBMs are supposed to be launched from OOC. Once there's a big station operating in the pit, that may become impossible, so politicians need to be careful such a suggestion doesn't close off future options, unless they're trying to engineer a deliberate failure for a successor.
     
  20. quantinghome

    quantinghome Member

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    The suggestion appears to come from an architect, so may only be referring to passenger flows at the station, not how trains could actually operate.
     
  21. Ianno87

    Ianno87 Established Member

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    Is the Grand Central proposal even buildable without being anything other than stupendously disruptive to the west end approach lines into New Street?
     
  22. Geezertronic

    Geezertronic Established Member

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    Possibly even the Bull Ring as well?
     
  23. EastisECML

    EastisECML Member

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    A high speed service going from Leeds to York and Newcastle would be fast enough. We don't need spectacular constant speeds, just something that's quicker than the main alternative (i.e. car) and connects cities. HS2 is all about getting to and from London as fast as possible when inter-city connectivity between regional cities should be just as important.

    Personally I would be very happy with a 200 kph line from Liverpool - Manchester Airport - Manchester - Bradford - Leeds - York - Tees Valley - Newcastle - Edinburgh with branches from Leeds and Manchester to Sheffield. That would be more of a 'game changer' than HS2 if it has to be one or the other. HS2 with that would be great, HS2 without that or any sort of serious upgrade of regional connectivity would just be creating more of the same old problems. Mind, another key issue is how people in towns, villages and suburbs get into city centres. Again, I'd say this was an issue more pressing than HS2. Faster journey times to London are good, but on their own it won't benefit anyone other than the people who already travel by train to and from London. HS2 has to be just one part of a grander plan for it to mean anything to anyone else.
     
    Last edited: 3 Jul 2019
  24. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    I'd suggest network connectivity (planned connections) and capacity to be more important to the North which has a web of demand and not one corridor/destination that can result in a single high speed line being viable.

    The first investment I'd make is in platform lengths and rolling stock (and electrification) to allow all trains to be 160m long as a minimum.
     
  25. EastisECML

    EastisECML Member

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    It'd be nice to have some sort of clockface timetable on the North's regional network that spreads out from all of the hubs. Maybe using a UK loading gauge version of this https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SNCF_Class_B_82500 running on half hourly frequencies for most routes.
     
  26. RLBH

    RLBH Member

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    Apart from being a bi-mode, it's not all that different in practice from a 3-car Class 195 or 331. And CAF does offer a bi-mode version of the Civity. If the 195s were all 6 cars or 8 cars, permanently running in that configuration over lines capable of handling trains of that length, you'd be getting somewhere.
     
  27. DynamicSpirit

    DynamicSpirit Established Member

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    That sounds to me like you may have misunderstood the point of HS2.
    • Firstly, as far as London services are concerned: The main benefit of HS2 at the London end is that, by removing the fastest trains from the WCML, MML and ECML, you provide a massive boost in capacity that can allow much better, more frequent, commuter services to the many towns along those lines (Milton Keynes, Luton, Stevenage, Watford, etc.), as well as potentially much better links between those towns and the North. The fact that it means the long distance services from London will also run a lot faster is a rather nice secondary benefit.
    • And secondly, HS2 will provide regional connectivity. Journeys between Birmingham and Manchester, Nottingham, Sheffield, and Leeds will also become much more convenient than today. The missing thing is it doesn't directly benefit East-West journeys such as Liverpool-Leeds - but those will come about from Northern Powerhouse Rail, for which work is ongoing to see how best to link HS2 and NPR.
    That sounds iffy to me. Yes, once you get North of Leeds, 200kph would be great (but is that really much higher than you can already get on the ECML?). But West of Leeds, I'd say you're putting stations too close together to get much benefit from 200kph running. 100mph would arguably be fine there. And may possibly be what we get anyway once the NPR plans are sorted out.
     
    Last edited: 3 Jul 2019
  28. Railwaysceptic

    Railwaysceptic Member

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    Yes, north of Darlington, that is much faster than is possible at present.
     
  29. EastisECML

    EastisECML Member

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    No misunderstanding, I just wish there was as much attention and 'grand project' type investment for our inter city and regional networks. At the end of all of this and HS2 is up and running we'll still be left with a lot of lines needing investment. And plenty of towns yet to be connected either by a railway line that needs to be reopened or in the case of Chester-le-Street and Cramlington, poorly served by a railway line they're already on. If HS2 trains were to kindly wait for a couple of trains every hour to stop at Chester-le-Street, for a minute, that would be nice.

    And 200 kph is just a general number, not meant to be precise. Sixty kph through Manchester, 160 kph across the Pennines, 225 kph from York to Darlington, 160 kph through County Durham, all good.
     
  30. BigCj34

    BigCj34 Member

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    I do wonder if the branding is what has created a storm about the expenditure, and whether a much less glamorous PR would have stopped parts of the media condemning it as a waste go money. Calling it the WCML Relief Route, marketing it more as necessary infrastructure spending to provide capacity, and having the headline figures such as journey times and speed buried within the details to make it sound less of a political prestige project. It is largely necessary yet the public are seeing it as a vanity project when they shouldn't.

    There is a cultural scepticism about grand projets in England so these things do need to be approached with caution.
     

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