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

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EastisECML

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Yes, north of Darlington, that is much faster than is possible at present.
That line twists and turns through County Durham and then make a couple of even sharper looking turns before they approach Durham city. Then after Durham there is another particularly wheel scraping corner before Chester-le-Street. It's not exactly crawling speed, but it's not overly fast either. What makes it worse is the A1(M) motorway passes along the same corridor on a much straighter alignment. It's a pity when that motorway was being built the opportunity wasn't taken to realign the ECML alongside it. Although accessing Durham will always require that dog leg route after Ferryhill.
 
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The area around Durham is only part of the story. Between Newcastle and Berwick the ECML is a mediocre railway while between Berwick and Edinburgh it's downright bad!
 

yoyothehobo

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A Morpeth bypass and a new section replacing the line north of Berwick that overlooks the sea might be worth while.
Yes, but it would be very tricky. The topography is unfriendly and so is the geology if you were to tunnel, so it would have to be a long, fairly deep tunnel which may scupper any benefits.
 

sprunt

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A Morpeth bypass and a new section replacing the line north of Berwick that overlooks the sea might be worth while.
Getting rid of that stretch of line that goes past the sea might get me off the train onto the plane when I travel from London to Edinburgh.
 
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Getting rid of that stretch of line that goes past the sea might get me off the train onto the plane when I travel from London to Edinburgh.
Yes. One of the ironies of the ECML is that the really good parts run through flat, agricultural land while the bad parts run through picturesque terrain!
 
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EastisECML

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Yes, but it would be very tricky. The topography is unfriendly and so is the geology if you were to tunnel, so it would have to be a long, fairly deep tunnel which may scupper any benefits.
Following the A1 around Morpeth might be the simplest way and combine it with dualling the A1.
 

class26

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Sorry, I was referring to the bit north of Berwick.
But there are places around Berwick where the line is perilously close to the cliff edge. At some point the line is going into the north sea and it might be a good time soon to take a look at whole stretch to move it inland and straighten it out somewhat
 

EastisECML

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I think they'll eventually end up bypassing the existing Berwick station to avoid that exposed sea section and have a station in Tweedmouth before crossing the Tweed near the wonderfully named 'Well Hung and Tender' butchers. Ideally though a new section of track heading inland from Ramparts Business Park would be the plan.
 

yoyothehobo

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If you want to avoid any sea related issues, you will have to avoid Berwick and the easiest route appears to be going from Cheswick in a nearly straight line to Reston and then take your medicine past Penmanshiel. there is no advantage going any further west.
 

Bald Rick

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Sorry, I’ve not been watching this thread for a while, but I couldn’t let the following go unchallenged:

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.
The cost of doing all this would easily be more than HS2. For a start, to get to 160mph, you would have to replace all the track, signalling and OLE, close all level crossings, close any platforms on the fast lines and rebuild on new lines, straighten out significant stretches of alignment, and no doubt strengthen or replace most of the structures (over and under the line). You would also need to widen the formation, as the track centres need to be 4200mm apart at 160mph, compared to 3800mm at 125mph. That 400mm would be very expensive to win. Effectively you would be building a completely new railway around the existing one.

Then you would spend another load of cash sorting the ‘bottlenecks’. Which has been explained in numerous threads previously, actually gives very little in terms of capacity given the mix of services and central London station capacity.

And you need to do all this whilst trying to run trains.
 

Facing Back

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Would it all be easier and cheaper to move the capital to somewhere like Lincolnshire? It seems to be that London is quite hard. Its almost as if the Romans didn't plan properly for today.

We could build lovely new straight fast train lines good for many hundreds of miles per hour, perhaps an experimental hyperloop from the capital to the new massive 6 runway airport we would be able to build.

We could easily fund it all by not having to refurbish the houses of commons and selling them to be converted into a hotel.

I believe that housing and land are both cheaper too so Megastation One lurking at the heart of this won't be too expensive to build.
 

EastisECML

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You would also need to widen the formation, as the track centres need to be 4200mm apart at 160mph, compared to 3800mm at 125mph. That 400mm would be very expensive to win. Effectively you would be building a completely new railway around the existing one.
Just out of interest, would that be enough space for continental gauge trains?

Would it all be easier and cheaper to move the capital to somewhere like Lincolnshire? It seems to be that London is quite hard. Its almost as if the Romans didn't plan properly for today.

We could build lovely new straight fast train lines good for many hundreds of miles per hour, perhaps an experimental hyperloop from the capital to the new massive 6 runway airport we would be able to build.

We could easily fund it all by not having to refurbish the houses of commons and selling them to be converted into a hotel.

I believe that housing and land are both cheaper too so Megastation One lurking at the heart of this won't be too expensive to build.
I like this, chuck in the Umbrella Corps' Bee Hive deadly chemical weapons research and development facility underneath to fund it. Never mind sky rights, 'cave rights' will pay all of this.
 

DynamicSpirit

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Would it all be easier and cheaper to move the capital to somewhere like Lincolnshire? It seems to be that London is quite hard. Its almost as if the Romans didn't plan properly for today.
What are you going to tell all the people who work for the Government, or for companies that want to be located near the Government, in London? Sorry guys, you've gotta uproot your families and move to this brand new town that we're building. And by the way, how much do you think the cost of building a new capital with all the associated infrastructure will be? And how many objections from the people already living in Lincolnshire to the destruction of an area of countryside would you expect?

We could build lovely new straight fast train lines good for many hundreds of miles per hour, perhaps an experimental hyperloop from the capital to the new massive 6 runway airport we would be able to build.
Many hundreds of miles an hour? Can you name anywhere in the World that has trains capable of 'many hundreds of miles an hour'? Are you aware of any technology that has been developed to allow this? And do you actually know anything about the hyperloop and all the reasons why it almost certainly will never be able to carry people?

And have you thought about the cost of building these hypothetical futuristic fast train lines from across the country to Lincolnshire? (Clue: It'll be many, many times greater than the cost of building HS2).

Also, unless most of the business that are located in London also choose to move to the new capital, the only people you'll lose are the ones who work for the Government and associated industries - which is a pretty small proportion of the people living in London. Most of those businesses are pretty unlikely to want to move, as most of them have no need to be in the *capital* - you'll find most of them are in London because that's the place where the expertise and professional staff they need can most easily get to (or already live). So even if you do move the capital to Lincolnshire, you'll probably still need to build HS2 to accommodate the demand for people to get to London.

We could easily fund it all by not having to refurbish the houses of commons and selling them to be converted into a hotel.
No you won't be able to. Not refurbishing the houses of commons will save you between £3bn and £5bn. That sounds a lot, but at a rough guess, I'd say it's probably something like 1% of the total cost of what you're proposing. Maybe less. Besides, the houses of Parliament are actually in a *dangerous* state. How on Earth will you convert it to a hotel if you don't refurbish the buildings and make them safe first?

I believe that housing and land are both cheaper too so Megastation One lurking at the heart of this won't be too expensive to build.
Well yes, land is cheaper in Lincolnsire. You got that bit right. Doesn't mean a whole new city etc. won't still be mega-expensive to build.
 

Facing Back

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What are you going to tell all the people who work for the Government, or for companies that want to be located near the Government, in London? Sorry guys, you've gotta uproot your families and move to this brand new town that we're building. And by the way, how much do you think the cost of building a new capital with all the associated infrastructure will be? And how many objections from the people already living in Lincolnshire to the destruction of an area of countryside would you expect?



Many hundreds of miles an hour? Can you name anywhere in the World that has trains capable of 'many hundreds of miles an hour'? Are you aware of any technology that has been developed to allow this? And do you actually know anything about the hyperloop and all the reasons why it almost certainly will never be able to carry people?

And have you thought about the cost of building these hypothetical futuristic fast train lines from across the country to Lincolnshire? (Clue: It'll be many, many times greater than the cost of building HS2).

Also, unless most of the business that are located in London also choose to move to the new capital, the only people you'll lose are the ones who work for the Government and associated industries - which is a pretty small proportion of the people living in London. Most of those businesses are pretty unlikely to want to move, as most of them have no need to be in the *capital* - you'll find most of them are in London because that's the place where the expertise and professional staff they need can most easily get to (or already live). So even if you do move the capital to Lincolnshire, you'll probably still need to build HS2 to accommodate the demand for people to get to London.



No you won't be able to. Not refurbishing the houses of commons will save you between £3bn and £5bn. That sounds a lot, but at a rough guess, I'd say it's probably something like 1% of the total cost of what you're proposing. Maybe less. Besides, the houses of Parliament are actually in a *dangerous* state. How on Earth will you convert it to a hotel if you don't refurbish the buildings and make them safe first?



Well yes, land is cheaper in Lincolnsire. You got that bit right. Doesn't mean a whole new city etc. won't still be mega-expensive to build.
I'm sorry, you may have invested my idea with more seriousness than I had intended. I think Bald Rick may have picked up that I wasn't entirely (read that as "in any way") serious
 

Bald Rick

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I'm sorry, you may have invested my idea with more seriousness than I had intended. I think Bald Rick may have picked up that I wasn't entirely (read that as "in any way") serious
Having relocated myself to Lincolnshire in the past (and fairly rapidly relocated myself back out) I knew straight away that no-one could ever seriously propose relocating the capital city there!
 

si404

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perhaps an experimental hyperloop
I know your post would have been sponsored by Crayola had you been genuinely serious, but mentioning the HYPErloop with its low capacity overly-fast Concorde-esque approach (only with less comfort than even the Spartan Concorde) to railways as a good idea in the UK just crosses the line from speculative spitballing into super crazy crayons! <D
 

Facing Back

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I know your post would have been sponsored by Crayola had you been genuinely serious, but mentioning the HYPErloop with its low capacity overly-fast Concorde-esque approach (only with less comfort than even the Spartan Concorde) to railways as a good idea in the UK just crosses the line from speculative spitballing into super crazy crayons! <D
Actually that's a good point - there will be room for long runways so the airport can be a spaceport as well! Once we've perfected hyperloop vacuum and propulsion technology we can use the same on a large scale to accelerate the spaceplanes to very high velocity before launch.

We'd need some kind of field technology to allow the place to exit the tunnel whilst maintaining the vacuum but how hard can that be?

My guess is that we can nail this technology in about the same timeframe as persuading the government and the civil service to relocate.

ps I liked Concorde. Things don't always have to make sense....
 

DynamicSpirit

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I'm sorry, you may have invested my idea with more seriousness than I had intended. I think Bald Rick may have picked up that I wasn't entirely (read that as "in any way") serious
Haha! Oooops!

My excuse is that there are so many people around who probably could've written what you wrote, and meant it completely seriously ;)
 

EastisECML

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Yep, width ways.
It's a pity that is so disruptive and expensive as the ability to run double decker trains into our cities (I'm obviously adding overhead clearances to this) would be a big step up (literal and figuratively). But as said, building new makes more sense than laying waste to everything while it's still being used.
 

sprunt

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We'd need some kind of field technology to allow the place to exit the tunnel whilst maintaining the vacuum but how hard can that be?
Well, there's no shortage of fields in Lincolnshire so there must be plenty of experts to help you come up with the technology...
 

al78

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Most of those businesses are pretty unlikely to want to move, as most of them have no need to be in the *capital* - you'll find most of them are in London because that's the place where the expertise and professional staff they need can most easily get to (or already live).
I thought it was more that for an international company, having a London address for their head office gives prestige.

It terms of ease of accessibility, Birmingham would arguably be better location for a capital city than London. It is very central, and can be easily accessed from all directions, there would be less housing pressure on any one nearby county because there are so many places to live that are within an hours commute.
 

Facing Back

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I thought it was more that for an international company, having a London address for their head office gives prestige.
True for some to be sure. I know an international company who has recently moved its head office to London. They have 30,000 staff of which 18 are based in the head office. They have some nice conference rooms as well of course.
 

The Ham

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A recent piece on HS2:
https://www.thecourier.co.uk/fp/opi...hen-britains-rail-system-fails-on-the-basics/

You can travel by train from Scotland to Ho Chi Minh in south Vietnam.

I know this because I’ve done it.

It includes the trans-Mongolian line, Moscow to Beijing, which is an experience.

Coal-fired braziers in each carriage, compartments that smell and feel like being shut in your granny’s wardrobe.

The trip involved many trains, all of which left on time and arrived to schedule.

Except one.

The Edinburgh to London train left late, stopped at Prestonpans while it considered the purpose of its existence, and then chugged back to Waverley in despair.

We tolerate our trains because we have no alternative, but it’s time we admitted the truth.

Our railways are an abject failure.

We invented them, and have been destroying them ever since.

To think that trainspotters bemoan Beeching’s cuts, when ScotRail, Virgin and LNER are doing far worse damage, while subsidised by the taxpayers.

There is a calculation that trains are far more eco-friendly than flying – carbon emissions divided by passenger numbers, I think.

But for all the horror of modern airports, nothing is as ghastly as boarding the London train.

Will it set off, how long will it take, will there be food, or a seat? Maybe it will simply disappear, burrowed into the English countryside and nobody will ever find it, for lack of concern.

For this utterly untrustworthy experience, we must pay twice, if not three times the price of a plane ticket.

Danny Alexander (remember him – bit like a spurtle) said the sleeper train would be upgraded in the name of the union back in 2010.

We now have new carriages, but the train is perpetually delayed.

You can pay £200 for a bed, only to be woken at Carstairs and put on to a bus instead.

That’s like booking an ocean cruise and being handed oars.

Yet Britain is about to spend £27 billion on a new “fast” train from London to Birmingham. We can’t get a train to run reliably from London to Edinburgh, but somehow imagine it’s within our skill set to build HS2.

Worse, this vastly expensive folly in the already-congested south will shave only minutes off the journey time.

That’s the equivalent of Holyrood’s annual budget for a marginal difference in arrival time.

The total bill for all the bits of HS2 is estimated at £56bn.

And not a line of track even gets close to the border.

As public infrastructure invariably overruns, its real cost may be in excess of £100bn.

And yet the Edinburgh train will still run late, with the same carriages, to the same erratic timetable.

This is insanity.

As if to prove this diagnosis, the Tory leadership runners are enthused by this scandalous waste of money.

Jeremy Hunt has pledged his support, imagining the scheme an echo of Victorian greatness.

Boris Johnson, as with so much in life, is possibly in favour, possibly against.

He’s called for a review, but in recent days has spoken in favour of grand projects.

Bojo likes building things.

As Mayor of London he built a cable car across the Thames that nobody uses, proposed a garden bridge that was never built, yet still cost more than £30 million and wanted to build an island in the Thames estuary, much like the ones Bond villains typically used to inhabit.

He has since proposed a bridge between England and France. Finding that thrilling, he then suggested a bridge between Scotland and Ireland.

The chances of him supporting HS2 are high – it would be a dead cert if a bridge were involved.

There’s everything right in long-term infrastructure projects which are of benefit to all and improve the quality of life, but that is not HS2.

It is a piecemeal project with vague goals of making train travel in the congested south a bit faster and connecting some cities in the north of England.

It is not targeted at everyone, but some notional business person who has so far been denied a personal fortune because the 8.10 out of Paddington isn’t quick enough.

Britain needs a functioning rail system that unites all communities.

This is one way that environmentally damaging car use can be reduced.

Ideally, it would have high-speed distance trains like French or Spanish railways, and good local services.

It needs this long before HS2 or a bridge to anywhere.

The aim is not the aggrandisement of Tory politicians or anyone else, but to simply achieve a functioning railway which runs to schedule, is pleasant to travel on and does not cost a month’s salary for a last-minute return.

Britain has failed at the most basic level.

If billions are to be spent, money which will be denied for new housing, schools and hospitals, then it must be to achieve a railway that works.

It’s not much of an ambition.

A fast train that leaves the bottom of Britain and gets to Scotland without delay or discomfort.

But that, it turns out, is too much to ask for.

This article terminates here – there is a bus replacement service.
There's a lot to go through, however the main thing that struck me was that the biggest complaint was a UK based train was delayed (I'd suggest that there's a good chance that if you did it that the UK train could be on time and several of the others could be delayed) not the fact that on one train the heating is a coal fired brazier.

Also they cite that the reason for HS2 is because the 8:10 or of Paddington isn't quick enough, errrr.... Paddington?!? Why would you be using HS2 if you were departing from Paddington?

If this is the quality that those opposed to HS2 can produce then it looks like that it's fairly safe from any serious review.
 
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