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Topic Title: High Speed Rail in the UK
Topic Summary: We need a balanced argument for and against
Created On: 17 June 2011 07:15 PM
Status: Read Only
Related E&T article: High-speed rail expansion
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 17 June 2011 07:15 PM
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ctolmie

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The article in The IET Magazine is written as a campaign brief for High Speed Rail. We need to make sure that the arguments against are made too!
In the UK the new railway proposed (HS2) is designed to minimize impact on housing and maximise impact on 600 acres of productive farm and woodland.
The project is slated to be running by 2026, long after vast swathes of the working population are working and meeting using Telepresence systems and avoiding travel altogether.
The proposed line opens up no new routes, connects no new population centres and solves none of the current classic rail network issues.
The business case for HS2 is slowly being pulled apart and the cost of the project out of all proportion to the benefit.
Only 8% of car journeys are over 25 miles, and the majority of flights from UK airports are long haul. HS2 will, therefore, take few cars off the road and few flights out of the air.
Best to update the current rail network and implement new, exciting, knowledge based human telecommuting networks, saving energy and enabling people to work within their communities.
 06 September 2011 09:11 PM
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DMChatterton

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I would agree that HS2, proposed to be running by 2026 (at the earliest), would provide little advantage over the communication alternatives expected to be available at that time. However, the alternative to "high" speed (steel wheel on steel) rail, Maglev, does present a different picture.

Perhaps our discussions could consider this.
 27 September 2011 09:40 AM
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HS2Cost

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HS2 is going to cost each constituency in the UK £51million (or £32 billion for the UK in total). It will cut through the British countryside, devastating Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and destroying vital environmental habitats.

We've built an infographic to help demonstrate this: Link removed/hs2cost/
 27 September 2011 03:08 PM
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tobibaker

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I started reading this thread hoping that I would completely disagree with you, unfortunately I suddenly remembered the long arduous train journey I make every day to work (At a job a love) a journey that could be complete within half an hour actually takes an hour and a half to complete because there are no direct routes !

-------------------------
Experienced Engineering Consultant

Tiro Associates
 27 September 2011 08:52 PM
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DMChatterton

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I agree with HS2Cost that HS2 as currently proposed would be an expensive outlay with disadvantages far outwaying any advantages.

However, I note toblbaker's comments regarding the need for a direct route to avoid an arduous conventional train journey.

The question is: Can UK Ultraspeed's proposals for a Maglev system satisfy his (and similar) requirements? If so, it will be a long up-hill (although not insurmountable) struggle to get the Maglev proposals acceptable in the present economic situation.
 28 September 2011 10:03 AM
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rogerbryant

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The European experience with High Speed Rail links:

http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/cu...les.html?cid=31224906

Best regards

Roger
 20 October 2011 11:14 AM
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euanpw

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Originally posted by: ctolmie
The project is slated to be running by 2026, long after vast swathes of the working population are working and meeting using Telepresence systems and avoiding travel altogether.


It may be the case that everyone perceives that tel-presence will irradiate the need for business travel in the UK, but video telecommunication has been with us for a number of years now, yet when the likes of ICWC (Intercity West Coast) increased frequency and reduced journey times between major railheads on it's network, demand increased along with it and use of the rail network within the former LNWR region increased. In spite of the increased availability of video telecommunications.


The proposed line opens up no new routes, connects no new population centres and solves none of the current classic rail network issues.

The proposed line relieves congestion on the southern portions of both the West Coast Mainline and Midland Mainline routes, that are now at the point of saturation where any additional services would require significant changes of infrastructure, south of Rugby for example there is no space for any additional services without a major change to the signalling or rolling stock, and last time this caused years of weekend blockades to the network, that is only recovering now.

Not building HS2 will choke both passenger and freight capacity between Rugby and London, with the growth of Containerized fright between the southern ports and the freight network. This will be a major limitation on any further growth.

The business case for HS2 is slowly being pulled apart and the cost of the project out of all proportion to the benefit.

Only 8% of car journeys are over 25 miles, and the majority of flights from UK airports are long haul. HS2 will, therefore, take few cars off the road and few flights out of the air.

Best to update the current rail network and implement new, exciting, knowledge based human telecommuting networks, saving energy and enabling people to work within their communities.


Pulled apart where, do you have a neutral source for this? The BCR reaches far beyond the initial cost divided by revenue. And the cost figures being quoted are for the entire length of the project, and I'm sure any sources you're reading do not take into account the indirect economic benefits of the combination of both released capacity on the lower WCML, and MML. But also increased mobility between regions showing massive growth in rail passenger demand, currently chocked by a lack of on track capacity.

Updating the current network can only go so far, where would you stop?

Any further modernization of the WCML core between Rugby and London would be prohibitively expensive, compared with the cost of HS2, and would not bring anything near as much benefit as the demand changes brought about by a step reduction in journey times and freeing up 16tph paths on the southern ends of the current MML and WCML.
 20 October 2011 06:35 PM
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DMChatterton

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One of the difficult problems to solve when considering high speed rail is that steel wheels on steel rails start to generate problems at 100 mph and become difficult to solve adequately at 120 mph plus. I have travelled on a Hitachi Javelin on HS1 from Rochester into St Pancras on several occasions and experienced severe wheel hunting in the tunnels when travelling at high speed. Drivers have commented that wheel profiles are being changed to attempt to solve the problem but Javelins have to travel on Network Rail metals as well as HS1 whereas the Eurostars keep to HS1 in England. I have also learned that the DB ICE has to undergo quite a lot of wheel maintenance when travelling at speed on German rails. The tyre profiles have to be reground regularly as do the rails themselves. Obviously the suppliers make more money out of excessive maintenance at high speed and are unlikely to oppose any moves towards HS2. The question is: Have steel wheels on steel rails reached the end of their development for high speeds?
 21 November 2011 02:14 PM
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euanpw

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Of course we could move onto Maglev for the HS2 network, but then it would be a very restricted network, sticking with wheel on rail, it will be possible to continue to run services from Inverness or Aberdeen via HS2 by attaching a locomotive at Edinburgh to pull it up there. Where as if we did go for something like Maglev, it would not be possible to integrate with the current network at all.

Even when HS2b is completed to Leeds and Manchester, it will still have more off network services than isolated services.

Assuming an EU Gauge network to Manchester and Leeds, we would have, off Euston, 3tph to Birmingham, 3tph to Manchester and 2/3 tph to Leeds via HS2. But would also continue to have (I'm only quoting off Rugley / Manchester S Parkway here), off Rugley 1tph to Chester and possibly 1tph to Liverpool via Crewe, and off Manchester S Parkway, 1/2tph to Liverpool L St via St Helens (assuming connection at Paitcroft) 2tph total to Liverpool from Euston. 1tph to Glasgow Central via Preston, and possibly 1tph to Blackpool N or Blackburn via Preston / Lostock Hall. And 2tph Classic Compatable for the Eastern side up the ECML, via York.

So the captive services off Euston would be at most 9tph, with the off route services totaling a minimum of 6tph, and possibly as high as 10tph, and thats before one starts of the changes to the XC network via Birmingham post HS2b.

So a move to maglev would possibly halve the amount of potential services, even at HS2b completion, at HS2a completion, only 3tph would be able to run captive to the HS2 network.

Basically, we need to run wheel on rail unless you're going to re-build pretty much the whole UK rail network that is set to receive HS2 services, and thats pretty much every WCML and ECML station north of Rugley TV and Doncaster.

Granted there are problems with profiling for wheel on rail, but the're a maintenance issue, not as bigger issue as it would be having an entirely captive HS Network.
 16 December 2011 10:14 PM
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jencam

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HS2 is a white elephant. The money would be much better spent on electrifying lines that aren't currently electrified - such as Paddington, Reading, Bristol, Cardiff, Exeter, Penzance or Bedford, Leicester, Nottingham, Derby, Sheffield.
 17 December 2011 11:24 AM
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DMChatterton

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To get a better idea of where money is planned to be spent, I suggest listening to Peter Dearman's lecture given at the Annual Railway Dinner event on 3 November 2011.
Energy for Traction, Power for the Railway
 17 December 2011 11:29 AM
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DMChatterton

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If the above link does not work, just look up IET.tv Technology - Power for Peter Dearman's lecture on 3 November 2011.
 17 December 2011 06:36 PM
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euanpw

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Originally posted by: jencam

HS2 is a white elephant. The money would be much better spent on electrifying lines that aren't currently electrified - such as Paddington, Reading, Bristol, Cardiff, Exeter, Penzance or Bedford, Leicester, Nottingham, Derby, Sheffield.


OK, asside from the fact that there is no substance there other than a spout off on a forum that one assumed was populated by professionals, and shouldn't even need to post this in reply as it is almost embarrassing to be sharing a community with someone who can't do a simple google search for what is happening in the UK. I can refer you to this link...

http://www.networkrail.co.uk/aspx/12273.aspx

1) The GWML is being electrified...

Paddington to Cardiff via Bristol Parkway
Reading to Newbury
Didcot to Oxford
Swindon to Bristol TM via Bath Spa
Bristol Parkway - Bristol TM

(All routes covered by 2tph or more, as stipulated as a condition for electrification by Network Rail)

2) Penzance will not see electrification until the dates for life expiration of LDPE Diesel stock in the UK, this currently being around 2040 - 2045. Electrification needs to be carried out in a rolling plan at a certain speed in order to ensure that the correct rolling stock is available without ordering 'useless' stock.

3) The Midland Mainline has a potentially infinite BCR, and if one is able to calculate LDPE rolling stock requirements post HST in 2019 when no longer DDA complient, the MML Electrification to Wakefeild and Doncaster via Derby / Nottingham and Sheffeild would provide the 222 fleet to replace the Class 43 fleet. Combined with either an additional order for Class 390 units or the Class 390 units displaced from HS2 (Would need a short life extension of some Mk3 sets to 2025/2030).

4) Bedford is electrified, unless I am imagining all of these Class 319 EMUs going there as part of the Thameslink route.


Either way... I have worked out a rolling scheme of electrification that would mean approximately 25 Mk3 sets seeing life extension until 2025/2030 (Depending on Transport Scotland's plans) and no new LDPE Diesel stock being required. Also, by clever specification of HS2CC Rolling Stock it will be possible to continue services beyond Plymoth to London.

The major problem at the moment is the shortage of Reigonal DMUs that we're going to have on Jan 1st 2020 when DDA Regulations show their ugly face. Without two major suburban electrification projects, in addition to confirmed projects, being completed before then, we will be in a state of major stock shortage. (Since I don't see any stock being displaced out of Scotland)
 14 August 2012 02:42 PM
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melanieosborne

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Thanks euanpw for saving me the effort of a bit of googling to reply to jencam. Blood pressure back to normal now.
 14 August 2012 05:09 PM
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DMChatterton

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There is an update to the electrification of the UK, following the coalition government's announcement on 16 July 2012.

See the attached map:

http://assets.dft.gov.uk/publi...s-electrification.pdf

Statistics

See Also:



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