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HS2

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"British rail network cannot survive without HS2"

 

OK... let's assume this to be true.  Let's assume this helps ease rail congestion along the path of HS2 and the bits alongside it.  What about the rest of the country?  The lines into London from all other directions, especially the southern sides of London are even busier than the route he's talking about.  We passed the point many years ago that if humans had the same transport laws as animals then the train companies would be prosecuted every day for overcrowding.

 

We'll be spending £40bn or so to create a nice little clean-spot on the network for a few years while the rest of the country has to put up with what they've already got.

 

A friend who works for National Rail, in the track-side maintenance management chain, said that they'd be far better just building more standard lines to take freight, move freight off the passenger tracks and you can almost double the trains on it quite easily.  Also, creating a dedicated freight trunk could remove a lot of HGVs from the country's motorway spine.  Not as sexy selling a freight trunk though as it is a 225mph bullet train network.

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A line from the west into London would i imagine be very useful. I would hope that the north-south line will not be the last.

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A trip from Preston to Euston takes between 2.5 to 3 hours today. The vast majority of HS2 users would be businessmen / women who would travel first class on the existing railway, and can work on the train.  We'd be spending £45 billion to shave about  one hour off the journey.

 

That's £45 billion so they can do the same work in an office for an hour, instead of doing the work on a train.

 

The money should be spent on lengthening station platforms and adding more carriages.

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By the time HS2 goes live we will be about 50 years behind the French in getting a high speed railway. If they make any advances in their infrastructure we will still be behind them.

Rather than trying to be amongst the fastest we ought to strive to be the best.

Better rolling stock and better station facilities.

I travelled from Barrow to the midlands on Sunday. Barrow buffet was closed,Lancaster buffet was closed. The onboard shop on the Lancaster to Birmingham train closed at Lancaster, reopened at Preston and closed at Stafford.

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Wigan to Euston takes me a shade over 2 hours, whilst I wouldn't want to do it every day, its more than feasable to do there and back in a day should you want to avoid the cost/inconvienience of an overnight stay. 

 

Can take me half as long again to cover the final leg of my journey from Euston to were ever I'm going in London which is always going to be the case with or without HS2!

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Can take me half as long again to cover the final leg of my journey from Euston to were ever I'm going in London which is always going to be the case with or without HS2!

 

Indeed. And I believe there are no plans to upgrade Euston's woeful Underground facilities (just about the worst of all the London main line terminals), which are a real bottle neck at the best of times. Considering the cost of HS2 as a whole, it is ridiculous to think that Euston tube station will be able to cope with the (alleged) extra volume of traffic. 

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How much time will HS2 save for a KPMG consultant living in Alderley edge travelling to a KPMG office in the City?

 

 

On a slightly different tack, why oh why oh why did they appear to choose the most expensive and most challenging route?   The French LGV people have it so easy..mainly agricultural routes in open country with a much less rural road network to cope with and a much more generous loading gauge. It seems that the links to Bordeaux for example are about 1/5 cost of HS2.

 

see http://www.railway-technology.com/projects/toursbordeaux-high-speed-rail/

 

 

 

Oh, and this is how the Swiss do it: http://www.alptransit.ch/en/home.html

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A trip from Preston to Euston takes between 2.5 to 3 hours today. The vast majority of HS2 users would be businessmen / women who would travel first class on the existing railway, and can work on the train.  We'd be spending £45 billion to shave about  one hour off the journey.

 

The best quote I heard about this was that if you're in Manchester and having to attend a meeting in London (or vice versa) you use a unit of time known as 'a day out of the office'.

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I've just looked at a HS2 website and it reckons that it will knock a whole 44 minutes off the journey time from Preston to London.

 

That's £45 billion to save 44 minutes. I think I'll start saving for the fare now!

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It might knock 44 mins off the journey time from Preston to London but how much will it knock off the door-to-door time, I wonder?  Still, it will increase the income tax yield if Miliband ever get the opportunity to tax the numerous HS2 consultants  at Mili's new top rate.

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It might knock 44 mins off the journey time from Preston to London but how much will it knock off the door-to-door time, I wonder?  Still, it will increase the income tax yield if Miliband ever get the opportunity to tax the numerous HS2 consultants  at Mili's new top rate.

 

Indeed. If it's anything like Cross Rail there will be hundreds of four figure a day consultants filling up two floors of the most expensive office space that exists in Canary Wharf. :dry:

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Indeed. If it's anything like Cross Rail there will be hundreds of four figure a day consultants filling up two floors of the most expensive office space that exists in Canary Wharf. :dry:

 

If it's anything like HS1 it won't link properly with the rest of the network and will cost significantly more, even at off-peak.

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Indeed. If it's anything like Cross Rail there will be hundreds of four figure a day consultants filling up two floors of the most expensive office space that exists in Canary Wharf. :dry:

 

Canary Wharf is rather nice, some great views from the upper floors of Canada House.

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Does the team think that HS2 will go as well as Crossrail. see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crossrail

 

and STILL no explanation of why they have chosen the most expensive, difficult and controversial route for HS2

Edited by JohnM

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As I mentioned in my original post, I think spending some on the freight links is worth far more than creating an effectively tiny clean-spot.  I had this cleared up even more today in a working lunch with a public sector financial planner.

 

Apparently, freight rail cannot get investment anywhere except from the EU and even then only for limited projects.  Massive chunks of track that's only for freight is still unelectrified because no-one will sign off the business case.  One example: It took massive efforts to get a 1 mile rail chord built near Ipswich to divert freight from Felixstowe bound for the midlands and north away from Ipswich's huge bottleneck of an ageing station where they'd have to reverse into the siding then drive out again, all while crossing passenger train tracks.  It was an all too common occurrence to turn up at the train station and see a broken down freight train in the platform area or one where the points had seized due to use well beyond their specification. It took years and years to get approved and required intervention at the Secretary of State level to get this 1 mile bit of track installed in a brown-field area that doesn't really affect anyone.

 

I'm fairly confident in saying that if there were detailed analysis of the track system then we'd find lots of little patches to be made like that Ipswich chord that massively improve the flow of trains along existing networks, and all for a tiny percentage of that £40bn for HS2.  There's plenty of areas where we could easily stick an extra track beside existing tracks, divert slow trains onto that and allow far more aggressive scheduling of InterCity trains while still allowing more slower trains on the dedicated slower track.

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In the aftermath of Beeching thousands of miles of such tracks were ripped up including passing loops and curves linking one stretch of track to another. These would now be perfect for re-routing freight. These sorts of tracks are also useful when carrying out track maintenance to main line routes as they could act as a diversion route. Another bit of political short sightedness. :(

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Wakefield, Manchester and Bradford each have two non-connected railway stations. If the government wanted to really benefit the north, it would start by connecting these rail lines.

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Wakefield, Manchester and Bradford each have two non-connected railway stations. If the government wanted to really benefit the north, it would start by connecting these rail lines

Wakefield's two stations are connected I believe and the two in Manchester are planned to be connected in the next couple of years.

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Wakefield, Manchester and Bradford each have two non-connected railway stations. If the government wanted to really benefit the north, it would start by connecting these rail lines.

Warrington as well... no?  I think they are unconnected?

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The High speed line will allow peole to live further away from london thus pushing up local hose prices.This will make london an d the south east a magnet for workers unless they do something about the Northern rail and road links. Getting around in the north by train  is .The M 62 can be slow and rolling stock is old

The M62 and the M6 are frequently like a moving car park.

Su forget the hs2 and put the money where it is needed

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The cost of the London to Birmingham leg has risen from £20 billion to £30 billion due to rising construction charges and skill shortages.

This has been reported to the treasury ahead of the spending review.

The estimated cost is now £80 billion. ( and if you believe that will be the final cost your living in cloud cuckoo land)

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The cost has gone up , what happened was a guess of £20b was made a few years ago as to what would it cost to build hs2 5 years. This is a revision to that we now have more detail and inflation has to be taken into account. It will keep going up because there are still so many unknowns.

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The cost has gone up , what happened was a guess of £20b was made a few years ago as to what would it cost to build hs2 5 years. This is a revision to that we now have more detail and inflation has to be taken into account. It will keep going up because there are still so many unknowns.

It still relies on massive guesses around the cost to compulsorily purchase the land needed.  I saw somewhere that some landowners have been working with their agents to set high purchase prices for land in the target areas to either dissuade from going that route or to set the prices as punitively high.

 

I genuinely can't get why the government are making massive cuts all across the rest of the state yet refuse to defer this for a few years until "austerity" ends.

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I genuinely can't get why the government are making massive cuts all across the rest of the state yet refuse to defer this for a few years until "austerity" ends.

 

I still believe you could deliver huge improvements to the whole rail network at half or even a quarter of the eventual cost of HS2. 

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