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General Chat Thread, Trouble down the track for HS2? in General; The latest group to come out against HS2 is the PAC. BBC News - HS2 high-speed rail benefits dwindle as ...
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    sparkeh's Avatar
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    Trouble down the track for HS2?

    The latest group to come out against HS2 is the PAC. BBC News - HS2 high-speed rail benefits dwindle as costs soar - MPs

    Does this mean HS2 is getting into trouble or will the Government keep its fingers in its ears and plough on?

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    I'm a supporter of it for one simple reason - we need railway capacity.

    The existing 'mainlines' are basically full, and adding extra tracks to those routes would cost 100x as much due to them going through built up areas.

    So, the only option is a new line.

    Sure, it'll be expensive now, but so were the original lines 100+ years ago. They pay for themselves over their working lives.

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    I remain (very) skeptical about HS2. I can get from Preston to London in just over 2 hours on a Pendolino and the speed they are quoting the London/Birmingham times + the extensions to Manchester and Leeds are not that much of an improvement. I mean, how much will shaving 15 mins off a train journey really mean?
    Mind you, given current train fare increases, it was almost cheaper for me to fly down to London recently than take the train as Shaun and I found out to our shock!
    It's a shame that it would add several hours onto my journey time (train to/from airport(s) and checking in) if flying becomes cheaper than a direct train from Preston.

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    tmcd35's Avatar
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    The Government will keep its fingers in its ears and plough on through!

    Really, they should scrap it and invest the money in social housing. That, I think, will have a greater effect on the UK economy. Jobs, affordable mortgages, scrap the bedroom tax on the poor, etc.

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    In Germany they have double decker passenger railway carriages, couldn't we increase capacity by using these? I am sure it would be a lot cheaper than HS2?

    Sadly our existing Victorian railway tunnels will not allow for that

    The German double decker coaches are not that much higher than single deckers.....
    Last edited by broc; 9th September 2013 at 10:15 AM.

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    sparkeh's Avatar
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    For once I am on the fence.

    I really don't know who to believe as the arguments are diametrically opposed. One side claim its vital to cope with passenger numbers and will bring economic benefits, the other saying there are other options and no benefits, and actually drawing more business into London.

    The fact that previous supporters such as Alistair Darling and Peter Mandelson (who got the project rolling) and groups such as the Institute of Directors have come out against it does sway me toward the negative. Also, on a local level, here in the Midlands we will see the countryside torn up for no real benefit to us, just a station in the middle of nowhere.

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    FN-GM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dos_Box View Post
    I remain (very) skeptical about HS2. I can get from Preston to London in just over 2 hours on a Pendolino and the speed they are quoting the London/Birmingham times + the extensions to Manchester and Leeds are not that much of an improvement. I mean, how much will shaving 15 mins off a train journey really mean?
    Mind you, given current train fare increases, it was almost cheaper for me to fly down to London recently than take the train as Shaun and I found out to our shock!
    It's a shame that it would add several hours onto my journey time (train to/from airport(s) and checking in) if flying becomes cheaper than a direct train from Preston.
    Would probably be much better for people coming from Scotland (when it gets to that stage)

    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    I'm a supporter of it for one simple reason - we need railway capacity.

    The existing 'mainlines' are basically full, and adding extra tracks to those routes would cost 100x as much due to them going through built up areas.

    So, the only option is a new line.

    Sure, it'll be expensive now, but so were the original lines 100+ years ago. They pay for themselves over their working lives.
    For once we agree on something

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    The speed is somewhat irrelevant, and I wish the government would stop harping on about it. Capacity is the key.

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    tmcd35's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    The speed is somewhat irrelevant, and I wish the government would stop harping on about it. Capacity is the key.
    I'm tempted to play devil's advocate and ask - capacity for what? Bringing workers from up north to jobs in the south? Surely that's a sign that more needs to be done attracting investment in the north rather than paying to ferry people around? I can't see a high speed train line to Leeds convincing big business it's the right place to relocate their HQ to.


    Edit: we have a similar infrastructure thing going on locally. A northern bypass for Norwich. Actually that's the wrong word for it, it stops short of it's destination by a mile or so and in doing so defeats it purpose. I just can't see why anyone would use the current proposed route?!?
    Last edited by tmcd35; 9th September 2013 at 10:29 AM.

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    sparkeh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    The speed is somewhat irrelevant, and I wish the government would stop harping on about it. Capacity is the key.
    Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said the other day that selling HS2 on speed was a mistake. I have to agree that the project has been handled pretty badly up to now.

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tmcd35 View Post
    I'm tempted to play devil's advocate and ask - capacity for what? Bringing workers from up north to jobs in the south? Surely that's a sign that more needs to be done attracting investment in the north rather than paying to ferry people around? I can't see a high speed train line to Leeds convincing big business it's the right place to relocate their HQ to.
    Capacity for freight, capacity for people to travel from anywhere up north to down south.

    Freight has reached capacity now basically, and is getting in the way of passenger trains - leading to delays.

    A high percentage of trains from the north to south now have too many people standing, with some being 'dangerously overcrowded' to use terminology seen in the media.

    Investment in the north won't reduce the need to travel - it hasn't in any other country, when they've invested in outlying areas. It simply increases travel needs, as people in other cities then need to travel to those new investment cities for meetings, as well as visa-versa.

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    CAM
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    Rail in the UK is very much stuck in the Victorian era. Trains have to occupy a corridor called a loading gauge which they cannot exceed once tilting and banking is taken into account. Equipment and infrastructure such as bridges or signals also cannot encroach within the loading gauge or it will collide with a train.

    This is why we cannot have double decker trains or they will smash into tunnels and overhead power lines. Even a new line would enter the old Victorian sections at some point so we still can't stray far from the current sizes and lengths.

    There is also plenty of perfectly usable track bed kicking around but since the Beeching cuts they have been built on as they were not legally protected like in other countries. Otherwise we could re-open old lines after some track laying and renewal work.

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    rad
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    Inside the m25 this is going to more of an impact in creating it than we will get out of it. It runs through (demolishing) housing estates, goes through lakes farm land etc and is a noise issue for those living near it let alone the loss of house prices to those that are no where near train lines.

    For me it goes through my OH work.

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    I personally think the Government are looking at rail travel from completely the wrong perspective. The investment in railways needs to be made at local level only. By upgrading/modernising lines/trains from towns surrounding major cities such as Birmingham. There are plenty of train stations all going into Birmingham and many haven't been touched in years.

    By increasing the amount of scheduled trains and the number of passengers it can carry is going to have a considerably larger economic benefit rather than building/creating one new super line which takes people up and down the country. The majority of people who go to work via train do not do this, so I'm somewhat baffled as to why the Government and its so called 'experts' think so.

    I've caught the train into Birmingham many times. Why you ask - because it is easier/quicker, Birmingham as a city is very busy and because it costs a small fortune to park. Would I catch the train travelling half way down the country? Unlikely, the motorway links are generally pretty good and it actually costs me less than a train ticket.

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    Absolutely agree with the capacity statement. The West Coast line, despite having 4 tracks over large parts of the route to Birmingham and Manchester is at full capacity now. In fact some stations such as Watford Junction have actually seen a reduction in Intercity services so as to allow for more robust pathing on the southern section.

    If you are going to build a brand new line, then it needs to be a 200mph+ modern high speed route. There is little or no point in building a brand new line for 125mph traffic. Its almost like digging up a huge trench to the local phone exchange at huge expense and putting a 10mbps Ethernet Line in rather then a Fibre link.

    You cannot have double decker trains in this country because the loading gauge is fairly unique and very restrictive. To enhance the loading gauge would cost an absolute fortune and would be as expensive as a new build. You could argue the British loading gauge is the biggest problem facing our railways in general as it also means we cannot simply run proven continental designs on our network. Everything has to be downsized slightly and built to a different spec and incurring a higher cost as a result.

    The real answer to the problems facing Britain? Population management. Now if anyone has any answers to this then I'd be interested in hearing them!

    As for simply spending billions on 'social' housing instead, it depends on what kind of country you want to live in in 20-30 years time. All very well having millions of new homes but never mind how you are actually going to get from A to B.

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