Author Topic: HS2  (Read 6479 times)

HS2
« on: November 05, 2013, 09:40:47 pm »
Having been cycling a bit in recent years I have developed a certain regard for the Victorian railway engineer and a disdain for all things Marple. Should HS2 go ahead and if so why? Ps noticed today that certain aircraft carriers are now to cost double the original budget, just saying like..........Oh and then there is the question of the grand central railway which was built to.........over 100 years ago mmmm.
Get a bicycle. You will never regret it, if you live- Mark Twain

Re: HS2
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2013, 11:16:05 pm »
No

Best argument for building HS2 is to increase capacity on the railway system.

However, high-speed is not the best way to achieve this. More trains can be run if they are going at slower speeds.

So, yes, build more railway lines. No, don't make them high speed lines (more expensive to build due to routing requirements plus rolling stock more expensive).
<i>Marmite slave</i>

Re: HS2
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2013, 11:27:32 pm »
No

Best argument for building HS2 is to increase capacity on the railway system.

However, high-speed is not the best way to achieve this. More trains can be run if they are going at slower speeds.

So, yes, build more railway lines. No, don't make them high speed lines (more expensive to build due to routing requirements plus rolling stock more expensive).

That.

Re: HS2
« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2013, 11:35:51 pm »
... Ps noticed today that certain aircraft carriers are now to cost double the original budget, ...
70% increase since originally budgeted in 2006, a very large part of which has been politically imposed by slowing down construction to push spending into the future despite it being known that would increase total cost, & a flip-flop on the design part way through building. Almost all of this increase has been known about for years. The headlines are misleading.
"A woman on a bicycle has all the world before her where to choose; she can go where she will, no man hindering." The Type-Writer Girl, 1897

Wowbagger

  • Dez's butler
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
Re: HS2
« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2013, 11:48:35 pm »
Logically I think HS2 should not go ahead. However, I really enjoyed my first trip on Eurostar the other week and I'm itching to get on a Thalys or an ICE. Other countries manage high-speed luxury train travel and it just seems a bit crap that this country can't follow suit.
Oh, Bach without any doubt. Bach every time for me.

Jaded

  • The Codfather
  • Formerly known as Jaded
Re: HS2
« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2013, 12:03:25 am »
It's not that we can't, it is that we won't.

We won't because we are hooked on cars. And we cannot see it.
If you don't like your democracy, vote against it.

Re: HS2
« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2013, 12:27:22 am »
I'm inclined to think that there is no way of making the business case for HS2 at the moment without fiddling the figures, but that if we don't build it now, we'll feel really really stupid in thirty years time.

I remember Crossrail stuff turning up for discussion in about 1993, yet the bloody thing's still not built ... and wasn't the Thameslink upgrade project originally Thameslink 2000?

Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Re: HS2
« Reply #7 on: November 06, 2013, 10:29:54 am »
^^That's what really annoys me about these huge projects. We spend twenty years talking about them and then another decade doing them. Although I think it would be better to spend the HS2 money on upgrades to and reopenings of existing infrastructure, if we're going to do it, let's get on with it now. We'll end up doing it twenty years late when it's already outdated.
sideways bounding monkey lounging under fruit tree

Re: HS2
« Reply #8 on: November 06, 2013, 05:54:30 pm »
Waste of money.  Double existing main lines, shorten and realign routes and re-open some branch lines instead.
Never tell me the odds.

Jaded

  • The Codfather
  • Formerly known as Jaded
Re: HS2
« Reply #9 on: November 06, 2013, 06:02:59 pm »
Massive problems with existing lines. Tunnels, bridges, houses, gardens.
If you don't like your democracy, vote against it.

Re: HS2
« Reply #10 on: November 06, 2013, 06:06:26 pm »
What you need is 10,000 burly Irish navvies, the most efficient builders of infrastructure in the 19th century world.  Ireland has high unemployment.  What's not to like?
Never tell me the odds.

Re: HS2
« Reply #11 on: November 06, 2013, 06:27:07 pm »
Massive problems with existing lines. Tunnels, bridges, houses, gardens.

So better to build entirely new tunnels, bridges and destroy even more houses, gardens SSSIs etc then?


Jaded

  • The Codfather
  • Formerly known as Jaded
Re: HS2
« Reply #12 on: November 06, 2013, 06:30:40 pm »
Pretty much, yes.
If you don't like your democracy, vote against it.

Re: HS2
« Reply #13 on: November 06, 2013, 06:59:28 pm »
Several points, some also in thread in Politics etc  elsewhere on here.

Most of what I would want to say was summed up at the Treasury Select Committee this week

- KPMG seemed to accept that their report giving a £15billion/year "forecast" - which isn't a forecast because their standard disclaimers say that it isn't, was based on some very novel workings. 3 academics appearing as witnesses totally slated the methodology and workings. Why KPMG didn't also release the £billions that hundreds of towns and cities would lose was asked about, but not satisfactorily answered.
- the academics gave evidence that the "capacity" issue wasn't on longer journeys - in fact Euston is the least congested major station in London. Euston would also LOSE non-HS2 trains if HS2 is built. The commuter networks into major cities are crumbling and overcrowded. HS2 does nothing to change this, and will use up any money that might have improved things.
- The academics gave evidence that the ratio of gains to expenditure for HS2, done by the correct methodology, gave very marginal gains, much worse than work to improve the existing infrastructure or do other projects.

In other words, the figures are being made to fit the need to somehow justify £3,000+ per family in taxes. (There was also a hint in the evidence that the same trick that was pulled with HS1 will be repeated - build at public taxpayer expense, write off the costs and sell to the private sector.


Also it is emerging that:

-HS2 is likely to destroy more jobs than it creates
-David Cameron wants cuts to the budget to make sure that his showpiece train gets built - the only place these can come from is environmental and compensation budgets (already pitiful)
- once HS2 reaches Manchester it will go on to Scotland, but on existing lines. It will therefore be slower than the existing tilting Pendelino
-Post HS2 plans remove intercity trains, and replace with a "hub and spokes" system. The idea is therefore to "encourage" anyone travelling to major cities to use the (expensive) HS2, rather than multiple changes (and what happens to those here who want to take bikes I daren't imagine)
- HS trains use many times more electricity than even Pendelinos - where is that going to come from?

Mr Wow - France etc are much much huger than the UK. Even so, the French and the Spanish are pulling away from High Speed, especially as it has sucked resources away from other rail services, leaving them less safe and less reliable. HS2 is profiled to take over £7bn/year away from non-HS railways.

I started off being worried that HS2 had destroyed the value of my house, and would destroy the village I live in. I'm now much more angry that in the face of damning reports from the Audit Commission, The Treasury Select Committee, The Public Accounts Committee, as well as the CBI etc etc - Cameron, Osborne (whose Father in Law is being paid as a consultant to a high speed train manufacturer) and McLoughlin still barge on regardless with something that will be an economic white elephant and will cost every one of you and your families thousands.

As was evidenced, again by academics using rigorous methodologies , building homes, hospitals, schools, and doing other things that we are so desperate for, will do much more for the economy, for jobs, and for everyone's pockets.



Re: HS2
« Reply #14 on: November 06, 2013, 09:08:49 pm »
I dunno if there is any science behind my guess, but isn't there a case that a prestige high speed line helps destroy the primacy of air and car travel?

I suspect it is more that those countries that have it, have made consistent investment in public transport over the years, but we are where we are. These days, Eurostar is a reasonable alternative that most would take if they could.  I wonder if it has any measurable impact on the air traffic?

I'd like to live in a country that has a public transport infrastructure that rivals our european neighbours, but I suspect that the London centric view of rail skews it too far away from what's needed.

I reckon that all comes down to being generally anti HS2, even though I admit I'm basically ignorant and swayed by prejudice.

Re: HS2
« Reply #15 on: November 06, 2013, 09:28:55 pm »
I too don't understand the Londoncentric planning perspective. Why are we sticking to something the ancient romans found convenient?
Get a bicycle. You will never regret it, if you live- Mark Twain

Re: HS2
« Reply #16 on: November 06, 2013, 09:30:14 pm »
Well I live in London so benefit, but so do about 15% of the UK population (if you include those covered by the local transit system, possibly up to 20%)

Re: HS2
« Reply #17 on: November 06, 2013, 09:33:47 pm »
Eer where are Britain's ports,  London? No longer....etc etc.
Get a bicycle. You will never regret it, if you live- Mark Twain

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: HS2
« Reply #18 on: November 06, 2013, 09:45:16 pm »
The quayside at London Gateway Port is literally a mile long and equipped to simultaneously cope with 3 ships bigger than the world's current largest ships. Tilbury Docks are smaller but just a little further up the Thames.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

TimC

  • Bike pilot
Re: HS2
« Reply #19 on: November 07, 2013, 08:30:51 am »
I dunno if there is any science behind my guess, but isn't there a case that a prestige high speed line helps destroy the primacy of air and car travel?

I suspect it is more that those countries that have it, have made consistent investment in public transport over the years, but we are where we are. These days, Eurostar is a reasonable alternative that most would take if they could.  I wonder if it has any measurable impact on the air traffic?

I'd like to live in a country that has a public transport infrastructure that rivals our european neighbours, but I suspect that the London centric view of rail skews it too far away from what's needed.

I reckon that all comes down to being generally anti HS2, even though I admit I'm basically ignorant and swayed by prejudice.

High speed rail does compete with air travel on high-density, high yield routes. London-Paris has been effectively conceded to Eurostar, for all but those connecting to long-haul flights. London-Manchester has been significantly affected by Virgin Trains' success (though virgin has that covered by air too). I'm sure there are other examples.

But high speed rail has enormous infrastructure costs, and that infrastructure is totally inflexible. Upgrading it is almost as expensive as building it in the first place (witness the arguments over HS2 versus upgrading -again - the WCML), and redeploying it if travel flows change is impossible. The longer and 'thinner' the route, the less sense HSR makes. All very logical. The biggest argument in favour of HS2 is that its construction won't affect the current infrastructure - I guess many have already forgotten how much disruption there was in the most recent upgrade of the WCML, which never delivered the originally-promised 140mph railway - and, once completed, it will allow a very significant increased in rail freight on the current facilities.

I'm a rail enthusiast; I love the idea of new railways and flash 200mph trains. But I'm struggling with this. I think it's been poorly thought out and its routing is suspect. On the other hand, we are bloody dreadful at doing anything with transport other than building more fucking roads. It's time we grasped this nettle.

Re: HS2
« Reply #20 on: November 07, 2013, 08:49:44 am »
I dunno if there is any science behind my guess, but isn't there a case that a prestige high speed line helps destroy the primacy of air and car travel?

It also destroys all the other local and less prestigious lines...

Your HS2 seems to be the equivalent of our TGV in France so we have a bit of experience on the long term effects of high speed trains!
The TGV  have completely shut down short air lines, like Paris-Lyon and even Paris-Brussels.  That's the positive effect.  The negative effect is that
all the money goes to the building and maintenance of TGV lines, and all the other lines are slowly decaying.  For example, the train line from Nevers, where
we live, to Paris, was excellent and cheap 10 years ago. Now the service is so crap and expensive that I always prefer taking the car.

You have probably heard about the train crash of Brétigny-sur-Orge last summer that killed seven people (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Br%C3%A9tigny-sur-Orge_train_crash).
In the aftermaths of the crash, the main responsibility was clearly pointed toward the lack of maintenance, the lack of money to actually do the maintenance, and... the TGV who sucks out all the money. 

Re: HS2
« Reply #21 on: November 07, 2013, 08:52:22 am »
I dunno if there is any science behind my guess, but isn't there a case that a prestige high speed line helps destroy the primacy of air and car travel?

I suspect it is more that those countries that have it, have made consistent investment in public transport over the years, but we are where we are. These days, Eurostar is a reasonable alternative that most would take if they could.  I wonder if it has any measurable impact on the air traffic?

I'd like to live in a country that has a public transport infrastructure that rivals our european neighbours, but I suspect that the London centric view of rail skews it too far away from what's needed.

I reckon that all comes down to being generally anti HS2, even though I admit I'm basically ignorant and swayed by prejudice.

High speed rail does compete with air travel on high-density, high yield routes. London-Paris has been effectively conceded to Eurostar, for all but those connecting to long-haul flights. London-Manchester has been significantly affected by Virgin Trains' success (though virgin has that covered by air too). I'm sure there are other examples.

But high speed rail has enormous infrastructure costs, and that infrastructure is totally inflexible. Upgrading it is almost as expensive as building it in the first place (witness the arguments over HS2 versus upgrading -again - the WCML), and redeploying it if travel flows change is impossible. The longer and 'thinner' the route, the less sense HSR makes. All very logical. The biggest argument in favour of HS2 is that its construction won't affect the current infrastructure - I guess many have already forgotten how much disruption there was in the most recent upgrade of the WCML, which never delivered the originally-promised 140mph railway - and, once completed, it will allow a very significant increased in rail freight on the current facilities.

I'm a rail enthusiast; I love the idea of new railways and flash 200mph trains. But I'm struggling with this. I think it's been poorly thought out and its routing is suspect. On the other hand, we are bloody dreadful at doing anything with transport other than building more fucking roads. It's time we grasped this nettle.


Eurostar now runs about half the trains that were planned for, and the trains are shorter than planned for. The use was so far under forecast that the original debts of the project were written off (=paid by you and me), and a debt-free business almost given to the private sector.

Air flights to European destinations continue to increase. The cost of a flight is much, much less than a Eurostar ticket in most cases.

The Government "threatened" 14 years of disruption at weekends etc if work to the existing lines was done instead of HS2. That estimate was based on more "guessology", but included necessary maintenance we understand.
However, because we are a small country, building HS2 actually causes at least as much disruption to the existing lines whilst it is built, crossing and re-crossing the line, and being grafted in at several points. Euston is effectively a building site for several years, with all the disruption that will cause.
What we have become used to is a huge, multi-million £ PR machine that trumpets possible, overblown usually, benefits, and hides any down sides. Should a Government be working in this way (and its your £millions they are spending on PR).

David Martin

  • Thats Dr Oi You thankyouverymuch
Re: HS2
« Reply #22 on: November 07, 2013, 09:50:36 am »
I fully support HS2 but it is being built in the wrong place. It should be a replacement for the coal truck lines on which we try to run intercity trains in Scotland. A new line across Fife, and a new Perth -> Inverness line would be ideal. Maybe they should also reopen the Scottish Central line from Perth to Aberdeen via Forfar?
"By creating we think. By living we learn" - Patrick Geddes

Re: HS2
« Reply #23 on: November 07, 2013, 09:53:24 am »
No freight would be carried on HS2 lines, david. It is for high-speed passenger trains only.

This is one of the reasons why it is the wrong plan.
<i>Marmite slave</i>

Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Re: HS2
« Reply #24 on: November 07, 2013, 10:56:34 am »
I think "coal truck lines" refers to the state of the lines, not the traffic on them.
sideways bounding monkey lounging under fruit tree