Benefits of High Speed Rail project exaggerated, secret report reveals

Not for the last 18 months or so, but for 4 years before that i was on French, German and Italian trains several times a month. Mostly inter city, but local/commuter in Germany. Uniformly comparable in reliability to British intercity, and much, much cheaper.
it'd be interesting to see how the overall costs work out. i work for a rail company with a lot of (i.e. mostly) Italians and they find the idea of bringing the trains into public ownership crazy and are keen to see theirs privatised. they see services here in the UK (working in Scotland and England outside London) as being reliable and of good quality compared to what they have at home. they also view government run railways in Italy and France as a, pardon the pun, gravy train where once you're on the contract its a reliable source of income regardless of whether or not you screw up the job.

so in conclusion everyone thinks their railways are crap.
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
it'd be interesting to see how the overall costs work out. i work for a rail company with a lot of (i.e. mostly) Italians and they find the idea of bringing the trains into public ownership crazy and are keen to see theirs privatised. they see services here in the UK (working in Scotland and England outside London) as being reliable and of good quality compared to what they have at home. they also view government run railways in Italy and France as a, pardon the pun, gravy train where once you're on the contract its a reliable source of income regardless of whether or not you screw up the job.

so in conclusion everyone thinks their railways are crap.
I’ve done a fair bit of development work in S&C design over the 30 years I’ve been milking the taxpayers and the latest Italian point mechanisms are the dogs danglies and I would love to be involved in that side again
 
I think the opposite might be true - if more people actually TRAVELLED on European trains rather than just alluded to them in support of their argument, there might be less guff about how marvelous state run railways are...

This is not a personal dig btw, but you know what I mean. A conversation I had at a New Years Day party (with an irritatingly smug teacher who was chock-full of just this sort of lazy generalization) took a turn for the worse when I asked him how often he travelled on European trains, and degenerated into his "little Englander" rant versus my darling wife steering me away from him toward the vol au vents... via the beer fridge.
Monthly, I travel on German, Czech, Polish and Lithuanian trains, daily on Latvian trains; Englanders have become spoilt.

Just my opinion from someone who travels twice a year from Stansted to Cumbria.
 
I’ve done a fair bit of development work in S&C design over the 30 years I’ve been milking the taxpayers and the latest Italian point mechanisms are the dogs danglies and I would love to be involved in that side again
I work on metro systems on the integration side (my first job in rail), it’s interesting work.

What’s your view on network rail? From what I’ve heard it’s pretty bureaucratic and inefficient but that’s second hand so may not be fair. I find it strange that there’s little discussion about NR when talking about bringing the railways into public ownership as it’s usually infrastructure that causes most of the dramas that affect people* and the body responsible is owned by the DfT

*speaking as someone who is currently on a replacement bus service as part of the line between Inverness and Perth is under water at the moment
 
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It will come as no surprise that the cost of this fanciful project spirals ever higher. Now, it seems, the 'northern powerhouse' motivation no longer features as highly as was once suggested. Phase II of the project is likely to be put on hold or else downgraded to a level of sophistication that might not have been unfamiliar to Robert Stephenson.

Newly elected Tory MPs from northern constituencies are now seeing HS2 for the resource-hungry southern vanity project that it always really was.
 

It will come as no surprise that the cost of this fanciful project spirals ever higher. Now, it seems, the 'northern powerhouse' motivation no longer features as highly as was once suggested. Phase II of the project is likely to be put on hold or else downgraded to a level of sophistication that might not have been unfamiliar to Robert Stephenson.

Newly elected Tory MPs from northern constituencies are now seeing HS2 for the resource-hungry southern vanity project that it always really was.
I would be surprised if the costs don't spiral beyond even more than the 20% mentioned.
 
I work on metro systems on the integration side (my first job in rail), it’s interesting work.

What’s your view on network rail? From what I’ve heard it’s pretty bureaucratic and inefficient but that’s second hand so may not be fair. I find it strange that there’s little discussion about NR when talking about bringing the railways into public ownership as it’s usually infrastructure that causes most of the dramas that affect people* and the body responsible is owned by the DfT

*speaking as someone who is currently on a replacement bus service as part of the line between Inverness and Perth is under water at the moment
@ugly

so from your silence i take it you work for Network Rail :D
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
NR is in effect public owned it’s the train and freight companies that are still privately owned
 
why is the UK so bad at large scale infrastructure projects?
To be fair, it's not only the Brits. For example, the Dutch totally naused up the North-South Metro in Amsterdam and the boxheads have stuffed up the Berlin Brandenburg Airport project.

However, we started to get into trouble with HS2 before spade had turned sod... and then there's Crossrail.
 
A member of the Oakervee panel speaking on R4 today hit the nail on the head: forecasting the cost of a major infrastructure project that will take another 20 years to design and deliver and will have an economic life of up to 100 years with any accuracy is a tall order, you might as well try and guess the Grand National Winner in 20 years time. The question is do you want a High Speed Rail running London to Manchester and Leeds? That is a question for political judgement. The latest estimates (ie those with the benefit of a partially developed design but before ground investigations) are in the range of £80bn - but that number will go up inevitably as the design develops and is delivered. For a fixed specification you need an efficiently run project that runs on time so as little of the spend is wasted, but that does not mean that the cost to deliver the design won't go up.
 
To be fair, it's not only the Brits. For example, the Dutch totally naused up the North-South Metro in Amsterdam and the boxheads have stuffed up the Berlin Brandenburg Airport project.

However, we started to get into trouble with HS2 before spade had turned sod... and then there's Crossrail.
You are not alone by any means...companies love to under quote and jack up the prices later...happens all the time....even in non-gov commercial sectors....around the world.
Cost overruns on projects of this size and scale are almost to be expected (especially as the fact that budgets set aside for risk are rarely included in the initial headline “cost”) however we seem pretty bad at getting large scale infrastructure projects done. Everything seems to drag on for so long that it dies before even being realised.


ETA; and even when they do get the do ahead progress seems spectacularly slow
 
Cost overruns on projects of this size and scale are almost to be expected (especially as the fact that budgets set aside for risk are rarely included in the initial headline “cost”) however we seem pretty bad at getting large scale infrastructure projects done. Everything seems to drag on for so long that it dies before even being realised.


ETA; and even when they do get the do ahead progress seems spectacularly slow
Can you imagine this happening in the UK (or a few other places)...at my old work place in the UK they took about 6 months to repave a parking lot!

 
Cost overruns on projects of this size and scale are almost to be expected (especially as the fact that budgets set aside for risk are rarely included in the initial headline “cost”) however we seem pretty bad at getting large scale infrastructure projects done. Everything seems to drag on for so long that it dies before even being realised.


ETA; and even when they do get the do ahead progress seems spectacularly slow
Part of the problem with HS2 is... Human Rights, everything needs an enquiry, every nimby who is defeated needs measures to defeat noise and provide ample bridges and tunnels etc, etc.

England wants to go it alone, you'll have to get in the boat and row; one nation Tories will see you right, they'll screw everybody over, but hey ho.

The country needs capacity, the North needs linkage. And still nowhere have I read of any politician saying 'we'll repeal EU Directives on Rail and Rail infrastructure'' so that projects can go back toUK norms with the attendant loss of cost.

Strange that.
 

Themanwho

LE
Book Reviewer
A view from the Speccy of the potential political shenanigans:

 
Part of the problem with HS2 is... Human Rights, everything needs an enquiry, every nimby who is defeated needs measures to defeat noise and provide ample bridges and tunnels etc, etc.

England wants to go it alone, you'll have to get in the boat and row; one nation Tories will see you right, they'll screw everybody over, but hey ho.

The country needs capacity, the North needs linkage. And still nowhere have I read of any politician saying 'we'll repeal EU Directives on Rail and Rail infrastructure'' so that projects can go back toUK norms with the attendant loss of cost.

Strange that.
it's certainly a big part of it. as a country we're not comfortable with running things through people without their consent, which is good in some ways but we wouldnt have been able to build our existing rail network if that was the case. the only thing i can see changing this is if the/a government really gets serious about going for carbon neutrality as in order to achieve this we're going to need to drive (metro) and fly (HSR) less and i dont see any other big issue on the horizon which will provide the political will to change the current set up.

whether or not you think global warming is bollocks, its the only way we'll get serious about driving through large infrastructure projects like HS2 without having to stop work every time someone discovers a rare slug or one of the neighbours objects to the noise.
 
it's certainly a big part of it. as a country we're not comfortable with running things through people without their consent, which is good in some ways but we wouldnt have been able to build our existing rail network if that was the case. the only thing i can see changing this is if the/a government really gets serious about going for carbon neutrality as in order to achieve this we're going to need to drive (metro) and fly (HSR) less and i dont see any other big issue on the horizon which will provide the political will to change the current set up.

whether or not you think global warming is bollocks, its the only way we'll get serious about driving through large infrastructure projects like HS2 without having to stop work every time someone discovers a rare slug or one of the neighbours objects to the noise.
Should you have listened to Donald at Davros in the first couple of minutes he just bigged America up. Nothing about global warming.

It is just not a serious issue; China and their satelites want 'Western' standards of living - and it would be difficult to disagree with them - except for the health problems that come...

Intractable problems now, this call sign has no idea of the solution.

HS2 costs? They were always north of 80 when the full project was published alongwith rolling stock - I am literally waiting for my issue of Modern Railways to cast some light on how the costs are over 100 and X, if it is full costing, then good - 20bn extra on an original 80bn actually seems quite reasonable... (if you have 20bn ;) )

The route is the problem - the good businesspeople of London need workers - and BHM serves the role; the North could well be screwed when the North needs it the most.

Time for a cup of tea.
 
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Should you have listened to Donald at Davros in the first couple of minutes he just bigged America up. Nothing about global warming.

It is just not a serious issue
; China and their satelites want 'Western' standards of living - and it would be difficult to disagree with them - except for the health problems that come...

Intractable problems now, this call sign has no idea of the solution.

HS2 costs? They were always north of 80 when the full project was published alongwith rolling stock - I am litterally waiting for my issue of Modern Railways to cast some light on how the costs are over 100 and X, if it is full costing, then good - 20bn extra on an original 80bn actually seems quite reasonable... (if you have 20bn ;) )

The route is the problem - the good businesspeople of London need workers - and BHM serves the role; the North could well be screwed when the North needs it the most.

Time for a cup of tea.
as the NVA colonel said "That may be true, but it is also irrelevant" :cool:

i think the UK could benefit from large scale infrastructure links outwith London and if it's framed in purely economic terms it will die a death. if campaigners are savvy they'll start banging the carbon neutral drum in order to get the political support these projects will need.

there's very few people outwith the regions who will care about regional transport links (voters or politicians) but you'll find plenty of supporters across the country, and across different political parties, if you tell them you want to reduce the number of internal flights and single passenger car journeys we complete as a nation
 

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