Benefits of High Speed Rail project exaggerated, secret report reveals

This Thread was started by @Blogg 10 years ago.

It is interesting to go back and read the first few Posts - and to see how all that is said now about countryside vandalism, Project-cost over runs, undeliverable benefits - was all being forecast then.

And with Boris at the helm, his love of grandiose Projects + promises to the Labour north for lending him their votes - this folly is bound to continue.
 
Bu
This Thread was started by @Blogg 10 years ago.

It is interesting to go back and read the first few Posts - and to see how all that is said now about countryside vandalism, Project-cost over runs, undeliverable benefits - was all being forecast then.

And with Boris at the helm, his love of grandiose Projects + promises to the Labour north for lending him their votes - this folly is bound to continue.
But in fairness, if it isn’t built? The questions are endless, would it have been a missed opportunity? Or is this another in the armoury of those that want to impinge on ability to travel, cos it’s not green.
 
Bu

But in fairness, if it isn’t built? The questions are endless, would it have been a missed opportunity? Or is this another in the armoury of those that want to impinge on ability to travel, cos it’s not green.

If it isn't built ?
To sum it up briefly - and from memory - a journey that could take 2 hours ( if you chuck untold billions at it ) will continue to take 2 hours and 20 minutes - as it has done for the last 70+ years.
I can't help but think that money could be better spent.
Eg The High Street is dying.
So take a London based company of say, 400 people. Leave 80 in London and open High St offices of 40 people in 8 smaller towns.

Interlink these offices with quality livestream video, build a lot of cycle paths and now people can live in lovely rural areas, cycle to work, or take the E-bus ( every 20 minutes in ALL rural areas, seamlessly keep the money moving and rebuilding the Northern powerhouse.

But of course they will just carry on bulldozing.
 
If it isn't built ?
To sum it up briefly - and from memory - a journey that could take 2 hours ( if you chuck untold billions at it ) will continue to take 2 hours and 20 minutes - as it has done for the last 70+ years.
I can't help but think that money could be better spent.
Eg The High Street is dying.
So take a London based company of say, 400 people. Leave 80 in London and open High St offices of 40 people in 8 smaller towns.

Interlink these offices with quality livestream video, build a lot of cycle paths and now people can live in lovely rural areas, cycle to work, or take the E-bus ( every 20 minutes in ALL rural areas, seamlessly keep the money moving and rebuilding the Northern powerhouse.

But of course they will just carry on bulldozing.
Problem.
The high street has always been a ripoff. Too much demanded for rent and pretty much cartelised means that prices are pretty much stuck with little alternative. Ergo Labour demand will probably go down.18 months of depending on Amazon. EBay etc means prices have dropped.
Problem, a hell of a lot of infrastructure is well old: a new set up primarily geared at Freight wouldn’t go amiss and get rid of a hell of a lot of lorries.
offices for a lot of areas is old hat. Plus try shopping on a bike even a bus is problematic. What people will pay for is convenience.
 
But of course they will just carry on bulldozing.
Because their rich mates investing in the build will get even richer, and continue to bung £££,£££,£££ into the Party's coffers, in order to guarantee gunmint support for initiatives like this.

At least when the nations aristos were building the canal system, they weren't spending taxpayer's money, and if their plan was a turkey it was them who went bust.
 

Clunker

Old-Salt
More than 9 tonnes of freight goes by road in the UK for every tonne by rail. To make any real difference in the number of HGVs driving about the rail freight would have to up its game by 400% at least. Considering the huge cost of laying a bit of high speed track what would the cost of a freight build cost?
Even then factories, shops and people are connected by road not rail so eventually it all ends up on reads.
UK transport has evolved from Mule to narrowboat to rail to road. I do not think it feasable to try and reverse this process. Maybe the next step will be drone delivery or something but multi billions spent to trim a few minutes off a train journey does not seem money well spent.
 
More than 9 tonnes of freight goes by road in the UK for every tonne by rail. To make any real difference in the number of HGVs driving about the rail freight would have to up its game by 400% at least. Considering the huge cost of laying a bit of high speed track what would the cost of a freight build cost?
Even then factories, shops and people are connected by road not rail so eventually it all ends up on reads.
UK transport has evolved from Mule to narrowboat to rail to road. I do not think it feasable to try and reverse this process. Maybe the next step will be drone delivery or something but multi billions spent to trim a few minutes off a train journey does not seem money well spent.
Mornin’. My position is based on the fact that British Government interfered post WW1 to give road haulage an advantage. In the same way as the railways robbed the canals, roads have robbed rails, much of the then railway system has gone, yet we are formulating plans to get rid of Hydrocarbons. Haulage says that soon Lorries will be largely electric, but the manufacture of batteries is also toxic. To that extent rail journeys are irrelevant when we can phone face time etc. Moreover drones will only be able to carry so much. Actually upping rail freight by 400% percent would not be a big ask, given the number of flats on any train are empty. Since rail was initially built to shift freight, that makes sense. But within that there’s more of a problem with local delivery .
 
More than 9 tonnes of freight goes by road in the UK for every tonne by rail. To make any real difference in the number of HGVs driving about the rail freight would have to up its game by 400% at least. Considering the huge cost of laying a bit of high speed track what would the cost of a freight build cost?
Even then factories, shops and people are connected by road not rail so eventually it all ends up on reads.
UK transport has evolved from Mule to narrowboat to rail to road. I do not think it feasable to try and reverse this process. Maybe the next step will be drone delivery or something but multi billions spent to trim a few minutes off a train journey does not seem money well spent.
Freight is not AFAIK part of the HS2 case.

It's principally about commuting more people from oop North to work in the SE, in the expectation that their new found wealth will be spent around their home area.

I didn't buy that argument at the outset, and 15 months of lockdown WFH tell me it's even less convincing now
 

Clunker

Old-Salt
Freight is not AFAIK part of the HS2 case.

It's principally about commuting more people from oop North to work in the SE, in the expectation that their new found wealth will be spent around their home area.

I didn't buy that argument at the outset, and 15 months of lockdown WFH tell me it's even less convincing now
I fully agree Freight and "self loading freight" are different issues. I used it as a current example of how infrastructure and building costs leap past their initial costings.
Roads go to everywhere Rail doesn't. Lorries, trucks and vans are still required to do the end point delivery. Sticking loads back on to rail would be expensive to set up again (depots, manpower) and by inserting another link in the chain slow down delivery.
 

Clunker

Old-Salt
Mornin’. My position is based on the fact that British Government interfered post WW1 to give road haulage an advantage. In the same way as the railways robbed the canals, roads have robbed rails, much of the then railway system has gone, yet we are formulating plans to get rid of Hydrocarbons. Haulage says that soon Lorries will be largely electric, but the manufacture of batteries is also toxic. To that extent rail journeys are irrelevant when we can phone face time etc. Moreover drones will only be able to carry so much. Actually upping rail freight by 400% percent would not be a big ask, given the number of flats on any train are empty. Since rail was initially built to shift freight, that makes sense. But within that there’s more of a problem with local delivery .
If large numbers of railstock are moring about empty does that not beg the question why? It would appear that rail vs road is uneconomic at present. A huge push to get stuff shifted back to rail would not force rail prices lower.
They do not historically work that way. Less passangers, put up the prices.
Fully agree that governments have screwed up big style in the past but we have no magic wand to make Beeching unhappen. Others have also played a part in killing off rail.
It is done and any thing to reverse this now would be eye wateringly expensive.
 
If large numbers of railstock are moring about empty does that not beg the question why? It would appear that rail vs road is uneconomic at present. A huge push to get stuff shifted back to rail would not force rail prices lower.
They do not historically work that way. Less passangers, put up the prices.
Fully agree that governments have screwed up big style in the past but we have no magic wand to make Beeching unhappen. Others have also played a part in killing off rail.
It is done and any thing to reverse this now would be eye wateringly expensive.
No that’s a Beeching concept, just because something isn’t moving does not mean it has not earnt it’s investment, but spare capacity is vital. That’s what beeching didn’t get. Passengers have always been an incidental Brucie bonus but what people value more than anything is convenience, that’s where the railways loose out. If on the other hand, the road is set for depriving us of cars, the transport must be laid on. Beeching also cheated, he did the survey in the School holidays when usage would have been at minimal
 
didn't know that!!
Well see, the point was the Government stated that bus services would replace the trains. But the minimal usage that was presented didn’t warrant the bus services, that’s why they never got them. That forced people into cars. Here’s the paradox. Because they were forced to have cars the bus services that were introduced didn’t pay and people got used to the convenience of travelling when they wanted to
 
If large numbers of railstock are moring about empty does that not beg the question why? It would appear that rail vs road is uneconomic at present. A huge push to get stuff shifted back to rail would not force rail prices lower.
They do not historically work that way. Less passangers, put up the prices.
Fully agree that governments have screwed up big style in the past but we have no magic wand to make Beeching unhappen. Others have also played a part in killing off rail.
It is done and any thing to reverse this now would be eye wateringly expensive.
It will be in any event. The road network needs a fair bit itself, the more you build the more you have to maintain. Beeching can’t unhappen but one day we really will have a coherent transport strategy, Er possibly, sometime never.
didn't know that!!
His excuse was he wanted to know how minimal the services needed to be. That’s why only basically the trunk routes remained.
 
His excuse was he wanted to know how minimal the services needed to be. That’s why only basically the trunk routes remained.
He was in a fantasy world, it seems to me, no real forward-looking going on at all.

BBC R4 opened the very first of their long running series Things We Forgot To Remember with a few lines from a senior civil servant's memo to Dr B, to the effect that:

Who knows what the future holds: by 1984, we could all be commuting to work by helicopter
At that time we were 'investing' our slice of Marshall Aid in running a massive conscript army across an Empire we couldn't afford, citing 'British Prestige' as though it were a God-Given and Real Thing, while those silly billies in France and Hermany were wasting their (more meagre) shares of Marshall Aid $$ on investing in mundanities like a road/rail infrastructure fit for the late 20th Century and beyond.

O! How We Larfed At Them.​
 
He was in a fantasy world, it seems to me, no real forward-looking going on at all.

BBC R4 opened the very first of their long running series Things We Forgot To Remember with a few lines from a senior civil servant's memo to Dr B, to the effect that:

Who knows what the future holds: by 1984, we could all be commuting to work by helicopter
At that time we were 'investing' our slice of Marshall Aid in running a massive conscript army across an Empire we couldn't afford, citing 'British Prestige' as though it were a God-Given and Real Thing, while those silly billies in France and Hermany were wasting their (more meagre) shares of Marshall Aid $$ on investing in mundanities like a road/rail infrastructure fit for the late 20th Century and beyond.

O! How We Larfed At Them.​
Yers but here’s the thing, despite having developed new railway systems post WW2 most continental systems run at a perennial loss. SNCF certainly does despite their investment in TGV. Connex had the open secret that Southern paid premiums that actually supported Dutch Railways. Quite simply from what I saw, the rich Fly jet taxis, the middle class drive and the poor take the train
 
If you're poor, then UK railfares are beyond contemplating, and the morning commute is not generally the preserve of the potless.
not specifically correct. I mean my department used to pay for my ticket and take off monthly chunks, plus it had a use even if I didn't use it. It meant I had paid my liability and Mileage was higher rate. I wasn't made of money plus my travel was rather unpredictable. But I believe taking out loans for Season tickets is quite common.
 
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