Proposed new High Speed Rail connection

#1
The search function comes up with 115 links to High, Speed, and Train, but nothing with all three . . . so here goes a new thread for the renowned ARRSE membership to "red-pen", and provide critical - hopefully constructive - comments!

Earlier this week (Thursday 10MAR11), for the first time, the sustained and very vocal opposition to the proposed new High Speed Rail connection (between London and the North), has been countered with the spurious and rather banal argument that the infrastructure work involved will provide a “much needed boost to the economy” !!

If we are to continue perpetuating nineteenth century technology in the hope that it will provide an increase in employment rates - can we also look forward to proposals to recommence the building of steam-powered ocean-liners?

Conventional rail technology is very nineteenth century. The rails, and the profile of the carriages' and the trucks' steel wheel "tyres”, are (of course) specifically designed to keep the train on-the-rails . . . . even though it is the natural tendency of the wheels to fight to break-free of the constraining tracks. (This was explained to me by BBC TV, so it must be true !).

Whilst that technology has been, and continues to be, appropriate for the movement of less urgent transport - in particular overnight freight and bulk commodities - there are other proven, tried and tested means of providing high speed transport for passengers.

Air transport is of course an obvious option, but it is not particularly economic over short, domestic routes. The speed of travel (once in the air), is somewhat negated by the time spent travelling to, and being delayed within, out-of-town airports.

There is a middle ground solution, in which the UK has played a prominent part in developing - but which has yet to be seriously adopted and employed in this country.

A high-speed "MAGLEV" monorail system, would employ light(er) weight aircraft fuselage type "carriages", and provide aircraft type accommodation and facilities. They could/would be, propelled along, and be suspended beneath - or on-top-of/astride - elevated "rails".

Whilst the "rails" would be supported by pylons, the whole infrastructure would be not much more visually intrusive than electricity power lines, and would consume/use no more land (an increasingly scare resource in itself), then would be required at the base of each of the individual pylons. With such a low cost/requirement for land/real-estate, there should be less objections than for the High Speed Rail proposal, and many imaginative solutions for a new "MAGLEV" monorail system to be integrated into, and with, the existing and older technology transport infrastructure.

Maglev (transport) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 
#3
[I[/I]

Earlier this week (Thursday 10MAR11), for the first time, the sustained and very vocal opposition to the proposed new High Speed Rail connection (between London and the North), has been countered with the spurious and rather banal argument that the infrastructure work involved will provide a “much needed boost to the economy” !!

Business leaders join Tories in call to scrap high-speed rail line - Telegraph

I have a feeling this will be a great white elephant, one of the reasons being that as there will be no stops in between London and Birmingham this means the only ones to benifit will be those in in either of the cities . Another thing is the fact that yes the journey time will be quicker because of no stops but the proposed new station for the Birmingham location is going to be another 20 min journey from the centre of Brum .
In my opinion that makes the whole project pointless.
 

jarrod248

LE
Gallery Guru
#4
A peak time return from Wakefield to London is knocking towards £250 for a crap service on dirty old trains. public transport is a vile rip off.
 
#5
If they're going to build a high-speed rail link in that neck of the woods then why do they not take more advantage of the land once occupied by the former Great Central railway,the only main line in Britain which was built to accommodate the Berne continental loading gauge,perhaps to dovetail with Edward Watkin's ideas about the then proposed Channel Tunnel.It does seem that a lot of land will have to be compulsorily purchased to build this new line when it need not be.Thoughts please...
 
#6
Conventional rail track, can and does accomodate both freight and passenger trains. I cannot see Maglev being able to do this - considering a freight train can be upto 750m in length (purely limited by signal technology) and in excess of 3000 tonnes!
 
#7
I don't really understand the fascination for the drive to take what is basically minutes off a train journeys. When the rail system was first introduced it reduced journeys to hours that had previously taken days. The same with horse/car and ship/plane. Until something radical like those come along then all we are doing is tweaking. Investment to improve what we already have would be better to my mind. Undo some of the damage that Beeching axe did so as to relieve the road congestion for example.
 
#8
This idea isn't just a white elephant - it's a whole ****ing herd of white brontosauruses (or apatosauruses if you want to be smart)! Nobody, with the obvious exception of the construction companies and the politicians and council members who're getting their kickbacks, want it. It's not needed, the country can't afford it and the proposed route takes it through some of the best countryside in the South Midlands.

As long as it's cheaper to drive and park than it is to take the train guess what mode of transport the majority of the public will choose.

How long will it be before the idiots 'in charge' realise that there are some things that can't be run as a business? The list includes:
National Health, public transport, electricity, gas and water supplies, schools, etc.

As for saving money - stop giving it to other countries, pull our lads and lasses out of Afghanistan and Iraq and stop giving assistance to any immigrants until they have lived here and paid their taxes for at least two years!

OK, I've packed up my soapbox and am moving on...
 
M

Mr_Logic

Guest
#9
I don't really understand the fascination for the drive to take what is basically minutes off a train journeys. When the rail system was first introduced it reduced journeys to hours that had previously taken days. The same with horse/car and ship/plane. Until something radical like those come along then all we are doing is tweaking. Investment to improve what we already have would be better to my mind. Undo some of the damage that Beeching axe did so as to relieve the road congestion for example.
I think the intent is to replicate the success of the French TGV and German ICE. By laying new lines engineered for the speeds achievable in the 21st century rail can compete with air travel, particularly for city centre to city centre travel. I think there is research that shows that for journeys under three hours within Europe, rail is extremely attractive compared to air. Its not just faster trains, it is newer lines free from freight and commuter traffic. Of course, the UK countryside is somewhat more congested than other countries where high-speed rail have been built. It is not a bad idea, if it is done well.
 
#10
Mr logic, £17 billion says that it is a bad idea along with the millions that have already been spent on the planning of the project and the further £13 billion for the full completed project.
And why ? Just to shave a few minutes of a rail journey .
Sooner the fraction of the money is used to upgrade the existing lines and the rest of the coffers put back in the public domain.
 
#11
I have a feeling this will be a great white elephant, one of the reasons being that as there will be no stops in between London and Birmingham this means the only ones to benifit will be those in in either of the cities . Another thing is the fact that yes the journey time will be quicker because of no stops but the proposed new station for the Birmingham location is going to be another 20 min journey from the centre of Brum .
In my opinion that makes the whole project pointless.
We already have a good service between central Bham (new street) and central London (Euston), which takes less than 90 mins. The only reason you don't have people moving freely between the two cities is the massive cost (and, I suppose, capacity).
 
#12
Another route is the line from London Marylebone to Birmingham Snow hill again only taking about 1 and a half hours and with reference to cost, expect the fare to double if HS2 gets the go ahead....
 
#13
Who the heck will be able to afford the fares? Rail travel is already completely unaffordable, compared even to over-taxed cars.

If they want to spend the money on something useful, why not open a few of the Beeching lines and put some sort of light train/tram on them? Re-connect hundreds of rural communities with market towns, thus getting some cars off the roads and filling the void left by the withdrawal of all other forms of so-called "public" transport. There are about six disused rail routes where I am south of London; these would make a heck of a difference to the local roads/environment if they were re-opened.
 
#14
Living as I do in the west midlands all I have seen for the past few weeks on the local news all the anti protests with HS2 situation has seemed to be pure NIMBY'ism i.e " this is going to run near my backyard and might effect the angle of growth of my daffodils".

But lookin into it 80 billion seems a bit steep for something that will shave 30min off a train journey. Of course the argument could be it will take pressure off of existing lines. But from what I have seen it will actually compromise existing services i.e those from Coventry.

One person on the news made a good point , why not put work into improving the existing road network which carry the lions share of frieght.

( Apologises for spelling mistakes, I am on a lappy that has spent the past two years stuc in the garage)
 
#15
As a daily commuter on the first Highspeed link, I'll just chuck my tenpennorth in. The HS service in the southeast is excellent; My daily commute is 1 hour each way, as opposed to 1 & 3/4 hours on the normal service. The service is also reliable, in the last 6 months (including a certain amount of snow"grinding the country to a halt"), I have been late twice (once for the snow, when no other trains appeared to be moving, and once for a signal failure). The fares are bloody expensive, but in my case I feel they're worth it.

The railway system in this country has been massively under-invested for decades; HS2 is an attempt to provide a modern service northwards, as Mr Logic suggests in a replica of european TGV/ICE. Surely this is a good thing? There are an awful lot of home county NIMBYs whingeing about this, but in the same way as the Heathrow protestors they have nothing better to offer, just as long as their back gardens aren't disturbed.

Give it a chance.
 
#16
A peak time return from Wakefield to London is knocking towards £250 for a crap service on dirty old trains. public transport is a vile rip off.
When its cheaper to fly from London to Edinburgh, you know the rail system is off its rocker.
 
#17
As a daily commuter on the first Highspeed link, I'll just chuck my tenpennorth in. The HS service in the southeast is excellent; My daily commute is 1 hour each way, as opposed to 1 & 3/4 hours on the normal service. The service is also reliable, in the last 6 months (including a certain amount of snow"grinding the country to a halt"), I have been late twice (once for the snow, when no other trains appeared to be moving, and once for a signal failure). The fares are bloody expensive, but in my case I feel they're worth it.

The railway system in this country has been massively under-invested for decades; HS2 is an attempt to provide a modern service northwards, as Mr Logic suggests in a replica of european TGV/ICE. Surely this is a good thing? There are an awful lot of home county NIMBYs whingeing about this, but in the same way as the Heathrow protestors they have nothing better to offer, just as long as their back gardens aren't disturbed.

Give it a chance.
"Give it a chance" , Hell of a gamble with a very large sum of money if they are wrong....

See linky at the top of the page, Even business think its a bad idea .
 
#18
I'm all for it - the fast connection to London is awesome, but the through connection to the continent is the game changer. Finally an alternative to flying from the horrible midlands airports to brussels, amsterdam etc, and an opportunity to inject some competition, which might help all of us by reducing the monopoly that air transport has on those routes. Not forgetting that High Speed rail has resulted in huge increases in property prices along the lines, and massively attracted external investment in the regions that it serves. It's expensive, but then so is Crossrail, which is costing £2billion a year, and only benefiting Londoners. The majority of the opposition is from proper NIMBYs, who've conveniently forgotten that it does follow some of the Great Central Railway route, that has lain dormant for 40 years, which is right in their back gardens. Besides, the compensation scheme is excellent, and the noise mitigation measures far in excess of what you'd get if you had another Motorway shoved in your front lawn. The Chilterns may not want it, but what's the alternative, another 20 years of mediocrity and being overtaken economically by Spain?
 

Joker62

ADC
Book Reviewer
#19
When its cheaper to fly from London to Edinburgh, you know the rail system is off its rocker.
Not sure how you worked that out, I booked a train from London to Edinburgh for the last crawl up there, £80 1st class return, booked 3 months ahead. Now to do the same journey by plane, I have the flight price, return train journey to airport of choice (Stansted or Gatwick) and the cost of getting from the airport into Edinburgh.
 
#20
Nice idea but £34 billion to shave 10-20 minutes off a journey to Birmingham is just not worth it. The government could give every person in the country 6000 penny chews for that money, and I know what I'd prefer. What's wrong with just flying if it's cheaper and faster and doesn't involve bulldozing the countryside?
 

Similar threads

Latest Threads

Top