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Mike Storey

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  • Location
    Charente Maritime, France
  • Interests
    BR Southern Region, 1975 - 1986. Building a model in 00 based on Queenborough, Sheppey, Kent. I also model live steam in the garden, scale 16mm/ft, 32mm gauge.

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  1. Quite so. Calais Frethun is almost confined to non-TGV services now, with the latest TT revisions, primarily feeding Paris/Lille-Boulogne local extensions. The LGV Atlantique was built with virtually no local stops whatsoever (bar Angouleme, who had a Mayor with the negatives of somebody up top, or at least that is the speculation here). It drove many of us bonkers, with the works over three/four years to absolutely no benefit to us (in Charente Maritime and Deux Sevres at least), although we were expected to pay for part of it, through our Taxes Foncieres (like the Council tax). Similarly, the now-abandoned LGV from (Paris) Orleans down to Toulouse via Limoges, would have had no intermediate stops, something which engendered a mass revolt from the natives, but which was eminently sensible. Italian high speed routes only stop at very major cities, albeit there are classic connections to wherever the Mafioso wanted down south. The Germans have tended to avoid suburban catchments, although there are exceptions. Even the Chinese have built their massive network to a plan that avoids tiddlers, although that is a moot point, given the size of many of their cities. It is only the Spaniards that seem to have connected almost anywhere to almost anywhere, on their AVE system, but then it is mostly single track, and is largely a scheme to convert their national system to standard gauge. So, Calvert would not fall into the natural scheme of things for a high speed route, unless you have some interesting photographs of certain people in compromising positions, perhaps??
  2. Whilst I totally agree that production rates etc are purely speculation at this stage, I spy a number of things which suggest it will be far worse than "just an extension by a few weeks of CNY". This won't just affect Hornby, by any means. Development in the UK can only go so far without confirmation from a factory in China about manufacturing capability - can we build it this way? The markets and exchange rates are completely jittery - not necessarily a reliable indicator, but it does show which way the main houses are thinking. Oil price has dropped again, ostensibly because China will need far less of it for a significant period. Ditto, coal prices in Oz. Shipping orders for China are down by around 20% (to 2010 levels), and appear to be dropping further (unreliable reports from CNBC admittedly) - that is far more than a rundown because the CNY is a bit iffy. There are significant break outs in Iran and Italy (which may or may not result in widespread infection across the ME and Europe). China has postponed its Congress for the first time since the Cultural Revolution, and its reporting of infections is all over the place. Vietnam, South Korea and perhaps Japan, are on a rising trend. It is not the actual effects of the virus that are damning. It is the potential. This seems to be getting worse than SARS, and that was bad enough. Quite a few companies could go bust, in China and elsewhere, if this goes on much longer, especially given the very high levels of leverage reported. Xi has indicated there will be support for such companies, but that would appear to be only to ease credit, not eliminate it. They are already drawing down on their vast supplies of foreign exchange, but that is the very feature which has bolstered the image of a sound economy. So I don't share your apparent optimism. If China does manage to re-start production relatively soon, you can bet it won't be prioritising hobby and leisure goods for supplies. I retain the opinion that Hornby's share sale was fortuitous, but not for the reasons they wanted, and that we will be waiting rather longer than a few weeks for product delivery to be resumed after the current supply is exhausted. That said, its all speculation, that's true.
  3. I wonder how the coronavirus has/will affect their production for the last/next few/several months (notwithstanding the usual hiatus with the CNY)? This could have been a fortuitous hedge against that.
  4. All very true, possibly. But, even when adding the present catchment, it does not amount to a sufficiently large catchment for a major high speed stop, especially when considering most of the catchment will have access to other stations/lines into London anyway,which is where a lot of them will be going. There are unlikely to be many wanting to head North on a regular basis. It does not really add up as a destination either.
  5. Interesting stuff guys, but what on earth does it have to do with HS2????
  6. OK - I see topic drift aplenty here. There is another thread for this stuff, if you care to look for it. Can we please concentrate on what ecological demonstrations/protests will/might affect HS2, on this thread? Or, perhaps even what energy consumption issues are for HS2, v other modes. This is not a thread for general discussion of viable energy sources, green or otherwise, unless it directly has relevance to HS2. (OK, I know that some of you will argue it all has relevance, but that horse has left the bleeding stable...) Some deviation on a thread can often be interesting, but this has run its course. If allowed to continue, this debate will transmogrify into a very different discussion, as I have seen happen elsewhere, and it was not good. So, please, keep to the subject, more or less.
  7. True, but it appears to be only for an "initial" business case to be put forward for consideration of further, detailed studies, in a competition for the second round of funding. The initial business case will concentrate on the benefits that the scheme would generate, against a very outline cost. I would guess those schemes that show the largest benefits over cost ratios, will make it forward. The big question will be how realistic the costs are. That is where the bulk of development funding goes, and even then, it is often way out. I just don't know how the judgement will be made. Apparently, only £300k has been allocated for such funding, which will not go very far, nationally. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/north-east-rail-revolution-begins-with-beeching-reversal-and-fund-for-new-trains-across-tyne-and-wear
  8. No, it isn't, although rather harder to put into effect. I note that one of the themes of BoJo's speech was to tackle that issue. I hope he meant it, BUT, I am not sure how it would be done without incurring yet more cost. That is not what you want to hear, but it is (probably) based in historical fact. Just read the Werrington Junction thread to see how that happens. The "spiralling costs" as you put it, have mostly been incurred by increasing environmental and societal demands placed on the project over and above the original specification, plus a bit of land costs and contractual issues. But don't be fooled. Some greater understanding and face-to-face connection, does not cost a great deal, but it is unlikely to significantly change what you will go through during construction. That does not preclude you from complaint and pointing out the crueller aspects of it, but a major project does not, usually, win any local friends, at least until it is nearly over. My largest project, the 2012 Games, was horrendous for many residents during construction. But those that survived not being re-located, were all chums as the day drew nearer, especially when we erected a number of things they asked for (usually sound, security or sight barriers, or some changes to public lighting), which were not actually our responsibility in most cases, and did not cost a great deal of our contingency funding, but were enough to please them, in the end. You might want to try this compromise approach, rather than change the entire intention. Just a suggestion, of course. Conversely, in one of my earlier projects, multiple platform lengthening in Scotland, at one station, we were told to f-off in no uncertain terms. We had an absolute right to do what we were doing, and carried on regardless and just employed extra security guards. I didn't give a toss, and the residents got sweet FA. We got the job done, on time and on budget. But not my greatest moment......
  9. Will you use the all-over silver livery, or the later small red panel?
  10. Apparently, or we could just ignore them and let this (my) thread become full up with Unicorn Anti-HS2 fantasy railway planning. I guess that might prove useful, in watching them all disagree amongst themselves, about which of their fave routes or solutions should prevail, as time went on. Or, perhaps I should start a separate thread for that, so that they don't get blasted out of the atmosphere, each time a "new" idea surfaces....?? Be that as it may, the most dangerous protagonists are still those that espouse the Do Nothing option. They cite either a wistful desire for Britain to retreat to some Pre-Raphaelite cottage industry, where no-one strays far from their interlinked computer screens, or looms, or those (the majority I believe) who calmly claim that re-opening the Titfield branch, and similar, is all that is needed, and, radically, that this is so much more important. Thankfully, they are rarely to be seen on here now, although they still existed on the previous thread. What is probably more at stake is whether HS2 can be built in parallel to the upgrading, or wholesale replacement, of existing, critical infrastructure. BoJo's pronouncement that Phase 2B is to be re-thought in parallel with the Northern East-West link, and with a tip to the Midlands Engine, is perhaps the most enlightened part of this whole thing. It makes sense, it only puts a year or so onto the timescales (depending on just how different those changes may have to be - I doubt it) and it "forces" TfN to reconsider their project in terms of what HS2 can do for them. It begins to resemble a Transport Strategy. God forbid. But the very relevant complaints of mistreatment, mis-planning and poor behaviours of the existing, hopeless, over-consulted, badly managed, poorly conceived HS2 Ltd project (what have they been doing for 11 years???) and its contractors, should probably dominate for now. LMSForever and a few others, have genuine grievances, or at least, the grievances of others, to relate. We should continue to hear them and all join in the opprobrium, as though that will make much difference. But that will all be fine when Andrew Stephenson, BoJo's new Minister for HS2, the Trans-Pennine Upgrade and the Northern Powerhouse Link, takes over. Clearly, he and his team will know so much more about how to run the schemes. He is an ex-insurance broker (family business) and party apparatchik after all, and, er, that's it. But, his understudy, Kelly Tolhurst, is much more able, having been something in boat building (family business) and then in marketing. So that's alright then.
  11. I have a clue regarding what you wrote: New tracks between London and Rugby - what is the difference between that and HS2 please? (except that it doesn't solve half the problems and would still require the re-building of Euston) Quadrupling into New Street - even if that were possible without extreme demolition and disruption for many, many years, how would you fit all the extra trains in New Street? Quadrupling of Welwyn Viaduct - that has been looked at so many times, and rejected so many times, as improbably expensive as well as anything else, but the key question would be - what does it solve? There is no more room for extra trains at Kings Cross (Platform 0 was the last gasp of extra capacity) in the peaks. Link from Birmingham to Leicester - already a plan under the Midlands Engine proposals, but again, what does it solve?
  12. Oh, come on. It links London with Sheringham. Wot were you thinking???
  13. Shouldn't be an issue for the railway. Clay is worst when it dries out..... Fingers crossed!!
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