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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. But the IWSR studies did not envisage a through, regular interval, public service from Ryde to Newport, as its basis. The studies primarily sought an extension of the steam railway, with the possibility of a through service, but without losing the characteristics of the heritage steam operation. Despite the landslip issue, I would still appreciate an understanding of the relative costs and, especially, benefits compared to the recommended option. This mini report simply does not do that - I assume that the council received a rather more detailed analysis - even a table-top exercise such as this gives you an awful lot for 50 grand. Why can't we (or at least the taxpayers of the IOW) see it?
  2. Not true - the document makes it clear that restoration to Ventnor would only be viable if the Newport connection was created.
  3. Given the tendering date is Sept 2022 (at the earliest) I would suggest that this is advance planning for whatever the "Integrated Rail Plan for the Midlands and The North" turns out to be (which would seem to include MML now, according to other sources).
  4. Not exactly news, especially as the source they quote is dated February 2020! The issue is that the Integrated Rail Plan (which drives all of this) should have been published by the end of 2020. Instead, it would appear that we will have to wait until the end of 2021, and for a further hybrid bill in 2022. Covid may be to blame, but I did not see Mr Shapps taking any significant time off. It suggests a Treasury involvement, which is never a great sign. The pessimism in the article may be well founded, but most definitely not well researched......or written.
  5. The court docs referred to the "Opening Date", nothing else.
  6. Very informative - thank you. The envisaged journey time, of between 21 and 26 minutes is not exactly competitive. The average bus journey (Ryde Esplanade to Newport) is 24 minutes, with the fastest being 17 minutes. Car/taxi is estimated at 14 minutes. So I am not sure which segment of the population they believe would use rail in preference? As for hybrid light rail, they also refer to tram/train, which could be a viable option, but would explain the slow end-to-end timing, quite apart from the extra mileage. They suggest the old railway route would be used, but surely, with tram/train, the route would be varied to suit existing and new settlements and adopt a different route into Newport - the existing route only serves "proposed" new development in the main. The report is not detailed enough to understand why the direct (Wooton) route would be so much more expensive - I can guess, but it would be helpful to have it explained, officially. Overall, C Minus for this consultant's offering.
  7. I can see your point in terms of the costs of re-tendering, and such challenges to the outcomes of rolling stock tendering processes are by no means unique to HS2. Germany, in particular, has suffered many legal challenges to the decisions taken by Lander and by DBAG. But, the court documents (which, when believing the Talgo challenge would end up court) state that HS2, and Talgo, wanted the hearing brought forward, due to the need to meet the planned opening date of Phase 1 in 2028. But every forecast I have seen since then states completion between 2029 and 2033. So, one can only assume there is time. Further, with the Alstom/Bombardier merger, there are significant complications, which I am not sure are clearly dealt with in the ITT. In particular, the Hitachi bid presumably relies on the use of their NE assembly plant, whereas Bombardier have a manufacturing plant in Derby, now available to Alstom, although that is not to say they would use it. How do you sort that out? Given the Alstom TGV-M is now so far in advance of anything else yet available, in terms of efficiency, capacity and cost (per seat), but would probably be largely built in La Rochelle, I can see a very difficult situation emerging - whoever loses in Stage 5 is still going to court over something or other. Thus, perhaps better to bite the bullet now?
  8. Tricky one this. Apart from the mist in which the Bombardier part of the Hitachi bid sits (given that some parts of Bombardier and Alstom have to be sold as part of the merger deal with the EU Competition authority), it is no longer clear under which laws the challenges are being made, even if the circumstances of the validity of the claims may be provable under the conditions on which the tenders were originally offered. HS2 had to agree a settlement out of court whilst EU law clearly applied. But now? EU law still technically applies, simply because it has not yet been changed, so maybe that will determine matters. But I foresee a change coming soon (especially with Labour's Buy British initiative, however flawed or not). So maybe HS2 would be better off cancelling the process and starting again when the law is clearer? It is apparent that Phase 1 opening is delayed, so there is time. It is apparent that "national interest" is mentally back in play, and that can include loading the dice. Whether that works in an international business, in which UK orders are a fairly minor part, remains to be seen.
  9. Perhaps we ought to be pointing out, to anyone who will listen, that HS2 is spending hundreds of millions, perhaps a billion or three (above budget in most cases) towards noise alleviation, whether it be extra length tunnels or cuttings, or noise barriers. For sure, there needs to be mitigation where needed, but the original EIA did not envisage the extent to which both political and some activist pressure has required so many extra measures. When one looks at HS1, and the sheer lack of any complaints about noise or disturbance, I could cry.
  10. Well, you have admitted you're no expert, and you are certainly well out of date with your stats. The NE was profitable, but all the other obligations placed on PC as well as regulated rates, made for an impossible outcome. That explains the consequent subsidies to resurrect the freight and passenger rail systems in the 1970's and 80's. You don't even acknowledge that. You do however make clear that the interest of Wall Street investors overrides everything else, and have highlighted the methodology (in another post) about how that was achieved. They clearly broke the law and, until now, there has been no sanction. As for "last mile", France has bu88er all public transport outside Paris and some of the major conurbations, but its passenger train usage keeps ramping up (after a dip). The same argument would apply to flying anyway. Someone else has also made the point that if passenger journey times are restrained by increasing limitations due to freight owners, then there is no possibility to compete at any level. As for the protection of rail freight profits, you will find that (bar a few million here and there on freight facilities grants) rail freight in the UK receives no subsidy whatsoever. Which is partly why it has done so badly (despite becoming profitable) because we all know HGV's are heavily, indirectly subsidised, as indeed are long distance road hauliers in the US. I don't know why you continue to see things only from the freight operators' standpoint, but I guess there is a reason.
  11. It "remains" profitable for the very reasons I gave!! That ConRail largely affected the NE, does not respect the reality of the situation at the time. Most profitable freight went through the NE then, in the 1970's, but the opening of the West Coast transit routes took place after that, and very profitable it has been, with triple deckers, mass new car and van transit, containers, chemicals, and a large proportion of processed petroleum products, and all the rest, having largely replaced coal movements outside the NE. The investment cited about coal has been replicated across North America, Europe, Australia and parts of Asia, and all (bar some continuation for exports to China) have never returned their capital to the extent expected. This is a raucous example to choose. Basically, the debate is about private capital gain (free enterprise freight hauliers) v public transit needs (as increasingly dictated by environmental aspects). The free enters argue that road will nick their traffic if they are not allowed free rein, which, even if stretched to absurd levels of disbelief, does not hold water. US road hauliers are in an even greater disarray over vacancies than UK hauliers. It is all about the protection of rail freight profits, and absolutely s0d all else. PS - I was living in the US in the 70's, in New York, so remember all the debates well. There was HUGE resistance to subsidies for freight haulage then, let alone passenger ops, and the same b0ll0cks was put about with much the same reasoning (or lack of it).
  12. Well done with the birdies - my cats seem to sort out the wheat from the chaff in that respect..... On your buildings, I have been looking for a foam board supplier round these 'ere parts - whence yours????? (And what do you ask for, exactly, cos "foam board" does not seem to pass muster)..
  13. On Curzon Street, I believe (but stand to be corrected, as ever), that it was a designated rail corridor, designated as such by the original WMPTE, but long since adopted by HS2. WMPTE had originally intended a link across Brum, using that route, to relieve New Street, but it never 'appened.
  14. OK, I think we have done the commuting cost/benefit to death. HS2 is not primarily, or even mainly, for commuting (except perhaps between Leeds and Birmingham or similar). It is, however, required so as to allow better commuting to London (mainly) on the classic lines. The various predictions for HS2 patronage surround leisure, visiting friends & family and business. That is pretty standard across all European High Speed lines - there is an element of "commuting" on some of the French, Italian and German HS services, but it is relatively minor, and journey times are similar to those for HS2. HS2 Phase 1 and 2a is being built, so let's not go into any pro's or con's about that any more. Let's discuss the more prosaic issues surrounding Phase 2B (east and west), HS3 (NPR) and all that surrounds that (MML.ECML, Scotland and the Outer Hebrides etc) plus the issues about Euston and OOC - far more interesting and indeed, relevant. Plus of course, progress pics and reports on what is being built right now, particularly the "report" that Phase 1/2A will not be completed until 2035 - where did that come from? Well, even I know where it came from, but what justification is there? That means NOT electric vehicle charging and all that - you know who you are - UNLESS it pertains to the future of Phases 2B and NPR. Ta (from the Thread Owner.....)
  15. Think you mean Aventras, from Bombardier? Given their track record, the 707's could be in use for some years.....!!
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