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Everything posted by Edwin_m

  1. Do you have a source for 2005? Even the Network Rail high speed proposal, which was an ancestor of HS2, wasn't until 2009: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/mobile/scotland/8222413.stm It's not correct to imply that the Phase 2a Hybrid Bill took 12 years - it was lodged in 2017: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/high-speed-rail-west-midlands-to-crewe-bill. I agree with what you may have intended to say, that the whole process has taken 12 years and counting. This includes design work, consultation and legislation, which I think most people would agree were necesssary. It also includes at least one pause while a new set of politicians decided on whether to continue or not.
  2. That's clearly an option. An alternative would be to cascade them as I suggested, and introduce for the MML a straight electric unit, which wouldn't need provision for bi-mode and various other features that an 810 has but wouldn't be necessary on that route, so could be lighter and cheaper. It depends on the rolling stock market in 10+ years time, which nobody can know.
  3. The bi-modes could be cascaded to somewhere like Cross Country which has a lot of mileage under wires but many of its routes extend beyond. Indeed, most people would be driving there. And therein lies the problem. It's all very well for affluent locals who want to go to London, but much less attractive for visitors to the area who end up being dropped off several miles from where most of them want to be. And it's probably the inward visitors who bring in prosperity instead of sucking it out. A lot of people in the Nottingham area drive to Grantham to get trains to London, and I imagine those further west would drive to a WCML station. They are somewhat easier to drive to and the train is faster. EM Parkway was primarily intended to capture some of those London travellers - the airport access was always some sort of sideshow and P&R into Nottingham was never going to happen with only a couple of trains every hour. I did the math on that at the time. Even when HS2 was going to be not far east of Barnsley, Manchester to Leeds via a triangle in that area would have taken longer than via Diggle. It actually collapsed because it was costing too much, although part of the reason for that was to do with lack of experienced people.
  4. Not quite the same, because the fast trains from London, broadly the Avanti services today, will use HS2 instead. So there is significant capacity released for services aimed more at intermediate journeys and freight. This won't happen on MML, although there will be more seats for Leicester etc because London to Derby/Nottingham/Sheffield passengers won't be on those trains.
  5. It will only replace the MML in the sense that London-Derby/Nottingham/Sheffield passengers will have an alternative. There will still need to be something very similar to the current timetable on the MML south of EM Parkway, because Leicester and the other intermediate stations don't benefit from HS2 and still need a service at least as good as they have today. That includes fast services between Leicester and further north, which for passenger and operational convenience would probably still be continuations of London-Leicester trains.
  6. A short distance down the M42 is the bridge they put in last year, to carry the road that will be obliterated by the HS2 bridge. I presume the "bridge to nowhere" on Ron's picture is the remains of this, apparently re-purposed to carry just a footpath. This was also put in place by a transporter - not sure if this qualifies as the "hi-tech raft" - but if so the only major innovation seems to be that the abutments and pier are put in place in one piece with the bridge, instead of being built beforehand and the bridge placed on top of them.
  7. They won't - there's no design of tilting train available that can do the necessary speeds. Some years ago it was estimated that not having tilt would extend journey times by 15min between Golborne and Glasgow/Edinburgh, which was more than offset by gains by using high speed line further south. People are looking at higher speeds for non-tilting trains on parts of this section, which is only limited to 110 because nobody has wanted to run a faster non-tilt train until recently (and Virgin would have been very unhappy about potential competition!). For example there are straight sections either side of Preston and around Lockerbie where it ought to be possible to save a few minutes.
  8. I think that's probably the most likely for a station with platforms reasonably close to grade. It also allows a gate to bring barrows and even vehicles etc onto the platform, which could then cross the line via the "barrow crossing". I imagine Superquick have designed their buildings for the traditional flat baseboard with platforms standing above it.
  9. Not Ron Ron Ron's flying saucer then?
  10. There are numerous methods in current use, including modular systems where the surface is supported by a steel frame, and even the use of polystyrene blocks as infill. There should be articles on station reconstruction on the link below, which should give some idea. https://www.railengineer.co.uk/
  11. Certainly the tunnel cross-section limits the speed, due to various factors including pressure effects on passengers and the air the train pushes out of the way causing a backdraught so the pantograph sees an airflow faster than the train speed.
  12. Gradient has an effect too. I can't read the captions on the profile posted above, but when I did a similar one I concluded that the HS2 train would not be able to reach maximum speed northbound through the Chilterns. A Pennine crossing could be on a severe gradient, but this also means the trains in the downhill direction will accelerate faster. Normally it also means they will take longer to decelerate, which approximately cancels out, but in the case of the partial alignment on the west side the deceleration will be approaching Manchester where it's relatively flat.
  13. Last I heard, HS2 was using ballasted track further north but slab track on the busiest section south of Birmingham. Design speed is 400km/h (250mph near enough) except where there is a reason to reduce it.
  14. There are proposals for both a fusion reactor and a rubbish incinerator. I don't think anyone has yet suggested using the latter as fuel for the former. Neither are likely to generate much patronage at the Parkway station, and as experimental fusion reactors tend to be huge net consumers of power I hope there's enough left for the MML.
  15. You also have to consider journey times, which seem to be a major driver for NPR bringing the cities closer to each other. The existing line won't give any time saving between Manchester and Leeds, in fact going via Guide Bridge would slow it down, and the Micklehurst Loop wouldn't be much different.
  16. Interesting thought, but I think we're into "thought experiment" territory rather than anything that might actually happen. The Micklehurst Loop could serve Uppermill and Greenfield much better than the existing line, with stations at Chew Valley Road (a Greenfield site?) and on the former Uppermill goods yard rather than where they originally were. It would be much worse for Mossley though. I reviewed this line a few years ago with a view to reopening, and the verdict was "no chance". All six (?) viaducts have gone and housing encroaches on the formation in Uppermill, as well as the swimming pool I think someone mentioned upthread.
  17. Electric doesn't solve the problems caused by over-use of the car. We will still have congestion and there are real question marks over the batteries needing rare materials and having their own significant carbon footprint. A transport network relying on electric cars will also use much more energy than one that retains substantial public transport, and even if that energy is renewable it still increases the need for generation which has its own embodied carbon and other environmental downsides. A Parkway station may be fine for car-owning locals travelling out, but it's less good for visitors being dropped at a "Ryanair station" some way from where they actually want to be. So it could be seen as taking prosperity away from the area rather than bringing it in. City centre stations are usually much more accessible using the city's existing public transport network as well as by active travel. Nottingham and Derby stations are actually easier to drive to than most central stations, because they are at the edge of the centres with good road access to the "back entrance". Downside is that they aren't quite as accessible to radial bus routes as they might be.
  18. Not too bad I'd say. The stuff east of Huddersfield is being done anyway, and from there up to Marsden was a four-track formation so there's a bit of scope to move things around. Clearly a new junction needed somewhere near its western end, and maybe some extra track to allow overtaking of stoppers. But the new services probably wouldn't travel through Marsden itself (I'd put the junction east of the tight curves there) and there's currently only one other station, so it may be possible to run the service without overtaking using EMUs on the stoppers and maybe having a slightly irregular interval for the 8TPH through services to create some longer gaps for them. In the case of Birmingham the Interchange station serves similar catchment to the intermediate stops of Avanti and Chiltern, and will be much easier to get to for those that have to drive. Bradford has always been disadvantaged by its geography, off most main lines of communication and surrounded by hills on all sides bar the north. The report makes some good points (possibly for the wrong reasons) about putting stations in city centres rather than at their edges, and it would be extremely difficult to do that for a through Manchester-Leeds high speed line in Bradford due to the gradients and the need to turn the route by nearly 90 degrees somewhere in that area.
  19. I think it might be in tunnel all the way up the east side of the Tame valley, at least from about the old Staley and Millbrook northwards. Maybe they could have it pop out and run across the dam at Dovestones?
  20. For anyone confused by this, I think the picture is "south upwards", so that's the old line to Buckingham not the one to Quainton. Looks to me as if the bridge is to replace the level crossing at the left hand edge of this image, and this may be as close as they can get it without interfering with the hamlet of Verney Junction.
  21. That is almost certainly true. Some colleagues of mine were working on it five or six years ago, though I have no specific knowledge of what the proposal might be. With this sort of work you don't release any maps until you are pretty certain of what you want to do, because you then also trigger "blight" provisions to buy out anyone whose property is potentially affected.
  22. Maybe so. The junction is already planned (page 33 of link below), and looks to be a pair of stubs that to go either towards Guide Bridge or on some new alignment. It is only just short of the tunnel portal on the route towards the Airport, so is at an appropriate elevation to go underground within a short distance. It could quite easily be aimed towards the area just north of Ardwick depot, where there is ample space for a portal unless it's been significantly built up since I last passed by. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/927058/10961-DfT-HS2_DRC2_Response_Correction_Slip_in.pdf
  23. Draw a straight line from Manchester to Leeds and it would pass quite near Marsden, but Guide Bridge would be well to the south, as that line heads east when the straight line would be roughly north-east. Given the difficulties of getting a high speed line through the Tame Valley without bulldozing much of it, I'm expecting it to be in tunnel for much of the distance. Possibly some surface running through the Medlock Valley between Oldham and Ashton, then tunnel from Lees area with perhaps a short surface section in Saddleworth to reduce the evacuation requirements that kick in when a tunnel reaches a certain length. Probably duck through the hill north of Marsden too, to pick up the existing line where it straightens out.
  24. Some of the reasons to use trains will still apply: traffic congestion, journey time, ability to do other things while travelling, avoids stress of driving, no need to have a license. Also it's likely that use of electric cars will be taxed in some way, to plug the hole in government finances due to loss of fuel duty, so they will cost more to run in future.
  25. Electric cars won't solve the climate crisis or traffic congestion - there would still be significant issues even if all internal combustion engines disappeared. So it's still necessary to provide alternatives to driving. About 80% of passenger-miles travelled in 2019 was by private vehicles, with rail accounting for about 10%. So even a fairly small transfer from car to rail would lead to a significant increase in rail use (say 80:10 going to 70:20, rail use is doubled). This illustrates why we need more rail capacity even if the travel consequences of Covid turn out to be long-lasting. We also need better local transport options to make rail more accessible for the main leg of a long journey, but that's another story.
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