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1 minute ago, PhilH said:

 

That took a little longer than I anticipated...

 

As I said, difficult to see how it could get down to affordable levels, remember we're talking 3 adults plus 2 children. Highlighted fare x 3 is £400 plus, and thats without the childrens' fares. So we're probably talking ~£500. If you think that's good you're life must be somewhat different to mine!

Sorry I missed the trainline fare being for the family..........thought it was singles and couldn't believe the cost. Railcards?

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1 minute ago, david.hill64 said:

Sorry I missed the trainline fare being for the family..........thought it was singles and couldn't believe the cost. Railcards?

 

That was part of my point David...if fares keep on going up thereby putting the cost out of reach for I assume a lot of people will extra capacity still be needed. It may well be needed but surely it's a great unknown? As far as I can see noone really knows what will happen after Oct 31st even so to predict so far into the future can perhaps not be as accurate as people hope?

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19 hours ago, 34theletterbetweenB&D said:

 

Starting from the wrong question, which has led to the wrong answer.

 

How do we reduce demand is the right question. We (collectively, all humanity) are in a runaway exploitation of a broad spread of finite resources, and the limits of how much longer we can continue with that are now evident. Past time to look at ways of managing on less. Very unpopular idea.

 

At school and Uni economics studies, the theories of Thomas Malthus  ( resources grow serially  in an arithmetic progression  , while  population accessing those resources grows in a geometric progression,  ultimately leading to physical crises) were scorned by various cornucopian ideas of progress,   I used to go with the cornucopian flow, but later in life I tend  to see merit in the Malthus  thinking,  there has to limits and boundaries with regard to use and access to finite resources. i see HS2 as another cornucopian exercise, to encourage  thousands of people to wastefully  race along at speeds of 250 mph consuming resources in order to consume more resources, there has to be a crunch point, you cannot continually  fool nature forever

Edited by Pandora
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5 minutes ago, Pandora said:

At school and Uni economics studies, the theories of Thomas Malthus  ( resources grow serially  in an arithmetic progression  , while  population accessing those resources grows in a geometric progression,  ultimately leading to physical crises) were scorned by various cornucopian ideas of progress,   I used to go with the cornucopian flow, but later in life I tend  to see merit in the Malthus  thinking,  there has to limits and boundaries with regard to use and access to finite resources. i see HS2 as another cornucopian exercise, to encourage  thousands of people to wastefully  race along at speeds of 250 mph consuming resources in order to consume more resources, there has to be a crunch point, you cannot continually  fool nature forever

The Malthusian approach is technically in error. We are sitting in a universe of boundless resource for present and future purposes (there is a respectable thesis that the universe may be boundless, and certainly much larger than what was supposed only 20 years ago). But we completely lack the technology to access it. For now.

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1 hour ago, PhilH said:

...

I also understand that there are discounted fares available

...

 

... on some routes

 

I’m not picking on you, but I see this statement repeated without qualification all the time. 

 

Please tell me how to get a discounted fare — any non-railcard discounted fare — for the just under 2 hour, 100 mile journey from King’s Lynn to King’s Cross?

 

Clue: there aren’t any, and never have been. You pay the standard walk-up fare no matter how many decades in advance you buy... On routes like that, we have some of the most expensive train fares in the world. 

 

Paul

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23 minutes ago, Pandora said:

At school and Uni economics studies, the theories of Thomas Malthus  ( resources grow serially  in an arithmetic progression  , while  population accessing those resources grows in a geometric progression,  ultimately leading to physical crises) were scorned by various cornucopian ideas of progress,   

1

 

Malthus was a man of his time, and while the world population was rising with a geometric progression in the early industrial revolution, this hasn't been true since 1971 when the rate of population increase started to fall. The demographic projection is that the world's population will level out, and start to fall, sometime in this century, maybe as early as 2150. 

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1 hour ago, billbedford said:

Malthus was a man of his time, and while the world population was rising with a geometric progression in the early industrial revolution, this hasn't been true since 1971 when the rate of population increase started to fall. The demographic projection is that the world's population will level out, and start to fall, sometime in this century, maybe as early as 2150. 

 

Gosh this topic is opening up hugely!

My boss when I worked in Ghana was a demographic sociologist/planner.

 

1930248490_ScreenShot2019-09-06at11_34_35.png.887b205fbd1d0bd73e9d87d132e69afb.png

It was all about population pyramids (the UK's looked like the silhouette of a WWII battleship with all us oldies up in the air with 'wifeys' killing off their men)

 

"Since 1971 the rate of population increase started to fall" Which was then held to be coupled to increasing economic well being and (perhaps surprisingly) falling death rates  i.e. once more children survive ,there is less need to pro-create - something that is emerging in India and now stabilising also in China (since the end of the one child dictat.).

It is a reason also why a current international priority is for educating women.

 

Rising death rates are now causing concern here in the UK in areas such as east Glasgow and parts of the North East.

(Perhaps a reason to invest in UK infrastructure inversely  from N to S?)

dh

Edited by runs as required
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2 hours ago, Fenman said:

 

... on some routes

 

I’m not picking on you, but I see this statement repeated without qualification all the time. 

 

Please tell me how to get a discounted fare — any non-railcard discounted fare — for the just under 2 hour, 100 mile journey from King’s Lynn to King’s Cross?

 

Clue: there aren’t any, and never have been. You pay the standard walk-up fare no matter how many decades in advance you buy... On routes like that, we have some of the most expensive train fares in the world. 

 

Paul

A huge £37.50 single or £50.80 return (£75.00 if out in the morning Peak).

 

So 4 hours travelling (out and back ) for either £50.80 or £75.00, some would call that a bargain fare anyway.

Edited by royaloak

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3 hours ago, billbedford said:

 

Malthus was a man of his time, and while the world population was rising with a geometric progression in the early industrial revolution, this hasn't been true since 1971 when the rate of population increase started to fall. The demographic projection is that the world's population will level out, and start to fall, sometime in this century, maybe as early as 2150. 

The rate of population increase may fall , however that applies to mature economies, as less developed economies continue to experience rapid population and  economic growth , they also demand far greater consumption of resources ( their resource footprint), imagine  if India /China/Nigeria  acquired in the next 50 years  a  growing population with an thirst per capita for  USA levels of energy consumption,  so not necessarily a man of the past, the prescience  of Malthus may yet be seen.

Edited by Pandora
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6 hours ago, PhilH said:

 

That took a little longer than I anticipated...

 

As I said, difficult to see how it could get down to affordable levels, remember we're talking 3 adults plus 2 children. Highlighted fare x 3 is £400 plus, and thats without the childrens' fares. So we're probably talking ~£500. If you think that's good your life must be somewhat different to mine!

5 hours ago, PhilH said:

 

 

£400 for 3 is £133 each.

 

So with a family railcard (£30) that becomes £320 for three adults and two children.

 

OK not cheap perhaps but not £500 either.

 

Most family groups will be travelling with two adults, not three as in your example, which makes it £230.

 

Anyway as anyone who does travel by train will know, plenty of families do use them.

 

 

 

 

 

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56 minutes ago, Pandora said:

The rate of population increase may fall , however that applies to mature economies, as less developed economies continue to experience rapid population and  economic growth , they also demand far greater consumption of resources ( their resource footprint), imagine  if India /China/Nigeria  acquired in the next 50 years  a  growing population with a thirst per capita for  USA levels of energy consumption,  so not necessarily a man of the past, the prescience  of Malthus may yet be seen.

This is the real rub, whether population grows or contracts, the majority of this world's billions will quite justifiably seek to enjoy the material advantages presently enjoyed by the minority living in those countries that began industrial development over a hundred years ago.

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Isn't part of the fare price issue that some rail companies are trying to price people OFF the trains because of the limited capacity? My guess is that if supply increases (HS2 and extra paths then available on WCML) then we will release a latent demand if fares don't rise as fast as inflation (yes, I know the government likes to punish rail users with above-inflation increases to many fares while claiming to be trying to get people out of their cars).

 

Assuming we DO want a shift from road to rail, and assuming that everyone who works professionally in rail planning isn't lying and my experience of standing in Voyagers is real, then we need more supply and that, as has been said here many times, means we need HS2. Even if you don't want to travel by train ever, and many don't, getting a few cars off the road will make driving more enjoyable. 

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1 hour ago, Coryton said:

 

£400 for 3 is £133 each.

 

So with a family railcard (£30) that becomes £320 for three adults and two children.

 

OK not cheap perhaps but not £500 either.

 

Most family groups will be travelling with two adults, not three as in your example, which makes it £230.

 

Anyway as anyone who does travel by train will know, plenty of families do use them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Not quite..I think you might need to get the calculator out.

 

I was being generous in my calculations, £135 for each adult is to get back from York then 2 x children' tickets on top of that, then you have to factor in £71.50 for each adult plus the kids to get to York even on the cheapest ticket available (not bothered about you quoting 2+2, my family, my rules!). Total that lot up, it's one hell of a lot of money even after applying whatever railcard you want to it.

 

 

Edited by PhilH

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8 hours ago, Fat Controller said:

Whilst many LGVs have apparently very steep gradients, this is often due to there being nothing to compare it with. One parallel section of road and rail is that between Macon and Cluny, where the incline is easily climbable in 5th gear, even with a bootfull of local produce, suggesting it's not that steep. 

Much of the use of earthworks and tunnels on HS2 would seem to be directly attributable to the need to placate local property owners.

In railway terms LGV gradients are steep - LGV Sud Est the steepest gradient is 3.35% and there are some definitely steep gradients on LGV Nord which are all too obvious when you are in the driving cab seeing them ahead of you.  Overall we are talking a lot of gradients steeper than 1 in 100 on the LGVs.

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33 minutes ago, Phil Parker said:

Isn't part of the fare price issue that some rail companies are trying to price people OFF the trains because of the limited capacity? My guess is that if supply increases (HS2 and extra paths then available on WCML) then we will release a latent demand if fares don't rise as fast as inflation (yes, I know the government likes to punish rail users with above-inflation increases to many fares while claiming to be trying to get people out of their cars).

 

Assuming we DO want a shift from road to rail, and assuming that everyone who works professionally in rail planning isn't lying and my experience of standing in Voyagers is real, then we need more supply and that, as has been said here many times, means we need HS2. Even if you don't want to travel by train ever, and many don't, getting a few cars off the road will make driving more enjoyable. 

On routes/destinations that are so blessed with multiple operators, that was the premise put forward as the champion factor of privatisation, that competition would drive down fare prices. All fine and dandy.

 

In practice though, it hasn't panned out that way. I refer you to Paul's post travelling King’s Lynn to London. I don't know if he could take up the Cambridge - Liv. Street Abellio offer, I think it's 20-24 quid. With restrictions natch. But he is wanting to get to King's+. 

Fact of the matter is that turnupandgo is massively expensive for what it offers and despite repeated promises of clarification and simplicity of ticket pricing structure, it hasn't happened.

 

All that however is off topic for this HS2 debate. Save for the fact that HS2 may only benefit those that are immediately periferal to it.

 

C6T. 

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7 hours ago, PhilH said:

 

That was part of my point David...if fares keep on going up thereby putting the cost out of reach for I assume a lot of people will extra capacity still be needed. It may well be needed but surely it's a great unknown? As far as I can see noone really knows what will happen after Oct 31st even so to predict so far into the future can perhaps not be as accurate as people hope?

The simple answer is that the capacity will still be needed unless the country suffers a major economic down turn over a very extended period.  The capacity is not about seats it is about paths and the two are very different things especially on a mixed traffic railway like the WCML with fast passenger trains, stopping passenger, trains and freights.   Getting rid of even three or four fast passenger paths per hour frees up a lot of mixed traffic capacity.

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4 minutes ago, The Stationmaster said:

In railway terms LGV gradients are steep - LGV Sud Est the steepest gradient is 3.35% and there are some definitely steep gradients on LGV Nord which are all too obvious when you are in the driving cab seeing them ahead of you.  Overall we are talking a lot of gradients steeper than 1 in 100 on the LGVs.

 

Likewise in Germany - and thanks to the design of some of the ICEs you can have a driver's eye view as a mere passenger.

 

1 hour ago, PhilH said:

 

Not quite..I think you might need to get the calculator out.

 

I was being generous in my calculations, £135 for each adult is to get back from York then 2 x children' tickets on top of that, then you have to factor in £71.50 for each adult plus the kids to get to York even on the cheapest ticket available (not bothered about you quoting 2+2, my family, my rules). Total that lot up, it's one hell of a lot of money even after applying whatever railcard you want to it.

 

 

 

OK I hadn't realised you were only quoting the return fare. But otherwise I stand by my calculation - with a railcard, your £400 for three adults becomes £320 not £500 when you add the child fares. Can you tell me where I've got my sums wrong?

 

The cheapest walk-up ticket available is £145 return. No need to book in advance. Now that's an off-peak ticket and obviously didn't work for the times you were looking at for the return, so like the calculation for two adults not relevant to your journey.

 

But if you're going to quote fares for three adults for a journey that's at peak times one way, and use that to conclude that families have been priced off the railways, then my rules are that I will explain why I disagree (aside, as I said, from the fact that the evidence is that families do travel by train).

 

 

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9 minutes ago, The Stationmaster said:

The simple answer is that the capacity will still be needed unless the country suffers a major economic down turn over a very extended period.  The capacity is not about seats it is about paths and the two are very different things especially on a mixed traffic railway like the WCML with fast passenger trains, stopping passenger, trains and freights.   Getting rid of even three or four fast passenger paths per hour frees up a lot of mixed traffic capacity.

With the greatest respect Mike (and acknowledgement that you can't undo the past) it'd seem a freight "spine" running through the centre of the country would solve a large chunk of that issue?

 

Oh, hang on...

C6T. 

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1 hour ago, Phil Parker said:

Isn't part of the fare price issue that some rail companies are trying to price people OFF the trains because of the limited capacity? My guess is that if supply increases (HS2 and extra paths then available on WCML) then we will release a latent demand if fares don't rise as fast as inflation (yes, I know the government likes to punish rail users with above-inflation increases to many fares while claiming to be trying to get people out of their cars).

 

My experience would suggest it is indeed part of the fare price issue.

 

When I used to catch the morning Paddington to Cardiff train, it didn't look to me as if the off-peak ticket restrictions were needed to price people off the trains. Plenty of space to go round. Cardiff to London in the morning is another story.

 

And it seems to me that while off-peak restrictions may be necessary, the peak fares are then set to maximise revenue not number of seats occupied. For example last year I had plenty of space to myself on a peak evening Cardiff to London train that was 5 coaches and should have been 9 or 10. That's not been my experience on evening trains outside the 'anytime ticket only' times.

 

 

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2 minutes ago, Classsix T said:

With the greatest respect Mike (and acknowledgement that you can't undo the past) it'd seem a freight "spine" running through the centre of the country would solve a large chunk of that issue?

 

Oh, hang on...

C6T. 

Hang on indeed - it's already there and is used by several freight trains per hour on some stretches.  However when it gets blocked for any reason the principal, and best, diversionary alternative route is via the GWML east of Reading (where Crossrail will be landing in a few months time) and then up the WCML from Willesden.   Taking freight off the WCML would really mean building a new parallel route out of London so the debate then would be do you take away some fast passenger trains from the WCML (the current plan) or do you take away freights and build a new railway from London to Birmingham and Crewe/Warrington.

 

The logical trains to take away are the ones which have the greatest impact in track capacity and that is the fast passenger trains.

 

Here's an interesting illustration albeit on the GWML  - on Wednesday evening the train I caught from Reading was 3 minutes late start because the late running Morris Cowley - Purfleet was allowed to precede it.  in my view that was excellent regulation and the subsequent times prove it because the freight ran away from the stopping passenger train, despite the latter being a 387 unit.  The passenger train was 4 late at Twyford (where it was 3.5 minutes behind the freight),  1.5 minutes late away from Maidenhead (the next stop), and only 15 seconds late off Slough (which had nothing to do with the long gone freight), and right time at West Drayton and on through to Paddington - in other words the freight ran away from the stopping passenger trains (as is usually the case) and made up time as it did so (mainly as a result of being out of its booked path). In other words todays fast freights and semi-fast passenger trains mix quite well together if they are regulated with a modicum of common sense.  

 

You can't really mix either of them with frequent high speed passenger services so the simple message to make capacity is to shift the high speed passenger trains.

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56 minutes ago, The Stationmaster said:

Hang on indeed - it's already there and is used by several freight trains per hour on some stretches.  However when it gets blocked for any reason the principal, and best, diversionary alternative route is via the GWML east of Reading (where Crossrail will be landing in a few months time) and then up the WCML from Willesden.   Taking freight off the WCML would really mean building a new parallel route out of London so the debate then would be do you take away some fast passenger trains from the WCML (the current plan) or do you take away freights and build a new railway from London to Birmingham and Crewe/Warrington.

 

The logical trains to take away are the ones which have the greatest impact in track capacity and that is the fast passenger trains.

 

Here's an interesting illustration albeit on the GWML  - on Wednesday evening the train I caught from Reading was 3 minutes late start because the late running Morris Cowley - Purfleet was allowed to precede it.  in my view that was excellent regulation and the subsequent times prove it because the freight ran away from the stopping passenger train, despite the latter being a 387 unit.  The passenger train was 4 late at Twyford (where it was 3.5 minutes behind the freight),  1.5 minutes late away from Maidenhead (the next stop), and only 15 seconds late off Slough (which had nothing to do with the long gone freight), and right time at West Drayton and on through to Paddington - in other words the freight ran away from the stopping passenger trains (as is usually the case) and made up time as it did so (mainly as a result of being out of its booked path). In other words todays fast freights and semi-fast passenger trains mix quite well together if they are regulated with a modicum of common sense.  

 

You can't really mix either of them with frequent high speed passenger services so the simple message to make capacity is to shift the high speed passenger trains.

I didn't expect the Spanish Inquisition... just it might be nice to have the GC (as was) as a freight only "relief" had we not been so short sighted?

If plans had been delivered as promised for upgrades to the GE/GN joint (including March-Spalding) then freight might expect to be better served?

 

But as a respected member of someone who has had to deal with freight on rail, Mike, from what I know, the industry is tied? 

 

C6T. 

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The biggest problem is that it's difficult to see, anywhere in the world, where even its partial application has even looked like working as described.

 

Had to laugh... a near perfect description of socialism, then?

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10 hours ago, royaloak said:

A huge £37.50 single or £50.80 return (£75.00 if out in the morning Peak).

 

So 4 hours travelling (out and back ) for either £50.80 or £75.00, some would call that a bargain fare anyway.

 

Oh, I love your logic. If we slow the timetable down - as has happened on this route - people get more travelling time for their money, so it’s now a bargain!

 

Maybe that’s where HS2 is going wrong? If they ran trains at only 20mph but kept prices the same, the service would be full of happy, smiling people, thrilled at the value for money they were getting. Er...

 

Paul

 

 

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20 hours ago, Phil Parker said:

...Assuming we DO want a shift from road to rail, and assuming that everyone who works professionally in rail planning isn't lying and my experience of standing in Voyagers is real, then we need more supply and that, as has been said here many times, means we need HS2...

Just repeating an assumption does not strengthen the case. There are competing ideas which are equally valid. I am in the 'much less travelling' camp, so that existing investment is sufficient. The UK did this very effectively in its six years of communism with the line, 'Is your journey really necessary?'. I would suggest 80% are not.

 

Very few people want to face the horrible fact of reversing our runaway exploitation of a limited pot of resource: 'I am going to have to give up some stuff I very much enjoy and take for granted'.

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32 minutes ago, 34theletterbetweenB&D said:

QJust repeating an assumption does not strengthen the case. There are competing ideas which are equally valid. I am in the 'much less travelling' camp, so that existing investment is sufficient. The UK did this very effectively in its six years of communism with the line, 'Is your journey really necessary?'. I would suggest 80% are not.

2

 

The trouble with wishing to curtail consumption, whether of travel or goods, is that it also curtails the ability for people to make a livelihood from providing those goods and services.

Edited by billbedford
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