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11 minutes ago, Flittersnoop said:

I would love to share your fatalistic philosophy, but I keep remembering that the tax I pay is going towards the cost of it.

I don't agree with Brexit and my tax is going towards whatever happens next, but I accept that it was voted for (twice if you take the last election as the final deciding vote).

 

Parliament voted for HS2 and it's they who will decide ultimately if it is affordable now.  But wouldn't be ironic if the first major casualty of the big fresh unleashed UK is to cancel a massive capital expenditure program designed to resolve transport capacity issues in the south and bring the North and South closer together.

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I don't understand what those who don't like the idea of the Curzon Street station in Birmingham propose. There is simply no room for more trains at New Street and expanding it is not possible. So either Moor Street which also offers little scope for handling extra services or a new station. The same in London. Euston and any other possible stations are quite simply full.  Can someone please explain to me what other options there are?

And the issue of signalling is a red herring as the new line will use a variant of what is being rolled out nationally as ECTS on the main lines. 

The "dedicated" trains which will use HS2 and any extensions can have a larger ioading gauge and carry more passengers per unit of weight and unit of energy used in moving them, so will be more efficient - and there will need to be fewer to move the same amount of traffic.

I do agree that we need a modal shift for freight traffic. The worst thing to happen environmentally (though that word was not in use then) was when BR abandoned freight except for trainload. But how to change that now I do not know. Perhaps we can get more freight on the WCML if the fast trains are moved off it onto the new line, alongside better services for those making intermediate journeys.

Jonathan

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20 minutes ago, Pandora said:

I read the Stop HS2 campaign group document , and I do not know whose side to take:

 

http://stophs2.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/Stop-HS2-Fact-Sheet-Jan-2020.pdf

 

I'll just take this quote as an example:

"Much of what is said is simply factually inaccurate, for example it has been repeatedly said that there is simply no room on tracks like the West Coast Mainline for more trains, despite the fact that since that claim was first made London Midland (as was) added more trains by changing the timetable twice, and the new WCML inter-city franchise holder Avanti is promising to add 263 more services each weekon tracks HS2 proponents claim are full."

 

So. How well did those extra trains run?

So well they've had to reduce the scope to try and make the timetable work.

The performance of London Midland towards the end of it's tenure and the new incumbent WMR has so far been abysmal with many cancelled and late trains, such that they are being threatened with losing the franchise.

 

If what the bloke that comes on TV regularly to promote Stop HS2 spouts is anything to go by, the "facts" are anything but.

 

 

Edited by melmerby
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38 minutes ago, Flittersnoop said:

I would love to share your fatalistic philosophy, but I keep remembering that the tax I pay is going towards the cost of it.

 

Never a simple matter to link public investment with taxation.

 

I don't have all the figures but my expectation would be that no tax money would be involved. The money will be borrowed at current very low interest rates. Revenue should enable (over a long period) to pay back the loans. So potentially no cost to the taxpayer at all.

 

 

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21 minutes ago, corneliuslundie said:

I don't understand what those who don't like the idea of the Curzon Street station in Birmingham propose. There is simply no room for more trains at New Street and expanding it is not possible. So either Moor Street which also offers little scope for handling extra services or a new station. The same in London. Euston and any other possible stations are quite simply full.  Can someone please explain to me what other options there are?

A tunnel under the centre of Birmingham. If we are clever enough to build Crossrail under central London, avoiding all the tube lines, sewers, etc, then a tunnel under Brum must be possible, to take trains on towards where lots of people actually live, like the Black Country, the South West and Wales, and make HS2 what people on here seem to think would be A Good Thing, i.e. part of the national rail network.

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31 minutes ago, Flittersnoop said:

A tunnel under the centre of Birmingham. If we are clever enough to build Crossrail under central London, avoiding all the tube lines, sewers, etc, then a tunnel under Brum must be possible, to take trains on towards where lots of people actually live, like the Black Country, the South West and Wales, and make HS2 what people on here seem to think would be A Good Thing, i.e. part of the national rail network.

Please explain the logistics of this.

Where is the station to be built? Same as now?

Under where in Brum would the tunnel go?

Where would the connections be and to which lines?

 

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The original idea was to take the Crosscity lines under the existing station.  There is no reason it couldn't be done and has been done elsewhere. Somewhere in the USA I think. Cost is the major issue but it would free up a lot of capacity. If you do a search you will find plenty about the proposal.

Edited by Hobby
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22 hours ago, class26 said:

 

Sorry , off topic but you obviously have not been to central B`ham recently  The cent re is massively improved over where it was 30 or 40 years ago. 

 

Actually I live in Redditch and spent five years or so commuting into Brum before getting a more local job 18 months ago

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44 minutes ago, Hobby said:

The original idea was to take the Crosscity lines under the existing station.  There is no reason it couldn't be done and has been done elsewhere. Somewhere in the USA I think. Cost is the major issue but it would free up a lot of capacity. If you do a search you will find plenty about the proposal.

There is still the problem of the line from Rugby to Birmingham which is only two tracks and is also overcrowded.

 

First: Start by providing extra capacity in BNS by moving trains elsewhere (Deep Level Station?)

Second: Run those extra services from the WCML into Birmingham but you really need to add extra tracks into Brum to do it.

Third: Now with those extra tracks you can have those services but by having extra trains on the WCML below Rugby it's adding to the already overcrowded tracks.

Fourth: Add more tracks on the lower half of the WCML by demolishing many thousand of houses in the built up areas it runs through, also entailing massive disruption to the current infrastructure whilst it is built.

Result: Abandon the idea as impractical, extremely expensive and unacceptable to the general public.

 

Start again and go for a new railway.

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Tunnelling under London is as close to ideal as is possible, in London Clay and that is very expensive as has been proved with crossrail, what are the tunnelling conditions like under Birmingham? From what I have seen it's red sandstone, is this easy to tunnel?

 

 

On 20/01/2020 at 19:47, Flittersnoop said:

 

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2 hours ago, Flittersnoop said:

A tunnel under the centre of Birmingham. If we are clever enough to build Crossrail under central London, avoiding all the tube lines, sewers, etc, then a tunnel under Brum must be possible, to take trains on towards where lots of people actually live, like the Black Country, the South West and Wales, and make HS2 what people on here seem to think would be A Good Thing, i.e. part of the national rail network.

 

Perhaps you should go read the Crossrail thread to see how well that is going... delayed and over budget...

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5 minutes ago, Siberian Snooper said:

 

Tunnelling under London is as close to ideal as is possible, in London Clay and that is very expensive as has been proved with crossrail, what are the tunnelling conditions like under Birmingham? From what I have seen it's red sandstone, is this easy to tunnel?

 

 

 

I've just been reading about the Japanese Maglev which is being built at tremendous expense from Tokyo to Osaka, over  75% in tunnels going through hard mountain rock. There has been only one environmental issue where the tunnel goes under a river and there are fears it will cause the river to dry up.

I guess the thinking is long term for the benefit of the country instead of for the benefit of winning the next election- build it once, build it best.

 

 

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2 minutes ago, Siberian Snooper said:

 

Tunnelling under London is as close to ideal as is possible, in London Clay and that is very expensive as has been proved with crossrail, what are the tunnelling conditions like under Birmingham? From what I have seen it's red sandstone, is this easy to tunnel?

 

 

It can be done.

Any lower level station would need to be pretty deep as New Street itself is sub-surface.

Cross City uses two platforms (a train every 10 mins in each direction), so you are not gaining much platform space.

 

I always envisaged a line from the old Windsor Street branch junction at Aston diving under New Street and emerging onto the track bed of the Central Goods spur south of Five ways station. it's a pretty straight alignment and you could have a station similar to that at St Pancras LL (Thameslink).

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1 hour ago, Hobby said:

The original idea was to take the Crosscity lines under the existing station.  There is no reason it couldn't be done and has been done elsewhere. Somewhere in the USA I think. Cost is the major issue but it would free up a lot of capacity. If you do a search you will find plenty about the proposal.

 

Removing the Euston/Birmingham expresses (from New St to Curzon St) will free up more capacity, given that two-thirds of these terminate at New St and therefore occupy platforms for an extended period. Plus it will allow an even more frequent service without adversely affecting New St !

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I believe that one of the reasons that New Street is so low down is due to the various canals the lines had to cross to get there.  There was pressure a few years ago to put passive provision for a third approach tunnel from the Proof House Junction direction, in place when the Bull Ring area was being knocked down and rebuilt.  However nothing came of it. I think that the reasoning was to provide capacity for more services such as the cross city routes.

 

Jamie

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1 hour ago, jamie92208 said:

I believe that one of the reasons that New Street is so low down is due to the various canals the lines had to cross to get there.  There was pressure a few years ago to put passive provision for a third approach tunnel from the Proof House Junction direction, in place when the Bull Ring area was being knocked down and rebuilt.  However nothing came of it. I think that the reasoning was to provide capacity for more services such as the cross city routes.

 

Jamie

Yes, turned down by the well-known right wing rail hater, John Prescott.  There's the foundations of a shopping centre built on top of the alignment now.

 

Whatever the current government manage to (not) do for our railways, it will have to go some to match the spectacular non-achievement of the Blair-Brown years.  Twelve miles of electrification in 13 years.  I could have done half of that on my own with a JCB and a roll of cable.

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13 hours ago, Joseph_Pestell said:

You have some catching up to do! HS1 runs from London (St Pancras to Folkestone).

 

Apologies, as Hobby kindly pointed out, "you know what I meant"; for some silly reason I was equating the Speed upgrades on the existing WCML above the former base levels with being HS1.

 

IMO the project can be characterised as too little (gain); too expensive; too late.

 

As to this last point, any infrastructure project of this scale / cost needs to be viewed through a prism of a 50 + year timeframe. HS2 technology will be 100+ years old by then. As I argue below, most of the technology gains in HS2 type rail already have been realised, limiting future upside benefits. The danger is that a future technology or other change might turn the HS2 investment into an expensive to operate White Elephant.

 

If anyone ever gets the chance to visit the Nagoya Railway museum covering the Shinkansen and Maglev, there is an excellent illustration of the limitations of conventional rail travel on HS2 type tracks. After all the Japanese have had the dedicated wider carriages, dedicated lines etc for over 50 years and have exploited the technology to its limits.

 

The display shows the frequency / travel times on the Tokyo / Osaka mainline and how more and more trains have been progressively squeezed into the timetable. Today, even with short times for platform stops and turnarounds (#) unacceptable elsewhere, they can at best manage 1 train every 5 minutes with current technologies.  Aside from increasing running costs at higher speeds, tunnel designs have their limitations as well and these have been totally redesigned for the much higher speed Maglev route. 

 

# the train team doing a terminus turnaround in just a few minutes cleaning, clearing and rotating every seat 180 degrees! So efficient and rapid It is hard to believe your eyes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by BWsTrains
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2 hours ago, rovex said:

 

Actually I live in Redditch and spent five years or so commuting into Brum before getting a more local job 18 months ago

 Used to live in Alvechurch  but i always reckoned that Brum was unfairly criticised by those who had never been there. All cities have bad bits but the centre has improved out of all recognition since I first lived there which was 1979 

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29 minutes ago, class26 said:

 Used to live in Alvechurch

 

Aaah..Alvechurch!

 

Where the Dellow sports cars used to be made [see avatar]... :)

 

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Thanks for the response on central Birmingham stations. I was assuming that whatever station is used in Birmingham there will need to be a new line on a new alignment to get there simply because there is no practical possibility of increasing the capacity of the existing lines significantly. I am aware that modern signalling can give a little improvement by use of moving block etc, but that it not going to give the extra capacity needed. Unfortunately, the other routes out of London to the north are also at capacity - except possibly that out of Marylebone, which I am not very familiar with except that someone was careless enough to sell off the land where extra platforms could have been built.

Of course if that awful enormous shopping centre had not been built over New Street a second level could have been put ABOVE the existing station rather than below - canal crossings permitting.

But I am going to wait and see what the government actually decides rather than rely on the speculation in the normally poorly informed newspapers etc. That is if it is capable of deciding anything other than to put off the decision another year so that costs can rise a bit more (2% inflation?)

Jonathan

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1 hour ago, class26 said:

 Used to live in Alvechurch 

:offtopic: Where the regular local Camra pub of the season/year is. (Weighbridge, just the other side of the canal from the station)

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38 minutes ago, corneliuslundie said:

 

Of course if that awful enormous shopping centre had not been built over New Street a second level could have been put ABOVE the existing station rather than below - canal crossings permitting.

 

Jonathan

You would still need to get through/over/under a maze of roads as they are all mostly at that level.

Which is probably at the level of the tracks into Curzon St. It approaches on a viaduct to rising ground and the terminal end is near Moor Street road level.

Birmingham is not an easy location for railways, Moor Street station has the outer end of the platforms on a high viaduct and the town end next to a tunnel as does Snow Hill.

Edited by melmerby
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10 hours ago, BWsTrains said:

 

Apologies, as Hobby kindly pointed out, "you know what I meant"; for some silly reason I was equating the Speed upgrades on the existing WCML above the former base levels with being HS1.

 

IMO the project can be characterised as too little (gain); too expensive; too late.

 

As to this last point, any infrastructure project of this scale / cost needs to be viewed through a prism of a 50 + year timeframe. HS2 technology will be 100+ years old by then. As I argue below, most of the technology gains in HS2 type rail already have been realised, limiting future upside benefits. The danger is that a future technology or other change might turn the HS2 investment into an expensive to operate White Elephant.

 

If anyone ever gets the chance to visit the Nagoya Railway museum covering the Shinkansen and Maglev, there is an excellent illustration of the limitations of conventional rail travel on HS2 type tracks. After all the Japanese have had the dedicated wider carriages, dedicated lines etc for over 50 years and have exploited the technology to its limits.

 

The display shows the frequency / travel times on the Tokyo / Osaka mainline and how more and more trains have been progressively squeezed into the timetable. Today, even with short times for platform stops and turnarounds (#) unacceptable elsewhere, they can at best manage 1 train every 5 minutes with current technologies.  Aside from increasing running costs at higher speeds, tunnel designs have their limitations as well and these have been totally redesigned for the much higher speed Maglev route. 

 

# the train team doing a terminus turnaround in just a few minutes cleaning, clearing and rotating every seat 180 degrees! So efficient and rapid It is hard to believe your eyes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

As in most fields, the best is the enemy of the good.

There may be better solutions than conventional railway but are they so much better in the context of a small country with short distances?

A 150mph railway would allow London - Edinburgh/Glasgow in three hours. Experience in France shows that people will take the train rather than the plane once you can get down to this 3 hour journey time. The only internal flights left in France are from Nice, Perpignan, Toulouse, Carcassonne and Rodez, places that are more than three hours from Paris by train. And even the Perpignan - Paris air route has fewer flights than in the past. 

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