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We should let the Chinese build it.

They are laughing at us.

 

But seriously, with some compromise, it could be educational for both the UK and China.. they could learn much about standards, control, oversight and law, whilst we could learn skills, efficiency and avoiding bloated costs.


I can just see how China would be frustrated and amused at how lazy, inefficient and overpriced solutions are in the west... they would never pay £1000 a day for bird watchers to watch a tree or newt watching in a pond for 6 months just incase one should nest before the construction starts... HS2 has dozens of them... its not just concrete or even £150k management salaries that costs £100bn..

 

it goes down to the risk assessor looking at the pond to find a safe place for that bird watcher to sit, checking he has access to toilets, food etc and writing a report for £2-3k before the bird watcher arrives for 6months on a £500k 24/7 contract to watch birds (birds dont take sundays and nights off afterall).

 

HS2 is pork barrelled full of this kind of stuff.. ecologists might fight HS2 but they are also lining their pockets big style, in 4 figure daily salaries from it... now its been approved, Swampy and his mates have got a nice statement of works approved and new cars, cameras, tents, homes etc approved... Dont kid yourself they are great salesmen earning commission there, peddling environmental doom is big business... China just see’s it for what it is... a bribe to a lobby... now its approved, the twitchers will get paid and the noise will start to fade.

 

China doesnt care for that, they want to build, now the environmental lot have got their wedge secure, the oversight is in place, so its just about standards and oversight of construction.. unless those consultants are protecting their turf too, however Crossrail hardly shows them in a goodlight.. especially when many of them upsticks and quit to HS2 leaving Crossrail the mess it is... so if I were a straight handed govt minister I’d be asking any HS2 consultant about their role in Crossrail first.. as well as talking to China before awarding any contracts.

 

our “experts” failed on Crossrail, quit and followed the money to HS2.


So.. were paying the ecowarriers... why not get China to build HS2, get the eco lot to watch and ensure those “untrustworthy” chinese dont do anything to our “sacred” pond life, and then get our “experts” to manage the chinese to ensure the exacting standards those “experts” proclaim they have to manage the Chinese construction.
 

China can learn about environmentalists, who will have more influence on China than they would ever get anywhere else, our experts can still get fat and happy learning from the Chinese and so allow the government to save the bucket loads claimed and open it faster (but probably not as fast or as drama free as the Chinese think).

 

We proclaim not to be racist, perhaps then we should accept that China does have some demonstrated skills and qualities that we dont have as good as we think... thats a hard thing to do, especially when preserving your own income and carry a colonial view of the far east.

 

Boris tells us he wants to do things differently.. so nows a good time to be different.... a chance for faster, cheaper but at the same standard.

Edited by adb968008
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  • RMweb Gold
On 13/02/2020 at 20:08, phil-b259 said:

 

Far too many of your posts seem to concentrate on phase one and nothing else! It’s not rocket science to conclude that under phase one HS2 will not be used effectively - but that IGNORES the fact that HS2 is designed to be a network handling trains between London, the West Midlands, the East Midlands, Lancashire, Liverpool, Manchester, South Yorkshire Leeds, the North East and Scotland. Once you add together all those services - and not just those which will transfer under phase one and thus be restricted in size, then the utilisation figures improve considerably.

 

I don't think that any of my posts have focussed on the first phase rather than the overall picture.

 

The point that I made is that, without portion working, trains running from the traditional network will only be half-length as well as only single-deck. So about 37% of the bums on seats by comparison with a full-length double-deck train. If, say, half of the trains originate from off the HS2 ring-fenced network, that's a lot of capacity being wasted.

 

I totally agree with you that as the HS2 network develops (and a link to Liverpool via the new Northern Powerhouse link), the situation improves with only the Scottish and Newcastle trains wasting capacity on the main trunk section, a key reason to get on with building all of it. I'm not actually convinced that Newcastle is a sensible destination for trains on HS2. The current 3 hours is probably good enough and could be improved upon using the ECML.

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7 minutes ago, Joseph_Pestell said:

I'm not actually convinced that Newcastle is a sensible destination for trains on HS2. The current 3 hours is probably good enough and could be improved upon using the ECML

But will there be capacity post HS2 on the Southern ECML for fast trains south of York, or would this paths be better used for trains serving Newark, Grantham etc? There's probably a market for Birmingham to Newcastle as well, since XC run trains that way every half hour.

 

Hopefully portion working will come along to ensure that the London - Birmingham section in particular is fully utilised, but if the line is at full capacity on day 1 then it's been under-specified.

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Ecological surveys - here is the one for the new depot / sidings at Springs Branch Wigan - might I add ALL built on existing railway track alignments

 

https://www.whitcher-wildlife.co.uk/projects/wigan-springs-branch/

 

The survey identified protected sites in close proximity to the surveyed area, ponds in the surrounding area with existing records of great crested newts, several invasive non-native plant species listed on Schedule 9 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and structures with features suitable to support roosting bats. Abundant nesting habitat and suitable reptile habitat was also identified throughout the surveyed area.

Works are ongoing to investigate the presence of great crested newts in the ponds in close proximity to the site and to identify whether the structures on site are used by roosting bats.

Whitcher Wildlife Ltd will also carry out biodiversity calculations and advise on measures to achieve no net loss or a net gain in biodiversity during the project

 

Total waste of money. The area is (still is !!) completely tat. Great crested newts - millions of the blighters around Ince Moss, which is on the other side of the WCML not affected by these works. Lots of two legged reptiles in the area also. Roosting Bats ? - well that's the new builders of the HS2 Golborne spur lunches sorted !!!

 

Brit15

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I reckon there's a great crested newt farm somewhere, where the little blighters are being bred for release into suitable sites by rail, road and building developments.:yes:

 

There was an ecologist on TV the other week when after an ecological survey at a site had found no sign of GCNs said "but there must be"

Why? Had some been 'planted' there?:D

 

 

 

 

Edited by melmerby
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The thing is, the Great Crested Newts must hate us intensely.

As descendants of the dinosaurs, they probably have a deep seated, bitter hatred of humans, knowing that if they were the same size as their ancestors, they would eat us all alive.

Would they want to preserve us? Nah!
 

 

.

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It may be that the conversations with the Chinese are being held with a view to using them as a bargaining chip in negotiating with domestic contractors. Those in the industry would do well to be careful what they wish for, in respect of pay, conditions and general attitude to workers at all levels.

 

As for the comments above about ecological protections, I won't even deign to comment.

 

John.

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Hornby moved production to China about 20 years ago. I packed up work about 17 years ago and back then we were using China for materials and even labour on some large jobs. Any company that does not value engineer a large job is in my book incompetent. I am not saying hand the whole job to the Chinese but I am saying that they are capable of supplying valuable input into certain parts of the project. But then we seem to be very conservative in our outlook at outsourcing. As an example one very advanced European country has its medical advice call centre based in Thailand. No shortage of applicants from the home country to work there on medium term contracts and all parties are doing very nicely out of the arrangement. Most of the customers are totally unaware of where the call centre is located. They just get a friendly highly qualified voice on the phone  Do the Chinese have any qualified GCN Watchers who could provide a cut rate service? :)

Bernard

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When the Chinese built the HS line to Tibet  it was behind schedule on certain matters  ,the opening day  approached and the terminus was all but a shell.They must not lose face so the platform slabs,all the slabs in the building were laid on sand and when the ceremony was over they were taken up and stored until they could be laid properly.The trains signalling etc were okay and the line opened on time  but the construction was carried out 24hrs a day and not much attention to people alongside the route or for workers rights.If they do build this line wont they have to abide our rules regarding work laws etc and will they expect some sought of pay back in terms of access to our markets,

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  • RMweb Gold
2 hours ago, Zomboid said:

But will there be capacity post HS2 on the Southern ECML for fast trains south of York, or would this paths be better used for trains serving Newark, Grantham etc? There's probably a market for Birmingham to Newcastle as well, since XC run trains that way every half hour.

 

Hopefully portion working will come along to ensure that the London - Birmingham section in particular is fully utilised, but if the line is at full capacity on day 1 then it's been under-specified.

 

I agree with you about using the eastern section of HS2 to improve connectivity from Birmingham to Leeds and the Northeast. That can take paths that won't be used by London trains as only a percentage of London trains (30%?) will be using that section.

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18 minutes ago, lmsforever said:

When the Chinese built the HS line to Tibet  it was behind schedule on certain matters  ,the opening day  approached and the terminus was all but a shell.They must not lose face so the platform slabs,all the slabs in the building were laid on sand and when the ceremony was over they were taken up and stored until they could be laid properly.The trains signalling etc were okay and the line opened on time  but the construction was carried out 24hrs a day and not much attention to people alongside the route or for workers rights.If they do build this line wont they have to abide our rules regarding work laws etc and will they expect some sought of pay back in terms of access to our markets,

That's the $64million question. My understanding of projects undertaken outside of China by the Chinese is that much of the work is carried out by imported Chinese labour. To be fair a lot of such activity has taken place in less-developed countries, particularly in Africa where there has been something of a Chinese colonisation in recent years.

 

One of the benefits of HS2 ought to be the opportunities for high quality employment in the UK, with attendant training, skills and so on, for the domestic population. Indeed I think someone earlier referred to the creation of a labour force that could move to different stages of the HS2 project consecutively. As Tom Tugendhat pointed out today, we haven't just taken back control from Brussels to surrender it to Beijing.

 

John.

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It is unclear as to how the Chinese would add value. They do not have a good track record outside China, as evidenced in several projects in Africa, where Chinese management have had to be replaced, because the indigenous workforce found them unacceptable. They would clearly have to abide by all UK rules and regulations, and could only bring some efficiencies in yellow plant and perhaps some construction methods. But it is hard to see how that would place them ahead of the greatly more experienced builders of successfully managed European high speed railways, let alone the experience built up in the UK by HS1 (albeit some of that will have been lost by now).

 

I suspect it is in the financing of HS2 where the Chinese might be providing some greater interest to BoJo and his chums.

 

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2 hours ago, melmerby said:

I reckon there's a great crested newt farm somewhere, where the little blighters are being bred for release into suitable sites by rail, road and building developments.:yes:

 

There was an ecologist on TV the other week when after an ecological survey at a site had found no sign of GCNs said "but there must be"

Why? Had some been 'planted' there?:D

 

The problem with great crested newts is that while they are rare on mainland Europe they are quite common over here, although, like you, I get the feeling its the same ones turning up at all these sites, maybe any which are caught and relocated should be microchipped so they can be checked.

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On 14/02/2020 at 09:43, Ron Ron Ron said:

The 14 tph is the initial capacity.

The line has been specified for a minimum of 18 tph and the specification for the train fleet talks of a minimum of 18tph.

As all train services running on the dedicated HS2 lines are to be run under ATO, what do you experienced guys think is feasible?

 

 

.

With ATO, and even without moving block, 18tph should be perfectly feasible and I can't really understand why anyone with any knowledge of the subject should think that it isn't (that is not a knock at a genuine question BTW).  There are plenty of lines in Britain running 3 minute, or tighter, headways with conventional signalling and 'traditional' driving at speeds up to 125mph.  Equally there are trains timed on SNCF LGVs to run at 186mph at 3 minute headways with human Drivers.  So on those bases alone 18tph with ATO ought to be a doddle in terms of both theoretical and practical headways although it does obviously depend on the ATO system being suitable for the job (which technically ought to be considerably easier than the train and system software on the yet to be fully tested let alone commissioned Crossrail core or its various transitions between systems).

 

The only potential problem - which has nothing to do with headway or capacity - is the possible feed-in of perturbation in train presentation from 'off HS2' which might impact on punctuality because of trains trying to be slotted into paths which don't exist on the graph.  This then comes back to the total designed number of paths per hour and the theoretical percentage of those which remain unused by an 18tph timetable.  I suspect the 'real' capacity is likely (as has been the usual case on busier UK routes in the past) to exceed the designed capacity.

 

However there is a further element to put into the equation and it is a critical one.  Nobody but a grossly naive person or a total idiot is going to run a timetable based on running at 100% speed performance by every train every day, forever.  Inevitably there will be 'things' which might lead to minor delays or loss of time and any sensible timetable plan will make some provision for that.  For instance somewhere some time trackwork will be needed and that will mean reductions in speed - either that is taken into account in the base timetable by inserting recovery time or trains will run a little late.  That 'little late' might worsen through reactionary delays particularly on short headways.  So inevitably I can see a need for what I refer to as 'gash time' in every schedule which would also be there to potentially soak up perturbation in the running of trains coming off the wider network.

 

Notwithstanding all of that I have no doubt at all about the ability of the line to cater for a planned service of 18tph with a bit of wriggle room to spare.

 

 

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4 hours ago, Joseph_Pestell said:

 

I totally agree with you that as the HS2 network develops (and a link to Liverpool via the new Northern Powerhouse link), the situation improves with only the Scottish and Newcastle trains wasting capacity on the main trunk section, a key reason to get on with building all of it. I'm not actually convinced that Newcastle is a sensible destination for trains on HS2. The current 3 hours is probably good enough and could be improved upon using the ECML.

Being someone who regular commutes From the SE up to Warrington, Manchester, Leeds and Newcastle I must disagree. 
 

2hr 50 on the express service To Tyneside is an hour longer than the rest. It’s very hard to get a useful day working and get home whereas that’s more than feasible at the others. It’s first stop York so other than pathing problems, there is little improvement that can be had.

 

if HS2 cuts 1 hour from the journey then you increase the effectiveness of a day return to Newcastle thus increasing its lure on business.

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  • RMweb Gold
54 minutes ago, black and decker boy said:

Being someone who regular commutes From the SE up to Warrington, Manchester, Leeds and Newcastle I must disagree. 
 

2hr 50 on the express service To Tyneside is an hour longer than the rest. It’s very hard to get a useful day working and get home whereas that’s more than feasible at the others. It’s first stop York so other than pathing problems, there is little improvement that can be had.

 

if HS2 cuts 1 hour from the journey then you increase the effectiveness of a day return to Newcastle thus increasing its lure on business.

 

Well, we can't do anything about the geography. Newcastle is further away from London and always will be.

 

I rather doubt if it will save as much as an hour over the ECML, particularly if, with some capacity created on ECML by Edinburgh-London trains switching to WCML/HS2, ECML speeds can be raised to 140mph.

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According so Wikipedia, Newcastle to/ from London will be 2h19, down from 2h52 via today's ECML. And Newcastle to Birmingham will be 2h07 down from 3h14 (more stops I guess, probably running via classic lines to Chesterfield, since Leeds HS2 will be a South facing terminus).

 

Though journey times aren't really the point, those are worthwhile savings.

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