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57 minutes ago, Joseph_Pestell said:

My wife used that. Coach got stuck on the M25 and she missed her flight.

 

Precisely.

 

While the M25 is OK (if slow going simply due to the volume of traffic) some of the time - as soon as ANYTHING goes wrong between the A3 and M40, the whole thing grinds to a halt for hours.

 

Personally I avoid the M25 past Heathrow with a bargepole when driving and if Gatwick doesn't offer flights to where I want to go then Luton or even Stansted would be my next choices even though it means crossing London somehow.

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9 hours ago, Joseph_Pestell said:

My wife used that. Coach got stuck on the M25 and she missed her flight.

I used it many times and never had any such issues, but since it does use the M25 there's always that risk.

 

Someone at national express when they set it up and chose route number 925 must have been a Dolly Parton fan though. Half the time the display on the front says "Woking 925"...

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12 hours ago, phil-b259 said:

 

Yes I have seen that suggestion - but it remains only a suggestion at this stage and is going to be incredibly expensive to build compared with a surface option that ties into the current Windsor line. Given the way Covid has ravaged the airline industry I think its clear that unlike previous schemes* Heathrow are going to be in no position to fund anything for a decade or so at least and I don't see HM Treasury being willing to step into the breach.

 

*Around a decade ago Heathrow were all set to go and apply for a TWA to allow them to build a southwards link from T5 to the Windsor line (including reinstating the north to west curve plus a new Staines north station only to be told that the then Secretary of State for Transport would personally veto / reject the scheme due to the increased downtime at level crossings within his Runnymede constituency.

Yes I agree, but the Heathrow Southern Railway seemed to have a good prospect of going ahead two or three years ago as a privately funded project.  I think it was waiting for a government agreement to guarantee usage and access fees - a big obstacle I grant you - but in view of what's happened since it's probably a good thing it never happened.  

 

I say again, the Heathrow Southern Railway project looks pretty tame compared with the alternative of a HS2 branch from the Ruislip area to a huge high speed station somewhere near or under Heathrow, leaving aside the possibility of a continuation southwards.  With connections at Old Oak Common the Heathrow Southern Railway would be a bit less optimum for some passengers between the North and Heathrow, but it would benefit a huge range of other journeys that wouldn't gain anything from a high speed link.  

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23 hours ago, Northmoor said:

Can I just put that one to bed right now....?  The PM lied to the Commons when he said that this week; he and the Mayor are as bad as each other.

 

TfL was NOT broke before the pandemic, it survived for months by spending its significant reserves.  A Broke company has run out of cash and TfL was in no way close to that in March, despite the Mayor persisting with offering free travel to every "worthy" group he could thing of.  

 

Further to this, see: https://www.onlondon.co.uk/sadiq-khan-says-boris-johnson-lied-about-tfl-finances-in-commons-and-rebukes-pms-transport-adviser/     Read especially the penultimate paragraph.

 

Whilst demand was already dropping pre-Covid, reducing income, operating costs were being reduced at a rapid rate, and commercial income was rising fast. The Underground actually still makes a profit (as of last year) and the Overground only a small loss. It is the buses and roads income which is dragging down the budget, along with the huge cost increases and lost income from the Elizabeth Line.

 

It should also be remembered/noted that around £850m of government grant has been removed from TfL, over the past few years - almost exactly last year's operating loss. London is now the only (?) major capital city in the world expected to run it's transport system without a routine central government grant.

 

 

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32 minutes ago, Ron Ron Ron said:

The tunnel portal hoods are now under construction at the Chilterns tunnel eastern portal.

The trackbed foundations can be seen being formed to the left....

 

 

EmEY5piXUAIeJE7?format=jpg&name=medium

What are all those square things evenly scattered over the tunnel portal?

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16 minutes ago, Arun Sharma said:

What are all those square things evenly scattered over the tunnel portal?

 

Rock bolt plates, at a guess a mesh has been put over the cut face and bolted into the rock wall and covered in concrete. The square metal plates are like large washers, with a nut / fastener on the outside.

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22 minutes ago, Tricky-CRS said:

 

Rock bolt plates, at a guess a mesh has been put over the cut face and bolted into the rock wall and covered in concrete. The square metal plates are like large washers, with a nut / fastener on the outside.


If you look at the top left hand corner of the photo, you can see part of the reinforcing membrane without the sprayed concrete.

 

A clearer earlier view can be seen on page 71 of this thread.

 

 

.

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The Chilterns Tunnel eastern portal site is not the only tunnel site where works are well underway.

 

Here is the portal site at Long Itchington Wood, to the east of Royal Leamington Spa, in Warwickshire......

 

 

19th September 2020  (2 months ago, so a bit out of date already).......

 

 

 

 

 

 

26th October 2020 .....a bit boring (snigger!) at the beginning, so skip to 6:30 for a panned view....

 

 

 

 

 

.

Edited by Ron Ron Ron
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Breaking news?

 

Rail Engineer says:

Quote

A partnership which includes PORR UK Ltd and Aggregate Industries UK has won a major contract to design and manufacture the modular track system for HS2. The deal will see the slab track segments manufactured at a new factory near Shepton Mallet in Somerset

 

https://www.railengineer.co.uk/porr-aggregate-industries-consortium-wins-hs2-modular-track-contract/

 

Has anyone found exactly where "near Shepton Mallet"? Possibly using the East Cranmore branch to connect to the main line?

 

Good news also for Okehampton? The raw materials will come from Meldon Quarry.

 

Quote

We are led to believe that stone from the currently ‘mothballed’ Meldon Quarry is earmarked to be used in relation to the highly controversial HS2 rail project to replace large amounts of ballast from other quarries serving the HS2 construction between London and Birmingham.  .. In the unlikely event that the aggregate will be transported by road if Meldon Quarry is to reopen, then the only other viable and obvious alternative is to transport the ballast by rail. This will require a stable, safe and reliable local rail network connecting to the main line, suggesting that the reinstatement of the Oke to Exeter railway line is perhaps more certain now than previously thought.

 

https://themoorlander.co.uk/oke-rail-update-light-at-the-end-of-the-tunnel/

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13 hours ago, martin_wynne said:

This is sad....

 

Of course it is, but how much "ancient woodland" was destroyed to create that man-made landscape in the background (the surrounding agricultural land) ?

Much of what is considered to be beautiful countryside, was artificially created by mass destruction of the natural landscape.

As long as HS2 are held to their programme of creating new natural habitats and planting of trees, the long term effect may be net zero.

 

Likewise, the much promised government plan to create new forests and plant millions of trees, needs to be turned into reality.

However, with the current levels of population growth, an awful lot more of our "green spaces" will need to be built on.

 

 

 

.

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14 hours ago, martin_wynne said:

This is sad.
 

 

Martin.

Funnily enough I walked along a stretch of Grim's Ditch near there yesterday. I am pleased to report that very little of the remaining parts have been disturbed. I never realised that there was a section there that looked like the one shown in the video. Most of it in the area between The Lee and London Road and the part near the pylons where it is crossed by HS2 was ploughed up long ago. I find the title of the video rather inaccurate. Propaganda? Some would go that far. It is unfortunate that a small are of woodland has been destroyed. However a lot of the silver birches are past their sell by date and need to be removed and some of the beech trees are unsafe given the greater frequency of high winds in this age of climate change. The nature of the wood would need to be changed or left to decay.

Please let us not sink to the depths of Packham and his cronies.

Bernard

 

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2 hours ago, Ron Ron Ron said:

 

Of course it is, but how much "ancient woodland" was destroyed to create that man-made landscape in the background (the surrounding agricultural land) ?

Much of what is considered to be beautiful countryside, was artificially created by mass destruction of the natural landscape.

 

De-forestation by farming since WW2 has caused far more destruction of woodlands that dozens of HS2s would.

 

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3 hours ago, Ron Ron Ron said:

 

Of course it is, but how much "ancient woodland" was destroyed to create that man-made landscape in the background (the surrounding agricultural land) ?

Almost all of what is considered to be beautiful countryside, was artificially created by mass destruction of the natural landscape.

As long as HS2 are held to their programme of creating new natural habitats and planting of trees, the long term effect may be net zero.

 

Likewise, the much promised government plan to create new forests and plant millions of trees, needs to be turned into reality.

However, with the current levels of population growth, an awful lot more of our "green spaces" will need to be built on.

 

Small edit made above...

I find the Scottish Highlands (formerly the Caledonian Forest) and the Peak District/Yorkshire Dales (those dry-stone walls didn't build themselves) to be good examples to give people who want to protect the "natural" environment.

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8 minutes ago, melmerby said:

De-forestation by farming since WW2 has caused far more destruction of woodlands that dozens of HS2s would.

 

The previous loss of 99 woodlands doesn't make it any less sad to see 1 more go.

 

Let's hope it turns out to be worth it. The present situation and inevitable downturn in the economy and change in working practices must be questioning the underlying assumptions.

 

A massive bundle of fibre-optic cables for nation-wide ultra-broadband would have caused far less destruction than a railway. But we are where we are -- 30 years late with HS2.

 

Martin.

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6 minutes ago, martin_wynne said:

 

The previous loss of 99 woodlands doesn't make it any less sad to see 1 more go.

 

Let's hope it turns out to be worth it. The present situation and inevitable downturn in the economy and change in working practices must be questioning the underlying assumptions.

 

A massive bundle of fibre-optic cables for nation-wide ultra-broadband would have caused far less destruction than a railway. But we are where we are -- 30 years late with HS2.

 

I agree about the loss of any woodland, but we can't and must not challenge the assumptions of HS2 based on an event which no-one had predicted 12 months ago.  Once this is all over, people will want to travel again; look what happened the last time travel was restricted (WW2).  Once people could travel, they did; train travel and car ownership boomed.

 

I find it amazing how many commentators were calling the first lockdown, when "everyone" was working from home (ignoring the millions who weren't and had no option), "The New Normal" within days of it starting.  They seemed to honestly believe that the urbanisation of the UK, which has been going on for 250 years - since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution - was going to be reversed in little over 250 hours.

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13 minutes ago, martin_wynne said:

 

The previous loss of 99 woodlands doesn't make it any less sad to see 1 more go.

 

Let's hope it turns out to be worth it. The present situation and inevitable downturn in the economy and change in working practices must be questioning the underlying assumptions.

 

A massive bundle of fibre-optic cables for nation-wide ultra-broadband would have caused far less destruction than a railway. But we are where we are -- 30 years late with HS2.

 

Martin.

 

I must have missed the announcement that the technology to shove anything we buy from a supermarket down a fibre-optic line had been developed.

 

It always amuses me that all the people protesting about HS2 for "environmental" reasons can't see any benefit in creating capacity to take freight off the road. With my tin-foil hat on, I wonder how many of these groups are covertly funded and directed by the oil industry.

 

At the very least there is a lot of short term thinking going on. Most people (60%) cannot work from home, and many don't want to long term. Even if this works for your job, it's fine if you are wealthy enough to buy a house with space to give over to an office. A few months of balancing a laptop on the kitchen table and returning to the office will appeal even more, especially to a HR department trying to work out how to deal with all those claims for back injury from non-H&S assessed workstations.

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