Alternative to HS2, is it just me or does this look quite sensible?

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  • Alternative to HS2, is it just me or does this look quite sensible?
  • lemonysam
    Member

    Britain’s high-speed rail network could be £20bn cheaper than billed and could pay for itself under radical plans being developed by a team of railway engineers, it is claimed.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/travel/news-and-advice/hs2-alternative-high-speed-rail-network-could-be-20bn-cheaper-and-pay-for-itself-a6761946.html

    I’m not in a position to check their maths but this seems to achieve far more – especially from a northern perspective, with far less. What’s it missing?

    Future directorships for MPs?

    ScottChegg
    Member

    The PFI upcharge which will be £25bn

    deadkenny
    Member

    Cheaper still is just not bother at all with high speed. Let the minority of people who will benefit from getting to London half an hour quicker, just deal with the longer journey.

    Instead, invest in badly needed improvements to the rest of the network.

    Premier Icon Drac
    Subscriber

    That means going through the NE and that doesn’t exist on MP maps.

    Premier Icon seosamh77
    Subscriber

    deadkenny – Member
    Cheaper still is just not bother at all with high speed. Let the minority of people who will benefit from getting to London half an hour quicker, just deal with the longer journey.

    Instead, invest in badly needed improvements to the rest of the network.

    Yip 100%.

    lemonysam
    Member

    Instead, invest in badly needed improvements to the rest of the network.

    One of the advantages of this scheme would seem to be that it does actually link a few towns to each other rather than to London.

    Premier Icon seosamh77
    Subscriber

    Drac – Moderator
    That means going through the NE and that doesn’t exist on MP maps.

    And most likely utterly pointless in connecting it to glasgow! probably be quicker using the west cost main line to london! 😆

    Let the minority of people who will benefit from getting to London half an hour quicker,

    It’s been said 100’s of times before, the existing connection is full up and HS2 is being built to add capacity. It is an improvement to the existing network.

    Levying people who benefit from a new nearby railway station sounds good in principle (especially since people are compensated when they don’t benefit, but live near the tracks), but how would it work?

    Premier Icon phiiiiil
    Subscriber

    Instead, invest in badly needed improvements to the rest of the network.

    Around here in the midlands there aren’t many local trains because the lines are already full of long distance trains. This isn’t going to change unless more lines are built to take the long distance trains. Maybe they could even let them go faster while they’re at it. Hmmm…

    konabunny
    Member

    Levying people who benefit from a new nearby railway station sounds good in principle (especially since people are compensated when they don’t benefit, but live near the tracks), but how would it work?

    X% increase on council tax on all land wholly or partially located within x miles of a station.

    I’m not saying it’s fair but it would be possible to do.

    Premier Icon ourmaninthenorth
    Subscriber

    The whole “getting to London quicker” thing needs to be put into context of the wider effort to drive better economic aglomeration in the North. Trains will go equally fast either way.

    I’m no fan of the Conservatives, but if they can genuinely set us onto the right footing for a better balanced economy with the creation of the fabled Northern Powerhouse, they will finally start on the road to making amends for the imbalanced economic mess they created.

    aP
    Member

    I don’t understand how they get their new four-track high-speed line into central London? Unless it isn’t actually going into central London in which case there’s almost no point in doing it.
    Upgrading existing lines will be immensely disruptive and hugely expensive – like the comments in that link – just that section will probably cost almost as much as HS2 will.
    How much will all the property compensation cost as well?
    The point of HS2 is that it’s NEW lines which means that existing services can be maintained whilst you’re building it.
    Its a nice soundbite and I’d suggest is aimed at derailing HS2 rather than actually proposing something realistic.

    Premier Icon binners
    Subscriber

    I’m no fan of the Conservatives, but if they can genuinely set us onto the right footing for a better balanced economy with the creation of the fabled Northern Powerhouse, they will finally start on the road to making amends for the imbalanced economic mess they created.

    In effect the opposite happens though. They did this in Spain. They built high speed rail links to Madrid to try and make the provinces more appealing to business.

    The opposite happened, and it simply accelerated the division as Companies relocated to the capital taking advantage of the improved transport links. The government know this.

    I was reserving judgement on the whole Northern Powerhouse, and really wanted to believe that they meant it. I figured if the like of Howard Bernstein had signed up to it, then surely there was something to it.

    Unfortunately it seems like its merely Osborne cynically deferring blame for the huge cuts he’s about to make to Northern metropolitan councils, and the phrase is just that. A phrase. Its meaningless and has absolutely no substance.

    Every northern council told the treasury that rail links between northern cities were much more urgent than HS2. They were ignored. We getting HS2. Everything else has been shelved. Its actually tragic. The north isn’t even just being left to rot. This is now the ‘Managed Decline’ Thatcher suggested, and wanted to pursue if it hadn’t been for Hesaltine. Except its not really being managed, just fuelled

    b r
    Member

    It’s been said 100’s of times before, the existing connection is full up and HS2 is being built to add capacity. It is an improvement to the existing network.

    +1, but I reckon by building it to a lower (slower) standard it’d be a damn site cheaper.

    STATO
    Member

    It’s been said 100’s of times before, the existing connection is full up and HS2 is being built to add capacity. It is an improvement to the existing network.

    +1, but I reckon by building it to a lower (slower) standard it’d be a damn site cheaper.

    Slightly slower is not much different, a LOT slower would be different but why would you want to handicap yourself to todays speeds when your still talking billions.

    ahwiles
    Member

    b r – Member
    …I reckon by building it to a lower (slower) standard it’d be a damn site cheaper.

    not much.

    because: reasons.

    (a track designed for 150kph doesn’t cost half as much as a track designed for a limit of 300kph)

    my opinion: if you’re going to do something, do it properly.

    Moses
    Member

    No-ones’s mentioned Elon Musk’s Hyperloop ideas in this context, yet.
    It would do the same job as HS2 for about 25% of the cost, as the infrastructure would be simpler.
    If the gvt was farsighted, for 1% of the £50bn it would at least build a test track to see if the idea worked. If it did, then the skills gained would be marketable to the rest of the world

    Premier Icon Nobby
    Subscriber

    I don’t understand how they get their new four-track high-speed line into central London? Unless it isn’t actually going into central London in which case there’s almost no point in doing it.

    Probably mostly underground like much of HS1.

    johnhe
    Member

    Please be assured that I am not intending to beat any drums or jump on any bandwagons here.

    When you travel to Germany, Spain, France and then further afield to China etc, having high speed trains for the longer inter-city connections as a genuine alternative to flying now seems the norm. You get frustrated when so called “major” cities don’t have high speed connections available and you have no alternative to flying. Subconsciously it makes me feel that those cities must not be so “major” after all.

    When you come back to the UK after travelling further afield for a few years, by comparison we seem distinctly and very noticeably lacking in high speed trains.

    aP
    Member

    Probably mostly underground like much of HS1.

    Except that the article says that they won’t be tunnelling in through north London….?
    They either have to rebuild Mareylebone or Euston stations, or alternatively into Paddington, not quite sure what that does to GWR services – or go properly bonkers and go into Statford International and demolish the Queen Elisabeth Park…

    Premier Icon ourmaninthenorth
    Subscriber

    @ binners – I’ll look into the Spain story. It’s obvious to see that such a move would accelerate the existing aglomeration around the capital.

    I would desperately love for the managed decline idea to be cast into history as a hideous idea – it seems preposterous to cut off the rest of the country from its capital.

    However, life has also moved on from the self-created industrial collapse and move into the City-driven economy of the 1980s. London is so ridculosly expensive to live in that salary inflation is causing the place to creak at the seams. The long term view has to be to deflate that pressure while still bringing in “foreign investment”*.

    The cynical in me would suggest that the Northern Powerhouse is part of Gideon’s move to shift the centre ground – effectively by creating Tory economics in the North, he can combine Labour’s Scottish implosion to make the UK forever Tory.

    *Rich foreginers buying houses.

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon
    Subscriber

    What’s it missing?

    That this will be a ‘study’ which in engineering terms is the back of an (expensive) envelope. The cost will be +/- 50% (that’s not a joke, infact it’s not even as bad as it could be that’s the actual accuracy at a study phase) whereas HS2 has already gone through front end engineering (the big bits are all designed, all that’s left to do are the detailed calculations, control systems etc) so should be at the +/- 10-20% stage. Starting again on a plan B would mean losing several years of schedule re-doing work, and writing off the value of all that exiting work.

    Premier Icon Nobby
    Subscriber

    Except that the article says that they won’t be tunnelling in through north London….?

    I was under the impression (from some guff they issued some time back) that HS1 & HS2 would meet at Stratford. There still seems to be a fair amount of old goods lines etc heading away from there.

    Motorways will be the high speed trains of the future.

    They’ll be closed to normal traffic, with only self-driving vehicles allowed on. And they’ll be travelling in convoy at 150mph +.

    😀

    dragon
    Member

    No-ones’s mentioned Elon Musk’s Hyperloop ideas in this context, yet.
    It would do the same job as HS2 for about 25% of the cost, as the infrastructure would be simpler.

    Yeah of course it would, despite using a completely untried technology 🙄

    Premier Icon MoreCashThanDash
    Subscriber

    Having seen the effects of the improvements to the East Coast line in the 90s, with Peterborough suddenly becoming a dormitory town for London and locals being priced out, I can’t wait to see the benefits that HS2 will bring to my kids when the Toton station does the same thing here.

    I understand the increasing capacity argument, but increasing capacity will merely make it easier for jobs and money to flow down to London. I’m not convinced it will do much for us here except put up prices.

    I’ll be honest though, I don’t know what the solution actually is.

    MrSalmon
    Member

    No-ones’s mentioned Elon Musk’s Hyperloop ideas in this context, yet.
    It would do the same job as HS2 for about 25% of the cost, as the infrastructure would be simpler.

    Distance for HS2 is too short isn’t it? I thought the Hyperloop would only be for really big trips because you need to accelerate relatively gently.

    Anyway, I reckon it would probably be more like 25x the cost, not that anyone probably has the slightest idea.

    project
    Member

    Instead, invest in badly needed improvements to the rest of the network

    jambalaya
    Member

    HS2 will cost more than did the entire national high speed network in France 😯
    It cannot possibly worth the money to save 30 mins
    I too agree the money should be making what we have reliable, once we’ve got that sorted out then think about new lines
    Having commuted by train into London for 25 years its a terrible, unreliable service which costs a fortune.

    aP
    Member

    The trouble is there’s no future capacity available to increase services into.

    Premier Icon njee20
    Subscriber

    I was under the impression (from some guff they issued some time back) that HS1 & HS2 would meet at Stratford. There still seems to be a fair amount of old goods lines etc heading away from there

    They’re not old – they’re current, and full! Links Felixstowe and the Channel Tunnel with the WCML. Which is full. So we need a new solution.

    People saying “invest in current infrastructure” really are missing the point. You can’t fit any more trains on. You can’t make them closer together without new signals, which would cost more than just building HS2 for a minor incremental benefit.

    How would a few billion make what we have reliable? It’s unreliable because it’s at capacity, so any problem has an instant knock on. You need capacity. That is what HSR brings. It’s not about the speed.

    fr0sty125
    Member

    We need more rail infrastructure and capacity I think that is clear, however I’m not sold on HS2 being the answer. Derby for example has a journey time of 90 minutes to London but takes over 80 minutes to get to Crewe before waiting for another train to get somewhere like Manchester or Liverpool. The biggest issue I find with the Midlands Main Line is the lack of internet.

    Premier Icon njee20
    Subscriber

    Derby – Manchester being slow? Thats not a capacity issue – that’s a demand issue 😉

    grannyjone
    Member

    The money would be better spent replacing the awful ‘Pacer’ trains that are still found around the North of England in huge numbers. Plus it would only be a fraction of the cost of HS2.

    Premier Icon njee20
    Subscriber

    Pacers are all going or being upgraded to modern standards by 2020 IIRC. They’ll still basically be buses mind!

    PJM1974
    Member

    Won’t happen. A bunch of awful politicians have staked a lot of money on HS2 and if they can’t see a way of them making some money out of an alternative, it won’t happen.

    Some horrible, flatulent antipodean media mogul will rubbish it before it gains any credibility whatsoever.

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