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Rocknroll59
28th April 2019, 06:42 PM
Having had a keen interest in Railways since a young boy, slagging off the Government as a teenager, when Beeching weilded his axe, saying be careful what you wish for you will regret it, it seems as if a number of large Railway funding projects (taxpayers money that's you and I) are not only hugely overspending but are not even on time, is this time for another vanity project in HS2 to be kicked off the park. The national network is creaking at the seams, investment to reopen old lines is not forthcoming and anything outside London and the Southeast is considered a non starter. Just look at the North of England, they desperately need a reopening between sheffield/Leeds and Manchester let alone the Midlands (Derby Nottingham Etc across the peaks}, of course we had it all there once nice diversionary routes when things got all clogged up and services locals could use inbetween end stops, but we seem hell bent on the 'vanity' projects which cost unlimited sums without much benefit to all who travel just the fortunate few. Why not use that HS2 money to get new rolling stock, re-open and unlock the crisis points and use it wisely for more than 1 option. Today HS2 and their spokesperson were answering critics who have climbed trees to stop them being cut down outside London, and their reply is very strange as I cannot remember Containers and freight being offered the chance to use the new line...

In response to the action, a spokesperson from HS2 said: “HS2 aims to be one of the most environmentally responsible infrastructure projects ever delivered in the UK, and managing our impact on the environment during construction is a high priority.

“HS2 will create extra capacity on our transport network, taking cars and lorries off the road. The project will also deliver a new green corridor made up of more than 650 hectares of new woodland, wetland and wildlife habitats alongside the line. More than seven million new native trees and shrubs will be planted to help blend the line into the landscape and leave a lasting legacy of high quality green spaces all along the route.

“HS2 Ltd is working closely with the Environment Agency and Affinity Water to ensure construction activities do not adversely affect the flow, level or quality of surface waters and groundwater in the Chilterns-Colne Valley area.”

Peter

DerekW
28th April 2019, 07:46 PM
The UK needs infrastructure - be it roads, railways and airports. (Oh and sewage conduits as well), do not argue which one should be first, let us get on and build them.

It took 50 years for the Hindhead tunnel to built from first dream to opening in 2010 and still the A3 from London to Portsmouth is not a clear highway it has interruptions in Guildford, a round-a-bout to allow the local traffic between Liss and Selborne to cross the A3 causing major holdups at peak periods.

Internal planning is a disaster in the UK.

pdk42
28th April 2019, 08:13 PM
HS2 has been shown time and time again to be economically pointless. It's a vanity project that will only serve to re-inforce the London-centric nature of our economy. We need serious investment in local services before we go building another West Coast Main Line.

Naughty Nigel
28th April 2019, 08:50 PM
No, we don't need HS2.

I suspect the only reason it is going ahead is for the present government to save face.

The case for HS2 was proposed in 2009 by the Department of Transport during the tenure of the last Labour government. The present government wouldn't want to lose face by cancelling it, plus the transport unions would have a field day blaming the government is not investing in railways.

The irony is that much the proposed HS2 track was sold off for next to nothing after the Beeching cuts and subsequent closures under both governments in the 1960's and 70's. We inherited our railway network from our forefathers but have quite literally p155ed that inheritance up the wall. Surely it is the job of government to take a long term view and not sell off the family silver for the price of a pint?

RobEW
29th April 2019, 05:38 AM
HS2 is likely to enrich London and the south east at the expense of the rest of the country. If we abandoned the London to Birmingham branch but went ahead with Birmingham to North East and North West, combined with a revival of the proposed Norther Powerhouse infrastructure linking North East to North West (and maybe building a Schipol-sized airport further north (e.g. expand Birmingham International or Leeds Bradford) instead of expanding London's capacity again) then we might re-balance the infrastructure of the country better.

(Expanding rail is much greener than expanding flights; maybe the latter idea should be scaled down to meet need rather than to compete with Amsterdam)

TimP
29th April 2019, 06:59 AM
Why do we think we need to shave a few minutes off the journey? Surely we should be encouraging people to make less journeys not enabling them to make quicker ones.
The amounts of money being pi55ed away are staggering too, I’d love to see a billion by billion breakdown of where it all goes. Probably a lot goes to Tory landowners along the route for giving up some of their precious land.
So no, spend the money elsewhere where it might benefit a wider range of people.

cedge
29th April 2019, 07:30 AM
They should looks at installing HS1/electrifying in all places first before thinking about HS2. Our diesel powered main line to London here in the SW still only has single track in places - that needs to be duelled to speed up the line as well.

TimP
29th April 2019, 07:39 AM
Weren’t most of the current single lines actually once duals that we’re singled to save something?

Naughty Nigel
29th April 2019, 07:52 AM
Why do we think we need to shave a few minutes off the journey? Surely we should be encouraging people to make less journeys not enabling them to make quicker ones.
The amounts of money being pi55ed away are staggering too, I’d love to see a billion by billion breakdown of where it all goes. Probably a lot goes to Tory landowners along the route for giving up some of their precious land.
So no, spend the money elsewhere where it might benefit a wider range of people.

I think by far the majority so far has been spent on top-heavy management and consultancy charges.

It never ceases to amaze me how even the simplest railway projects can cost so much money, which begs the question: how and why did successive governments sell off our long-established railway infrastructure for peanuts in the 1960's and 70's?

I know this was now forty of fifty years ago now, but the changes were so momentous and the effects so profound that I believe difficult questions need to be asked whenever government proposes yet more taxes to encourage drivers to use largely non-existent public transport.

If the public could see that closing the railways was a mistake (and there were enough peaceful protests) why couldn't our government? :confused:

As for HS2; I would far rather be able to enjoy a good meal on my journeys between the smoke to the northeast; a simple request which would be much cheaper and easier to accommodate than HS2. Providing more space on new trains rather than designing them like sardine tins would also help, so that passengers can actually use their time onboard productively if they want to.

On the subject of trains and wasting money; the DfT has wasted £billions on new trains which are either unsuitable or are even the wrong loading gauge. There are dozens of new trains that look likely to be scrapped and have never entered traffic, whilst others have been withdrawn from traffic after fewer than five years service.

Network rail estimates that it will need more than fifty (yes 50) miles of sidings to accommodate redundant trains when current HST and Class 91/Mk4 fleets are retired to make way for the new Hitachi 800 Class - even though these will only run on diesel power at restricted speed north of York owing to electrical interference with existing signalling systems.

The 800 class was due to be rolled out on the ECML in 2017 but we are still waiting; although to be fair I think most of us prefer HST (Class 43) and Class 91/Mk 4 stock.

Oh and guess what? The sidings needed to store redundant trains have been lifted, (and the land probably sold off for peanuts), so NR will have to lay new track for sidings. :rolleyes:

Naughty Nigel
29th April 2019, 08:15 AM
They should looks at installing HS1/electrifying in all places first before thinking about HS2. Our diesel powered main line to London here in the SW still only has single track in places - that needs to be duelled to speed up the line as well.

There is nothing wrong with well-designed diesel trains in my view. Electrification is incredibly expensive and inefficient unless lines are heavily used. There are also reliability problems. It is a bit like saying that electric cars are cleaner than ICE vehicles; they are not.

As an example the ECML grinds to a halt north of Peterborough every time there is a bit of wind owing to overhead line problems.

Can you imagine electrifying the line through Dawlish on the GWR?

Added to which overhead lines are ugly and NR doesn't like running steam under them. *yes


Weren’t most of the current single lines actually once duals that we’re singled to save something?

Not necessarily. A lot of lines were built as single track. Some were dualled to cope with demand but many remained as single track. A few rural lines have been singled but these are the exception rather than the rule. Signalling systems can make it very difficult to single tracks. It would actually be cheaper and easier not to use one of two tracks if it wasn't needed.

cedge
29th April 2019, 08:22 AM
I would say the south west main line (Waterloo) is heavily used. There has been talk about a diversionary route inland of Dawlish due to the continual problems with that line following storms; that could pave the way to electrification (or at least dual the line to remove the sections of single track/loops) to improve journey times.

TimP
29th April 2019, 08:28 AM
I think by far the majority so far has been spent on top-heavy management and consultancy charges.

It never ceases to amaze me how even the simplest railway projects can cost so much money, which begs the question: how and why did successive governments sell off our long-established railway infrastructure for peanuts in the 1960's and 70's?

I know this was now forty of fifty years ago now, but the changes were so momentous and the effects so profound that I believe difficult questions need to be asked whenever government proposes yet more taxes to encourage drivers to use largely non-existent public transport.

If the public could see that closing the railways was a mistake (and there were enough peaceful protests) why couldn't our government? :confused:

As for HS2; I would far rather be able to enjoy a good meal on my journeys between the smoke to the northeast; a simple request which would be much cheaper and easier to accommodate than HS2. Providing more space on new trains rather than designing them like sardine tins would also help, so that passengers can actually use their time onboard productively if they want to.

On the subject of trains and wasting money; the DfT has wasted £billions on new trains which are either unsuitable or are even the wrong loading gauge. There are dozens of new trains that look likely to be scrapped and have never entered traffic, whilst others have been withdrawn from traffic after fewer than five years service.


We’re looking at getting a sleeper to Edinburgh (for a Shetland / Orkneys holiday) and the pricing is unbelievable, although we still want to experience it anyway.

How does the waste happen? Do none of the employees see whats likely to happen and speak up or do they and it’s ignored? I’d like to think that any railway man worth his salt would be able to pick up on something as basic as loading gauge issues. Are there no penalty clauses so that it’s not the public purse that’s always negatively impacted. Private companies are happy to soak up the huge profits, make them a bit more accountable. Or is it young inexperienced graduates with no actual real world life experience screwing up?

MJ224
29th April 2019, 09:36 AM
My only comment is that we do continually need to upgrade our transport systems. Any systems for that matter. If we had "Its not worth it" attitude, I presume we would still have horse and carts.

Not particularly saying the HS2 is a wonder of technology, but just imagine what transport is going to be like in 50 to 100 years time. UK would be very quaint running 50 year old squeezly dieslies then...………..*chr

Definitely agree that the rest of the country should benefit, not just the South East..

Rocknroll59
29th April 2019, 10:05 AM
When the then Con Gov under John Major sold off the trains and rolling stock, they were sold so cheaply that I believe Porterbrook leasing took them all on and overnight made millions of pounds in profit by leasing to all the new TOC's, and they are still making money as the HS125's now being stored gradually after coming out of service with a number of TOC's are now being re-leased back to smaller TOC's and different routes....

my belief is that the money we are definitely going to spend on HS2 would be better spent nationwide clearing up the mess left by the failed Beeching report/work.

Here where I live we have the largest container port in the UK served by a single track !! Its been talked about to double through to Ipswich since 1945 !! and still not agreed, why because a further bridge is needed at Spring Road in Ipswich!! my god they can tunnel under London to within mm's of accuracy so just get on with it., the same with the link from Newmarket through to Ely...single track at Soham which is a bottle neck and hampering progress and delivery....it beggars belief that our Governments are so short sighted.There are 100's of other examples nationwide.

Rocknroll59
29th April 2019, 10:08 AM
How does the waste happen? Do none of the employees see whats likely to happen and speak up or do they and it’s ignored? I’d like to think that any railway man worth his salt would be able to pick up on something as basic as loading gauge issues. Are there no penalty clauses so that it’s not the public purse that’s always negatively impacted. Private companies are happy to soak up the huge profits, make them a bit more accountable. Or is it young inexperienced graduates with no actual real world life experience screwing up?

Tim its a bit of everything you mention...its called re-inventing the wheel...I was in discussion about that with a business friend today, most companies suffer from it as new 'young' people bring ideas to the table which only benefits them or their carers short term to climb a ladder, and creates major problems afterwards...
Peter

Naughty Nigel
29th April 2019, 10:54 AM
Tim its a bit of everything you mention...its called re-inventing the wheel...I was in discussion about that with a business friend today, most companies suffer from it as new 'young' people bring ideas to the table which only benefits them or their carers short term to climb a ladder, and creates major problems afterwards...
Peter

And because it is all run by 'mangers' rather than 'engineers'.

Naughty Nigel
29th April 2019, 11:13 AM
I think we also need to debunk the myth that Dr Richard Beehing and Ernest Marples were solely responsible for the destruction of our railway network.

A lot of lines had closed in the 1950's owing to lack of use, changing transport patterns and geological problems. The Stainmore line, a strategic route that I have a particular fasciation for, closed in 1962; a year ahead of the Beeching report.

Harold Wilson promised to reverse the rail cuts if elected in 1964. He was elected but in the event only saved one line passing through three key Labour marginals in the Welsh borders. Barbra Castle and her predecessor Thomas Fraser then went on to close even more miles of track than Richard Beeching.

The fact is that both colours of government have been spectacularly incompetent at managing our railways for the past six decades or more.

Rocknroll59
29th April 2019, 11:31 AM
Very true, but of course Marples had a vested interest as he was director of a road building company !!!I have a great picture in a book at home of a steam engine running a passenger train along side the being built M1...

Peter

Jax
29th April 2019, 11:32 AM
The fact is that both colours of government have been spectacularly incompetent at managing our railways for the past six decades or more.

I think you can include the vast majority of this country's infrastructure in that statement Nigel.

Jax

Naughty Nigel
29th April 2019, 11:50 AM
Very true, but of course Marples had a vested interest as he was director of a road building company !!!I have a great picture in a book at home of a steam engine running a passenger train along side the being built M1...

Peter

That is very true. There is no doubt that Marples' (Chairman of Marples Ridgeway) had his nose well and truly in the trough, but his government and subsequent governments wanted to encourage car ownership to raise revenue from road and fuel taxes.

Now, having realised their collective mistakes our government is traying to tax us back onto now largely non-existent public transport.


I think you can include the vast majority of this country's infrastructure in that statement Nigel.

Jax

I wouldn't disagree with that at all. Just look at power generation.

TimP
29th April 2019, 12:12 PM
Tim its a bit of everything you mention...its called re-inventing the wheel...I was in discussion about that with a business friend today, most companies suffer from it as new 'young' people bring ideas to the table which only benefits them or their carers short term to climb a ladder, and creates major problems afterwards...
Peter

Ah! They need ‘carers’. That’d explain it then! (Sorry, couldn’t resist!)

So the rest of us get effectively defrauded out of wasted billions so a few people can climb a ladder. Are these people related to Tories?
Maybe leaving Uni with a degree and getting slotted into a higher grade post isn’t such a good idea after all. Get in on the lower rungs and learn the trade, gotta be cheaper and better in the long run surely.

TimP
29th April 2019, 12:16 PM
I would say the south west main line (Waterloo) is heavily used. There has been talk about a diversionary route inland of Dawlish due to the continual problems with that line following storms; that could pave the way to electrification (or at least dual the line to remove the sections of single track/loops) to improve journey times.

Might that be the route that was always there until it wasn’t? Then people complain that the remaining route to the far west is closed due to weather related track conditions at Dawlish. Have we always had total idiots for politicians? Seeming that way.

Rocknroll59
29th April 2019, 01:41 PM
Seems like they have been well and truly found out recently as well, so idiots is quite a soft word to use I feel...the downward slide has been long and complex.

'Carers' yes fingers still quicker than the brain, but know doubt that will change as the years progress :D

TimP
29th April 2019, 04:12 PM
I’m kinda up for renationalising the railways (gotta be better than the money going abroad surely) but just know that if Corbyn gets his hands on the process it will be well and truly screwed up and money will flood down the drain. Do it properly, with proper auditing and proper people with the right skills in charge and it could work. Give it to a minister who’s friends with someone but doesn’t know diddly squat about anything railway related and it is doomed to failure though.

MJ224
29th April 2019, 04:51 PM
And because it is all run by 'mangers' rather than 'engineers'.

For managers, read "Accountants".

The ruin of many industries...………..They should be locked in a room with an Abacus and told to count the beans...…………..*chr

Walti
29th April 2019, 05:05 PM
I wrote out a wonderfully political reply...

In summary “Yes”...

I didn’t feel like another political thread!

TimP
29th April 2019, 05:26 PM
I guess I turned it into that (again!) Sorry.

Naughty Nigel
29th April 2019, 09:46 PM
Ah! They need ‘carers’. That’d explain it then! (Sorry, couldn’t resist!)

So the rest of us get effectively defrauded out of wasted billions so a few people can climb a ladder. Are these people related to Tories?

I don't think you can narrow it down to any one political party Tim. They all have their crooks, and screwing up the railways is nothing compared to some of their exploits.

One of the other lot sent our troops into Iraq and then set himself up as Middle East Peace Envoy.


Might that be the route that was always there until it wasn’t? Then people complain that the remaining route to the far west is closed due to weather related track conditions at Dawlish. Have we always had total idiots for politicians? Seeming that way.

I understand that Dawlish was a problem long before WWII, and even before Beeching there was no alternative route to the South West beyond Exeter St David's. There was a line along the north Devon coast until 1963 but I don't think it was ever connected to the south Devon line.

Land was purchased before WWII to build an alternative line inland of Dawlish but that was shelved owing to the war and never got off the ground again afterwards. However, following extended closure of the line owing to heavy storms a few years ago I believe there are renewed plans to build an inland line.

OM USer
30th April 2019, 04:45 PM
I think the key word in all this is "infrastructure". It is not just trains, just roads, just airports, and just ports - its all of them.

I am in favour of HS2 north of Birmingham although it doesn't have to be "HS" at all, just a useable railway with plenty of (cheap) passenger and freight travel. For the southern bit I 'm not in favour of running it to central London - plenty of trains run to there already. I would bring it from Birmingham to Oxford (to link with possible routes to Cambridge and Harwich) to Heathrow to Gatwick (far too many Heathrow to Gatwick lorries/coaches on the motorway) to Ashford (International) and then onto Dover/Ramsgate.

Harold Gough
1st May 2019, 05:34 AM
It will be a prime and easy target for terrorists.

Harold

Otto
1st May 2019, 07:58 AM
A lot of lines had closed in the 1950's owing to lack of use, changing transport patterns and geological problems. The Stainmore line, a strategic route that I have a particular fasciation for, closed in 1962; a year ahead of the Beeching report.

The Wensleydale line closed to passengers throughout and to freight East of Hawes in 1954. The line closed completely about ten years later. It was never heavily used but today, like the Settle-Carlisle line, it would be popular with tourists as it has similar scenery over much of its length, particularly west of Leyburn.

More capacity is undoubtedly needed between London and the North but I question the need for it to be high speed.

Harold Gough
9th May 2019, 05:11 PM
Some politician, on the Radio 4 Today programme this morning, said it was nothing to do with "high speed" we just need more capacity, suggesting that the trains will be numerous rather than fast. So its just "Number Two"?

Harold

Naughty Nigel
9th May 2019, 05:15 PM
Some politician, on the Radio 4 Today programme this morning, said it was nothing to do with "high speed" we just need more capacity, suggesting that the trains will be numerous rather than fast. So its just "Number Two"?

Harold

If true we could achieve that by improving our existing railway network and by running longer and more frequent trains on it.

We could also increase capacity by reopening some of the strategic lines closed by acts of sheer political vandalism in the 1960's and 1970's.

Harold Gough
9th May 2019, 06:18 PM
If true we could achieve that by improving our existing railway network and by running longer and more frequent trains on it.

We could also increase capacity by reopening some of the strategic lines closed by acts of sheer political vandalism in the 1960's and 1970's.

You can't run longer trains without longer platforms, which are very expensive to build.

Harold

Naughty Nigel
9th May 2019, 07:47 PM
You can't run longer trains without longer platforms, which are very expensive to build.

Harold

Not as expensive as building new lines though.

The alternative is to build double-decker trains like those on the continent but that might cause problems with overbridges and tunnels. Access for wheelchair users and the infirm would also be more difficult if continental trains are anything to go by.

Actually the old Grand Central Line into London, closed by Ernest Marples, was built to a continental loading gauge and would have been ideal for double decker trains.

Perhaps if we had listened to Isombard Kingdom Brunell? *yes

Otto
10th May 2019, 09:02 AM
Perhaps if we had listened to Isombard Kingdom Brunell? *yes

If we'd have listened to Brunel and stuck with the seven-foot gauge all our trains could already be high speed. Unfortunately the corollary is they wouldn't go round such sharp bends so we'd need to demolish a few towns and cities now!

Our loading gauge is quite a bit smaller than continental Europe's - as usual we were the pioneers and they learned from our mistakes, just as with the canals. Though to be fair, they weren't really mistakes, just a lack of experience and the necessary technology. You can build a bigger railway or a wider and deeper canal if you have machinery rather than just picks and shovels.

Naughty Nigel
10th May 2019, 10:17 AM
If we'd have listened to Brunel and stuck with the seven-foot gauge all our trains could already be high speed. Unfortunately the corollary is they wouldn't go round such sharp bends so we'd need to demolish a few towns and cities now!

Our loading gauge is quite a bit smaller than continental Europe's - as usual we were the pioneers and they learned from our mistakes, just as with the canals.

The old Grand Central line into London was built to a continental loading gauge, and was originally intended to continue to the docks in Dover. London was only planned as a stopping point. Unfortunately the line was closed by Beeching in the 1960's.

The problem with Brunel's 7' ¼" gauge is that he was just too late as the 'standard' gauge of 4' 8½" was already well established elsewhere. Whilst the Brunel gauge offered many theoretical advantages including higher speeds and bigger, more powerful engines in practice these advantages were never realised and development of standard gauge locomotives soon overtook Brunel's designs.

But how did we arrive at a 'standard gauge' of 4' 8½" in the first place? :)

Otto
10th May 2019, 11:32 AM
But how did we arrive at a 'standard gauge' of 4' 8½" in the first place? :)


The usual story traces it back to the width of the Roman chariot but I'm a bit sceptical about that!

Naughty Nigel
10th May 2019, 11:35 AM
The usual story traces it back to the width of the Roman chariot but I'm a bit sceptical about that!

I have heard that too but I am doubtful that early railway engineers such as Stephenson would have been influenced by the customs of the Roman empire.

Otto
10th May 2019, 01:37 PM
As always Wiki (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standard-gauge_railway#Origins) has the answer - nobody really knows!

Naughty Nigel
10th May 2019, 01:59 PM
As always Wiki (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standard-gauge_railway#Origins) has the answer - nobody really knows!

It probably had something to do with the width of horse drawn carts at the time and the space needed for a horse or two drawing them.

DerekW
10th May 2019, 02:06 PM
and the gauged tracks in the roads caused by the wheels cutting into the road surface

afterall why would you want to have more than two horses abreast pulling a cart

Otto
10th May 2019, 02:08 PM
That makes sense. But why the extra quarter inch on Brunel's broad gauge of 7' 0¼" ? Apparently "The gauge initially proposed by Brunel was 7 ft (2,134 mm) exactly but this was soon increased by 1⁄4 in (6 mm) to 7 ft 1⁄4 in (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/7-foot-%C2%BC-inch_gauge_railway) (2,140 mm) to accommodate clearance problems identified during early testing." (Wiki (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Broad-gauge_railway#History))

Naughty Nigel
11th May 2019, 08:46 PM
That makes sense. But why the extra quarter inch on Brunel's broad gauge of 7' 0¼" ? Apparently "The gauge initially proposed by Brunel was 7 ft (2,134 mm) exactly but this was soon increased by 1⁄4 in (6 mm) to 7 ft 1⁄4 in (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/7-foot-%C2%BC-inch_gauge_railway) (2,140 mm) to accommodate clearance problems identified during early testing." (Wiki (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Broad-gauge_railway#History))

Yes; I was curious about that too. Likewise why 4' 8½" and not a straightforward 4' 8"?.

Presumably the 'clearance' is that between the wheel flanges and the rails?

I can only think that once the wheel sets and bogies were made that it was easier to adjust the gauge than the wheels but the mind boggles at the logistics of doing this.

bigsambwfc
13th May 2019, 08:22 PM
Of course we need to spend billions on Victorian technology so that we can get to London 20 minutes quicker paying vast fares and destroying more countryside building it.It will keep the tory party going for decades.
Should have been Maglevs adjacent to the motorways, that as far as I know speed wise are virtually future proof, admitted the cost would be about 100 times greater than trains balancing on rails but it would show the world engineering at its best (if we have any left in the uk these days) Thanks Maggie for cutting apprentice school grants, can you imagine the Germans ever doing that!
Just to complete my rant 2 people largely contributed to the transport demise and nanny state we are in now, dr beeching for his cuts in rail,and jimmy Saville with his clunk click campaign, seats belts,crash helmets yes, compulsion no.the start of big brother as far as I am concerned.

Tram
13th May 2019, 08:59 PM
Of course we need to spend billions on Victorian technology so that we can get to London 20 minutes quicker paying vast fares and destroying more countryside building it.It will keep the tory party going for decades.
Should have been Maglevs adjacent to the motorways, that as far as I know speed wise are virtually future proof, admitted the cost would be about 100 times greater than trains balancing on rails but it would show the world engineering at its best (if we have any left in the uk these days) Thanks Maggie for cutting apprentice school grants, can you imagine the Germans ever doing that!
Just to complete my rant 2 people largely contributed to the transport demise and nanny state we are in now, dr beeching for his cuts in rail,and jimmy Saville with his clunk click campaign, seats belts,crash helmets yes, compulsion no.the start of big brother as far as I am concerned.

The remnants of the Maglev testing track can still just about be found in the Fens of Cambridgeshire. Went looking for them myself, found a few bits, but not much left to see.
The train itself can be spotted just across from Peterborough station, interesting idea, but impractical.

Naughty Nigel
13th May 2019, 09:28 PM
Hmmm. Wasn't HS2 announced by the outgoing Labour government in 2009-2010?

Dr Beeching was not responsible for the rail cuts. Beeching was Ernest Marples 'fall guy', hired to do Marples dirty work. Marples made his fortune from road building, including the then new M1 and M6 motorways, so he wouldn't want to be seen closing railways in favour of building new roads. He died abroad as a tax exile.

Harold Wilson promised to reverse the rail cuts if elected in the 1964 General Election. He was elected but failed to keep his manifesto promise, (what's new?), although to be fair he did save one line passing through three key Labour marginal constituencies in the Welsh borders. In fact more lines were closed under Barbara Castle than under the Tories.

It should also be said that lines were being closed before WWII, and many more closed in the late 1940's and 1950's for both economic and geological reasons.

We all know what an odious character Saville was, but to blame him for seat belt law and the 'nanny state' is frankly misguided. He was simply a paid performer.

The seat belt law may not be universally popular but it has probably saved more lives than any other single piece of road safety legislation. Some laws exist for the common good and the seat belt law is one of them.

DerekW
13th May 2019, 10:17 PM
And the current seat belt configuration was donated to the world courtesy of the developing company without any licence fee required.