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Old 28th April 2019
Rocknroll59 Rocknroll59 is offline
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Do we actually need HS2?

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
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Old 28th April 2019
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Re: Do we actually need HS2?

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.
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Old 28th April 2019
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Re: Do we actually need HS2?

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.
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Old 28th April 2019
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Re: Do we actually need HS2?

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?
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Old 29th April 2019
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Re: Do we actually need HS2?

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)
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Old 29th April 2019
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Re: Do we actually need HS2?

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.
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Old 29th April 2019
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Re: Do we actually need HS2?

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.
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Old 29th April 2019
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Re: Do we actually need HS2?

Weren’t most of the current single lines actually once duals that we’re singled to save something?
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Old 29th April 2019
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Re: Do we actually need HS2?

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Originally Posted by TimP View Post
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?

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.
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Old 29th April 2019
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Re: Do we actually need HS2?

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Originally Posted by cedge View Post
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.


Quote:
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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.
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Old 29th April 2019
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Re: Do we actually need HS2?

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.
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Old 29th April 2019
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Re: Do we actually need HS2?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Naughty Nigel View Post
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?

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?
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Old 29th April 2019
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Re: Do we actually need HS2?

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...………..

Definitely agree that the rest of the country should benefit, not just the South East..
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Old 29th April 2019
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Re: Do we actually need HS2?

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.
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Old 29th April 2019
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Re: Do we actually need HS2?

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
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