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Old December 7th, 2012, 01:07 PM   #2921
God's Own City
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dobbo View Post
1 - The West Coast route provides roughly equal and shorter journey times between the UK's most significant cities when compared with your west coast alignment. These cities are London, Birmingham, Manchester, Glasgow and Edinburgh. Delivering the greatest benefits to these cities (i.e. the fastest possible journey time) is quite simply more of a priority than connecting the North East to Scotland via Leeds.

I've highlighted this, because it's where your argument falls down. HS2 is not about reducing journey times at the cost of everything else. So, given Birmingham, Edinburgh and Glasgow are all served by an East Coast Alignment, which provides better journey times than any other mode, the debate is Capacity Creation on Preston-Glasgow v Capacity Creation on York-Edinburgh. That is a comparison the East Coast alignment unquestionably wins.

There is also the additional cost to consider - the East Coast route would either need to plough through Newcastle and Edinburgh (i.e. in as well as out the other side) as opposed to the West Coast route which would just need one route in to Edinburgh and Glasgow.

As I've previously posted, there's actually a fairly nice route into & out of Newcastle, and while it is true that upgrades would be needed to the Mussleburgh-Waverley corridor, the WCA would encounter far more difficult terrain in the rural areas, compared to an East Coast alignment.

2 - The shorter the journey time between Point A to Point B the greater the benefit. Agree? The general rule is (quite clearly) that shorter journey time = greater benefits. That then has to be balanced against the benefits of connecting additional population centres to the route - which is what we are debating.

Yes, but the question is not 'shorter journey time overall' but 'shorter than what'. So, if there are economic benefits to creating modal shift, you need a rail route that is quicker than the air route. That is true of both the East & West Coast

I do not doubt that the Eastern Alignment would benefit London, Birmingham, Glasgow and Edinburgh - but the Western Alignment benefits these cities more than the Eastern Alignment. The point is that the Marginal benefits of a West Coast Alignment (as opposed to an East Coast Alignment) to London, Birmingham, Manchester, Glasgow and Edinburgh outweigh the absolute benefits to those cities of going the "long way round", dropping Manchester and incorporating Glasgow via Leeds, Newcastle and Edinburgh.

No, they don't. Because journey time reductions are all that a western alignment can do. Given the northern ECML is direly in need of capacity enhancement, you'll have to build something there. The ECA not only benefits from most of the benefits of the WCA, it benefits elsewhere by being a better solution to capacity problems than upgrading the classic line, and reducing our outlay, because we save the money on those other capital projects.

3 - I think we are agreed on the principal.

4 - I agree that 1h30 is too long a journey time between Newcastle and Edinburgh - but that route is simply not important enough to warrant a new line at this stage. If I may jump to your point 5, that is why it is not your Glasgow argument turned on its head - Glasgow and Edinburgh to Manchester Birmingham and London is far more important that Newcastle to Edinburgh. [Yes I know the Eastern Alignment provides benefits to these cities - but these benefits are not as great as the Western Alignment!!!! See point 2 above].

This is why you don't design transport infrastructure. You don't build for what we need today, but what we will need. So I say again. Between Glasgow & Manchester-200 miles, half the length of the country-there is nothing but open countryside. That is never going to generate passengers, which isn't the case on the EC. That's why currently there's only one train from Birmingham-Scotland every hour, one small DMU between Manchester & Scotland, while there are two full express trains between Newcastle & Edinburgh.

5 - I have no idea if this section of the route is crowded - although the Network Rail RUS (http://www.networkrail.co.uk/browse%...line%20rus.pdf) for this section of the ECML suggests otherwise. It is not mentioned in the section entitled "Route Utilisation and Congestion" (p.62) although it states that linespeeds are slower and when comparing passenger journeys per day of around 9-10,000 (p.26) with seated capacity of roughly 29,000 (p.29) I am inclined to disagree with you.

I do not know what your experience of this route it - I have never used it - but evidence suggests that there is no serious capacity issue here - far from it. Hopefully you now agree with my research, VF and Network Rail?

I'm a regular user of this service, and I can tell you that it is both crowded and in need of alleviation. Certainly with the numbers embarking/disembarking at Edinburgh & Newcastle, the WCA will do precisely sod all to solve that. Something VF is contradictorily ignoring.

6 - I am not sure I understand your point Why would freeing up capacity on the ECML get modal shift onto roads into Newcastle? Do you mean rails?

My bad. Basically, the roads going into Newcastle are hugely overcrowded, because local rail on the northern ECML is basically nonexistent. If Edinbrugh-Newcastle were alleviated by HS2, more stopping trains could be run, and Northumberland's roads would get a lot better.

However you would be lucky to get London to Glasgow in 3 hours via the Eastern Alignment. Even going by the shorter Western Alignment it is likely to be around 2.5 hours - the Eastern Alignment requires a "de-tour" and a route through Edinburgh and Newcastle which I suspect will lead to journey times of rather more than 3 hours.

The detour isn't very much though, it's about 20 miles, while the WCA has to slow down to cross the Pennines & Borders.

Quite frankly, everything you say that is capable of verification appears to be wrong - please check your facts!!! I am not going to bang my head against a brick wall.

If you could actually unverify what I've said, maybe that's be sometign I'd have to deal with
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Old December 7th, 2012, 01:15 PM   #2922
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I'll only be a middle-aged man in 20 years D:

Can we all agree that we all want what's best for the UK, that the experts will determine the best route, it'll all be great, and that we can stop repeating the same points?
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Old December 7th, 2012, 01:23 PM   #2923
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At the risk of ehoing Cats, I do think that both sides in the west-east discussion should consider the Transport Scotland doument 'Fast Track Scotland' before making their various assertions. Che has given the link:

http://www.transportscotland.gov.uk/...23/j202923.pdf

Much of the discussion on this forum duplicates work reported in the document; in particular the document reports three separate calculations of the Benefit Cost Ratio for extending High Speed Rail to Scotland; by Network Rail, HS2 Ltd and Greenguage 21 respectively. As the report notes; these three exercises incorporate very different assumptions on cost; and envisage a very different total coverage for the eventual 'final' network. However, they agree on one thing; the benefit-cost ratio is better if the line to Glasgow and Edinburgh goes north from the Manchester branch of the English Y.

The Network Rail study is reported on page 3, the HS2 Ltd study findings are presented as a map on page 7, and Greenguage 21 is quoted explicitly as stting that the extenison from Manchester to Scotland would have the highest benefit cost ratio of any lilne in their proposed network p 69.

So arguing about hilliness of the west versus the east, and about the potential business generated from Glasgow and from Tyneside, and the potential for modal shift, on this forum is simply picking at our own spots. These calculations have all been done; three times, independently; and all favour the west route.

That doesn't mean that the west route is necessarily the one the Scots will choose - they say on page 23 that they have an 'open mind'. But the criteria they will add in on top of the Benefit Cost Ratio are likely to relate to issues of which route best serves the interest of Scotland north of the Forth (who will not get HSR, but whose services will, on either alternative, connect with HS2 at Gogar. They are also concerned to maintain rail links into England for Motherwell and Lockerbie page 25. And they will take note of regeneration issues, and encouragement of inward investment.

But the process is clear:

Firstly, establish whether (from BCR and wider factors) a Scots England link is worth consturucting.

Secondly establish whic alignment delives most value against these factors from the perspective of Scotland.

What they won't do. which I think GOC is trying to do, is to lump benefits to Tyneside and benefits to Scotland together. Each line must be justified on its own merits. Once - following the decision as to the alignment - Scotland - England link is determined on; then is the time to do exactly the same exercise for the North East - assuming whichever alignment the Scots have settled on.

If GOC is right, then this should be straightforward; building a High Speed link into Newcastle will be shown as value for money. If not, not.
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Old December 7th, 2012, 03:53 PM   #2924
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Just to add to the previoius:

there is a comparitive benifit cost ratio table on page 48 of the Greenguage 21 Srategy document 'Fast Forward. This envisages a maximalist HSR network with separate West and East coast lines, and a line west of Didcot to Bristol and Cardiff.

Their BCRs are:

London - Brum - Manc: 2.9:1
Manc - Glasgow/Edinburgh: 7.6:1
London - Leeds - Newcastle: 2:1
Newcastle - Edinburgh: 1:1
Manc - Shefield: 1.3:1
West of Didcot: 2.8:1.


hope this throws some light on why the West alignment seems to be the one that the rail developers favour.

The reason behind this seems to be that the benefits of having a direct high speed rail service to the North East are assessed as much less than those for Scotland. Overall (given their network) Greenguage 21 assess the Net Present Value of region-specfic benefits at London- £25bn; Scotland £20bn; North West £10.5bn; Yorkshire £6bn; West Midlands £5.3bn and North East £2.2bn. Basically, Scotland and the North West are where Greenguage saw the main potential for economic benefit through currently frustrated demand for reduced timings and increased capacity. Se the map on page 46.

Last edited by nerd; December 7th, 2012 at 04:08 PM.
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Old December 7th, 2012, 04:11 PM   #2925
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nerd View Post
Just to add to the previoius:

there is a comparitive benifit cost ratio table on page 48 of the Greenguage 21 Srategy document 'Fast Forward. This envisages a maximalist HSR network with separate West and East coast lines, and a line west of Didcot to Bristol and Cardiff.

Their BCRs are:

London - Brum - Manc: 2.9:1
Manc - Glasgow/Edinburgh: 7.6:1
London - Leeds - Newcastle: 2:1
Newcastle - Edinburgh: 1:1
Manc - Shefield: 1.3:1
West of Didcot: 2.8:1.


hope this throws some light on why the West alignment seems to be the one that the rail developers favour.
Have you got a link to that document nerd, as I read it years ago and was trying to refer to it in the discussion above, but couldn't find it?

1:7.6 is huge though; I remember it being a lot smaller. I must be thinking of something else.
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Old December 7th, 2012, 04:28 PM   #2926
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I have no idea whether to feel vindicated or not given that my own points seem to have been argued far better by others!
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Old December 7th, 2012, 04:41 PM   #2927
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dobbo View Post
I have no idea whether to feel vindicated or not given that my own points seem to have been argued far better by others!
Story of my life. May as well just accept it.
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Old December 7th, 2012, 04:50 PM   #2928
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cherguevara View Post
Have you got a link to that document nerd, as I read it years ago and was trying to refer to it in the discussion above, but couldn't find it?

1:7.6 is huge though; I remember it being a lot smaller. I must be thinking of something else.
http://www.greengauge21.net/publicat...y-for-britain/
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Old December 7th, 2012, 05:31 PM   #2929
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DiscoSteve View Post
constructive comment #1 - we'll be mostly dead by the time the line reaches Manchester and Leeds anyway so its all a bit of a moot point... :-(
That's a very good point. The line to Leeds will probably be visible from my house - it's a shame I won't be living there any more!
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Old December 7th, 2012, 09:44 PM   #2930
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dobbo View Post
I have no idea whether to feel vindicated or not given that my own points seem to have been argued far better by others!
It's always nice to find that your instinctive and logical argument backed up with easily proveable facts has previously been considered by numerous transport experts who come to the same conclusion.

It's been an interesting few days, personally I think I got over pretty much everything I wanted to. It forced me to take time and calculate precisely just how much worse an Eastern route would be, to enable me to justify my claims about the necessity to go up the West Coast. Thanks to those who dug out the relevant BCR figures and route preferences from the depths of the WWW.

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Old December 8th, 2012, 12:19 AM   #2931
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Thanks nerd, that wasn't the one I remember reading, but it got me there. This report was in the list below the one you linked to. Interestingly it tells a slightly different story, which is the one I've been remembering. I don't know if this was superseded in the final report you linked to though.

The relevant sections are 6.8 from page 55 onwards and appendix E. They didn't actually produce a comparison of Manchester-Scot and Leeds-Scot so the BCRs given don't apply to this discussion directly, but generally it supports the arguments both sides are making. West is quicker and has more benefits, but it's more expensive and will serve a smaller population (although only slightly fewer passengers). An interesting point in support of the western alignment is that unless you make the east route far more expensive than the west route you can't serve Glasgow in less than 3 hours via Newcastle.

This I think will be the key to the decision. As nerd has said, Scotland's focus will be on serving Scotland best. This is clearly the west coast alignment.
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Old December 8th, 2012, 12:21 AM   #2932
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from the TfS report:

Quote:
Caution should be taken with the Greengauge 21 capital cost estimates as when modelled sections are compared with similar HS2 Ltd sections there are considerable differencesin the values. Their analysis results in an estimate of £16.8 billion (2009 prices) for S2 (London – West Midlands). An estimate of £9.2 billion (2009 prices) for London to Birmingham Central & Birmingham International is provided by Greengauge 21 (2009e). This route is not an exact comparison as it does not include a spur to Heathrow but gives an indication of the differences in the cost estimates, with HS2 Ltd’s costs being 81% higher.
I've read the Greengauge 21 report, there's no appendix showing their methodology for getting 70bn of benefits from journey time savings alone. The number is simply a ludicrous figure, and the ratio is not agreed upon by either HS2 Ltd or Network Rail.
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Old December 8th, 2012, 12:35 AM   #2933
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Greengauge didn't model for new stations or the captive spurs. In London at least this is the most significant cost.

If you look into the documents I linked above you get an indication of how they worked out their BCRs.

Last edited by Cherguevara; December 8th, 2012 at 12:43 AM.
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Old December 8th, 2012, 01:33 AM   #2934
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Quote:
Originally Posted by God's Own City View Post
from the TfS report:



I've read the Greengauge 21 report, there's no appendix showing their methodology for getting 70bn of benefits from journey time savings alone. The number is simply a ludicrous figure, and the ratio is not agreed upon by either HS2 Ltd or Network Rail.
Even if these journey time benefits are too optimistic, it follows that the BCRs for each route won't change relative to each other - so the Western route from Manchester to Glasgow/Edinburgh will still be far better value than Newcastle - Edinburgh, whichever notional value is attatched to time savings.

However I'm sure you'll argue that journey time savings are actually more important for travellers from the North East - and that time savings for Glaswegians are far less important....

Part of the difference in build cost between the two organisations must be the inclusion of optimism bias in the NR figures.

Last edited by Vulcan's Finest; December 9th, 2012 at 01:36 PM. Reason: trimming
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Old December 10th, 2012, 03:20 PM   #2935
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DfT announcement on Phase 2 HS2 route delayed until New Year! - so reports that bastion of great journalism the Sheffield Star today.

Unfortunatley this headline then gets lost amongst a squabble from the other week where an MP had been arguing about the site of the proposed S Yorks HS2 station - I doubt the two events are linked and that the announcement has been put off because of an opposition MP's mild soundings off.
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Old December 10th, 2012, 03:29 PM   #2936
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....
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2+2=4 no matter what your opinion is

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Old December 10th, 2012, 03:29 PM   #2937
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It was announced in the autumn statement it was delayed until next year and discussed on here at the time.
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Old December 10th, 2012, 03:40 PM   #2938
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LNGCats View Post
It was announced in the autumn statement it was delayed until next year and discussed on here at the time.
Apologies.
Difficult keeping up to date when you travel around on business.
I've also tried to steer clear of this thread until the endless arguments about east versus west to Scotland have petered out.
Newspaper article dated today made out like it was stop press!
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Old December 12th, 2012, 03:17 PM   #2939
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So, when is this actually going to start? 2018... maybe?
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Old December 12th, 2012, 05:10 PM   #2940
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Quote:
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So, when is this actually going to start? 2018... maybe?
Not before. It's going to be after Crossrail is finished.
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