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Old May 31st, 2015, 09:34 PM   #901
poshbakerloo
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I really disagree with building any new rail line in Britain to the continental loading gauge. I know our smaller loading gauge isn't ideal, but its a bit late now to suddenly do things different. Having to make 2 sizes of train to run on HS2 shows the problem.

Why not make it all standard UK size and benefit from the saved costs of smaller tunnels and embankments and only 1 size of train, whilst maximizing compatibility with the existing network.
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Old June 1st, 2015, 12:56 AM   #902
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poshbakerloo View Post
I really disagree with building any new rail line in Britain to the continental loading gauge. I know our smaller loading gauge isn't ideal, but its a bit late now to suddenly do things different. Having to make 2 sizes of train to run on HS2 shows the problem.

Why not make it all standard UK size and benefit from the saved costs of smaller tunnels and embankments and only 1 size of train, whilst maximizing compatibility with the existing network.
The rolling stock has to be re-designed and manufactured to fit uk loading gauge, why not just get the one off the shelf to save a lot cost, also if uk adopts the specification standard from let's say Germany, there's no need for different box girder, different slab track, different tools etc, that saves a lot as well, besides it's about time to change it, why not start from this one.
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Old June 2nd, 2015, 02:26 PM   #903
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besides it's about time to change it, why not start from this one.
But what about the existing network? We missed the opportunity 170 years ago
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Old June 2nd, 2015, 09:09 PM   #904
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Old June 2nd, 2015, 10:13 PM   #905
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But what about the existing network? We missed the opportunity 170 years ago
Come on, guys! I know Britain's an island, but one can also get too insular! Countries like Spain and Japan also had unusual gauge widths in their legacy railway system. Both of them decided do move to internal standard gauge for their newly constructed Shinkansen/AVE networks.

OK, that doesn't mean that the UK necessarily has to do likewise. But it's a bit over the top to pretend that it would be unusual, unacceptable or outrageous to do so.
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Old June 2nd, 2015, 10:28 PM   #906
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As I presume HS1 is on a continental gauge, why shouldn't HS2. Existing UK stock would still fit as the problem is not track width related, but purchasing or leasing stock would be cheaper with the availability of Traxx and Vectron rather than custom built stock. Some UK lines are being altered anyway to fit larger containers so maybe a decision needs to be taken on a longer term basis.
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Old June 2nd, 2015, 11:23 PM   #907
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indeed. The 400m captive sets are predicted to cost less than the bespoke 200m classic-compatible sets.
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Old June 3rd, 2015, 04:18 PM   #908
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poshbakerloo View Post
But what about the existing network? We missed the opportunity 170 years ago
The French raised the loading gauge of their network between the two World Wars - to what we would now call UIC GA. Took them about 20 years, though there wasn't as much OHLE back then, so it was relatively easier (and they didn't have to change platforms).

It wouldn't be impossible to have a programme to gauge-change the network; it's just that there are more important things (like electrification) to be doing.
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Old June 3rd, 2015, 08:10 PM   #909
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poshbakerloo View Post
I really disagree with building any new rail line in Britain to the continental loading gauge. I know our smaller loading gauge isn't ideal, but its a bit late now to suddenly do things different. Having to make 2 sizes of train to run on HS2 shows the problem.

Why not make it all standard UK size and benefit from the saved costs of smaller tunnels and embankments and only 1 size of train, whilst maximizing compatibility with the existing network.
European loading gauge standards are nothing new to Britain. They have already been introduced more than century ago by the Great Central railway, which used to have the bigger continental loading gauge apparently. HS1 is built along French design standards and as I understand it new bridges over existing railway lines in Britain are designed to allow the bigger loading gauge standards. In fact UIC standards are British railway standards for probably a few decades already.

Furthermore do the benefits of wider and taller trains outweigh the additional costs of larger tunnel diameters. There is no way that a new railway line is built to unfavourable and obsolete loading gauges which aren't standard in Britain anymore and probably never really were.

And to which one of the smaller Victorian loading gauges do you actually intent to build HS2? As you do know there are many which have been grouped into 6 classes.
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Old June 17th, 2015, 06:20 PM   #910
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From Construction Enquirer:

Quote:
http://www.constructionenquirer.com/...n-hs2-in-2017/

Construction to start on HS2 in 2017
Wed 17th June 2015, 15:30



The Government has confirmed construction will start on the High Speed 2 railway connecting London with Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester in 2017

Transport Minister Robert Goodwill confirmed the start date as changes were unveiled in Parliament to the HS2 hybrid Bill which will be considered by a Select Committee.

Parliament will also debate updated plans for building the route

...
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Old June 27th, 2015, 08:01 PM   #911
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A quick ride on the Southeastern service between London St Pancras and Ashford International - the train was very empty!

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Old June 28th, 2015, 05:11 PM   #912
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Why is the train so empty?
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Old June 29th, 2015, 04:38 AM   #913
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Old June 30th, 2015, 12:18 AM   #914
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Premium ticket prices.
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Old July 16th, 2015, 12:56 AM   #915
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flierfy View Post
European loading gauge standards are nothing new to Britain. They have already been introduced more than century ago by the Great Central railway, which used to have the bigger continental loading gauge apparently.
I believe that is an urban myth - though built to a generous loading gauge (rather like the Great Western Railway) there was no 'European' standard to build it to nor any reason to bother either.
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Old July 16th, 2015, 05:07 AM   #916
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Christopher125 View Post
I believe that is an urban myth - though built to a generous loading gauge (rather like the Great Western Railway) there was no 'European' standard to build it to nor any reason to bother either.
*cough cough*
Quote:
The GCML was the last main line railway built in Britain during the Victorian period. It was built by the railway entrepreneur Edward Watkin who aimed to run a high-speed, north-south main line to London. The line was not only designed to a specification which would permit trains to run at higher speeds, but also built to a larger loading gauge in anticipation of larger continental European trains; Watkin confidently believed that it would be possible to run direct rail services between Britain and France and had also presided over an unsuccessful project to dig a tunnel under the English Channel in the 1880s.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Central_Main_Line

EDIT 1: Incidentally, I actually do think it would be a wise idea to rebuild the GCML -- the East and West Coast Main Lines' slots are both stuffed to the brim with passenger services, and while the Midland Main Line's passenger traffic is lighter, I think a freight-designated line from London to the North of England would be an excellent investment.

This would, by the way, largely replicate the pre-Beeching mainline traffic patterns, where the GCML was primarily a freight mainline.

EDIT 2: And yes, I'm aware that part of the point of HS2 is to deal with the principal mainlines' congestion thereby theoretically freeing more slots up for freight on the older routes, but I'm also of the opinion that induced demand will also quickly resaturate the classic lines' slots with passenger trains, such that the overall passenger markets between London and Birmingham, London and Manchester, and London and Leeds all grow.

EDIT 3: It's important to note that the ECML and GCML were the core of the LNER network in the Big Four era; despite the road's slick advertising, most of its money was made hauling coal ... and most of that coal was hauled on the GCML. (Not very different from the setup of e.g. the New York Central, Pennsylvania, or Baltimore & Ohio railroads in the United States.)
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Last edited by hammersklavier; July 16th, 2015 at 05:25 AM.
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Old July 16th, 2015, 08:35 AM   #917
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It's a great thing that using drones to follow trains is just one option being considered by the UK Government to revolutionize mobile connectivity on the rail network and reduce WiFi blank spots.Government plans to invest £50m in a roll-out of free WiFi.

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Old July 16th, 2015, 03:42 PM   #918
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Quote:
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Premium ticket prices.
How much does it cost to travel from St. Pancras to Ashford International, assuming one is a humble tourist without abonnement cards, etc.? I am aware that the prices in the Underground are very high compared with my home city Paris. A single fare in "le metro" costs 1.80 Euros; in "the tube" it costs 4 pounds. I wonder whether suburban trains are also 2-3 times more expensive in London?
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Old July 16th, 2015, 09:45 PM   #919
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A London St Pancras - Ashford Intl. Off-Peak Day return, valid after 0930 weekdays or all day weekends/BHols is £33.30.

Compare that to London Euston - Milton Keynes Central, a similar distance/frequency/speed:
  • £15.50 (Virgin only),
  • £15.90 (London Midland only),
  • £22.50 (Any Permitted/Operator)
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Old July 17th, 2015, 03:21 AM   #920
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ramakrishna1984 View Post
It's a great thing that using drones to follow trains is just one option being considered by the UK Government to revolutionize mobile connectivity on the rail network and reduce WiFi blank spots.Government plans to invest £50m in a roll-out of free WiFi.

Why doesn't UK use electro diesel power cars for these InterCity trains? The diesel powered InterCity trains and the shorter voyager trainsets often run on electrified sections and adding the ability to draw power from the grid will only increase their efficiency.
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