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Old November 21st, 2009, 10:07 AM   #421
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Thanks for the link, some great pics there!
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Old December 21st, 2009, 09:10 PM   #422
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east coast

Answered my own question!

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Old December 23rd, 2009, 01:18 PM   #423
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[img]http://i45.************/2dv7hjt.jpg[/img]
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Old January 28th, 2010, 12:23 PM   #424
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nice photo
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Old January 28th, 2010, 12:56 PM   #425
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[img]http://i45.************/2dv7hjt.jpg[/img]
I love the design of this train. I travelled on it between London Waterloo and Salisbury. It was a bit diesel's smelly though.
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Old January 29th, 2010, 08:10 PM   #426
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Why did GNER use those class 373's, they look so cool in that livery, did NXEX use them?
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Old January 29th, 2010, 10:59 PM   #427
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Why did GNER use those class 373's, they look so cool in that livery, did NXEX use them?
No, the lease on them ended in 2005, long before NXEC.
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Old January 30th, 2010, 02:56 PM   #428
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ah, never mind
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Old March 1st, 2010, 03:52 PM   #429
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HS2 Route

Does anyone 'in the know' on here have any idea if the old "Woodhead Tunnel" is being considered as a potential part of the route to Manchester?

There is a single mention of HS2 on the website http://savethewoodheadtunnel.blogspot.com/ but would be nice to know what the latest thinking is??

:-)
M
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Old March 2nd, 2010, 05:11 AM   #430
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Only one of thems even in a fit state for rail and its about to be filled with power cables.
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Old March 2nd, 2010, 02:15 PM   #431
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My posting was intended as an objection to Thun who seems to think that there shouldn't be a bypass at Birmingham and Manchester. THAT I would strongly recommend against, as would most people who ever sat in a German "ICE Sprinter" which "sprinted" through a sequence of medium-sized towns at 120 km/h.
Its a no go anyway. There is not the capacity to run long distance services through the cities on existing tracks. It doesn't happen at the moment due to Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool and Leeds all being bypassed by the mainlines that serve them on spurs - and all available the capacity in the city centres is used for other services.
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Old March 2nd, 2010, 02:19 PM   #432
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A Virgin Class 390 Pendolino currently is 220m long and seats 340 Passengers. They will be extended by 2 cars and might seat 400 seats after all.
Actually about 11 of them won't, the DfT has not taken the option on the last few sets. These will be the Scotland sets. [/offtopic]
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Old March 2nd, 2010, 02:21 PM   #433
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Please everyone note these proposals are by Network Rail, these are completely independent from the proposals being drawn up at the request of the Government by HS2, the company set up by the Government to do this.

NR's proposals are effectively irrelevent.

The official proposal is due for publication in the next few weeks.
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Old March 2nd, 2010, 02:23 PM   #434
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Originally Posted by MarkO View Post
Does anyone 'in the know' on here have any idea if the old "Woodhead Tunnel" is being considered as a potential part of the route to Manchester?

There is a single mention of HS2 on the website http://savethewoodheadtunnel.blogspot.com/ but would be nice to know what the latest thinking is??

:-)
M
Its also a 90-100mph railway from the 19th century. Not exactly fit for 250mph requirements.
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Old March 4th, 2010, 06:53 AM   #435
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Its also a 90-100mph railway from the 19th century. Not exactly fit for 250mph requirements.
It's the wider 1950s tunnels they're trying to save. Admitedly not suitable for 250mph, but could be upgraded as a transpenine link.
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Old March 9th, 2010, 03:53 PM   #436
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ADVANCE PRESS NOTICE OF HS2 ANNOUNCEMENT

This is from the Campaign for Better Transport today giving campaigners and journalists a heads-up for Thursdays important announcement.

Quote:
High Speed Rail: a briefing from the Campaign for Better Transport
For immediate release
9 March 2010

This week (probably Thursday), the Government will publish a White Paper on High Speed Rail.

This briefing sets out the background to this and the likely reactions to it.

Summary of main points

Key issues to be resolved:
· Funding
o Will funding have to be taken away from existing transport budgets, including during the preparatory development?
· Route:
o Should the line go via Heathrow?
o What will be the impact on the Chilterns?
· National high speed network:
o What are the plans beyond Birmingham ?
o Will high speed trains be allowed to run on the rest of the network?
o Will the new line be linked to European high speed networks?
· Benefits of high speed rail:
o Is it environmentally beneficial?
o Will it help the economy?
o Will it cost a lot to use it?

To have support from environmental groups, high speed rail plans must:
o Protect the local environment
o Be part of a package that tackles climate change and minimises energy needs
o Shift existing trips from air and road rather than generate new ones
o Improve local transport links
o Integrate with planning and regeneration
o Not abstract funding from existing public transport

Background

All three main parties are now committed to building some kind of high speed line from London to the north of England and possibly on to Scotland . This has not always been the case. As recently as December 2006, a Government report by Rod Eddington on transport and economy rejected the idea, saying there was no evidence that major new rail infrastructure was needed and that big projects like high speed rail were answers looking for a problem. The 2007 Rail White Paper mentioned High Speed Rail, but only as one option for solving future overcrowding, and pushed any consideration of it into the future.

This position started to change when the Channel Tunnel Rail Link to St Pancras opened in November 2007 as “High Speed 1”. People could now see a high speed link in reality, and this began a debate about the UK lagging behind other countries where high speed trains and lines are widespread. In particular Japan and France have been building new high speed lines since the 1970s, and Italy , Germany and Spain have more recently been constructing new lines.

But just because other countries have high speed lines and we now have a bit of one doesn’t explain why a new high speed line now has all party support. The three reasons for this can be summed up as capacity, aviation and Adonis.

Capacity

Despite all the criticisms levelled at the rail network, its use has been growing rapidly. Even during the recession, passenger and freight use has stayed remarkably buoyant. Many lines and trains are full - most notably (and something London-based politicians find hard to credit), commuter trains round cities in the north of England are massively overcrowded, some on lines once earmarked for closure, The main lines between London, Midlands and the north are already full of trains, both passenger and freight, and there are now intricate negotiations between Network Rail and the different train operators to find ways of fitting in all the trains they want to run on these lines.

There are investments planned or happening to tackle some of the bottlenecks – new signalling, longer trains, extra tracks – but the railway planners forecast that if growth resumes after the recession, all this will be used up within 10-15 years. This is true even on the West Coast Main Line from London to Glasgow , only recently modernised. So the question of how to provide for growth in rail use is becoming an urgent one, and new lines have emerged as a favourite way forward. And if new lines are to be built, making them high speed is seen as inevitable – but the need for capacity is what makes the case for spending money. Additional capacity is the “official” reason for why a high speed rail is being considered.

Aviation

The expansion of aviation, and in particular, proposals for a third runway at Heathrow and a second runway at Stansted are very controversial and have been strongly opposed by environmental groups. The Government is committed to supporting these and other expansion plans, whereas the Conservatives have committed to oppose the expansion of Heathrow and the other major south east airports. As part of this, the Conservatives announced at their 2008 party conference support for a high speed line from London to Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds and possibly the north east and Scotland. They have had a lot of work done on how to finance this and ways to progress it.

Lord Adonis

The Government’s rather cool approach to high speed rail has been abruptly changed with the arrival at the Department for Transport of Lord Adonis, first as Minister for State and then as Transport Secretary. Lord Adonis is probably one of the very few Transport Secretaries who has actively wanted the job (not for nothing was the “Yes Minister” episode on transport entitled “The Bed of Nails”) – he is very keen on railways and has always wanted to pursue high speed rail. Under his leadership, the Department for Transport has become a hotbed of rail development. Adonis famously toured the country’s railways and has imposed new tighter specifications for franchises, the East Coast franchise has been temporarily renationalised, funding has been committed for electrification and for cycle hubs at stations and so on.

The Government announced its support for a Heathrow 3rd runway in January 2009 – but at the same time Adonis secured agreement to set up a separate grouping, “High speed 2”, with a brief to develop in detail the business case and route for a high speed line from London to Birmingham, with options for links to Heathrow and intermediate stations. HS2 was also asked to look at options for high speed lines north of Birmingham . Their report (which is reportedly over 1000 pages) was handed to the Government at the end of 2009 and will be published alongside the White Paper.

Adonis has been at pains to try to get widespread support for his proposals. But the Conservatives are not playing. They are keen to differentiate their proposal, and are supporting a proposal from the engineering consultants Arups for the line to go directly via Heathrow. Many city local authorities say they are keen but for many their support is conditional on eventually being part of a high speed network. And environmental groups will want to see high speed rail linked to other policies (see below).

What will be in the White Paper

Based on press reports and briefings, it is clear that the White Paper will include:

· a firm preferred route for a high speed line from London to Birmingham , down to very detailed (5m) maps
· options for connections to Heathrow
· options for intermediate stations
· options for further high speed line development north of Birmingham
Press reports indicate that the proposed line will run from London Euston, via a new station near Willesden/Acton (and Wormwood Scrubs prison) called Old Oak Common, where it can connect with other lines to Heathrow, via Ruislip then through the Chilterns and the vale of Aylesbury to a parkway station at Birmingham International (with a junction for trains to go further north) and a city centre station in Birmingham. The white paper will launch a consultation on the preferred route and trigger payments for blight of properties affected. It will also set out a proposed longer term high speed rail network, including links to Scotland and cities in the north of England .

Key issues

Despite support in principle for high speed lines from the main parties and many local authorities, there are a large number of issues and concerns.

Funding: It is unclear how a high speed line is to be paid for. It will be extremely expensive to build; even the London-Birmingham section will cost billions of pounds. Campaign for Better Transport and other groups will want to ensure that a high speed line does not suck funding away from the existing rail network and other everyday transport. To some extent the French experience has been of gleaming new high speed lines and trains with a shabby conventional rail network, especially outside the cities. Even if the funding for high speed line construction can be treated as separate and extra to transport budgets, the preparatory costs (land purchase, blight payments, getting a bill through Parliament) could be huge and at a time of public spending cuts could lead to service cuts and fares rises on the rest of public transport or cuts in road maintenance (no money for filling in the potholes from the winter).

Heathrow: there is debate about how and whether the line should serve Heathrow. Because of their linking support for a high speed line to opposing airport expansion, the Conservatives have been drawn to pushing for the line to go from London via Heathrow and then north to Birmingham , as opposed to a more direct route with connections or a branch to Heathrow. A recent report from the Bow Group, backed by Lord Heseltine, supported this. Against this, the Government appears to be tilting towards not having a direct link to Heathrow but having connections at the Old Oak Common station with Crossrail, which is scheduled to serve Heathrow.

Chilterns and the routing: there will be deep concern about the proposed routing of the line through the Chilterns, which are an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and contain many designated wildlife habitats. Conservative voters and MPs there will be concerned, along with groups like the National Trust, which owns parts of the Chilterns. Alternative routings taking the line parallel to the M1 have already been suggested by some engineers. The degree of tunnelling will be a matter for negotiation. There will be opposition on other parts of the route too.

Further questions

Why stop at Birmingham ?
The Conservatives and others (especially Scottish parties and local authorities in northern England cities) will argue that a London-Birmingham line, even as a first stage, makes no sense and that any new line must be built to the north and possibly Scotland immediately if it is to maximise the potential for getting people to use rail rather than air or road. There will also be debates about whether the high speed line will be integrated into the rest of the rail network; will a train from say Exeter to Newcastle be able to use the high speed line for some of the journey, or will the line be reserved only for specific trains to and from London ?

Will there be through trains to other European countries?
Will there be a link between the present HS1 from the Channel Tunnel and any new line, with through trains from UK cities to mainland Europe to compete with short distance flights. Or will people have to change in London as now? At present this is unclear.

Is it really environmentally beneficial?
This is a matter of deep debate – and depends what else the Government does. Something that makes rail travel more attractive than road and air looks good environmentally, at least superficially – and clearly if it were to result in a big transfer of people from road and air to rail this would be good news. And the traffic is there – there are a lot of short distance flights and lots of longer distance car journeys (rail’s share of the Birmingham-Manchester market is at present just 4%). But high speed rail will involve a lot of carbon emissions and environmental damage in its construction and on some figures high speed trains can be almost twice as polluting as conventional trains because of the extra energy they use; there is also a danger they will just generate lots of new journeys rather than shift existing ones. In this case, a new line could result in more carbon emissions overall, as people simply travel more and further by all modes.

However, if a new line were to be built explicitly as part of a package of policies to produce modal shift to rail, the impact on carbon emissions could be different. Campaign for Better Transport and other environmental groups will argue that environmental benefit depends what else the Government does – if high speed rail is powered by renewable energy and comes with, say, taxation on short distance flights, affordable rail fares and a moratorium on new runways and big new roads, then it will overall be better environmentally than if it is built alongside new roads and runways and high and increasing fares. Upgraded services on existing lines for local passengers and freight could get further traffic off the roads, and planning policy could favour places like Milton Keynes on the lines to be relieved by the high speed line as the focus for new housing and warehousing. Even with these, though, it’s not clear that this package will be the best value way of cutting carbon emissions.

Will high speed rail help the economy?
Many councils support high speed rail, and argue that it will help their cities recover from decline and attract new investment; against this, some will argue that it will suck new development even more to London and the South East and simply enlarge the London commuting area.

Will be it cost a lot to use it?
All parties have said they want high speed rail to be affordable but in practice the temptation to have high fares as part of the financing may be too great. Government policy is already to have fares rises at 1% above inflation per year for ordinary rail services but South East Trains travellers are paying RPI+3% to finance the local services on High Speed 1 between London and Kent . Campaign for Better Transport is already running a campaign to reduce train fares which has been getting a lot of support from MPs of all parties.

What happens next?
Given the controversy around high speed lines with a General Election approaching, the White Paper will only be the first stage in the debate. But it seems likely, given all party support for the concept, that whatever the election result the next government will promote some kind of high speed line with a bill in Parliament. Financing even this will be challenging, and if the Government has a small or no majority, such a bill will be vulnerable to lots of different lobbies. So Thursday’s announcement is just the start.
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Old March 13th, 2010, 04:19 PM   #437
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Just a little update - report released on Thursday can be accessed here.

In a nutshell the report suggests a Y-shaped network - single corridor between London and Birmingham then splitting into two branches to serve the West and East Coasts. Both London and Birmingham are to get city centre stations. Plans for links with HS1 and Heathrow are ambiguous at the moment.

Construction are not to start until 2017 though... If the Tories get in they might fiddle with the route by diverting the whole thing through Heathrow but they want to start construction in 2015.
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Old March 15th, 2010, 06:28 PM   #438
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Much as I hate to say it, I'm filing this one in the "believe it when I see it category". The announcement came just days after the postponement (some say cancelling) of the Hitachi Super Express order.

If we can't afford to replace some 35 year old express trains with decent new ones, what chance this happening?

If the government really wanted this to happen, not only would they have started years ago when the need was first identified, but they would have stopped producing endless reports that say the same thing and also not put the start of construction out to well past the end of the next parliament. HS1 was started within a year of them getting into power on plans that were just 3 years old. There is no need for this delay if they were serious. It's yet another election ploy, just like HSR was on the agenda last time.
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Old March 15th, 2010, 09:42 PM   #439
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The IEP hasn't been postponed because we can't afford it, its because it is ridiculous and the ROSCOs don't want to buy them. Once they are pared down to just the electric variant the banks will be happy that they're buying a half-sensible product that isn't going to be a yoke around their neck for the next 35 years.

And what previous reports? This is the first ever government report into building a high speed line. All other previous government reports, like the 2007 white paper "Delivering a Sustainable Transport Policy" specifically said no plans to build a high speed line.

There have been other reports into building a high speed line, like Greenguage, Atkins and also Network Rail, none of whom are the government and therefore have had no power to implement any of it. The government first identified it as a possibility last year, it seems at the same time they realised electrification made sense.
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Old March 15th, 2010, 10:36 PM   #440
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Err, wasn't it going to be financed by the consortium and leased to the TOCs directly?

There's been a lot of waffle put about by people that think they know better than Hitachi on this subject. If you look at what they've previously published about the bi-mode version, I can't see why it won't work. And there is clearly a need for a diesel version - it will be a long time before wires get to the South West.

Even if you don't believe me on the IEP contract, look how long it's taken to get the Pendolino extensions - and even then not the full fleet.


As for the reports - the Atkins report you cite was commissioned by the SRA (then part of DfT and is still hosted on their site), there was also the 2004 CfIT report, also part of uk gov. Both came out with strong conclusions in favour of HSR and yet were swept under the carpet until government got what it wanted from the Eddington report.

Alistair Darling (then transport secretary) came out in favour of HSR* just before the 2005 election - yet look what happened in the following two years, and that was during the boom years! You'll forgive me if I seem a little skeptical given the age of austerity that is promised for after this one.


* http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2005/fe...publicservices
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