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Old November 23rd, 2008, 04:16 AM   #201
Manchester Planner
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hoosier View Post
Britain needs true 300 + km/h HSR. For such a developed and wealthy nation, with so many kilometers of track and so many people traveling via rail, to not have more than just one high speed rail line (London-Paris) is very sad.

Then again, it is a shame that the richest country in the world, America, has such a shitty rail system as well.
The building of high speed railway lines in the UK is very costly - either new lines would have to be built, which is nearly impossible in such a densely populated and urban country like ours, or existing lines would have to be upgraded, which would cause massive disruption and cost loads as existing tunnels, bridges, stations, etc would have to be replaced or altered.

The UK has a large existing network, which due to a long period of neglect and recent huge rises in passenger and freight use, needs investment, renewing and upgrading. I think it is right, for now at least, to concentrate on bringing the existing network up to scratch, before creating new long distance, high speed lines, which after all the majority of rail users in the UK wouldn't necessarily use.

Anyway, although we only have one 186mph/300kmph line, there are the East and West Coast Mainlines, which are 140mph and 125mph respectfully. Okay, the ECML is only 125mph as there isn't the approved signalling for 140mph running (though the track actually supports 140mph running). Many other lines in the country have 100 or 110 mph linespeeds. In a country that's not very big, with a high density of stations and junctions, those linespeeds are actually reasonable. Considering that the network was built mainly in the 1830s/1840s and which was almost left to ruin at times during the 20th century (1940s, 1960s, 1980s and 1990s), it's not doing too badly...

Last edited by Manchester Planner; November 23rd, 2008 at 02:35 PM.
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Old November 23rd, 2008, 06:44 AM   #202
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I don't understand, where has high speed rail not been segregated?
Germany - The ICE network isn't totally segregated yet it is regarded as high speed rail.
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Old November 23rd, 2008, 02:32 PM   #203
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As an example of what's possible at the moment in the UK - you can go from the centre of Manchester to the centre of London in 2 hours, with a train every 20 minutes (this is with the new winter timetable as from 14th December) via the West Coast Mainline. Building a high speed line between the two cities would only cut the journey time to 1 hour 30 mins - is the 30 minute saving really worth the billions of pounds of cost?
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Old November 23rd, 2008, 03:02 PM   #204
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Svartmetall View Post
Germany - The ICE network isn't totally segregated yet it is regarded as high speed rail.
Yes thats true, although they still built new lines for it. They didn't just upgrade existing routes for v. high speed services, although they have done that on certain sections. The point I'm trying to make is that actually there is no reason for any HSL we build to be totally segregated either. HS1 isn't in theory, it will have domestic services on it that under EU regs don't count as high speed, and it is also designed to accept freight. In fact, the class 375 southeastern use are also designed with using HS1 in mind, although the purchase of 395s has put paid to that. So segregation, if it occurs, would be down to other considerations that would cause it, and not be a central tenet of the proposal.

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Originally Posted by Manchester Planner View Post
As an example of what's possible at the moment in the UK - you can go from the centre of Manchester to the centre of London in 2 hours, with a train every 20 minutes (this is with the new winter timetable as from 14th December) via the West Coast Mainline. Building a high speed line between the two cities would only cut the journey time to 1 hour 30 mins - is the 30 minute saving really worth the billions of pounds of cost?
In terms of long distance high speed services on their own, probably not. Add in to the equation a doubling of freight, local and regional capacity (varied stopping patterns and vehicle speeds brings inefficient use of a network), an increase in TOC performance that a less diverse service mix always brings (local and regional trains don't spread any disruption so far throughout the network, and freight trains aren't too bothered about being kept on a loop for other things to pass if they are delayed so again they don't propogate delays in the same way), and suddenly the equation looks very different. This is what NR have said in the Network RUS.
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Old November 23rd, 2008, 03:46 PM   #205
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More pix please!
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Old November 23rd, 2008, 05:16 PM   #206
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Freight locomotives (all diesel):

Class 37 - these legends were built c. 1960 and are still going!



Class 57 - many of these are used to haul passenger services too


Class 60


Class 66 - the most numerous locos in use at the moment for freight in Britain


Class 08 (Shunter)
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Old November 23rd, 2008, 05:23 PM   #207
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The very recently built Tornado is the first new steam locomotive built in Britain since 1960 and will be used for special trains on the national mainline and on heritage lines.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LNER_Pe..._60163_Tornado



She will be painted soon. Currently undergoing extensive safety checks so that she can run at full speed on the mainline!
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Old November 23rd, 2008, 05:33 PM   #208
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Class 45 on the Great Central Railway


(Electric) Class 87 on the West Coast Mainline


(Electric high speed train) Virgin Pendolino and EWS Class 66 on the West Coast Mainline


Class 143 unit at Bristol Temple Meads


Class 323 (electric multiple unit) at Manchester Piccadilly


Class 175 (diesel multiple unit) at Newport


As you can gather, there's quite a bit of variety in Britain!
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Old November 23rd, 2008, 05:40 PM   #209
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There are a few electric locomotives used for freight, though freight is generally hauled by diesel as only a third of the network is electrified.

Class 90 (in a very clean EWS livery)


Class 92 hauling container traffic through Stafford (this is a very common sight in Manchester)
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Old November 23rd, 2008, 05:51 PM   #210
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A contrast - two recently built lines...

The London-Paris (via the Channel Tunnel) line in Kent


The Welsh Highland Railway in North Wales


The Welsh Highland Railway will connect with the Ffestiniog Railway in spring 2009.

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Old November 23rd, 2008, 10:08 PM   #211
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Is that a real revenue freight or just a ballast replacement? A steam locomotive hauling something that isn't an old timey passenger car full of tourists with cameras, how insanely cool is that?

Anyways, when are they gonna roll out those Shinkansen-type CTRL trains?
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Old November 23rd, 2008, 10:31 PM   #212
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Alas, only ballast replacement.

The Welsh Highland Railway is primarily a tourist/heritage railway, though it is newly built (completion next year) and will serve the national park it runs through in a commercial way. (Note that in the UK a "national park" isn't a park as such..) It will connect with the Ffestiniog Railway at Portmadog. Both are private railways, though with certain national rail tickets you can use the Ffestiniog line as part of a longer journey which otherwise uses national lines (the Ffestiniog Railway connects the Cambrian Coast line with the Llandudno Junction-Blaneau Ffestiniog line). The Welsh Highland Railway runs across from the Welsh north coast to its West coast, starting at Carnarvon. It may be possible to extend it to Bangor, where it would connect with the Chester-Holyhead line. So you see, these narrow gauge railways do form part of the wider network.

Both the Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland are 2ft narrow gauge.

http://whr.bangor.ac.uk/whrroute.htm

25 miles long. Its objective is... "As well as being a magnet for rail enthusiasts, the rebuilt line will also offer a new way to reach the communities and countryside en route, and offer an alternative to motor transport in an ecologically sensitive area, particularly for the tens of thousands who visit Snowdonia every Summer." It wouldn't surprise me if the national park authority use the line to move materials in and out of the park, as there is little road access in parts.

The Ffestiniog Railway is 14 miles long, so the combined railways are 39 miles - quite a long narrow gauge railway network! Maps of the Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railways:



Up-to-date construction photos can be found here (scroll down):
http://www.isengard.co.uk/

Last edited by Manchester Planner; November 23rd, 2008 at 11:03 PM.
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Old November 23rd, 2008, 10:33 PM   #213
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zaphod View Post
Anyways, when are they gonna roll out those Shinkansen-type CTRL trains?
These beauties?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Rail_Class_395

Next year.
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Old November 24th, 2008, 12:59 AM   #214
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That steam train powered up the main line a few days back, looks like afew spotters were lining the route as it came past at 75mph. Bit strange seeing a steam train going up the ECML in 2008! Apparently it can go up to 90mph.
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Old November 24th, 2008, 01:51 AM   #215
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Maybe not on the ECML, but steam is surprisingly common on the national lines in Britain, especially at weekends. There are a lot of chartered/special trains running, some of which are diesel and some steam. Every fortnight or so a steam loco hauled train passes through Manchester Victoria.

image hosted on flickr
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Old November 24th, 2008, 12:09 PM   #216
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Do british suburb trains share tracks with mainline trains or they have dedicated tracks?
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Old November 24th, 2008, 02:16 PM   #217
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Theres no big differentiation - they are all part of the national rail system. Some have local only services, some have local and long distance on the same lines, some will have 4 tracks with the inner two for express.
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Old November 24th, 2008, 02:36 PM   #218
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Theres no big differentiation - they are all part of the national rail system. Some have local only services, some have local and long distance on the same lines, some will have 4 tracks with the inner two for express.
or the right two, or the left two, or the outer two. In fact, I think the paired-by-speed arrangement is perhaps more common than the paired-by-direction. Often there's a flyover switching between the two types (Ilford, Wimbledon).
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Old November 24th, 2008, 03:15 PM   #219
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sotonsi View Post
or the right two, or the left two, or the outer two. In fact, I think the paired-by-speed arrangement is perhaps more common than the paired-by-direction. Often there's a flyover switching between the two types (Ilford, Wimbledon).
To expand on this, in the South East (of London) its nearly always paired by speed. Out to Orpington, Shortlands to Swanley, Victoria to Three Bridges on the Brighton mainline. The latter is like this I think because the second fast set of tracks was added later. I think thats often the reason for that type of operation. I know the SouthWest mainline from Waterloo is paired by direction after Wimbledon, but I think that maybe down to the flyover works done on that route in the late 19th century to speed it up. Do you think the Ilford flyover may have been an 'upgrade' too? Paired by speed seems to make more sense with flat junctions, paired by direction makes more sense if there are semi-grade separated junctions, so you don't have situations where one train has to cross three other tracks in one go.
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Old November 24th, 2008, 04:45 PM   #220
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Manchester Planner View Post
The Welsh Highland Railway is primarily a tourist/heritage railway, though it is newly built (completion next year) and will serve the national park it runs through in a commercial way. (Note that in the UK a "national park" isn't a park as such..) It will connect with the Ffestiniog Railway at Portmadog. Both are private railways, though with certain national rail tickets you can use the Ffestiniog line as part of a longer journey which otherwise uses national lines (the Ffestiniog Railway connects the Cambrian Coast line with the Llandudno Junction-Blaneau Ffestiniog line). The Welsh Highland Railway runs across from the Welsh north coast to its West coast, starting at Carnarvon. It may be possible to extend it to Bangor, where it would connect with the Chester-Holyhead line. So you see, these narrow gauge railways do form part of the wider network.
That sounds like a damn cool project actually. Most of the time those "old" railway lines are just an isolated piece of track, but this one sounds great.
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