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Old March 1st, 2008, 10:42 AM   #1
Metrolink
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High Speed Rail

Right, given it appears that TIF is about to come to a crashing end, along with any reasonable prospect of delivering a good local public transport for Manchester and region, I think I may shift my focus onto badgering DfT for HSR2 to be built up from London, to Heathrow and then to Brum and beyond.

They currently are evaluating the options, review to be published in 2012.

Think I may put in some freedom of information requests to find out what is going on.

Anyway, some background http://www.greengauge21.net/ appears to be an independent pressure group who have developed their own plans and are badgering government.

The DfT have a couple of interesting studies as well http://www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/rail/researchtech/research/


So, anyone in the industry on here?

Anyone know anything about this?

They say areas in several cities (including Manchester) should be protected for new HSR stations - presumably ours would be near Piccadilly - maybe slightly to the east?
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Old March 9th, 2008, 06:42 PM   #2
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http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2...ansport.labour

Quote:
The government and Network Rail are considering a £31bn proposal to build a network of 187mph high-speed railway lines that would boost the British economy and slash journey times.

New studies drawn up by Atkins, the engineering consultancy, show how developing the existing west and east coast main lines could see journey times from London to Manchester reduced to 74 minutes, London-Birmingham to just one hour, and London-Sheffield to 79 minutes.

Economic gains to the UK of £63bn far exceed the £31bn cost of building the network, says Atkins.

The government welcomed the report: 'We will be looking at the need for new transport capacity as part of our new approach to planning. We will consider all available options to provide the most efficient and beneficial solutions for passengers and taxpayers.'

Network Rail said at the weekend: 'In the future it is likely we are going to have to build new lines, and whilst there are obvious advantages to do this using existing high-speed technology, we must not forget the wider picture.

'The challenge is to look at the developing and changing demographics, and demand along particular corridors, and see what fits best. High-speed travel is likely to be one of a multitude of ultimate solutions. As we develop our plans to build a bigger, better railway over the next few years, we will look at this in more detail.'

Atkins's report envisages that high-speed lines would run on the east and west sides of the country, going as far north as Glasgow and Edinburgh. They would replace most of the existing services and free up capacity for local trains.

The current plan for rail is to make strategic investments to maximise capacity, but increasing passenger growth within 20 years will require bolder thinking.

Renewed enthusiasm for high-speed rail comes thanks to the success of the high-speed channel tunnel rail link - Britain's first high-speed line - which opened last November. Passenger levels have exceeded projections.
http://business.timesonline.co.uk/to...cle3510584.ece

Quote:
NEW TGV-style rail lines linking southeast England to the Midlands and Scotland would bring economic benefits of £63 billion, according to a study to be released this week.

Atkins, the engineering group, will say that without new lines, the network will run out of capacity by 2026 - or even 2016 if the recent rapid growth in rail passenger numbers continues.

The conclusions come from an update of the investigation into the case for high-speed rail commissioned by the government from Atkins in 2003.

The consultants looked at three options – a new line for the west coast, one up the east coast, and the “full network” option, which includes both.

It said the latter generated the highest benefits, worth about £63 billion. The full network would cost about £31 billion to build.

Atkins also looked at expanding the road and airport network as an alternative, and found this option wanting. “A major expansion of the road network may lead to some reductions in journey times, although these are likely to be marginal outside peak hours,” the report will say, adding: “High-speed lines need to be viewed less as a rail project and more as a national transport, economic and environmental project, as the benefits and costs go far beyond the rail industry.”

The report is likely to receive the backing of Theresa Villiers, shadow transport secretary, and Network Rail, which owns and operates the UK network.
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Old March 9th, 2008, 07:38 PM   #3
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I really think now that if they are going to build new links they have to be faster than the current high speed links. France, Spain and others are possible going to upgrade from 186mph to 217mph and then 224mph.
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Old March 9th, 2008, 07:40 PM   #4
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I have no doubt that if we do build a HSR then it will not be limited to 300km/h.

These are very very early days, and such things will be no where near being settled yet.
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Old March 9th, 2008, 07:50 PM   #5
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Metrolink is so right to elevate this to a full thread.

As a Brit/former Manchester resident and transport anorak now living in France, it pretty much goes without saying that I'd be a huge supporter of more High-Speed lines in the UK.

I can get to the Med in three hours from central Paris (thats about 660km or just over 400 miles as the crow flies in case you're wondering). The service is regular, fast, reliable, environmentally-sound* and safe. And it's not too expensive especially if you book in advance. It beats flying or going by car and it's hugely popular with passengers, taking zillions of tonnes of carbon emissions out of the equation.

Hi-Speed rail is taken for granted here and as most people know it is now big news in Spain, Germany, Italy, the low countres and even Portugal. Most other main economic countries are developing their high speed networks.

Only sad old, crappy old, under-investing old, hopeless old Britain (or more acurately the dunderheads that have led our successive governements) have refused to properly fund the transport infra-structure again and again and again.

Considering how close we came with APT (probably only a couple of hundred million pounds more and it would have been the envy of the world instead of rotting in a museum) and how DESPERATE the need is for fast rail travel in the UK it's just a constant source of embarassement for every British person that the country that pioneered so much fails to take the right long-term investment decision time and again.

So all power to this latest push - shame they didnt spend the £12billion on the WCML upgrade on a new line when it was first asked for - probably would have been cheaper then!
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Old March 9th, 2008, 07:53 PM   #6
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Oh and one other thing:

Hi-Speed to Brum/Manch tagged on to HS1 would put those regions within 2 or three hours by train from the heart of Europe!

And imagine getting on a HS train near Piccadilly and getting off in Lyon 5 hours later? Or Brussels in 3 hours? Paris in 3h30m....ah we can dream!
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Old March 9th, 2008, 07:59 PM   #7
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I know, it's the type of thing I dream of.

Tram from Dane Road to Piccadilly - 20mins.

Train from Piccadilly to Geneva 5hrs.

Train into the Alps 2hrs.

Door to door, in the comfort of a train.
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Old March 9th, 2008, 09:48 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Metrolink View Post
I know, it's the type of thing I dream of.

Tram from Dane Road to Piccadilly - 20mins.

Train from Piccadilly to Geneva 5hrs.

Train into the Alps 2hrs.

Door to door, in the comfort of a train.
I was reading that the next generation of Eurostar trains would cut the journey times to from London to Paris. The journey time would be something like 1h42mins instead of 2h15mins.
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Old March 10th, 2008, 02:33 AM   #9
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There's also talk about a new line from Paris to the coast - at the moment the line from the tunnel takes a distinct turn to the left when it comes out of the tunnel in order to get to Lille (a political hangover of the period when it was built).

If there was a route in more of a straight line from Paris to the coast that would certainly lop off a big chunk of the current journey time. Of course there has been much development of hi-speed trains since the Eurostar fleet was built (look at the recent trials on the new TGV Est line: fastest train time ever at 574.8kmh).

Not sure which aspect you heard about but either way it does seem like there is the possibility to reduce the London-Paris journey time....and longterm maybe even Metrolink's dream of getting to the Alps by train in less time than it takes to walk the Pennine Way in slingbacks!!
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Old March 10th, 2008, 01:38 PM   #10
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Quote:
74-minute link to London

Amanda Crook

10/ 3/2008

TRANSPORT chiefs are lobbying for Manchester to get the first high-speed rail links with London.

Plans for 187mph high-speed train lines to cut travelling times by half make financial sense, says a new report. It would mean a journey from London to Manchester taking just 74 minutes.

Manchester transport chiefs say they will push for that stretch of the line to be upgraded first - trains could be running by 2026.

The report, from planning consultants Atkins, says the £31bn proposal would boost the national economy and slash journey times.

It says the high-speed lines, which would stretch as far as Glasgow and Edinburgh, could be worth £63bn over the first 60 years.

Commuting

And Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Authority chairman Roger Jones said they are already talking to ministers to lobby for Manchester to have the first trial link within 15 years. Coun Jones said: "It would make commuting to and from the capital a real possibility. I would see no reason why this could not be up and running within 10-15 years.

"If our bid for transport innovation fund cash is accepted we will have the best public transport system outside London so it would make sense to trial the high speed link between Manchester and London."

The Atkins report says new lines would be needed as capacity on the existing west coast and east coast main lines could be exhausted within a decade.

Atkins transport planning managing director Andy Southern said: "A high speed rail network should not only be viewed in terms of its benefit to relieving congestion on the rail network. The economic gain could also be extremely significant.

"The impact would be felt by local communities as well as the business traveller choosing to go by rail rather than air."
http://www.manchestereveningnews.co....link_to_london
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Old March 10th, 2008, 04:22 PM   #11
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Quote:
trains could be running by 2026
This country is a joke!
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Old March 10th, 2008, 04:34 PM   #12
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By 2026 if we're very lucky if we're being honest.

Chances are Brum will be first connected, and then another wait.
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Old March 10th, 2008, 05:59 PM   #13
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It's just shocking to think that in the year 2026 we'll only just be getting something some countries had in 1986. The 'future' indeed.
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Old March 10th, 2008, 06:07 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Reid View Post
It's just shocking to think that in the year 2026 we'll only just be getting something some countries had in 1986. The 'future' indeed.
Its a joke. West Coast Main Line upgrade was the wrong choice. That £7-£10 Billion could have built the first section of a new high speed line and proven it was the correct choice from the start. France, Spain and others have proven its the best thing to do.
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Old March 10th, 2008, 07:26 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andysimo123 View Post
Its a joke. West Coast Main Line upgrade was the wrong choice. That £7-£10 Billion could have built the first section of a new high speed line and proven it was the correct choice from the start. France, Spain and others have proven its the best thing to do.
I'm all in favour of HS Lines, but the decision to do the WCML upgrade wasn't quite as "stupid" as it looks. First the WCML was falling apart and would have needed preserving for freight and other slow traffic anyway. So much of the money would have to have been spent anyway apart from that associated with the upgrade to 125 mph.

Second, the appalling planning regulations, land ownership issues etc. in this country (England) mean that building a new railway (in a new alignment) in this country takes ages; witness the time and effort, much abortive, (public enquiries etc) taken finally to commission the CTRL (HS1). 15+ years?

Even if the government (and the opposition) put its entire resources and commitment behind such a line it would take 6-7 years absolute minimum to commission. Probably more like 10 to 12. There would be all manner of objections from landowners/ farmers, Tory MPs, residents, Virgin (and other franchisees, due to competition) etc. and that's not to mention the overall fragmented nature of the privatised rail industry......
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Old March 10th, 2008, 07:38 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jasper View Post
I'm all in favour of HS Lines, but the decision to do the WCML upgrade wasn't quite as "stupid" as it looks. First the WCML was falling apart and would have needed preserving for freight and other slow traffic anyway. So much of the money would have to have been spent anyway apart from that associated with the upgrade to 125 mph.

Second, the appalling planning regulations, land ownership issues etc. in this country (England) mean that building a new railway (in a new alignment) in this country takes ages; witness the time and effort, much abortive, (public enquiries etc) taken finally to commission the CTRL (HS1). 15+ years?

Even if the government (and the opposition) put its entire resources and commitment behind such a line it would take 6-7 years absolute minimum to commission. Probably more like 10 to 12. There would be all manner of objections from landowners/ farmers, Tory MPs, residents, Virgin (and other franchisees, due to competition) etc. and that's not to mention the overall fragmented nature of the privatised rail industry......
So what's your point? My point is if they had gone for new High Speed Rail all them years ago, they'd be building the thing now or possibly even have parts of it already open.
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Old March 10th, 2008, 07:46 PM   #17
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The point is we'd have no (or very little) rail connection to London in the mean time.

The West Coast Mainline needed the money spending on it, (on the whole) just to keep it running.

Otherwise, we'd have practically zero trains running, and very slowly, right up until the middle of the next decade at least.
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Old March 10th, 2008, 07:48 PM   #18
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Out of interest...

There is a very real possibility that any HSR2 will go up the East Coast, or will simply terminate at Brum.

I take it everyone on here would still welcome the move, maybe not as much as if it came to Manchester, but people would not be opposed to the plans?
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Old March 10th, 2008, 07:55 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Metrolink View Post
The point is we'd have no (or very little) rail connection to London in the mean time.

The West Coast Mainline needed the money spending on it, (on the whole) just to keep it running.

Otherwise, we'd have practically zero trains running, and very slowly, right up until the middle of the next decade at least.
Its well known fact that the government would only spend money on upgrading or building a new line, not both. The West Coast would have not have ground to a halt but its been shown it wasn't the correct choice because they are looking at a new line already and have been for years. I reckon through we can't work out the costs of a simple upgrade to this 125mph upgrade. In my view the government have been wasting their time and our time.
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Old March 10th, 2008, 08:27 PM   #20
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Really?

The BBC would never have moved up to Manchester without the WCML upgrade.

I'm sure there are plenty of other businesses who would never have come.

Remember, on the old track we'd have 1 train per hour, journey times of about 3hrs.

This would be the case up until 2015.

It is very fair from the simplistic way you put it, money had to be spent on the WCML, it was badly managed by Railtrack, bu that is not the point, money did have to be spent.
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