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Old March 11th, 2008, 12:29 PM   #21
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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.
I'm not sure what you're advocating (retrospectively!)? You seem to be saying you'd rather the government not have spent any money on the WCML and gone with a new HS (186 mph+) line? Well, that's ok, but the fact is (coz I worked on the upgrade - which isn't quirte yet complete) that the WCML WAS falling apart.

If what you seem to be suggesting had been done I think we would still be building the new line, possibly only just starting construction. Meanwhile the timetable would have deteriorated to around 3 hours (from 2:40) due to Permanent and Temporary Speed Restrictions (PSR, TSR) due to track quality and alignment (e.g. Rugby, 60 mph PSR) issues. There would still be large parts of the WCML signalled with mechanical interlockings (e.g. Stockport) and the overhead wires would be coming down with increasing regularity. 1 train per hour would be the service and the delays and reliability issues would be severe problems. Virgin might have handed their franchise back?

Perhaps you're right that the promise of "jam tomorrow" woud make this ok for people but I'm not so sure? Also I'm not sure of the total cost.... CTRL was £5.5 bn for 68 miles, Manchester/London is about 180 miles plus routes to Birmingham, Liverpool etc, say 230 miles of HS track, so £12 bn looks a minimum?
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Old March 11th, 2008, 02:26 PM   #22
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The idea of a high speed line from Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool into London is a great one. But the WCML serves more people than a new HSL ever would. The estimates for the upgrade of the WCML had to be an estimate, teh line had suffered for 30 years + of under investment. Spread the upgrade cost over that time and per year it isn't that much. Bear in mind the upgrade had to take place while the line was still in operation. Ideally the WCML will have a future use serving people travelling from Barrow to Manchester, or Birmingham to Rugby ot Euston to MK day in day out that deserve a better service. Capacity has to be the next step, if this is done through a HSL all the better. The WCML upgrade had to come first though. Perhaps when people see the benifits of a better railway teh investment will come?
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Old March 11th, 2008, 02:58 PM   #23
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The WCML had obviously to be upgraded or face more and more erosion of service quality, the problem is it has happened 15 years to late, ideally it should have happened back in the late seventies/early eighties. Capacity will be reached within a few years, this has to be sorted with a modern solution that has longevity in terms of capacity and technical Know how. We need a long term solution, the government know the London B'ham Man corridor HAS to be addressed SOONER rather than later, I think things will happen quicker than we think.
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Old March 11th, 2008, 04:41 PM   #24
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Really?
Do you see a new 186mph High Speed Line? If its there you better tell the government.
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Old March 11th, 2008, 04:56 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jasper View Post
I'm not sure what you're advocating (retrospectively!)? You seem to be saying you'd rather the government not have spent any money on the WCML and gone with a new HS (186 mph+) line? Well, that's ok, but the fact is (coz I worked on the upgrade - which isn't quirte yet complete) that the WCML WAS falling apart.

If what you seem to be suggesting had been done I think we would still be building the new line, possibly only just starting construction. Meanwhile the timetable would have deteriorated to around 3 hours (from 2:40) due to Permanent and Temporary Speed Restrictions (PSR, TSR) due to track quality and alignment (e.g. Rugby, 60 mph PSR) issues. There would still be large parts of the WCML signalled with mechanical interlockings (e.g. Stockport) and the overhead wires would be coming down with increasing regularity. 1 train per hour would be the service and the delays and reliability issues would be severe problems. Virgin might have handed their franchise back?

Perhaps you're right that the promise of "jam tomorrow" woud make this ok for people but I'm not so sure? Also I'm not sure of the total cost.... CTRL was £5.5 bn for 68 miles, Manchester/London is about 180 miles plus routes to Birmingham, Liverpool etc, say 230 miles of HS track, so £12 bn looks a minimum?
I didn't say that. They didn't need to spend £10 Billion upgrading it. 10 years ago they could have said. Right we'll put £3-5 Billion towards upgrading the West Coast over 10 years. They then could have said we'll put £12 Billion to a new high speed link over 15-20 years. If you think they made the correct choice fair enough but I think they have missed a trick. Just go over the channel, its been working perfectly and very successfully ever since it was installed. We're still having weekend delays because the upgrade is not finished.
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Old March 11th, 2008, 05:35 PM   #26
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I didn't say that. They didn't need to spend £10 Billion upgrading it. 10 years ago they could have said. Right we'll put £3-5 Billion towards upgrading the West Coast over 10 years. They then could have said we'll put £12 Billion to a new high speed link over 15-20 years. If you think they made the correct choice fair enough but I think they have missed a trick. Just go over the channel, its been working perfectly and very successfully ever since it was installed. We're still having weekend delays because the upgrade is not finished.
Well I'm not sure we're really disagreeing very much. The WCML upgrade is probably going to outturn around £7.5bn. The trains (Pendolino, Class 390) cost about £11 million each and there are, if I remember right, 53 of them so that's about £600M. The rest has been mostly spent on track - either simple refurbishment, 4-tracking, or upgrade from 110 mph to 125 mph. Your suggested £3-5B would probably have just kept the line ticking over with a max speed of 110 mph.

You say "just go over the channel" but I think we would agree that that's the point - the French have a more dirigiste government, more political will, more popular support, different planning system, a centralised railway, and more space (around half to one third the population density dependent on how you measure it). They can build their lines in a fraction of the time so they don't have the same sort of decisions to make. Also you're right we should have spent the money on the WCML 20+ years ago.
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Old March 11th, 2008, 09:58 PM   #27
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Hi, ive been stalking this forum for a while now and have finally decided to join up.

I know that transport planning in the UK looks for adequate rather than optimal solutions, but if we have to wait 15 years for a HSR network, wont it be a outdated technology by the time it is implemented?

Maglev is growing in popularity; i can see it catching on across the planet by 2025 and by that time the technology will be much cheaper. Also maintenance costs are much cheaper and much better acceleration and top speeds can be reached with Maglev, so wouldnt it be the better option?
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Old March 11th, 2008, 10:42 PM   #28
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Metrolink announces he's retirement and two new posters appear on the Manchester transport threads. hmmmmmm
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Old March 12th, 2008, 01:53 AM   #29
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Another new user I'm afraid... But no conspiracy, I assure you. I don't think HSR will happen to Manc anytime soon. I think we should perhaps concentrate on forging links with our Northern neighbours and become a greater force on a national and European level.

I think it is a worry that by the time any HSR proposals have got through planning they could be out of date. Maybe the government have some secret technology they're going to unleash on the world - now that is a conspiracy! LOL
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Old March 12th, 2008, 02:02 AM   #30
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Another new user I'm afraid...
glad to have you aboard
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Old March 12th, 2008, 02:03 AM   #31
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Hi, ive been stalking this forum for a while now and have finally decided to join up.
welcome aboard
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Old March 12th, 2008, 03:03 AM   #32
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Metro will be back, this isn't the first time!
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Old March 12th, 2008, 02:30 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoryT View Post
Hi, ive been stalking this forum for a while now and have finally decided to join up.

I know that transport planning in the UK looks for adequate rather than optimal solutions, but if we have to wait 15 years for a HSR network, wont it be a outdated technology by the time it is implemented?

Maglev is growing in popularity; i can see it catching on across the planet by 2025 and by that time the technology will be much cheaper. Also maintenance costs are much cheaper and much better acceleration and top speeds can be reached with Maglev, so wouldnt it be the better option?
Welcome!

The main problem with Maglev as you allude to is cost. I think the problem is that the track, or guideway, or whatever you want to call it contains vast numbers of electromagnets, all containing steel (around £1k per tonne) and more importantly copper (presently £4.5k per tonne). With China industrialising like the clappers it's unlikely these costs will come down.

Also in the UK the benefits are marginal - HSR London/Manchester about 1 hr? Maglev 30 minutes? So the choice will be to spend around £10-15bn on HSR or £30-35bn (?) on Maglev - i.e. spend £20bn extra to save 30 minutes off a fairly respectable journey time. The sums get worse when you consider door to door times: say Oldham to Canary Wharf? Bus to Oldham town centre 10 mins? Tram from Oldham to Mcr Picc 20 mins? Wait for HSR/Maglev 15 minutes? Journey to London Euston 1hr or 30 mins? Euston to CW (Northern line/DLR) 35 minutes? Walk to where you want to go 5 mins?

So the HSR-based journey takes 145 mins, the Maglev-based 115 mins. around 80% of the HSR one...

Oh and you would have to tunnel the "last 10/15 miles" into each city, especially London, or stop at the edge?

I think these are the main reasons it's not really taken seriously at the moment. A nice idea though I'll grant.
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Old March 12th, 2008, 08:10 PM   #34
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Before Privatisation was a twinkle in anyones eye, there was an earlier scheme to upgrade the West Coast mainline. BR called this intercity 250 project. Like how the new East coast line was called 225 because in the new trains could run up to 140mph(225 kmh). This was to invole to look up the soon to be life expired signalling and powers system combined with new sections of track to pypass the most congested sections of track between London and Manchester. These new sections would run at 155mph and where possible other sections would be upgraded to match. The scheme had not progressed beyond some glossy graphics and a few lines on a map before the juugernaut of Privatisation swept all big projects aside.

The suggested new lines were to parralel, where possible, the M1 and M6.



Yet another story of what could been, whne it comes to British infrastructure spending
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Old March 12th, 2008, 08:35 PM   #35
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If this HSR network does go ahead; will it be a PPP scheme?
Won't all the private rail operators go up in arms when they realise their current rolling stock is obsolete? or will the government introduce some compensation scheme?

personally i would like to see britain's rail network run by the state again, i doubt it will ever happen though.
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Old March 12th, 2008, 10:54 PM   #36
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personally i would like to see britain's rail network run by the state again, i doubt it will ever happen though.
The state only ran it from 1948 till the early 90's and most of it disappeared in that time.

All you need is a quick straight line to Doncaster alongside the ECML. Run a spur from Huntingdon through Kettering to the Trent Valley line and all lines to the north are connected to the high speed line.

200 mph to Huntingdon from Kings Cross would take 20 minutes, to the Trent Valley line would take just over half an hour.

London to Manchester by this route would take about an hour and a half.
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Old March 13th, 2008, 07:01 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by RoryT View Post
If this HSR network does go ahead; will it be a PPP scheme?
Won't all the private rail operators go up in arms when they realise their current rolling stock is obsolete? or will the government introduce some compensation scheme?

personally i would like to see britain's rail network run by the state again, i doubt it will ever happen though.
I don't think any of the rail operating companies own their rolling stock.
They hire it from a confusing leasing set of companies, that I think hire it to teh franchise. So when a franchise ends or is change the new operator carries on the lease. Saying that I woould imagine leasing companies wouldn't be happy, but I know one such company is HSBC and I could give two sh*ts about them.
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Old March 13th, 2008, 07:06 PM   #38
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Doesn't Pete Waterman own one of the leasing companies ?
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Old March 13th, 2008, 08:08 PM   #39
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this british rail system malarchy is a bit confusing

i bet the confusion is bound to cost the taxpayer a few extra quid
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Old March 14th, 2008, 03:26 PM   #40
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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?
Would it not be more likely an HSR would be by-passing cities with links onto the classic network for city centre access?
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