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Old July 28th, 2008, 03:42 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by nerd View Post
very interesting - but not based in fact.

The Tube started as a cut-and-cover system linking the northern and western mainline stations with one another (what we now know as the District, Circle and Central lines). Obviously the technology did not allow services under the river.

Hence, when deep-tunnelling technology became established in the 1880s, the inital rush of proposals concentrated on constructing services from central London into the Southern suburbs - of which one got built, which is now the Northern Line from Bank to Clapham.

The London and Southwestern Railway did everything they could to obstruct proposals to extend the tube into southern suburbs, and accordingly built their own rival underground line from Waterloo to Bank (the Waterloo & City line).

It was only after 1900 that the northern and western suburban services were built, mainly financed from the US but relying on the co-operation of the mainline railway companies in redirecting commuter services underground. In some instances former mainline track was converted. In many cases, the new lines were built into open country, in anticipation of future suburban expansion.

But the Southern Railway continued their hostility, and indeed they and British Rail kept the Waterloo & City line out of London Transport until as recently as 1994.
My main point is that the reason a "line" is underground or overground has to do with economics. If the land you want to build "through" is expensive and already built on and owned by rich and powerful people in big expensive houses you go underground despite the obvious greater construction costs. It's a simple land acquisition issue. South London had lots of cheap land where poor people, or no one, lived so the railway companies just bought the land and built overground. Before deep tube technology was available yes, you're right, cut-cover was used but they put the first line under a main road, without demolishing rich peoples' houses.

Southern Railway's hostility wasn't to "the tube" per se but simply to competitor companies, and they built the Waterloo & C line to provide a direct link to the City from their services into Waterloo, stopping people using competitor services (e.g. the nascent Northern Line).

I'm not saying vehement competition between companies didn't affect which particular lines got built, simply that if the land acquisition costs were too great they went underground - land was hugely more expensive in north and west London, ergo that's why there are more tube lines there, and more overground lines in south and east London.
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Old July 28th, 2008, 05:01 PM   #62
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My main point is that the reason a "line" is underground or overground has to do with economics. If the land you want to build "through" is expensive and already built on and owned by rich and powerful people in big expensive houses you go underground despite the obvious greater construction costs. It's a simple land acquisition issue. South London had lots of cheap land where poor people, or no one, lived so the railway companies just bought the land and built overground. Before deep tube technology was available yes, you're right, cut-cover was used but they put the first line under a main road, without demolishing rich peoples' houses.

Southern Railway's hostility wasn't to "the tube" per se but simply to competitor companies, and they built the Waterloo & C line to provide a direct link to the City from their services into Waterloo, stopping people using competitor services (e.g. the nascent Northern Line).

I'm not saying vehement competition between companies didn't affect which particular lines got built, simply that if the land acquisition costs were too great they went underground - land was hugely more expensive in north and west London, ergo that's why there are more tube lines there, and more overground lines in south and east London.
Thanks for the clarification Jasper - we seem to be talking a cross-purposes. My point concerns the compatibility between commuter heavy rail services, and inter-city mainline services (it is a matter of irrelevance whether these are run underground, overground or elevated). Many commentators have compared the Altrincham service on Metrolink unfavourably with the former commuter rail service - arguing that a light-rail conversion was unneccessary, if only the investment had been made to double the frequency of trains on the existing line.

But in fact the conversion of the Altrincham service to Metrollink was essential in order to release capacity on the Manchester and Salford viaduct for expanded inter-city traffic between Manchester and Liverpool, and to allow services from Preston and Glasgow to depart from Piccadilly rather than Victoria.

Similarly it is often suggested that a Metrolink to the airport is unneccesary, if only there were more frequent stopping trains on the East Didsbury line. But the same applies, you cannot easily mix commuter traffic with main-line traffic; especially when both are wanting to increase service frequencies at peak periods.

Which is why the London parallel is instructive. In the 1920s and 1930s the grouped rail companies GWR, LMS, LNER were happy for there to be fewer suburban services into Paddington, Euston, St Pancras and Kings Cross - and fiacilitated the construction of dedicated metro services to remove them. The Southern Railway, by contrast, saw its main income as coming from commuter services into Victoria and Waterloo, and kept this traffic to themselves; even if this meant that mainline services from Southampton and Dover were a lot slower than those on the other railways.
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Old August 2nd, 2008, 01:56 AM   #63
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http://www.placenorthwest.co.uk/

Virgin Rail to deliver longer Pendolino trains
1 August 2008, 10:05


The department for transport has selected Virgin Rail Projects as chosen bidder to introduce longer Pendolino trains on the West Coast Main Line by the end of 2012.

The Virgin Rail Group subsidiary will deliver 31 longer trains and four new trains. The extra vehicles will be ordered from Alstom by the DfT.

Virgin's regional franchise, which runs until the end of March 2012, includes services from London Euston to Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester, Preston, North Wales and Glasgow.

An agreement has been reached between the DfT and train manufacturer Alstom to begin production of the new high speed tilting Pendolino trains and extra carriages which will deliver 7,420 additional seats.

The DfT agreement with Alstom provides for 106 carriages which will create four new 11-car trains and will also lengthen 31 of the existing trains from 9 to11 carriages. These will be in full service by December 2012.

Tony Collins, Virgin Rail Group CEO, said, "We have already seen strong increases in customer numbers and further growth in future needs to be matched by adding many more seats. This project is a prime example of the private sector working in partnership with Government to meet customer expectations. We are keen to see the carriages introduced at the earliest possible opportunity."
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Old August 2nd, 2008, 02:40 AM   #64
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http://www.placenorthwest.co.uk/

Virgin Rail to deliver longer Pendolino trains
1 August 2008, 10:05


The department for transport has selected Virgin Rail Projects as chosen bidder to introduce longer Pendolino trains on the West Coast Main Line by the end of 2012.

The Virgin Rail Group subsidiary will deliver 31 longer trains and four new trains. The extra vehicles will be ordered from Alstom by the DfT.

Virgin's regional franchise, which runs until the end of March 2012, includes services from London Euston to Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester, Preston, North Wales and Glasgow.

An agreement has been reached between the DfT and train manufacturer Alstom to begin production of the new high speed tilting Pendolino trains and extra carriages which will deliver 7,420 additional seats.

The DfT agreement with Alstom provides for 106 carriages which will create four new 11-car trains and will also lengthen 31 of the existing trains from 9 to11 carriages. These will be in full service by December 2012.

Tony Collins, Virgin Rail Group CEO, said, "We have already seen strong increases in customer numbers and further growth in future needs to be matched by adding many more seats. This project is a prime example of the private sector working in partnership with Government to meet customer expectations. We are keen to see the carriages introduced at the earliest possible opportunity."

http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=675872
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Old August 2nd, 2008, 07:59 AM   #65
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I know I'm being naive here (I'm not an engineer), but why does it take three years to introduce these trains?
Is it because Alsthom has to tool up specially for UK loading gauge or something?
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Old August 2nd, 2008, 03:41 PM   #66
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Originally Posted by A6 Bypass View Post
I know I'm being naive here (I'm not an engineer), but why does it take three years to introduce these trains?
Is it because Alsthom has to tool up specially for UK loading gauge or something?
beacause this is the UK, where all processes are convoluted and expensive
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Old August 2nd, 2008, 04:05 PM   #67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A6 Bypass View Post
I know I'm being naive here (I'm not an engineer), but why does it take three years to introduce these trains?
Is it because Alsthom has to tool up specially for UK loading gauge or something?
Typical lead time is around 2 years for a rail vehicle (or tram) from order to first delivery. The rest is then down to how quickly they can roll off the production line, depends on how busy Alstom are and what other orders they have on the go.
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Old August 2nd, 2008, 06:27 PM   #68
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Seems mental that they didn't just order the trains longer than they needed to be, but hey, this is the UK. I'm pretty sure someone back at Alsthom is getting there brown paper envelope.

As an aside to the Pendolino story, HS2 is now being looked at. Nope it doesn't come north at all, just to Heathrow! Great!!!!!!!
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Old August 2nd, 2008, 08:20 PM   #69
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Yeah I know it seems along time but building trains aint the same as knocking off cars from an assembly line.

Lived opposite the big train factory in Derby during the 90's and knew some lads who worked there, so if I remember rightly the wiat is about strengthening carriages so that they dont tear off from each other when at top speed.
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Old August 23rd, 2008, 02:51 PM   #70
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Fury over train disruption
Kevin Feddy
22/ 8/2008


BUSINESS leaders in Greater Manchester today joined with their counterparts in London, Birmingham and Liverpool to protest against Network Rail's plans to carry out work on the £8.6bn West Coast Main Line upgrade on weekdays.

Chambers of Commerce bosses in each region issued a joint letter calling on Network Rail chief executive Iain Coucher to abandon the move.

They warned that it would be hugely damaging to businesspeople who rely on services along the route.

Network Rail has so far closed sections of the route at weekends and on bank holidays to try to minimise passenger disruption.

But after this coming bank holiday, the work will be extended to weekdays.

The Chambers, which represent 13,000 firms on the route, said the work would cause delays and uncertainty for businesspeople when many are already struggling with the impact of the economic downturn.

They also said the disruption would be a blow for businesspeople who have turned to the trains to `do their bit' for the environment.

Angie Robinson, chief executive of Greater Manchester Chamber, said: "Businesses understand and support the need to invest in our railways, and they know this work is essential.

"But firms also need guarantees that work will be scheduled to avoid damaging the economy, and that delays will be minimised."

The Chambers said eight million business passengers use the line each year.

They stressed they would prefer the work to take longer and spill over into 2009 than to take place during weekdays.

Colin Stanbridge, chief executive of the London Chamber, said the situation was `simply not good enough' to keep UK businesses on the move. He said businesses already faced an unreliable rail service.

A Network Rail spokesman the company accepted its performance had been below par but said this was caused by several issues, including failures caused when the work disturbed old equipment and general infrastructure problems.

He added: "We have recently put in place an improvement plan and this is already showing positive results.

"When the west coast work is completed this December, we expect to see dramatic improvements in terms of the number of services we can run as well as the reliability of the line, providing a boost for businesses throughout the region."
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Old August 23rd, 2008, 03:14 PM   #71
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Sounds to me like the never ending improvements.
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Old August 23rd, 2008, 03:54 PM   #72
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Because of the delays on the line this coming week I am going to have to stay down in London for Wednesday night.

This is hugely expensive to my employer, and massively inconvienient.

Mind you, it MUST get done, and dispite the disruption long term it has to happen.

HSR2 must happen soon though.
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Old August 24th, 2008, 02:05 PM   #73
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I read this story in the MEN on Friday, i was wondering if this scheduled work is part of the project that network rail got fined for at the start of the year?

If so then network rail are well untruly taking the piss
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Old August 24th, 2008, 02:08 PM   #74
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I read this story in the MEN on Friday, i was wondering if this scheduled work is part of the project that network rail got fined for at the start of the year?

If so then network rail are well untruly taking the piss
Same project, different phase.

Why are they taking the piss?
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Old August 24th, 2008, 02:44 PM   #75
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I didn't know it was a different phase of the project, hence the 'if so'

If it was the same work they got fined for at the start of the year then that would be taking the piss.
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Old August 24th, 2008, 02:53 PM   #76
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I didn't know it was a different phase of the project, hence the 'if so'

If it was the same work they got fined for at the start of the year then that would be taking the piss.
Ahh right I understand you now
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Old September 29th, 2008, 10:52 AM   #77
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From the Brummie forum...

Quote:
Tories backing high-speed rail link from Birmingham to Europe
Sep 28 2008 By Jonathan Walker, Political Editor

A Conservative government would approve a new high-speed rail line linking Birmingham with Paris, Amsterdam and Brussels, and cutting journey times to London by 35 minutes.

The major transport announcement will be made on Monday at the party conference in the International Convention Centre, Birmingham.

Tories set out their economic reconstruction plan on Sunday, including plans for an independent body to monitor state spending, and a beefed-up role for the Bank of England in overseeing the financial sector.

David Cameron’s party will continue debating the economy on Monday, as well as setting out their plans for the NHS.

The proposed high-speed rail link could dramatically transform Britain’s transport network. The Conservatives will also come out firmly against a third runway at Heathrow, arguing that improved rail services would reduce demand for air travel to the continent.

The aim would be to link Manchester, Leeds and Birmingham with St Pancras, the London station used for Eurostar channel tunnel services.

Conservatives have previously committed themselves to examining the feasibility of a high-speed line, but the new announcement moves a dramatic step forward by committing the party to pressing ahead with the project immediately on taking office. The aim is to begin construction by 2015.

The Government has not ruled out a high-speed rail link and is currently still considering whether it is an option worth pursuing. Alternative proposals being considered by the Department for Transport include expanding the M6 motorway or re-opening an existing, disused rail line.

A Conservative government would contribute £1.3 billion annually to the cost of construction, between 2015 and 2027, which the party would meet from existing capital spending on rail.

Fuller details of the funding plans will be published at a later date, but Labour is likely to accuse the Conservatives of making an unfunded spending commitment the country is unable to afford.However, Conservatives accuse Labour of “dithering” over transport by failing to make a decision about high-speed rail.

Andrew Mitchell (Con Sutton Coldfield), the Shadow Minister for Birmingham, said: “Given the economic, social, and environmental advantages of high-speed rail, it would be a missed opportunity to spend nearly as much on a second standard-speed line that would deliver far fewer benefits and would earn lower franchise fees for the taxpayer.”

A range of rail industry figures have warned that the West Coast Main Line is set to run out of capacity, as demand for rail services increases.

Speaking to the Transport Select Committee last year, Tony Collins, chief executive of Virgin Trains, claimed Ministers did not understand how urgent the problem was.

The Government was predicting that overcrowding would become a serious problem on the West Coast Main Line in 2014 but Virgin believed passengers numbers were growing so quickly that it would be an issue by 2011, he said.

According to the Conservatives, their proposed high-speed link would cut the journey time between London and Birmingham from 80 minutes to 45 minutes.

Travelling between Manchester and London would take 80 minutes, compared to 125 minutes today.

By freeing up capacity on the West Coast Main Line, it would also mean existing services were less crowded and allow for the creation of new routes.

And it would be environmentally-friendly, as it could replace thousands of flights each year which would otherwise be needed.

Rail operators would be expected to help fund the line through franchise fees, but would be expected to make “healthy returns” on services.

The announcement is certain to add fuel to controversy over Birmingham’s rail infrastructure. Proponents of a new railway station in the city, such as the planned new “Grand Central” station, have cited the prospect of a new high-speed line as one reason why New Street station is not up to the job, even following the planned refurbishment.

In a separate high-profile announcement, Shadow Schools Minister Michael Gove will reveal plans to match ex-servicemen with vulnerable children to provide positive role models for teenagers.

Bursaries of £9,000 will be offered to graduate ex-servicemen who want to go through teacher training, and all ex-servicemen who have seen active service will be offered free university tuition.

Mr Gove will say: “The young men and women serving in Afghanistan and Iraq are the heroes of our time – their sacrifices in the cause of freedom make them the greatest of our generation – and they deserve the thanks of all of us.”


http://www.birminghampost.net/news/n...name_page.html
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Old September 29th, 2008, 11:18 AM   #78
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Manchester to Leeds will take 17 minutes according to the Guardian website!

It's so sad that Labour are so shit really, and don't do HSR themselves. I'm historically a Labour supporter but their stance on the environment is paper thin, shown by their commitment to increase air travel and to continuously try to water down EU environmental initiatives.
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Old September 29th, 2008, 12:37 PM   #79
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http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2...ence.transport
Quote:
Tories plan £20bn 180mph rail link instead of Heathrow third runwayNicholas Watt, chief political correspondent The Guardian, Monday September 29 2008
Article history
A third runway at Heathrow airport would be scrapped by a Tory government that would instead build a £20bn TGV-style high speed rail link between London, Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds.

In one of David Cameron's boldest moves on the environment, the party will today unveil plans to cut 66,000 flights a year from Heathrow by tempting passengers on to the first new rail line north of London in more than a century.

Theresa Villiers, the shadow transport secretary, told the Guardian last night: "This is a seriously green decision. A few years ago it would have been inconceivable for the leader of the Conservative party to say no to a third runway and putting the brakes on Heathrow expansion."

The announcement, on the second day of the party's conference in Birmingham, is designed to show that the party has not abandoned its "Vote Blue, Go Green" agenda in the face of the economic downturn. Gordon Brown has warned that some Tory green plans would jeopardise economic development, but Cameron hopes to blunt any Labour attack by outlining detailed plans to tempt airline passengers on to the railways.

Villiers will announce that a Tory government would spend £15.6bn between 2015 and 2027 (£1.3bn a year for 12 years) to build the new high speed rail link from London St Pancras to Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds. A further £4.4bn would be paid by the private sector.

The line would be completely new and would allow the existing West Coast main line to be used for commuter journeys between smaller towns, such as Macclesfield, Stafford and Milton Keynes, and the big cities. There would also be a high speed line linking St Pancras with Heathrow.

Journey times on the 180mph line would be slashed: London to Birmingham would take 45 minutes instead of 80; London to Manchester 80 minutes instead of 125, London to Leeds 97 minutes instead of 125 and Manchester to Leeds 17 minutes instead of the current 55.

The Tories say the new rail link would cut flights from Heathrow by 66,430 a year - 44% of the capacity of the planned third runway. There are currently 36 flights a day between Heathrow and Manchester. The Tories hope to cut flights to Paris, Amsterdam and Brussels as passengers are encouraged to use the new high speed rail line which would link up with the Eurostar service at St Pancras.

Greenpeace last night welcomed the announcement. John Sauven, its executive director, said: "The Conservatives have recognised that decisions taken now on high carbon projects like new runways and coal-fired power stations will make or break our chances of tackling climate change in the future."

The government has resisted pressure for a high speed rail link on the grounds that money should be spent on upgrading existing lines.
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Old September 29th, 2008, 12:41 PM   #80
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So, a single line from London, via Brum, then Manc and onto Leeds.

I like it, and I like it a lot.

Given the Tories will win the next election this will happen if they stick to these plans, Labour's response will be very interesting.
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