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Greater Manchester Transport Projects Transport Matters For Greater Manchester and Surrounding Areas



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Old September 30th, 2008, 10:47 AM   #101
M€trolink
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It will need to go to a public enquiry.

That will take years.
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Old September 30th, 2008, 11:32 AM   #102
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Originally Posted by M€trolink View Post
Don't get me wrong, I have watched Phase3 move slowly towards being built over 25 odd years, and we are still miles away.

Have a look back to the first post in this thread, I simply see this as the next step along the line of Manchester being connected by HSR trains to London, and onto Europe.

I am very dubious about it ever happening, and although I would be disappointed if these plans never happen, I will be glad that they have been aired and the plans have moved forward in this country from just being an idea banded around by lobby groups to finally being adopted by a political party as a good idea.

HSR may well never happen in my life time, however, the chances of it happening increased dramatically yesterday, even if it is not the next Tory government that deliver those plans.
Key Points:

- this is political grandstanding - which would not require funding (or even a firm decision) until well into the parliament after next.

- it does, however, put High Speed Rail onto the political agenda for the moment.

- although the HSR is presented as an alternative to the Heathrow third runway, that proposal is not publicly funded. The money for this would therefore have to come from the rail capital budget - i.e. we might have HSR or have the Manchester Hub, but not both. In effect this reverses the priorities suggested by the Eddington Review, which recommended against HSR in favour of upgrading commuter rail services into major urban centres

- the proposed Birmingham - Manchester - Leeds alignment is interesting; as it suggests a very long-term aspiration to extend from Leeds north to Newcastle and Scotland. One consequence of this is that it certainly could not run into the centres of each conurbation (£20bn would not pay for the tunnel under Brum, let alone the entire line). What I think is envisaged is an HSR running along the existing motorway alignments M40, M6, M56, M62, A1(M), with shuttles (buses, trains, trams) into the conurbations that it passes.

Last edited by nerd; September 30th, 2008 at 12:03 PM.
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Old September 30th, 2008, 12:09 PM   #103
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Would it not be more a case of utilising exiting tracks into the cities and having the HSR built between the cities?
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Old September 30th, 2008, 12:40 PM   #104
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Would it not be more a case of utilising exiting tracks into the cities and having the HSR built between the cities?
Not as it is being set out - this would be an entirely new track on a new alignment. Hence the suggstion that the existing track would be available for commuter services; such that the current proposals that investment should be concentrated on commuter services would no longer be so urgent. Existing tracks in Britain have very restrictive loading guages by international standards - run HSR over them, and all the bridges and tunnels would need rebuilding.

A motorway alignment would take the new track past Brum and Manc airports, which is clearly at least part of the point.
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Old September 30th, 2008, 01:16 PM   #105
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In San Franciso the suburban metro runs down the centre of the motorways in places. Keeps it out of the way, straight lines and perhaps most importantly....

sat in your car on the M6 to London doing 70mph and a train swooshes by at 250mph. Only a nutter would not consider ditching their car at a park-n-ride to head off to the smoke......but then where do you locate this car-park and do you want the train to keep stopping!
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Old September 30th, 2008, 01:24 PM   #106
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I could live with the airports being the stops along the line, but I really would hope that by 2027 (if this does happen) that we have Metrolink wizzing down to where ever the stop would be so it can be reached easily by public transport.

From memory, in Lyon the TGV station is not right in the middle of town, but rather reached by tram.
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Old September 30th, 2008, 04:10 PM   #107
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I'm as cynical as the next guy, but I don't think people can write this of as "not going to happen", just because it's the Tories.

The proposal being in their manifesto is a big step.
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Old September 30th, 2008, 05:22 PM   #108
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I'm as cynical as the next guy, but I don't think people can write this of as "not going to happen", just because it's the Tories.

The proposal being in their manifesto is a big step.
Indeed: but I would be a lot more impressed if the Tories had identified additional funding for the scheme - rather than saying that it could easily be afforded within sums already identified for the rail capital investment. HSR is a good idea, but not (in my view) at the expense of the commuter and regional rail improvement programme.
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Old September 30th, 2008, 05:45 PM   #109
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But one of the points of HSR is to remove intercity traffic from existing rail lines. By building HSR routes you're getting an improvement in the existing system as well.

What do you expect them to do, call for increased taxes? Especially in these economic times.
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Old September 30th, 2008, 06:04 PM   #110
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But one of the points of HSR is to remove intercity traffic from existing rail lines. By building HSR routes you're getting an improvement in the existing system as well.

What do you expect them to do, call for increased taxes? Especially in these economic times.
No - but they might commit themselves to funding HSR from the proceeds of a national road-pricing scheme.
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Old September 30th, 2008, 06:24 PM   #111
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Quote:
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No - but they might commit themselves to funding HSR from the proceeds of a national road-pricing scheme.
= tax
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Old September 30th, 2008, 07:14 PM   #112
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It should happen.

Our civilised continental cousins have it already. We are a generation behind. We have the pop bands, but not the infrastructure.



And if its just up to the Tories, it wouldnt happen.

Their plans suggests that it would come from cancelling the extra Heathrow runway, selling assets in Railtrack/National Rail (what I wonder!!!!!) and re directing (Northern) investment on local rail projects, such as Manchester Hub.

Quite clearly not enough even to drill a tunnel under Brum, nevermind London to Manchester. And Gideon Osbourne's fiscal palns of "not living beyond our means (sic)" means little state investment.

From our prospective, Manchester might get a high speed train to London by the time the most of us retire, the local network will remain crap, Victoria will be a second Printworks and most of us will still be flying via Heathrow.

This suggestion can only be realistic if it gets all party consent and a proper long term funding and planning agreement.

Until then it is as likely as Dan Dare landing in Piccadilly Gardens.
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Old September 30th, 2008, 07:50 PM   #113
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Think about it folks.....is this the kind of infrastructure that Britain can afford not to have? (eventually). Can we imagine a Europe in 2030 with HSR from Stockholm to Naples to Seville to Warsaw and everywhere else in between with the exception of the English 'provinces'.

This will happen, in nice time for me to use my senior citizen's railcard!
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Old September 30th, 2008, 08:01 PM   #114
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M€trolink View Post
It will need to go to a public enquiry.

That will take years.
Exactly. This country is too focused about what might happen instead of getting on of it. Too much talk.
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Old September 30th, 2008, 08:10 PM   #115
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As a Dutchman living in Manchester I was already wondering why no politician in the Labour government was talking about these kind of things. Now you get a Tory party at least suggesting building such a line and the Labour government stating it is 'against national interest'???? That's getting a bit bizarre. Besides that why shouldn't this be possible? There are maybe the infrastructural complications (remembering Britain from Above and the references made to the structural complexities of the british rail infrastructure), but any continental country had to face the same problems. The High Speed track through the west of the NL was facing similar size complications because of population density. Germany has chosen to have high speed on existing track and so on. And why not cooperating with the private sector? Not only in construction; also in running the line. Air France-KLM will have their own trains on the track Paris - Amsterdam as of late 2009 or thereabouts. British Airways or Virgin could run (part of) the service next to other operators. But the current discussion is a bit limited to competing with airports; Manchester - London Heathrow in 80 to 100 minutes will beat any plane ride but will significantly stimulate the economy and business in general too...it is so obvious that I fail to understand the reluctance from any party.
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Old September 30th, 2008, 10:17 PM   #116
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I have mentioned this before but could this not be funded in part by a levy on internal flights possibly even also on those from London to Paris/Brussels/Amsterdam as alternative more environmentally friendly options of travel are availible. A large number of these are used by business who would still fly anyway. I don't know how much would be raised but surely a number of other mechanisms could be used to raise bits of money. Increased CIL money on developments near to HSR stations, ring-fencing of some of this cash in each local authority towards high-speed rail. Small amount on council taxes in benefitting authorities. Would any cash be availible from the EU at all? I don't know what sort of cash all of these measures would raise if used in conjunction but surely it would not be insignificant and could reduce the central government burden.
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Old September 30th, 2008, 10:42 PM   #117
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Longford View Post
Electioneering.
Empty promise.
agreed.
not even a sensible, cost effective idea. trains to manchester don't get you to the states do they.
__________________
oi!
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Old October 1st, 2008, 11:57 AM   #118
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agreed.
not even a sensible, cost effective idea. trains to manchester don't get you to the states do they.
Certainly not cost-effective at the moment - the marginal cost of a seat on a high speed train will always tend to be higher than that on a plane, especially when the latter continues to get tax favours and subsidised fuel.

..but the economics may change when airport capacity is brought into the equation - and especially so if we assume that low aviation fuel prices are a thing of the past; and that overall ecological sustainability ought to favour surface transport (powered from renewables) over air transport (powered by fossil fuels).

The Tories have joined up the dots on this one: if internal short-haul aviation is reduced, then maybe there will be no need for a third runway at Heathrow (very unpopular with Tory voters). But that requires some sort of high speed link from Brum, Manc and Leeds into Heathrow - which in its own is not cost-effective. But if we then assume that the line goes on from Heathrow into St Pancras, joining with the HSR to Europe, then perhaps the economics appear more favourable. And if we then assume that the lines go past Brum International and Ringway - and hence that long-term international flights into these airports could serve traffic into London and the South East, then the possibilities are even tastier. So full marks to the Tories for creative thinking - and broadly speaking I agree with their conclusions.

Where the Tory proposal falls down is over funding. The money saved from not building a third runway will not be available to build HSR (because the Tories have already assumed that it would be available to allow them to do all the rest of their programmes without raising taxes). You can't spend the same money twice. So they are proposing to fund from within the outline railway capital programme. But the HSR is essentially a new track, it will not impact that much on existing commuter and regional services. Hence capacity would be freed up on the lines into Piccadilly from the South and East, but the pressure in Manchester is actually on rail traffic from the West and North West (i.e. the capacity of the Manchester Hub); and the most urgent need is for improved links to the North (through re-instatement of the Todmorden Curve etc).

Good public transport has to be paid for - by fares, by taxes, or by transfer charges (e.g. road pricing). The Tories have not broken free of the common British belief that somehow we can avoid paying extra for the quality of transport we need by doing it all on the cheap (nor has any other major party either). This proposal as it stands is not sustainable; costs will rise, corners will be cut, key supporting schemes will drop out. So we get something that is late and severely compromised; and end up paying a lot more later on,
to get it into the state it ought to have been to start with.

So; five out of ten at best
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Old October 1st, 2008, 12:11 PM   #119
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To compare Europe, or even just France to the UK, and claim we need a TGV equivalent is not valid in my opinion.

The UK is a small (comparatively) land mass and all we really need is to get what we have working reliably with trains travelling as quickly as the existing (or modified) infrastructure will allow. Things like changing (or removing) junctions and better timetabling as examples.

To spend multi billions starting from scratch is not needed.

As for competition from air I think this will diminish in time particularly if government starts to address the issue of pollution caused by flying and retricts (or stops) airport expansion and starts to make rail travel affordable for more people.

Just a view not very exciting it's true.
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Old October 1st, 2008, 12:46 PM   #120
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Originally Posted by STUBBY View Post
To compare Europe, or even just France to the UK, and claim we need a TGV equivalent is not valid in my opinion.

The UK is a small (comparatively) land mass and all we really need is to get what we have working reliably with trains travelling as quickly as the existing (or modified) infrastructure will allow. Things like changing (or removing) junctions and better timetabling as examples.

To spend multi billions starting from scratch is not needed.

As for competition from air I think this will diminish in time particularly if government starts to address the issue of pollution caused by flying and retricts (or stops) airport expansion and starts to make rail travel affordable for more people.

Just a view not very exciting it's true.
Stubby even the Tories have understood that you cannot run HSR over a largely suburban rail infrastructure. Its like trying to run motorway traffic on the old trunk road infrastructure - it cannot be done which is why the motorways were built. We need the same paradigm shift on rail that happened on the road network in the fifties.
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