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Old November 21st, 2009, 11:20 PM   #41
stimarco
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The arch is compromised which means it could collapse with enough weight.
Looks like it's been patched-up before—and quite recently at that. I'll be interested to read the report on this when it comes out. I suspect some poor maintenance is involved; 100-year-old bridges don't suffer this kind of damage when they're properly maintained. There's a reason why it survived 100 years of everything nature can throw at it!
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Old November 23rd, 2009, 10:16 AM   #42
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Britain’s ancient bridges are now past their use-by date
Northside bridge, Workington, which collapsed killing PC Bill Barker, 44

Philip Pank, Transport Correspondent
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As engineers struggled to inspect the battered bridges of Cumbria, experts warned yesterday that extreme weather would push Britain’s ageing transport infrastructure to the limits with increasing frequency.

Three bridges — Workington’s Northside Bridge, carrying the A597 into the town, Lorton Bridge, near Cockermouth, and a footbridge at Southwaite — were washed away by the raging floodwaters. Police closed a fourth, Southside Road Bridge, fearing that it too would be smashed by the torrent and warned people to stay well away from all crossing points.

While the North West bore the brunt of the rainfall and the ensuing travel chaos, a railway bridge in West London also suffered flood damage. Rugby fans hoping to travel on South West Trains from Feltham to Twickenham today will find the line closed.

Engineers said that the vast volume of water sweeping through rivers was to blame rather than structural flaws in individual bridges.

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However, they noted that thousands of bridges around the country are at least 100 years old. Despite annual inspection and maintenance by local authorities, some structures built in the 19th century have reached the end of their expected life span. As climate change is expected to make intense rainfall more common, Britain faces a stark choice: to undertake a vast building programme and renew road bridges or accept that the catastrophic events seen in Cumbria will be repeated.

“We have a particular challenge today in terms of flooding, but it is likely to get significantly worse because of climate change,” David Balmforth, a flooding expert at the Institution of Civil Engineers, told The Times. He predicted that intense rainfall events would rise by 40 per cent by 2080, leading to a corresponding increase in river flows and flooding.

“If the bridge network is largely left as it is at the moment, we will get a very significant increase to the bridges being washed away in extreme floods,” Professor Balmforth said.

While most bridges are currently designed to withstand the most extreme events forecast in any 100-year period, some contracts already stipulate that structures must withstand flows experienced once in 1,000 years, such as that seen at Workington.

John Smart, a director of the Institution of Highways and Transportation, said that Victorian structures would have to be replaced with new bridges built to withstand greater stresses to avoid further catastrophic failure. However, the cost of replacing the bridge network may be prohibitive.

“The more you increase the design to deal with more adverse weather conditions the more costly the sector is going to become,” he said.

Local authorities outside London are responsible for 56,540 bridges, out of the total stock of 65,000. The Treasury will provide £801 million to invest in these and the wider road network next year. Local councils will decide where the money should be spent.

The Highways Agency is responsible only for bridges carrying motorways and large trunk roads. None of its 8,500 bridges had ever been washed away, a spokesman said.


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Bob Mileham wrote:
The UK spends around £800 million per year on its flood defences; it also gives India around £800 million in development aid. India now has its first nuclear powered ballistic missile submarine operational and will soon have more operational aircraft carriers than the UK. Should the British government be doing more to protect its citizens from floods or continue to help subsidise the Indian defence budget?
November 21, 2009 4:10 PM GMT on community.timesonline.co.uk Recommend? (29) Report Abuse Permalink

M Sheridan wrote:
The revenues from Road Taxation are more than enough to cover all these "prohibitive" costs and more besides.
Governments continue to find motorists an easy target to obtain funds from, which they then seem to spend on their preferred whims.
November 21, 2009 2:12 PM GMT on community.timesonline.co.uk Recommend? (13) Report Abuse Permalink

. . wrote:
This is a minor gripe compared to what's happening in the North West, but...

I hope that South West Trains make better attempts at shifting rugby fans between Waterloo and Twickenham for the match today, than they have been doing over this last week.

This disruption to services should only affect trains between Twickenham and Feltham - however, SWT have been disinterested in running a replacement shuttle service to and from Twickenham, and simply relied on people crowding onto existing trains using the unaffected Kingston and Hounslow loops.

You'd have thought they'd have increased the number of carriages on each of these services, or run extra trains - but no, they've relied simply on blaming it all on Network Rail.
November 21, 2009 12:08 PM GMT on community.timesonline.co.uk Recommend? (3) Report Abuse Permalink

A R wrote:
Of course it's the government's fault. Bridges don't just fall down because of one flood they fall down as a result of years of neglect. I would want to see the inspection plan and verify that all checks and repairs have been carried out
November 21, 2009 10:13 AM GMT on community.timesonline.co.uk Recommend? (12) Report Abuse Permalink

Graham Wharton wrote:
This is one problem that can not be blamed on just the present government.

The conservatives also neglected the infrastructure of the country. Why do you think we are having to go to France and the US to have our new Nuclear Power stations built?? We let what was a highly skilled engineering sector just wither and die.

Bridges, power stations and the railways are so yesterday. They require large amounts of cash and they aren't "popular" vote winners.

Why did we have to bring in engineers from India to help sort out the railways? It was because Thatcher either sacked or gave most of our engineers early retirement. That's why when we construct just one mile of new railway the few engineering firms to have survived the "cull" can charge whatever they want because there's no one else left.

We worshipped the financial markets and sold everything, that's why we have the most expensive utilities in the world or we did until the pound went down the drain!

What next? Toll bridges all over the country, constructed using private cash? It wouldn't surprise me. Then we can have the most expensive bridges in the world as well.
November 21, 2009 9:39 AM GMT on community.timesonline.co.uk Recommend? (12) Report Abuse Permalink

Dave Chorley wrote:
now wasn't it a government advisor who said the regions should be left to become dependent on tourism "The National Defence Institute"
Let's destroy Labour and its PC nonsense once and for all Brown and his coterie of sycophants are evil.
November 21, 2009 7:56 AM GMT on community.timesonline.co.uk Recommend? (8) Report Abuse Permalink

Dave Roy wrote:
I assume that Labour have planned to cover these costs. Oh no wait - they are led by an inept buffoon - who has bankrupted the country.

Just like the pathetic failure to secure energy supplies by ignoring the 2003 energy review.

Lord help us all.
November 20, 2009 11:03 PM GMT on community.timesonline.co.uk Recommend? (28) Report Abuse Permalink

James de la Mare wrote:
With due respect to Prof. Balmforth, it is equally urgent that thousands of miles of ordinary roads (not just bridges) are brought back into proper condition. For the past 10-20 years there has been a virtual stop on road repairs - except for motorways.

It is necessary that the Government and local authorities apply a far larger amount of the funding raised from motoring taxation to maintaining roads. Contributions from motor-related taxes made to other countries, to pen-pusher officials peddling political correctness, to benefit seekers and all the rest we are forced to pay for, seldom if ever seem to benefit the ordinary taxpayer at all.

It is time for the most radical change in this we have seen in a lifetime. Let's get the country's priorities back to earth. Prime Minister to note, please.





November 20, 2009 10:10 PM GMT on community.timesonline.co.uk Recommend? (23) Report Abuse Permalink



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Old November 23rd, 2009, 12:26 PM   #43
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Amazing - we'll quibble about the cost of replacing these bridges and put peoples lives at risk.

What a rotten uncaring country we live in.
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Old November 23rd, 2009, 02:37 PM   #44
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Britain’s ancient bridges are now past their use-by date
Bullsh*t. There are bridges over 2000 years old still in use today in Italy. The headline should read: '"THE SKY IS FALLING! QUICK! GIVE THE ROAD-BUILDING INDUSTRY LOTS OF MONEY!" Claims Road-building Industry.'


Quote:
'Rain like this happens once every 1,000 years'
(Citation needed.) London's old bridges did just fine during the 1950s floods. Some of them are rather older than a mere 100 years.

Quote:
John Smart, a director of the Institution of Highways and Transportation
So not even slightly biased in favour of more road-building work then...


Quote:
Local authorities outside London are responsible for 56,540 bridges, out of the total stock of 65,000. The Treasury will provide £801 million to invest in these and the wider road network next year. Local councils will decide where the money should be spent.
Not all those bridges were built over water.

Assuming the worst case that we need to replace exactly half those bridges, we're still only at £32.5 bn., assuming each bridge costs £1 million to replace. (Which won't be the case; many bridges are tiny, while the larger, 'landmark' bridges are likely to have had better maintenance.)

It simply isn't possible to replace that many bridges in a single year—we just don't have a construction industry that big—so the actual per-annum cost is going to be a *lot* less.

I'd say this is pretty good value for money, considering how much we just p*ssed away on the finance sector,


A scaremongering story from the road lobby. The sky is not falling, and even if it were, the cost isn't anywhere near as "prohibitive" as is implied. (Always assuming our politicians do the right thing and fund any such emergency replacement bridge scheme centrally.)

One final point:

There is a bridge carrying the Nunhead-Lewisham line over the junction with the Lewisham bypass viaduct near St. John's station. It's a basic girder bridge design of no great architectural merit. The structure you can see there now was built in a dirty great hurry after a train crash there in the 1950s. Erected on a shoestring budget and at great speed by the Army, it has never been replaced by a more permanent design and is still in use today.

The lesson? If a bridge is needed really, really badly, the locals won't care whether it looks nice.
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Old December 2nd, 2009, 08:25 AM   #45
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Report says tube travel makes Londoners more aggressiveLondon assembly report indicates that commuters on the underground are adopting a 'dog-eat-dog' attitude.


Dan Milmo The Guardian, Tuesday 1 December 2009 Article history
The London assembly report says that travelling on the underground makes them more aggressive

Millions of London Underground passengers have had enough of sardine-like conditions and are adopting a "dog-eat-dog" attitude during their daily commute, according to a report published today.

The stiff upper lip of the tube user has become a snarl as overcrowding forces commuters and tourists to shed egalitarian principles in a scramble for seats or standing space, say London Assembly members.


Caroline Pidgeon of the London Assembly on tube over-crowding Link to this audio The tube carries 3.5 million people a day and sometimes shoehorns four travellers into a square metre of carriage space during peak hours, with the Central and Northern lines the worst offenders.

The London assembly report, Too Close for Comfort, features tales from the commuting frontline on one of the world's busiest metro systems.

One participant in the research describes the Jekyll and Hyde effect of being forced to fight for space: "I'm a different animal on the tube to normal life. I'm not me. I'm a bit less interested in others."

Other respondents drown out their frustration by turning up their iPod and going into an "automatic pilot" routine. Worst of all, the behavioural norm that has been hard-wired into generations of Londoners – giving up your seat for those who need it most – appears to be disappearing in the crush.

The report says that people are "going after a seat regardless of who else might want it, ignoring pregnant women and people carrying babies".

Assembly members urged Transport for London to give passengers more information about crowding levels on trains, including a "traffic light" system that could recommend a bus journey or walk instead.

"Passengers are very resilient and they do put up with a lot. But on some lines it is so overcrowded that they become incredibly focused while dashing for that seat and it changes how they behave compared with normal life," said Caroline Pidgeon, chair of the assembly's transport committee, which wrote the report.

A TfL spokesman said the tube was investing billions of pounds in upgrades that will boost capacity by nearly a third. "This will mean more trains, able to carry more passengers, with faster journeys and larger stations," he said.
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Old December 2nd, 2009, 10:09 PM   #46
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Ah yes. We needed a report commissioned to find that out!
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Old December 3rd, 2009, 09:12 AM   #47
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quote>> Assembly members urged Transport for London to give passengers more information about crowding levels on trains, including a "traffic light" system that could recommend a bus journey or walk instead.<<QUOTE.

Heard something on the radio last night that Boris Johnson is poised to introduce something like it, in the next few weeks! Any more info anyone?
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Old December 10th, 2009, 09:21 AM   #48
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Pre-Budget report: Government to unveil new body to oversee infrastructure spend
The Government is today expected to unveil a new approach to tackling Britain's creaking infrastructure in the pre-Budget report with the creation of a body to advise on and help deliver new energy, transport and technology projects.

By Alistair Osborne
Published: 8:30AM GMT 09 Dec 2009

The Government is expected to announce the creation a new body to oversee infrastructure spend, such a Crossrail and new power plants, in the pre-Budget report.
Against a background of looming spending cuts to tackle Britain's £180bn-plus deficit, the body will seek to find a co-ordinated and efficient way to build new infrastructure, including exploring the use of innovative financing techniques from both the public and private sectors.

Britain is currently expected to spend around £200bn of public and private money between now and 2015 on new infrastructure, including London's Crossrail project and new power plants.


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Q&A on possible tax rises The body, Infrastructure UK, significantly enlarges the organisation first announced in June by subsuming three other Treasury or quasi-Treasury units that are currently involved with major projects.

They are the transaction team of Partnerships UK, the 51pc privately-owned body that supports public-private infrastructure projects, and two Treasury arms – the Treasury Infrastructure Finance Unit, headed by Andrew Rose, and the Treasury policy team.

The body, which will be part of the Treasury, is expected to be formally unveiled at today's pre-Budget report when the Government is also likely to name both its chief executive and a heavyweight chairman, drawn from the business world. It is expected to be overseen by Economic Secretary Ian Pearson and business minister Lord Davies of Abersoch, the former Standard Chartered chairman.

While the 50-strong team at Infrastructure UK will not have executive power or the ability to implement projects, it is expected to play a crucial role in formulating infrastructure policy and easing the financing and delivery of developments.

Controversially, this could include championing changes to regulatory regimes where Infrastructure UK believes they hamper investment.

One of the body's first tasks is to provide a strategic overview of Britain's infrastructure priorities, looking out as much as 50 years to assess the need for such things as high-speed rail lines, carbon capture plants and faster broadband connections. It is expected in the first quarter of 2010.

The body may also consider the role of an infrastructure bank and the use of tax increment financing, where local authorities borrow against such things as future business rates income to fund projects.

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Old December 13th, 2009, 03:33 PM   #49
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[IMG]http://i49.************/ace4c1.jpg[/IMG]

Don't forget - if you want to comment on Boris's transport strategy (!) you have until Tuesday 12 January.

http://mts.tfl.gov.uk/default.aspx

Something to read when eating the mince pies!
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Old December 14th, 2009, 01:01 AM   #50
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[IMG]http://i49.************/ace4c1.jpg[/IMG]

Don't forget - if you want to comment on Boris's transport strategy (!) you have until Tuesday 12 January.

http://mts.tfl.gov.uk/default.aspx

Something to read when eating the mince pies!
I don't know if there has ever been a man caught in as many hilarious photos as this nutter At least he's more honest than Ken plus has a charm to his silly-ness
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Old December 14th, 2009, 10:09 PM   #51
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I don't know if there has ever been a man caught in as many hilarious photos as this nutter At least he's more honest than Ken plus has a charm to his silly-ness
What makes you say he is anymore honest?

Charm + Sillyness + hilariousness = not particularly good reasons to vote for a man... but sadly, people did.
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Old December 25th, 2009, 06:38 PM   #52
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It's megaprojects.
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Old December 30th, 2009, 07:40 PM   #53
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Noticing that a bit has been said in often passionate debates about how much London subsidies the rest of the UK. This type of discussion has usually come about via talk of how the North would cope if it was given more power/funding/etc.

Seems only fair to ask what would London do over the course of time if it could keep all of it's money (transport wise of course).

As a Northerner looking in I could think of these as a decent shopping list:

1) re-building Euston back onto Euston Square with grandesque roof
2) new line from Euston to Birmingham
3) connecting up the ELL, SLL, WLL & NLL to form an inner circular service
4) Crossrail 1/Superlink
5) Crossrail 2
6) Crossrail 3
7) Thameslink 3000 (sorry - couldn't resist)
8) Outer London Ring Rail
9) South Heathrow link
10) Thames Estuary Airport
11) upgrading of the Gospel Oak-Barking line
12) new line from Paddington to Reading
13) six tracking the Kings Cross-Finsbury Park line
14) rebuilding Kings Cross
15) four tracking the Liverpool Street-Stansted line
16) a tram network
Here's a revised version of the shopping list, nearly three years on:

1)Thameslink Project: full 24 trains per hour version, not scaled down 20 trains per hour version currently threatened
2)Crossrail One: now finally under construction, but still at risk of cancellation post-election
3)Crossrail Two: mainline gauge version of the Chelsea-Hackney line
4)DLR Dagenham dock extension: currently suspended by Boris Johnson
5)Croydon Tramlink Crystal Palace extension
6)Bakerloo Line Lewisham extension: to be combined with the planned line renewal and rolling stock replacement in the early 2020s as one major project
7)HS2: Mainly of benefit to northerners, but requires a new station in central London, definitely not at Old Oak Common or Heathrow
8)Gospel Oak - Barking electrification: making London's urban railways fully electrified
9)DLR westwards extension: from Bank to either Charing Cross, Victoria, Liverpool Street, Kings Cross etc
10)DLR Catford extension: from Lewisham south to Catford
11)Northern Line Battersea extension: to the new development at the old power station, in conjunction with the splitting of the line into two

The list starts with the most important projects but is not really in order of priority. Doubtless there are things I have missed, please do add them.
Of course as we are now in the depths of a recession, the chances of any of these coming to fruition after the election is rather slim.

In the spirit of the times, here's two things we can cut from the transport budget:

1)Boris's New Routemaster: a pointless waste of money to build and run. Keep the more efficient and perfectly safe bendy buses.
2)HST2/IEP/Super Express: far too expensive and inefficient. Refurbish the HSTs and when necessary replace with off the shelf electric or diesel locos hauling Mk5 coaches. See Ian Walmsley's article in the latest Modern Railways for the full economics of this.

Last edited by Burkitt; December 30th, 2009 at 07:47 PM.
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Old December 30th, 2009, 07:57 PM   #54
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Even in austerity times, the outer London "Opportunity Areas" should lead to private-sector investment.

Therefore, at least parts of the "Outer London Ring Rail" could still be viable.
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Old December 31st, 2009, 01:37 PM   #55
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Walmsley's article in MR is nonsense - see this thread.

HSTs will be dead in 10 years no matter how well they're refurbished; and EMUs are far more reliable and cost-effective than electric loco + LHCS. Realistically, IEP will end up as a high-speed, cheaper-than-Pendolino EMU.

If electrification happens at the pace it should, with GWML and MML complete by 2020, then there'll be enough 22x-es to cover through services to destinations like Penzance and Inverness that'll never be electrified.
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Old December 31st, 2009, 10:18 PM   #56
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Walmsley's article in MR is nonsense - see this thread.

HSTs will be dead in 10 years no matter how well they're refurbished; and EMUs are far more reliable and cost-effective than electric loco + LHCS. Realistically, IEP will end up as a high-speed, cheaper-than-Pendolino EMU.

If electrification happens at the pace it should, with GWML and MML complete by 2020, then there'll be enough 22x-es to cover through services to destinations like Penzance and Inverness that'll never be electrified.
We should aim to electrify all our rail network. (Even Italy has over 95% coverage, including the single-track Roma-Viterbo line that runs near my parents' house and sees barely 10 trains a day. In total.)

In this day and age, drilling dirty great big holes in the ground, sucking out liquid hydrocarbons, shipping it halfway around the world, refining it and delivering it to depots only to then set fire to it is just idiotic. There are far, far better uses for oil than this.

Once you reach a certain critical mass of electrification, the price of retaining diesel stock becomes too high as you end up with very few depots where they can be refuelled and maintained. There's really no excuse for keeping the south-west of England in its travel-time purgatory—especially when the Dawlish sea wall section costs so damned much to maintain. Build some HSR (or near-HSR) track down to Plymouth.
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Old January 1st, 2010, 08:11 PM   #57
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Remember the cost of building and maintaining the infrastructure, though - pylons aren't CO2-free to put up. On the GWML this is just noise compared to the environmental impact of the trains, but on a 10tpd branch line it's starting to become significant.

You're right about the operational benefits of infill - lines like Henley will need electrifying simply to avoid messing around with one diesel unit on an otherwise electric part of the railway. But that doesn't apply to, say, the Scotrail rural lines (WHL, Far North, Kyle) - they're operationally separate from the main lines and the commuter lines, they use enough rolling stock that you wouldn't end up with a tiny pool of non-standard trains, but at the same time they're a few trains per day and would be massively expensive to electrify.

Finally, I'd expect to see GWML electrification to Plymouth as phase II of the project, but I can't see a HSR to Plymouth having a positive B/CR - there aren't enough people there, or compelling reasons for people to want to go there.
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Old January 1st, 2010, 11:23 PM   #58
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Remember the cost of building and maintaining the infrastructure, though - pylons aren't CO2-free to put up. On the GWML this is just noise compared to the environmental impact of the trains, but on a 10tpd branch line it's starting to become significant.
Then use third rail. London's had trains that switch between OHLE and 3rd rail for years; it's tried and tested technology.


Quote:
You're right about the operational benefits of infill - lines like Henley will need electrifying simply to avoid messing around with one diesel unit on an otherwise electric part of the railway. But that doesn't apply to, say, the Scotrail rural lines (WHL, Far North, Kyle) - they're operationally separate from the main lines and the commuter lines, they use enough rolling stock that you wouldn't end up with a tiny pool of non-standard trains, but at the same time they're a few trains per day and would be massively expensive to electrify.
Why should the Highlands—or any of the UK's other more remote areas, such as the south-west—suffer from rattly, noisy, polluting and slow trains? There's no excuse for leaving places like Inverness stuck on the edge of civilisation.

Use third rail. Use DC. Do whatever it takes, but electrify it. All of it.

Quote:
Finally, I'd expect to see GWML electrification to Plymouth as phase II of the project, but I can't see a HSR to Plymouth having a positive B/CR - there aren't enough people there, or compelling reasons for people to want to go there.
Aside from tourism and economic regeneration? By that logic, there's not a lot of call for people to travel to anywhere in Wales other than Cardiff.

The UK's economy is currently skewed far too heavily around London. Improved communications—in all its forms—is urgently required to correct this. Running fast trains to Birmingham and Glasgow should be seen as the first step, not the only step.
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Old January 2nd, 2010, 05:58 PM   #59
Jerv
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Originally Posted by WatcherZero View Post


The arch is compromised which means it could collapse with enough weight.
In my opinion, that bridge looks beyond repair. The abutment has moved some 100-150mm and completely compromised the strength of the arch.

They may do some temporary trestle/falsework arrangement or even a new concrete lined arch but the problem is with the shallow foundations.

I'd be amazed if they did not construct an entirely new structure to replace it.
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Old January 2nd, 2010, 08:57 PM   #60
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Then use third rail. London's had trains that switch between OHLE and 3rd rail for years; it's tried and tested technology.
...which is more expensive to install than OHLE, due to the large numbers of substations required, and which is massively ill-suited to long stretches of railway with few trains. Oh, and new installations (rather than extensions of existing network) are rightly banned on safety grounds.

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Why should the Highlands—or any of the UK's other more remote areas, such as the south-west—suffer from rattly, noisy, polluting and slow trains? There's no excuse for leaving places like Inverness stuck on the edge of civilisation.
The Highland Main Line (GLA/EDB to Inverness) probably is worth electrifying, although not for a while. The rural lines beyond Inverness just aren't - they're hundreds of miles long, run through exposed areas subject to extreme weather (hence the work will need to be heavy duty and maintenance will be expensive), and carry three trains a day in each direction.

(hell, the only reason they're still open to diesel traffic, following the 1980s road improvements that make them slower than road for all journeys, is the political unacceptability of closure...)
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