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Old September 11th, 2019, 12:12 AM   #22441
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You may have seen some comments about HS2 from Professor Dieter Helm recently. I've critiqued it to show that even Professors can write utter tosh when they think they know about everything and don't need to do any research! https://paulbigland.blog/2019/09/10/...anti-hs2-tosh/
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Old September 11th, 2019, 01:28 AM   #22442
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Grant Shapps has explicitly been warning all and sundry that cancellation of HS2 in December is a possible option following the Boris review. This hasn't been appreciated by the major UK constructors, who have fired off their own warning to Shapps about the consequences of his ill-chosen words.

Quote:
Cancelling HS2 would push up future project costs, contractors warn
10 SEP, 2019 BY ROB HORGAN

UK contractors have warned that cancelling High Speed 2 (HS2) could push up the cost of future construction and infrastructure projects. In a letter sent to HS2 review chair Doug Oakervee, chief executives of 22 companies including Balfour Beatty, Skanska, British Steel, Jacobs and Mace, warned that any cancellation or dramatic change to HS2 could put future projects at risk.

The letter, sent by the High Speed Rail Industry Leaders (HSRIL) group, warns that “if HS2 is cancelled now, future construction projects across the piece will unfortunately attract an added risk premium. UK construction will cost more”.

“Britain today is divided. HS2 unblocks the arteries, connecting London with Glasgow/Edinburgh and all key places in between,” the HSRIL letter claims.“It must also be borne in mind how the political uncertainty surrounding HS2 adds to the costs of bidding, driving up costs in the UK infrastructure market. By now, HSRIL members have spent well over £100m bidding for HS2 contracts.”

It adds: “At a time when the country is looking to demonstrate its post-Brexit credentials, what signal would it send if we cancelled our highest profile infrastructure project and weakened our commitment to share prosperity around the country?”
Full article here: https://www.newcivilengineer.com/lat...rn-10-09-2019/
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Old September 11th, 2019, 09:59 AM   #22443
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“At a time when the country is looking to demonstrate its post-Brexit credentials, what signal would it send if we cancelled our highest profile infrastructure project...."
1. That voters in the South won't be disrupted.

2. That voters in the North will get early HS3 / NPR.

3. That the Government has taken control of an out of control project.


That signal.
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Old September 11th, 2019, 10:00 AM   #22444
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Bigland View Post
You may have seen some comments about HS2 from Professor Dieter Helm recently. I've critiqued it to show that even Professors can write utter tosh when they think they know about everything and don't need to do any research! https://paulbigland.blog/2019/09/10/...anti-hs2-tosh/
Rather reminds me of the "expert witness" one of the phase 1 petitioners produced in front of Lord's Select Committee:

P: "This is professor Faldedah, he's our expert witness on noise and dust."

SC: "What are you a professor of?"

EW: "I'm a professor of history."

SC: "Are you also a professor on noise and dust effects?"

EW: "No."

SC: "Then in what way are you an expert witness on noise and dust effects?"

EW: "Well, I can analyse a spreadsheet."

Funnily enough, Committee was not impressed (and said so) - though they grudgingly listened to him anyway.
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Old September 11th, 2019, 02:09 PM   #22445
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1. That voters in the South won't be disrupted.

2. That voters in the North will get early HS3 / NPR.

3. That the Government has taken control of an out of control project.


That signal.
1) Voters in the south have already been disrupted - many since the summer of 2017.

2) Don't fall for Bojo's PR stunts. Anything meaningful in terms of construction of NPR is at least 15 years away - certainly there are no 'early' options for anyone in the north to 'get' before 2035. The new route hasn't even been designed yet, never mind put out for initial public consultations. It is an immature project that is a long way from Parliamentary legislation, at least eight years behind phase 1 of HS2.

3) The Government appears to have finally faced up to the increased costs and construction issues that it had apparently been told about for several years. It has always had full control of HS2 Ltd through the DFT, but appears to have avoided serious scrutiny until Grayling asked Cook to provide an update earlier this year. Perhaps because so much DFT time has been taken up with planning for Brexit?
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Old September 11th, 2019, 02:46 PM   #22446
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Originally Posted by Vulcan's Finest View Post
Grant Shapps has explicitly been warning all and sundry that cancellation of HS2 in December is a possible option following the Boris review. This hasn't been appreciated by the major UK constructors, who have fired off their own warning to Shapps about the consequences of his ill-chosen words.



Full article here: https://www.newcivilengineer.com/lat...rn-10-09-2019/

Another signal it gives is that they shouldn't take the piss with any quotes they give to help this and other projects maintain support. Never problematical from time to time to remind people of such things

Better would be they and government identify best practices together to better deliver projects in the future.
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Old September 11th, 2019, 02:51 PM   #22447
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In the past I've mentioned there is scope to use spare capacity on phase 2b Eastern Branch tracks to link Birmingham and Nottingham in 30-35 minutes, reversing in the platforms at Toton - no need for high-speed junctions. And also there is scope to start HS2 services at Leicester, call at Toton and then run fast to York or Leeds (in 55 minutes or less). Obviously the classic tracks would need to be electrified as well - but this would greatly enhance connectivity in the East Midlands at a pretty low price.

This potential for extra services is now being recognised by Midlands Connect....

https://www.expressandstar.com/news/...der-new-plans/



Luckily Curzon Street is planned to have seven platforms, so there is space for a modest number of extra services to run.
I'm all for making the most out of the spare capacity on HS2, but the more classic lines you attach onto it (in this case, at Toton, the MML from Leicester and the line from Nottingham), the more you risk importing service delays onto the captive network - so there would need to be a parallel programme of reliability improvements (and electrification) on these feeder line sections.

Do you think these Midlands Connect plans, if adopted, would inadvertently somewhat diminish the case for the Stonebroom Spur for HS2 to serve Chesterfield and Sheffield/S Yorks?
That spur (though not very long before the CC trains transfer onto classic rails of EVL and MML) was costed on the basis that:
*up to 2tph London to Sheffield (both with a necessay 'splitting' stop at Toton, as only one half would continue to Ches/Sheff)
*up to 2tph Brum CS to Sheffield (with stop at Toton, but not Chesterfield)
*That's potentially 4tph using the spur.

But if a classic-HS2 connection at Toton is built and a (Bedford to) Leicester to Toton to Leeds service is introduced - going fast between Toton and Leeds using CC sets on HS2 metals, then the Toton (to Leeds) PAX contingent that the Brum to Leeds (via Sheff) trains may have been relying on for efficient loadings would now all take the 27mins quicker option of Sheffield-bypassing services (the London to Leeds HS2, and the Leicester to Leeds CC).
Plus, conceivable junction options at Toton for these Leicester and Nottingham connections onto HS2 would involve the EVL (northbound, as well as southbound via a reverse) being plumbed into HS2 at this point (the Toton classic platforms), which means I could see HS2 saying "scrap Stonebroom to save a few quid, and let the Sheffield CC services trundle all the way from Toton on classic rails"?

Last edited by NewcastleOwl; September 11th, 2019 at 04:58 PM.
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Old September 11th, 2019, 03:12 PM   #22448
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Originally Posted by NewcastleOwl View Post
I'm all for making the most out of the spare capacity on HS2, but the more classic lines you attach onto it (in this case, at Toton, the MML from Leicester and the line from Nottingham), the more you risk importing service delays onto the captive network - so there would need to be a parallel programme of reliability improvements (and electrification) on these feeder line sections.

This is clearly the risk, but more use of the tracks would not only still further improve the business case if it can be done for sensible cost (I understood the eastern leg had a good BC already) and give the message that more communities can benefit in some way from HS2.
The other obvious place to add a connection, again with caveat about cost to do so, is (or was) in Brum to allow the some or all of the Brum to north services to continue towards Bristol & Cardiff
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Old September 11th, 2019, 04:16 PM   #22449
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Originally Posted by Vulcan's Finest View Post
1) Voters in the south have already been disrupted - many since the summer of 2017.

2) Don't fall for Bojo's PR stunts. Anything meaningful in terms of construction of NPR is at least 15 years away - certainly there are no 'early' options for anyone in the north to 'get' before 2035. The new route hasn't even been designed yet, never mind put out for initial public consultations. It is an immature project that is a long way from Parliamentary legislation, at least eight years behind phase 1 of HS2.

3) The Government appears to have finally faced up to the increased costs and construction issues that it had apparently been told about for several years. It has always had full control of HS2 Ltd through the DFT, but appears to have avoided serious scrutiny until Grayling asked Cook to provide an update earlier this year. Perhaps because so much DFT time has been taken up with planning for Brexit?
The question was “At a time when the country is looking to demonstrate its post-Brexit credentials, what signal would it send if we cancelled our highest profile infrastructure project...."

Not whether you personally agree with the signal.
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Old September 11th, 2019, 04:30 PM   #22450
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vulcan's Finest View Post
1) Voters in the south have already been disrupted - many since the summer of 2017.

2) Don't fall for Bojo's PR stunts. Anything meaningful in terms of construction of NPR is at least 15 years away - certainly there are no 'early' options for anyone in the north to 'get' before 2035. The new route hasn't even been designed yet, never mind put out for initial public consultations. It is an immature project that is a long way from Parliamentary legislation, at least eight years behind phase 1 of HS2.
Also, let's not forget that the Green report on HS2 pointed out that Phase 2b represented 50% of NPR route mileage.
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Old September 11th, 2019, 05:05 PM   #22451
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Also, let's not forget that the Green report on HS2 pointed out that Phase 2b represented 50% of NPR route mileage.

Interesting, is that new build mileage?

So HS2 part would be:
* Manchester spur
* Leeds -> junction north of Sheffield

NPR would be:
* Liverpool spur
* Manchester -> Leeds
* plus some junctions to / from HS2

If you then add in the Midlands Connect idea, and add in the Brum -> Manc and Brum -> Leeds services you could turn it round a bit by saying almost 100% of HS2 2b mileage is facilitating NPR and Midlands services
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Old September 11th, 2019, 07:04 PM   #22452
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Interesting, is that new build mileage?

So HS2 part would be:
* Manchester spur
* Leeds -> junction north of Sheffield

NPR would be:
* Liverpool spur
* Manchester -> Leeds
* plus some junctions to / from HS2
Yes, for it to be 50% it must surely be of "new build" parts of NPR. Full NPR chainage includes things like upgrading the existing lines for:
Leeds - > Hull,
Sheff - > McrPicc (via HVL),
Doncaster - > Selby (for Sheff -> Hull),
York - > Newcastle,
plus the smaller common connections to HS2,
….that's many 100's of miles.

Quote:

If you then add in the Midlands Connect idea, and add in the Brum -> Manc and Brum -> Leeds services you could turn it round a bit by saying almost 100% of HS2 2b mileage is facilitating NPR and Midlands services

You could 'spin' it even further if you built the northern bits of HS2 Ph2B first - eg Clayton Jcn (north of Sheff) to Leeds, then the Midlands bit Toton to Brum Y-junction...saying you'd prioritised (the design-mature) bits of NPR and Midlands Connect, then filled in the (London-Centric) N-S gaps later (Toton to Clayton Jcn and Mcr / WCML to Crewe). The East branch Track Depot at Staveley would be stranded in the later gap, but for early operation it already is designed with classic access onto the MML Old Rd so could still access the 'isolated' HS2 at Clayton.

Alternatively, on the Eastern Branch, if Midlands Connect think Toton / Leicester to Leeds is more a priority than Nttgm-Brum, then you could build Leeds to Clayton, then Clayton to Toton; with Toton to Brum last.

We don't know what BoJo is going to decide following his Okervee Report in the Autumn, but the recent Cook 'Stocktake' Report by HS2 Ltd, does suggest that Stage 2B will be split into stages.
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Old September 11th, 2019, 10:51 PM   #22453
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We (20 Miles More), in our role as whinging Scousers, are planning to make representations to the review panel. They don't appear to have invited any outside input although other organisations have done that. Does anyone know the best way of going about contacting the panel?
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Old September 11th, 2019, 11:58 PM   #22454
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We (20 Miles More), in our role as whinging Scousers, are planning to make representations to the review panel. They don't appear to have invited any outside input although other organisations have done that. Does anyone know the best way of going about contacting the panel?
Some of the panel members are public figures with published eMail addresses, such as Lord Berkeley and Andy Street. You could perhaps try lobbying them. A while ago Paul Bigland published a blog which named the panel members... https://paulbigland.blog/2019/08/21/...some-thoughts/
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Old September 12th, 2019, 01:00 AM   #22455
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Martin, I would say make sure your 'whinging Scouser' points fall under the terms of reference of the review https://www.gov.uk/government/public...-review-of-hs2

I guess you could angle it in terms of extracting greater benefits if freight capacity can be created on the classic lines by serving Liverpool on a dedicated spur (shared with NPR)? As a new-build line with no formally planned route (by HS2 Ltd or TfN) it wouldn't fall into the category of "bits of HS2 Ph2B that could be brought forward to assist NPR".

The Grant Shapps / DfT .gov.uk webpage announcing the review doesn't give an address on which to reach the Review Commitee. I suspect that's deliberate, as they dont want to end up being innundated with crackpot rival schemes and "why dont we spend the '£100bn+' on the NHS instead?" pleas, and NIMBY objections.

So, as passiv says, you might have to contact an individual - given Berkley's view of HS2 your paper may end up in the bin; so maybe Andy Street (metro mayor of Brum)?
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Old September 15th, 2019, 08:10 PM   #22456
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Originally Posted by passiv View Post
Some of the panel members are public figures with published eMail addresses, such as Lord Berkeley and Andy Street. You could perhaps try lobbying them. A while ago Paul Bigland published a blog which named the panel members... https://paulbigland.blog/2019/08/21/...some-thoughts/
Quote:
Originally Posted by NewcastleOwl View Post
Martin, I would say make sure your 'whinging Scouser' points fall under the terms of reference of the review https://www.gov.uk/government/public...-review-of-hs2

I guess you could angle it in terms of extracting greater benefits if freight capacity can be created on the classic lines by serving Liverpool on a dedicated spur (shared with NPR)? As a new-build line with no formally planned route (by HS2 Ltd or TfN) it wouldn't fall into the category of "bits of HS2 Ph2B that could be brought forward to assist NPR".

The Grant Shapps / DfT .gov.uk webpage announcing the review doesn't give an address on which to reach the Review Commitee. I suspect that's deliberate, as they dont want to end up being innundated with crackpot rival schemes and "why dont we spend the '£100bn+' on the NHS instead?" pleas, and NIMBY objections.

So, as passiv says, you might have to contact an individual - given Berkley's view of HS2 your paper may end up in the bin; so maybe Andy Street (metro mayor of Brum)?
Hi Passiv, Newcastle Owl,

Thanks very much for your responses. They are very useful - we might not get anywhere but we can give it a try.

I see our input being along the lines of reiterating the points that we made in our original 2014 report but focussing on the changes that have happened since then - the development of NPR, the growth in Liverpool traffic and the need for rebalancing of the economy in the post-Brexit era.
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Old September 17th, 2019, 08:38 PM   #22457
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Originally Posted by NewcastleOwl View Post
I'm all for making the most out of the spare capacity on HS2, but the more classic lines you attach onto it (in this case, at Toton, the MML from Leicester and the line from Nottingham), the more you risk importing service delays onto the captive network - so there would need to be a parallel programme of reliability improvements (and electrification) on these feeder line sections.

Do you think these Midlands Connect plans, if adopted, would inadvertently somewhat diminish the case for the Stonebroom Spur for HS2 to serve Chesterfield and Sheffield/S Yorks?
That spur (though not very long before the CC trains transfer onto classic rails of EVL and MML) was costed on the basis that:
*up to 2tph London to Sheffield (both with a necessay 'splitting' stop at Toton, as only one half would continue to Ches/Sheff)
*up to 2tph Brum CS to Sheffield (with stop at Toton, but not Chesterfield)
*That's potentially 4tph using the spur.

But if a classic-HS2 connection at Toton is built and a (Bedford to) Leicester to Toton to Leeds service is introduced - going fast between Toton and Leeds using CC sets on HS2 metals, then the Toton (to Leeds) PAX contingent that the Brum to Leeds (via Sheff) trains may have been relying on for efficient loadings would now all take the 27mins quicker option of Sheffield-bypassing services (the London to Leeds HS2, and the Leicester to Leeds CC).
Plus, conceivable junction options at Toton for these Leicester and Nottingham connections onto HS2 would involve the EVL (northbound, as well as southbound via a reverse) being plumbed into HS2 at this point (the Toton classic platforms), which means I could see HS2 saying "scrap Stonebroom to save a few quid, and let the Sheffield CC services trundle all the way from Toton on classic rails"?
There clearly has to be a trade-off between having an incredibly reliable HSR that is entirely self-contained and a slightly less reliable (but far more useful) railway that benefits a lot more towns and cities. This has been the HS2 philosophy from day one, even when completed almost half the arrivals at Euston will have started on the classic network. I don't see that adding (say) 2x Brum - Nottingham and 1x Leicester to Leeds/York every hour would make it much less reliable, there are still quite a few spare paths south of Toton.

I don't see that this makes much difference to the Stonebroom spur *. The main reason for that infrastructure is to give Sheffield and Chesterfield direct London services twice an hour. Indeed the time benefit of running any HS2 services from Sheffield to Birmingham via Toton is not that great (it is after all only a 77-mile journey on the existing route). HS2 has quoted a 48-minute journey from Sheffield to Curzon Street, but that seems to avoid calling at Chesterfield and Toton. It seems the Derby re-modelling is soon going to allow 59-minute journeys on the classic network route to New Street, including the important stop at Derby. So I'm not so sure HS2 will actually provide a Sheffield to Birmingham service as the time gains are so modest - unlike Nottingham to Birmingham, where by using HS2 metals rail will go from a slow mode to by far the fastest option between the city centres. This reflects the current 57.5 mile dogleg journey with a Derby reversal.

My main fear from the blond buffoon and his swivel-eyed cohorts is in this order:

1) Total cancellation of HS2 (unlikely I hope)
2) Cancellation of the southern half (a truly mind-numbingly stupid 'option'....)
3) Cancelling phase 2b entirely, meaning HS2 reverts to being a simple WCML relief line from London to Brum (110 miles) and Crewe (155 miles). And 'the north' is bunged a few £billion to do with as they wish. That is looking increasingly likely.
4) The least worst option - be seeing "to cut the slack", acting tough by deleting the Handsworth and Stonebroom spurs and saving a couple of £billions. (very likely).

* I've calculated the junction of the Stonebroom spur with the Erewash Valley will be about 17 miles north of Toton and it would take HS2 trains about 9 minutes to pass that point. On the classic tracks it would be about 16 miles from Toton and 14 minutes running time (assuming electrification) - so the time penalty to Chesterfield and Sheffield would be around 5 minutes.
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Old September 17th, 2019, 08:51 PM   #22458
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Meanwhile the £1 billion contract to build Old Oak Common station has been signed, adding even more to the costs of compensating contractors if the government stupidly decides to pull the plug!

https://www.newcivilengineer.com/lat...ct-17-09-2019/

Quote:
High Speed 2 Ltd has officially appointed a joint venture between Balfour Beatty, Vinci and Systra (BBVS) as the construction partner for the £1bn Old Oak Common station.

According to HS2 Ltd the Old Oak Common contract includes sufficient flexibility to ensure that the outputs of the ongoing Oakervee review can be accommodated.

HS2 chief executive, Mark Thurston said: “Old Oak Common is one of the most important elements of the project – a landmark station that will be at the heart of the UK’s biggest regeneration project, helping to unlock the opportunity for tens of thousands of jobs and new homes.

“Balfour Beatty, Vinci and Systra have strong track records of delivering some of the world’s most challenging and exciting infrastructure projects and I look forward to seeing what they can do at Old Oak Common.”
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Old September 17th, 2019, 11:00 PM   #22459
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I think once HS2 is built entirely as per the current plan (hopefully) high levels of reliability will make even relatively lightly used additional branches a viable prospect. For example a Scotland extension may only be used a few times every hour, but bypassing so many potential problems on the WCML may still make it worthwhile. And the same may go for a line from between Leeds & York to Newcastle. The step up in reliability the first leg offers should hopefully wake people up as to the potential of a further reaching network with the near complete control it would offer over services from A to B. As well as the wider and taller trains offering more comfortable seats.
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Old September 17th, 2019, 11:11 PM   #22460
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I think once HS2 is built entirely as per the current plan (hopefully) high levels of reliability will make even relatively lightly used additional branches a viable prospect. For example a Scotland extension may only be used a few times every hour, but bypassing so many potential problems on the WCML may still make it worthwhile. And the same may go for a line from between Leeds & York to Newcastle. The step up in reliability the first leg offers should hopefully wake people up as to the potential of a further reaching network with the near complete control it would offer over services from A to B. As well as the wider and taller trains offering more comfortable seats.
I agree. A lesson from the Manchester Metrolink is to build it one stage at a time, with each stage giving confidence to the next. If metrolink was to be built in its current form from scratch, it would never get funding and would be met with usual naysayers on the MEN comments section.
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