Skyscraper City Forum banner
1 - 20 of 57 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,033 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was recently in Vienna, a spectacularly beautiful city and one where the beauty isn't matched by a boredom, there are simply so many things to do in this capital of a once powerful empire. The beauty of Vienna was matched by the excellence of its transport system, a tram network that out does anything that we have in England or our Celtic Neighbours and an underground system with five lines, very clean and very efficient. Prague too is similar it has an excellent system of tramways and an underground system (almost all of which is completely underground), currently it has around 60 stops and only three lines, but it has been recently extended by three stops, with further extensions on Line A and a Line D already granted planning permission.

The population of these cities is around 1.5 million in the metro area, comparable to that of the West Midlands and Manchester. Whilst the population does not imply equal greatness to these cities, Vienna and Pragues, beauty and world standing are simply never going to be rivalled by Manchester and Birmingham, whose similar population is merely the equivalent of being the same height as a male model whilst you are a deformed and impotent man; it does surely mean that Manchester and Birmingham could sustain an underground system comparable to those cities.

Why do we have so few underground systems compared to other countries with similar sized cities.
 

·
wind-up merchant
Joined
·
15,971 Posts
Cost and government bottle. Manchester is going with a large over ground metro/tram system. It has been proposed in the past for underground lines but none of it ever got very far. Have alook in the Manchester section under TIF and Metrolink.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,033 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Manchester is a city large enough to have an underground and tram system, that is how it works in Vienna or Prague or numerous other cities and it works very well there, the tram system in Manchester is nothing like an overground metro and the best thing that can be said about it, is that people use it.
 

·
Rock Lord
Joined
·
12,954 Posts
I totally agree Lostboy, but we are sadly struggling to get cheaper light rail systems built so have no chance on underground networks.

It's a real shame, as our core cities deserve them and Spain in recent years has been building them like no ones business.
 

·
wind-up merchant
Joined
·
15,971 Posts
Manchester is a city large enough to have an underground and tram system, that is how it works in Vienna or Prague or numerous other cities and it works very well there, the tram system in Manchester is nothing like an overground metro and the best thing that can be said about it, is that people use it.
What do you mean by its nothing like an overground metro? Outside of the city centre on most sections of track the trams will be doing 50mph between stations.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,086 Posts
It's down to history - The Aggressive British Free Market vs. European Socialism. As a result most of LU is the result of private enterprises. I'm not sure why no one went to Birmingham or Manchester etc. and thought 'I've seen what they've done in London, lets do it here' - it's a shame but that's history as they say.

Most European metros are the result of socialist thinking.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,636 Posts
It's down to history - The Aggressive British Free Market vs. European Socialism. As a result most of LU is the result of private enterprises. I'm not sure why no one went to Birmingham or Manchester etc. and thought 'I've seen what they've done in London, lets do it here' - it's a shame but that's history as they say.
This really is a very interesting question actually. Were there proposals by private companies for underground systems in Birmingham, Manchester and the like back then, and why didn't they get built?
 

·
Advocatus Diaboli
Joined
·
2,504 Posts
The main reason is the post war urban design policies in UK. Some morons back in the 50-60s thought that designing a city based on the urban model of Houston or Dallas is a good idea. As a direct result of that the inner suburbs of Birmingham and Manchester flattened to the ground creating a white flight effect similar to US. That means that the urban density of these cities isn’t high enough to create a business case for an underground rail system (in comparison Athens city has about 1.1 million people living in an area the same size as Birmingham City centre). Unfortunately the only thing we can get it’s extensive tram systems hoping that people slowly will start moving back to the city centre living in apartment blocks (Birmingham Big City Plan) thus increasing the urban density enough to sustain an underground rail system.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,636 Posts
I'm actually talking about much earlier, Soul_13. The early 1900s is when most systems in Europe got built and those were the days of private companies. Were there any proposals back then and if so, why didn't they get built?
 

·
Advocatus Diaboli
Joined
·
2,504 Posts
Glasgow metro opened in 1896 and I think is the 3rd oldest in Europe. Also in Liverpool also the vast majority of the tunelling in Liverpool constructed before WW2. Also Birmingham and Manchester have extensive tunelling constructed the same period but I don't think they ever had a similar system to London or Glasgow. I'm 100% sure that if it wasn't for the post WW2 urban policies both cities would have a similar underground rail system.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,086 Posts
Glasgow metro opened in 1896 and I think is the 3rd oldest in Europe. Also in Liverpool also the vast majority of the tunelling in Liverpool constructed before WW2. Also Birmingham and Manchester have extensive tunelling constructed the same period but I don't think they ever had a similar system to London or Glasgow. I'm 100% sure that if it wasn't for the post WW2 urban policies both cities would have a similar underground rail system.
Indeed. Leeds was offered money to put tram lines underground - with the intention underground stations could also be used as air raid shelters. Sadly, war was declared on Germany and the money withdrawn. The decades after WII saw the rise of the automobile and exodus to suburbia.

The only metro line in the UK line built entirely from start to finish as brand new by government was the Victoria Line. Roaring success - so much so that CR2 is considered in part a relief line to the Victoria line.

The Tyne and Wear Metro is an example of how to adapt existing infrastructure - infrastructure that commonly exists in many British cities... sadly the government lacks ambition in this area. For most people however, building subway systems in their cities is not a priority. So there's no political movement that will see the UK change in the near future.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,178 Posts
Glasgow metro opened in 1896 and I think is the 3rd oldest in Europe. Also in Liverpool also the vast majority of the tunelling in Liverpool constructed before WW2. Also Birmingham and Manchester have extensive tunelling constructed the same period but I don't think they ever had a similar system to London or Glasgow. I'm 100% sure that if it wasn't for the post WW2 urban policies both cities would have a similar underground rail system.
Third oldest in the world, friend. The Glasgow 'subway' pre-dates all systems in North America. There are also two low-level lines that run underground in Glasgow.

Glasgow underground extension plans moves step closer

http://www.stv.tv/news/Extension_of_Glasgow_underground_moves_step_closer
 

·
Liverpool, England.
Joined
·
12,682 Posts
Glasgow metro opened in 1896 and I think is the 3rd oldest in Europe. Also in Liverpool also the vast majority of the tunelling in Liverpool constructed before WW2. Also Birmingham and Manchester have extensive tunelling constructed the same period but I don't think they ever had a similar system to London or Glasgow. I'm 100% sure that if it wasn't for the post WW2 urban policies both cities would have a similar underground rail system.
The Merseyrail underground system was constructed in two phases. The first was in the 1880s and the second in the 1970s, as you can see in the following diagrams:

The Mersey Railway system completed in the 1880s:



The present Merseyrail system:
 

·
***Alexxx***
Joined
·
5,275 Posts
the issue with liverpool's underground network is that when ever i have used it, its always been pretty much empty, just like some rural station or something...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14,206 Posts
I was recently in Vienna, a spectacularly beautiful city and one where the beauty isn't matched by a boredom, there are simply so many things to do in this capital of a once powerful empire. The beauty of Vienna was matched by the excellence of its transport system, a tram network that out does anything that we have in England or our Celtic Neighbours and an underground system with five lines, very clean and very efficient. Prague too is similar it has an excellent system of tramways and an underground system (almost all of which is completely underground), currently it has around 60 stops and only three lines, but it has been recently extended by three stops, with further extensions on Line A and a Line D already granted planning permission.

The population of these cities is around 1.5 million in the metro area, comparable to that of the West Midlands and Manchester. Whilst the population does not imply equal greatness to these cities, Vienna and Pragues, beauty and world standing are simply never going to be rivalled by Manchester and Birmingham, whose similar population is merely the equivalent of being the same height as a male model whilst you are a deformed and impotent man; it does surely mean that Manchester and Birmingham could sustain an underground system comparable to those cities.

Why do we have so few underground systems compared to other countries with similar sized cities.


Dublin is getting a an underground metro - if that helps.........
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16,736 Posts
Birmingham has always talked about an Underground but nothing will ever come of it. I have always thought of this for it's cross city line though:

Divert the line into a Tunnel between 5 ways and Duddeston, with 2 intermediate stops. One between 5 ways and New Street (at broad street?), another between Duddeston and New Street (Serving Eastside). A new set of underground platforms at New Street (the line is electrified, no worries about diesel fumes) will take 6 trains an hour out of New Street. That is 60 trains between 8am and 6pm daytime travel that WONT be going through New Street.

The cross city line is not quite metro standards but by diverting it off the busy tracks in the middle of Birmingham between 5 ways and Duddeston, you could possibly upgrade it to Metro Standard, every 5 minutes.#

EDIT: Just had a look and their is an official proposal to pretty much exactly what I just said :\ The Eastside Station being a reopened (albeit underground) Curzon Street Station.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30,580 Posts
Considering that the government are recommending better buses over supertram in Leeds, it seems quite evident that the basic answer is no. Light rail is a big ask at the moment. Many cities have had visions of undergrounds- Birmingham and Leeds are two. But they never came to; Leeds' was abandoned because of the post-war squeeze which is fair enough but still a shame.

So no. But I wish there were prospects. It's half the reason I'm pro EU. I feel the regions with a parliament under the EU would do so much better than they would with the centralised Westminster system we have now. Our regions would be able to compare to those of mainland Europe for investment.
 
1 - 20 of 57 Posts
Top