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Nice idea but (to put it politely) don't be f*cking daft! Even if it get's announced in a blaze of publicity it'll all descend into squabling between councils etc, everyone will want to sue everyone else and a tiny line between Heathrow and the "Beltway" (that terms makes my blood boil!) may get built.

Yes I am a cynic but remember that the Channel tunnel was started in the mid 80s and it's link is still not finished over 20 years later and this is a least 10 times as ambitious!
 

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I think its a superb idea that serves many of the UK's major intercity routes with a single very high speed, high tech, comfortable service. The people behind this project seem to have a lot of support and have built up a commendable, IMO, level of support for an idea that Britain would usually have scoffed at. The fact that sensible media publications have written complementary articles about it to me suggests it has at least passed the "laughed off the face of the earth" stage I would have expected when I first read about it. It seems to have been well considered and thought out and having read through their economic case literature I feel it has a lot to commend it. Both Blair and Brown have responded positively to presentations given to them by ultraspeed and it does seem to have captivated the imagination of the 'regions' who seem keen to host a trial route.

Naturally anything this major in Britain faces hurdles but I think the public mood for investment in public transport infrastructure is better than it has been for many years, this may attract the interest of the politicians. People aknowledge the transport problems in Britain and our environmental obligations. I think this project tackles this and could be something inspirational that the public could really rally behind. As the discussion about new north-south links hots up I expect the momentum behind this project to build. It even helps ease the problems with airport capacity and regional inequality.

It is not a solution to all the UK's woe's but its certainly a good stab at alieviating many of them. Yes it doesn't cover all the UK but it covers a good chunk. It would free capacity on existing infrastructure thus improving services in all areas of the UK. I hope people will back it and that one day it becomes reality. If the govt agrees to fund new North-South routes I give this a good shot.
 

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^^ Exactly ad with the improvement of Network Rail, we'll gradually become once again a great railway nation.
 

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Well if that was the case we'd be spending the money on expanding the DLR which is the most profitable rail system in the UK.
 

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gothicform said:
but britains most profitable train route is the one that goes from london through the east midlands to leeds.
The ultraspeed route would still serve a good chunk of the ECML route. At least the Leeds-Edinbugh/Glasgow bit and London to these destinations. Plus it would have profitable bits of the WCML and Transpennine services covered too. I wouldn't much worry about it being unprofitable, seems like the ideal route in terms of ridership especially if they managed to get it into city centres.

I know the east midlands isn't directly served but I'm sure it could benefit from reduced congestion on the ECML as well as still having access in a not too great an amount of time to an ultraspeed terminal. This goes for other areas not covered too. Not forgetting also that ultraspeed could be extended to these areas in time.
 

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Um - if I'm reading the map correctly, it doesn't actually go to city centres just to airports.

So, the Liverpool and Manchester stations are actually Liverpool Airport and Manchester Airport. You've gotta kinda ask, what's the point in that, when airplanes can fly to those places quicker anyway....
 

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dronkula said:
Um - if I'm reading the map correctly, it doesn't actually go to city centres just to airports.

So, the Liverpool and Manchester stations are actually Liverpool Airport and Manchester Airport. You've gotta kinda ask, what's the point in that, when airplanes can fly to those places quicker anyway....
The point of that is that the maglev tracks can actually get there, airports have good transportation links already (and parking facilities for a thing like this), and that this will be faster than flying within the UK.
Obviously it's not idea, but getting these into the city centres would simply require a lot more money.
 

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It would take me an hour to get the 10 miles to Manchester airport, or 10 minutes the 3 miles to Piccadilly. Think I'll stick with the normal train. The whole point of rail is it is city centre to city centre. Lord give us TGV or Bullet trains that can use existing city centre approaches and not this.
 

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An hour to go ten miles thats shocking. What route is that?
 

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nick... the DLR does not make 9 figures a year. an hour to go ten miles... i decided to look up the speed it takes to go from lincoln to kings lynn. kings lynn is about 30 miles away on the edge of lincolnshire. to get there requires a journey of between 3 and 4 hours. the most direct route is lincoln > peterborough > ely > kings lynn. the quickest route however is lincoln > newark > kings cross st pancras > kings lynn. its actually quicker to travel 120 miles down to london then almost 100 miles back up! the whole point of the ECML is not city centre to city centre, its some unknown thing that no-one can explain where humberside gets its own spur and the population centres between peterborough and doncaster are completely avoided despiet them having similar populations to the humber.
 

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Gothic - A more effective way at looking at profitability would be either by ridership or route length.




I believe that the airport system is just a draft and in reality we'll see city-city networks.
 

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Yeah but the argument about poor journey times to airports I believe is somewhat flawed. Surely if the airport becomes a more major transport hub then connections to it wil improve. I don't think that out of town termini are the best solution but I don't think they are as horrendous as people like to make out. For many they may even be more convenient and prevent many pointless journey into the congested city centre. Manchester airport has a quick rail link to Piccadilly and beyond. Add the time taken for the connection and I still think you be quids in time wise on most journeys due to the speed of maglev over HSR. Plus as I mentioned on another thread, though TGV can enter the city centres on old lines it can't do so at full speed, increasing the journey time which is already longer than by Maglev. TGV can't cover this route either due to problems getting through/over the pennines, failing to provide a much needed high speed east-west link.
 

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I'd rather have city-centre - airport - city centre - airport networks. Create essentially one vast air hub in the process, meaning London traffic could be re-distributed around the country. Expensive, but a long-term solution to many problems. 300kph woudn't be capable of delivering this.
 

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These out of town stations would appeal to people who currently drive and would never consider public transport. For those in the suburbs, which lets face it is a LOT of people, getting to a city centre to start a journey is good enough reason to not even consider it. Traditional high speed rail could of course do both with parkway stations.

I think the UK needs a TGV line with parkway stations. This looks increasingly unlikely though. If Ultraspeed could find private funding then it may go ahead. This is very unlikely IMO, but could provide competition to both air and the NetworkRrail / TOC setup.

In reality I think the East Coast Route Modernisation will be dusted down again by Network Rail which includes things like doubling the Welwyn viduct, building some flyovers etc. which add quite a lot of capacity. The WCML looks like it will go up to 135mph and that would probably happen on the East Coast too. Its the German approach as apposed to the French one. German railways are better IMO than those in France, but France has much more sexy stuff.
 

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Great if I could drive to the airport but in rush hour it would take me an hour plus for 10 miles and cost me a fortune to park, all public transport is geared up for cities. So anyone who lives to the East, North or West of Manchester would have to travel into the centre, and then out to the airport again. It would take an age and involve far too many forms of transport. It would also only make the South of the city richer and the poorer North poorer.

Also businesses are moving back into the city because of the good transport links and improved WCML do we really want them to move back out to Cheshire business parks?
 

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all public transport is geared up for cities
And most people live in the suburbs. Perhaps that's why so most people don't use any public transport at all and readily fly routes like London - Manchester.

If we are to make any dent in traffic congestion without doubling the motorway network we have to meet the needs of those in the suburbs. I'm all for city living, but there will always be massive suburbs.

I travelled on the new Frankfurt -> Cologne high speed line a couple of weeks back. I got on at Limburg Railport which is outside the town, next to the autobahn. There are loads of people who drive from small towns and villages in the surrounding area to this station to go to Frankfurt. These towns and villages will never have a viable quick frequent public transport service. Would it be better for them all to drive to the centre of the historic town of Limburg? Previously they would probably have driven to Frankfurt.

To clarify. I didn't mean that there should be no connections to city centres from a TGV line. The trains could use the existing tracks to get to the city centre. The very best operationally would be a 4 track tunnel under each city, 2 through tracks, 2 stopping. But that would be prohibitively expensive I think.
 
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