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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I actually meant to use the five platforms at Waterloo and the eight at Paddington to run a 20TPH combined frequency west of OOC. Not ideal of course to split stations, but beggars can't be choosers. Would it be better to only serve the 'traditional' destinations from each termini? I'm not sure.... :)

It is IMHO quite possible to extend platform 1 at Paddington to 415m, possibly island platform 2&3 as well (possibly at the expense of one of P4-8). Those three platforms could service most / all of the 6TPH HSR to long-distance destinations on the Western.

If 400m HS trains were to run on the Western I would envisage splitting them at either Bristol Parkway or Temple Meads. No-where else has room (except maybe Newport).

Anyway, perhaps all this western/south western HSR stuff should be on another thread?

Shall we separate the two routes?


Since we are spending the nation's capital without limit, shall we just have the GWML High Speed line start from Paddington HS platforms, calling at Old Oak Common (on the current IEP site)?

On that basis, build your desired tunnel from just west of OOC to the edge of London, and use it for main line services in the short term.


Then build something else entirely for a SWML High Speed Line out of London? Starting from Waterloo HS platforms where the Eurostar platforms were?

The cunning plan on the CR2 thread (I think) to tunnel the SWML fast line under Wimbledon could be used for that route, perhaps?

:)



(pic: Ben Brookesbank)

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Shall we separate the two routes?


Since we are spending the nation's capital without limit, shall we just have the GWML High Speed line start from Paddington HS platforms, calling at Old Oak Common (on the current IEP site)?

On that basis, build your desired tunnel from just west of OOC to the edge of London, and use it for main line services in the short term.


Then build something else entirely for a SWML High Speed Line out of London? Starting from Waterloo HS platforms where the Eurostar platforms were?

The cunning plan on the CR2 thread (I think) to tunnel the SWML fast line under Wimbledon could be used for that route, perhaps?

:)



(pic: Ben Brookesbank)

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We have to be realistic, there isn't going to be a HSR replicating every single main line radiating from London - there needs to be a good level of latent demand / sizeable population plus capacity issues on the lines that need relieving. On that basis I combined the west and south-west HSR routes for about 50 miles simply because I doubt that each could ever separately make financial sense. For example I suspect Soton and points west would need (at most) 4TPH using 200m units. That's on the basis of reaching Southampton in about 45 minutes, which isn't exactly earth shattering in time terms - but importantly it does provide lots more space from Winchester inwards for the traditional SWML commuters.

Last time I looked at this I think I assumed a route burrowing under Slough and Dorney lakes, then following the M4 past Reading with a SW junction about 15 miles later. The timing from OOC to Parkway (assumed 110 miles) was about 37 minutes. I don't think HSR will ever wash it's face further than the Bristol area TBH, 70-72 minutes to Cardiff and 93-95 minutes to Exeter is probably quick enough.
 

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Don't see the GWML and SWML needing full wack HSR myself. The well aligned GWML and the relatively simply geography west of Didcot means there's not a huge prize to be gained. On the SWML side once you get beyond Basingstoke things become pretty slow. Neither side provides an obvious HS / classic split - as far as I can see it's either uniform to Reading or uniform to Woking, so better keep the split geographically as current.

On the GWML, I'd build the 5th and 6th track to between Iver and Langley. Fast services have their own lines (new fast lines east of Langley, Main lines west thereof) all the way to Didcot. Semi-fasts and crossrail share tracks between Slough and Langley before these split to 4 as fasts split off / dive down.

Peak fast services will look like the following:
2 tph Wales
2 tph Bristol via Parkway
2 tph Bristol via Bath
1 tph Cornwall
1 tph Cornwall/Plymouth seasonal
1 tph Exeter
1 tph Cheltenham
4 tph Oxford (can't remember where I've seen this, definitely remember seeing more than the 2)

The semi fasts would from the west run on the Reliefs then cross over to the Mains east of Langley, with the following service level:
2 tph Oxford slow to Reading then Twyford, Maidenhead, Slough, fast to London
2 tph Newbury (ideally from beyond if paths/electrification/stock allow) all stops to Slough, fast to London
1 tph Henley on Thames all stops to Slough, fast to London
1 tph Marlow/Bourne End all stops to Slough, fast to London
(could be 2 tph each from the branches if demand justifies)
4 tph Heathrow Express (suspect Heathrow will still want to keep the premier service)

Crossrail ramps up to at least 18 tph beyond OOC

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SWML side, fast line dives into a tunnel just inside Berrylands to provide room for CR2. Service pattern might look like:
2 tph Bournemouth and Southampton fast
4 tph Southampton all stops to Basingstoke
2 tph Portsmouth fast
2 tph Hilsea semi-fast
2 tph Haselmere
2 tph Salisbury/Exeter
2 tph Alton
4 tph Basingstoke stopping to Woking then fast
 

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Anyone fancy giving us a route for a new, mid-century Toton-London HS line, and a specific London terminus, when HS2 is full up?






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Back in February 2013 I wrote this.

1) I've identified an expansion of the Western side of St Pancras to build eight HS platforms (including the current 4 MML platforms) as do-able, and involving far less property demolition than widening Euston even more would. Residual MML/ECML classic services would use Kings Cross. Those eight platforms should be capable of handling 12 TPH, thus making 30 train paths an hour on High Speed lines from Euston and St Pancras. This would be largely in addition to existing capacity and should be enough for decades to come.
2) When the St Pancras - Toton line opens I suspect you might see one Leeds and one Newcastle service per hour on the original HS2 route via Water Orton to serve Birmingham Exchange and OOC (for Heathrow and West London). All the others would transfer to the new direct line, potentially releasing 5-6 paths an hour (or more) from Euston to run other services.

The line would descend into a 10 mile long tunnel about half a mile after the platform ends. There would be plenty of capacity at Kings Cross for the residual MML trains.

I generally assumed a route running in mainly open countryside from the High Barnet / Hadley Wood area, a little East of the MML.
Following the A1 alignment to Hatfield, then passing close to Wheathampstead, Offley, Cardington, Denford, Gretton and Kegworth to join HS2 near Long Eaton. Perhaps with a central Leicestershire parkway situated at 95 miles from London, perhaps on the A47. This is about the minimum distance you would want the first station to be. That route would save at least 10 minutes to Toton compared to via Water Orton.
Subsequently I've come to the view that six platforms at St Pancras (needing two more on the west side, maybe 300m long) are probably adequate. These would allow at least 10 TPH, which should be enough. Toton would be about 115 miles distance (so roughly 112 miles of new line) and I assumed the timing St Pancras - Toton to be around 39 minutes (13 minutes faster than HS2 will be). Residual MML trains would use a new tunnel linking with platforms 6-11 at Kings Cross.
 

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Eastern high speed line:

3 tph Leeds
2 tph Newcastle
2 tph Sheffield
2 tph Leicester - Nottingham
2 tph Leicester - Derby
(last two assuming a classic connection south of Leicester)

The MML can reduce to a 4-tph service, 2 tph Corby and 2tph Leicester. Capacity north of Bedford can be filled by an East West Rail service from Oxford to Nottingham. A slightly issue with this arrangement is that Market Harborough loses its status as the last cheeky stop on a fast service.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Back in February 2013 I wrote this.


Subsequently I've come to the view that six platforms at St Pancras (needing two more on the west side, maybe 300m long) are probably adequate. These would allow at least 10 TPH, which should be enough. Toton would be about 115 miles distance (so roughly 112 miles of new line) and I assumed the timing St Pancras - Toton to be around 39 minutes (13 minutes faster than HS2 will be). Residual MML trains would use a new tunnel linking with platforms 6-11 at Kings Cross.

Thameslink would lose StP and KX when the core was blocked. Not that important though. Could turf passengers off at West Hampstead and Finsbury Park, and do it better than would happen now.
 

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The SWML really isn't that bad as is, it just happens to be full at the London end, hence the fast line tunnel Berrylands to CJ to provide the extra pair of tracks. Such a new tunnel might well allow a higher speed (its 75 on the surface fast lines today) saving a minute or two. You need Woking flyovers, but that will be needed at some point anyway.

Beyond that, the worst timings are on the Portsmouth route and beyond Southampton. I've not seen anything that makes the Portsmouth services faster. But there is a possible solution for Bournemouth.

Consider a tunnel from the Eastleigh area to where the line turns south of Beaulieu Road with a tunnelled station at Southampton. This would tackle the slowest part of the journey and allow more local services around Southampton. Only problem is that the benefits would never come close to the costs (a max of 4tph would likely use such a tunnel).
 

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Here is what you'd need for Southampton tunnel:



You might run:
- 2tph London - Airport - Southampton - Bournemouth - ... - Weymouth (via tunnel)
- 2tph London - Woking/CJ - Winchester - Eastleigh - Airport - all stops to Poole (via tunnel)
- 2tph ... - Reading - Basingtoke - Winchester - Airport - Southampton - Bournemouth - Poole (via tunnel)
- 2tph Portsmouth - Fareham - Airport - Southampton - Brockenhurst - New Milton - Christchurch - Bournemouth (via tunnel)
- 2tph Portsmouth - Fareham - Hedge End - Airport - Southampton - Salisbury (not via tunnel)
- 2tph All stops Portsmouth to Lymington (existing surface line)
- 2tph All stops Portsmouth to Salisbury (existing surface line)

All branded as "Solent Powerhouse" or similar. Provides much better local journey times and frequencies (6tph Bournemouth to Southampton, and 4tph Portsmouth to Southampton fast and slow)

But with a cost around £4bn, its hard to see the benefits reaching that.

A lower cost might be obtained by building on the surface in the New Forest, but I can't see that happening myself.
 
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For a high speed line directly to Toton I'd add some extra platforms at OOC and four track HS2 to around about the M25 where two tracks would branch off to head to the M1 and run up to Toton. There'd also be a line from HS Toton alongside the M25 to connect with HS2 around about Dagenham with a delta junction. Add in a connection to the Ipswich line which by-passes Shenfield. And with the traffic taken off HS2 I'd then add in the Heathrow link which carries on to link to other lines. There could also be a line from somewhere near Colchester to Stansted Airport and onto the Cambridge line. With some electrification from Cambridge to the ECML freight trains could by-pass London to reach Dagenham and HS1.

If SWIRL is definitely going to happen they may as well make it the start of a new line to Southampton and Exeter. Similar to what is expected of NPR, a new line with speeds of about 200-250 kph, and built to allow double decker trains. This could also lead to a bypass of that troublesome sea facing section of track.

For further high speed lines a new Severn Crossing providing a new line from Bristol Parkway to Newport and a new line from Cardiff to Swansea should be enough for the West and Wales?

Despite the dog leg I think with NPR a branch from where it should pass Huddersfield down to Sheffield would be worth it.

And in my own part of the world, a new line from Darlington to Birtley which incorporates part of the Leamside alignment should suffice. And another new section of track from just after Cramlington running between Morpeth and Pegswood with a parkway station to attract commuters from those two places and Ashington and reconnecting with the ECML near Alnmouth. And a new line from Berwick to Dunbar.

I hope you can all make sense of all that.
 

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For a high speed line directly to Toton I'd add some extra platforms at OOC and four track HS2 to around about the M25 where two tracks would branch off to head to the M1 and run up to Toton.

Aha! - more Chiltern Nimby baiting to look forward to then! :lol:

Are you planning to widen Euston a bit more? That's why I chose St Pancras, it doesn't require that many Londoners to be made homeless!
 

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And in my own part of the world, a new line from Darlington to Birtley which incorporates part of the Leamside alignment should suffice.
I'm coming to the conclusion that might be preferable to building a York bypass to save time - York in my opinion is too important as a market to bypass.

In addition to what you propose, I would quadruple the ECML from Northallerton to Darlington, ease the Croft curve and essentially make York - Darlington into a 140mph railway (with 100mph relief lines). The aim should be to bring the York - Newcastle time down to 40 minutes, thus giving a time of 2hrs 05 from London (2hrs 10 with a Darlington call). And about 25 minutes less from Birmingham.

And when the London - Toton line gets built York will be just 70 minutes from London and Newcastle will be 1 hr 52.

And another new section of track from just after Cramlington running between Morpeth and Pegswood with a parkway station to attract commuters from those two places and Ashington and reconnecting with the ECML near Alnmouth. And a new line from Berwick to Dunbar.
Some cut -offs to that line might be generally worth doing - it is incredible that in 2018 the very sharp Morpeth curve is still part of a busy 125mph main line. However I suspect it won't ever see HSR services. The main markets from the south to Edinburgh will be served by HS2 trains going up the west side.
 
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Aha! - more Chiltern Nimby baiting to look forward to then! :lol:

Are you planning to widen Euston a bit more? That's why I chose St Pancras, it doesn't require that many Londoners to be made homeless!
When you're going to p**s people off, you may as well go all in.

For the terminus, they could add terminating platforms at OOC or four track to Euston and either slip in a box beneath the HS2 part of Euston whilst they're rebuilding it. Or maybe alternative destinations can be found for the regional trains and all of Euston can be handed over to HS2? Some extra platforms at St Pancras, freed up platforms at Paddington could relieve some capacity.
 
G

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I'm coming to the conclusion that might be preferable to building a York bypass to save time - York in my opinion is too important as a market to bypass.

In addition to what you propose, I would quadruple the ECML from Northallerton to Darlington, ease the Croft curve and essentially make York - Darlington into a 140mph railway (with 100mph relief lines). The aim should be to bring the York - Newcastle time down to 40 minutes, thus giving a time of 2hrs 05 from London (2hrs 10 with a Darlington call). And about 25 minutes less from Birmingham.

And when the London - Toton line gets built York will be just 70 minutes from London and Newcastle will be 1 hr 52.


Some cut -offs to that line might be generally worth doing - it is incredible that in 2018 the very sharp Morpeth curve is still part of a busy 125mph main line. However I suspect it won't ever see HSR services. The main markets from the south to Edinburgh will be served by HS2 trains going up the west side.
A couple of platforms for Southbound services on the East of Darlington station and for Middlesbrough trains to terminate in would remove all conflicts there.

I considered Virgin's once proposed Cramlington and Morpeth bypass, but as you say most of the long distance high speed traffic will be gone. So those two places being by-passed would be pointless. Trains either serve Morpeth at the current station and grin and bare the curve. Or a new out of town station on a straight alignment would be required. If we're sticking with the current station, then stopping all trains there so the speed restriction is irrelevant and linking rail services from Ashington via a new link and Bedlington could make Morpeth an inter-city hub for the area negating the need to get into Newcastle by road. Morpeth station has room for a third through platform and a couple of terminating platforms on the car park side.
 

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Eastern high speed line:

3 tph Leeds
2 tph Newcastle
2 tph Sheffield
2 tph Leicester - Nottingham
2 tph Leicester - Derby
(last two assuming a classic connection south of Leicester)

The MML can reduce to a 4-tph service, 2 tph Corby and 2tph Leicester. Capacity north of Bedford can be filled by an East West Rail service from Oxford to Nottingham. A slightly issue with this arrangement is that Market Harborough loses its status as the last cheeky stop on a fast service.

I did assume a Leicester connection and at least 2TPH to there in about 38 minutes. Remember that there are options to run 400m trains and split them at Leicester or Toton. So the 10 paths that I mentioned could do all that - and a lot more (think York & Middlesborough, perhaps Bradford).

With Leicester plugged into HS3 (I will reclaim that name from TfN) Leicester will only need two slower residual trains an hour on the classic MML. So no reason why Market Harborough can't be served by one or both of them. This also opens up the line for freight path capacity.
 

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Don't see the GWML and SWML needing full wack HSR myself. The well aligned GWML and the relatively simply geography west of Didcot means there's not a huge prize to be gained. On the SWML side once you get beyond Basingstoke things become pretty slow. Neither side provides an obvious HS / classic split - as far as I can see it's either uniform to Reading or uniform to Woking, so better keep the split geographically as current.

On the GWML, I'd build the 5th and 6th track to between Iver and Langley. Fast services have their own lines (new fast lines east of Langley, Main lines west thereof) all the way to Didcot. Semi-fasts and crossrail share tracks between Slough and Langley before these split to 4 as fasts split off / dive down.

Peak fast services will look like the following:
2 tph Wales
2 tph Bristol via Parkway
2 tph Bristol via Bath
1 tph Cornwall
1 tph Cornwall/Plymouth seasonal
1 tph Exeter
1 tph Cheltenham
4 tph Oxford (can't remember where I've seen this, definitely remember seeing more than the 2)

The semi fasts would from the west run on the Reliefs then cross over to the Mains east of Langley, with the following service level:
2 tph Oxford slow to Reading then Twyford, Maidenhead, Slough, fast to London
2 tph Newbury (ideally from beyond if paths/electrification/stock allow) all stops to Slough, fast to London
1 tph Henley on Thames all stops to Slough, fast to London
1 tph Marlow/Bourne End all stops to Slough, fast to London
(could be 2 tph each from the branches if demand justifies)
4 tph Heathrow Express (suspect Heathrow will still want to keep the premier service)

Crossrail ramps up to at least 18 tph beyond OOC

====

SWML side, fast line dives into a tunnel just inside Berrylands to provide room for CR2. Service pattern might look like:
2 tph Bournemouth and Southampton fast
4 tph Southampton all stops to Basingstoke
2 tph Portsmouth fast
2 tph Hilsea semi-fast
2 tph Haselmere
2 tph Salisbury/Exeter
2 tph Alton
4 tph Basingstoke stopping to Woking then fast

Why Hilsea, This does not make any sense it is only a small station serving Anchorage Park and the industrial Estate extend to Fratton or P&S low level quadrupling from bedhampton to Fratton to allow more path options
 

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Moved over from the Crossrail 1 thread, as it relates to HSR possibilities for the west country.

Originally posted by Vulcan's Finest: Being realistic, the population of the West Country and demand for year-round travel is such that a HSR not going via Bristol will never happen. Basic frequency to Plymouth is still just one train an hour via the Berks & Hants. Unless someone decides to start building several new cities in Devon.

Stuu, I concluded (from Paddington) HSR timings for Temple Meads via Parkway would be 48 minutes. Add two minutes for a stop, then 45 minutes for the 75.5 miles to Exeter St Davids (average 100.6mph). That assumes passing Taunton in about 74 minutes - from Paddington, not Reading. Personally I think that is the absolute best timing that can be had on the current tracks - when upgraded for 125mph where possible. .
Where did either of us say it would? What I challenged was the idea that Exeter trains would go via Bristol, rather than leave the HSR at Reading and go direct to Taunton.
True, but NR want to up it to 2 longer term (mostly for Exeter), as stated in their Western Route study.
Even if only 1tph fast to the West Country, it's still 8 Wales/Bristol, 6 others, 6 to play with - a different emphasis to your 6-8-6 balance.
However I've just shown what could be done using HSR from Paddington to Bristol Parkway - then upgraded lines to Exeter (including intermediate calls at OOC and Temple Meads).

Paddington to stop at Taunton - 75 minutes (114.6mph).
Paddington to stop at Exeter StD - 95 minutes (109.6mph).

The average speeds quoted are as if the trains ran on the twisty route via Newbury and Castle Cary (the strangely named Berks & Hants, maximum speed 110mph). Their actual averages via Bristol would be much higher. So as you can see, with HSR going via Bristol is indeed the faster option - despite being over 20 miles longer.

8TPH to South Wales and Bristol, potentially 16 train sets seating over 8,000? There won't be that kind of passenger demand I suggest in our lifetimes. HS2 phase 2 in total only delivers twice that.
 
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