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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It's a Mail on Sunday Story I found on the web, so I apologise
for the juvenile journalism - still could be good news in terms of
high speed rail.

Scotland in two hours by Gordon the Bullet

By CHRISTOPHER LEAKE -

30th June 2007

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=465397&in_page_id=1770

A futuristic high-speed rail line carrying 186mph 'bullet trains' between London and Scotland is being planned as part of a shake-up of the rail industry.

The huge engineering project – which would cost at least £10billion – is said by senior rail sources to have the backing of new Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

The new line, which would run alongside the existing 125mph West Coast mainline, could cut the journey time from London to Glasgow to just two hours.

The ambitious project is codenamed High Speed Two – but has already been jokingly nicknamed Gordon The Bullet Train after the new PM and the famous express from the Thomas The Tank Engine children's stories.


Children's favourite: Gordon from Thomas the Tank Engine stories

The plan is expected to form a major part of the Government's new 30-year rail strategy – due to be announced later this month.

Officials from the Treasury – which Mr Brown vacated last week – and the Department for Transport have spent months studying proposals for the new line. It is expected to stretch from St Pancras in London to Birmingham by 2020 and to Scotland by 2025.

The line, which could accommodate 220 trains per day – twice the number which run on the West Coast line – is being earmarked as a joint Government and Private Finance Initiative, but most of the bill will be met by taxpayers. Funding for the project is expected to be approved as early as the autumn.

The design of the trains is likely to be based on the Eurostar engines currently using the Channel Tunnel, though there is a possibility they might be double-deckers, which can take more passengers.

Senior Whitehall sources admitted last night that the Government will be forced to issue compulsory purchase orders on homes and land along the route of the new line to allow its construction.

Families and businesses affected are likely to delay the scheme by appeals to planning inquiries. The same happened with the £5.8billion Channel Tunnel rail link – known as High Speed One – between London and the Kent coast, which is due to be completed in November.

Whitehall officials were at pains to stress last night that the new rail line would have to contribute towards protecting the environment and that no decisions had yet been made.

Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Trains has indicated privately that it would be keen to run high-speed services on the new track. Virgin already operates its tilting Pendolino trains – which are capable of reaching speeds up to 140mph – on the West Coast line, as well as services on cross-country routes.

Virgin insiders said Sir Richard was particularly interested in the increased capacity available with double-decker trains. Rail passenger groups are lobbying for the project to get the go-ahead.

They say it would ease pressure on the West and East Coast mainlines, which are operating near to their capacity.

A senior rail insider said: "The new line will rival the French high-speed network and will be a huge engineering project.

"Potentially, there could be 220 trains a day – more than twice the number currently on the West Coast mainline. The line will at first go as far as Birmingham and later extend to Glasgow.

"Trains would be travelling at 186miles per hour, massively reducing journey times between London, the Midlands, the North and Scotland. St Pancras would be the likely terminus as a spur of track north of the station has been left for any future rail links.

"Funding would be a public-private partnership, but in practice most of the money would come from the Government."

A Department for Transport spokesman said last night: "We will be announcing our future strategy during the summer."
 

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Very interesting indeed. While I'm in doubt HSR is the most cost effective or best value for money option for transport in this country; any new infrastructure will make a change for the better.

Though the 13 year lead time is very long indeed.

Also, how I wish the media would just use 300km/h - 186mph looks so messy :eek:hno: .
 
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Not sure whether I should find this promising or not, could be absolutle spin or new PM - new ideas.

St Pancras would be the likely terminus as a spur of track north of the station has been left for any future rail links.

Always get frustrated at the suggestion of using St Pancras because it is never explained or even remotely suggested how it would cope. The spur is a single track connection and thus would struggle with 220 trains a day. The station itself is very limited in platform numbers and I can't see anyway for it to be expanded.

Maybe some new station between Euston/St Pancras or alongside Euston would be the idea?
 

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Rubbish, horrible lies.

Glasgow to London is roughly 414 miles.

A train traveling uninterrupted at full speed for the entire journey would take 2 hours 15 minutes.


A train that has to work up to maximum speed (which takes roughly 7-8 minutes), stop at roughly 10-15 stations along the way and has to abide to signalling, track curvature and weather influences will under no circumstances complete the journey in less than 3 hours.



Keep flying, folks, it pollutes less than trains do anyway, despite the media spin that gets churned out every day.
 

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I actually bothered to look up the figures.

Plane 0.15 kg CO2 per passenger Km
Train 0.04 kg CO2/passenger km.

Additionally the fact that the emissions are at a higher altitude means that scientists believe the radiative forcing is a further 2.7 times greater.

The figure will be higher for HST but still way below`planes. Thats without considering the fact electricity generation emissions can be cut pretty easily .
 

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I actually bothered to look up the figures.

Plane 0.15 kg CO2 per passenger Km
Train 0.04 kg CO2/passenger km.

Additionally the fact that the emissions are at a higher altitude means that scientists believe the radiative forcing is a further 2.7 times greater.

The figure will be higher for HST but still way below`planes. Thats without considering the fact electricity generation emissions can be cut pretty easily .
Deceiving figures. Planes fly at way higher load factors than trains on long distance journeys.
 

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I actually bothered to look up the figures.

Plane 0.15 kg CO2 per passenger Km
Train 0.04 kg CO2/passenger km.

Additionally the fact that the emissions are at a higher altitude means that scientists believe the radiative forcing is a further 2.7 times greater.

The figure will be higher for HST but still way below`planes. Thats without considering the fact electricity generation emissions can be cut pretty easily .
That’s a pretty arbitrary set of figures you've got there! No source, no connection to particular types of train or plane, no nothing, really.

So to help you out, Easyjet's average CO2 emissions per passenger stands at 0.0975 kg/pass km. For reference, a Toyota Prius (Toyota's Energy efficient car) produces 0.104 kg/pass km.

Source: http://www.easyjet.com/EN/News/easyjet_ecojet.html

Are you trying to tell me that your average diesel train produces only half of this number per passenger, considering the sheer number of times you have to stop and start 400 tons of train?

If you’re going to use some numbers, at least make them relevant to the discussion.



Simple fact is that the new age Jet Airliners produce less CO2 per passenger than a fully occupied family car. Combine this with the fact that the stop/start process of travel produces by far the most pollution during the journey, thus a 400 ton train starting and stopping 15 times will, by default, consume more fuel than a 150 ton aircraft which has to make 1 start, and 1 (partially gliding) stop. Then combine the fact that commercial airliners are the most efficiently designed aerodynamic packages produced by mankind, and travel in atmosphere much thinner (and thus less resistant) than trains, you have a more efficient method of transportation.

Also, the next generation of aircraft such as the 787 and A380 (arriving before this new rail network would be completed) are 25% more efficient again than current aircraft.


Claims that the altitude amplifies the effect of polution in our atmosphere are speculative and carry no real substance.

Bottom line: Aircraft produce only 2% of the world's CO2 emissions (http://www.boeing.co.uk/ViewContent.do?id=16482). I'm quite sure, although I don't have the stats to back it up, that trains will produce more than this.


Only when electric trains are powered by renewable energy sources will I concede that trains are undoubtedly the best form of travel.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Personally I think there is room for expansion in plane and train connections, our railways are over crowded and slow compared to many other nations, and they have become a national embarrasement.

As for the enviromental data, I seriously doubt trains are as enviromentally damaging as many other forms of transport and just last month Virgin launched a new enviromentally friendly bio-train initiative.

http://money.cnn.com/2007/06/07/news/newsmakers/branson.reut/?postversion=2007060711
 
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Easyjet planes are well mint, out of all the aircraft I saw depart from Newcastle Airport the other week they were by far the quickest accelerators on the runway. From zero to really bloody fast in the blink of an eye.

Love being on them aswell when they power up, it's kind of like when you drop your car down into third gear to accelerate and you can feel the kick in the engine. Only a hell of a lot more powerful.
 

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Taken from Heat by George Monbiot:

Journey London to Manchester; mode of transport/CO2 emitted per passenger (kg)

Plane (70% capacity)/63.9
Car (1.56 passengers)/36.6
Train (70% capacity)/5.2
Coach (40 passengers)/4.3

However he also suggests that HSR (over 200kph) uses similar amounts of fuel (presuming it isn't renewably powered) as a passenger aircraft, although HSR doesn't produce vapour trails which based on the science he's looked at, most likely will have an added greenhouse effect.

Also if you add in the fact that it is easier to integrate HSR with a sustainable local transport system suggest that for fast travel HSR does have some benefits over air travel, although they are not that great.
 

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Lol....just a few months after the Eddington report which rubbished the idea of such French style 'Grand Projects" so beloved of the Mitterand dynasty, being built in the UK.

Nimbys of middle England will have a heart attack and unite when they read this.
 

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Doesn't this just sound like that HS2 line proposal from a few weeks ago just respun. I find it odd that the line would open as far as Birminghan in 2020 and then suddenly as far as Glasgow just 5 years later. I would have thought an intermediate line stage as far as Manchester would be next and then a line to Scotland. Though I thought the main problems with track capacity lie South of Manchester.

Either this a bit of puff from a rail advocacy group or part of Gordons 100 1st days of power. If it is all part of the 100 days will any of these plans out last an interminable approval process ( Thameslink 2000 or Crossrail anyone) or are all the money problems that have dogged these projects for almost a decade suddenly going to disappear now that Gordon can take all the credit.

I am sorry I will now go and drain my bile duct, but I am deaply cynical about any transport project in this country as the whole process seems designed to string people along with faint promises, without commiting to any large scale expenditure.
 

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Only when electric trains are powered by renewable energy sources will I concede that trains are undoubtedly the best form of travel.
Thats the whole bloody point! Trains can now use electricity, electricty can now come from renewable sources and are ever increasingly likely to use such technology as time passes.... where in the airplane industry is there similar prospects of advancment? There isnt any. Internal flights in a country the size of the UK is ridiculous as a everyday mode of transport, let alone in Europe!
 
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Trains and Planes do not need to compete with each other, instead railway companies and airlines should form alliances to take advantage of what each mode does best.

Single ticket from New York JFK to Birmingham New Street anyone?
 

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electricity emissions ARE being cut every single day. they are falling by over 1% a year every year without fail. any electric train becomes more and more environmentally friendly over time.
they wont be 186mph though, theyll be 200+ mph. who builds a tgv network with old technology thats being phased out? not even the british would be stupid enough.
 

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Thats the whole bloody point! Trains can now use electricity, electricty can now come from renewable sources and are ever increasingly likely to use such technology as time passes.... where in the airplane industry is there similar prospects of advancment? There isnt any. Internal flights in a country the size of the UK is ridiculous as a everyday mode of transport, let alone in Europe!
But it's only been the last 5 or so years that boeing/airbus have really taken fuel efficiency (and hence, CO2 emissions) seriously. While I'm sure they had their PR department say otherwise, when oil is $10/bbl noone is interested in fuel that much. When it increases nearly 10x suddenly the planes are making huge strides in energy efficiency and I'm sure it'll continue.

Taken from Heat by George Monbiot:

Journey London to Manchester; mode of transport/CO2 emitted per passenger (kg)

Plane (70% capacity)/63.9
Car (1.56 passengers)/36.6
Train (70% capacity)/5.2
Coach (40 passengers)/4.3

However he also suggests that HSR (over 200kph) uses similar amounts of fuel (presuming it isn't renewably powered) as a passenger aircraft, although HSR doesn't produce vapour trails which based on the science he's looked at, most likely will have an added greenhouse effect.

Also if you add in the fact that it is easier to integrate HSR with a sustainable local transport system suggest that for fast travel HSR does have some benefits over air travel, although they are not that great.
Firstly, 70% capacity is a low load factor -- I'm sure Easyjet or Ryanair could achieve close to 100% day in day out on that pair -- and from what I've seen on London to Manchester trains, 70% is a high load factor. So there's two possible inaccuracies.

Secondly, London to Manchester is probably one of the shortest possible flight sectors in the country and will produce the most CO2 from the overheads of taxing and taking off. London to Newcastle, Edinburgh or Glasgow would produce a much better comparison.

Finally, 'plane' is very vague when you consider some planes are, what, 50% more efficient than older models?

electricity emissions ARE being cut every single day. they are falling by over 1% a year every year without fail. any electric train becomes more and more environmentally friendly over time.
they wont be 186mph though, theyll be 200+ mph. who builds a tgv network with old technology thats being phased out? not even the british would be stupid enough.
Well, spain has scrapped their AVE trains running at 350km/h, they're back to 300km/h. And your figures for electricity emissions are plain wrong -- the electricity generation industry is switching back to coal in a big way with massive gas price hikes and emissions are rising, certainly in the last 2 years or so, and will continue to do so.
 
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