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bikkuri bahn

HS2 doubting article

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bikkuri bahn

I'm agnostic on this rail line (though its existence may increase chances of a shinkansen derivative running in the UK).  The Guardian's Simon Jenkin's take on the project:

Some time this summer, a piledriver should break ground outside Euston station in London. It will mark the start of the most extravagant infrastructure project in Britain’s history: High Speed 2, a railway line running 335 miles from London to Birmingham, Manchester, Sheffield and Leeds. The line is budgeted at £55bn, although late last year its cost was widely reported to be closer to £70bn.

The bill that will enable construction to begin passed through the House of Commons in March and is currently before the House of Lords. It is 444 pages long, with a gargantuan accompanying environmental report of 50,000 pages. Yet in the six years since HS2 was formally proposed, countless alarms have been raised about the project’s spiralling costs and diminishing benefits. Its fervent supporters have wheeled out increasingly tenuous justifications for its construction, but the zombie train refuses to die. Indeed, as the claims for its necessity have become weaker and weaker, its backers only become more adamant that it is a matter of supreme national importance that the project goes ahead.

 

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/jun/07/hs2-the-zombie-train-that-refuses-to-die

 

*I didn't know the WCML was underutilized (i.e. Euston being used at 60% of capacity in the AM peak, etc.)

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kvp

This is a rather long and interesting article, but imho it lacks calculations if high speed rail could be made viable in the UK if domestic flights aren't allowed to expand like it was requested by the airline industry. Also fails to address that HS2 could also be used by commuters like in Japan where shinkansen lines around Tokyo actually expanded the borders of the city by providing viable commuter routes from longer distances. I do understand that cutting HS2 and using the money for expanding the airports and repairing the commuter lines could be more cost effective, but imho that won't solve the housing problem as the viable commuter area of the city would remain the same. What i see is a lack of long term vision from both sides of the political fence regarding transport and housing and how they depend on each other.

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Mudkip Orange

Farage has proposed rerouting HS2 onto a reconstructed Great Central Main Line. Some parts have been developed over, but apparently just demoing the stuff in the way is orders of magnitude cheaper than doing an entirely new route.

 

Incidentally, the original GCR was built to Berne Gauge and laid out with wide curves... it was supposed to be an extension of a to-be-built Channel Tunnel.

 

Victorians, man.

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railsquid

There have been a couple of proposals to reinstate the GCR route. I followed it once on Google Maps out of curiosity, it's still largely intact  - except in built-up areas of cource (IIRC in Nottingham they've used part of the route for a tram line). There's even at least one disused section in the countryside where it's crossed by the ghostly remains of another closed line.

 

Anyway I've always thought the UK is really not big enough to justify brand new high-speed lines which will knock up to a couple of dozen minutes off journey times; money would be much better spent e.g. eradicating various Victorian-era choke-points (Birmingham New Street comes to mind) to speed up things for everyone.

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Claude_Dreyfus

Phase 1 of HS2 will link London and Birmingham; which is just over 100 miles. That is less than the distance between Tokyo and Nagoya. For such a small and densely populated country, there are very valid concerns as to whether HS2 is useful. Countries like France and Japan have the distance and spread to justify a high speed network. The UK has the network coverage, but just not the capacity for the short and middle distance travellers which make up most of the regular users.

 

HS2 won't cater for these. It may divert travellers from the West Coast line, but it's main target will be the airline passengers...which it won't have a hope in hell attracting unless something radical happens to the cost of fares. I see it being a premium fare, and knowing us British, we ain't going to pay a massive premium just to get to Birmingham 20 minutes earlier! Maybe going the other way though...

 

The plan mainly falls down around the London terminus. HS2 is planning to use Euston, HS1 uses St Pancras. They are quite close, but still requires a bus, taxi or tube to negotiate suitcases between them!

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kvp

The plan mainly falls down around the London terminus. HS2 is planning to use Euston, HS1 uses St Pancras. They are quite close, but still requires a bus, taxi or tube to negotiate suitcases between them!

They are less than 1 km apart. I could imagine a moving walkway, people mover or a dedicated underground shuttle between them like in an airport terminal.

 

I can't argure with the rest of the mentioned problems, but the reuse of the old line seems like a good idea as it was almost 100% grade separated and had a good route for non stop high speed service. It couln't be used as a mixed long distance/fast commuter route though for the same reasons.

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Claude_Dreyfus

They are less than 1 km apart. I could imagine a moving walkway, people mover or a dedicated underground shuttle between them like in an airport terminal.

 

I can't argure with the rest of the mentioned problems, but the reuse of the old line seems like a good idea as it was almost 100% grade separated and had a good route for non stop high speed service. It couln't be used as a mixed long distance/fast commuter route though for the same reasons.

You'd think, but I haven't heard of any plans to improve links between the two stations. The Euston Road is extremely busy and the Underground lines between the two (Victoria and Northern lines) are nightmarish at peak times. Sadly, the British Library nows sits firmly between the two sites, so options are limited.

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kvp

Yes, you are right. People would have to walk 400-500 meters (~6 minutes at 4km/h) with baggages. On the other hand, there is a shortcut through Phoneix road as there are side enterances on both ends. Btw. an eurostar set is 375 meters long, so the platforms could be around 400 meters and they lack moving walkways too. This would mean a total distance of 1200-1400 meters from the far end of one set to the far end of the other.

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post-1969-0-41092600-1466001120_thumb.png

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Mudkip Orange

Anyway I've always thought the UK is really not big enough to justify brand new high-speed lines which will knock up to a couple of dozen minutes off journey times; money would be much better spent e.g. eradicating various Victorian-era choke-points (Birmingham New Street comes to mind) to speed up things for everyone.

 

Restoring an abandoned Victorian rail line seems like the kind of thing a PM Boris would get behind. Also, if Leave wins, I'd expect a temporary increase in the UK's borrowing costs for a few years while the markets adjust... that would also nudge towards reconstruction rather than a new alignment.

 

(hopefully this post isn't so political that Jeff will delete it)

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katoftw

An overhead covered walkway seems the go to me.  The lazy fatties with too much money will ride the cramped subway, and the rest will walk the 400-600m. 

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