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Schenker versus Chiltern

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In DB Schenker‘s written evidence to the All Party Parliamentary Group for High Speed Rail, UK Head of Communications Graham Meiklejohn wrote

In the long term we urge the Government to connect both the High Speed 1 and High Speed 2 rail routes in London. By linking both these lines together, a route for continental sized freight trains from northern England to mainland Europe would be created enhancing trading links for manufacturing companies based there.

Another Deutsche Bahn subsidiary — Chiltern Railways — also made a HS2-supportive submission to the APPG. Here’s some extracts.

Britain’s railways are now handling more traffic than at any time since the 1920s, and both passenger and freight traffic are continuing to grow despite the poor state of the national economy. A particular feature is the growth of rail traffic to/from south midlands (e.g. existing towns such as Banbury and Bicester, or new cities such as Milton Keynes), due to these being favoured locations for new housing development. There is a limit to how much of this growth can be absorbed on the existing rail network.

A conventional railway line handling a mixture of intercity passenger (100-125mph), local passenger (75mph) and freight (60-70mph) of necessity makes sub-optimal use of line capacity, due to fast trains catching up with slow ones. This is exacerbated where more trains have to call at intermediate stations.
[…]
By concentrating on a single traffic type (i.e. high-speed intercity passenger) a new line can give far more additional capacity than could an upgrade of a conventional mixed-traffic railway.

So passenger train operator Chiltern Railways is deprecating mixing traffic types on the same rails, at the same time as sister company DB Schenker is arguing for mixed use of HS2 track. Such are the contradictory foundations on which the case for high speed rail stands.

Chiltern Railways dropped the somewhat off-topic railways-are-busier-than-at-any-time-since-the-1920s claim into their evidence, but this is also a bit dodgy. No reliable figures are available for total traffic in the period during the Second World War. Furthermore, today’s rail freight volumes are well down on those achieved in the past.

Written by beleben

May 27, 2012 at 9:17 pm

One Response

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  1. […] That same year, Chiltern Railways and sister freight company DB Schenker UK submitted contradictory evidence to a cod inquiry into rail capacity held by the All Party Parliamentary Group for High Speed Rail, […]


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