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Y HS2 capacity utilisation would be inefficient

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HS2 Y network concept, 2012According to HS2 Ltd, the high speed Y network would transform capacity on Britain’s railway, with up to 18 trains per hour per direction running north of London. (However, travel volume between the capital and the three Y network provincial cities might be fairly described as moderate. The vast majority of rail journeys happen well away from HS2, on the London lines of former Eastern and Southern Regions.)

In the HS2 scheme, central Birmingham would be served by a dead-end spur from the main line, with the Y network legs to northern England diverging in open country outside the city. That configuration is inefficient, because demand for rail travel from Birmingham to Manchester and Leeds is much lower than demand for travel from London to Manchester and Leeds. The result is that substantial amounts of capacity on HS2’s Birmingham spur, Manchester leg, and Leeds leg, are unusable at any time of day.

The amount of unusable capacity could be mitigated (but not eliminated), by splitting and joining half-trains at the fork point. However, that strategy would require extremely good timekeeping, especially in the Up (London) direction.

Written by beleben

October 25, 2012 at 9:44 pm

Posted in High speed rail, HS2

Tagged with ,

One Response

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  1. It would keep times down for direct services. Even now, Manchester services generally don’t stop until they get nearer to Manchester. To send a high speed train through each city centre would not make journey times favourable.


    October 30, 2012 at 10:53 am

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