die belebende Bedenkung

HS2 and classic capacity, part three

with 3 comments

Part one | Part two

HS2 Ltd, Strategic Case Oct 2013, peak period trains on fast lines departing Euston

In an Engineer magazine story dated 28 May 2012, HS2 technical director Andrew McNaughton stated that intercity trains would be removed from the West Coast line when HS2 opened.

[‘Andrew McNaughton, technical director, HS2’, by Stuart Nathan]

[…] McNaughton added: ‘If you stand on Milton Keynes platform during morning peak, you’ll see lots of Pendolino trains but they don’t stop; they’re all full of people going to Manchester. In 2025, when HS2 opens, they’re gone. Trains will stop at Milton Keynes every 10 minutes.’

And in the October 2013 Economic Case, Pendolinos are indeed shown as pretty much “gone” from the southern WCML. With HS2 in service, only three intercity trains would run each hour on West Coast. The paths vacated by withdrawing intercities would be used to increase the number of slower ‘regional’ or commuter trains, to nine per hour.

With only three West Coast intercity paths retained, it would not be possible for all places directly served by London trains to retain that connection post-HS2.

Centro has called for 2 West Midlands intercity paths to be retained on West Coast

West Midlands transport authority Centro has proposed that two of the current three hourly London to West Midlands intercity trains should be retained alongside HS2 (see diagram). One would run on to Shrewsbury, and the other to Glasgow.

Network Rail hub and Spoke concept: Crewe

With only one other classic London intercity trainpath available, it would seem likely that the HS2 Strategic Case of October 2013 depends on the use of Network Rail’s ‘hub and spoke‘ concept. People would travel to a HS2 hub station on a local train, and then change to a high speed one. For example, passengers wishing to go from Stoke-on-Trent or North Wales to London, might first travel to a Crewe HS2 hub.

But there are a number of problems with replacing through trains with the change-at-hub requirement in Network Rail’s hub-and-spoke. Namely,

  1. passengers do not like changing trains;
  2. the overall journey time benefit is likely to be wiped out during interchange;
  3. there appears to be no budget in HS2 to implement hub-and-spoke.

In the case of Crewe alone, the cost of implementing hub-and-spoke could easily add more than £1 billion to the cost of HS2.

Written by beleben

November 5, 2013 at 9:46 am

Posted in High speed rail, HS2

3 Responses

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  1. I should think another disadvantage would be the likely cost of the ticket on HS, as compared with the ‘old’ intercity!


    November 5, 2013 at 6:33 pm

  2. I must first acknowledge that all the detail on this website leaves most of us standing – it does help by highlighting the key issues that ignores. I would though like to add my observations:
    I have nothing against Crewe and would have loved to have been able to visit it in its heyday but it is really a very tight bottleneck rather than Hub (road access is also diabolical) and unable to take more traffic – which is why HS2 has to take the tunnel route along with a 3-tier viaduct to join everything up (great civil engineering project though).
    I wonder if Centro discussed its plan with Virgin Trains who recognise that the WC franchise will decline massively after 2026 – so they may as well milk it while they can (only VT and DfT know the terms of the current extension and I’m sure they are not in our favour).
    There is one thing I like about the Centro plan: the Cross Country route from Birmingham directly into Heathrow (access to which you could add South West, Wales and South Coast). Slower trains of course but so much more easily and in less time than (currently) dashing into Euston, taking Underground to Paddington and onto Heathrow Express or, later with HS2, changing at Old Oak and then again at Hayes & Harlington on Crossrail.
    Although HS2 Ltd will tell you that the service patterns published are just ‘indicative’, it is clear that the supposed Phase 2 service pattern for Scotland could easily be applied from Phase 1 because there will be no need at that stage to allocate slots between Birmingham and Euston for the eastern arm of the Y. Glasgow and Edinburgh could potentially ‘save’ about 30 and 45 min respectively (to Euston) according to HS2 so why wait? At 2026, the Manchester HS2 demand alone will require 3tph of existing WC slots.
    These developments will totally change the WC and EC service requirements. Will the HS2 routes / journeys transfer to existing “classic” franchisees or be auctioned to highest bidder? Either way, the current WC and EC franchises will be virtually worthless and government could find that, as with National Express, the franchisees simply walk away.
    Can we be confident that DfT has it all fully worked out? Don’t bank on it.


    November 5, 2013 at 8:40 pm

  3. […] five | Part four | Part three | Part two | Part […]

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