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HS2 and classic capacity, part four

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On 2 August 2013 the Birmingham Post’s Jonathan Walker reported Birmingham city council’s warning that congestion on the West Coast Main Line could reach ‘crisis point’ when London Gateway’s plans to run 16 major new freight services every day come into effect. Giving evidence to MPs, the council’s Chris Tunstall said a planned new high speed rail line (HS2) was “vital for growth and jobs”.

And according to Network Rail, quotidian freight demand on the Wembley — Rugby section of the WCML “is forecast” to reach 85 paths by 2030.

[Network Rail, ‘Future Priorities for the West Coast Main Line, 2012]

[…] By 2030 it is forecast that traffic on the Wembley – Rugby and Rugby – Stafford sections of the WCML will have increased to 85 and 80 trains per day respectively, versus 58 and 47 currently.

So how much would HS2 augment railfreight capacity on West Coast? It’s possible to get an inkling from the October 2013 Strategic Case.

London WCML Fast lines hourly trains 2009 and 2033 (after HS2)

In 2033, the Strategic Case assumes that the number of Fast line paths used by passenger trains would fall from thirteen to twelve. So, in that scenario, the freed capacity for freight is one ‘passenger path’ per hour.

Exactly how many quotidian freight paths would accrue from that, is not clear. But the evidence points to HS2 being an inadequate and extremely cost-ineffective way of increasing rail cargo capacity.

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Written by beleben

November 6, 2013 at 12:02 pm

Posted in High speed rail, HS2

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  1. […] the evidence of the current Economic and Strategic Cases, the capacity release from HS2 on the southern part of […]

  2. […] Part four […]

  3. […] Main Line’, means 10 in each direction. That is consistent with the Beleben blog’s interpretation of the Department for Transport’s Strategic […]

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


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