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The long and the short of HS2 train capacity

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Britain’s proposed HS2 railway has been developed around a speed-oriented remit. The design choices in the Y network, which limit usable capacity, have not changed.

On new-build HS2 track, the full train length would be 400 metres. But for technical and demand reasons, many trains circulating on the Y network would be half length (200 metres), i.e. lower capacity than classic intercity units such as the 11-car Alstom Pendolino. (Plans to run 260-metre trains on the eastern arm of the network have been discarded.)

HS2 Ltd Oct 2013 modelled service pattern (Y-network) showing potential short trains

HS2 Ltd Oct 2013 modelled service pattern (Y-network) showing potential short trains

In October 2013’s modelled service pattern for the Y-network to Birmingham, Leeds, and Manchester, it is apparent that only half of the trains would be full length ones.

  • At best, eleven of sixteen central London departures would be full-length trains.
  • Trains between Birmingham and Leeds, between Birmingham and Manchester, and to Heathrow Airport, would probably be half-length, because of low demand.
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Written by beleben

December 11, 2013 at 2:18 pm

Posted in HS1, HS2

2 Responses

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  1. […] shortages are on commuter services from south and east London. And in the proposed HS2 Y network, half or more of the trains would be […]

  2. […] the evidence available, at least 3 of the 11 HS2 paths to West Coast destinations would be formed with half trains (of lower […]


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