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HS2 and bad design, part two

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Part one

Aesthetically challenged 'Pinocchio' high speed train

Aesthetically challenged ‘Pinocchio’ high speed train

Earlier this year, the depressing drab interior of Birmingham’s reworked New Street station revealed that design quality management in the GB rail sector is not improving. Lack of design expertise seems to be an ongoing problem for both Network Rail and HS2 Ltd.

HS2 aspiration, and what is achievable, have become very different things. For example, HS2 Ltd have claimed that its 200-metre units would seat ‘up to’ 550 passengers (giving a total of 1,100 seats in a 400-metre train). In the visualisations provided by head of operability Theresa Clarke, the HS2 units are shown as having amenity / lounge areas, with relatively few seats.
Alstom AGV Italo brochure, extract

According to Alstom, its 200-metre AGV Italo provides 460 seats

Alstom’s 200-metre ETR 575, in service in Italy, is the basis for HS2 Ltd’s Reference train. The ETR 575 does not have the amenity areas of Theresa Clarke’s HS2 vision, yet the total number of seats is still only about 460.

In general, Continental high speed rail lines are low capacity systems. Resolving the conflicts between the Technical Standards for Interoperability, and British conditions and capacity aspirations, is at best likely to be a costly and very difficult process.

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Written by beleben

December 12, 2013 at 2:47 pm

Posted in High speed rail, HS2

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