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Britain already has high speed rail

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HS2 Action Alliance has done some detective work on the Brussels view on GB rail and HS2.

[HS2AA, 29 Dec 2013]

The European Commission recently published its latest views on the development of key trans-European transport routes. You can access a copy of the document here

The document contains a number of maps relevant to HS2 and what looks like a new justification for HS2 – the downgrading of the West Coast Main Line between London and Birmingham.

Table 0.3, on page 30 maps out Europe’s principal passenger rail routes, highlighting those which are high speed and those which are conventional speed.

European Union map of principal rail lines in North West Europe (2013)

European Union map of principal rail lines in North West Europe (2013)

The map confirms that Britain already has a high speed rail network. The East Coast Main Line and Great Western Line are classified as high speed. The West Coast Main Line between Birmingham and Glasgow is also deemed to be high speed.

Surprisingly, the London to Birmingham leg of the West Coast Main Line is simply omitted from the map.

Table 2.3 on Page 38, which provides a more detailed overview of the UK and Ireland downgrades the southern section of the West Coast Main Line so its barely visible. For good measure the proposed route for Phase 1 of HS2 (which the Government maintained in the Supreme Court had not yet been decided) is instead highlighted on the map.

Southern section of the West Coast Main Line is barely visible in EU rail map

Southern section of the West Coast Main Line is barely visible in EU rail map

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Written by beleben

January 2, 2014 at 9:46 pm

Posted in High speed rail, HS2

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2 Responses

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  1. Surely the ECML (4 hours for 393 miles) just about scrapes the 100mph bar at 98.25mph, and the full WCML hovers at 97mph for 402 miles in 4h 08m. Non-stop runs do deliver but WCML clearly is a High Speed line in the true sense between Euston and Preston, with all the main hourly services averaging 104-105mph stop to stop between Euston and WBQ or PRE.

    Times could be improved especially if a few key ‘slacks’ were dealt with – York, Morpeth, Carlisle, Stafford, Preston with more of a challenge at Berwick and Newcastle (a tunnel;between Heaton and Tyne Yard with a Team Valley P&R site might be the solution for through trains which don’t need to call at Central, and moving freight out from the intensive movements to platform passenger trains in the station area).

    Dave H (@BCCletts)

    January 2, 2014 at 11:08 pm

  2. so we don’t “need” high speed rail if you change the definition of the word? Well done you.

    nothing to do with capacity at all then….

    And no capacity is not about how many people are on the Virgin trains in and out of london at on/off peak times, it’s about how many trains you can fit on to the track. Working right next to the West London line, just the amount of freight that comes off here onto the WCML is frightening, add to the freight from the north london line and other tributaries then you have an escalating chance for failure, as I see most weeks when a freight train breaks down.

    The issue with say “upgrading” the ECML is that the infrastructure is already unreliable. The WCML was upgraded and is still extremely unreliable. They have fenced off many access sections of late in an attempt to improve reliability and I am sure it will work, but you cannot legislate for broken down freight trains.

    [Beleben writes: HS2 capacity and resilience myths have been debunked extensively on the Beleben blog. Legislating for broken down HS2 trains, isn’t likely to be any more successful than running 18 trains per hour at 360 km/h down one track.
    As DI Robert Prinz, and Ing Josef Höllmüller (ÖBB Infrastructure AG) noted, on two railway lines of the same characteristic, completely different results can occur, if the operational process differs. Railway capacity, as such, does not exist.]

    CommuterRant

    January 6, 2014 at 10:42 am


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