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What facts were found?

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Andrew McNaughton, technical director of HS2 Ltd, appears to be a fan of Japan’s high speed rail network. In 2013, the company spent almost £5,000 on flights to Japan on a fact-finding tour, the Telegraph reported, but what facts were ‘found’ has not been disclosed.

Route of the Tokaido Shinkansen (Wikipedia)

Route of the Tokaido Shinkansen (Wikipedia)

The Tokaido Shinkansen between Osaka and Tokyo, opened in 1964, operates a mixture of service types with different stopping patterns. It is the most heavily used high speed railway in the world, and the structure gauge allows for 3 + 2 seating in standard class; its N700 series trains have about 1,300 seats.

But according to Japan Central Railway’s current timetable, only nine trains run on the busiest section (Nagoya to Tokyo) in the period between 8am and 9am. As with Spain’s AVE, it seems many journeys are to and from intermediate stops. Even on Tokaido’s fastest trains, Tokyo to Osaka takes longer than London to Manchester on an Alstom Pendolino.

Although its proposed service pattern is simpler in certain respects, HS2’s proposed linespeed is much higher than that of the Tokaido Shinkansen. Most high speed railways are relatively low capacity systems, and it is hard to see HS2 being any different (especially if European Technical Standards for Interoperability are adhered to). The probability of HS2 Ltd being able to run its ‘stage two’ target of 18 trains per hour on the London — West Midlands trunk must be quite low.


Written by beleben

January 13, 2014 at 12:41 pm

Posted in High speed rail, HS2

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