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die belebende Bedenkung

Constraints of space, time and distance

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The Engineer’s laudatory December 2013 article about Bombardier Transportation Derby resembled a PR puff piece, but there were some interesting remarks by the company’s president of rolling stock and services, Francis Paonessa, on GB very high speed rail (‘very high speed rail’ means HS2; Britain has had ‘high speed rail’ since October 1976).

‘The problem with high-speed trains is that you need a lot of space to run them, and not too many curves. In the UK, there are very significant constraints of space, time and distance, so you have to reach a balance between how far you are travelling, the constraints of the infrastructure, and the basic constraint of the size and geographical features of the country and how many people there are in it, and their distribution,’ he said. ‘It’s just not physically possible to push the boundaries of speed, and when you have to accelerate and decelerate the train, the top speed quite quickly drops down the list of priorities. It’ll be very interesting,’ he concluded, ‘to see what the HS2 team comes up with for its final specification.’

HS2’s mis-specification — which destroys versatility, connectivity and capacity — is one of the causes of its poor benefit-cost performance. However, new chairman David Higgins has little to no interest in fixing HS2; his primary concern, he admitted, is how to speed up construction.

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Written by beleben

January 15, 2014 at 10:37 pm

Posted in High speed rail, HS1

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