beleben

die belebende Bedenkung

One North and HS3

with 5 comments

Civic leaders from Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle and Sheffield are backing One North, ‘a £15 billion plan to improve road and rail connections in northern England’.

[‘Five cities outline £15bn One North transport plan‘, BBC, 5 Aug 2014]

The joint One North report will include plans for a new 125mph [200 km/h] inter-city rail link, faster links and better access to ports and airports.
[…]
BBC Look North reporter Sarah Corker said the One North report would describe how faster links from east to west in northern England could provide a huge boost to the economy and create jobs.

She said it was an “ambitious transport plan with the aim of transforming road and rail connections between the northern cities and unlocking the area’s economic potential”.

She added that council leaders in northern cities had argued for years the transport links in the region have been far too slow and inferior compared to those in the south of England.

Developing a regional transport plan would certainly be a good idea, but One North is more of a political vision than a plan, and much of the content is unrealistic.

[‘Broad Timescales for Delivering the Proposition’, One North]

By 2019
=======

Northern Hub and electrification between Liverpool – Manchester – Leeds – Hull and Middlesbrough and consequent new rolling stock.

Midland Main Line electrification.

Complete all national pipeline strategic highway schemes.

By 2024
=======

Further electrification including to Scarborough, Calder Valley and Hope Valley/south trans Pennine routes, together with new electric fleets, in addition to the well evidenced need for more rolling stock generally across the North.

40 minutes journey time at most between Leeds and Manchester and improvements in services between Manchester and Sheffield.

Managed motorways complete across the M62/M56/M60 network and north-south on M1 and M6/M61.

Network gaps from the North East to South Yorkshire and northwards towards Scotland closed.

Rail/light rail connection to Leeds Bradford Airport.

By 2026
=======

With HS2 delivered earlier as far as Crewe, provide additional capacity and capability for onward links to Manchester, Liverpool, Warrington and to both inland freight terminals and ports.

Speeded up (140 mph) and more reliable ECML and new route to serve Newcastle. Cross city region suburban services for Leeds, Liverpool (east-west), Manchester, Sheffield, Bradford (north-south link such as a tram-train or similar), Newcastle provided by good quality rolling stock.

By 2030
=======

New tunnelled trans Pennine route at 125 mph.

To the west, direct connectivity with Manchester Airport, Liverpool and Manchester.

To the east connectivity with Sheffield, Leeds, Newcastle and Hull.

Recasting HS2 in Yorkshire – bring forward Leeds-Sheffield section in conjunction with new trans Pennine route

In Leeds integrate HS2 into existing Leeds Station.

In Sheffield City Region create connectivity with a HS2 station with east-west capability

There is no shortage of oddities or puzzles. The report is very supportive of ‘HS2’, which is mentioned more than 80 times (but the word ‘HS3’ does not get a mention). It’s difficult to see what ‘integrate HS2 into existing Leeds Station’ would mean, other than ‘Do not build Leeds New Lane station’.

According to the government,

  1. building HS2 would avoid the need for ‘expensive’ and ‘disruptive’ upgrades of the East Coast Main Line
  2. the East Coast Main Line cannot deliver the speed required for journeys between London the South and the North.

But One North calls for

  1. upgrading the East Coast Main Line for 140mph [225 km/h] operation
  2. through services from Bradford to London using the “too slow” East Coast Main Line.

(i) One North says the East Coast Main Line should be upgraded for speed and reliability. But building HS2 ‘avoids the cost and disruption of upgrading the East Coast Main Line’ (says the government).

(ii) HS2 is needed because travel from Leeds to London on the East Coast Main Line is too slow. But apparently travelling from Bradford to London on the East Coast Main Line — a longer distance — is just fine, according to One North.

(iii) One North claims,

In general, HS2 as planned provides excellent interconnectivity with city region networks – for instance in Liverpool, Manchester and Newcastle.

But “HS2 as planned” does not reach either Newcastle upon Tyne, or Liverpool. At the launch of the ’20 Miles More’ campaign on 31 January 2014, ResPublica’s Phillip Blond said that HS2 in its current form was worse than nothing, and would hold “Liverpool’s head under the water”.

Hull — Liverpool is similar to Birmingham — London in mileage, but in the latter case only 360 km/h will “do”, whereas One North considers 125mph [200 km/h] to be “high speed” when it comes to new-build track between Northern cities.

HS2 Ltd Meadowhall station proposal

HS2 Ltd’s Meadowhall station proposal appears to have no east-west capability

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Written by beleben

August 5, 2014 at 12:07 pm

5 Responses

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  1. If Great Britain ended at Wolverhampton there would be no point in building HS2 to 400km/h standard, but as it goes all the way up to Wick and Thurso it makes sense to have the line built as fast as the technology allows. London to Birmingham trains will run at 330km/h simply because they need to run at the same speed as those going to the North of England and Scotland. A line from Liverpool to Hull at 200km/h is entirely reasonable given the shorter distances involved and the reasonably short distances between the major cities. That is not to say that it is would be a complete waste for such a line to be built to a higher speed, given that there are other efficiencies that come with faster train services, but a line of that speed is the minimum that would ensure it was the no 1 way of travelling east-west across the country.

    I also believe the report says the 230km/h ECML aspiration is only for the section between Darlington and Newcastle, presumably involving a reopened and slightly straightened Leamside Line. The current line between the two, passing through the heart of County Durham (on a viaduct, from which you can see the Cathedral and everything), is much slower than the rest of the route and is limited to two tracks in most places. A bypass here would therefore allow enhanced freight and local services and is the sort of small bypass/old line reopening that many HS2 opponents would normally advocate. The implication here is that there would then be either the first component of or an alternative for a captive extension of HS2 from Leeds to Newcastle.

    Liverpool are engaged in histrionics about not being included on the main Phase 2 works, as they feel the enhanced service to the city is more than negated by providing a better link to their main rival in the North West. It’s not as much a genuine complaint as a whinge that they aren’t having several billion extra pounds spent on them from the main HS2 budget envelope, especially when HS2 Ltd have pointed out that the city would be significantly harder to serve than any of the other three planned non-London termini.

    CautiousObserver

    August 8, 2014 at 10:52 pm

    • If Great Britain ended at Wolverhampton there would be no point in building HS2 to 400km/h standard, but as it goes all the way up to Wick and Thurso it makes sense to have the line built as fast as the technology allows.

      Demand doesn’t justify the investment. And no-one is planning to build a high speed line to Thurso.

      I also believe the report says the 230km/h ECML aspiration is only for the section between Darlington and Newcastle, presumably involving a reopened and slightly straightened Leamside Line.

      The Consortium of East Coast Main Line Authorities want to see extensive upgrading ‘along’ the East Coast Main Line, including provision for 230 km/h.

      beleben

      August 9, 2014 at 12:11 pm

      • The time period of these figures includes the disruption caused by the WCML upgrade, which would have depressed long-distance passenger numbers by some amount. Almost ten years have passed since the final figures and I think you’ll find that all passenger numbers would have increased over this time. In any case the prize of a high speed line to Scotland is that it would take the vast majority of air travellers, who outnumber rail passengers 4 to 1. That does not then include the amount of demand that will naturally be stimulated or no longer suppressed by the reduction in journey time. Passenger numbers on Paris-Lyon have steadily grown and grown to the point where double Duplexes with extra carriages to replace the central power cars are now needed on the route.

        The option for the 30 extra Class 801 to replace the IC225s on ICEC included a free upgrade to 225km/h running, so I’m not surprised that there is some demand for that capability to be used. Once the entire ICEC fleet has been replaced and the timetable completely rewritten the capability may well be used if the infrastructure is in place, but most probably only being used to help services make up time lost to other problems on the railway. Such an approach is very sensibly being used on HS2, and it makes it easier to have a more resilient timetable without needing to slow everything down.

        CautiousObserver

        August 9, 2014 at 7:17 pm

      • In any case the prize of a high speed line to Scotland is that it would take the vast majority of air travellers, who outnumber rail passengers 4 to 1.

        The Glasgow / Edinburgh — London air services don’t need public subsidy. So I don’t understand ‘the prize’ of spending billions of pounds of public cash to induce a relatively small number of Anglo-Scottish air passengers, onto loss-making infrastructure.

        beleben

        August 10, 2014 at 8:14 pm

  2. Cautious Observer is not being so cautious in his comments re Liverpool. The loss of journey-time parity with Manchester is very significant and could cost Liverpool up to £50 million a year according to KPMG. That a multi-billion pound project could risk such damage to Britain’s fourth largest city (third largest if you accept that West Yorkshire isn’t all a suburb of Leeds) is perhaps the biggest criticism of the whole project.

    matthew jones

    August 10, 2014 at 6:42 pm


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