die belebende Bedenkung

Don’t forget those big Coventry benefits

with one comment



Written by beleben

August 20, 2014 at 11:11 am

Posted in High speed rail, HS2

One Response

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  1. I am a member of the IET and am not part of a mob. I am an independent thinker.

    I just like to point out things like a 7.2 m bore HS2 tunnel will produce over 4 times the spoil per metre of tunnel length than a standard underground tube tunnel. 4 times the lorry movements, 4 times the disruption.

    I question whether all our rail transport problems can be solved using mechanical and civil engineering techniques alone – even if some of them are innovative. What about electrical and control engineering? What about modified ways of working?

    For example, if we wanted to build a new electrified rail line through the Pennines to connect Manchester and Sheffield/Leeds should the option to use on board batteries to power the train through the 3 mile tunnel be considered, to avoid the cost of building and maintaining high voltage catenaries underground. If a twin track single bore tunnel was used could we use automated driverless trains or control and signalling systems to automatically prevent more than one high speed train travelling through the tunnel at the same time (above a certain speed limit e.g. 50 or 60 m.p.h.); in order to avoid the cost of building a triple bore tunnel with central refuge.

    There has been a general trend to reduce the level of public subsidy given to the railways over the last few years. Although I welcome this general trend, in my opinion more of the financial rebalancing should be achieved by engineering innovation and service cost reduction – instead of just lazily relying on above inflation fare increases year after year after year. My feeling is that HS2 will unavoidably reverse this trend and lead to a massive increase in public subsidies needed by the railways, leading to enhanced cross-subsidy from the rest of the network and decades more in terms of above inflation fare increases.

    Given the ridiculous amount of tunnelling needed to deliver HS2, and given the amount of infrastructure investment that is realistically needed to integrate it properly into the rest of the rail network, no one really believes that the costs can be kept within the £50 billion budget. With the complete re-development of Euston now proposed it looks like £25 to £30 billion of the total budget will be sunk within the outer geographical limits of Greater London alone, with very little benefit seen by most long suffering London commuters. Take off the £8 billion for the trains and that leaves £12 to £17 billion to be spent on the rest of HS2 network outside of Greater London. This is not credible. The Treasury’s secret estimate of over £70 billion for the HS2 project seems much closer to the mark. The HS2 to HS1 link is of course not included in this price.

    There do exist people (engineers like myself) arguing against HS2, without a particular self-interest to protect. The HS2 proponents refuse to give a coherent business case/plan. All I want to know is how much money and resources will be drained from the rest of the rail network and the rest of society to pay the capital and running costs of HS2 once it is built.

    It must be remembered Ministers, MP’s, Civil Servants and Public Servants do not have to pay their own work related rail costs, the general public does. How much of HS1 ticketing income is for travel by UK and EU public sector elites, that is ultimately financed by the UK tax payer? How much of HS2 ticketing will be for travel by public sector elites that will ultimately be financed by the tax payer?

    James Arathoon

    August 20, 2014 at 2:08 pm

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