die belebende Bedenkung

The balance of advantage

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At the time of writing, Conservative MP Theresa Villiers’ February 2009 speech to the Arup Conference on High Speed Rail is still online.

[Theresa Villiers, 2009]

On the crucial corridor from the West Midlands, [Labour’s] White Paper contained the following wisdom:

“The balance of advantage would appear to favour services running at conventional speeds on reopened alignments between London and Birmingham.” Delivering a Sustainable Railway, July 2007, p67


Written by beleben

September 23, 2014 at 2:33 pm

Posted in High speed rail, HS2

One Response

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  1. Thanks for turning up Theresa Villier’s speech, presumably written by Arups.

    I do not understand why HS2 Ltd think that a high speed line costs only 10% more than a conventional railway when Arup’s suggested that it would cost 30% more. Even more remarkable is that HS2 Ltd’s claim relates to its so called “future proof” railway with its ridiculous design speed of 400kph, which appears was chosen mainly to claim bragging rights.

    I assume the Arup comparison was related to a more modest design speed, such as a recent TGV lines running at 320kph. The HS2 design speed needs larger and longer tunnels, more earthworks and viaducts, more noise mitigation works, more powerful trains together with the wiring and power supplies needed to make them work, etc. When are HS2 Ltd going to acknowledge that going so fast is unnecessary in a country like ours. If you want to shorten journey times from door to door, then going faster is not the answer. Much cheaper to tackle the slowest bits first, improve connectivity, increase frequency and don’t have stupid ticket restrictions that mean that you have to build in an extra allowance to catch the booked train(s). A 250kph line would still meed the EU definition of High Speed. With a 250kph design, the journey to Birmingham along the HS2 route should not take more than 14 minutes longer than going at 400kph for those bits where it is possible. Much cheaper and easier to gain those 14 minutes, if that is seen to be important, by improving connectivity. Of course if you want to save even more money, just electrify the Chiltern Line and utilise the full capacity of that line and the WCML through some relatively modest improvements.


    September 24, 2014 at 5:33 pm

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