beleben

die belebende Bedenkung

HS2 and the East Midlands (part four)

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Part three

On 8 October 2014 the Derby Telegraph published plans “found in a leaked report” to re-site the proposed HS2 East Midlands Hub station from Toton Sidings to a location thought to be near Breaston, but people in the locality said “the line would not be welcome”.

Railway network in the Derby / Nottingham area, 2014

Railway network in the Derby / Nottingham area, 2014

Why might HS2 Ltd be looking at relocating its hub from Toton? The most likely explanation, is escalating build costs. Redesigning the route to avoid a need to tunnel under East Midlands airport could yield big savings, but would necessitate wider changes to the Consultation alignment.

Midland Main Line morning peak load factors (Network Rail, East Midlands Route Utilisation Strategy 2010)[/

Midland Main Line morning peak load factors (Network Rail, East Midlands Route Utilisation Strategy 2010)

As should be clear from Figure 3.7 in Network Rail’s 2010 Route Utilisation Strategy, an HS2 hub, even if based in Derby or Nottingham city centre, could not replace long distance high speed services on the Midland Main Line. That is because most LDHS passenger flows involve O/D pairs not served by HS2: only about a quarter of Nottingham_MML_train passengers are headed to or from Nottingham.

If all Nottingham-to-London travellers switched to HS2, there would be more seats available for other O/D passengers, but the magnitude of that benefit would be small. Obviously, if hundreds of people did want to travel from central Derby or Nottingham via a periurban HS2 hub, the connecting train would have to be of similar length to current intercity units on the Midland Main Line itself.

As on other north – south railways, capacity on the Midland Main Line is determined by the London approach, and reducing the number of passengers arriving from Derby etc would not make a whole lot of difference. Arup’s misdesign of St Pancras station has created long-term problems, which will be difficult and expensive to solve.

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Written by beleben

October 13, 2014 at 10:10 am

Posted in High speed rail, HS2

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