die belebende Bedenkung

Thirty minutes of queues

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The arrival of High Speed 2 in the early 2030s would “result in particular pressure on the London Underground network, with potential for 30 minutes of queues at Euston to access the Victoria Line in the morning peak without Crossrail 2”, according to London mayor Boris Johnson.

Mr Johnson is given to exaggeration, but with all the recent hullabaloo about ‘HS3’ and HS2 phase two, it’s important to bear in mind what a crock HS2 phase one is. The idea of funnelling nearly all fast trains from the north of England into Euston, and creating a 150-odd km long single point of failure south of Water Orton, beggars belief.


Written by beleben

October 29, 2014 at 6:18 pm

Posted in High speed rail, HS2, London

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3 Responses

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  1. HS2 Ltd’s philosophy is that nothing goes wrong with the train or the track and therefore it offers total reliability. Of course the reliability and capacity of the existing network could be transformed for a fraction of the cost of HS2, even if it included some modest new links and interchanges. If something goes wrong anywhere on HS2 track then the captive trains would have nowhere to go, following trains could be blocked and the whole HS2 schedule, and dream, could collapse.

    In his latest report, Higgins refers to DfT’s forecast that “traffic vehicle miles on the Strategic Road Network, covering motorways and major A-roads, will rise by 46% by 2040.” They can’t and even if the railway system was vastly improved so that it could carry double (or more) what it already carries, it would have very little impact on that growth, because of the relatively small proportion of traffic that currently goes via rail. Of course, road traffic does not start and finish on motorways, just like journeys by train don’t start and finish at stations; a fact DfT seems to consistently ignore.

    Britain’s motorway network, has limited redundancy and many of the “major” A-roads are of a very low standard, often single carriageway and passing through towns or villages. DfT, in its “wisdom”, seems to think that adding an extra lane to motorways here and there is the solution, but what does it achieve and what does it cost? Has anyone stopped to consider other alternatives? Possibly; in the same way that alternatives to HS2 were “considered” and dismissed. Higgins suggests that we need a transport strategy but that seems to have been a recurring theme for decades and we don’t seem to be any closer to getting one. Creating out-of-town stations and developments, and encouraging and improving long-distance travel is contrary to any sensible transport strategy. So if you want to build high speed railways it best not to have a transport strategy.


    October 29, 2014 at 8:48 pm

  2. Thirty minutes of queues at Euston. Simple answer – get off at Old Oak Common. Possibly the best way to go for most people even if there aren’t any queues at Euston. One would naturally assume that DfT has some good information about where people go already and has used this in its evaluation of station options but I could be wrong. I certainly have not seen any published info on this. Have I missed something?


    October 29, 2014 at 8:57 pm

  3. Johnma: a lot of City and Canary Wharf workers live out in Essex. Would a journey to Old Oak Common on Crossrail via Stratford or Liverpool Street be less unwelcome than their current pavement plod between Euston Square and Euston?

    Michael Wand

    October 31, 2014 at 8:39 pm

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