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Displaying their ignorance

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From the Independent Transport Commission high speed rail report ‘Ambitions and opportunities‘ (20 November 2014), which is apparently endorsed by the Department for Transport:

[ITC report]

HSTs running on “classic” rail may be constrained by track design – such as curvature, gradients or point work where lines separate or converge. High-speed infrastructure will be designed to be straighter and flatter, which increases the construction cost, since it requires more cuttings and embankments and possibly longer tunnels and bridges.

The “flatter” claim shows how little the ITC report-writers know about high speed rail. The truth is that the inclines on new-build TGV lines in France, and the new-build Frankfurt — Cologne high speed line, are fierce. So fierce, in the case of Frankfurt — Cologne, that many of Deutsche Bahn’s own high speed trains cannot use the line. The steep gradients designed into HS2 are one of its many flaws.


It is generally much cheaper to build brand new high-speed infrastructure than to upgrade existing lines to a higher speed, which requires enhanced signaling, reduced curves and gradients and remodeled, longer and straighter junctions.

Where is the evidence to support that assertion? There’s none to be found in the report.

The ITC report-writers don’t even seem to understand the definitions of high speed rail used in Europe. All in all, a shockingly bad piece of work.

Independent Transport Commission website, About page

[ITC report]


Written by beleben

November 21, 2014 at 11:42 am

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