die belebende Bedenkung

The legend of extra capacity, part two

with 3 comments

Part one

As previously mentioned, homogenised use of the Rugby – Euston West Coast Fast Lines could produce a capacity uplift of ~40% without major instrustructure work or resignalling. The capacity and reliability increase would largely arise from using more appropriate rolling stock. Lower performance units, such as the Class 350, could be cascaded to support an expanded electrification programme in northern England.

Network Rail Rugby - Euston Fast intensive use scenario

Network Rail Rugby – Euston Fast intensive use scenario (for comparison)

In the ‘80%’ scenario presented below, outer suburban capacity from London to Milton Keynes would be increased by 100% over the 2012 level. While it would be theoretically possible to originate a northbound Fast from Milton Keynes using the same path vacated by an ex-Euston outer suburban switching to Slow south of Bletchley, given the asymmetric demand north and south of Milton Keynes, re-casting the Euston Slow would be a more practical means of mitigating northbound connectivity loss. With an optimised station layout, some Fast station calls at Rugby would also be possible (the Rugby bifurcation effectively thins capacity utilisation of the WCML trunk).

West Coast Main Line, efficient use, no-resignal scenario

West Coast Main Line, efficient use, no-resignal scenario (Beleben)

Written by beleben

November 24, 2014 at 11:47 am

Posted in High speed rail, HS2

3 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Could you explain the difference between Part One and Part Two? The train pattern and sizes in both digrams are the same!


    November 24, 2014 at 3:05 pm

    • It is the same scheme as in part one, sorry for any confusion caused. I repeated the diagram in an attempt to make comprehension of part two easier. The aim of the blogpost was to reiterate the point that there is a lot of latent capacity on the West Coast Main Line, which could be exploited in various ways.


      November 24, 2014 at 7:52 pm

  2. There are numerous ways of increasing capacity on the West Coast Main Line without building HS2. Beleben has provided some examples in this article and previously.

    It is worth bearing mind that Virgin trains were only at 52% of capacity at peak time departures from Euston in a survey in 2011. Since then over half their Pendolinos have been increased from 9 to 11 carriages.

    Numbers of long distance rail passengers have had a lower percentage growth rate than that for total rail passengers for the last four years (ORR data).

    The 51M Optimised Alternative would provide an increase of more than 100% of standard class seats at peak times and 200% at non peak times compared to the baseline used by HS2 Ltd. Some but not all of these changes are being implemented and have the advantage over HS2 in that they can be introduced in increments.

    Project 110 provides faster trains for some London Midland services and they have a smaller speed differential to Virgin trains which allows more of them to be run on the fast lines. In turn this will allow time table changes of three more trains in the morning peak and five more in the evening peak.

    Network Rail has planned or commenced work in the Stafford area which will allow an additional four trains per hour on the WCML when completed in 2017.

    It is the London Midland trains (which serve commuters) that are the overcrowded ones on the WCML at peak times. Some of their load could be shared with Virgin trains if the latter were permitted to stop at Milton Keynes at peak times to pick up and set down passengers.


    November 25, 2014 at 11:30 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: