HS2 and London Midland commuting, part three
During its construction phase, HS2 would obviously not be helpful in reducing crowding on London Midland commuter trains — because of the disruption involved in building it into Euston, and rebuilding the station itself. But what about the longer term?
Judging by London Midland’s “Finding a Seat” information for 2014, crowding is not generally caused by a lack of Fast line paths. The company uses red dots to indicate trains where passengers tend to outnumber seats.
Much of the crowding takes place on the Commuter Slow trains, not the Fast ones (see right hand diagram). Path utilisation on the Slow lines is poor.
Another cause of crowding is the use of short-length trains. Consider, for example, the 16:34 to Tring. In the May 2014 timetable it is shown as a 12-car consist, with ‘plenty of seats’. In the December 2014 timetable, it is an shown as an 8-car consist, with ‘standing room only’ (one red dot).
If the 18:13 or 18:52 to Birmingham New Street were 12-car, would there be red dots?
As previously explained on this blog, building high speed rail is a ludicrous and unbelievably wasteful way of addressing London Midland commuter crowding.