die belebende Bedenkung

HS2 and rail decongestion

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SKM Colin Buchanan’s August 2012 ‘Assessment of capacity allocation and utilisation on capacity constrained parts of the GB rail network’ noted that network and industry efficiency are not the same thing. ‘It may be the case that track capacity is not efficiently allocated because of the structure of the industry’.

[SKM Colin Buchanan]

[…] The [McNulty RVfM] assessment highlighted inefficient allocation of capacity on the network, measured as passenger kilometres per train-kilometre (train capacity) or train kilometres per track kilometre (track capacity), as a constraint on the industry’s ability to accommodate extra traffic and concluded that these inefficiencies may lead to infrastructure-based solutions to the problem being preferred when other means are available which would represent better value for money.

McNulty RVfM concluded that ‘demand during the peak is heavily concentrated during a high peak hour and there is more scope for accommodating demand outside of this period’.

In the case of London Midland’s Euston commuter services, it must be possible to both redistribute demand and increase capacity in the 3-hour peak, with minimal infrastructure spend.

SKM Colin Buchanan rail capacity report, 2012 (Liverpool Street case study extract)

Currently, the national rail network records around 1600 million single leg journeys per year but less than 10% are classified as ‘long distance’. Industry forecasts suggest that

  • by 2020, there could be 2000 million journeys on national rail, and by 2030, ‘up to 3000’ million,
  • and by 2026, Inter City West Coast could account for 50 million journeys (up from ~34 million now).

According to the government, HS2 would carry around 90 million passengers per annum, and its 2013 Economic Case suggested that 69% of the new line’s ridership would be made up of people ‘transferring from existing rail‘.

So, if government and industry forecasts are correct, (0.69 * 90 =) 62 million classic rail trips would be transferred to HS2, and

  • if the year 2020 national rail forecast of 2000 million journeys is used, HS2 would ‘remove’ about 3% of passengers from the classic network (so, less than 2 years’ growth)
  • if the year 2030 national rail forecast of ~3000 million journeys is used, HS2 would remove about 2% of passengers from the classic network.

The notion that HS2 would be ‘transformative’ for national rail capacity, does not stand up to scrutiny.

Written by beleben

July 22, 2015 at 10:05 am

Posted in HS2, Planning, Railways

One Response

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  1. Seen at Stockport Station – a hoarding telling passengers on the phut-phut line to Chester they should look at travelling in comfort with Virgin via Crewe for the same money and time – and time for a coffee in Crewe to boot.

    The cheapest ticket at around 8am for the journey Man Picc to Chester is the 07 55 Virgin to Euston (it’s full, init?) with a Virgin connection to Chester. Does this count as one intercity journey or two currently?
    And will HS2 operate the same trick to boost its numbers?

    British rail is no longer working and HS2 will not fix it.


    July 22, 2015 at 11:39 am

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