HS2 and London Midland commuting, part five
According to the Government Response to the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee HS2 report (July 2015), “the lack of track capacity for commuter services is highly relevant to the case for HS2 as the West Coast Main Line is a mixed use railway”.
Figure 2-4 from the Response (below) purported to show ‘indicative loadings’ on midweek evening commuter services departing Euston in 2033 / 2034, “assuming June 2015 capacity”.
As is now to be expected, Figure 2-4 turns out to be a load of old nonsense. There is plenty of unused line capacity, even with the existing signalling. For example, anyone perusing London Midland’s May 2015 ‘Getting a seat from Euston’ can see that in the period 16:00 to 16:59, just seven LM commuter trains head north from the station. In the period 17:00 to 17:59, the number is eleven. So, why don’t eleven trains leave Euston between 16:00 and 16:59? And of course, most of the peak trains are short-length (i.e., not twelve cars).
So why are most trains short-length, and why are there fewer trains outside of the high peak (5pm to 6pm)? How many people would be “standing in 2033” if trains ran at full length, and all paths were used?
If the Department of Transport are so worried about rail commuters having to stand, why did they order trains for Thameslink whose capacity is ‘666 seated, 1,088 standing’? Do people from Bletchley have more difficulty standing up, than people from Bedford?