die belebende Bedenkung

The difference in disruption, part two

with 4 comments

Part one

A HS2 Ltd paper estimated 183 weekend closures of a day’s duration or longer on the existing railway would be needed to allow for construction of its London – Birmingham high speed line. That figure is likely to change, because in March 2014 the government accepted recommendations from HS2 chairman David Higgins for a more comprehensive redevelopment of Euston than the plan currently in the bill, the Guardian reported.

[HS2 plans require ‘huge number’ of weekend line closures, say campaigners, Mark Tran, The Guardian, 31 Aug 2015]

[…] The number of weekend closures comes from an HS2 Ltd information paper prepared for the hybrid bill committee, based on plans submitted to parliament in November 2013. The paper said the closures would be done in normal night-time and weekend maintenance periods so as to minimise disruption to passenger and freight services.

Construction of Britain’s second high-speed rail link will lead to the closure of several lines for up to 33 weekends and Euston station for 19 weekends, campaigners have said.

Figures from HS2 Ltd, the public body responsible for developing and promoting the plans for a new London-to-Birmingham line, show that proposed closures include those of the west coast mainline near Lichfield for 31 weekends, the Derby-to-Birmingham line for 32 weekends and 33 weekend closures at Old Oak Common affecting Crossrail and the Great Western mainline.

However, that figure seems to have changed already, because page 24 of the July 2015 Government Response to the Lords Economic Affairs Committee gave the ‘indicative number of weekend closures’ required to build HS2 phase one as 223.

So why, one might ask, is there a difference of 40 weekends between the two estimates? Could it be that the numbers were just, ahem, plucked out of the air? Has anyone actually seen a site-by-site breakdown or description of the 183 (or 223) weekends? (This blog hasn’t, and it’s not for want of asking.)

It has been said that without HS2, Euston would need to be ‘rebuilt anyway’. What has never been said, is why it would need to be ‘rebuilt anyway’.

Page 24 of the July 2015 Government's HS2 Response to the Lords Economic Affairs Committee

On 19 June 2015, WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff announced that it had been contracted to undertake an ‘early phase study’ to investigate the realignment of existing tracks around the HS2 Old Oak Common site.

“Early phase study”. In other words, there was no detailed information about the amount of classic works required to accommodate HS2 at Old Oak Common.

WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff announcement about Old Oak Common works, 19 June 2015

Written by beleben

August 31, 2015 at 10:06 pm

Posted in Politics

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4 Responses

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  1. As any-one who travels through it in either the morning or evening rush hours, Euston has been inadequate for many years. Virgin passengers who are held on the concourse until the last minute will tell you the same.
    Network Rail realised this some 10 years ago and selected British Land to take forward a scheme for the complete redevelopment of the station. This was a two level design, with departing passengers on a seperate level from arriving passengers, as at Waterloo International.


    September 1, 2015 at 12:26 pm

    • People used to be held on the concourse until the last minute in BR days (when passenger volumes were much lower than they are now), which would tend to suggest that passenger experience shortcomings of Euston are not down to the station having become ‘too busy’. Circulation in and around Euston was progressively impeded by property development in front of the station, and the introduction of burger kiosks in the concourse.


      September 2, 2015 at 9:56 am

  2. The HS2 Ltd paper giving some information on the weekend possessions needed of existing rail lines is available in the link below. This was the source of the information used for the Guardian article.


    September 1, 2015 at 1:54 pm

    • HS2 Ltd want to move the Heathrow Express to Langley, which would presumably entail disruption (to connect tracks to the depot, etc), And Birmingham city council’s visualisation of the Curzon Street station includes new decking over the existing approach tracks to New Street. How that could be done over a live railway, is unclear. Yet Table 3.1 in the ‘D1 Possessions’ paper doesn’t seem to list any weekend possessions at those locations.


      September 2, 2015 at 9:43 am

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