The platforms and the trains
In the House of Lords HS2 debate on 16 September Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon assured those present that the new railway would not reduce the number of platforms at Euston.
[Lord Ahmad, House of Lords HS2 debate, 16 September 2015]
[…HS2] will deliver 11 new high-speed platforms and 11 for the existing network. That is a total of 22 platforms, which is four higher than the current 18 platforms.
In the “Smoker’s Fingernail” Euston 4.0 design, the number of West Coast platforms at Euston would fall from 18 to 11, but the number of West Coast peak services would be similar to the current volume (see Andrew McNaughton’s diagram above). To claim West Coast platforming capacity would increase from 18 to 22 is nonsense.
In the same way, the rebuild of St Pancras ‘increased the total number of platforms at that station’, but it drastically cut the number of Midland Main Line platforms. Repeating the design and capacity mistakes of St Pancras makes no sense, but Euston 4.0 would take botching to a whole new level.
In the HoL debate Lord Greaves stated that “Some people think that the existing network can be fettled in such a way as to cater for the required extra capacity, but that would need the extra rolling stock anyway”, so at least some of the cost of the HS2 rolling stock “is to be discounted”.
Building HS2 would create a need for billions of pounds of additional rolling stock expenditure.
- High speed trains are more expensive to buy.
- If high speed rail service results in extra generated journeys, that would probably require a larger overall trainfleet.
- The Y network concept is based on using 200 metre trainsets, which is extremely inefficient. For example, about half the captive HS2 units would be used only in peak hours.
- In effect, the Y network concept requires large-scale duplication of rolling stock provision. For example, between Birmingham and Leeds and Birmingham and Manchester, 200-metre HS2 trains would run largely empty. But the classic trains between those places could not be withdrawn, because of the need to maintain connectivity for Chesterfield, Burton on Trent, Stafford, etc.