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‘Full use of the eleven’

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Would the HS2 railway allow local / commuter trains to have “full use” of the reduced complement of 11 West Coast platforms at Euston?

Rail consultant William Barter: HS2 would allow local / commuter trains to gain full use of the eleven remaining Euston platforms (14 oct 2015)

Slide 13 of HS2 chief engineer Andrew McNaughton’s “Released Capacity” presentation (February 2015) does not support the idea that, with HS2 in operation, local / commuter trains would have full use of eleven Euston platforms.

HS2 Ltd's Andrew McNaughton: 'Released capacity' diagram, Feb 2015, slide #13

In the Professor’s post 2026 scenario, all Euston West Coast fast line services would run well beyond Northampton and Milton Keynes, to destinations such as Glasgow, Crewe, and North Wales. Because of the lack of stations on the proposed Y network, it is not possible to

  • replace long distance services on the classic lines, or
  • realise “£8 billion of savings” on the classic network

without breaking connectivity for all the places which would not have HS2 stations.

The problem is not even restricted to the West Coast Main Line. HS2 would not serve any town on the East Coast corridor between Leeds and London. In other words, the rhetoric cannot be aligned with the Economic Case.


Written by beleben

October 25, 2015 at 12:15 pm

Posted in HS2

Tagged with ,

One Response

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  1. I need to catch up with Andrew McNaughton’s current thinking here, a couple of years ago he gave a presentation on the trains that would be used on the UK & other extra high speed (I understood we already have a high speed network by the EU definition, with 100mph average speeds achievable London-Scotland (both Glasgow & Edinburgh in <4 hours – even with 2 very severe speed restrictions on both routes) and London-Bristol/Exeter with the high speed (GWR) main line built "within past 100 years" which seems to have been overlooked)

    At that time he was talking the near certainty that the trains would be built by the automated plant in China, which would be chasing the major supplier status in order to make viable use of the capacity. That was of course before the unfortunate crash incident. I'm now a bit confused, is China still in the frame, or are we now aiming to have a European production facility with Asian/Oriental backing, and trying to win it for the UK, but surely with major competition from everyone else.

    Your report seems to indicate as much confusion over the infrastructure and connected operation, with uncertainty on whether we'll have a complete railway or a half built one and end up with substantial short and nil return elements of HS1 and its connected details – 2 depots built, a fleet of "Regional Trains" now leased to SNCF and a fleet Overnight Trains flogged off in a fire sale, a major terminus and a major depot mothballed after less than 20 years, and now being adapted to work with vary different trains, plus a complete maintenance depot also likely to undergo the same process and another station still unused by regular services. If this is the prospectus for a High Speed Rail project, then clearly HS2 is a) very worrying for any financing organisation b) in need of a rigorous scrutiny taking reference from the testing ground of HS1.

    One of the immediate details of HS1 was the lack of any impact in reducing the numbers flooding in to London Bridge, and the vast acreage of unused car parking at Ebbsfleet – pretty much a ghost station when I've visited it. Most commuters ave worked out that with the extra costs in both cash and time of travelling to St Pancras AND getting a Northern Line Bank Branch (a clue in the name!) train back to where you want to be was actually slower than going to London Bridge and walking across the river with the added reliability and consistency of relying on only one train service which most make the connection to by walking to and from the station.

    Seasoned commuters often opt to use a slightly slower service if that route had no weak and variable connections – witness the massive growth of cycle use for the Waterloo to City journeys, with bikes now the main means by which individuals cross Blackfriars Bridge at peak times, and most of the 500+ Boris Bikes hired at the SE1 location going to EC1 and EC2 in the morning and back at night – not counting the 1000+ bikes/hour leaving the concourse, and the 600+ spaces used for overnight parking outside.

    Grand projects so often miss the detail by having a focus on moving the vehicles rather than the individual journeys of people and freight between to unique origin and destination points. I suspect that even if the cost of travelling from North Kent to EC1/2 via St Pancras and the massive hike to the Bank Branch or the Widened Lines options was even discounted against the services to London Bridge, the commuting masses would still opt for the simplicity and cross platform connection of the established network.

    Dave H (@BCCletts)

    October 25, 2015 at 2:58 pm

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