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Value of a railfreight path between Preston and Carstairs

with 2 comments

The addition of classic by-passes for HS2, or HS2 new-build track to Anglo-Scottish West Coast Main Line capacity could provide more freight paths, subject to compatibility with classic passenger services, HS2 Ltd’s “Broad Options” report proclaimed.

[HS2 Ltd, “Broad Options” report, March 2016]

[…] The additional paths which are taken up by freight, which would otherwise have been transported by road, could provide environmental and decongestion benefits. To give a sense of scale, preliminary analysis (using DfT’s marginal external cost approach and a series of assumptions) shows that an additional freight path between Preston and Carstairs (every haulage day in one direction) could generate approximately £20 million (PV) in benefits over the appraisal. Further analysis would be needed to understand all potential benefits.

Not £20 million a year, but £20 million PV.

So the present value of an additional daily ‘released’ railfreight path between Preston and Carstairs is, at best, about 0.01% of the cost of the enabling infrastructure. And if the enabling infrastructure is ‘new line’, not ‘by-pass’, the present value of a freight path is more like 0.005% of its cost.

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Written by beleben

March 22, 2016 at 2:13 pm

Posted in HS2, Scotland

2 Responses

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  1. Shock horror, one path in one direction per day couldn’t possibly pay back the cost of building the infrastructure over the appraisal period, assuming that current environmental and market conditions hold for railfreight versus road haulage.

    What solution do you have for decreasing the environmental impact of long distance freight in the UK? It’s not as if it’s going to decrease in future, and environmental restrictions are going to become more and more odious in future. Driverless lorries will result in some efficiency improvements but these will be marginal and nowhere near enough to compete with electric-hauled railfreight. If you’ve got 775m worth of containers needing moved from Coatbridge to Felixstowe rail will always be the most efficient option simply due to the efficiency of metal-on-metal rather than rubber-on-tarmac.

    CautiousObserver

    April 18, 2016 at 12:50 am

    • “Shock horror, one path in one direction per day couldn’t possibly pay back the cost of building the infrastructure over the appraisal period, assuming that current environmental and market conditions hold for railfreight versus road haulage.”

      Much bigger shock horror: fifty freight paths in each direction per day couldn’t possibly pay back the cost of building the infrastructure over the appraisal period. Or any appraisal period.

      HS2 Scotland is not wack ordinaire. Or even wack 2.0.

      It’s wack wocaine.

      Q. “What solution do you have for decreasing the environmental impact of long distance freight in the UK?”

      A. Don’t waste money on wack wocaine schemes.

      beleben

      April 18, 2016 at 5:41 pm


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