die belebende Bedenkung

Now is the time

with 3 comments

Andrew Adonis: “Not enough people pay enough attention to interchanges”With London Crossrail 1’s tunnels and interchanges at the fit-out stage, now is the time for National Infrastructure Commission chairman Andrew Adonis to fret about their design, apparently.

[Crossrail interchanges are not good enough, says Lord Adonis, Gwyn Topham, The Guardian, 12 April 2016 ]

Passengers face long walks between trains, with poor links to tube network likely to offset faster journey times, says infrastructure chief

[…] “The interchanges are not great. There are going to be a lot of passengers walking a long way to change between trains – and they are very long trains,” Lord Adonis said of Crossrail, speaking at an infrastructure conference in London.

The former transport secretary, who held office in the last Labour government when Crossrail was officially announced in 2009, said: “I tried as a minister at the last minute to unpick this, but it was too late.”

Very high speed rail was launched by Mr Adonis in 2009, but evidently not enough time has yet passed for him to have noticed that his dead-end Birmingham HS2 station would be sited hundreds of yards from the main station, at New Street.

So, the sentence “Not enough people pay enough attention to interchanges”, includes, it seems, the chancellor, the prime minister, and the NIC chairman.

Needless to say, HS2, ‘HS3’, and Crossrail 2 are replete with conceptual and design flaws.

David Begg, Lord Adonis, Jim Steer, Patrick McLoughlin, David Higgins, HS2 trainspotting

Written by beleben

April 13, 2016 at 9:19 am

Posted in HS2, London, Railways, Transport

3 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. So what would you do to add more space for trains at Birmingham New Street? Would you knock down the city centre, or spend many billions on a new bored cavern station? In any case, New Street isn’t the sole centre location in Birmingham. If you’re going to the Snowhill office development you’ll either be able to get a tram directly from Curzon Street or a train from Moor Street, which is next door to the HS2 terminus. The development plans for the Eastside area will also mean that the city centre will grow eastwards and there will be more places within easier walking distance of Curzon Street station than New Street.

    [Comment by Beleben:] In case you haven’t noticed, this blogpost is not about “adding more space for trains at Birmingham New Street”. And HS2 is certainly not about adding more space for trains there. New Street’s classic trains would have to continue running, because if they didn’t, there would be no fast services from Shrewsbury to London, Birmingham to Chesterfield, etc, etc, etc.


    April 17, 2016 at 11:33 pm

    • I have noticed, Beleben. However, you mention the distance between Curzon Street and New Street in your post so I am commenting on it. It’s your second paragraph not including the quote.

      It’s absurd to complain that because the number of trains running through these places will not decrease, that there has been no capacity increase.

      [Comment by Beleben:] There has been no “capacity increase”, because HS2 has not been built. If it were built, the effects on path capacity at New Street would be minuscule, for reasons already explained. According to HS2 Ltd’s Demand for Long Distance Travel, (i) very few people currently travel from Birmingham to Leeds by rail, (ii) if HS2 were built, very few people would travel from Birmingham to Leeds by rail.

      The trains that will continue to run through will be available for use by people going on different journeys than before.

      [Comment by Beleben:] What “different journeys than before”?

      All your Birmingham-Leeds passengers (although there are not many at the moment) will be travelling on the new Curzon Street HS2 services, leaving plenty of seats available for Birmingham-Chesterfield passengers.

      Or perhaps, since there aren’t many Birmingham – Leeds passengers ‘at the moment’, and there aren’t going to be ‘many in the future’, why not just accommodate Chesterfield and Leeds travellers on the same train, running on the existing track…

      It’s entirely unsurprising that Crossrail 1 has got not-short interchanges with the other lines, given that the other lines on the same east-west axis were built almost a hundred years ago. The Central and Metropolitan lines were built back when it was necessary to build under the road network, so there is almost no space available for new Crossrail stations to be built with cross-platform interchange. With the way that the two platform tunnels have to be parallel and close together to fit under the road, there’s no way to build intermediate access points – the likes of which would allow faster connection times – without new platforms having to be built slightly further away. That approach is the only option for the Northern Line at Bank and it is going to cost several hundred million pounds for a single line, and that is without changing the level of the platforms.

      I don’t actually understand why Lord Adonis is whinging so much about this, since there’s effectively nothing that can be done. The role of Crossrail is to provide an express route through and into central London and having slightly longer connection times is an inevitability of such an approach. The more express the route, the further it will be from the places where people want to go. The speed improvements from being an express route can often justify the extra connection time, but if they don’t the option of continuing to use the existing lines will still exist.


      April 20, 2016 at 1:10 am

      • Is it really that unclear that my first paragraph refers to the future once HS2 is built? Of course HS2 hasn’t resulted in a capacity increase today.

        It’s not paths that matter when moving passengers around, it’s the number of seats available. If you increase the number of seats available on the routes that passengers go on, you increase capacity even if you don’t increase the number of trains per hour.

        [Comment by Beleben:] According to MVA’s July 2013 Demand and Appraisal Report, the year-2043 whole-day two-way demand between Birmingham would be all of 700 trips, compared to 400 in 2010. So Leeds — Birmingham HS2 would be mainly for moving air around (not passengers); 700 people would not fill even one ‘full length’ HS2 train.

        On the Stockport corridor, for example, there will still be as many trains per hour running as there are today once Phase 2 is built. However, as the London and Birmingham passengers will be on the HS2 trains running through the new tunnel, those paths on the Stockport corridor will be available for use by trains going to other places. If capacity is available to do something, then why would you not run as many trains as you possibly can?

        [Comment by Beleben:] Because if you run trains for which there is no demand, you run out of (other people’s) money. In case you haven’t noticed, GB railways require billions of pounds of subsidy as it is.
        Somehow, I don’t think economics is your strongpoint.
        The current Birmingham to Leeds traffic runs on the CrossCountry trains which are also responsible for providing local and regional services. The XC Aberdeen to Plymouth service acts as a regional service between Aberdeen and Edinburgh, then a regional service between Edinburgh and Leeds, then a regional service between Leeds and Birmingham, then a regional service between Birmingham and Bristol, then a regional service between Bristol and Plymouth and then a service to Plymouth. This is made worse by the fact that the trains are currently not fit for purpose as they were built too short and with too few seats. The short-term solution to this is to lengthen the trains, but as has been the case across the rest of the network passenger growth will eventually outrun our ability to lengthen them. It isn’t possible to add in extra services because of the bottlenecks on the network, such as at New Street. When in future the passengers doing longer distance journeys on the XC network move the current paths will be able to be used exclusively by people making shorter-distance journeys.


        April 20, 2016 at 2:37 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: