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HS2’s ruse to misinform

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Given Britain's small size, why would HS2 trains 
ever need to run at 300 km/h, let alone 400 km/h? The ‘over-priced, gold-plated’ HS2 rail project will fail in many of its objectives, a group of transport experts has warned.

[HS2 rail link ‘over-priced’ say transport experts, Roger Harrabin, BBC News, 26 May 2016]

The academics support high-speed rail overall, but say HS2 is five times more expensive than its French equivalent.

They argue that the benefits of HS2 can be achieved much more cheaply, with lower CO2 emissions, and they want their analysis examined by government.
HS2 has been designed to increase capacity and connections, regenerate the North and reduce climate impacts change.

Yet the critics say it will only achieve one of these – capacity. Many key rail journeys, they say, would be worse, including to Nottingham, Stockport and Wakefield.
One of them, Professor James Croll of UCL, told BBC News: “It is just vanity for the UK to have faster trains than the usual high-speed trains.
Professor Tony May from Leeds University told BBC News: “What’s needed is an independent, objective assessment of the alternatives. “These would include a less damaging version of HS2, a better-connected new line from London and transport investment in the North rather than to the North.

Contrary to what was said by Ben Ruse, train speeds are not 'rising throughout Europe'; in Germany, trains with a maximum speed of 249 km/h (or less) are replacing 300 km/h models

All that Ben Ruse, lead spokesperson for HS2, could say in response was that “HS2 would lure people off cars and onto trains, and so reduce carbon emissions”. Rail speeds, he claimed, “were rising throughout Europe – and keeping the speed lower would only cut carbon minimally”.

As train speed increases, the energy required and 
the carbon emissions increase much faster

[HS2 rail link ‘over-priced’ say transport experts, Roger Harrabin, BBC News, 26 May 2016]
Jim Steer, founder of the pro high-speed rail group Greengauge […] agreed that ultra-fast running would increase CO2 emissions by about 20% but said it was better than people driving cars.

‘Better than people driving cars?’ In the 2013 Economic Case, it was projected that just 4% of HS2 passengers would have previously used a car for their journey.

Written by beleben

May 26, 2016 at 2:15 pm

Posted in gibberish, HS2, Politics, Transport

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2 Responses

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  1. The very nature of the limited and many out of town HS2 stations predicates INCREASED car use to reach the stations.

    I certainly support high speed rail, and note that the claimed improved journey times are either the same or very little different from what could be achieved with current 125mph running and systems based on current timetabled daily services on ECML and WCML, which would be improved if a few key slacks were addressed.

    Capacity-wise one only needs to look at the 1967 Beeching closures* to get a clear idea of what lines to restore. * Plus the engineered closures to force the traffic from the closed route over to a recently enhanced route to make the figures look better Matlock-Buxton (to force Derby-Manchester traffic via Stoke on newly electrified railway/Paddington-Birmingham (including the Blue Pullman) to force traffic on to newly electrified WCML/Waverley Route (to force traffic via Beattock with improved Class 50 services) and very nearly Settle-Carlisle (to coincide with ECML electrification and force all Leeds-Scotland traffic to boost numbers via Newcastle).

    A few key links restored and a few new links (eg new 3rd tunnel W Hampstead – Kentish Town and connection to GC route and NLL route at W Hampstead) gives 2 route options to connect to HS1 at Maiden Lane (existing connections to MML and NLL) or run in to St Pancras from GC/GW or WCML – both high speed routes to Birmingham.

    Increasing the speeds for Class 390 and IC225 to their designed 140mph would deliver the HS2 journey times for Birmingham based on how current 125mph running delivers average speeds of 104-112mph stop to stop on daily timetabled services (with many WBQ-EUS running in early or recovering lost time on this part of the journey)

    Dave H (@BCCletts)

    May 27, 2016 at 2:03 am

    • PS The table “Time taken to cover 100Km” is a bit simplistic as it does not take account of having a tolerable rate of acceleration to that top speed so although a top speed of 400 Km/h might be reached (for a short distance between London and Birmingham) over just about 180Km via existing routes and just over 200Km via HS2 proposed route the average speed won’t be 400 Km/h and 100Km covered in half the time taken by a 200 Km/h train. Such a chart could easily be misread?

      Dave H (@BCCletts)

      May 27, 2016 at 2:11 am

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