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Boondoggle of the weak

with 2 comments

According to Andrew Tyrie, chairman of the Treasury select committee, HS2 has the weakest economic case of all the projects within the government’s infrastructure programme, yet is being pushed through with the most enthusiasm.

The Times and The Guardian reported Andrew Tyrie's attack on the case for HS2

[Think Hinkley is an expensive white elephant? Not compared with HS2, Nils Pratley, The Guardian, 15 Sep 2016]

A House of Lords committee last year urged the government to review options involving lower speeds, and Tyrie wants to see something similar. “The question of whether it is possible to improve capacity at lower speed and, consequently, at a lower cost, has not been comprehensively examined,” he told [transport secretary Christopher] Grayling yesterday.

The Great Central railway alignment could be reactivated and connected into the WCML east or west of Rugby

In Germany, the vast majority of intercity trains will operate at 250 km/h or less - story from Ingenieur.de, 15 Sep 2016

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Written by beleben

September 16, 2016 at 2:15 pm

Posted in High speed rail, HS2

2 Responses

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  1. I don’t see the point in publishing something in German. For those who do not speak the language, like me, the full article is here.
    http://www.ingenieur.de/Branchen/Verkehr-Logistik-Transport/Mehr-Komfort-weniger-Tempo-im-neuen-ICE-4
    Google translate with some alterations which I hope do not alter the meaning.
    “250 kph top speed? Is this is the train of the future? For the German railway it is obviously farewell to the global competition for the fastest connections from A to B. Of course, time is an important factor, but because the ICE 3 only reaches its top speed of over 300 kph on a few stretches it makes the slower speed of its successor not very significant. This gives ICE 4 other advantages: significantly reduced weight and improved aerodynamics mean it uses around a fifth less energy than current ICE trains.”

    A similar item appeared in European Railway Review.
    http://www.europeanrailwayreview.com/29814/rail-industry-news/ice-4-deutsche-bahn/

    At 250kph you can use 2.3km radius curves. HS2 are using 9.03km radius curves so it goes through things which a slower line could avoid. A plain line, on the level, can carry around 25 trains per hour at 250kph; about 6 more than if trains travel at 360kph. Actual capacity will be less than these figures as it is determined by points, stations and gradients but high speeds make things worse. This is based on assumptions used by HS2 but Higgins and Kirby have both claimed that capacity increases with speed and it is time this fallacy was exposed. HS2’s argument that it will “only” cost 9% more to build a line for 400kph as opposed to 200kph is ridiculous as it is based on false assumptions and leaves out many factors.

    I don’t understand why the significance of the air photo isn’t explained but it shows the old GCR route through Rugby and the WCML.

    johnma

    September 18, 2016 at 8:44 am

    • The pictures in the blog generally have ‘titles’, which aim to summarise their content, and should be visible on mouseover, on a laptop. They might not be visible on other devices, in which case, please accept my apologies.

      Unfortunately, neither the mainstream nor the railway press have picked up on the David Higgins ‘twice-the-capacity-with-twice-the-speed’ claim, which was highlighted, and described as “nonsense”, in the Beleben blog in November 2014.

      beleben

      September 18, 2016 at 11:46 am


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