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HS2 versus do-minimum, part four

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In the Department for Transport’s year 2033 / 2034 ‘doomsday’ Higher Growth scenario, Friday evening Pendolino trains from London Euston to Birmingham New Street would have a Standard class loading of 124%, even if each one had an extra Standard carriage (converted from First class).

Department for Transport, intercity West Coast loading forecasts, Nov 2015

One might be tempted to ask,

  1. how likely is the ‘Higher Growth scenario’?
  2. how likely is it that Pendolino trains built in the early 2000s, would still be in mainline use in 2033 / 2034?
  3. what infrastructure upgrades would be needed to handle ‘Higher Growth scenario’ demand?

The answers to questions 1 and 2 seem to be, ‘No idea’, and ‘Not very’.

The answer to question 3, seems to be: ‘None’. The demand is handleable by taking up unused paths, and using different trains.

London – Birmingham,
Year 2033 / 2034
WCML Higher Growth scenario
do-minimum concept
4-hour Friday pm peak
Seat demand 7,073
Seat supply 9,504
Capacity shortfall 0

The Higher Growth scenario assumes that 11 Birmingham trains run during the four hour ‘intercity peak’ between 4pm and 8pm. “124% loading” would imply 7,073 passengers, of which 1,375 would be standees.

With a timetable recast, the current signalling would allow 16 trains across the four hour peak. If those trains were similar to the 260-metre IEP, the total seating provision would be 9,504.

Similar calculations, for other service groups, suggest that Higher Growth demand is manageable without HS2, and with the existing signalling and platform lengths.

Written by beleben

October 4, 2016 at 10:37 am

Posted in High speed rail, HS2

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