die belebende Bedenkung

The hordes of Aldridge

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In an article for Rail Engineer (3 January 2014), Andrew McNaughton, Technical Director of HS2 Ltd, stated that “The first phase of HS2 will be most useful in releasing capacity to recast the south end of the WCML and the corridor through Coventry into Birmingham. The former will then accommodate the growth into London and the latter high frequency metro style services that Centro envisages.”

However, all the evidence suggests that

  • HS2 would not enable a high frequency local rail service into Birmingham
  • what Centro (now TfWM) “envisages”, is certainly not a “metro style” service.

According to a listing of sample post-HS2 departures prepared by Centro’s Toby Rackliff, there would no longer be direct trains between Coventry, and stations like Marston Green and Stechford.

But there would be a direct train between Coventry and Aldridge, presumably for the ‘hordes’ of people wanting to commute between those places.

Potential post-HS2 Coventry station departures in a sample one-hour period, presented by Toby Rackliff of Centro

Potential post-HS2 Coventry station departures in a sample one-hour period, presented by Toby Rackliff of Centro

Centro's post-HS2 recast of Coventry trains ending direct service to Marston Green, Lea Hall, Stechford, and Adderley Park, but allowing a through service to Aldridge

Written by beleben

March 7, 2017 at 11:40 am

Posted in HS2, Politics

2 Responses

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  1. Thanks for the link to the RE article by McNaughton which I had not seen before. Yet another article in which ludicrous claims are made about the cost of high speed rail.
    “And as other countries have found, building it high speed provides new connectivity with greatly reduced travel times at modest additional cost. We have shown that the incremental cost of a high speed railway over a conventional one is no more than 10%.”
    Unfortunately, as can be seen from the rapidly increasing cost estimates for HS2, the incremental cost is not modest and the “no more than 10%” claim is pure fiction. It is scandalous that HS2 have never admitted that it is wrong. The HS2 scheme provides virtually no new connectivity and many places will end up worse off.


    March 7, 2017 at 3:42 pm

  2. Well it’s confirmed what we’ve always known, that the Virgin service gets cut to tph, with more stops were on the cards.

    But the thing that stands out is the use of the single-tracked Leamington line via Kenilworth, which suggests this timetable is poorly thought out bollocks.

    Currently, the idea is that the single southbound crosscountry tph leaves at 25 minutes past the hour, as the northbound one clears the single clears the single track to get into the station and debate at 27 minutes past the hour.

    Under this proposed timetable, the two southbound cross country trains to Reading & Bournemouth are due to depart down the single track section four minutes before (54 & 24) the two northbound ones to Newcastle & Manchester (58 & 28). This means either a significantly increased platform idling time for the northbound trains, or somehow these trains will occupy the same single track at the same time.

    Obviously proponents of HS2 will say incorrectly that the Leamington-Coventry line is due to be ‘redoubled’, when the reality is that most of it has always been single track, and plans for full doubling have never been confirmed even when the ‘electric spine’, which seems now firmly in the long grass, was flavour of the month

    The other thing that sticks out like a sore thumb is the Leamington-Nuneaton services promised under the NuCKLe proposals, or more rightly it seems a complete lack of them.

    If there will be a train from Cov ever half hour to both Leamington & Nuneaton, for that to be one through service with three trainsets, the current Cov-Nun return journey of 44 mins (plus turnaround) has to be done in 36 mins, and every train would have to linger at the Leamington end for a good quarter of an hour. If they can’t shave that time off, you need five trainsets, with a much longer time parked in Leamington.

    More likely is they have in their mind that these will be two separate services. Cov-Nun is simply doubling current service, which idles at each station for 6 & 10 mins currently.

    Cov-Leam is a different matter. Currently with the crosscountry service, the time between arrival at one station and departure from the other is 14 minutes, to which a stop in Kenilworth has to be added. So if you bomb it, and don’t get delayed for a minute in the entire day, you can do that with one trainset. If you are slightly more realistic, this has to be done with two trainsets, but that would mean on the proposed timetable, you’ve effectively got a train parked on a platform at one end almost permanently.

    You could possibly manage a through service at half hour intervals with three trainsets, but that relies on getting them across Coventry station, and almost certainly cannot be done with that proposed timetable.

    If it’s not going to be a through service, the simple and brain-meltingly obvious solution would be for the crosscountry services to stop at Kenilworth, but that would mean making sure that new station has platforms long enough to manage that, with the knowledge that those trains must be increased in size from the current four carriages.

    Joe Rukin

    March 8, 2017 at 1:46 pm

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