die belebende Bedenkung

(Belatedly) speaking truth unto trainspotters

with 2 comments

Twitter, @CarlShillitoUK at the 'National Rail Conference'

At Bauer’s “National Rail Conference” today (15 June 2017) the ‘moderator’ is Steve Norris, and the ‘keynote speaker’ is HS2 Ltd chairman David Higgins.

Would that be the same Steve Norris who helped run the incompetent and now-defunct track maintenance company, Jarvis?

The Guardian, 'Jarvis crash year bonuses', 15 Sep 2004

And the same David Higgins who

  • mismanaged Network Rail’s Great Western electrification project, contributing to costs almost tripling?
  • was appointed to “drive down” the cost of HS2, and completely failed to do so?
  • on 17 November 2014, told the House of Commons transport committee that “a railway line where trains travel at 220 miles an hour as opposed to 120 miles an hour clearly has nearly twice the capacity because you can have twice as many trains on it”?

Mr Higgins’ capacity dissemblance was revealed on the Beleben blog on 18 November 2014. But the largely trainspotter readership of Bauer’s “Rail” magazine had to wait more than two years to be told the capacity truth.

Extract from, Rail magazine 823, March 2017, 'HS2 fails to spark public imagination'

Written by beleben

June 15, 2017 at 10:47 am

Posted in High speed rail, HS2

2 Responses

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  1. Presumably the same Mr Stephen Norris who John Major appointed as Transport Minister for London in 1992 and twice stood for London Mayor. He left in 1997 to “pursue business interests”, which seems likely to have related to the privatisation of BR by John Major. He was described in 2000 as having nine charmed lives. It isn’t surprising to see him dipping into the HS2 gravy train.


    June 15, 2017 at 11:16 am

  2. Plus of course the amount of the journey you will actually be able to run at top speed shrinks as this goes up. Based on current performance on lines qualifying as ‘high speed’ with train tops speeds of 125mph, current track and signalling, we are seeing daily timetabled services that would be equivalent to a 60 minute London-Birmingham service.

    With 3 key slow-down points on each route removed London-Scotland in 3.5-3.8 hours is what HS2 was offering but can be delivered with existing trains and infrastructure – where HS2 posts journey times notably longer than the best offered by the current daily timetables, with special services on both East and West Coast routes delivering London in under 4 hours with those significant slow sections (Carlisle, Preston, Stafford, Morpeth, Newcastle, York) still checking the speeds right down.

    In terms of both capacity and service, the delivery of a 12-track corridor, which offers permutations of 3 or more fast train routes would replicate the Manchester-London service running hourly via Crewe or Stoke/MK or Stoke/Stafford but 3 times per hour on the main route, and leaving local paths between the hourly services where tracks are shared.


    June 15, 2017 at 2:13 pm

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