die belebende Bedenkung

Senior moments with Chris

with 6 comments

Transport secretary Chris Grayling has ‘talked to senior people in the rail industry’ who believe that ‘there will only be one generation of diesel engines on the bi-modes, and the second generation will be hydrogen engines’.

Visualisation of '2nd generation' hydrail bimode 5-car IEP train (unofficial, Beleben)

[Rt Hon Chris Grayling MP, Secretary of State for Transport, at the House of Commons transport select committee, ‘Cancelled electrification’, 22 Jan 2018]

[CG:] We are now looking to get the first hydrogen trains on our network within a very short space of time, and the Germans are doing the same. The technology is really moving apace. Battery trains are becoming a real possibility. We have to focus on outputs rather than on the means of locomotion.

Chris Grayling at the transport select committee, 22 Jan 2018

There is a “perfectly good and strong business case for electrification to Corby”, Mr Grayling informed the committee.

[CG:] The high value piece of the [Midland Main Line] modernisation programme and the electrification is the piece south of Corby.

That seems not to be the case, if the Beleben blog has understood the figures correctly.

The numbers say the entire MML upgrade, and all electrification north of Bedford, is materially impacted by HS2, so to speak, and the residual Bedford to Corby electrification has an apparent benefit-cost ratio of 0.99 (i.e., not “high value”).

Bedford to Corby could have been part of an unwritten policy to ‘support’ Carillion. Unfortunately, the questioning of Mr Grayling at the transport committee was of variable quality, which might be caused by a lack of technical support, or something else. Mr Grayling was also not asked

  • why the September 2016 Midland Main Line electrification economic ‘update’ had been kept under wraps for months on end
  • what planning had been commissioned by government on the feasibility of the hydrail traction which (he says) is coming ‘in a very short space of time’.

Midland upgrade following Hendy review, 'key outputs 1 and 2' (2016)

Written by beleben

January 31, 2018 at 11:08 am

Posted in Politics, Railways

6 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Surely the low benefit to cost of the section north of Kettering is due to errors in calculation of the traffic transferred to HS2 when HS2 opens. HS2 have claimed in 2012 that 76% of Derby passengers and 83% of Nottingham passengers would change to HS2. But this is based on unrealistic journey times via HS2 because HS2 have only allowed 5 minutes interchange time. It would take most people longer to simply get from the HS2 platform to the connecting local train platform. In the real railway, interchanges take between 14 and 23 minutes making the via ‘HS2 journey’ likely to take longer than the direct journey via the MML. These figures should be checked before even thinking of cancelling electrification.


    January 31, 2018 at 1:25 pm

    • Certainly, the number of journeys from Toton HS2, and the door-to-door journey times, would depend on how good the local connections were (etc). Unfortunately, illustrative timetables for HS2, or the necessary connecting trains to Toton from Nottingham and Derby, are nowhere to be found.


      January 31, 2018 at 4:36 pm

      • HS2 quote about 70 minutes Nottingham to London via HS2 (Nottingham Post eg).
        About a year ago, East Midlands Railways announced (Nottingham Post) buying bi-mode engines, reducing Nottingham-London to 90 minutes, irrespective of promised electrification.

        Passenger transfer estimates assume equal fares, no 20-30% HS premium.

        Is not Corby-London line unaffected by HS2?

        Land Registry gives Kettering house prices similar to Toton (& similar travel time). ONS gives London wages about £10k/year higher than East Midlands, versus £13k season ticket. Cost of season tickets now reducing amount of commuting. No commuter boom in Toton.


        February 1, 2018 at 12:20 pm

  2. I would love to know what the facilities for fuelling a hydrogen powered multiple-unit train would look like, let alone a fleet of them, and imagine then placing all of that at Bounds Green depot, because that is where the rest of the vehicle is inspected, serviced and cleaned at night.

    People make entire careers out of the safe handling of liquid hydrogen. The pipes and lines have to be pre-chilled like on a Saturn V rocket, and they are literally double walled like Thermos flasks to avoid liquid air from the atmosphere condensing on to them. Presumably in Germany the laws of physics are different and we will miss out on access to them as a result of Brexit.

    Andrew S. Mooney

    February 3, 2018 at 12:55 pm

  3. I have to confess that I no longer follow plans for HS2 as closely as I used to. However as part of the Economic Case for HS2, as Assumptions Report was published in October 2013. It provided diagrams which were Indicative of future services patterns. In the case of the East Midlands services between Toton and Derby, there was expected to be 1 train service per hour. See Figure 6-8 on page 54. This could have been changed in more recent publications.

    There would be no direct trains from Toton to Nottingham. However I expect there was a presumption that people would use the tram service. The nearest tram stop would be Toton Lane. This is over 1 km (as the crow flies) from the proposed Toton Station. It was recently reported in the papers that Nottingham Council would not fund such an extension and expected the government/HS2 Ltd to do so. Assuming for a moment that this extension will be funded, and knowing that a journey by tram from Toton Lane to the city centre currently takes 31 minutes, it would take a little longer from Toton Station. Therefore a journey from London to Nottingham by HS2 plus a tram ride is unlikely to be any quicker than using classic rail.


    February 4, 2018 at 2:20 pm

    • HS2’s scheme is for fast shuttles between Derby/Nottingham & Toton, on existing line. However from a recent Nottingham Post article, plan is to use existing Derby-Nottingham trains, diverting some to Toton. HS2 tell me most HS2 trains will be stopping, rather than non-stopping, at Toton. Several shuttles every half-hour?


      February 4, 2018 at 3:19 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: