die belebende Bedenkung

The need according to Rachel

with 3 comments

HS2 is needed to stop some Chiltern line passengers occasionally having to sit on the floor, claimed Redditch MP Rachel Maclean last week (onboard a Chiltern train to Birmingham).

@redditchrachel 'To all those who say we don’t need #HS2. WE DO. Standing room only on the 16.47 to Birmingham this evening. Not even peak time (I’m sitting on the floor)'

Alternatively, and saving £60 billion in the process, why not just run trains with more seats on the existing track? In years gone by, the Chiltern Main Line used to see regular full-size express trains from Paddington to Birmingham Snow Hill, not the diminished ones which run out of Marylebone today.

Loco hauled train from London to Birmingham Snow Hill and Birkenhead near Seer Green, 1962 (Ben Brooksbank)

If the demand for more London to West Midlands travel was really there, one would also expect Chiltern Railways to

(i) switch available paths away from Oxford-via-Bicester, to providing extra Birmingham services

(ii) replace locomotive hauled trains to Birmingham with multiple units, with more seats.

Written by beleben

July 23, 2018 at 8:47 pm

Posted in High speed rail, HS2

3 Responses

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  1. AFAIK Chiltern only operate 168’s as 3, 4 and occasionally 6-car (2×3) with 204, 272 and 404 seats. A 6-coach loco-hauled set is around 420 seats, and I think 7 coach can operate, which pushes this up to almost 500 seats, with the ability to move through the whole train & find space. The original Parliamentary Powers allowed for a high speed 4-track railway, built to allow for Berne Gauge stock running through the Channel Tunnel and opened in 1906 with only ONE level crossing between London and Sheffield – offering a massive saving over the works required on WCML for 125mph running, eliminating every level crossing between Euston and Crewe. Patrick McGloughlin’s claim that there had been no new main line built in the UK for over 120 years, was thus somewhat disingenuous, as a justification for HS2, and rather like the ‘existing’ journey times quoted in many papers (including the Greengauge 2020 one) might be considered to be ….. somewhat misleading … rather like so many of the ‘facts’, and figures presented by those promoting HS2.

    The GC/GW joint route, with 4 tracking restored or completed, should also have the current 100mph signalling, boosted by delivering the step cost originally avoided with the Evergreen 3 upgrade, providing 125 (or even 140mph) signalling on a route designed for high speeds – so much so that the prototype Class 47 (Lion) on a Birkenhead-Paddington express AVERAGED 100mph between Bicester and Ashendon clocking 105mph through Bicester North…. in 1962, with semaphore signalling, and jointed track. Currently the best non-stop timings for the 112 miles with a 100mph limit is I believe 87 minutes. Overlaying the performance of existing timetabled trains on ECML (especially), London-Birmingham in 60 minutes could be demonstrated now with concessions to run at 125mph (& double blocking the signals). With tilting that might be further trimmed as speeds through some sections (eg Aynho Junction) could be raised.

    As well as a capacity boost from delivering the originally planned 4 track main line, electrification would further enable capacity enhancement. However the most valuable action that could be delivered is to integrate this 4-track main line with the 4-track WCML, the 4-track MML AND the 4-track GWML enabling – without the current 46 minute penalty added to a 60 minute journey – trains to run Euston-Coventry via Milton Keynes OR Banbury. Equally these local interventions, if strategically delivered in the right sequence, and enable the closure of Euston, whilst running trains from Marylebone or Paddington, and long partial (2-track) blockades of any of those 4 main line routes for uninterrupted major work.

    Had HS2 been subjected to the rigour of the GRIP stages of project review applied to all other rail projects, it would probably never have passed GRIP Stage 2.


    July 24, 2018 at 12:12 am

  2. A selfie of someone looking morosely away from camera. Is that a sulky?


    July 24, 2018 at 2:58 pm

  3. If she looked in the background, she could find what looks to me like a vacant seat.

    It’s there, right next to the woman who is using the computer. That’s a seat headrest. It has no one sat in it.

    Andrew S. Mooney

    July 25, 2018 at 8:25 am

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