beleben

die belebende Bedenkung

Profitability versus maximum utilisation

with one comment

Rail consultant and HS2 ‘afictionado’ William Barter wants anyone who thinks the West Coast Main Line is not ‘full in the peaks’ to download Network Rail’s working timetable, and tell him where they would path another train.

twitter_WilliamBarter1_status_1118481316490539013

Um, why? Network Rail themselves accept the line is not technically ‘full’ in the peaks. Indeed, it cannot be ‘full’, because the 20-minute interval intercity service to Manchester and Birmingham is “incompatible with maximum utilisation”.

To achieve technically optimal capacity utilisation, the route timetable would need to be re-cast. Upon which, it would be possible to operate Birmingham and Manchester intercity trains four times an hour (every 15 minutes, as was originally proposed).

Thirty-three per cent more seats. Who would object to that?

Probably, first in the queue of objectors would be Richard Branson, closely followed by Brian Souter. Having to run a fourth Virgin train each hour from London to Birmingham, and to Manchester, would likely increase costs faster than revenues, and profitability would fall.

An even worse outcome for Messrs Branson and Souter would be another operator being handed these fourth slots, and competing against Virgin head-on. It may have escaped some people’s attention, but Virgin and Stagecoach are not a charity, and their objective is making money, not carting air.

Mr Barter is also concerned about the load factor for Euston commuter trains being ‘too high’ (he claims greater than 100%). Apparently, he remains unaware of the various ways of vastly increasing West Coast commuter capacity, such as using Thameslink-style trains.

Capacity comparison of Class 700 and Class 350/2 240 metre trains

How hard can it really be to design a Thameslink-style train, but without the torture chamber lighting and ironing board seats (etc)?

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Written by beleben

April 18, 2019 at 9:53 am

Posted in High speed rail, HS2

One Response

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  1. Interesting though it is to claim that the existing railways are little used and can run more trains, there is a need for substantial modal shift. How is that to be accommodated ? There are plenty of schemes waiting for the money that can be released from scrapping rail expansion https://www.roads.org.uk/index.php/blog/zombie-motorway-rises-again

    Roadman

    April 28, 2019 at 8:36 am


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