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Archive for the ‘gibberish’ Category

Midland Metro will become West Midlands Metro as services are taken over by Midland Metro

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'From Sunday June 24 [2018], the Midland Metro will become West Midlands Metro as services are taken over by Midland Metro'

It makes perfect sense in the twilight zone

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Written by beleben

June 21, 2018 at 10:34 pm

Released capacity for Whitlocks End

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According to Midlands Connect, HS2 will release capacity on the Derby to Stoke railway, Birmingham’s Cross-City line, and, er, the North Warwickshire line.

midlands-connect-hs2-hub-measures-released-capacity

This suggests that Midlands Connect does not understand what ‘released capacity’ is.

Perhaps not too surprising, given that they seem to think running a bubble car between Leamington Spa and Coventry once an hour is a ‘step change in capacity in the NUCKLE corridor’.

Written by beleben

May 16, 2018 at 9:12 am

Posted in gibberish, HS2

Bombast and the bailout

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Christmas in November

Christmas came early for Stagecoach and Virgin on 29 November, when the Department for Transport announced secretary of state Chris Grayling’s ‘new strategic vision‘ for railways.

gov.uk, strategic vision for rail, 29 Nov 2017

The announcement was bundled with a government bailout for (Stagecoach) Virgin Trains East Coast, the operator of nearly all long distance services out of Kings Cross since 2015.

Investment bank Liberum believes the risk of Stagecoach defaulting on the franchise has been ‘removed’ – perhaps not surprisingly, given that inconvenient back-loaded payment obligations which won VTEC the franchise competition seem to have been ‘disappeared’. In GB rail, ‘competition for the market’ seems to amount to which bidder has the rosiest spectacles, or the best cock and bull story.

East Coast bailout story in the Guardian, 29 Nov 2017

ITV News at 6.30 pm did not mention the bailout, and mainstream media coverage was distracted by the guff about ‘reversing Beeching’.

Daily Express 'reversing Beeching' twaddle, 29 November 2017

Stagecoach East Coast bailout story, Financial Times 29 Nov 2017

Written by beleben

November 30, 2017 at 12:28 pm

Get trucks off rail

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@Andrew_Adonis, get trucks off rail

@Andrew_Adonis, lorry platooning likely soon

Written by beleben

November 26, 2017 at 10:38 am

HS1 and Kentish tourism

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The economic impact that High Speed 1 has had on Kent’s tourism economy ‘has been revealed for the first time in a report independently produced by Visit Kent and tourism economists Destination Research Ltd’.

HS1 website with Kentish tourism story, on 20 Sep 2017

But what role did HS1 Ltd play in commissioning and funding the ‘tourism impact study’? And how plausible are its findings?

[‘HS1 adds £72 million to Kent economy in 2016 as leisure journeys increase nine-fold’, HS1 Ltd news, 15 Sep 2017]

[…] Almost three quarters (73%) of tourism businesses in Kent believe that leisure tourism in the county has increased as a result of HS1. Over half (54%) believe that HS1 has specifically benefitted their own business. 94% of these tourism businesses said that they had benefited because of HS1’s high speed connections, with 80% saying that HS1 has helped attract visitors from further afield.

Almost a third (30%) of tourists said they were influenced in their decision to visit Kent by the presence of the HS1 service. Almost half (47%) of all visitors to Kent who travelled by rail did so via the HS1 service.

Interviews for the study seem to have been mainly conducted in places served by HS1 trains, rather than across Kent as a whole. Another oddity is the distribution of interviews in particular locations.

HS1 tourism impact study 2017, interviewees, extract

All in all, the report’s plausibility looks suspect. It is difficult to make sense of the claim that “only a proportion of journeys made on HS1 infrastructure were on HS1 trains, and not on regular (or classic) rail stock”. Because the only passenger trains using ‘HS1 infrastructure’ are (a) Eurostar (which mostly don’t stop in Kent), and (b) ‘Javelin’.  No classic passenger trains circulate on HS1.

hs1ltd-leisure-journeys-2017-extract

Written by beleben

September 20, 2017 at 8:00 am

Crewe to be ‘HS2 central hub’

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Malcolm Smith, ‘director of international masterplanner Arup’, said ‘Crewe will be a different place in 10 years, reinvigorated by HS2 and the town’s status renewed as the central hub of the national rail network’ (reported Place North West).

Crewe will be the busiest stop on the HS2 railway, according to Cheshire East council leader Rachel Bailey

Crewe will be the ‘busiest stop on the HS2 railway’, according to Cheshire East council leader Rachel Bailey (reported Place North West)

Written by beleben

March 16, 2017 at 11:49 am

Posted in gibberish, Politics

HS2 and West Coast passenger capacity

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On 29 April 2014, Robert Goodwill MP ‘answered’ the question ‘What is the percentage increase in capacity on the West Coast Main Line from HS2’, by not answering the question.

Robert Goodwill avoided answering a parliamentary question about West Coast Main Line rail capacity after HS2

As can be seen from HS2 director Andrew McNaughton’s February 2015 diagram (below), HS2 would not allow any more trains to run on the West Coast Main Line. And in HS2 Ltd’s vision, West Coast intercity and commuter trains would have pretty much the same maximum capacity as they do now.

Andrew McNaughton West Coast and HS2 capacity slides, 2015

According to Andrew McNaughton's presentation, WCML fast line train path utilisation would fall, not rise

Furthermore, the HS2 project entails reducing West Coast Main Line tracks into, and platforms at, Euston. How that is compatible with ‘increasing West Coast capacity’, has never been explained.

According to Prof McNaughton’s slides, WCML combined train paths would increase from 23 to 23, making the percentage increase 0%.

Written by beleben

October 16, 2016 at 11:55 am

Posted in gibberish, HS2