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Archive for the ‘misinformation’ Category

Taking stock of technical illiteracy

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As a result of a recent freedom of information request to HS2 Ltd, the company has quietly taken chairman Allan Cook’s original HS2 ‘stocktake’ report offline, and replaced it with a supposedly ‘corrected’ version.

hs2-extract-from-foi-response-dec2019-drafting-error-in-aug2019-stocktake

The ‘corrected version’ of the report bears the same date as the original (i.e., ‘August 2019’), and makes no reference to being a revised version of an earlier document. The only public admission that it is a revision, is made in a footnote on the gov.uk ‘Guidance‘ page.

gov.uk HS2 Ltd chairman's stocktake august 2019 guidance page, modified 04 Dec 2019

According to HS2 Ltd, the embarrassing statement

[Allan Cook HS2 stocktake, original version, now taken offline]

‘Each intercity train removed releases capacity for 11 new fast commuter or freight trains, by reducing the disparity in speed between different services’

was a “drafting error”.

Allan Cook HS2 stocktake (original version, now taken offline): 'Each intercity train removed releases capacity for 11 new fast commuter or freight trains, by reducing the disparity in speed between different services'

Allan Cook HS2 stocktake (original version, now taken offline): ‘Each intercity train removed releases capacity for 11 new fast commuter or freight trains, by reducing the disparity in speed between different services’

Written by beleben

December 6, 2019 at 12:50 pm

Posted in Bizarre, HS2, misinformation

Mythter know-it-all

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HS2 offers ‘the same capacity as a ten-lane motorway in normal use’ and could deliver ‘more efficient use of three of the UK’s main railway lines’, Jim Steer’s High Speed Rail Industry Leaders Group claimed on 11 November, in a tweet promoting an ‘independent review of the carbon case for HS2′.

twitter, @RailLeaders, '#HS2 will have the same capacity as a ten-lane motorway in normal use and will also deliver more efficient use of three of the UK’s main railway lines. Read more in our latest report written by @safemyth: https://rail-leaders.com/publications/hs2-towards-a-zero-carbon-future/ #GoHS2GoGreen #HS2AllTheWay'

[HSRILG, 11 Nov 2019]

HS2 will have the same capacity as a ten-lane motorway in normal use and will also deliver more efficient use of three of the UK’s main railway lines. Read more in our latest report written by @safemyth […]

“Read more in our latest report.”

So this supposedly ‘independent’ HS2 carbon review (‘HS2 – towards a zero carbon future’) by Raiph (a.k.a. Ralph) Smyth, is actually a report written for the High Speed Rail leaders lobbying group.

twitter, @njak_100, 'Excellent sustainability report on #HS2 out today. This table highlights DfT's conservative modal shift targets vs OECD figure for *actual* modal shift achieved by completed European HSR schemes. Full report at https://bit.ly/2pRTG4P' (11 Nov 2019)

As such, the misleading and inaccurate statements packing out Mr Smyth’s report should come as no surprise. Consider, for example, his ‘Figure 9’, the ‘Comparison of high-speed rail modal shift’, which is intended to ‘suggest’ that HS2’s forecasts of transfers from car and aviation are way too low.

The fact is, the vast majority of HS2 travel would be conducted within a radius of ~300 km of London, and for journeys within this zone, aviation’s share of journeys is already effectively nil. So with HS2, there is no possibility of anything like an overall 30% shift from air to high speed rail. Obviously, HS2 is mainly about (i) shift from classic rail, and (ii) new journeys.

No evidence is offered by Mr Smyth for the claim that HS2 would provide ‘the same capacity as a ten-lane motorway in normal use’ or ‘deliver more efficient use of three of the UK’s main railway lines’. He has not explained what the terms “in normal use” and “more efficient use” are supposed to mean. The Department for Transport has confirmed that the modelled post-HS2 use of the West Coast Main Line South involves fewer (not more) trains operating. This is an inevitable consequence of the HS2 idea of turning the WCML fast lines into a mixed-traffic railway.

DfT confirmation of fewer (not more) trains on WCML South in the modelled HS2 scenarios

Mr Smyth’s report presents HS2 as ‘essential for meeting a legally binding target of net zero carbon emissions’ by 2050. Needless to say, it would not be possible for HS2 to be carbon neutral by 2050, and it is not clear why ‘zero carbon electricity’ would be available to HS2 but not to alternative modes, such as other railways, road coaches, and private automobiles.

Even if the embedded carbon from constructing HS2 were considered as zero, the scheme would still not make any sense from an environmental standpoint, because the cost per-avoided-tonne of carbon would be gargantuan.

 

Written by beleben

November 12, 2019 at 12:32 pm

HS2’s daft plan to knock out Overground capacity

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In a propaganda video posted on twitter, HS2 Ltd claimed its high speed line would improve air quality and ‘help reduce carbon emissions’ by enabling modal shift of freight from road to rail.

HS2 propaganda video grab, freight loco and lorries

hs2-spin-video-freight-air-quality-sep2019

However, HS2 Ltd have admitted in carbon information paper E10, and other documents, that building and operating HS2 would result in a net increase in carbon emissions over the 120-year appraisal period.

Extract from HS2 carbon information paper E10 showing net increase in carbon from building and operating HS2

Running more daytime freight trains over the southern West Coast Main Line and London Overground, as proposed by HS2, is a particularly daft idea. For example, routeing more freight trains over London Overground tracks would reduce the frequency and capacity of the Overground, thereby leading to increased motor traffic, GHG and NOx emissions in the capital. The Class 66 loco used in HS2’s video is a particularly nasty emitter of two-stroke diesel pollution, which could be retired if HS2 were replaced by a programme of electrification of key links, such as Felixstowe to Nuneaton.

HS2 proposals for WCML railfreight would knock out Overground capacity in London

Written by beleben

September 18, 2019 at 11:46 am

Posted in HS2, misinformation

Doubling down on Doncaster drivel

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There are 1720 peak seats per hour for rail travel between Doncaster and Leeds. After HS2 opens in 2033, this is expected to MORE THAN DOUBLE to 4860 seats/hour, according to ‘Rail’ magazine fantasist and NCHSR lecturer Gareth Dennis.

twitter, @GarethDennis, 'For example, there are 1720 peak seats/hr between Doncaster and Leeds. After HS2 opens in 2033, this is expected to MORE THAN DOUBLE to 4860 seats/hr.'

This claim appears to be based on a tweet from HS2 Ltd, which stated that the evening rush hour seated capacity on the ‘Doncaster corridor’ would increase from 1,720 in 2017, to 4,860 ‘with HS2’.

twitter, @HS2ltd, evening rush hour seated capacity on the 'Doncaster corridor' would increase from 1,720 in 2017 to 4,860 'with HS2'

Contrary to what was claimed by Mr Dennis, rush hour seated capacity between Doncaster and Leeds is not expected to MORE THAN DOUBLE to 4860 seats per hour with HS2. Because HS2 trains could not stop at Doncaster, the line would not go to Doncaster, and there is no HS2 station planned for Doncaster.

DfT breakdown of 'Doncaster corridor' classic services in 2017, and 'with HS2'

Mr Dennis has taken an absurd Department for Transport claim about ‘Doncaster corridor’ capacity (tweeted by HS2 Ltd) and made it his own, by claiming the so-called ‘capacity between Doncaster and Leeds’ includes (obviously non-existent) Leeds to Doncaster HS2 trains.

What a load of claptrap

Written by beleben

August 18, 2019 at 4:02 pm

What are the decongestion benefits of HS2?

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The official documentation for the proposed HS2 railway does not seem to make much mention of ‘decongestion’ as a benefit of the scheme. Where the word does occur, it tends to be in the context of the supposed road, rather than rail, decongestion effects.

However, some supporters of HS2 are claiming the scheme would ‘decongest the existing rail network’.

What is patently lacking, is any meaningful definition of ‘decongestion’, or evidence of how that would take place.

twitter, @WhatTrainToday,

Consider, for example, the idea that ‘HS2 is decongestive’ because ‘each express train on the existing West Coast line eats up 3 to 6 stopping paths’.

In fact, ‘express trains’ out of Euston run on their own separate tracks, and have done for decades. The idea that removing one of those express trains, would allow 3 to 6 stopping trains to run in its place, is laughable.

 

Written by beleben

November 6, 2018 at 1:12 pm

Posted in HS2, misinformation

Brushed with oil, dusted with powder

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Stephen Sutcliffe, Head of Northern Powerhouse Rail Development at Transport for the North (TfN) has, apparently, been ‘outlining the benefits’ of NPR at a rail conference today.

twitter, @ProjectAdam1, 'Listening to Steve Sutcliffe from @Transport4North outlining the benefits of #NPR 1.3m people within 60 mins of 4 economic centres, an increase in £100bn GVA... a must for the north of England'

This “NPR brings 1.3 million people in the north within 60 minutes of 4 economic centres” malarkey. What does it mean? How would it be possible?

When asked to provide details, TfN go all evasive. Because what they are offering, is snake oil, and monkey dust.

Written by beleben

October 4, 2018 at 12:08 pm

Useless nonsense perspective

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Apparently, ‘Rail’ magazine is going to start a sort of ‘fact checking’ service for claims on social media.

Perhaps they should begin with some of the factoids put about by their ‘technical expert’, Gareth Dennis.

Gareth Dennis onabout

Thameslink ‘current’ peak system capacity is 24 trains per hour in each direction? Not on their nelly. Whether that will be reliably achievable with the proposed service pattern, is open to question.

Which bits of the Metropolitan line see 36 trains per hour?

And how does Crossrail ‘currently’ do 24? It hasn’t even opened yet.

twitter, @GarethDennis, useful technical perspective?

In any case, throughput on a metro-type railway is not going to be any kind of guide to capacity on a 360 km/h intercity railway like HS2.

Written by beleben

August 9, 2018 at 10:50 am