beleben

die belebende Bedenkung

Archive for the ‘misinformation’ Category

Adonis released capacity delusion

leave a comment »

HS2 released capacity “transforms commuter services into Euston, Birmingham, Manchester & Leeds, and [offers] more capacity for railfreight”, according to HS2 ‘grandaddy’ Andrew Adonis.

twitter, @Andrew_Adonis, 'Released capacity transforms commuter services into Euston, Birmingham, Manchester & Leeds, and more capacity for railfreight'

As the Beleben blog has pointed out on several occasions, HS2 ‘released capacity’ claims are mostly bunkum.

‘Multimodal’ railfreight from the southern West Coast Main Line generally ends taking – not ‘releasing’ – capacity on London Overground tracks like the North London Line.

HS2 would reduce the number of classic intercity trains between Birmingham New Street and Euston from three per hour, to two. The idea that this would ‘transform’ commuter capacity between Birmingham and Coventry, is laughable.

If there really were a need to ‘transform’ commuter capacity between Birmingham and Coventry, this could be done just by lengthening platforms to take 12-car (instead of the current 4-car) trains.

Spot the 'transformative' released capacity

Written by beleben

July 17, 2017 at 11:53 am

HS2 speed and capacity loss, part two

with 3 comments

HS2 Ltd’s freedom of information manager can confirm that neither HS2 Ltd’s Chairman, David Higgins’ office nor HS2 Ltd’s Public Affairs team hold any correspondence between HS2 Ltd and DfT that references or relates to the statements made by David Higgins in relation to speed and capacity at parliamentary select committees on 17 November 2014 and 13 January 2015. That is according to the company’s response on 28 March 2017, to an information request made by Dr Paul Thornton.

HS2 Ltd information response to Dr Paul Thornton, 28 March 2017

HS2 Ltd information response to Dr Paul Thornton, 28 March 2017

The false capacity claims made by David Higgins at the select committees are the subject of a complaint to HS2 Ltd. But the company says the complaint is ‘not a complaint‘, because it is not concerned with “a service provided by HS2 Ltd”.

In November 2016 David Prout, Director General of the High Speed Two Group at the Department for Transport, stated he would try to get the complaint “sorted”. But according to the 28 March information response,

  • attempts to ‘sort’ the complaint have not entailed any correspondence between DfT and HS2 Ltd
  • HS2 Ltd has not contacted the select committees to correct the capacity misinformation given to them by David Higgins.

Written by beleben

March 29, 2017 at 2:13 pm

Posted in HS2, misinformation

Visit mum in Leeds

leave a comment »

The various ‘modelled train service specifications’ produced for HS2 have always been good for a laugh. In the latest version, the exposure of HS2 to unreliability from the legacy railway is increased further.

As can be seen from the extract below, Birmingham to Leeds HS2 services would use legacy track for some or all of the Yorkshire part of the journey, and stop en route at Sheffield Midland station. For some reason, those services are shown as being ‘Captive HS2 trains’.

HS2 eastern leg 'Modelled train service specification (M18 loop)', November 2016

HS2 eastern leg ‘Modelled train service specification (M18 loop)’, November 2016

By the look of the ‘service specification’, someone high up in Birmingham Airport needs to visit his mum in Leeds. But there are no bigwig family ties with Newcastle upon Tyne, or York, it seems.

Written by beleben

November 18, 2016 at 11:44 am

A new link between our major cities

leave a comment »

Today, the government has published some information about its preferred route for ‘phase 2b’ of HS2 from ‘Crewe to Manchester’, and ‘the West Midlands to Leeds’, but many details are still lacking. There are a few minor changes to save money – such as not tunneling under East Midlands airport – but with the post-June 2016 devaluation of sterling by 15%-plus, the overall cost of HS2 must now be in the region of £65 billion.

gov.uk, HS2 phase 2b route announcement, 2016-11-15

Although the ‘case for HS2’ is built on egotism, delusion, and misinformation, not everything the government says about the project is untrue. For example, the claim that HS2 would be a ‘link between our major cities’ might be said to be true, according to a map created by the BBC. As can be seen from the map, HS2 would run “between” Derby and Nottingham, and “between” Sheffield and Doncaster. But HS2 trains to London from Leeds, and Manchester, would not stop at any city inbetween.

BBC graphic of the route of HS2 'between major cities'

Written by beleben

November 15, 2016 at 12:49 pm

Misinformation is not a service

with 3 comments

One of the most troubling aspects of the HS2 project has been the torrent of misinformation emanating from official sources. This has even included false statements by HS2 Ltd chairman David Higgins to parliamentary committees.

Statement made by HS2 chairman David Higgins to the Lords Economic Affairs Committee

Statement made by David Higgins to the Commons Transport Select Committee

In August 2016, a complaint was made to HS2 Ltd about misleading and inaccurate statements made by David Higgins and chief executive Simon Kirby. The complaint asked HS2 Ltd to withdraw the statements, and provide accurate information.

HS2 Ltd did not respond to the complaint until November. As can be seen, the company’s view seems to be that complaints can only be made about HS2 Ltd’s “service”. And, apparently, inaccurate and misleading statements made by the company chairman to parliamentary committees are not part of that “service”, so no complaint can be recorded.

[HS2 Ltd response to complaint, Nov 2016]

Thank you for your email to HS2 Ltd. Please accept my sincere apologies for the delay in responding. There was an error in sending the reply below to you which unfortunately was only picked up earlier this week. I note that you originally requested your email to be treated as a complaint. Please be advised that our complaints process covers the service that HS2 Ltd provides and we do not consider that your email request is a complaint about HS2 Ltd’s service. We have therefore treated your email as a general enquiry and our response follows.

The statements that you refer to made by David Higgins and Simon Kirby relate to the broader strategic context for high speed rail rather than a detailed plan for the operation of HS2.

The remainder of the response was “look over there” off-topic waffle:

[HS2 Ltd, Nov 2016]

The Strategic Case for HS2, published in October 2013, sets out how additional capacity will be created by building a new high speed railway line which will free space on the existing network. The “Supplement to the October 2013 Strategic Case for HS2”, published in November 2015, provides an update to some of the evidence set out in the 2013 Strategic Case. The supplementary report details that HS2 Phase One could increase the combined capacity for fast trains on HS2 and the West Coast fast lines into/from London Euston from 15tph to 23tph. In turn, increasing the number of outer suburban commuter trains on the fast lines would allow a more even stopping pattern on the WCML slow lines.

The findings of a study on whether strategic alternatives to HS2 could meet HS2’s strategic objectives of increasing capacity and improving connectivity were published in October 2013 in the “HS2 Strategic Alternatives” report. This work is summarised in Chapter 4 of the “Supplement to the October 2013 Strategic Case for HS2”. HS2 would provide a step change in route capacity by having a new dedicated high speed line which would allow crowding issues on the inter-city services on the West Coast Main Line (WCML) to be solved for the long term. In both the AM and PM peak, HS2 offers the potential to operate around 60-70 per cent additional inter-city services. HS2 would also provide a step change in commuter capacity on the WCML. This is because capacity released by operating much of today’s inter-city services on dedicated high speed lines could allow the number of West Midlands franchise services in the AM peak to increase from 28 to 41. Table 3 shows the increase in the number of seats that could be provided in the scenarios with HS2 compared with the strategic alternatives.

Further information is available in the “Supplement to the October 2013 Strategic Case for HS2” which is can be found on the HS2 website via the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/hs2-supplement-to-the-october-2013-strategic-case.

The Department for Transport have been notified of the situation, so it will be interesting to see what, if anything, happens.

HS2 Ltd's Beth West stands in front of HS2 Ltd's 'culture'

Written by beleben

November 9, 2016 at 12:30 pm

Widnes for the prosecution

leave a comment »

‘A new £20m train manufacturing plant in north west England has been unveiled by Alstom UK’.

@Railleaders, twitter, 'A new £20m train manufacturing plant in the north west that will create 600 jobs has been unveiled by @AlstomUK

But is it a train manufacturing plant, or a ‘technical centre’?

@paul_rail, twitter, big day, technical centre

Or something else?

@njak_100, Widnes, brekkie in Widnes

How much ‘train manufacturing plant’ would £20 million buy? Could one build and fit out something like Vulcan Foundry, for £20 million?

[French train firm unveils plans for £20m plant in north-west England, Graham Ruddick, The Guardian, 7 Oct 2016]

Alstom has confirmed it will bid to build the trains for HS2 and unveiled plans for double-decker carriages. It is also bidding for the New Tube for London contract, which is worth up to £2.5bn and involves designing and building 250 next-generation trains for the Piccadilly, Bakerloo, Central and Waterloo & City lines in London.

[Alstom UK and Ireland managing director] Nick Crossfield said that even if the government scrapped HS2, which is estimated to cost more than £40bn, it “would not change the investment perspective for us here in the UK because there is a very significant and healthy domestic rolling stock market”.

Nonetheless, Crossfield said HS2 is a “very significant opportunity” for Alstom, with the company eyeing up the contracts to build rolling stock and infrastructure for the network. He said it was “too early to say” whether the trains would be built in the UK if Alstom won the contract, but some work is likely to be conducted in Widnes. The company employs 32,000 people around the world, including 3,200 at 12 UK sites.

Written by beleben

October 7, 2016 at 2:23 pm

Link into Jim (again)

with one comment

All data 'non-attributable and confidential 'The High speed Rail Industry Leaders Group has released an ‘independent report‘ claiming that Britain will forgo nearly 27,000 jobs by the end of the decade if it does not press ahead with the HS2 rail project, The Times reported (19 September 2016).

But, the “independent report” is the work of Albion Economics – which is run by Leo Eyles, an “associate director” of the high speed rail lobbying company Greengauge 21.

HSRILG was set up by Greengauge 21, and seems to be run by Jim Steer as a for-profit business, charging foreign rail and civil engineering contractors, and Network Rail and HS2 Ltd, for membership.

As might be expected, the jobs report is extremely short on detail, and contains no verifiable figures. It eschews discussion of the cost-per-job of HS2, or the opportunity employment costs (which are enormous).

Given its dependence on foreign contractors and labour, there is no doubt that HS2 would a very expensive way of creating a small number of UK jobs.

Leo Eyles, Linked into Greengauge 21

Written by beleben

September 19, 2016 at 12:39 pm