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Posts Tagged ‘disruption

Costs off the books

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The January 2012 version of HS2 Ltd’s Cost and Risk Model stated that

The capital construction cost of the phase one London to West Midlands infrastructure is estimated at between £15.4 billion and £17.3 billion, with a mean value of £16.3 billion. This includes construction risk and an additional £4.2 billion to cover additional risks in line with the HM Treasury guidance on adjusting for optimism bias. Our current estimate for the full Y network is around £32.7 billion, we will be developing a cost range in the next few months.

To calculate HS2 rolling stock capital costs and operating costs, assumptions are made regarding the train service specification used for phase one and then full Y network operations. The estimated HS2 rolling stock costs, including optimism bias, for the service levels currently assumed are £3 billion for phase one and for the full Y network (which includes the cost of phase one stock) £8.1 billion.

However, the prospective financial outlays recognised in the Cost and Risk Model, are only part of the costs of the scheme. There are other costs, which are (i) external to the HS2 project boundary, or (ii) not monetised at all.

An example of costs external to the HS2 scheme boundary, is the infrastructure required to support access to the Bickenhill high speed station (known as ‘Birmingham Interchange’). An extensive new road network would be needed, and Centro are also planning to extend the Midland Metro tramway to Bickenhill. The costs of taking the tramway out from the city centre are not known with precision, but a reasonable estimate is £500 million.

Birmingham Airport’s passenger terminal has already been moved once, at sustantial public expense, in the 1980s. But yesterday (6 June), the Birmingham Post reported that it would ‘have to be moved‘ again, to be closer to HS2 Bickenhill:

Birmingham Airport passenger terminals could be moved more than half a mile east to be closer to the planned HS2 interchange.

The airport’s runway and airside operations would remain where they are while handling operations – such as check-in, baggage handling and security – would move closer to Birmingham International station, according to chief executive Paul Kehoe.
[…]
“This could result in moving the airport one kilometre eastwards,” Mr Kehoe told delegates. “It may sound daft but it has to happen.”

Inconvenience and delays caused to non-users of HS2, during and after construction, are a good example of non-monetised costs. Many of these would fall on people in London — for example, pedestrians and motorists on the Euston Road — and travellers to and from London (the Euston station rebuild for Adonis/Steer high speed rail would take eight years).

The extent and duration of disruption to London Overground users, arising from the January 2012 version of HS2, is unknown. Yesterday (6 June) This is London reported that ministers have agreed to rethink plans for new high-speed trains to share tracks with commuter services in north London

after Boris Johnson warned they would cause chaos on the Overground, it emerged today.

Under the £33 billion HS2 project, trains were set to run from Birmingham to Europe by passing through a bottle-neck in Camden used by Overground services.

The Mayor feared this would hit “reliability and performance” on the commuter line and prevent future upgrades. He demanded changes by Transport Secretary Justine Greening.

Ministers have now agreed to look at alternatives as they push ahead with the project.

Written by beleben

June 7, 2012 at 10:32 am

HS2 irresilience

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The University of Connecticut document ‘Network Vulnerability and High-Speed Rail‘ presented by Nicholas Lownes, noted that

* The vulnerability of a transportation network is strongly correlated with the ability of the network to withstand shocks and disruptions.
* High-volume edges with limited alternative paths represent obvious system vulnerabilities.

The design of HS2 makes it highly vulnerable to disruption. It would be connected to the legacy rail system, but its preferred European-interoperable GC gauge rolling stock would not generally be able to interoperate on British track. The outcome would be that HS2 is exposed to the perturbations from classic rail, but is not able to use those connections to effectively re-route traffic in response to disruption on its own line, or on some other portion of the legacy network.