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Posts Tagged ‘Edinburgh

It makes great nonsense

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According to Greengauge 21’s Jim Steer, “it makes great sense for Scotland to concentrate on Edinburgh — Glasgow high speed rail”, as favoured by Scotland’s deputy first minister Nicola Sturgeon.

But as my correspondent Dave H pointed out, what really generates business on the rails in the Edinburgh — Glasgow corridor, is the combination of train frequency with accessibility for towns like Falkirk and Bathgate.

What would Greengauge 21-approved Edinburgh Glasgow High Speed cost, and what does it offer that EGIP does not?

Original EGIP programme scope (Network Rail)

Written by beleben

November 14, 2012 at 3:13 pm

Sturgeon on the ridiculous

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Scotland’s deputy first minister Nicola Sturgeon has praised a ‘plan’ to build a high-speed Glasgow to Edinburgh railway by the year 2024, cutting travel time to 30 minutes, reported the Daily Record on 12 November. (The cities are only about 75 km apart.)

The plan is at its earliest stage, with no costs attached or route map drawn.

It is also not known whether the link would be to existing or new stations, a spokeswoman said.

Ms Sturgeon said:

“We will not wait for Westminster to bring high-speed rail to us. We have already made moves towards seeing a high-speed line in Scotland and the evidence is now in place that this is feasible long before the HS2 proposals.

“The Scottish Government will now enter into talks with our partners in both cities and the rail industry to see how we can work together to see this vision realised: a Glasgow-Edinburgh high-speed line which can connect to the network from England.”

As well as the M8 motorway, there are three separate railways between Edinburgh and Glasgow, with passenger trains leaving every few minutes throughout the day. And under the Scottish government’s EGIP rail programme

  • services were to have been extensively improved between Edinburgh, Glasgow, and other towns in the central belt
  • fast journeys between Glasgow and Edinburgh would be speeded up to ~37 minutes, compared with ~50 minutes in 2012.

But in a curiously titled 4 July 2012 press release, Transport Scotland revealed that EGIP was to be massively scaled back.

In cash terms, compared with new-build high-speed track, EGIP is a very small project. So if the Scottish government can’t even fund EGIP properly, how could they ever fund Edinburgh Glasgow High Speed?

Go-Hs2 coverage of Scottish high speed rail nonsense

Written by beleben

November 13, 2012 at 1:22 pm

Wunschdenken

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EGIP, as originally plannedOn 4 July, Transport Scotland announced that it’s Full steam ahead for the EGIP Rail Project.

Details of a £650 million programme to slash journey times on Scotland’s flagship route and create hundreds of jobs have been outlined today by Transport Minister Keith Brown.

The Edinburgh Glasgow Improvement Programme (EGIP) is the next phase in electrifying the Scottish rail network and will see longer electric trains introduced, along with improved reliability and increased capacity for passengers on the Edinburgh – Falkirk High – Glasgow Queen Street line.
[…]
Nigel Wunsch, Network Rail’s head of strategy and planning for Scotland, said:

“Network Rail welcomes the Scottish Government’s commitment to delivering EGIP and we look forward to continuing to work with them and other partners to deliver this project to improve the rail network for the people of Scotland.”

“Full steam ahead”? The project has just been de-scoped, and the budget cut by £350 million.

Other changes will see only half the electrification of central Scotland’s rail network originally intended – with Stirling, Dunblane and Alloa no longer benefiting from faster electric trains.

Here’s the statement dated 5 Jul 2012 from the EGIP consultation website.

Edinburgh Glasgow Improvement Programme (EGIP) – Minister’s Announcement

You will no doubt be aware that on the 4th July, Transport Minister Keith Brown made a statement on the future of this project, the full text of which you can read here on Transport Scotland’s web site – http://www.transportscotland.gov.uk/news/Edinburgh-Glasgow-Rail-Improvement-Programme

This announcement has fundamentally altered the nature of what is proposed for the programme and the associated revised delivery timescales have still to be determined. We have been in discussion with Transport Scotland on their new vision for the programme. It will though take us some time to work through what this means for the individual project elements and any consequential impact that it may have on each of the communities where we had proposed work.

Presently, we are not in a position to say any more than this. We are however, committed to clarifying the details as soon as possible and to re-engaging with the many councils, community councils, stakeholder and interest groups, line-side neighbours and the wider travelling public who took the time to engage in the consultation so far and have a keen interest in the future delivery of this project.

If anything, there was a case for a bigger EGIP, extending electrification over the Forth Bridge, to make the bi-mode IEP train procurement redundant.

Written by beleben

July 9, 2012 at 10:04 am

Posted in Politics, Railways, Scotland

Tagged with , ,

HS2 to Scotland

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The Scotsman reported that extension of the North West England (i.e. Manchester) leg of the HS2 railway to Glasgow and Edinburgh has been estimated to cost £15,200,000,000 (with Scotland responsible for about half). This would bring the cost of HS2 close to £50 billion altogether.

A new build high speed line running all the way from London to Scotland could produce time savings; from central London to central Edinburgh, the HS2 trip could take less than the air journey, even though its ‘in-the-aeroplane’ duration is perhaps less than 90 minutes. (By contrast, HS2 does not produce any notable improvement in door-to-door journey times between most cities within England, and for towns not directly served, journey times are fairly likely to increase.)

Are there any Caledonian elephants in the room? Just a few. Firstly, the number of people travelling between England and the central belt of Scotland isn’t particularly large. So there’s likely to be some very red numbers in a high speed rail economic analysis.

Secondly, there are already two railways from England to Glasgow, and one railway from England to Edinburgh, all underused. Rail traffic densities on the West Coast (WCML) and East Coast Main Lines (ECML) fall away north of Lancashire and Newcastle-upon-Tyne, so there’s not much of a capacity case for more cross-border track.

Thirdly, the existing rail services on both the WCML and ECML are reasonably fast now, and could be speeded up further. The timing improvements would depend on the particular infrastructure interventions.

Another way of improving Anglo-Scottish rail journeys is to increase their frequency, thereby reducing generalised journey times. This would seem to be possible on both the East and West Coast routes.

Written by beleben

September 17, 2011 at 1:45 pm