paul514
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(Original post by Fullofsurprises)
So for example on a 30 second Google I found the New Economics Foundation report that indicated that all of the following could have been done for the same price as HS2 (including the massive revamp of the WCML):

Full electrification of much of the northern rail network.
The reopening of the trans pennine Woodhead line between Manchester and Sheffield to provide a fourth east-west link in the north
A Bradford Crossrail, to link the two lines that terminate in Bradford and put the city at the epicentre of northern rail.
The full electrification of the midland and great western lines.
The creation of more four track sections on the three core, north-south mainlines and of bridges to take slower, regional lines over intercity lines to speed up long distance journeys

https://neweconomics.org/2019/03/hs2...than-the-north

Shall we dive into more and more sources, or shall we just accept the obvious that HS is staggeringly expensive and will basically just serve the richest people in the community, whilst degrading rail services for everyone else? Does anyone seriously think that HS tickets are going to be reasonably priced?
You’re not answering what I asked for.

You said a new line in the style of the current was 20% of the cost of HS2.

I’d just like to see your source for that as if it’s true it’s very interesting.
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Fullofsurprises
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(Original post by paul514)
You’re not answering what I asked for.

You said a new line in the style of the current was 20% of the cost of HS2.

I’d just like to see your source for that as if it’s true it’s very interesting.
No, I said a widening of the WCML, which was what was reported in that news article as being 8.9bn in 2011 - today that would be ~15bn or roughly 1/5th the current proposed cost of HS2 only - and the WCML widening was all the way up to Glasgow, not just to a second rate detached from the hub station in Birmingham.
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barnetlad
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We need extra train capacity. I would have preferred up the east coast, as I think it could have brought more benefits and made the journey to Scotland under 3 hours.
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nulli tertius
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(Original post by Fullofsurprises)
No, I said a widening of the WCML, which was what was reported in that news article as being 8.9bn in 2011 - today that would be ~15bn or roughly 1/5th the current proposed cost of HS2 only - and the WCML widening was all the way up to Glasgow, not just to a second rate detached from the hub station in Birmingham.
The proposal was to increase capacity on the WCML. You have interpreted that as widening the route but they didn’t mean that. The cost of route widening would be colossal because, unlike some other lines, the number of lines within the WCML railway corridor has never been reduced and over the last nearly two hundred years vast numbers of developed land uses have been put next to that corridor.

When railway folk speak of increasing capacity, they don’t just mean building new track. In the class of the WCML they meant slightly longer trains, declassifying First Class, and removing bottlenecks on the railway. It is the last which is most important.

If you look at the link in my previous post, you can see what could have been done and that it was more or less viable.

Network Rail’s criticisms were highly politicised but they knew that the people behind these proposals didn’t want to build them; they just wanted to stop HS2.

For example Network Rail pointed out that these proposals would mean reconstructing the lines at the throat of Euston Station. Network Rail were probably right about that. It would involve some land take and add a billion or so to the cost; but so what? However the Alternative Schemes’ supporters angrily and categorically denied this. Why? Because the coalition of support for the Alternative Schemes involved landowners who would be affected by such remodelling. If the Alternative Schemes affected them, then they were as opposed to the Alternative Schemes as they were to HS2.

It was said that these Alternative Schemes would scupper the Caledonian Sleepers which needed the longest platforms at Euston. There was no mention of the fact that MotorRail trains used to go from the underused Kensington Olympia station.

It was said that abandoning HS2 would scupper plans to reconnect the town of Stone to the rail network. Stone has been without trains for over 50 years. For £80Bn you could connect Stone to the trans-Siberian Railway. Why was this small Staffordshire town so important to HS2? The answer is that its MP was HS2 opponent Bill Cash and Network Rail were trying to cause trouble for him in his constituency.
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paul514
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(Original post by nulli tertius)
The proposal was to increase capacity on the WCML. You have interpreted that as widening the route but they didn’t mean that. The cost of route widening would be colossal because, unlike some other lines, the number of lines within the WCML railway corridor has never been reduced and over the last nearly two hundred years vast numbers of developed land uses have been put next to that corridor.

When railway folk speak of increasing capacity, they don’t just mean building new track. In the class of the WCML they meant slightly longer trains, declassifying First Class, and removing bottlenecks on the railway. It is the last which is most important.

If you look at the link in my previous post, you can see what could have been done and that it was more or less viable.

Network Rail’s criticisms were highly politicised but they knew that the people behind these proposals didn’t want to build them; they just wanted to stop HS2.

For example Network Rail pointed out that these proposals would mean reconstructing the lines at the throat of Euston Station. Network Rail were probably right about that. It would involve some land take and add a billion or so to the cost; but so what? However the Alternative Schemes’ supporters angrily and categorically denied this. Why? Because the coalition of support for the Alternative Schemes involved landowners who would be affected by such remodelling. If the Alternative Schemes affected them, then they were as opposed to the Alternative Schemes as they were to HS2.

It was said that these Alternative Schemes would scupper the Caledonian Sleepers which needed the longest platforms at Euston. There was no mention of the fact that MotorRail trains used to go from the underused Kensington Olympia station.

It was said that abandoning HS2 would scupper plans to reconnect the town of Stone to the rail network. Stone has been without trains for over 50 years. For £80Bn you could connect Stone to the trans-Siberian Railway. Why was this small Staffordshire town so important to HS2? The answer is that its MP was HS2 opponent Bill Cash and Network Rail were trying to cause trouble for him in his constituency.
As you seem so knowledgeable perhaps you know the answer to my question.

If we were to build a new line instead of HS2 like the current line from Birmingham to London what would the cost of that be?
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nulli tertius
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(Original post by paul514)
As you seem so knowledgeable perhaps you know the answer to my question.

If we were to build a new line instead of HS2 like the current line from Birmingham to London what would the cost of that be?
The key cost saving is putting the track on ballast rather than on a concrete slab.

Slower trains don’t cost much less than fast trains (Inter-City 225s and Pendolinos were all built to run at 140mph).

Anybody building a new line would do away with lineside signalling.

No-one would build a slower new line any less straight unless it was enormously expensive to engineer a straight route. The last main line, the Great Central, designed to be part of an express route from Manchester to Paris via a Channel Tunnel had no level crossings between Marylebone and Retford in Notts.

High Speed services require slab track, which is why they are all new lines.

The suggestion is that slower trains (still faster than any legacy trains) would save around 10% of the project cost.

That doesn’t include any savings for how the railway enters cities. High Speed is a selling point to get people to drive to out of town stations. The railway has misunderstood the public many times in this as you will see if you look at the tumbleweed at East Midlands Parkway or fight for a parking space at Galashiels.
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Fullofsurprises
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(Original post by nulli tertius)
This is just the sort of fake news you normally decry. "I recall reading". Find me any worthwhile source to this effect.

Here is Network Rail's rather picky response to the three sensible alternative proposals.

https://assets.publishing.service.go...ternatives.pdf

What you can't do is keep the cost of any alternative at some point in the historic past, when its cost will also have ballooned.

Construction has been underway for 2 years. Abandonment means the costs thrown away have to be added to the project cost of an alternative.

Ultimately none of these proposals had traction because no-one wanted to build them. The only people backing them had no interest beyond stopping HS2.



Birmingham is 32 minutes closer to Euston with HS2. When the West Coast route was last upgraded a 40 minute time reduction to Manchester prompted a massive increase in usage. The Curzon Street station is just a device to pretend the very real time benefits don't exist. Birmingham already has three central city local commuter stations in Snow Hill, Moor Street and New Street. Only passengers wanting to change to another train at New Street will have any additional changing time. Most passengers won't be changing at all and Curzon Street will have a better carparking offer than New Street.

Crossrail already exists past the West London station because it is an enormous former engine shed complex on the GWR being redeveloped for housing. Euston is really only on the scheme because of Londoners' perceptions. The HS1 services to Kent run into St Pancras and the public wouldn't have accepted anything else but most of the passengers use Stratford.



All service changes produce winners and losers. More stations will get more frequent but slower (because of the increased stops) London services on the legacy lines, but that will worsen the service for those who currently catch the existing infrequent expresses.

Which would you rather have; two London express trains a day and a Leyland bus/changing at the big city, the rest of the time or 16 semi-fasts, one every hour? The answer invariably depends on whether the expresses are convenient for you.



HS3 is Liverppol to Leeds. It won't go anywhere near Scotland.
First of all, I realised that HS3 is not going to Scotland - that was intended to be my point, eg, that despite the vast new investment in HS rail, the one region that could genuinely benefit economically from HS rail to London - that is to say Scotland, as the distances are almost comparable to the shorter streches of HS rail in France, Germany, etc - will not be included.

ON the '32 minutes saving' from Birmingham to London, I see that figure is regularly cited in older estimates of the new system's benefits, going back to 2004 - we are talking there about maximum speed trains, I'm no expert, but weren't they supposed to run at 225 mph or similar - and isn't it now the case that they will be at 140mph? If so, not much faster than Pendolino and therefore the 32 mins claim for Birmingam-London sounds implausible. When you add in the delays to reach the new station from New St, they will be eliminated, or worse.

I know the advocates of HS claim the marvellous new station in Birmingham will be better, but simply put, it won't connect to the existing networks. Apart from being completely useless to the idea of integrated transport, it will continue to fracture the networks going forwards, it will make it much harder for the scheme to speed journey times overall for the supposed wave of passengers who would come to Birmingham to specifically connect to HS2 to speed their overall journey (now a myth basically) and to top it all, Birmingham won't be funded by government to build so much as a travellater or a tram between the two. Hilarious ****.

Then we have the ludicrous new 'hub' (which won't be a hub in any meaningful sense) in the E, Midlands with long journey times to it from any of the three big cities in that region and an overall and quite inevitable lengthening of journey times to London and (but of course) the sensible existing lines to be downgraded to prevent passengers from sticking (sensibly) two fingers up to the new boondoggle railway and continuing to use the old lines. You spoke elsewhere of windswept empty platforms at parkway stations - this will be the mother of them all. I expect moss will have to be regularly cleared from the platforms at the teeming new super-hub, lol.

Shall we now move on to the configuration and ticket prices and working arrangements for the new megaline. Which operator will run them? Will it be a superior one? Or will it be the turn of whoever pays more money into Tory election campaign coffers? Arbellio perhaps? Or perhaps someone even more ****? And what percentage of the carriages will be first class? And what will be the minimum ticket price and the peak ticket price rules laid down by the scheming but malicious jobsworths at the DfT?

As an environmentalist, I'm grateful for any improvement that might reduce or impact on polluting vehicle reductions, but how will this overpriced and limited availability system materially reduce car transit on the M-ways?
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nulli tertius
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(Original post by Fullofsurprises)
First of all, I realised that HS3 is not going to Scotland - that was intended to be my point, eg, that despite the vast new investment in HS rail, the one region that could genuinely benefit economically from HS rail to London - that is to say Scotland, as the distances are almost comparable to the shorter streches of HS rail in France, Germany, etc - will not be included.
The problem here is that the passenger flows really aren't there from England to Scotland (excluding Edinburgh during the festival). Edinburgh is a capital city; Scots who go to the capital go to Edinburgh not London.

ON the '32 minutes saving' from Birmingham to London, I see that figure is regularly cited in older estimates of the new system's benefits, going back to 2004 - we are talking there about maximum speed trains, I'm no expert, but weren't they supposed to run at 225 mph or similar - and isn't it now the case that they will be at 140mph? If so, not much faster than Pendolino and therefore the 32 mins claim for Birmingam-London sounds implausible. When you add in the delays to reach the new station from New St, they will be eliminated, or worse.
You do realise people won't be changing in Birmingham. They will be travelling on High Speed trains, slowly, from Manchester to the Midlands when they will accelerate to London. This is the same as catching HS1 from Canterbury.

They haven't decided yet whether to cut the HS2 train speeds but I suspect they will.



I know the advocates of HS claim the marvellous new station in Birmingham will be better, but simply put, it won't connect to the existing networks. Apart from being completely useless to the idea of integrated transport, it will continue to fracture the networks going forwards, it will make it much harder for the scheme to speed journey times overall for the supposed wave of passengers who would come to Birmingham to specifically connect to HS2 to speed their overall journey (now a myth basically) and to top it all, Birmingham won't be funded by government to build so much as a travellater or a tram between the two. Hilarious ****.
You aren't right about Birmingham.

Then we have the ludicrous new 'hub' (which won't be a hub in any meaningful sense) in the E, Midlands with long journey times to it from any of the three big cities in that region and an overall and quite inevitable lengthening of journey times to London and (but of course) the sensible existing lines to be downgraded to prevent passengers from sticking (sensibly) two fingers up to the new boondoggle railway and continuing to use the old lines. You spoke elsewhere of windswept empty platforms at parkway stations - this will be the mother of them all. I expect moss will have to be regularly cleared from the platforms at the teeming new super-hub, lol.
This is a huge gamble. The new station is on the site of a strange station called Trent in the middle of nowhere. Pre-Beeching it was common for passengers from Nottingham to change at Trent. The question is can that clock be turned back? I suspect not. My comment was not about parkway stations generally. My point was that the railway is very poor at predicting passenger demand for new stations.
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ByEeek
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(Original post by paul514)
Most infrastructure yes, I would be happy for a mass investment in any infrastructure that has the ability to pay for its upgrade.
What is the difference between building something new or upgrading it?

You benefit massively from the railways even if you don't use them. How would train travellers travel if there weren't railways?
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paul514
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(Original post by nulli tertius)
The key cost saving is putting the track on ballast rather than on a concrete slab.

Slower trains don’t cost much less than fast trains (Inter-City 225s and Pendolinos were all built to run at 140mph).

Anybody building a new line would do away with lineside signalling.

No-one would build a slower new line any less straight unless it was enormously expensive to engineer a straight route. The last main line, the Great Central, designed to be part of an express route from Manchester to Paris via a Channel Tunnel had no level crossings between Marylebone and Retford in Notts.

High Speed services require slab track, which is why they are all new lines.

The suggestion is that slower trains (still faster than any legacy trains) would save around 10% of the project cost.

That doesn’t include any savings for how the railway enters cities. High Speed is a selling point to get people to drive to out of town stations. The railway has misunderstood the public many times in this as you will see if you look at the tumbleweed at East Midlands Parkway or fight for a parking space at Galashiels.
Sorry if I am being dumb but does that mean it’s only a 10% saving?
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nulli tertius
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(Original post by paul514)
Sorry if I am being dumb but does that mean it’s only a 10% saving?
It is 10% if you build the same railway but slower and with slower trains.

However, a disproportionate amount of the cost of building the railway relates to bringing the new line into the various cities. If you are not building a high speed railway, more options for getting into the cities open up; under-utilised existing rail corridors; disused former rail corridors; new corridors that don’t meet high speed standards. However, against that, the selling point of high speed will no longer be available to justify poorly located and poorly connected stations and so the Railway might find that it has to build to meet the existing rail infrastructure in more city centres pushing the cost back up. How this puzzle is solved, determines the ultimate cost saving.
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Fullofsurprises
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(Original post by nulli tertius)
You do realise people won't be changing in Birmingham. They will be travelling on High Speed trains, slowly, from Manchester to the Midlands when they will accelerate to London. This is the same as catching HS1 from Canterbury.

They haven't decided yet whether to cut the HS2 train speeds but I suspect they will.
So is the plan to have a rail link between New St and the new station? I thought the answer to that was no, last time I looked. How exactly will the HS trains from, say, Manchester reach the new Bham station? Will they go past Birmingham and then come back in? Sounds like more delays to me. Not to mention that local lines within B'ham will not be connected to Curzon St and so will involve tram transfers - if the tram gets approved - the government has been thwarting new tram proposals in many other locations.

There are definite strong odours of this project to the old original HS London-Paris line when it used to go into Waterloo. In those days, after you emerged from the smooth fast French system, you came through the tunnel and then went onto Southern Region's rackety old lines - sometimes you were actually passed by suburban commuter trains! :teehee:
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paul514
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(Original post by Fullofsurprises)
So is the plan to have a rail link between New St and the new station? I thought the answer to that was no, last time I looked. How exactly will the HS trains from, say, Manchester reach the new Bham station? Will they go past Birmingham and then come back in? Sounds like more delays to me. Not to mention that local lines within B'ham will not be connected to Curzon St and so will involve tram transfers - if the tram gets approved - the government has been thwarting new tram proposals in many other locations.

There are definite strong odours of this project to the old original HS London-Paris line when it used to go into Waterloo. In those days, after you emerged from the smooth fast French system, you came through the tunnel and then went onto Southern Region's rackety old lines - sometimes you were actually passed by suburban commuter trains! :teehee:
There will be a team connection to curzon street.

The rail line north will not use existing lines it kind of loops round between Sutton Coldfield and Tamworth.
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Fullofsurprises
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(Original post by paul514)
There will be a team connection to curzon street.

The rail line north will not use existing lines it kind of loops round between Sutton Coldfield and Tamworth.
I think it'll be just down to random luck if all the connections are built anything like in time, the way things work in the UK.

The Sutton Coldfield loop via Tamworth and no doubt Godalming and Norwich. Sounds fast! :lol:
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paul514
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(Original post by Fullofsurprises)
I think it'll be just down to random luck if all the connections are built anything like in time, the way things work in the UK.

The Sutton Coldfield loop via Tamworth and no doubt Godalming and Norwich. Sounds fast! :lol:
Well to my understanding it uses a new line that goes near star city where the maintenance for HS2 will be then swings around the city.

It then forks off to Nottingham and Crewe on new but different lines

I don’t really think it’s out the way.
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nulli tertius
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(Original post by paul514)
Well to my understanding it uses a new line that goes near star city where the maintenance for HS2 will be then swings around the city.

It then forks off to Nottingham and Crewe on new but different lines

I don’t really think it’s out the way.
FoS has a fundamental misunderstanding of what is going to be going on in Birmingham under HS 2 Phase 1. The HS2 “main line” doesn’t go into Birmingham at all. After a new Birmingham Airport station it skirts round the east of Birmingham and until HS2 Phase 2a is built, it joins the Trent Valley line just north of Lichfield Trent Valley station.

There is a triangular junction off this line for the branch into Birmingham Curzon Street Station.

It will be an operational decision whether, before HS2 phase 2 is built, HS2 trains from the north travelling over the legacy lines proceed directly to London over the HS2 Phase 1 mainline or take the northern spur of the triangular junction to Curzon Street; reverse direction and take the southern spur of the triangular junction back to the HS2 mainline and on to London.

HS2 will thus mimic the WCML where most trains from the north to London proceed down the Trent Valley Line from Stafford to Nuneaton and miss out Birmingham altogether.

For this reason there aren’t going to be hoards of Intercity passengers changing stations between New Street and Curzon Street. If you are travelling from Manchester to Euston after HS2 phase 1 is built but before Phase 2 is built, you are going to catch an HS2 train at Piccadilly. That train may or may not stop at Birmingham Curzon Street, but you travel on it all the way to London.

Anyone who is changing trains at Birmingham Curzon Street might be wanting Moor Street or Snow Hill as much as they are wanting New Street. The reality is that most passengers today from London to New Street are not passengers seeking to change trains at New Street. They leave the railway at New Street.

Here is a map of what is being built in Phase 1. It will be more than 10 years after this opens before phase 2 opens.

https://assets.publishing.service.go...reaExtents.pdf

The people who are going to lose out from HS2 are the people in Wolverhampton, Shrewsbury and Aberystwyth.

At present, many London- Birmingham New Street expresses run through to Wolverhampton to avoid clogging the New Street platforms. Those trains are likely to reduce and have more stops.

Shrewsbury and Aberystwyth passengers travel long distances to pick up London expresses at New Street or Wolverhampton. They can either travel to Curzon Street or have a reduced and slower service from New Street.
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Fullofsurprises
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(Original post by nulli tertius)
FoS has a fundamental misunderstanding of what is going to be going on in Birmingham under HS 2 Phase 1. The HS2 “main line” doesn’t go into Birmingham at all. After a new Birmingham Airport station it skirts round the east of Birmingham and until HS2 Phase 2a is built, it joins the Trent Valley line just north of Lichfield Trent Valley station.

There is a triangular junction off this line for the branch into Birmingham Curzon Street Station.

It will be an operational decision whether, before HS2 phase 2 is built, HS2 trains from the north travelling over the legacy lines proceed directly to London over the HS2 Phase 1 mainline or take the northern spur of the triangular junction to Curzon Street; reverse direction and take the southern spur of the triangular junction back to the HS2 mainline and on to London.

HS2 will thus mimic the WCML where most trains from the north to London proceed down the Trent Valley Line from Stafford to Nuneaton and miss out Birmingham altogether.

For this reason there aren’t going to be hoards of Intercity passengers changing stations between New Street and Curzon Street. If you are travelling from Manchester to Euston after HS2 phase 1 is built but before Phase 2 is built, you are going to catch an HS2 train at Piccadilly. That train may or may not stop at Birmingham Curzon Street, but you travel on it all the way to London.

Anyone who is changing trains at Birmingham Curzon Street might be wanting Moor Street or Snow Hill as much as they are wanting New Street. The reality is that most passengers today from London to New Street are not passengers seeking to change trains at New Street. They leave the railway at New Street.

Here is a map of what is being built in Phase 1. It will be more than 10 years after this opens before phase 2 opens.

https://assets.publishing.service.go...reaExtents.pdf

The people who are going to lose out from HS2 are the people in Wolverhampton, Shrewsbury and Aberystwyth.

At present, many London- Birmingham New Street expresses run through to Wolverhampton to avoid clogging the New Street platforms. Those trains are likely to reduce and have more stops.

Shrewsbury and Aberystwyth passengers travel long distances to pick up London expresses at New Street or Wolverhampton. They can either travel to Curzon Street or have a reduced and slower service from New Street.
OK, understood. At least, that's what we're being told will happen - there's a pretty long history of rail projects in the UK not coming out as planned, or not delivering as planned, but we'll see I suppose.

So in this plan, how many of the trains leaving Euston will terminate at Birmingham? Will they duplicate, exceed or be less than the current Pendolino capacity and will existing Pendolino services from Manchester and Birmingham immediately be reduced on the opening of HS2? In other words, will HS2 as advertised increase seat capacity, or will it actually lower it (and make it more expensive) due to the loss of existing services?

All the above of course depends critically on the Euston location for the London end, but this is apparently still being debated and the Old Oak Common one appears currently to still be an option. If it does go to Old Oak, all alleged journey time gains will be fizzle.

Thus far we've seen that the alleged 32 minute gain to Birmingham is very unlikely. The London hub is still disputed. And the loss of existing services will inconvenience many. We don't know how much the tickets will cost, but nothing suggests otherwise than that they will be more expensive.
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OK, understood. At least, that's what we're being told will happen - there's a pretty long history of rail projects in the UK not coming out as planned, or not delivering as planned, but we'll see I suppose.

So in this plan, how many of the trains leaving Euston will terminate at Birmingham? Will they duplicate, exceed or be less than the current Pendolino capacity and will existing Pendolino services from Manchester and Birmingham immediately be reduced on the opening of HS2? In other words, will HS2 as advertised increase seat capacity, or will it actually lower it (and make it more expensive) due to the loss of existing services?

All the above of course depends critically on the Euston location for the London end, but this is apparently still being debated and the Old Oak Common one appears currently to still be an option. If it does go to Old Oak, all alleged journey time gains will be fizzle.

Thus far we've seen that the alleged 32 minute gain to Birmingham is very unlikely. The London hub is still disputed. And the loss of existing services will inconvenience many. We don't know how much the tickets will cost, but nothing suggests otherwise than that they will be more expensive.
The overall number of services will increase and the people intended to benefit will get better services. The losers will be people who have enjoyed exceptional services for railway operational reasons and not because of the level of demand. As I say Wolverhampton enjoys an exceptional number of express London trains. The number of trains may reduce slightly but the real loss is that they are likely to become slower as more stops are added.
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The government has announced a review into HS2.

Those of us who take fiscal responsibility seriously rather than just treating it as a buzzword before obediently voting Conservative are shaking our heads in bemusement.
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I don't know specifics, but knowing the UK you can guarantee that by the time its finished it will be out of date. That's just how we operate here.

China is a perfect example of how to get modern railways right.
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