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Andrew97
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M581 – HS2 Motion 2019, TSR Libertarian Party
This house believes the project commonly referred to as HS2 should be scrapped in its current form and replaced with an alternative line that proposes better value for money.

Since the inception of the project the cost has more than tripled from an initial £33bn in 2010 to £106bn in 2019/20 with it being far from unlikely the cost will balloon even higher. Further to this we believe that it is wholly incapable of performing the role it is designed to do, namely increase capacity on the line and decrease travel times, given the need to stop at stations contributes so much time to train travel times these two goals are inherently contradictory, at any given time it can either significantly increase capacity or decrease travel times.

We can see from the National Rail Passenger Survey from last Autumn(1) that the speed of trains is not a concern to the users, in fact it is the element of train facilities with the highest satisfaction nationwide, for regional travel, and for long distance travel and the only element of rail travel with higher satisfaction is the provision of train/platform information at the stations. Far more important to rail users than increasing speeds is simple things like better wifi. Given the unimportance to the end user of increased speed, and the lower costs associated with lower speeds (and greater energy efficiency) the first of two proposed alternatives would be a conventional speed line to prioritise the increased capacity requirement.

The second of these proposals would maintain the higher build cost and high speed capacity, but in such a way as to make the line simultaneously capable of truly high speed travel at the same time as increased capacity by dispensing with the 18th century technology of metal rails and join the Chinese and Japanese in utilising maglev technology. Based on Chūō Shinkansen line under construction in Japan costs would be comparable to HS2 as it currently exists, possibly lower owing to better terrain as the Japanese line passes through the mountains rather than around them as well as offering a truly high speed experience. Phase 1 is expected to be opened in 2027 allowing travel from Tokyo to Nagoya, a distance of 177.5 miles, in as little as 40 minutes, an average speed of 266.25mph, which currently takes nearly 2 hours.

The technology is also far more capable at accelerating and decelerating with the current maglev speed record being 375 mph, completed on a 12 mile track, for reference it took a TGV going down hill 93 miles to reach 358 mph and stop again, 45 miles to get up to speed and another 48 to stop again. Such trains are also far less susceptible to adverse weather conditions owing to the fact the vehicle is not reliant on friction to accelerate and decelerate, unlike conventional trains.

While it is true that maglev trains are not compatible with conventional rail networks this could be the first line of a new network that allows efficient high speed travel around the country without relying on aircraft to do so. Such a project would likely have greater long term economic benefits to the UK as not only would we have the benefit of the line itself, but the benefit of once again being a world leader in rail transport so British business can build the railways of tomorrow around the world.

HS2 is currently a project that makes little sense, it is too expensive to be a cost effective way of increasing capacity, and too slow in practice to be an effective way of decreasing travel times, with the decreases being marginal.
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The Mogg
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Aye. HS2 has gone beyond a joke now, and this motion clearly states out a better alternative (and in great detail as we can all see by the length)
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04MR17
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This topic comes up every 6 months. Take what I said last time to still be my opinion.
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The Mogg
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(Original post by 04MR17)
This topic comes up every 6 months. Take what I said last time to still be my opinion.
I (like many others) have slept in the last 6 months. What was your opinion then?
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LiberOfLondon
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Aye.
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04MR17
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(Original post by SoggyCabbages)
No one cares enough about you to remember your opinion from 6 months ago.

Why don't you stop being deliberately ambiguous and just say what you think?
Because I can't remember what I think.
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SoggyCabbages
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(Original post by 04MR17)
Because I can't remember what I think.
The **** is this? Tinker tailor soldier ****?
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04MR17
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(Original post by The Mogg)
I (like many others) have slept in the last 6 months. What was your opinion then?
Can't remember. :iiam:
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04MR17
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(Original post by SoggyCabbages)
The **** is this? Tink tailor soldier ****?
No it's MHoC, I'm surprised it's just dawned on you now.
Last edited by 04MR17; 2 weeks ago
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The Mogg
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I've only just realised that the motion says 2019 :lol: I assume this has been delayed for a while?
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Saracen's Fez
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#11
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Aye to scrapping HS2. Investing in regional rail and re-opening lines should be the priority.

I'm unconvinced that maglev is anything but a gimmick though.
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barnetlad
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I am not convinced about Maglev as the solution, given the need for several stops en route. I think HS2 should go-ahead, albeit that I would prioritise the second stage from Birmingham to Leeds ahead of that to Manchester.
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5ATB
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#13
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I am entirely opposed to HS2 going ahead. We need to vastly improve our existing lines, especially in the rural areas of the country, before investing in flashy high speed trains that ultimately will just serve to expand the London commuter belt.
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Cabin19
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I completely agree we need to stop with the building lines from London out. We need to invest in the regional networks in the North East, North West, Yorkshire etc. This is a much better use of the money.
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quirky editor
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I oppose this motion.
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LiberOfLondon
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(Original post by 5ATB)
I am entirely opposed to HS2 going ahead. We need to vastly improve our existing lines, especially in the rural areas of the country, before investing in flashy high speed trains that ultimately will just serve to expand the London commuter belt.
And up North too. Anyone who supports this cockup should try getting from Liverpool to Manchester, before they say a train for Southerners to get to Birmingham quicker is more important than investment in the Northn
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shadowdweller
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(Original post by 5ATB)
I am entirely opposed to HS2 going ahead. We need to vastly improve our existing lines, especially in the rural areas of the country, before investing in flashy high speed trains that ultimately will just serve to expand the London commuter belt.
Agree with this, and with Liber's addition of the North's services needing improvement too.
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LiberOfLondon
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(Original post by shadowdweller)
Agree with this, and with Liber's addition of the North's services needing improvement too.
:ta:
Nice to see me being mentioned in the House.
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Rakas21
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Mr Speaker, i intend to abstain.

Although Maglev offers a potentially superior alternative, right now the project is not finished and thus i am wary of trusting the current cost projections. In addition, i live in Leeds and must secure the local benefits that will be derived from HS2 here (namely attracting larger firms to the city).

That said, i like Maglev and it is clearly going to be the predominant technology in the future thus i will accept the will of the House.
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SnowMiku
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The budget for HS2 has just constantly increased and future costs keep increasing. While it's true that we need some sort of good trans-country rail, it's clear that this isn't the way to go about it.
So aye.
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