Railways

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monkey
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Re: Railways

Post by monkey » Tue May 17, 2022 11:00 pm

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Tue May 17, 2022 10:27 pm
Queen learns how to use an oyster card, and now her line is officially open!
https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-london-61465207
They made her pay on her own line? TfL must be short of money.

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Re: Railways

Post by Bird on a Fire » Wed May 18, 2022 12:09 am

monkey wrote:
Tue May 17, 2022 11:00 pm
Bird on a Fire wrote:
Tue May 17, 2022 10:27 pm
Queen learns how to use an oyster card, and now her line is officially open!
https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-london-61465207
They made her pay on her own line? TfL must be short of money.
Judging by the quality of that plaque I reckon so, yeah.
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Re: Railways

Post by TimW » Wed May 18, 2022 8:28 am

Well, they have just spent a squillion pounds on a line they don't need any more.

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Re: Railways

Post by IvanV » Wed May 18, 2022 9:26 am

TimW wrote:
Wed May 18, 2022 8:28 am
Well, they have just spent a squillion pounds on a line they don't need any more.
Obviously the shiny over-specified over-extravagantly-fitted-out cost-more-to-build-than-it-would-in-most-other-countries Elizabeth Line gets to run. But questions arise as to whether capacity might be withdrawn elsewhere, given a shortage of money to carry out all the necessary maintenance and renewals of the entire system. As this recent article at London Reconnections sets out, such closures in practice rarely save as much money as you might hope they would. In part because you need to continue some serious kind of maintenance if you intend ever to bring them back into service, without the thing having to be essentially rebuilt at a later date.

If anyone were to think about closing something to save money, then, although there has been no official mention, nevertheless the far-too-obvious direction to move our eyes is at the Bakerloo LIne. Because Crossrail relieves the busy section from Paddington to Oxford Circus. Crossrail's Bond St station is actually half way between Bond St and Oxford Circus, and those two stations are not very far apart anyway. So probably the Bakerloo Line will experience a material reduction in traffic, especially once Bond St opens - Bond St's opening has been delayed beyond 24 May as it seems to be not quite ready yet. And because the Bakerloo Line trains are nigh on 50 years old, and apparently showing signs of needing fixing. And so it will either need a new set of trains before very long, or another thorough refurbishment of the old ones to keep the line open. But, as the article sets out, you'd have to close the entire line to save very much money.

As someone who uses Marylebone Stn a great deal, served only by the Bakerloo Line, I'm obviously looking for every possible excuse as to why this is a Very Bad Idea. Even though mostly I prefer to use a bicycle to get around locally in central London.

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Re: Railways

Post by nekomatic » Wed May 18, 2022 10:13 pm

If every ex-Londoner still has ‘their’ Tube line then mine is the Bakerloo. I thought there were plans for a south-eastern extension?
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Re: Railways

Post by JQH » Thu May 19, 2022 10:26 am

nekomatic wrote:
Wed May 18, 2022 10:13 pm
If every ex-Londoner still has ‘their’ Tube line then mine is the Bakerloo. I thought there were plans for a south-eastern extension?
In about 2040 IIRC
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El Pollo Diablo
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Re: Railways

Post by El Pollo Diablo » Thu May 19, 2022 10:36 am

DfT investment strategy is f.cked at the moment, I wouldn't bank on anything happening unless it's in law that it has to and the money has been handed over.
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Re: Railways

Post by shpalman » Fri Jun 03, 2022 4:52 pm

Bavaria train crash: At least four killed
At least four people were killed and about 30 injured when a train derailed in Germany's south-eastern state of Bavaria, police say.

The train, which was carrying many students, was heading to Munich when three carriages came off the tracks near Garmisch-Partenkirchen.

Stefan Sonntag, a spokesperson for the German federal police, told reporters that 15 of the injured were in serious condition at a local hospital.
In a separate development, a carriage on an Italian high-speed train travelling from Turin to Rome derailed while approaching the capital.

Local emergency officials say nobody was injured in the incident, which saw the train's back carriage come off the tracks as it neared the Serenissima tunnel in Rome.
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El Pollo Diablo
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Re: Railways

Post by El Pollo Diablo » Thu Jun 09, 2022 9:51 am

Well, the strikes are on. Fair enough, to be honest. If I were at Network Rail and in the RMT, I would have voted to strike as well. Same for the TSSA.
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wilsontown
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Re: Railways

Post by wilsontown » Thu Jun 09, 2022 10:25 am

Assuming the strikes are going ahead (the link doesn't say so but I assume you'd know more than I do about this), I won't bother even attempting to get to the office.
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Brightonian
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Re: Railways

Post by Brightonian » Thu Jun 09, 2022 1:15 pm

Happy International Level Crossing Awareness Day today, everyone.

Edit: wondered at first if they'd simply made that up, but it does seem to be a thing, and something worth highlighting: https://ilcad.org/

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Re: Railways

Post by El Pollo Diablo » Tue Jun 21, 2022 9:50 am

Any views on the rail strikes? I've made mine clear up there ^
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Re: Railways

Post by IvanV » Tue Jun 21, 2022 11:40 am

El Pollo Diablo wrote:
Thu Jun 09, 2022 9:51 am
If I were at Network Rail and in the RMT, I would have voted to strike as well. Same for the TSSA.
From the individual interest of the railway worker, it makes a lot of sense.

I saw Lynch on Newsnight last night. For all the rude things the press say about him, he's really rather audience-friendly. Unlike Bob Crow, who made little attempt to be anything other than a hate figure for most rail customers. Lynch spoke a lot about the difficult and deserving situation of many other workers in the economy, which placed what he was doing in context, I felt. He only represents railway workers, but it was a collective interest on behalf of many public sector and lower-paid workers that he wished to generate. I can sympathise with that, as I also sympathise with people whose important journeys over the next few days are made very difficult. Overall, Lynch came over as reasonable in comparison with the government spokesman he was put up against, who could only mouth platitudes.

Lynch was entirely transparent that the median salary of his members is £31k. Which is pretty much exactly the same of the median full-time salary of workers in the UK. So 50% of RMT's members are better paid than half of the UK's full time workers. Given that we are all collectively poorer because of the economic situation, some people might suggest that those higher wage workers should include some of the people who take more of the pain, so that those who are in the other 50% can take less of it.

As the Economist said this week, one does worry about the motivation of unions, like the RMT, who seem to have a lot of time and affection for foreign dictators, an obsession their overseas counterparts do not seem to share or understand. But, as far as the Economist could tell, RMT's actions seemed to be about the interests of their members, and not about promoting a Bolshevik revolution. Unlike certain union leaders of the past we might mention.

It is common to say that the RMT is the most effective union, on behalf of its members. But I think BECTU that represents the greater part of the more skilled power sector workers is more effective. So effective you don't even hear about it.

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Re: Railways

Post by JQH » Tue Jun 21, 2022 4:25 pm

IvanV wrote:
Tue Jun 21, 2022 11:40 am

As the Economist said this week, one does worry about the motivation of unions, like the RMT, who seem to have a lot of time and affection for foreign dictators, an obsession their overseas counterparts do not seem to share or understand. But, as far as the Economist could tell, RMT's actions seemed to be about the interests of their members, and not about promoting a Bolshevik revolution. Unlike certain union leaders of the past we might mention.

By "motivation of unions" do they mean motivations of the leadership, or motivations of the members? It may be possible to portray Mr Lynch as a Commie mutant traitor revolutionary but if they're trying to cast the entire membership in that light then the country has problems way beyond a few days without trains.
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Re: Railways

Post by IvanV » Tue Jun 21, 2022 5:22 pm

JQH wrote:
Tue Jun 21, 2022 4:25 pm
IvanV wrote:
Tue Jun 21, 2022 11:40 am
As the Economist said this week, one does worry about the motivation of unions, like the RMT, who seem to have a lot of time and affection for foreign dictators, an obsession their overseas counterparts do not seem to share or understand. But, as far as the Economist could tell, RMT's actions seemed to be about the interests of their members, and not about promoting a Bolshevik revolution. Unlike certain union leaders of the past we might mention.
By "motivation of unions" do they mean motivations of the leadership, or motivations of the members? It may be possible to portray Mr Lynch as a Commie mutant traitor revolutionary but if they're trying to cast the entire membership in that light then the country has problems way beyond a few days without trains.
The Economist wasn't painting it as a reflection of the views of the members. Rather they were suggesting that the members are happy with the union's practical actions, so perhaps they don't care about the rest that seems of little practical effect. It's to most of the rest of us that it seems worrying.

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Re: Railways

Post by Bird on a Fire » Tue Jun 21, 2022 7:32 pm

I'd like to see the rest of UK workers get organised, tbh. They need it.

I was commuting with Southern during all the kerfuffle over driver-operated doors and didn't begrudge them even though it was a PITA.
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Re: Railways

Post by Woodchopper » Tue Jul 12, 2022 8:43 pm

Ferrovial boss on why high speed rail costs more in UK

[…]

Speaking at NCE’s Future of Rail conference, Ricardo Ferreras said that the process of obtaining permits and conducting environmental studies in the UK was largely behind the increased cost of building high speed railways in the UK.

“It’s true the cost per kilometre is way higher in the UK than it is in Europe, for example in France or Spain,” Ferreras said.

“It is about the number of resources that we use here in the UK that are linked with planning; the environmental matters, the stakeholder engagement, all the consents that are needed.

As an example in Spain the government will get all consents, and all environmental permits, and then when they award the contract to a contractor, the contractor can just focus on delivering the project.

“So, here we do it differently. I am not saying it is worse but it is different and it takes much more man power and obviously that increases the cost of the project.”

He added: “I think the consenting regime here for these big projects, and getting everything while you are developing the design, creates a lot of issues and that sort of slows down the process. A lot of people, a lot more time and that of course means more cost.

“That said the way things are planned here and delivered is absolutely phenomenal so I’m not saying it is worse but there could be a balance.”

Ferrovial has a long history of delivering high speed rail projects. In total, the Spanish firm has built 487km of high speed rail around the world, as well as 80 high speed rail viaducts and six high speed rail stations.


Noteworthy projects worked on by Ferrovial include the Madrid-Seville high speed rail line and the California high speed rail project.

Ferrovial is also working on the construction of HS2. Ferrovial, in a JV with Eiffage, Kier and Bam Nuttal (EKFB), is delivering the civil engineering works across an 80km section of the new high speed rail link between the Chiltern Tunnel and Long Itchington Wood.
https://www.newcivilengineer.com/latest ... 2-07-2022/

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Re: Railways

Post by Sciolus » Tue Jul 12, 2022 9:30 pm

Really? I can believe that HS2 spent in the region of £10m on obtaining environmental planning consents and permits, but £84b*? Rather, I suspect what he really means is that they didn't take proper account of environmental impacts early enough and had to redesign, which adds costs directly and through financing capital through the delay. Even then, I find it hard to believe that it's more than a tiny fraction of the spades-in-ground works.

*The article suggests that the cost of HS2 is £200m/km against a benchmark of £32m/km, so if the total HS2 cost is £100b then the comparator cost is £16b and the additional £84b is due to environmental red tape, according to him.

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Re: Railways

Post by bagpuss » Wed Jul 13, 2022 9:06 am

Sciolus wrote:
Tue Jul 12, 2022 9:30 pm
Really? I can believe that HS2 spent in the region of £10m on obtaining environmental planning consents and permits, but £84b*? Rather, I suspect what he really means is that they didn't take proper account of environmental impacts early enough and had to redesign, which adds costs directly and through financing capital through the delay. Even then, I find it hard to believe that it's more than a tiny fraction of the spades-in-ground works.

*The article suggests that the cost of HS2 is £200m/km against a benchmark of £32m/km, so if the total HS2 cost is £100b then the comparator cost is £16b and the additional £84b is due to environmental red tape, according to him.
Bolded bit - I think this is very likely a pretty large part of it. I've not been keeping up with it completely so I'm not sure exactly where things stand but as I understand it, they're still figuring out what to do about the fact that the line just by us is going through a cut and cover tunnel slap bang through whatever the name is* for where the water runs through the chalky ground from wherever it collects to ponds/streams/rivers - thus likely drying out the local pond and the stream, and from that our branch of the Grand Union canal. The canal branch is not connected to the network any more** and is much more stream than canal in terms of wildlife habitat, so it's not a small impact and our various local groups have been pointing out this issue to HS2 for several years now.


*I really haven't been keeping up. Figuring out everything the bagkitten needs for all her end of term/end of school activities and events, plus all the stuff that needs organising for new school has been almost as much work as my actual work lately.
**Hasn't been for over 100 years - in fact longer than it actually was connected. It was created to feed the canal system with water from the hills around us but always leaked thanks to 18th/19th century technology not really being able to cope with chalky ground - in fact for a while it extracted more water than it added as a result.

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Re: Railways

Post by IvanV » Wed Jul 13, 2022 10:47 am

Sciolus wrote:
Tue Jul 12, 2022 9:30 pm
Really? I can believe that HS2 spent in the region of £10m on obtaining environmental planning consents and permits, but £84b*? Rather, I suspect what he really means is that they didn't take proper account of environmental impacts early enough and had to redesign, which adds costs directly and through financing capital through the delay. Even then, I find it hard to believe that it's more than a tiny fraction of the spades-in-ground works.

*The article suggests that the cost of HS2 is £200m/km against a benchmark of £32m/km, so if the total HS2 cost is £100b then the comparator cost is £16b and the additional £84b is due to environmental red tape, according to him.
He's talking about a much wider range of red tape than that. And it's the kind of red tape that makes you build a much more expensively specified railway, not just the cost of going through various bureaucratic processes to be allowed to build the railway you want to build. As an example, though probably less relevant to building a new railway, a big issue in electrifying and working on overhead line railways has been new higher bridge clearance standards, which are quite unnecessary, as no problem has ever been exhibited with the old standard, which had actually been devised following thorough experimentation on what was dangerous. New bridge clearance standards added over half a billion to the cost of electrifying the GWR. The failure to deal with one simple single issue that on its own added so much cost makes it seems like no one really cares. And there's all sorts of stuff like that, each adding its little bit.

But that's far from all of it. The additional costs of the railway in the UK are about a lot more than standards and bureaucratic processes. It's about so much that people just can't grasp it and so they give up and go away.

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Re: Railways

Post by El Pollo Diablo » Wed Jul 13, 2022 1:38 pm

I'd add that the chiefs of Network Rail also don't give a f.ck about trying to understand it, they really don't care. Sad but true.
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Re: Railways

Post by Sciolus » Wed Jul 13, 2022 6:19 pm

IvanV wrote:
Wed Jul 13, 2022 10:47 am
Sciolus wrote:
Tue Jul 12, 2022 9:30 pm
Really? I can believe that HS2 spent in the region of £10m on obtaining environmental planning consents and permits, but £84b*? Rather, I suspect what he really means is that they didn't take proper account of environmental impacts early enough and had to redesign, which adds costs directly and through financing capital through the delay. Even then, I find it hard to believe that it's more than a tiny fraction of the spades-in-ground works.

*The article suggests that the cost of HS2 is £200m/km against a benchmark of £32m/km, so if the total HS2 cost is £100b then the comparator cost is £16b and the additional £84b is due to environmental red tape, according to him.
He's talking about a much wider range of red tape than that. And it's the kind of red tape that makes you build a much more expensively specified railway, not just the cost of going through various bureaucratic processes to be allowed to build the railway you want to build. As an example, though probably less relevant to building a new railway, a big issue in electrifying and working on overhead line railways has been new higher bridge clearance standards, which are quite unnecessary, as no problem has ever been exhibited with the old standard, which had actually been devised following thorough experimentation on what was dangerous. New bridge clearance standards added over half a billion to the cost of electrifying the GWR. The failure to deal with one simple single issue that on its own added so much cost makes it seems like no one really cares. And there's all sorts of stuff like that, each adding its little bit.

But that's far from all of it. The additional costs of the railway in the UK are about a lot more than standards and bureaucratic processes. It's about so much that people just can't grasp it and so they give up and go away.
That ain't what he said.

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Re: Railways

Post by plodder » Fri Jul 15, 2022 12:10 pm

bagpuss wrote:
Wed Jul 13, 2022 9:06 am
Sciolus wrote:
Tue Jul 12, 2022 9:30 pm
Really? I can believe that HS2 spent in the region of £10m on obtaining environmental planning consents and permits, but £84b*? Rather, I suspect what he really means is that they didn't take proper account of environmental impacts early enough and had to redesign, which adds costs directly and through financing capital through the delay. Even then, I find it hard to believe that it's more than a tiny fraction of the spades-in-ground works.

*The article suggests that the cost of HS2 is £200m/km against a benchmark of £32m/km, so if the total HS2 cost is £100b then the comparator cost is £16b and the additional £84b is due to environmental red tape, according to him.
Bolded bit - I think this is very likely a pretty large part of it. I've not been keeping up with it completely so I'm not sure exactly where things stand but as I understand it, they're still figuring out what to do about the fact that the line just by us is going through a cut and cover tunnel slap bang through whatever the name is* for where the water runs through the chalky ground from wherever it collects to ponds/streams/rivers - thus likely drying out the local pond and the stream, and from that our branch of the Grand Union canal. The canal branch is not connected to the network any more** and is much more stream than canal in terms of wildlife habitat, so it's not a small impact and our various local groups have been pointing out this issue to HS2 for several years now.


*I really haven't been keeping up. Figuring out everything the bagkitten needs for all her end of term/end of school activities and events, plus all the stuff that needs organising for new school has been almost as much work as my actual work lately.
**Hasn't been for over 100 years - in fact longer than it actually was connected. It was created to feed the canal system with water from the hills around us but always leaked thanks to 18th/19th century technology not really being able to cope with chalky ground - in fact for a while it extracted more water than it added as a result.
Environmental requirements can be enormously complex and hard to predict. HS2 had huge cohorts of ecologists trying to overcome the various ecological hurdles. The way the system is set up is adversarial rather than collaborative - you can't just get Natural England round the table and say "tell us what you want". Well, you can ask, but you tend to get gnomic non-committal responses and things quickly descend down highly technical rabbit holes around designations and preferences rather than sensible questions about how to actually make things work. This costs a fortune and can take decades. Basically it's impossible to "take account of environmental impacts early enough". You'd think it would be fairly easy but it really isn't. The environmental stuff is the easy bit.

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Re: Railways

Post by bagpuss » Sat Jul 16, 2022 4:41 pm

plodder wrote:
Fri Jul 15, 2022 12:10 pm
bagpuss wrote:
Wed Jul 13, 2022 9:06 am
Sciolus wrote:
Tue Jul 12, 2022 9:30 pm
Really? I can believe that HS2 spent in the region of £10m on obtaining environmental planning consents and permits, but £84b*? Rather, I suspect what he really means is that they didn't take proper account of environmental impacts early enough and had to redesign, which adds costs directly and through financing capital through the delay. Even then, I find it hard to believe that it's more than a tiny fraction of the spades-in-ground works.

*The article suggests that the cost of HS2 is £200m/km against a benchmark of £32m/km, so if the total HS2 cost is £100b then the comparator cost is £16b and the additional £84b is due to environmental red tape, according to him.
Bolded bit - I think this is very likely a pretty large part of it. I've not been keeping up with it completely so I'm not sure exactly where things stand but as I understand it, they're still figuring out what to do about the fact that the line just by us is going through a cut and cover tunnel slap bang through whatever the name is* for where the water runs through the chalky ground from wherever it collects to ponds/streams/rivers - thus likely drying out the local pond and the stream, and from that our branch of the Grand Union canal. The canal branch is not connected to the network any more** and is much more stream than canal in terms of wildlife habitat, so it's not a small impact and our various local groups have been pointing out this issue to HS2 for several years now.


*I really haven't been keeping up. Figuring out everything the bagkitten needs for all her end of term/end of school activities and events, plus all the stuff that needs organising for new school has been almost as much work as my actual work lately.
**Hasn't been for over 100 years - in fact longer than it actually was connected. It was created to feed the canal system with water from the hills around us but always leaked thanks to 18th/19th century technology not really being able to cope with chalky ground - in fact for a while it extracted more water than it added as a result.
Environmental requirements can be enormously complex and hard to predict. HS2 had huge cohorts of ecologists trying to overcome the various ecological hurdles. The way the system is set up is adversarial rather than collaborative - you can't just get Natural England round the table and say "tell us what you want". Well, you can ask, but you tend to get gnomic non-committal responses and things quickly descend down highly technical rabbit holes around designations and preferences rather than sensible questions about how to actually make things work. This costs a fortune and can take decades. Basically it's impossible to "take account of environmental impacts early enough". You'd think it would be fairly easy but it really isn't. The environmental stuff is the easy bit.
No, I don't for a moment think that it's easy. I'm quite sure it's enormously challenging as the impacts are so varied and don't always become apparent until work gets under way. But the fact that construction has started before HS2 even properly engaged on issues that were raised very early on - ie years ago - does suggest that something isn't working in the current process.

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Re: Railways

Post by Aitch » Mon Jul 18, 2022 9:52 am

A trivial question. Our new bridge (see previous posts) has four bridge plates - two oval, two rectangular. It also has a information 'plate':
Image
5g - Information Plate
by SteveH, on Flickr
When did they start putting those on bridges?

And what is the point of putting a small sign 15' up on the side of a bridge where it can't be easily read?
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