HS2

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Trinucleus
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Re: HS2

Post by Trinucleus » Thu Nov 18, 2021 2:50 pm

I presume updating the Hope Valley line will include better flags for the guards to shoo the sheep off the track. Sheffield must be uniquely placed. We're 30 miles away from Leeds and Manchester, and both journeys are quicker by car.

Call me a cynic, but is it too late for the Manchester HS2 leg to be cancelled at a later date?

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Re: HS2

Post by El Pollo Diablo » Thu Nov 18, 2021 2:56 pm

Why would it be cancelled?
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Re: HS2

Post by Trinucleus » Thu Nov 18, 2021 3:00 pm

El Pollo Diablo wrote:
Thu Nov 18, 2021 2:56 pm
Why would it be cancelled?
Because the Government has promised it's going ahead, so the possibility must be there

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Re: HS2

Post by plodder » Thu Nov 18, 2021 3:05 pm


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Troubled Joe
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Re: HS2

Post by Troubled Joe » Thu Nov 18, 2021 3:10 pm

Is it possible that the overinflated lying blancmange has now reached the ‘useful idiot’ stage where any bad/unpopular news stories -HS2, sewage in the sea, Nadie Dorries exists, that end of life care fiddle etc etc can be rolled out now so the sh.t will stick to him rather than his successor?
Tarantella

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Re: HS2

Post by plodder » Thu Nov 18, 2021 3:21 pm

Troubled Joe wrote:
Thu Nov 18, 2021 3:10 pm
Is it possible that the overinflated lying blancmange has now reached the ‘useful idiot’ stage where any bad/unpopular news stories -HS2, sewage in the sea, Nadie Dorries exists, that end of life care fiddle etc etc can be rolled out now so the sh.t will stick to him rather than his successor?
No.

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Re: HS2

Post by IvanV » Thu Nov 18, 2021 4:00 pm

Trinucleus wrote:
Thu Nov 18, 2021 2:50 pm
I presume updating the Hope Valley line will include better flags for the guards to shoo the sheep off the track. Sheffield must be uniquely placed. We're 30 miles away from Leeds and Manchester, and both journeys are quicker by car.

Call me a cynic, but is it too late for the Manchester HS2 leg to be cancelled at a later date?
Your situation in Sheffield is far from unique. It is true of many city pairs in the north of England, which are not already connected by a railway whose main purpose is to serve the London market, like Leicester-Sheffield. In some cases the train may be faster, or not much different, but only because it is seriously crap by car also: in that category lies Birmingham to Manchester, and mainly because the M6 is so congested between Birmingham and Preston.

One of the things that made me realise that HS2 was not the main priority for rail in this country was a paper presented by Chris Stokes, maybe 10 years ago now, in which he set out precisely these factors.

The real opportunity for rail taking a much larger role, and improving connections, and reducing carbon output, is precisely on these Sheffield to Manchester, Leeds to Sheffield, Birmingham to Manchester, Manchester to Leeds, etc city pairs, where the rail journeys are currently so slow.

The existing London to Manchester rail journey is already good enough that rail has just as high a market share of London to Manchester trips as does the TGV on Paris to Lyon. There are few city pairs anywhere where the rail market share is much higher. The idea that HS2 could increase the market share very much is implausible, it already has so much market share. So the main effect of HS2 may be to increase carbon output per journey.

Yes, if some future government runs out of money enough, they have every possibility to "slow" the building of Birm-Manc. Though it actually provides a more telling improvement on that journey than London-Birm. In fact they can stop anything, even half built. For example, in 1975, the Wilson govt stopped the part-built channel tunnel, and paid compensation to the French for what they had already built.

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Re: HS2

Post by IvanV » Thu Nov 18, 2021 4:15 pm

El Pollo Diablo wrote:
Thu Nov 18, 2021 2:27 pm
Let's just go through the detail of what they're offering and judge how generous it is:
...
Very, very little of this mysterious £96bn is actually new funding for new schemes. Much of the improvements are in progress or complete.
Indeed, and reannouncing spending plans previously announced is something all governments do. At least now we have set out a complete program that they are funding and said what it costs, which is an improvement in the information situation. If a material part of that £96bn is money already spent, then that's an unusually misleading way of presenting it, even by Boris standards, and needs to be exposed. An issue will be when this stuff overruns on a large scale, as often happens. How much of the overrun gets additional funding, how much is lifted from Peter's pocket reducing the overall program.

On one minor point - the MML. Bedford to St Pancras has not been electrified to intercity standards, because the intercity trains are diesels, so it's only scoped for the commuter services. So if they are extending the electrification to Sheffield, which as you say surely has to happen anyway, then another thing that surely has to happen anyway is to renew and upgrade the electrification from Bedford to St Pancras for intercity operation. Has that been funded? There tend to be so many of these overlooked room-elephants in rail investment proposals.

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Re: HS2

Post by El Pollo Diablo » Thu Nov 18, 2021 4:24 pm

IvanV wrote:
Thu Nov 18, 2021 4:15 pm
On one minor point - the MML. Bedford to St Pancras has not been electrified to intercity standards, because the intercity trains are diesels, so it's only scoped for the commuter services. So if they are extending the electrification to Sheffield, which as you say surely has to happen anyway, then another thing that surely has to happen anyway is to renew and upgrade the electrification from Bedford to St Pancras for intercity operation. Has that been funded? There tend to be so many of these overlooked room-elephants in rail investment proposals.
That is true, and that was looked at as part of the original proposals and I did have some contact with the decision-making there back in 2013 or thereabouts when they wanted to do it. But I honestly couldn't tell you if anything came of it as part of the StP-Kettering works, nor whether it'd be part of this. I mean, you'd have to assume so, right?
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Re: HS2

Post by IvanV » Thu Nov 18, 2021 5:15 pm

El Pollo Diablo wrote:
Thu Nov 18, 2021 4:24 pm
IvanV wrote:
Thu Nov 18, 2021 4:15 pm
On one minor point - the MML. Bedford to St Pancras has not been electrified to intercity standards, because the intercity trains are diesels, so it's only scoped for the commuter services. So if they are extending the electrification to Sheffield, which as you say surely has to happen anyway, then another thing that surely has to happen anyway is to renew and upgrade the electrification from Bedford to St Pancras for intercity operation. Has that been funded? There tend to be so many of these overlooked room-elephants in rail investment proposals.
That is true, and that was looked at as part of the original proposals and I did have some contact with the decision-making there back in 2013 or thereabouts when they wanted to do it. But I honestly couldn't tell you if anything came of it as part of the StP-Kettering works, nor whether it'd be part of this. I mean, you'd have to assume so, right?
I think cost salami slicing, to avoid scaring the funders with a true estimate of everything they'll have to spend to finish it, is one of the routine tricks that goes on. Roger Ford on Modern Railways even has a name for it - boiling frogs. The trick is to get them sufficiently committed to the project that they'll produce the money for the stuff that wasn't earlier scoped when later asked. It matches the urban legend about gradually increasing the temperature on a pot of water containing a frog - the legend claims the frog will stay in the pot if the temperature is increased slowly enough. A TfL person once admitted to my face that is what they did, back in the days when they routinely had to apply to govt for funding.

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Re: HS2

Post by plodder » Thu Nov 18, 2021 5:51 pm

Ivan, you're assuming they know what the "true" cost is - my post above highlights some of the challenges of estimating these costs from the bottom up.

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Re: HS2

Post by IvanV » Thu Nov 18, 2021 11:12 pm

plodder wrote:
Thu Nov 18, 2021 5:51 pm
Ivan, you're assuming they know what the "true" cost is - my post above highlights some of the challenges of estimating these costs from the bottom up.
Indeed. But they do know when they are failing to cost for things they know will be required. The unknown extra costs are in theory covered by "contingency" and "optimism bias" in the costing, depending upon the stage of the costing. But there is no provision inthe costing for the known extra costs. Which is why it is a trick.

Look at the costings of the abandoned Metropolitan Line Extension to Watford Junction. It started with a costing of £65m (excl trains). In the end, even £360m wasn't enough, TfL refusing to proceed under the condition that it had to take cost overrun beyond that. At that point around about £71m had already been spent, according to an announcement at the time, though I think they later published a somewhat lower number. £15m of that was for an extra train (seems rather expensive for just 1 Met line train, maybe there was a cancellation fee for further ones intended), which has been put into service. And no actual track construction work had started, only utility diversions. But that write-off deserves to be as well known as the Garden Bridge fiasco.

This was for a supposedly very straightforward 3 miles of 55mph railway, part of which would share the tracks of the existing Euston-Watford Jct slow line, and most of the rest of which was an existing disused formation. The missing 500yds needed a bridge over a road junction. Yet the costing came out like a high speed line. Maybe TfL were being ridiculous about how nice it had to be. But I don't think you undercost something by a factor of 6 without there being things you sodding well knew you ought to have costed for in the first place.

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Re: HS2

Post by plodder » Thu Nov 18, 2021 11:21 pm

That sounds like more than cynicism to me - it sounds like something wholly dysfunctional within the client organisation.

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Re: HS2

Post by Trinucleus » Fri Nov 19, 2021 4:27 pm

I've heard so much from Tory MPs about how brilliant the new arrangements are, I assume Manchester are pig sick that they're lumbered with HS2

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Re: HS2

Post by plodder » Sat Nov 20, 2021 8:52 am

And of course it makes the damage to woodland etc harder to justify now the transformative aspect of the scheme has been ripped out. What a wasteful, stupid mess.

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Re: HS2

Post by veravista » Sat Nov 20, 2021 11:17 am

And now to East Mids Parkway only, the ugly duckling of stations. Just far enough away from Derby, Nottingham and East Midlands airport to be inconvenient. i assume some sort of new access road will be required after the multi million pound restructuring of the M1 J24/J23 complex has just finished and then maybe they might even consider some easier access to the airport too.

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Re: HS2

Post by shpalman » Sat Nov 20, 2021 11:37 am

veravista wrote:
Sat Nov 20, 2021 11:17 am
And now to East Mids Parkway only, the ugly duckling of stations. Just far enough away from Derby, Nottingham and East Midlands airport to be inconvenient. i assume some sort of new access road will be required after the multi million pound restructuring of the M1 J24/J23 complex has just finished and then maybe they might even consider some easier access to the airport too.

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It's so useless that when I arrive at East Midlands Airport I just get the bus to Nottingham.
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Re: HS2

Post by shpalman » Sat Nov 20, 2021 11:38 am

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Re: HS2

Post by veravista » Sat Nov 20, 2021 11:51 am

Don't get me wrong, I like EM Parkway. It's easy to get to from here (apart form the tiny little access road), masses of car parking and frequent trains to that there London - as long as you get on the right one with punitive fines if you get the Nottingham one rather than the Derby one when there is usually only a couple of minutes between them.

Only problem I have, and I can't see that being solved by HS2, was that when Mrs V used to go regularly to the DfH she needed an open return, best part of £180 - and I once caught the train immediately after she left, off peak, £12..

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Re: HS2

Post by plebian » Mon Nov 22, 2021 1:00 pm

Just a reminder that HS2 is about capacity NOT travel time reduction. It takes the intercity traffic off the existing network to allow more commuter and local services to run.

Precisely so Sheffield Manchester has some track and a slot to use. Literally nobody in the process of planning and building thinks this is about shaving 20mins from London Birmingham.
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Re: HS2

Post by IvanV » Mon Nov 22, 2021 1:29 pm

plebian wrote:
Mon Nov 22, 2021 1:00 pm
Just a reminder that HS2 is about capacity NOT travel time reduction. It takes the intercity traffic off the existing network to allow more commuter and local services to run.
You might be reading this off David Allen Green's recent post, or be generally aware of it as it has been floating around for a while. But it's just an argument that appeals to those who have confirmation bias in favour of HS2, because emotionally they'd like to be in favour of it. With the presentational advantage that it hasn't been publicly ripped to pieces like the government's official case.

But it's complete rubbish. If it had been a good argument, the government would have run it. It it had really been about capacity, they would have built a conventional line, not a high speed line, at huge cost saving and much greater interconnectability.

You can read my detailed explanation of why it's rubbish at DAG, towards the bottom of the comments here.

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Re: HS2

Post by El Pollo Diablo » Mon Nov 22, 2021 1:33 pm

It's not complete rubbish, it's literally been one of the main selling points of it since 2009. It's completely mad that people would repeatedly make the claim that it's not about capacity when it's so repeatedly been demonstrated that that accusation is false.
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Re: HS2

Post by bjn » Mon Nov 22, 2021 1:37 pm

IvanV wrote:
Mon Nov 22, 2021 1:29 pm
plebian wrote:
Mon Nov 22, 2021 1:00 pm
Just a reminder that HS2 is about capacity NOT travel time reduction. It takes the intercity traffic off the existing network to allow more commuter and local services to run.
You might be reading this off David Allen Green's recent post, or be generally aware of it as it has been floating around for a while. But it's just an argument that appeals to those who have confirmation bias in favour of HS2, because emotionally they'd like to be in favour of it. With the presentational advantage that it hasn't been publicly ripped to pieces like the government's official case.

But it's complete rubbish. If it had been a good argument, the government would have run it. It it had really been about capacity, they would have built a conventional line, not a high speed line, at huge cost saving and much greater interconnectability.

You can read my detailed explanation of why it's rubbish at DAG, towards the bottom of the comments here.
By chance, would that be this post by some other geezer called Ivan?

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Re: HS2

Post by plebian » Mon Nov 22, 2021 1:47 pm

IvanV wrote:
Mon Nov 22, 2021 1:29 pm
plebian wrote:
Mon Nov 22, 2021 1:00 pm
Just a reminder that HS2 is about capacity NOT travel time reduction. It takes the intercity traffic off the existing network to allow more commuter and local services to run.
You might be reading this off David Allen Green's recent post, or be generally aware of it as it has been floating around for a while. But it's just an argument that appeals to those who have confirmation bias in favour of HS2, because emotionally they'd like to be in favour of it. With the presentational advantage that it hasn't been publicly ripped to pieces like the government's official case.

But it's complete rubbish. If it had been a good argument, the government would have run it. It it had really been about capacity, they would have built a conventional line, not a high speed line, at huge cost saving and much greater interconnectability.

You can read my detailed explanation of why it's rubbish at DAG, towards the bottom of the comments here.
Your first point in that post is predicated on a flawed assumption: that the increase in capacity is for Intercity trains. It is not, HS2 takes the Intercity traffic wholesale, maintaining the capacity for them (with ullage for growth), and leaving the conventional network suddenly with huge space capacity that can be used for local and commuter services, improving precisely the journeys people use that are currently limited as they have to dodge the fast trains.

The government, and more importantly Network Rail haven't been pushing the capacity message because, as your misunderstanding clearly shows, it's too complicated to communicate to the populus and confusing when it's call High Speed 2. The fact that most people don't know that there is a HS1 shows the level of understanding the average person has on this.

I've been aware of this argument since epd pointed it out maybe 3 years ago or more and has banged this drum in every thread.
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Re: HS2

Post by El Pollo Diablo » Mon Nov 22, 2021 2:14 pm

As per my post here, both of the main parties made it clear that capacity was one of the key drivers for HS2 very early on. Network Rail also made that case for it back in 2009 (having started writing the report in 2008), and again in 2014, when they made it clear that the capacity that HS2 would provide would hugely overcome the possible capacity if the WCML, ECML and MML were all upgraded. Those upgrades, incidentally, would take anywhere between 8 and 29 years to complete (depending on the agreed extent of the works), if all three main lines north out of London were closed every weekend for that time. And that's £20-25bn in early-stage 2014 project money, which is probably about £60bn in real delivery.
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