Not looking good for HS2

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Woodchopper
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Re: Not looking good for HS2

Post by Woodchopper » Sat Jan 25, 2020 10:18 am

GeenDienst wrote:
Sat Jan 25, 2020 2:09 am
We have a project that started out estimated costing tens of billions, then that doubled, and then the NAO tells us that nobody has any clue what it is eventually going to cost.

And
plodder wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 8:08 am
No-one knows with certainty how much any project will cost, that's just cherry picking / lazy journalism by the press.
I never thought I'd find myself thinking "maybe this Cummings fellow has a point". And here we are. Good luck with explaining away how this is anywhere near good enough.
It’s inherently impossible to accurately estimate the costs of large scale government projects because they haven’t been done before. Certainly estimates can be done more or less competently. But because they are about a project that hasn’t been completed before they have to involve a lot of assumptions. And those assumptions can be wrong. Best we can hope for is to minimize the amount of error.

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Re: Not looking good for HS2

Post by plodder » Sat Jan 25, 2020 10:42 am

The other thing that helps is to have a very well informed and strong client organisation with a clear idea of how the project will progress. If the strategic stuff is contracted out then there’s a risk that you end up with a ballooning of consultants fees whilst endless complex strategies are developed. Delicate and difficult for mega projects where, as chops says, no-one really knows what the end solution looks like.

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Woodchopper
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Re: Not looking good for HS2

Post by Woodchopper » Sat Jan 25, 2020 11:05 am

In case anyone is interested this surprisingly amusing podcast describes a public procurement case where everything was done badly (with the predictable result that it’s billions over budget and still isn’t finished). http://www.radiospaetkauf.com/ber/

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Re: Not looking good for HS2

Post by El Pollo Diablo » Sat Jan 25, 2020 11:36 am

Fwiw the risk estimation for HS2 was godawful. I was chatting to someone last night who knows one of the guys responsible; he's a contractor with a background in marketing. Given that HS2 nicked the former network rail head of infrastructure projects, why they ended up not even following NR's processes on risk I have no idea.
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Re: Not looking good for HS2

Post by CuddysCave » Sat Jan 25, 2020 5:57 pm

plodder wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 6:31 pm
I’m pretty sure that New Civil Engineer has some really good articles about the commissioning and integration issues
Thanks for the pointer. I’ve just spent an interesting couple of hours with the back issues - free access for 14 days - and yes there’s a fair amount there about the integration element (which is my particular concern), especially an article in Oct 18. Nothing quite so pithy as your words, of course.

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Re: Not looking good for HS2

Post by plodder » Sat Jan 25, 2020 6:02 pm

CuddysCave wrote:
Sat Jan 25, 2020 5:57 pm
plodder wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 6:31 pm
I’m pretty sure that New Civil Engineer has some really good articles about the commissioning and integration issues
Thanks for the pointer. I’ve just spent an interesting couple of hours with the back issues - free access for 14 days - and yes there’s a fair amount there about the integration element (which is my particular concern), especially an article in Oct 18. Nothing quite so pithy as your words, of course.
Excellent! I’ve personally had these issues in the water industry, the trick is to get the commissioning engineers involved right at the start of the project, when they’re scoping out the design. At least, that’s my best attempt at sensible.

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Re: Not looking good for HS2

Post by nekomatic » Sun Jan 26, 2020 12:21 am

It’s almost as if the lesson to be learned from the persistent ‘failure’ in orthodox project management terms of big public sector infrastructure projects is not that there’s something uniquely crap about big public sector infrastructure projects or the people who run them, but that orthodox project management isn’t always the be all and end all of how things should be done and judged.

Software project management has tried to take this sort of thing on board via ideas like Agile, but I’m not sure you can really do Agile with high speed rail links.

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Re: Not looking good for HS2

Post by plodder » Sun Jan 26, 2020 2:47 am

Or that orthodox project management rarely actually happens properly, because you have lots of senior people who like to meddle!

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Re: Not looking good for HS2

Post by El Pollo Diablo » Sun Jan 26, 2020 10:29 am

Do the new civil eng mags talk about the signalling issues?
Mike Patton wrote:"You overdo it sometimes. There I am, peeing on Axl Rose’s teleprompter." He looks rueful: "I didn’t really have to do that."

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Re: Not looking good for HS2

Post by murmur » Sun Jan 26, 2020 11:51 am

plodder wrote:
Sun Jan 26, 2020 2:47 am
Or that orthodox project management rarely actually happens properly, because you have lots of senior people who like to meddle!
Aaaaah, I see you've met the NHS.
It's so much more attractive inside the moral kiosk

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Re: Not looking good for HS2

Post by CuddysCave » Sun Jan 26, 2020 12:09 pm

El Pollo Diablo wrote:
Sun Jan 26, 2020 10:29 am
Do the new civil eng mags talk about the signalling issues?
Yes, the October 2018 article I mentioned majors on this:
Crossrail is using a complex combination of three separate signalling systems trackside and on board its trains to be able to interface with the systems used on the existing Network Rail sections of the route ... To maximise train throughput, the signalling transitions between the systems must be done while the train is moving – a genuine world first … it’s probably equally as complicated as introducing a new Boeing or Airbus

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Re: Not looking good for HS2

Post by plodder » Sun Jan 26, 2020 2:10 pm

a lower risk approach would be to try the innovation on smaller projects, and stick to tried and tested for the mega projects.

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Re: Not looking good for HS2

Post by plodder » Sun Jan 26, 2020 7:00 pm

Likely announcement that Northern rail will be nationalised and some northern beeching lines will be reopened. Sounds like HS2 is getting cancelled to me.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/202 ... s-reversed

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El Pollo Diablo
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Re: Not looking good for HS2

Post by El Pollo Diablo » Sun Jan 26, 2020 7:09 pm

Yes, running passenger services on a freight line and changing a tram to a heavy rail service will certainly make up for the failure to introduce huge amounts more capacity on Britain's northbound mainlines.
Mike Patton wrote:"You overdo it sometimes. There I am, peeing on Axl Rose’s teleprompter." He looks rueful: "I didn’t really have to do that."

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Re: Not looking good for HS2

Post by El Pollo Diablo » Sun Jan 26, 2020 7:11 pm

plodder wrote:
Sun Jan 26, 2020 2:10 pm
a lower risk approach would be to try the innovation on smaller projects, and stick to tried and tested for the mega projects.
Kind of hard to do. ETCS has been trialled already on the Cambrian line plus the Hertford loop, but you can't trial interfaces like this, because they literally don't exist anywhere else. The through flow of the trains would be impossible without getting it right.
Mike Patton wrote:"You overdo it sometimes. There I am, peeing on Axl Rose’s teleprompter." He looks rueful: "I didn’t really have to do that."

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Re: Not looking good for HS2

Post by plodder » Sun Jan 26, 2020 7:33 pm

El Pollo Diablo wrote:
Sun Jan 26, 2020 7:11 pm
plodder wrote:
Sun Jan 26, 2020 2:10 pm
a lower risk approach would be to try the innovation on smaller projects, and stick to tried and tested for the mega projects.
Kind of hard to do. ETCS has been trialled already on the Cambrian line plus the Hertford loop, but you can't trial interfaces like this, because they literally don't exist anywhere else. The through flow of the trains would be impossible without getting it right.
Ok, cool. Introduces risk on a mammoth scale though.

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Re: Not looking good for HS2

Post by El Pollo Diablo » Mon Jan 27, 2020 3:26 pm

It does, unfortunately, but I really don't think there's much of a way around it. It's a SIL4 level safety system and data on train movements has to pass between three different types of signalling system, I think two of which are pretty much novel, both inside and out of tunnels, between two different infrastructure companies, to maintain a very high throughflow of metro services, in an industry which is very very short of engineers.

If anyone fancies becoming a signalling engineer, it's got a pretty good future.
Mike Patton wrote:"You overdo it sometimes. There I am, peeing on Axl Rose’s teleprompter." He looks rueful: "I didn’t really have to do that."

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Re: Not looking good for HS2

Post by plodder » Mon Jan 27, 2020 3:59 pm

Applies to engineering in general, I think. All they need to do is creak the wages up...

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Re: Not looking good for HS2

Post by plodder » Tue Jan 28, 2020 10:37 am

Here's a wonderful map of historic and current stations and lines.

https://www.systemed.net/carto/New_Adle ... _Atlas.pdf

Lew Dolby
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Re: Not looking good for HS2

Post by Lew Dolby » Tue Jan 28, 2020 11:27 am

or, for every piece of rail ever laid in Britain, try this

http://www.railmaponline.com/UKIEMap.php#

[not https unfortunately, but seems to be safe]

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Re: Not looking good for HS2

Post by basementer » Tue Jan 28, 2020 12:04 pm

I'll think of something.

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Re: Not looking good for HS2

Post by plodder » Tue Jan 28, 2020 12:14 pm

Lew Dolby wrote:
Tue Jan 28, 2020 11:27 am
or, for every piece of rail ever laid in Britain, try this

http://www.railmaponline.com/UKIEMap.php#

[not https unfortunately, but seems to be safe]
with clickable local history links! - amazing, thanks

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Martin Y
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Re: Not looking good for HS2

Post by Martin Y » Tue Jan 28, 2020 12:32 pm

basementer wrote:
Tue Jan 28, 2020 12:04 pm
Levity
Rational Nail Map
Should really be magnetic levity but impressive work nonetheless.

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Re: Not looking good for HS2

Post by FlammableFlower » Tue Jan 28, 2020 3:17 pm

Splattered Embolism :lol:

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Re: Not looking good for HS2

Post by individualmember » Tue Jan 28, 2020 6:42 pm

Woodchopper wrote:
Sat Jan 25, 2020 11:05 am
In case anyone is interested this surprisingly amusing podcast describes a public procurement case where everything was done badly (with the predictable result that it’s billions over budget and still isn’t finished). http://www.radiospaetkauf.com/ber/
That is brilliant (I’m up to episode 4 now)

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