London: CrossRail Finally Being Built?

Feb 15th, 2013, 09:19 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 19,690
>>Why is the UK about the only major country in Europe without a true high-speed rail network?<<

Because it is geographically quite small with the bulk of the population heavily concentrated in a limited number of areas quite close together. The relatively small gains in travelling times wouldn't be great enough to justify the investment, by comparison with France or Spain.

There'd be a much better return all round from full-scale electrification, increases in capacity on existing lines and improving public transport interchanges and feeder routes into the mainline railways. And doing without those for high-speed rail is a very high opportunity cost.
PatrickLondon is offline  
Feb 15th, 2013, 10:30 AM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 17,154
"Its construction would be one thing to revive the moribund economical state "

Precisely. There's no justifiable case in terms of transport efficiency, financial prudence, impact on the environment or regional economic policy.

But let's increase public debt by £50 billion and get Spanish construction companies to hire Romanian navvies to concrete the countryside over, creating an extravagant railway toy that has the perverse effect of INCREASING travel times for most people in Britain and sucks money out of real improvements in our railway, road and airport infrastructure.

It's jobs, innit?

While we're at it, though: how's America's infrastructure coming on? Built any docks or railways lately? Or roads leading to West Coast ports?
flanneruk is offline  
Feb 15th, 2013, 01:35 PM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 16,613
About as crazy as the Japanese who have spent the last 10 years building more roads and rail to nowhere and stimulated zero growth.
bilboburgler is offline  

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