London's Cross Rail

Old Jun 15th, 2009, 09:53 AM
  #21  
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Flan - Q Why would the ballyhooed true high-speed (all new) rail line often proposed between London, Midlands and Scotland not be viable - i mean every other similar country in Europe - Italy, Spain, Germany and France all have true dedicated high-speed rail lines

Q flan - what is the difference between them and Britain - Britain has the required density of population that these other countries have - indeed much more than Spain

Why do Britain always lag between the Continent in railway development - ironic since they first started it all.

so instead they put another runway at Heathrow?
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Old Jun 15th, 2009, 10:23 AM
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1. Britain expects a properly audited economic return. The other countries don't

2. It's precisely because Britain's densely populated (and well-trained already) that the case is almost impossible to make: there aren't the same lengthy journeys across land that's no use to anyone. Getting rights of way will cost a fortune, and take years to negotiate. London-Manchester is already the world's most frequerntly served intercity railway. And at 2 hrs today, the benefit of an HS2 is trivial compared to the benefit of fast trains between Madrid and Barcelona. No-one will switch from cars to trains to save 30 minutes.

3. "They" aren't putting another runway into Heathrow. I've said it here before: that runway's never going to get built. And the argument for it has got nothing to do with fast trains: Heathrow's job is either:
- (if you're a normal human being) to provide an adequate gateway from the rest of the world to the planet's dominant trading city, or
- (if you're BAA, the airlines or their sychophants in the Labour party) to let people on foreign FF miles change planes en route from New York to South Africa.

The simple way to turn Heathrow into an adequate gateway is to tax transfer passengers out of existence. £200 a head each way will soon chase them off to Amsterdam. And bloody good riddance.
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Old Jun 15th, 2009, 10:48 AM
  #23  
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flim- what happens when the cost of petro climbs to say five times what it is now?

Poor Britain will have no infrastructure to take over from cars

Paris to Lyon TGV patronage keeps climbing - now they have TGV Duplexes - doube deckers - to fill demand even after twice hourly running

and two hours to Manchester from London would not be bad if the trains were on time - last year mine were at least an hour late each way. The current crumbling infrastructure will keep crumbling and to patch it together will cost perhaps as much as an all-new railway.

I know from watching Coronation Street - my main portal into English society and culture - that no one on the Street ever thinks of taking the train - always the bus or driving - Brits ride rails in record numbers now but one has the feeling only because they are forced to in daily commutes - not to really go anywhere.

So alas Britain will once again be a day late and a dollar short when the need for high-speed or reliable railway lines appears in a future that may not be so far off.
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Old Jun 15th, 2009, 10:57 AM
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Oh, the irony of a yank slagging off anyone else's rail system......
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Old Jun 15th, 2009, 11:04 AM
  #25  
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RM - Oh, the irony of a yank slagging off anyone else's rail system......>

there you go again - what does the state of America's rail system have anything to do with what is a discussion of Britains high-speed or lack of system.

I am keenly interested in British trains - not in American ones (or lack of) - but since you bring it up California voted to build a true high-speed rail system between LA and SF via Sca'to - 2.5 hours LA to SF - now takes 13 hours and will knock airlines off the route

And Obama's stimulus plan has several billion bucks for true high-speed trains - Obama was in Paris and said how envious he was of the Continent's (note 'Continent) high-speed trains

so i would be keen on what you think about this all but i guess you only want to snipe with anti-American comments, as usual.
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Old Jun 15th, 2009, 11:27 AM
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As though your posts are snipe free! Perhaps taking your own advice once in a while would allow the discussion you desire to take place.
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Old Jun 15th, 2009, 11:58 AM
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Let's continue this on the assumption PalQ's asking a serious Q about transport policy.

1. Coronation St isn't a documentary. As this board's resident expert on North Western redbrick back to back houses I can say with certainty it's a fantasy.

2. It just isn't true that PalQ was delayed on trains from Manchester because the infrastructure's crumbling.

He was delayed because the railway was being rebuilt - at a cost of billions. And - as someone who's experienced two sets of rebuilding on that line - the delays this decade are a great deal less traumatic than when the line was being rebult in the mid-sixties.

3. Trains in Britain compete with cars - and our real dirty secret is that we have far, far fewer miles of decent highway than the rest of Europe. Train use is so high (no-one on Coronation St might be taking one of those fast trains to London that leave every 20 minutes - but each of those trains has 700 real Mancunians on it) because our roads are really, really, really crap.

4. But if petrol goes up fivefold, so does the energy cost of ALL transport. Including trains.

5. And the world's most fuel-inefficient form of transport, apart from a private car, is a train going too fast. By some measures, the TOTAL energy use per passenger/mile of a German TGV at 300 kph is higher than a modern Airbus. It's a great deal higher than a British train going at 100 mph - and greater still than a full coach. The ONLY TGV for which there's a real environmental argument is a French one - because all its energy is nuclear generated, Once that French TGV crosses into Britain or Germany it's polluting the planet just as much as a plane.

6. The sustainability argument in Britain means more train track (or possibly more dedicated motorway lanes for coaches, which use less energy per passenger/mile than a train). Since there's practically no competition between trains and planes in most of Britain (unlike in France, where the distances make planes a sane alternative), there's little market need for 300 kph trains. There IS a real need for more track capacity, better signalling and better (tube-standard) connections: on one railtway journey I take frequently, I wait at the transfer station almost as long as the entire 75-mile car trip takes if Mrs F's driving.

7. All that creates a tricky technical problem. There obviously IS a case for some high-speed track - though that case collapses if oil hits $400/barrel, because of the fuel inefficiency of high-speed trains. But there's a much stronger case in Britain for more routes operated by Pendolino-style stock, that can sustain 100 mph speeds round curves. In Britain, apart from a couple of routes, trains will need to use both high-speed and convebntional track.

But there just aren't any trains on offer right now that can do high speed on straights and decent speeds on conventional track. Try taking the Eurostar to a ski resort - and see just how plonky TGV trains are on ordinary track.

As so often, the right solution for mainland Europe is suboptimal here. Just as we don't adhere to Schengen - but offer non-Europeans better access than the Continent's xenophobia - in transport too, we need a British solution. Though undoubtedly - and rightly - it'll end up manufactured on the Continent or in Japan
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Old Jun 15th, 2009, 12:11 PM
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While the rail network has shrunk over the last 45 years, it carries 30 per cent more passengers and the Government expects that passenger numbers will increase by another 22 per cent by 2014, with yet more growth in the following five years.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/tr...operators.html

The UK's main problem is that trying to do anything is as easy as nailing jelly to a tree - invariably when you try to build anything, something else has to move first - and that means something else also has to move...
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Old Jun 16th, 2009, 09:32 AM
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Getting rights of way will cost a fortune, and take years to negotiate>

one must then wonder how the Motorway network ever got built? What's the difference? And the high-speed rail line could be built on the motorway median, making land aquisition a mute issue? And the Motorway trains could even take cars and trucks on them - letting them off at the desired exit to resume road travel. Or even simply block off one lane and dedicate it to high-speed rail (though currently the bus idea may be much quicker and cheaper to do)

flanner - you have given me a lot of food for thought.

RM and wellididn't - i will try to improve as my purpose is really not to offend.
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Old Jun 16th, 2009, 10:17 AM
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>one must then wonder how the Motorway network ever got built? What's the difference?<

As Flanner said it cost a fortune and took years to negotiate. Motorway building in the 80's and 90's was fought tooth and nail, generated many public enquiries and large scale public protests. There's little political will to undertake the disruption that would ensue from major rail projects and, at the moment, no finance. Look at the cost and time it took to build the relatively short Channel Tunnel hish speed link and compare that to the cost of linking London to Glasgow, Edinburgh, Manchester and Leeds. The numbers are huge.

As for running them along the motorway medians. Our motorways are almost as twisty and gradiented as our rail lines, I cant see how follwoing them would make a blind bit of difference or deliver the kind if straight level tracks typical of Thales or TGV's.

Flanners correct, we need a network and signalling that allows us to run the current Pendolinos at their full potential.
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Old Jun 16th, 2009, 11:26 AM
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"one must then wonder how the Motorway network ever got built"

It didn't. We've got fewer miles of motorway than any other major country. And what we've got doesn't go into towns: in any sensible world, a non-negotiable requirement for a railway network. Absurdities like St Pierre des Corps might make sense in France, where the mandarinate treats the people who pay its wages like dirt. But try pulling that in Oxford.

"And the high-speed rail line could be built on the motorway median"

For crying out loud. Measure the footprint of the TGV track. Now try a British motorway median. Practically an order of magnitude smaller. Now try and squeeze a power gantry into the space between the motorway and the overhead bridges. Again: this isn't France.
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Old Jun 16th, 2009, 11:50 AM
  #32  
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And i know for certain that flanner has his facts right when he compares high-speed train travel with buses, etc. But i am not sure if his comparison are up to date (and not sure they are not) - but the AGV new prototype of the TGV launched by Alsthom is much more energy efficient than any previous TGV type train - all the links below will document that i think

For example the latest French high-speed line - TGV Est Paris to Strasbourg has trains that are significantly more energy efficient than older TGVs - in part to lighter bogeys and engines and also by eliminating the number of wheels and their frictions, etc. by using one set for two cars instead of two sets.

and the new AGV carries 300 more passengers than older TGVs with a train set that is lighter - again i think about 20-30% more efficient.

Point is that you cannot necessarily what will be most energy efficient in future when energy costs will certainly skyrocket say most experts.

We've come a long long way from the APT or Advanced Passenger Train in Britain which one wag said could take one passenger from London to Edinburgh in 2 hours, etc.

As for the costly re-building of the West Coast line in the U.K. - which i read was one of the most costly if not the most of any rail line work, including all-new high-speed lines - in Europe's history but then you have a conventional rail line going thru cities (yeh i do not like remote stations either but going thru cities necessarily reduces speed and has intolerable noise) - you have a line capable of perhaps 130 mph but which one has the feeling will be in constant need of repair, etc.

anyway it's fun to talk about rail future IMO

BBC NEWS | Europe | France unveils super-fast train
Feb 5, 2008 ... France's Alstom unveils a new high-speed AGV train which will travel at up to 360km/h (224mph).
news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7227807.stm - Cached - Similar
#
TGV, Meet the AGV: France Unveils New High-Speed Train - SPIEGEL ...
Feb 5, 2008 ... The TGV is getting a faster and bigger successor. French train-maker Alstom has unveiled its new AGV high-speed train, ...
http://www.spiegel.de/international/...533345,00.html - Similar
#
France's Alstom launches faster high-speed train | World | Reuters
Feb 5, 2008 ... The prototype "AGV", a successor to France's hallmark TGV fast trains, will have a commercial speed of 360 kilometres (223.7 miles) per hour ...
uk.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idUKL0540166020080205 - Cached - Similar
#
Automotrice à grande vitesse - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The AGV is an Alstom train intended as the successor to France's TGV high-speed trains; the name stands for automotrice à grande vitesse, or 'high-speed ...
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Automotrice_à_grande_vitesse - Cached - Similar
#
Alstom AGV launched: on track in France by 2014 | Transport ...
Alstom AGV launched: on track in France Italy by 2014 2009. Alstom signed a contract in January 2008 for 25 train-sets of its brand new, ...
en.transport-expertise.org/index.php/2008/02/05/alstom-agv-launched-on-track-in-france-by-2014/
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