Looking at Newcastle…

The government talks about the need to build HS2 so as to reduce the North-south divide. But they should be asking what sort of transport links people in the regions want to enable their region to have economic growth.

For instance, earlier this week, the North East Chamber of Commerce accused the Government of “backtracking” on its previous decision to ensure good links between the North East and the rest of the UK, over the cancellation of the A1 Leeming to Barton upgrade in Yorkshire. This is in spite of the Governemnt having recognised the route as being of national significance.

James Ramsbotham, chief executive at the Chamber, said
“For the foreseeable future the North East will remain the only English region not connected to the strategic motorway network, and one of the few regions in the UK not seeing any major upgrades to its strategic road network before 2015,” Mr Ramsbotham said.

The Department for Transport were able to list a few other plans it had not cancelled: “for example the £350m refurbishment of the Tyne & Wear Metro will continue, the Sunderland Strategic Corridor and the Morpeth Northern By-Pass are still in the running to receive their share of over £600m, the plans for High Speed 2 will bring economic benefits to the whole of the country.”

So what will HS2 do for Newcastle? The “Economic Case for HS2” (p10) lists Newcastle as one of the places that will get faster journeys if HS2 goes ahead. They say that the journey time to London will reduce from 2 hours 52 minutes to 2 hours 37 minutes. That’s a 15 minute time saving from a £33 billion pound project – or about £2 billion pounds per minute saved.

Except the HS2 document is already out of date, with it’s journey times. The new Flying Scotsman service will take travellers non-stop from Newcastle to London in 2 hours 37 minutes – the same time as HS2 promises.

Of course, HS2 is not the only way that rail services can be improved. A far less glamourous project in the Newcastle area has been finished,  the restoration of track at Boldon East Curve, enabling freight trains better access between the Port of Tyne and the East Coast Main Line.

According to Port of Tyne Chief Executive Officer Andrew Moffat, this £1.6 million project “has the potential to increase passenger train capacity on the East Coast main line.”

Other cheaper transport projects clearly benefit the North-East: HS2 is as fast as existing trains, but costs £33 billion and doesn’t even reach the Newcastle area.  So why should Newcastle support HS2?

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78 comments to “Looking at Newcastle…”
  1. Gary says:
    May 31, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    Great idea John…..and if they happen to work at a Nuclear plant, oil refinery or motorway service station, I m sure they would be very easy to sell!!

    Bit extreme Gary—-we have a major housing problem and we could get a lot more people in work if we were to embark on a major house building programme rather than spending many billions to move people around at their expense

    • http://www.nhbc.co.uk/NewsandComment/UKnewhouse-buildingstatistics/Year2011/Name,43480,en.html

      John ….new home registrations up year on year in the public sector…..add in the restrictions on immigration and it appears to me that the problem you percieve is being addressed. There is also a government policy on making it easier for first time buyers who through no fault of their own are finding it difficult to purchase a house. I myself own 2 , one of which I cannot sell , so I m renting it out just for now.

      Social Housing issues are not related to HS2, you could also make a case for HS2 funds to be spent on the armed forces, or nuclear power stations, or new motorways…..but of course that would be in someones backyard

      • I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree
        Housing availability is directly linked to the need to travel and many people I know would love to live nearer to where they work but just can’t because of lack of affordable/social housing.

        • John ….the average distance travelled by a UK citizen to work is 8.5 miles……the average journey time is around 45 minutes. Europes biggest social housing estate is in Wythenshawe , some 8 miles from Manchester City Centre. The biggest employer of people living here is Manchester Airport itself, which is right on the doorstep. The recently announced government plans for economic zones has manifested itself here as well…..

          There is no correlation between social housing and the need to travel. HS2 is designed to add capacity to a nearly full rail network, there is nothing in the manifesto that mentions social housing.

  2. A classic example of a pathetically poor argument, badly researched/deliberately misrepresented. Its ONE SERVICE A DAY, SOUTHBOUND ONLY! It likely wont last till 2035ish anyway, as it chews up too much capacity. I want proper, decent discussion not stupid attempts to mislead people – this is very, very poor.

    • Is it going to Tyneside airport or Newcastle? When did the DfT say it was definately going to Newcastle? Newcastle had better get ‘richer’ if they want a station. Currently there isn’t enough money there to drain to London to justify a station in the city. Leeds is the most northern place they have mentioned with any thin half hearted confidence. They need to stretch carrot as far afield as they can to get buy in. It doesn’t mean a thing and Newcastle probably won’t get a sniff at it.
      It’s good they and the people of Newcastle can wait over 20 years while they are paying for the south…YET AGAIN!

  3. So all those affected are against HS2 and those not affected are for it—well thats not my experience

    • I am a foreigner currently living in the Chilterns. The proposed HS2 line is about half a mile from my home. I will not be here when (and if) the construction starts. Houses in my area are still selling at a premium so I may not be much affected when I sell up and head back to California. I am fairly neutral in this debate, so perhaps I can add some objectivity.

      1. High speed rail is the future of rail transport just as jet engines replaced propeller planes necessitating new runways. So get used to it!
      2. When it does happen, the construction, inconvenience, noise etc. will have to pass someone’s backyard. So get used to it!
      3. Human progress has always involved some level of environmental spoliation. Your house, garden, office, current station/rail tracks, airports, roads etc. were once virgin forest. Get used to it!
      4. High speed travel is a non-starter for a flat broke country with a high cost of living. Subsidising business travellers is madness. You don’t chase rats when your house is on fire!
      5. You will not restore the “Great” in “…….. Britain” by throwing away £30b (it will end up costing more) to shave 15 – 30 minutes on travel times. Invest this in your small and medium sized businesses to create employment, inspire your youth to create wealth like your ancestors, upgrade existing rail facilities. It is appalling to pay over £30 ($45) for the privilege of standing all the way, with strangers coughing, yawning and sneezing in your face.
      6. This is a wonderful island, where generally people are polite, care about their communities, and attempt to listen to each other. Don’t lose these qualities in your debate. You don’t want the US model where everyone hollers, no one listens, and people adopt extremely polarized positions.
      7. High speed train may well be affordable in the distant future, but it is neither essential nor a priority at the present time. Fix your decaying infrastructure first. The London subway is still a decrepit mess a year to the Olympic Games.

  4. Am I mistaken or is Gary the only ‘pro-HS2’ who has a voice? Well done for trying, Gary but you seem to be in the minority. It was even reported at a recent Insitute of Civil Egineers HS2 consultation workshop that “HS2 has an expert panel of academics and 4 out of 5 are removing their support of the business case”. At the same event it was noted that “the business case proposes 18 trains per hour when the second phase is finished but at the moment that is not possible [due to current computer controlled signalling technology]”. The case against HS2 is built on fact and even the construction lobby – which would be the primary beneficiary of this project – isn’t convinced.

    • No ndeed!! there are two morepublic relations executives taking the Queen’s shilling (sorry, Hammond’s) with the brief to wear us all down with the endless stirring of the pot. Like peas in the broth, they insist on floating to the surface with grinding regularity.

      Still, where would we be without them? Every website needs its comedians to keep our feet on the ground!!

        • You have a pc n’est ce pas? I’ve always found, if I need to know something I’m unfamilar with, that google is a good place to start …. it might help if you search under “King’s shilling” ….

            • Sorry if you didn’t understand the main part of the post I wrote in English. Perhaps irony and metaphors are lost on you too!

            • Oh i understand perfectly well…….and I seem to remember going down this road before, only for you to scuttle away when the going got a bit too tough for you.

              You gonna have to be up a bit earlier to catch me out Lel I m afraid…….

          • I am really fed up with pro hs2 supporters being accused of having some kind of financial interest by hs2 critics. we dont accuse you being in somebody’s pay so please dont accuse us of it either.

            je pense qu’il faut dire la verite. vive la tgv et les lignes de grand vitesse !!!

    • Stuart …. I ll help you out here. HS2 is being planned with in cab signalling. This allows for 3 minute headways inbetween trains at speeds greater than 125 mph. The technology already exists…its used on High Speed lines elsewhere including HS1. Next time you travel to Paris through the channel tunnel, watch out for the yellow triangles on a blue background on markers at the side of the track, these indicate blocks of track which can only be occupied by 1 train at a time, they send a signal to the train which is picked up by 2 atennae located just under either end of the set. If the next block is occupied , the train stops.

    • No, Gary certainly isn’t alone.

      And don’t assume that anyone who speaks in favour of HS2 must work for the Government – most if us just don’t like our hard-earned tax money being wasted on pandering to special interest groups of Nimbys. The vast bulk of the population probably care neither one way or the other; and neither would most of the Stop HS2 campaigners if the route was dramatically switched tomorrow to run on a different route alignment.

      Liz Williams disappeared off here after using the phrase ‘we know who you are’ in, what felt to me as the recipient, to be threatening language in retaliation for me posting messages which disagreed with Stop HS2 and its somewhat dubious campaigning tactics.

      • You can call me a nimby if you like. My house is about 200 meters from the proposed line so I have a personal interest in noise and property blight. Others around here will have their homes demolished, their farms bisected, or lose their livelihood because their businesses are going to be destroyed.

        We live on a densely populated island. The country is full of “Nimbys”. They’re not a different species or some sort of creature from Star Wars. After all, who wants trains thundering past their homes at over 200mph? I haven’t heard anyone saying they want the route changed so it will come past their house.

        It’s hardly surprising that those who are most affected along the line of the route are the first to raise questions and challenge the proposal. But their arguments are likely to be dismissed as the ranting of Nimbys, even if the policy is misguided.

        If Nimbys are expected to make sacrifices ‘in the national interest’ then there must be compelling reasons to do so and strong economic or environmental arguments in favour.

        Mr Hammond has said ‘the Government’s job is to balance local objections against the national interest.’ But with a fragile business case, no environmental case, and an unaffordable price tag why does he think that we should roll over and take one for no good reason?

        The Nimbys need to be convinced that this is the right option for the good of the country and not a vanity project or a feeding trough for consultants and contractors. Until then we will continue to fight. And remember, before you dismiss this as another Nimby ranting, next time it could be you.

        • That’s my point though…you wouldn’t be interested if it weren’t running near you. but suddenly we have a plethora of business and environmental ‘experts’ who know more than the planners about whether it’s a viable project. How many construction projects (road, rail or air) have you campaigned against previously for the benefit of others..?

          • I am not nor do I want to be an expert but I do expect those who purport to be to be able to put forward a clear and persuasive case to spend my taxes(yes I do pay them) They have totally failed to do so.

          • You are right. But as an educated person I can apply critical thinking skills to the examination of the relevant data. I would not take the time and effort to do this if I were not affected personally, and if I find the case does not stack up, I will campaign for my own interests. Why shouldn’t I?

            • And of course your ” critical thinking skills ” are bound to find fault bearing in mind you are affected personally!!!!!

            • Not that a bunch of Railway enthusiasts and Train-spotters are going to be totally objective as well…….

            • Dont know about that Stuart …..one of the stopHS2 campaingners is indeed a rail buff !!!! Amazing what we all learned from him about steam !!

            • Of course. It’s an adversarial system. Lawyers and politicians do it all the time. Proponents for HS2 are motivated by self interest too. What is so surprising? We’re looking for the arguments that will carry our case with the wider public who are not personally affected. That’s what campaigning is all about.

        • but there are those compelling reasons for hs2 but because you understandably dont want it near your house you just say that the reasons are incorrect or flawed without proving your case. So you arent doing much to disguise the real reason you are against hs2

          • If the reasons are so compelling why hasn’t the Y route been proposed in detail yet it is in the consultation and why do you support spneding at least 30 billion plus on a service where 73% of the use will be leisure

          • This reminds me of the saying that ‘politics is self interest disguised as principle’. ‘twas ever so.

            The only reason that there’s going to be a transport select committee enquiry is because the MPs along the line pressed for it, acting in the interests of their constituents. This will be the first independent objective scrutiny of the case for HS2. If it hadn’t been for this, the pro HS2 vested interests would have railroaded it through without proper scrutiny.

            I will not fight for a lost cause. If it turns out to be the right option for the country, then I will say ‘go ahead’. But until then I will continue to argue against it.

      • Ian – start a campaign group. No consultation, no mitigation and no compensation. Perhaps we could do away with the need to have a vote in parliament as well? That would probably need a broader Act of Parliament to remove everyone’s property rights amongst other things. Alternatively, please explain how you think the process should work

    • no gary is not alone in supporting hs2 and is not the only one who will always be here to point out inaccuracies on the part of hs2 critics.

      this whole story, for example ! when the entire y network opens to leeds, any journeys which use this part of the network will be at least one hour quicker then they are now ! so when the flying scotsman is rerouted over hs2 via leeds, it will be an hour faster then it is now, although of course the route whilst quicker is less direct but i cant see it only being 15 minutes quicker then it is now.

  5. Dear Rich,
    My dear boy! your concern for good old StopHS2 is laudable and I am really encouraged . Please hold no fears for StopHS2 – we have many groups that have been staging a very effect presence at each of the Government’s current Roadshows that are on their way from London to Birmingham venues, despite the fact that the Government has included the “Y” in the Consultation questions without giving full details of its “Y” proposals. There are over 60 active groups up and down the line that are increasingly getting the word out to wider and wider circles beyond the route itself.

    Had you noticed that Philip Hammond has not been calling us NIMBY’s for some time now? That’s because he is increasingly concerned that our thorough and forensic analysis has been increasingly getting out in our messages to the wider public over the past year.This is from the Government’s first HS2 announcement by Lord Adonis in Parliament on 11 March 2010 and onwards to our more recent analysis of the Consultation case, which on the basis of many polls to date shows that the public, by an overwhelming majority, are solidly against the Government’s HS2 plans. Contrary to the perception of many in the Midlands and the North and North East, we are actually arguing for something that will greatly benefit those regions i.e. to stop this wasteful and pointless HS2 political project to satisfy Europe’s HSR ambitions and our own politician’s glory-seeking actions made clear recently by Hammond’s publicly admitted wish for HS2 to be his own political legacy.

    What we are urging most strongly is for the Government to implement urgently needed and higher priority investment in the existing railway network – far more quickly completed works and vastly less expensively than for HS2; to ensure TOC’s provide many, many more and urgently needed rolling classic rail trains and carriages, with in cab signalling on the trains for example to allow 140 mph operation; and with more emphasis on standard class capacity and fewer first class; to upgrade and in due course to fully electrify the track and improve signalling plus removal of pinchpoints – e.g. on the WCML to remove the present bottle-neck at Ledburn Junction (for under £250,000!) that so affects operations and constrains capacity on the section from Northampton to Milton Keynes and on to Euston. This is a “no brainer” that should already have been done and can certainly be done within the next few years and not have to wait until after HS2’s PLANNED completion, including the “Y” in 2032. Remember also that HS2 relies for its economic sucess to pinch 87% of its passengers from existing classic rail (65%) and from new journeys just because it is built (22%). (So why do we need to build a new railway for a sticker price of over £30 Billion that will almost certainly end up costing a whole lot more???).

    There are many similar improvements we could be getting on with NOW throughout the network including the North East, North West and the Midlands that would greatly benefit those areas. Rail Package 2, which the Govt. has buried within the HS2 documents and has hidden within the “Y” alternatives in a vain attempt to downplay and discount it by unfair comparison with HS2. How silly can our Government be to think that no one in our open society will notice such underhand behaviour? HS2, will in my opinion, be a national disgrace that will undoubtedly rebound very badly upon this Government, whatever the outcome.

    Just try and get your head around i t- we could put right the entire classic rail network’s present woes (mostly due to lack of sufficient investment by successive Governments). This could be done over, say, the next two decades in a soundly planned systemmatic upgrading project, done in sequential stages in order of priority need while taking full benefit by loughing back the experience and learning curves from one stage to the next. Moreover, unlike hugely expensive HSR projects where the investment risks are huge and all upfront, depending as they do on extremely dodgy Government passenger demand forecasting tools – vide HS1, the Channel Tunnel railway to the Kent Coast, which has never carried more than a smidge over one third of the passengers forecast for it by DfT in 1998 when getting approval for the project. The HS1 train operator (another Government company) never made a profit in its 8 years of operation and HS1 will continue for ever with ongoing subsidy from the public purse as it has done from its first day of operation. Remember that Philip Hammond has announced many times in public that “HS1 has been a national success story”. Need I really say anything more about HS2?

    • Had you noticed that Philip Hammond has not been calling us NIMBY’s for some time now? That’s because he is increasingly concerned that our thorough and forensic analysis…

      Ummm…no. If he hasn’t called you Nimbys for a while it’s because his advisors would have told him not to after the blubbing about it people did, which caused some bad PR. I doubt it’s down to him quaking in his boots at any forensic analysis you’ve done, all of which says nothing other than “let’s not try to join the rest of the civilised world in a new era of HSR, let’s patch up our Victorian-built network instead.” It’s amazing how we Brits are unique in this respect isn’t it? Only we can say see the future of travel is to try and patch up what we’ve got, and everyone else has got it wrong. I was on the train from Brum International to New Street yesterday, a bottle-neck part of the WCML, and the only way you’re going to get the needed capacity for years to come out of that is to 4-track it, and I’d love to see how that’ll be done without wrecking the numerous homes, gardens and businesses that back onto the line there. There again, that’ll be someone else’s problem and all you people can stop worrying, and any urging of the goverment you’re doing around investing in the railways in the north will be dropped like it’s on fire. And RP2 is not some secret that’s been buried by the government. They’ve looked at it and rightly concluded it’s a short-term bodge job. We need to think longer that the next few years by just shoving extra carriage on trains etc. We need a new line. The network’s about two-thirds the size it once was, so lets start shifting stuff off roads and back onto rail so we won’t need more and more roads and motorways in the future, which with an ever rising population (a whole city every 20 years or whatever it is), is clearly what will happen. Then you *will* have something to complain about.

      Anyway, glad everyone’s all well.

  6. a producer from coventry and warwickshire radio came to my town to get views from pro and anti hs2 residents.needless to say she could only find those against.i have unfortunately been busy so have not got involved with the online debate .our road show is next week to so i hope to find some time to sort my questions.so we havent all gone away as i expect you had hoped rich or were you getting worried about us ?

  7. Totally off topic, but just because I’m curious – is “Stop HS2” just basically you now Penny? How comes Lizzy and Joe aren’t involved any more?

    • If you look at the “About Us” page you will see that STOP HS2 has four directors which is a similar number to several months ago. Lizzy and Joe are still campaigning against HS2. For instance Joe was making his points quite clearly on the ITV Central debate last week. There are hundreds of STOP HS2 supporters putting forward the counter arguments alongside the HS2 roadshows. There is other STOP HS2 work going on which is not necessarily visible.

    • I think you might find that there are more of us than meet the proverbial, Rich.

      And not only Rich Nimbys in the Chilterns.

      It is also interesting that Phil H is concerned that they are the

      very group who are being subsidised by the taxpayer most since they travel most

      and that is why err – fares have to go up.

      On the other hand of course in 2026 after we have spent £squillions

      on a High Speed railway (which will in the main only benefit the rich – does that include you Rich?) fares will be kept down on HS2

      and the classic railways which are needed for real connectivity in the regions will be funded properly and Cities like Durham won’t be by passed

      and lose services. .

      In a Pig’s eye my friend.

      • Just to put Peter straight on a point or 2……Durham currently gets 20 direct trains a day south to London. It is also part of the transpennine route. Passenger throughput broke through the 2 million barrier for the first time ever in 2010…..the station itself won best station overall at the 2008 National Rail awards after a significant refurbishment programme.

        In terms of overall subsidy to the rail network from the government, the further north you travel, the higher the subsidy. 73% of rail journeys in the UK start or end in London…..it is very intensive. Having said that, rail in the north is also becoming more intensive, and is now attracting significant investment on a par with Crossrail and Thameslink. It is goverments intention to reduce the subsidy over the coming years, the Mcnulty report highlighted cost savings over and above what Network Rail have already identified for CP4 and CP5. Whilst rail fares have risen, so has passenger use….which kind of flies in the face of good old fashioned supply and demand economics.

        • The point, Gary, is that Durham’s excellent service will be degraded once HS2 starts sucking in Taxpayers subsidy money.

          • Really ? And how do you know that Peter? Does it feature in a document somewhere that actually says ” Durham will see its services degarded once HS2 is built “?

          • peter dont you get tired of making things up just to support your views. at the moment hs2 isnt even planned to go further north then leeds so any through trains over hs2 will then be running via durham on the east coast mainline, unless you have moved durham temporarily elsewhere to help your point ! why would anyone remove stops from a busy station that all trains on their way to scotland will still have to go through. this really is scaremongering at its most blatant.

    • Most Stop HS2 groups have been busy with HS2 limited’s sales campaign roadshows. We have then been putting submissions together for the Parliamentary Select Committee enquiry. We are still very active! Of course, as we are volunteers acting in the national interest who are self funded and not government employees on high salaries and index linked pensions with mutli-million pound budgets, things sometimes take longer than we would like.

      • Acting in the national interest ? What evidence do you have that the public in Glasgow, Leeds, Norwich and Southampton are against HS2 ?

        • Acting in the national interest? What evidence do you have that the public in Glasgow, Leeds, Norwich and Southampton are FOR HS2 ?

        • And what evidence do you have that every taxpaying family throughout the UK is willing to spend c£1,200 on the HS2 railway project which they may never use, may never benefit their community, will not improve carbon reduction and only provides connectivity to a limited number of urban conurbations?

          • Cant answer my question Sue? And you are also implying that each and every family will have to pay an extra £1200 in tax……this is not the case. The tax burden on UK residents will not increase in order to pay for HS2.

            • Actually the tax burden on families will increase. Either that or the assertion that funding for other projects will not be affected by HS2 is wrong. You can borrow one lot of money and spend it on one thing or another thing, if you want both things you need more money.

            • I dont know Stuart …..what do we lose to pay for HS2 ? Why not write to the DfT and ask them? Bear in mind though that they have a budget of around £30 billion per year, and any capex spend for rail would have been through the GRIP process early stages…..though in this case because of the size and implications of it, it needs a bill as well.

              Additionally you may want to consider the fact that some 12% of rail passengers in London actually travel without a ticket…….what impact do you think that would have on government revenue if that problem was solved ?

            • Short term nothing will be lost – as you say budgets will already have been set, and even the £1 billion to be spent on HS2 in this parliament will be ring-fenced somewhere. Note this does not mean that we are not paying for projects such as crossrail, just that we are relatively committed. However I think it is fairly certain that we are not about to start growing money trees and that we are going to continue as a nation to spend more money than we earn. Thus any future big projects such as HS2 will also be paid for by borrowing – either added to the national debt burden (and paid by future generations), or taken from something else.

              Of course none of the above is fundamentally a reason not to build HS2 – we are not (currently) in dire straits like Greece and can still borrow our money at reasonable rates. But equally just because we can technically and financially build a railway is not sufficient reason to do so. The real question is whether or not HS2 is the best solution to any problems, or just the sexiest way to make politicians and engineering companies happy at our expense.

        • offa if you look at the petition i think you will find the entries from all over britain and scotland hs2 are trying to do a sales job and actually not finding many for it .the itv poll is an example too.

        • Of the places on Gary’s list I can only really comment on Southampton. The limited comments that have appeared there locally are negative about HS2. The main reason for this is that the city has suffered badly from recent Local Government cuts. I know this because my daughter is a student there and reads the local press. As far as her student friends go they are all still furious about the student fees debacle and there is absolutely no sympathy for what is seen as a waste of money.

          Can’t really speak for Norwich but I’d give good odds that the majority of that city’s population would be against HS2 if given an even presentation. The reason their train service to London is quite slow , it would need to be nearly half an hour faster on a mile for mile basis to match the existing London-Birmingham service.

          Plymouth ( which has just lost it’s airport and I city I know well ) is much the same and has an even worse service . Swansea has a particular reason to feel aggrieved at its service .

          Thye point is that £ 30 bn could do an awful lot of good fopr everyone .

    • I had actually done a really long reply to that, but it’s been so long since I posted on the website that I forgot that if you take too long the captcha code fails and you’ve lost your text. Always copy tour text to the clipboard before posting here, just in case! We’re all overworked. The main cross Penny bears is the website. You might have spotted Lizzy and me on social media and we’ve both been doing things that are more inward facing, at least for now.

      Anyway, surprised you didn’t notice me last week at the ITV Central debate. I was the one in the ‘Stop HS2’ t-shirt. http://itv.co/l6sYwV and the after show review http://www.itv.com/central-east/after-the-big-debate28850/ Central actually ditched the 6pm news for this debate, and if that isn’t a measure of how much we’ve acheived over the last year, I don’t know what is. We made HS2 that big an issue that Central revivied ‘Central Weekend’ just for us. If you want an idea of how HS2 became such a big issue for them, try watching the opening credits, I’m in all four shots of the opposition (it is 4, the final one is a close up of the t-shirt from the clip before -lilac collar on top left!)

      You might want to spot also the you tube link in the top right corner of every page on this website.

  8. Just curious, does the route via Hs2 to Edinburgh use the east coast line or is it a brand new link beyond the ‘Y’
    route?

    • Specially designed and built trains that would be capable of running on conventional track as well as on the high speed line would switch on to the East Coast line at Leeds and continue North to Newcastle and Edinburgh.

      The same idea applies for trains to Glasgow which would continue north from Manchester on the West Coast line.

  9. What isnt pointed out above is actually a clue in the name ” Flying Scotsman “…..it originates in Edinburgh. Its a 1 stop service ( at Newcastle ) which shaves 30 minutes off the previous fastest journey from Edinburgh to London. However, that has come at a cost ……in order to achieve the ” path “, East Coast and numerous others had to restructure other timings from services elsewhere, which wasnt well recieved….East Coast themselves had to reduce proposed services from Lincoln. One of the freight paths is also compromised ….the train has to lie in a siding twice on its journey in order to accomadate this.

    The new service has already run into time issues south of Peterborough due to knock on effects of running delays on commuter services, an issue which obviously wont affect HS2

    • But HS2 *will* run into similar problems, Gary. The plan to run HS2 trains beyond Manchester and Leeds onto the existing lines means they too will be competing for train paths with classic stopping services and freight. The whole Y design is a mistake, in my view. If HS2 goes ahead, all fast long distance services between London and Scotland which formerly travelled on the West Coast Main Line and East Coast Main Line will have to be funnelled down the twin-track trunk of the Y, meaning that a failed train will bring the entire north-south rail network to a standstill.

      • if the line north of leeds is congested as you say then we need to extend hs2 as far north as newcastle or even berwick and on to edinburgh/glasgow as long as scotland is willing to foot the bill, they have been very proactive in supporting rail in general over the last few years compared with england.

        • Aren’t the Scots the lucky ones?
          They will be paying for HS2 for as far as it goes in England because they benefit from the 30mins on the London B’ham stretch. Then if Transport Scotland decide to take HS2 on board they potentially pay for that as well.
          Transport Scotland loose loose
          DfT win win.
          The Dft have said they have already taken the Scottish figures into account in the HS2 business case. What arguements can be found for the ‘real’ Scottish phase?

      • Jane …..u dont seem to understand how it works. Train failures in themselves are rare, any disruption to todays services are normally caused by our infrastructure. On the rare occasion that a pendolino has broken down, it gets rescued by a locomotive as quick as possible….indeed Virgin rail have a few of these dotted about at key locations in the UK. Of course HS2 will be brand new infrastructure…..with no lineside signals!!. 18 trains an hour is the quoted figure at its busiest point, which will be the stretch between Birmingham and London. That doesnt mean 18 trains an hour from Glasgow or Edinburgh.

      • Jane. You are absolutely correct concerning the bottleneck between Birmingham and London. Unlike conventional lines where there are frequently options to use an adjacent track (assuming there are 4 in total), I doubt there will be such passing places on HS2. Hence with trains running approximately every three minutes at peak hours with up to 1100 passengers on board each one, you would quickly have many frustrated customers in the event of a train failure.
        Nick. I would suggest your idea of extending the HS2 line from Leeds to Edinburgh is extremely optimistic. Neither the UK nor Scotland could afford it and there would be insufficient passenger demand to justify it, in my opinion. From my understanding of speaking to the chief engineer for HS2 Ltd, the only classic compatible HS2 trains travelling to Edinburgh will travel up the WCML. Those on the ECML will go no further north than Newcastle.

        • Keith …u seem to be another one who doesnt understand. Almost all the High Speed rail in the world is twin track only. It is extremely reliable infrastructure. In the rare event of a fail, there are a number of safety/alternative features built in. Every so often , the ohle has a ” neutral section “, so in the event of a power failure, the loss is localised. Also each line is cleared for bi directional running, and has ” crossing points ” built in…there is one right in the middle of the channel tunnel. Ironically it was a failed crossing point that caused the grayrigg accident a few year ago.

          Trains on the WCML from London terminate at Glasgow….the ones on the ECML terminate at Edinburgh, with the odd one carrying on to Glasgow. There are plans to discontinue this practice on the stretch between edinburgh and Glasgow, to give better utilization of the rolling stock. Also, the detail plans of HS2 north of Birmingham have yet to be carried out , HS2 have been remiited to deliver this by mid 2012. As it stands , any detailed discussion about HS2 in this area is actually pure speculation, so you are in fact incorrect.

          • One tiny little bit north of Birmingham has been included in the route, and that is the dead-end track to nowhere by Lichfield.
            This is important bit of track, I think, as it seems HS2 Ltd have put their foot in the door into building the next HSR when the first one hasn’t been approved.
            A logical place for the HS2 line to stop would be Birmingham, but instead the line stops in the middle of nowhere, why tiny section there if the detailed plans have not been carried out yet?
            So the public consultation is incomplete, because the plans are incomplete, will there be another consultation when plans north of Birmingham are done?

            • Luke …. suggest you visit the HS2 website…..it should aid your understanding of what is actually going on in the bigger picture…

              Dead end track lol!!!

          • Glad to know that Gary is better informed about HS2 than Andrew McNaughton, chief engineer of HS2 Ltd.

        • there is nothing wrong with being optimistic and as far as not been able to afford hs2, can we afford the alternatives such as more roads which cost more and take away much more land and cause accidents and more pollution then does rail.

          and it is on this blog that you are saying that north of leeds the lines will be too overcrowded once you have hs2 so that seems to me an acceptance that many people will use hs2 and that if the existing lines north of leeds are overcapacity
          then there would be a case for hs2 further north.

          you cant argue that hs2 isnt needed then in the next breath argue that durham will lose all its services because of overcapacity, for example ! that was mentioned on pennys blog about newcastle. it seemed to me that, like the yorkshire
          councils also mentioned, newcastle are saying that they want hs2 to be extended to them to give the full benefits of hs2.

          the point is that if unless people stop travelling on a pretty significant scale in the future, we will have to provide the capacity for those that want or need to travel. and if we accept this, electric rail is the least polluting mode of transport but you need it to be high speed so that you can really make many use rail instead of car or plane.

          after all when we built motorways to reduce congestion and pollution in city centres, nobody suggested that the speed limit should be say 30 or 50 mph did they ? but if we had called them high speed roads which they are, with no speed limts initially, would some people have gone ballistic or would they have realised that the main benefit was capacity?

            • Great idea John…..and if they happen to work at a Nuclear plant, oil refinery or motorway service station, I m sure they would be very easy to sell!!

              Those of you who are familiar with manchester may well have noticed the number of houses/apartments which have sprung up over the last few years very close to Piccadilly ( and Victoria ) stations. These are very popular , in particular for those commuting from manchester outwards. I mentioned a while ago the astonishing number of new build homes in my area which are adjacent to rail lines. Network Rail themselves are selling off packets of land to developers for residential purposes.

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