HS2 Questions

Examining the issues around the proposed High Speed 2 route

How much more capacity can you get from the WCML?

with 12 comments

Different views have been expressed about the potential to increase London – Birmingham InterCity capacity. But it is only a matter of arithmetic.

The table below gives that arithmetic, for three options:

  • The (unrealistic) DfT ‘do minimum’ used as a comparator for HS2
  • The DfT alternative to HS2, ‘Rail Package 2’, which has many benefits but is not ‘optimised’ and there is no immediate need for much of the engineering work suggested
  • An ‘Optimised Alternative’.

 

Alternatives elements for intercity capacity (ie excl commuter services) on same basis as the background growth in demand ie over 2007/08 base

 

Alternatives:

 ‘optimised’ capacity increase over 2007/8
base (cum.  figures)
Comment
‘do minimum’ RP2 ‘optimised’
total Stndard
WCML 2007/8 base 88,544 88,544 88,544

88,544

59,298

16hr/2way
seats in traffic
1. Train investment (with little/no
infrastructure investment
Dec. 2008 timetable change

Y

Y

Y

+36%

+38%

Not
in 2007/8 base
Evergreen 3 Chiltern Line speed improvements

N

N

Y

From
autumn 2011, scope for extra capacity
Extra Pendolinos (by 2013)

Y

Y

Y

+63%

+79%

Being
implemented, affects peak & off-peak
2013 timetable change

N

N

Y

+75%

+92%

Increases
off-peak only
Reassign 1 car to standard class (Pendolinos)

N

N

Y

+84%

+127%

Very
low cost: affects peak & off peak capacity
Full 11-car on WCML

N

Y

Y

Affects
peak & off peak
12-car WCML (notLiverpool)

N

N

Y

+121%

+181%

Affects
peak & off peak
Trains
total:
(% increase in capacity)

133,328

(+51%)

149,725

(+69%)

195,432

(+121%)

195,432

(+121%)

166,908

(+181%)

Seats
in trafficIncrease over 07/8 base
2.
Infrastructure investment

9 tph

13.5 tph

11 tph

trains
per hour
Grade-separated junction
between Cheddington and Leighton Buzzard

N

Y

Y

Needed
to relieve peak crowding
Staffordarea by-pass

N

Y

Y

Peak
& off peak
Extra 3 platforms at
Euston

N

Y

N

Extra platforms at Manchester(with grade
separation at Ardwick)

N

Y

N

HS2
has same train frequency to Manchester
without these changes
4-tracking Attleborough –
Brinklow (incl. freight capacity works atNuneaton)

N

Y

Y

Peak
& off peak
Northamptonarea speed improvements

N

Y

Y

Peak
& off peak
4-tracking Beechwood
Tunnel – Stechford

N

Y

N

Peak
& off peak
3. Total after investments: (% increase in capacity)

133,328

(+51%)

222,080

(+151%)

215,820

(+144%)

218,538

(+147%)

186,648

(+215%)

Seats
in traffic
Increase over 07/8 base

It is worth noting that the grade separation at Ledburn junction will double fast commuter train capacity to Milton Keynes and Northampton. This is an overcrowded service that needs to be dealt with now. It cannot wait for HS2 in 2026.

Questions have been raised over the extent that train lengthening etc. can provide extra capacity at peak times. The optimised alternative suggests a timetable that increases the base timetable in the period 16:30 to 18:29 from 19 InterCity and 4 fast commuter trains to 24 InterCity and 8 fast commuter trains. This shows the doubling of the fast commuter trains (ie Milton Keynes) capacity while at the same time increasing the number of standard class intercity seats from 5,736 seats (18×9 car Pendolinos and 1×10 car Voyagers) to 13,656 (18×12 car Pendolinos, 4×11 car Pendolinos and 2×10 car Voyagers), a 138% increase.

If capacity needs can be met incrementally and much more affordably, and if the benefits of speed are small (Oxera Report), why is the Government still in favour of HS2?

Advertisements

Written by hs2questions

June 27, 2011 at 10:54 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with , , ,

12 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Jerry, I think you’ve been misleading the public quite enough about 12 car trains. It is not just Liverpool that is an issue and having 2 or 3 different fleets completely destroys the interoperability of the fleet which makes things difficulty when servicing or during breakdowns.

    Here are the following stations that would have to be altered in order to accept 12 car trains. Which means the cost for Jerry’s magic plan soon mount up. Platform information has been taken directly from the rail alternatives study. Station alterations would included platform lengthening and complete tack remodelling which could cost equivalent the last £10bn WCML modernisation programme. With RP2, new platforms and brand new trains that don’t yet exist Jerry’s WCML upgrade could end up costing in excess of a further £10bn.

    A 12 Car Pendolino would be roughly 290 meters long. 10 x 24m cars + 2 x 25m driving cabs

    Beyond 11 cars segnificant work would be required for each of the following stations with the maximum current length stated

    Warrington Bank Quay 260m
    Wigan 274m
    Liverpool Lime Street 245m
    Lancaster 246m
    Glasgow 279m/292m,
    Preston 285/365m
    Stoke 260m
    Macclesfield 260m
    Stockport 274m/294m
    Birmingham new street could just about accomodate 12 car Pendolinos but only on 2 plantforms which would restrict performance and capacity
    Wolverhampton 267m

    Perhaps Jerry is calling for none stop services between Birmingham – London and Manchester – London with no opportunities to stop, unless using selective door opening further complicating line operation and passenger movement.

    Chris Howe

    June 27, 2011 at 11:43 am

    • The problem with Liverpool is the tunnel hence the limit to 11 car. As your list shows, the rest are no major problems with 290m trains. Bear in mind passengers can walk along an end carriage, as they do already in the tube.
      By comparison there are major and very expensive technical problems with HS2: can’t do 18 trains / hour; insufficient Euston capacity in rebuild; insufficient HS2/HS1 link capacity. Not to mention all the extra tunneling Mr Johnson would like. Suddenly slightly longer platforms in a few places is rather minor!

      hs2questions

      June 30, 2011 at 10:26 am

      • This to me highlights the mentality of opponents, mislead first, explain later. You have been going around the country telling the public and the media, that Liverpool is the only problem for 12 car operation. Now you admit that some work or re-arrangement would be required for other stations. But instead of saying in the first place that you decided to mislead in order to make your plan sound as simple and as cheap as possible. Now we’re talking about selective door opening, separate fleets and hundreds of millions of pounds for station re-modelling, doesn’t sound so good when your honest does it?

        Chris Howe

        June 30, 2011 at 11:30 am

      • That’s not the only problem. If trains ar longer than the platform, they could foul the points and/or signals at either end of the station, leading to delays, accidents, signal failures and all the nasty things that make people cross with railways.

        Juliana Swan

        July 2, 2011 at 10:01 am

      • What if the train fouls the junction, or the signal blocks, at either end of the platform?

        I am afraid 12-car trains are not a good idea to me.

        Joey

        July 11, 2011 at 10:46 pm

      • It’s easier to sort out any issues of this nature than to build a complete new line including a total rebuild at Euston!

        hs2questions

        July 20, 2011 at 11:13 am

  2. Where do these figures come from and with what evidence?

    Who made up the 151%…or is there evidence for it?

    At the Kenilworth meeting Jerry promised to provide details and evidence of extra freight paths that his cunning plan would deliver. Still nothing received.

    john morris

    June 27, 2011 at 12:05 pm

    • John, I’m not sure what you mean by ‘where do these figures come from and on what evidence? They are based on the May 2008 timetable for direct comparison with the HS2 projected demand figures. The rest is pure arithmetic – number of seat per carriage etc. Tell me if there is anything you think is wrong!
      The 151% is taken purely from DfT / Atkins figures.
      I’ll email you the illustrative train paths document I had at the kenilworth event.

      hs2questions

      June 30, 2011 at 10:21 am

  3. Would you mind providing the numbers that you used to compared your 151% claim with links and page references for any other claims made. Thank you.

    Could you also define the word “cheap”, a word which you have used to describe the upgrading of stations to allow for 12 cars given that 10 stations would have to be re-modelled not just 1 like you have been claiming.

    Chris Howe

    June 30, 2011 at 11:15 am

  4. Jerry,

    Will you please:

    1) provide separate capacity figures for peak and off-peak – specimen hours will do fine, e.g. 1700-1759 and an off-peak hour

    2) provide comparison with 2012/3 committed position as well as with 2007/8 base.

    Look forward to your response.

    William Barter

    william barter

    July 1, 2011 at 8:33 am

    • See text for details of peak capacity calculations. Full table has been send to John Morris and I could em to you.
      Relevant comparison is with HS2 forecast of 102% background growth 2008 – 2043. The point is we can more than meet this, incremenatlly ie without the high HS2 all-or-nothing risk.

      hs2questions

      July 20, 2011 at 11:12 am

      • The figures I asked you for do not appear in either the table or the text. The table does not split out peak and off-peak; the text does not deal with total capacity.

        The figures are:

        * compared with 2007/8, off-peak hour +146%, peak hour +81%

        * compared with 2012/3 committed state, off-peak hour +54%, peak hour +24%

        What is relevant depends on what you are trying to do. If you are tracking progress against the 2008 demand forecast, then the relevant comparison is of course with 2008. But then you must accept that three of those years are not forecast but fact, and the fact is that the actual growth for those years was about three times the annual rate implied by 102% background growth, and we are already well ahead of that growth line.

        But if you are trying to make a business case, then you must compare with the 2012/3 committed position with 11-car trains available for the heaviest-loaded services. So your alternative can only add significant capacity to the off-peak, which will be under-used, so there cannot be a business case for this element.

        William Barter

        July 20, 2011 at 1:16 pm


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: