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Re: HS2 ... should I (we) be worried?

PostPosted:Thu May 16, 2019 9:36 pm
by eltonioni
PaulB wrote:Transpennine is not even electrified and still using old cast-off DMUs that are probably decades old.

Catching a transpennine train is a combination of skill and luck so that you don't mistakenly stand for an hour on a converted bus with railway wheels that stops at every godforsaken League of Gentleman town nestled in the lower Pennines.

One word: Grayling.

Re: HS2 ... should I (we) be worried?

PostPosted:Thu May 16, 2019 9:39 pm
by PaulB
eltonioni wrote:
PaulB wrote:Transpennine is not even electrified and still using old cast-off DMUs that are probably decades old.

Catching a transpennine train is a combination of skill and luck so that you don't mistakenly stand for an hour on a converted bus with railway wheels that stops at every godforsaken League of Gentleman town nestled in the lower Pennines.

One word: Grayling.


Two words: Failing Grayling.

But his loyalty to the PM knows no bounds.

Re: HS2 ... should I (we) be worried?

PostPosted:Thu May 16, 2019 9:44 pm
by eltonioni
Apparently he's the longest serving minister.

The photos must be good.

Re: HS2 ... should I (we) be worried?

PostPosted:Sun Jun 09, 2019 10:07 am
by PaulB
Nice article underlying this tweet from Anand Menon. His key question though isn’t answered.

Why do we have to start with London, when rail services across the north are dire?


Re: HS2 ... should I (we) be worried?

PostPosted:Sun Jun 09, 2019 10:47 am
by eltonioni
The "why?" is because HS2 is a system to suck ever more of the nation's wealth into London. I assume the question is rhetorical. :)

Right now, Google tells me it will take 1hr 23m to travel the 38 miles from Sheffield to Manchester by car on a Sunday morning, but apparently the nation's bigger priority is to get to London in 1hr 12 minutes. :roll:

Re: HS2 ... should I (we) be worried?

PostPosted:Sun Jun 09, 2019 11:54 am
by PaulB
eltonioni wrote:The "why?" is because HS2 is a system to suck ever more of the nation's wealth into London. I assume the question is rhetorical. :)


It was... ;-)

Right now, Google tells me it will take 1hr 23m to travel the 38 miles from Sheffield to Manchester by car on a Sunday morning, but apparently the nation's bigger priority is to get to London in 1hr 12 minutes. :roll:


And I bet it takes you on the M1/M62/M60 and the distance is double that of the shortest route.

Re: HS2 ... should I (we) be worried?

PostPosted:Sun Jun 09, 2019 12:11 pm
by rikur_
PaulB wrote:Transpennine is not even electrified and still using old cast-off DMUs that are probably decades old.

At the risk of introducing facts....
The TransPennine DMUs are not cast-off nor decades old. The class 185s were bought brand new for TransPennine and are some of the newest and highest performance DMUs on the network.
The operator proposed 4 car DMUs, but the DfT kept them to 3 to improve finances.
They're just about to be largely replaced with an all new fleet

Part of the recent delay getting improved trains for the north was a political desire that much of the fleet should be brand new (i.e. wait 3 years for it) - rather than cascaded.

Re: HS2 ... should I (we) be worried?

PostPosted:Sun Jun 09, 2019 12:25 pm
by PaulB
I bow to greater knowledge but the last one I was on felt and looked "well used."

Re: HS2 ... should I (we) be worried?

PostPosted:Sun Jun 09, 2019 12:26 pm
by eltonioni
An actual everyday TransPennine Express train between Manchester and Sheffield. Photo taken two weeks ago.

Image

This is the posh train.

Image


But y'know... HS2 is really important.

Re: HS2 ... should I (we) be worried?

PostPosted:Sun Jun 09, 2019 12:48 pm
by rikur_
PaulB wrote:Two words: Failing Grayling.

eltonioni wrote:
One word: Grayling.

Whilst it's good sport to blame Grayling - the state of rail services in the North largely have their origins in the franchises awarded in 2004 (under a different colour of government) which baked in a cost cutting, no growth, no new trains franchise.
The current franchises specified during 2013- 2014 (largely by local authorities, not central government) and commenced in 2016 require the retirement of pacers, significantly increases the fleet sizes, and introduces 5 brand new fleets, and several high quality refurbished fleets. No Grayling involvement in that decision either.

Electrification debate of existing lines is more complex than most tabloid discussions. To get the sort of speed and performance changes on the cross-Pennine routes desired, it's far more than a case of stringing up some overhead wires. The alignment needs to be changed for high-speed, passing loops need to be introduced to allow the mixing of high-speed, stopping and freight services, along with various other technical changes. To dive straight into this now, would give a decade+ of disruption for today's passengers, with no real diversionary routes. Furthermore, the era of continuous electrification for passenger services appears to be on the cusp of drawing to a close. The battery power required to get through even the longest Pennine tunnels is well within current capabilities, and most forecast significant improvements in battery capabilities over the next decade (i.e. electrify the easy sections, not the disruptive bits).
I believe even politicians have realised the focus must be first on the new lines and providing upgraded capacity on the diversionary routes before embarking on major disruption to the current main routes across the Pennines.

Re: HS2 ... should I (we) be worried?

PostPosted:Sun Jun 09, 2019 12:50 pm
by rikur_
eltonioni wrote:An actual everyday TransPennine Express train between Manchester and Sheffield. Photo taken two weeks ago.


Both appear to be photos of Northern Rail trains, not a TransPennine Express train.
A bit like saying Emirates is carp, justified by a photo of Flybe.

Edit: Just to add - I'm not disputing that there has been long term systematic under-investment in rail in the north, nor that there is a load of end-of-life rolling stock rattling around at present ..... just correcting the attributions of where some of those decisions originate, and the linkage between projects.

Cancel HS2 tomorrow if you want, but I don't see any link to how that speeds up the introduction of new trains in Northern rail, or the investment in the Hope Valley line.

Re: HS2 ... should I (we) be worried?

PostPosted:Sun Jun 09, 2019 1:05 pm
by eltonioni
@rikur_ please don't mistake me for somebody that cares who owns the crappy train from the dark ages that we have to use.

The Sheffield - Manchester line used to be electrified BTW. The new HS2 from Sheffield won't be though - not that it's getting built anyway.

Image

Re: HS2 ... should I (we) be worried?

PostPosted:Sun Jun 09, 2019 1:25 pm
by rikur_
@eltonioni you stick to believing what you want .... unfortunately decisions made on fake news and lies are rarely good decisions .... but they do sell newspapers and make better banter than facts.

Re: HS2 ... should I (we) be worried?

PostPosted:Sun Jun 09, 2019 3:28 pm
by eltonioni
Huh? What is fake news? The crappy trains, the previously electrified trans-Pennine line, that HS2 to Sheffield won't be electrified, or that HS2 is on the skids and about to be cancelled?

Re: HS2 ... should I (we) be worried?

PostPosted:Sun Jun 09, 2019 5:16 pm
by rikur_
eltonioni wrote:Huh? What is fake news? The crappy trains, the previously electrified trans-Pennine line, that HS2 to Sheffield won't be electrified, or that HS2 is on the skids and about to be cancelled?

My reference is to the general quality of debate about investment decisions in rail, which it seems in parts this thread is trying to emulate.

If we believe the rumours, it looks likely that some big decisions will be made that politicians believe will be popular, based on the general public being half-informed at best, and in many cases I would say deliberately misinformed.

You could write a book on the factors that have created the issues with rail in the north (e.g. Historically the north had too many separate PTEs and local authorities trying to compete with each other and no coherent pan-North transport plan; BR regional railways being the 'poor' cousin to Inter-city and NSE; through to the 2004 franchise decision to effectively stop investment).
However, I do feel that the tides could turn - but need coherent public support. What started with the "Northern Way" initiative under John Prescott - effectively rebranded as Northern Powerhouse by Osbourne, and more recently developed with less fanfare into the most coherent plan for rail transport in the north in at least a generation. Not something developed by a couple of faceless bureaucrats in a cupboard somewhere, but a pan political, evidence based plan that aligns to the criteria government uses to allocate funding.

Whilst it makes a great political rallying cry to call for HS2 to be scrapped and spend [some of] the money on reopening the Woodhead tunnels instead, people would be better off taking the time to understand the plans that have been developed to improve rail in the north, and supporting them.
Instead what I suspect will actually happen, is that each political kingdom, mayor, MP, council leader, etc will instead push for their own pet project based on a few simple soundbites, and we'll maintain our tradition of 150 years of railways that are brilliant to moan about.