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HS2

  • 11-02-2020 1:47am
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 18,782 ✭✭✭✭ Muahahaha


    Couldnt find a thread on this, mods if there is one please merge

    The final decision on whether or not to go ahead with HS2 should be coming in the next week or two. A mate in TfL tells me the feeling is that Boris has always been big on infrastructure and will sanction it despite the rising costs which are now off the scale. On top of this Boris' closest advisor has labelled it as a "disaster zone" and many southern based Tory MPs are opposed to proceeding.

    Latest price on it is £106 billion and thats up from £55 billion which is up from £30bn. Recent leaks on a report confirmed that even the £106bn figure is not achievable and now they've built in a contingency bringing it to £130bn. And even the £130bn figure is accepted as rising even further as the second part of the line (Birmingham to Manchester) wouldnt be complete until 2040 at the earliest. As costs have gone up the cost/benefit ratio has gone down. What started as a £2.30 return to the economy for every £1 invested has now turned into £1.30 for every pound spent.

    Arguments for the HS2 include saving carbon emissions over car based transport and that this brand new route will then free up lots of capacity on routes that are being used now but inefficient at mixing high speed rail and more local routes. Overall the high speed element isnt really that high speed- a Manchester to London journey on HS2 would only be 40 minutes quicker than it is right now

    Politicians in northern cities are now saying that their preferred option is to instead build the planned Northern Powerhorse Railway which would connect Liverpool to Manchester to Leeds and serve much more northerners who use that route over trips down south to London.

    If Boris does go ahead with HS2 as expected (and there has been £7bn sunk costs on CPOs already) then its fast looking like HS2 could be the worlds most expensive railway.

    UK_High_Speed_2_rail_map.png


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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,369 ✭✭✭ Nermal


    How much time would it potentially cut off a sail & rail to London from Dublin?


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,359 ✭✭✭✭ loyatemu


    Muahahaha wrote: »
    If Boris does go ahead with HS2 as expected (and there has been £7bn sunk costs on CPOs already) then its fast looking like HS2 could be the worlds most expensive railway.

    Boris is just jealous that we have the world's most expensive hospital, so he's going to build the world's most expensive railway, and then the world's most expensive (and pointless) bridge.


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,547 ✭✭✭✭ Thelonious Monk


    So this is going ahead according to Boris. Why is there so much opposition? Is it just the 100bn cost tag?


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,359 ✭✭✭✭ loyatemu


    So this is going ahead according to Boris. Why is there so much opposition? Is it just the 100bn cost tag?

    it ploughs through a bunch of Tory heartland constituencies. The business and environmental cases are both shaky.


  • Registered Users Posts: 23,317 ✭✭✭✭ lawred2


    loyatemu wrote: »
    Boris is just jealous that we have the world's most expensive hospital, so he's going to build the world's most expensive railway, and then the world's most expensive (and pointless) bridge.

    If I'm not mistaken they are already planning for the world's most expensive nuclear power station

    also sssshhh about the bridge... will be a great asset for Ireland post unification


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  • Registered Users Posts: 10,547 ✭✭✭✭ Thelonious Monk


    loyatemu wrote: »
    it ploughs through a bunch of Tory heartland constituencies. The business and environmental cases are both shaky.

    I thought rail was the lesser of evils when it came to the environment


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,359 ✭✭✭✭ loyatemu


    lawred2 wrote: »

    also sssshhh about the bridge... will be a great asset for Ireland post unification

    so we can get a direct train to Glasgow? whoop de do. We'll have to pay for the maintenance too.


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,359 ✭✭✭✭ loyatemu


    I thought rail was the lesser of evils when it came to the environment

    how many people are flying from London to Birmingham?
    the train is already quicker than driving.


  • Registered Users Posts: 18,782 ✭✭✭✭ Muahahaha


    So this is going ahead according to Boris. Why is there so much opposition? Is it just the 100bn cost tag?

    Yeah cost would be the big one, it started at £30bn in 2012 and now a leaked report is saying £130bn, thats with contingency built in but everyone realsies that the Birmingham to Manchester section wont be completed until 2040 at the earliest so you're looking at 20 odd years of construction inflation which would push it up towards £200bn. The costs really are astronomical even for a large nation like the UK.

    Aside from that northerners are skeptical that phase 2 of Birmingham to Manchester will ever get built at all. They feel London to Birmingham will go ahead and then between government changes, potential recession and just a general sense of the Tories and London always shortchanging the north that it will get called off. Counter balancing this is the fact that the Tories have just won a lot of seats in the Labour 'Red Wall' areas for the north so want to be seen to be investing in the regions to prevent Labour taking those seats back, their strategy is to solidify these traditional Labour seats so majorities come easy to them in future elections.

    Then you've the Manchester mayor Andy Burham who has floated the idea of proceeding with London to Birmingham but at the same time building the Northern Powerhorse Railway (NPR) which is a project to connect Liverpool-Manchester-Leeds. He claims this railway running east to west would be far more beneficial to northerners than one to London.

    From what Ive read there is a good case for HS2 in terms of capacity in that it is a brand new route and will free up huge capacity on the current overstretched network. Its being sold as a railway revolution for all of the UK, better connecting major cities will bring about increased economic activity, etc.. The grand vision is to eventually connect it to Scotland and remove the need for domestic flights, this being in line with their 2050 carbon emissions targets.

    Boris has just announced today that phase 1 to Birmingham is going ahead. He is appointing a Minister for HS2 also. On top of that he has pledged £5bn for new buses and cycle routes to placate other interest groups.

    Further detail here
    https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2020/feb/11/what-boris-johnson-hs2-announcement-mean-country-lonon-birmingham


  • Registered Users Posts: 270 ✭✭ ncounties


    Any infrastructure spend looks horrifically high at the time of construction, but when you take into consideration how long it will last/serve the population, the picture changes.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,211 ✭✭✭ MayoSalmon


    What journey time would you get on a theoretical high speed line between Dublin and Cork?


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,593 ✭✭✭ Poxyshamrock


    loyatemu wrote: »
    how many people are flying from London to Birmingham?
    the train is already quicker than driving.

    There are no flights from Birmingham to London.


  • Registered Users Posts: 18,782 ✭✭✭✭ Muahahaha


    Boris certainly full square behind the project in the House of Commons yesterday
    Instead the PM grasped the moment with the enthusiasm of a terrier who’s just been bunged his bedtime Bonio. Standing before the House, Boris announced a national ‘transport revolution’ which, on top of HS2, would include a £5billion investment in buses and bike lanes.

    The language as ever was as ornate as Pugin wallpaper. He promised we would see ‘mini-Hollands blooming like so many tulips in towns’ where children would ‘bicycle safely and happily to school and work in tree-dappled sunlight’.

    He spoke of the need to fix the ‘musculoskeletal problem’ of UK transport: ‘Yes, we must fix the joint between the knee bone and the thigh bone and the shin bone and the ankle bone. Yes, we must fix the arthritis in the fingers and the toes, but we also have to fix the spine.’

    HS2 is no easy sell but the PM was pushing it harder than a market tradesman flogging suspect bottles of Chanel No 5.

    ‘This is not just about getting from London to Birmingham and back,’ he bellowed, delivering a meaty backhander to the dispatch box.

    ‘This is about finally making a rapid connection from the West Midlands to Liverpool’ – smack! ‘To Manchester’ – smack! ‘And Leeds’ – smack!
    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-7993299/HENRY-DEEDES-watches-Boris-Johnson-talks-HS2.html

    Its typical bombastic Boris but his leadership on such a large infrastructure project is impressive. I could never imagine a Taoiseach or Minister for Transport here coming out with such enthusiasm for Metrolink and driving the project forward.


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,433 ✭✭✭✭ Cookiemunster


    Muahahaha wrote: »
    Boris certainly full square behind the project in the House of Commons yesterday


    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-7993299/HENRY-DEEDES-watches-Boris-Johnson-talks-HS2.html

    Its typical bombastic Boris but his leadership on such a large infrastructure project is impressive. I could never imagine a Taoiseach or Minister for Transport here coming out with such enthusiasm for Metrolink and driving the project forward.


    Ask the people of London about the Garden Bridge in London when he was mayor. £43m spent, but no bridge. He's talks a lot, but backing it up is another issue.


  • Registered Users Posts: 18,782 ✭✭✭✭ Muahahaha


    yeah he's always been known as being big on ideas but not so good on follow through and delivery, he is pure salesman. At least this project has already effectively started anyway with lots of preparatory CPO work already done. He'll be long out of office by the time the first train runs on HS2 in 2030 and if things go wrong in the meantime he will have a Minister for HS2 to shift the blame upon.

    Theres still ongoing battles against the actual route. In one place called Cubbington the route requires the felling of ancient forest which is more than 400 years old. After extensive consultations with the local community the HS2 planners still declined to divert the route past it They did however divert the route just 6 miles up the track to avoid a golf course that the initial route was going to run through. The British love their ancient forests and protect them with zeal so I can see Extinction Rebellion all over this soon, it is also not the only ancient forest the HS2 route will be splitting in half, theres several along the route.

    This article has a good map showing the forest and the golf course
    https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2020/feb/12/woods-and-irons-winners-and-losers-in-the-path-of-hs2


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,063 ✭✭✭ JohnC.




  • Registered Users Posts: 18,782 ✭✭✭✭ Muahahaha


    Interesting development. The Chinese Railway Development Corporation has built over 15,000 miles of high speed track over the last couple of decades and are promising to built HS2 much cheaper than current estimates though they are low on detail.

    Theres also geo politics at play, Trump was reported have screamed and shouted at Boris on the phone the other day over the UK going ahead with Huawei for 5G. Boris has now cancelled a trip to the White House where they were supposed to talk about a US-UK free trade deal. UK wont want to be seen getting into bed much further with China as the US trade deal has to be a priority post Brexit.

    In any case the vast majority of the contracts for the railway from London to Birmingham have already been signed. If there was to be Chinese involvement it would be on phase two Birmingham to Manchester and Leeds. Phase 2 is the bulk of the project as the line splits in two north of Birmingham. It is also the part that is the entire reason behind this project- to better connect the north of England with London and the south. The planned finish date for phase 2 is currently 2040 and Boris wants this slashed to 2035. If the Chinese can guarantee him that date or even earlier you'd imagine the Dept of Transport would have to view it seriously given Chinese expertise in high speed rail.

    Phase 2 in red below

    _110862786_hs2_route_map_640-v2-nc.png


  • Registered Users Posts: 959 ✭✭✭ greenfield21


    Ha could you imagine if Boris gave this to CCRC at the expense of Siemens or alstrom. I'd love it considering Siemens gave all their knowledge away just for the short term gain of having access to the Chinese market, now CCRC have more revenue than siemens, astrom and bombardier combined. I can't imagine the Chinese would be doing the civil works??


  • Registered Users Posts: 72,826 ✭✭✭✭ Atlantic Dawn


    I can only guess the price of a ticket will be some crazy amount like £200 for a one way if it's comparable to other UK rail journeys.


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 17,101 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Sam Russell


    Muahahaha wrote: »

    Phase 2 in red below

    _110862786_hs2_route_map_640-v2-nc.png

    Looking at that map, wouldn't it make sense for the Manchester line to continue to Leeds, and a line from Liverpool to Manchester so they could have a Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds HS service. It would make a powerful addition to northern commerce.

    By the way, what is in Wigan apart from a pier?

    Early days, I suppose - those red wall Tories need to pull a bit of weight to justify their newfound constituencies.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 6,488 ✭✭✭ CelticRambler


    There was an article in the Guardian yesterday (read it on another device, don't have the link to hand) that pointed out a number of inherent weak points in the project, especially as we move into a new "ecological" era. Amongst them: (1) it won't join up with HS1 (the Luas Red/Green farce all over again) so there's no chance of Scotland/Northern England getting high-speed connections to the rest of Europe - at a time when long-distance/overnight rail is rapidly coming back into fashion; and (2) supposedly the planned route includes curves that the HS2 rolling stock cannot take at the same speeds as the Pendolino trains. The report also made reference to the lack of passengers on the majority of services on the London-Birmingham route - most likely a problem due entirely to pricing policy, so how will HS2 fix that?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 43 ✭✭✭ Xwebstar2


    Ticket prices will have to be subsidized

    Laughable really HS2 to Manchester, I'm hearing from relatives there that the city streets are full of potholes


  • Registered Users Posts: 920 Last Stop


    Looking at that map, wouldn't it make sense for the Manchester line to continue to Leeds, and a line from Liverpool to Manchester so they could have a Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds HS service. It would make a powerful addition to northern commerce.

    Thought the exact same thing myself but revisited the map and realised that the current Leeds route serves some pretty large cities including Leicester, Nottingham, Derby and Sheffield with a combined population of over 2m between them.

    Long term I can definitely see a case for a line from Liverpool - Manchester - Leeds - York


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,183 ✭✭✭ cgcsb


    Nermal wrote: »
    How much time would it potentially cut off a sail & rail to London from Dublin?

    The London to Crewe journey will be cut by 35 minutes. The problem is between Crewe and Hollyhead is still operated by diesel trains so that journey time improvement can only be got if you change in Crewe assuming that the wait time to change trains makes sense


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,183 ✭✭✭ cgcsb


    How are these costs possible? Spain built the same thing but covering the entire country for only €40bn.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,229 ✭✭✭ LeinsterDub


    Nermal wrote: »
    How much time would it potentially cut off a sail & rail to London from Dublin?

    HS2 is not really about time its about capacity.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,488 ✭✭✭ CelticRambler


    HS2 is not really about time its about capacity.

    :pac::pac::pac:

    If that was the case, it'd be a lot cheaper to raise a few bridges, lower a few tunnels and run some double-decker cars.

    Will see if I can find that article, because the author also made the point that although HS2 was originally about time (hence the "High Speed" designation) those promoting it have been trying hard to change the narrative because it is already doomed to failure in that regard.


  • Registered Users Posts: 18,782 ✭✭✭✭ Muahahaha


    Last Stop wrote: »
    Thought the exact same thing myself but revisited the map and realised that the current Leeds route serves some pretty large cities including Leicester, Nottingham, Derby and Sheffield with a combined population of over 2m between them.

    Long term I can definitely see a case for a line from Liverpool - Manchester - Leeds - York

    Yeah those cities are the reason behind the right hand spur going from Birmingham to Leeds. Also eventually it may go due north of Leeds to connect in Middlesborough, Sunderland and Newcastle whereas due north of Manchester is just three massive national parks of the Lake District, Pennines and the Yorkshire Dales. Although there are houses in National Parks in England the population density is very sparse in that area.

    Separately there are already plans for a east to west Liverpool-Manchester-Leeds-Hull route named Northern Powerhorse Rail, it has been priced at around £25 billion. The mayor of Manchester Andy Burnham has said that northerners would benefit much more from this route being built now than the Birmingham-Manchester section, he said the cities it covers have far more commerce between them than they do with Birmingham and London. Boris has ignored him anyway so it will be into the 2030s before the idea gets revisited.

    Map of Northern Powerhouse Rail

    %2Fmethode%2Ftimes%2Fprod%2Fweb%2Fbin%2F3ef382cc-88a6-11e9-affd-bdb510a4a246.png?crop=2000%2C2000%2C0%2C0


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 43 ✭✭✭ Xwebstar2


    You'd have to wonder though in this age how ferrying people around faster actually benefits commerce


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  • Registered Users Posts: 8,229 ✭✭✭ LeinsterDub


    :pac::pac::pac:

    If that was the case, it'd be a lot cheaper to raise a few bridges, lower a few tunnels and run some double-decker cars.

    Will see if I can find that article, because the author also made the point that although HS2 was originally about time (hence the "High Speed" designation) those promoting it have been trying hard to change the narrative because it is already doomed to failure in that regard.

    That wouldn't increase capacity on the rails. It would increase capacity in the trains. Two different things.

    https://twitter.com/GarethDennis/status/1214275177099546629?s=09


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