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HS2: It Must Be Built

Graham Stringer, MP, on the imperative that is infrastructure

Published on October 7th 2013.


HS2: It Must Be Built
 

HOW many votes do you think a General Election candidate would garner in Manchester with the following offer to the electorate: ‘Isolate Manchester’, ‘shut down the west coast main railway line’ and ‘close the M6’?

This would add insult to injury as London has already had more than 90% of all the money invested in transport in this country in recent years.

I would hazard a guess that such a candidate would have the humiliation of losing their deposit.

One does not have to be a Nobel Laureate in economics to understand that Manchester’s economy is dependent on good transport links to the rest of the country, and indeed the world.

However it is precisely this economic illiteracy that lies at the heart of the opposition to the new North South railway (or High Speed 2). We are told that if HS2 is built all the benefits would go to London. If that were the case we really would benefit from closing the main transport arteries into Manchester but that’s obvious nonsense.

This absurd argument and others are the main reasons that there has not been a new railway line built north of London for 120 years. It is extraordinary that Manchester, the home of the first passenger railway service, is so far behind the rest of the world when it comes to high speed trains. After all it is 50 years ago since Japan’s bullet trains pioneered high speed rail travel.

HS2 will deliver a transformed Piccadilly gateway for the city

HS2 will deliver a transformed Piccadilly gateway for the city

In eight years time the current rail system will be unable to cope with the number of passengers who wish to travel between London and the North West. The actual number of passengers travelling on the West Coast Main Line are already well in excess of forecast levels. If the new North South Railway is not built we will suffer as surely as if we had restricted or closed the most important transport routes into Manchester.  

The reason for building High Speed 2 then is to increase capacity. A high speed line costs only 10% more than a traditional line and provides much greater capacity. Although the Department of Transport assess the economic benefits of new schemes by the time saved, extra capacity is the overwhelming reason for investing in HS2. This makes irrelevant the arguments in the press about whether or not business people use their laptops on trains.

Incidentally a recent House of Commons Transport Select Committee inquiry found that cities like Lille, Frankfurt and Cologne’s regeneration and improved economic performance had been stimulated and made possible by high speed rail lines. The Department of Transport doesn’t even attempt to assess these benefits which would undoubtedly be replicated in Manchester.

Opposition to HS2 comes from vested interest, both justified and unjustified.

One can completely understand people whose homes or livelihoods are going to be disrupted by the construction of HS2 campaigning against it. There should be generous and immediate compensation for those affected and that should be that.

The opposition form the Conservative Mayor of London Boris Johnson is a different kettle of fish. He is against the scheme because he wants the money for his own pet London transport schemes, Crossrail 2 and a new London airport. The bill for these alone would run to £100billion. This would add insult to injury as London has already had more than 90% of all the money invested in transport in this country in recent years. London’s Mayor has the cheek to say that ‘the investment case for HS2 is poor’ when actually the case is stronger than that for Crossrail, the Jubilee Line extension and the building of the M25 and M1 in the London area. 

The High Speed Station in computer-graphic-land

The High Speed Station in computer-graphic-land

One also suspects the motives of some of the defectors from the HS2 campaign. It appears that Peter Mandleson’s mind has been changed, not by the arguments but because his close friend Nat Rothschild and family have been strong and strident opponents fearing the impact on the countryside in Buckinghamshire and Oxford.

It was a mistake by Labour’s Shadow Chancellor, Ed Balls, in his speech in Brighton at Labours annual conference to cast doubt on HS2. Of course everybody wants the best value for money but if the scheme doesn’t go ahead the money won’t go to alternative projects in the North of England it will disappear forever into London and the South East.

As Will Hutton has explained elsewhere the Treasury is intent on sabotaging this scheme by wildly exaggerating its potential costs. Mandarins hate the idea of money escaping from London.

The current cost of the full HS2 scheme is less than four times the cost of the recent partial upgrade of the West Coast Main Line. A recent KPMG report revealed that because of the extra economic growth induced by HS2 it will pay for itself in less than 30 years.

My main criticisms of the High Speed 2 project are that while the train is fast the construction schedule is not and because it is being built from South to North the immediate benefits will go to Birmingham and London. It would make much more sense to start building from Manchester to London as well as London to Manchester bringing the immediate benefits to the North as well as an earlier completion date.

When the first railway lines were built nearly 200 years ago bargees and stagecoach drivers saw the threat to their businesses and organised themselves as formidable opponents. They undoubtedly defended their vested interests vigorously and exaggerated their case to the point of falsehood.

Cartoon from the stagecoach companies at the opening of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway trying to gain sympathy for all the horses that will have to seek alternative employment

Cartoon from stagecoach companies at the opening of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway in sympathy for horses having to seek alternative jobs

What was true then is true now.

Those vested interests and bogus arguments were swept aside allowing a transport infrastructure to be built that has formed the basis of our economy ever since.

We must do the same again. 

Graham Stringer is the Labour MP for Blackley and Broughton. He is a former Council Leader of Manchester City Council. Confidential welcomes columns from all sitting MPs in the area regardless of political party but as long as they can write interesting articles.

Dreaming dreams of what must become realityDreaming dreams of what must become reality

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70 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

T BatemanOctober 7th 2013.

Bring it on. Good arguments these as why we need HS2. Good point about 90% of spend going to London as well.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousOctober 7th 2013.

Most train journeys are in London and the south east. Nothing wrong with Local rail improvements but a service to London is the last thing we need. Especially as Virgin trains have more seats than ever before.

Peter CoppingOctober 8th 2013.

Where is the transport interchange in the picture

AnonymousOctober 7th 2013.

Agree that we should start construction at both ends. Agree it's needed. Agree that current line is nearly full (Virgin now operate lots of 11-coach services on the Pendolino, up from 10 coaches). Don't have an issue with Boris trying to get as much money for London as he can, though of course that's short sighted and selfish. We did try and have an elected mayor of our own in Manchester, who would have been a good and accountable public figurehead, but the people of Mcr didn't see the benefit and voted 'no'. Let's hope, instead, that our MPs and the council can deliver HS2 to our door...

AnonymousOctober 7th 2013.

Not needed, Not wanted. Passenger numbers at Piccadily lower than 2004. More sets on Virgin Trains than ever before (their own PR release september). 50 billion to build it, 22 billion subsidy to run it. 72 billion is getting toward £5000 per working household. The proposed station is not even in that budget!

AnonymousOctober 7th 2013.

Can't afford 1% rise for NHS workers and Labour focus on a Train nobody wants. Who are Labour for these days?

2 Responses: Reply To This...
Wonder boyOctober 7th 2013.

Never mind that. We cant afford it, and us lot in private industry have accepted it and taken the medicine, why should the public sectpr be any different?

DavidOctober 7th 2013.

If Labour had not given doctors and dentists obscene wage increases while requiring them to not work weekends then there would be lots more money NHs.

Bang onOctober 7th 2013.

This is an absolute must for the economy here in the North-West and not just Manchester. All of us, no matter what political colour, should band together to get this done. Transport links, amongst other factors, once made us the powerhouse of industry in the world; lets not lose sight of that.

1 Response: Reply To This...
David KenworthyOctober 14th 2013.

Such an archaic way of thinking... There are different ways of travelling nowadays, and the reasons for travel have changed also. I can get a plane or a train from Manchester to London in no time at all and its cheaper than the fairs we'll be expected to pay when HS2 is finally released. Not only that, we had to physically travel for business when phones or internet wasn't around, i'm not saying that's not required from time to time but business has evolved and been made efficient with business meetings able to take place on webex for example. To surmise, I think that the money we're being forced to save to try and get out of this recession is being spent on a want from the few and not the needs of the many - there's countless things that this money could be better used for.

AnonymousOctober 7th 2013.

It's not just passenger numbers, but also rail freight that is sending the WCML to capacity. HS2 is needed and the short-term cost to the taxpayer will be repaid.

Mark JaggerOctober 7th 2013.

Take a big deep breath and get the job done!A Tory government falling over itself to spend money up here, whilst keeping the Cheshire nimbies at bay, that does'nt come around that often.Line the cuttings with wind tubines too? That might be a bit of a stretch,,,,,,

AnonymousOctober 7th 2013.

Why in the name of the Lord does it cost so much money and take so much time to do things in this country. One would think it would cost a small amount to build a basic two platform station, yet this somehow costs millions. A load of UKIP types are very vocal in saying "Not in my back yard" Sod them. Sod the luddites and the killjobs, and the Councillors with their noses firmly in the through - build the damn line.

3 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousOctober 7th 2013.

google AECOM and Manchester Chamber of Commerce Or Lexington PR HS2

AnonymousOctober 9th 2013.

Noses in the trough is the reason 'this somehow costs millions' ...

SinclairOctober 9th 2013.

The last Anon above is simply an idiot who always suspects the worst I imagine of everything

AnonymousOctober 7th 2013.

Capacity is the Right Problem, HS2 is the Wrong Solution. The real evidence points to other Euro countries moving away from future high speed rail projects as not delivering the promised benefits and needing to be even more heavily tax-payer subsidised than standard rail. And these are countries who are running their existing rail systems at approx 25% better value than the UK. Yes it'll be nice for Manchester MPs to get home half an hour quicker but for £100 billion I think not.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
DavidOctober 7th 2013.

You really think Labour MPs go home to the north.Most neither come from here or choose to live here.

AnonymousOctober 8th 2013.

Is it £100 billion now?

DavidOctober 7th 2013.

If Mr Stringer was prepared to state now that he would resign his seat if Balls cancelled the project if Labour government,then his words might carry some conviction.But when it comes to it he is a political coward,who won't put the north before his party,like most northern Labour MPs

DavidOctober 7th 2013.

Red Ed dropped Maria Eagle from transport job shadow cabinet.She was a strong supporter of this project.Looks like Labour going to do what it usually does to its voters in the north.When will people in Manchester learn that this party does not really care about their interests at all?.This was the party who spent billions on London transport the last time they in power and could not be bothered to spend the money up here where most of voters are.

3 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousOctober 8th 2013.

Spot on David, if you don't want to see HS2 then vote Labour at the next election! Yes I remember back in the mid 1990s when our Labour council were convinced an incoming New Labour government were going to support Liverpool and scrap Manchester's 2nd runway ambitions. MCC were virtually "begging the Tories" to make a decision before that 1997 election. Also remember after the election in 1997, how Gavin Strang & John Prescott "immediately" tried to scupper the completion of the M60 motorway around Manchester? Then we had Alistair Darling doing his best to thwart Metrolink expansion - remember that battle folks? New Labour were initially reluctant to back the Commonwealth Games in Manchester also. Remember their supercasino treachery too? No new roads, no new railways & an end to big lottery projects - yes that's was Manchester's history under a Labour government. So the real hurtful truth for Manchester Labour supporters, is that the Conservatives have "always backed" Manchester's big infrastructure projects & big city ambitions! New roads, motorways, railways, trams, even our Olympic bid and now HS2.

AnonymousOctober 8th 2013.

Spot on David, if you don't want to see HS2 then vote Labour at the next election! Yes I remember back in the mid 1990s when our Labour council were convinced an incoming New Labour government were going to support Liverpool and scrap Manchester's 2nd runway ambitions. MCC were virtually "begging the Tories" to make a decision before that 1997 election. Also remember after the election in 1997, how Gavin Strang & John Prescott "immediately" tried to scupper the completion of the M60 motorway around Manchester? Then we had Alistair Darling doing his best to thwart Metrolink expansion - remember that battle folks? New Labour were initially reluctant to back the Commonwealth Games in Manchester also. Remember their supercasino treachery too? No new roads, no new railways & an end to big lottery projects - yes that's was Manchester's history under a Labour government. So the real hurtful truth for Manchester Labour supporters, is that the Conservatives have "always backed" Manchester's big infrastructure projects & big city ambitions! New roads, motorways, railways, trams, even our Olympic bid and now HS2.

AnonymousOctober 8th 2013.

Spot on David, if you don't want to see HS2 then vote Labour at the next election! Yes I remember back in the mid 1990s when our Labour council were convinced an incoming New Labour government were going to support Liverpool and scrap Manchester's 2nd runway ambitions. MCC were virtually "begging the Tories" to make a decision before that 1997 election. Also remember after the election in 1997, how Gavin Strang & John Prescott "immediately" tried to scupper the completion of the M60 motorway around Manchester? Then we had Alistair Darling doing his best to thwart Metrolink expansion - remember that battle folks? New Labour were initially reluctant to back the Commonwealth Games in Manchester also. Remember their supercasino treachery too? No new roads, no new railways & an end to big lottery projects - yes that's was Manchester's history under a Labour government. So the real hurtful truth for Manchester Labour supporters, is that the Conservatives have "always backed" Manchester's big infrastructure projects & big city ambitions! New roads, motorways, railways, trams, even our Olympic bid and now HS2.

Kevin PeelOctober 7th 2013.

I love agreeing with Graham and on this he is 150% correct. I'm glad that Manchetser and North West Labour MPs and council leaders are united behind HS2 and I very much hope to see a commitment to its delivery in Labour's next manifesto.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousOctober 7th 2013.

Agree 150%? You know that isn't possible? You must work for HS2 Ltd

Bill CourtneyOctober 7th 2013.

We need increased capacity on all busy rail routes into Manchester, not just down to London. Magtrac is a relatively low cost technology that could be used to upgrade the Manchester to Liverpool line to high speed standards within six years. The same technology could then be used to increase the capacity of existing lines down to London, without the need for the HS2 route. Magtrac is described at www.cheshire-innovation.com/Transport%20internet.htm…

AnonymousOctober 7th 2013.

Interesting to read these comments I bet most don't live in the North West. I do. This project is being driven by vested interests, the Manchester Chamber president is on the board of AECOM who are already on the payroll of HS2 Ltd and stand to make millions. HS2 is a massive waste of Money and it will divert spending from essential services at a time we are massively in debt. Bedroom tax? Never mind pay for a rich man's train instead. You won't be able to afford it anyway. These council leaders just want the money invested they dont really care what it's about, but Manchester needs it less than say Sunderland or Hull. I'm with the majority of Labour voters on this (60% according the YouGov don't want it). We know the trains aren't full.

AnonymousOctober 7th 2013.

Can someone tell me why Manchester chamber of commerce is spending council taxpayer money on a PR firm to sell HS2? I think it's disgusting and should be investigated.

rinkydinkOctober 7th 2013.

Re-read the article. Why shouldn't money get spent on out-of-London projects? Is anyone in London saying Crossrail shouldn't be built because it too expensive? No. It costs 10 billion and only benefits London. Thid costs 40 billion and benefits the country. Do the math

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousOctober 7th 2013.

Because the money is debt. We spend more to service it than the education budget. Better things to spend it on (if we had it) see NEF report

johnnysaintOctober 7th 2013.

Money needs to be spent on infrastructure, but £50bn+ on this scheme is money down the drain. Contrary to popular belief, the WCML is nowhere near capacity (this was proved once the High Court forced the DofT to release their own figures). At peak, Euston is only at 50% of capacity, the real problems are with commuter journeys, HS2 won't improve that problem at all and it isn't designed to. If HS2 comes about, local intercity services will be cut back on the existing WCML providing a worse service to the majority of rail travellers. If you want to travel HS2 and don't live near one of the 4 city's served then your journey time will almost certainly be longer and significantly more expensive. In less than 12 months the budget for this project has already doubled and nearly £1bn has been spent on it, £500k per day on consultants alone. I'm certain that £50bn could be spent on improving local travel, fund education and health and with plenty of money left over. In every sense HS2 is a not the answer to any perceived problem other than to feed the greedy vested interests and politicians with their noses in the taxpayer funded trough.

3 Responses: Reply To This...
Stephen LakeOctober 7th 2013.

If I could I would 150% agree with this. A better project would be an improved transpenine to link Hull and Liverpool. This woul improve journey times from Manchester to Leeds and improve distribution of imports from Hull port. All at a fraction of the price.

GimboidOctober 7th 2013.

"If HS2 comes about, local intercity services will be cut back on the existing WCML providing a worse service to the majority of rail travellers. If you want to travel HS2 and don't live near one of the 4 city's served then your journey time will almost certainly be longer and significantly more expensive." Care to provide any evidence of that?

Peter CoppingOctober 8th 2013.

First the improved service between Liverpool Manchester Leeds Sheffield its being built at this moment. My mate spent a lot of time in the tunnels to get the signalling right. Jon might organise on of his famous walks to see it. There are on going discussions about successor projects which are outlined in a recent GMITA Rail Committee set of papers. In my view this is much more important that HST since people actually live in on City and commute to the other. It is probably more important to speed up the 90mile link to the West Midlands and the build the HST Incidentally people who want to talk about the City Region forecasts should actually look at them. Population within the region is estimated to increase by 120 000 by 2020 which does not take into account the adjacent areas of East Cheshire and the M65 corridor. On last point...The Maglev In Shanghai is wonderful but it does nor actually reach the business centre and you get of and the last take the metro. for 5 km

johnnysaintOctober 7th 2013.

Graham, when the first railways were built it was with private finance, NOT "public" money. If HS2 is such a good idea it would be paid for by the private sector!

2 Responses: Reply To This...
GimboidOctober 7th 2013.

Irrelevant nonsense. Railways are hardly a high-profit industry, private sector has no interest in investing so heavily in such a big scheme. Transport is a public good that the state has to provide otherwise it wouldn't happen, it's the same all round the world.

Peter CoppingOctober 8th 2013.

True John but they tended to go bust. The the point is worth making. Are there any HST's which are privately financed? Airports are a better bet.

Ewen SimpsonOctober 7th 2013.

Graham old boy, look at the latest Treasury Select Committee Report , it does not accept the case for HS2.

Michael KingOctober 8th 2013.

As soon as Gospel Oak to Lichfield is done you lucky Mancunians will benefit. The Rugby to Euston section of our network is full. The West-Midlands crowd can use the old route and you guys the new one. This is not about speed it is about scope and capacity. Occasiaonally the Government of whatever huse has to be the entrepreneur of last resort. This is one such occasion. I have changed my mind about this project as I researched it. Trains from the Nirth_West beneift striaght away not just from stage 2, Apart from Wlewyn North which helps the east coast shift 32 trains an hour more this has to be the project .

2 Responses: Reply To This...
Peter CoppingOctober 8th 2013.

Actually we tore up the alternative 50 years ago and turned the station into a exhibition hall.

Ric PouOctober 12th 2013.

As a user of the Gospel Oak Lines in North London, trains will never go to Lichfield under HS2 plans. Michael King maty need to do a bit more research on this one. As Spence says, the railway you had is now an Exhibition and Conference Centre and the Railway is a very nice tramroute, but it would be much better as a railway.

Michael KingOctober 8th 2013.

Not doing Gaspel Oak to Euston is a key economy here by the way ..and then you lucky folk can get home by using cross-rail , and countless other lines, from where you actually are in the smoke rather than have to get to Euston. This could acclerate the project too. the same could be done ( not building the spur ) to by pass Brimingham, for a while.

1 Response: Reply To This...
Ric PouOctober 12th 2013.

@ Michael King You mean Primrose Hill, a mile away from Gospel Oak. But frankly the whole scheme is flawed with a Dead End Terminus at Birmingham Deritend, not New St! It is a dog's breakfast!

No InterestOctober 8th 2013.

No one can argue with the idea that we need to spend on transport infrastructure, nor that we need economic stimulus in the North. the problem is whether *this specific project* is the right way to do that. As it stands, HS2 is a big fat pipe to London, that reduces the status of Manchester to low value commuter belt, and a handy new airport for London. Spending in the North should address local transport infrastructure, developing our regional airports, skills development and quality of life - not simply building a new sewer to drain London.

Michael KingOctober 8th 2013.

Oh I see it as a hedge for London when the Finance Sector has had its run. And we have to make things once more ... What Manchester thinks today; London does tomorrow. Your drain hypothesis is too defeatist a view IMHO.

Jonathan SchofieldOctober 8th 2013.

Phil Cusack of The Chamber of Commerce got this right at the consultation launch last week. "No city in Europe that has gained a high speed rail link has done anything but prosper by it. If somebody can show me a city that hasn't done so I'd like to know which one." HS2 is exactly what Manchester and other cities such as Leeds and Birmingham need. It will make us and them better cities, more internationally competitive.

1 Response: Reply To This...
Calum McGOctober 8th 2013.

A man talking sense! Build the bloody line :)

Jonathan SchofieldOctober 8th 2013.

Let's use Manchester Ship Canal as a comparison for HS2. It boosted the city and region's economy for at least sixty years, making the creation of Trafford Park possible which has employed thousands over the years while at least 16,000 jobs were created during construction. HS2 is expected to benefit the region for 100 years (let's hope). It will also create thousands of jobs directly or indirectly. At today's prices the Ship Canal cost around £2bn, much of that public money from the City of Manchester. Rates went up 26% for three years - and people bore it because they knew it was for the benefit of the region. The Ship Canal is 36 miles long, HS2 will be 330 miles long, so crudely compared the Ship Canal's 36 miles at £2bn multiplied by ten is £20bn. Given all the red tape, public enquiries, compensation, health and safety costs and so on, a projected figure twice that of building a Ship Canal over the 330 mile distance feels about right. Britain I reckon should strive to catch up on high speed rail. We also need to reconnect with the huge ambition of our Victorian forebears and not build for today or tomorrow but for the day after tomorrow as well.

11 Responses: Reply To This...
Hero
Manc GuyOctober 8th 2013.

What's the Ship Canal used for today? Would you say two hours eight minutes is a respectable travel time betwen London and Manchester anyway?

Jonathan SchofieldOctober 8th 2013.

It's not just about speed, but about capacity and connectivity and investment opportunity.

avoOctober 8th 2013.

It's used for dragon boat racing once a year. Exactly what our Mancunian forefather envisaged all those years ago.

Jonathan SchofieldOctober 8th 2013.

Avo it gives Manchester an inland waterfront of astonishing scale, it is the reason for the Lowry, the IWMN, MediaCity being here, and commercially in its lower reaches it is busier than ever. Wow and have you seen the engineering involved. It's also pretty good for dragon boat racing, as you point out.

Hero
Manc GuyOctober 8th 2013.

An 'inland waterfront'? Are you suggesting it has the beauty and the recreational attraction that Lake Windermere has for example? The ship canal and Salford docks were a great acheivement and a vast business and industrial project weren't they? I thought they fell into decline and their use became redundant as a result of the motorway infrastructure that followed and the introduction of container ships. I thought the reason those structures were built there was because of the availabilty of land and it was cheaper than Manchester. Also, it was hoped to improve Salford's economy. There are lots of Virgin trains going both ways each weekeday aren't there? They never seem full when I'm at Piccadilly. Building and maintaining HS2 will create jobs, but is it worth it just to travel the distance in less than two hours?

Jonathan SchofieldOctober 8th 2013.

It has for me Manc Guy. The Quays provide a beautiful and lovely cycle ride or walk for me and mine every single weekend. I live in Old Trafford so it's perfect and if you don't think it's lovely then you're looking at it wrongly. Put Manchester: Eye of the Beholder in our search engine above.

Hero
Manc GuyOctober 8th 2013.

I just don't feel the same way about it JS. Even back in the late eighties when living in Salford was the closest you could get to buying something trendy or modern close to the city. I always thought it was a folly. It's just too open and bleak out there. I sigh if an artist I like is at the Lowry because the place feels so isolated, especially when waiting for the tram back into the city afterwards. It's compounded by the fact that I travel into the city first and then get the spur tramline out there. It's too far from the city for my liking. I prefer the walkable city centre itself. Now, a lakeside city centre? That's a different thing entirely.

Peter CoppingOctober 8th 2013.

Do you live there Jon or work there or is it just for aesthetic pleasure when your passing?

Peter CoppingOctober 8th 2013.

Try the SC bus X5O instead even the SC 50. Actually the tram stop for the Lowry was not built.

Jonathan SchofieldOctober 9th 2013.

Spence as stated I live down Seymour Grove so it's a fifteen min bike ride. And we go for the aesthetic pleasure of monumental architecture, scale and water.

GimboidOctober 9th 2013.

The sooner Pomona and the rest of the banks of the river between SQ and Castlefield are fully developed, the better. In a way 'Manchester' has two city centres, separated by a mile or so of river and derelict land. It should be one continuous area of development.

Carl-ÅKe UtterströMOctober 8th 2013.

It is extremely important with an effecient infrastructure between London - Birmingham and Manchester. As Manchester reducing its population something have to be done to avoid this situation. But the HS2-solution is not the answer but instead of a traditional HSR-sölution do build the double-track Maglev solution. We two lobbygroups from Sweden visit in summer 2011 the test track in Lathen Emsland and took a 100 kilometre long testride at the 35 kilometre long testtrack. It was an extremely calm and soft ride at least in the top speed of 350 km/h. After that we drove further on to Neymarkt and the Company Max Boegl producer of the prefabricated guideways. Every guideway is 25 metre long and have a weight of 165 metric tons. Can be easely handled by lorries and with a crane lifted in place or moved along the already existing guideway. The guideway will be placed on pillars every 25 metre. The erection can be done with a minimum of labors. An ordinary uplifted track for HSR do have a weight of 900 metric tons plus need a lot of furher works such as slab underneath the sleepers and rail, signalling, catenary etc. The guideway is complete. Instead of building the HS2-project for £80 Billion Pounds do build the 800 kilometre Maglev between London and Glasgow for £16 Billion and in shorter time too. The Maglev guideway will go via Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds, Teeside, Tyneside, Newcastle and Edinburgh to finaly Glasgow. The HS2 project is charge will a lot of extra costs such as changing of roads, viaducts etc. As the Maglev manage inclinations of 12.5 percent it can easely jump over or under roads, viaducts, bridges etc. Almost no extra costs for a Maglev project. Maglev can be colocated with high ways a do have a ground demand of only 2.1 m2 pro lenghtmetre track. The completely contactfree - and driverless operation means that neither mechanical wearing and tearing nor mechanical parts to have to be replaced. The maintenance costs will thereby be extremely low. 34 percent for train and track re Maglev in 500 km/h compared to the German HSR ICE in a speed of 250 km/h. Maglev have a topspeed of 500 km/h with an acceleration distance of only 4.2 kilometre. The HSR do have a topspeed of 320 km/h which speed will have to be reduced as effect of mechanical tearing and wearing to 250 km/h. The acceleration distance to 300 km/h for HSR like the French TGV will be 20 to 30 kilometre. Every single stop for Maglev extend the travelling time with four minutes. Maglev is magnetically lifted towards the underneath of the guideway. The train "floats" above the track about 1 decimetre. Snow and so on will blow of the guideway at the passing of the train.

Carl-ÅKe UtterströMOctober 8th 2013.

In Sweden we had a seminar regarding Japanese HSR. Their Shinkansen have made very good profit, no death since start of operation in 1964. The average delay towards timetable was just a couple of minuts. The only trainsystem with better result is the Shanghai Maglev. The total daily abreviation towards timetable is within seconds. Why that good result with Shinkansen. * Dedicated tracks for passanger traffic. * Dedicated tracks for HSR. The total travelling time has to be as short as possible. The purchase of ticket. Frequently departure and short travelling time for Shinkansen. Short time for changing train to normal train at respectively station. Each train system do have its own track. That means no need for compatibility between different train system. To change from Maglev to the German ICE-train (HS1) can be done in very short time. Build a more effective trainsystem than the HSR with higher topspeed, lower maintenance costs, lower personal costs, lower operation costs etc. The total costs for Maglev is 60 percent of TGV. Erection, wages, maintenance and operation. Why not change to half the travelling time compared to HSR, higher availability, higher relayability etc.

1 Response: Reply To This...
Peter CoppingOctober 8th 2013.

Does sector traveling time matter? At the momnet I can get from my flat in Hampstead to my flat in Whitworth Street two hours fifty minutes. But if I live in Hale and traveled to Richmond things would take longer.

Michael KingOctober 9th 2013.

Good thread! Maglev ok except asking our politicains to assimilate it --well Like capturing a higgs boson in a jam jar I suspect. or should that be a No-bell Jar? I hope - rail investment goes ahead . I'd start Gospel Oak to Crewe. But on conventional HS2 so that the whole North_west can run onto the tracks from the current conventional set up. Lludite I may be .

Hero
Manc GuyOctober 9th 2013.

Why not convert the existing line from Manchester to London over several stages? I still say just over two hours is fast enough anyway.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
GimboidOctober 9th 2013.

Are you not listening at all? For the final time it's about capacity, not speed. A new line is the cheapest, least disruptive way of providing the capacity that will be needed. It's a side benefit that building a new line 150 years after the existing provides for faster services.

Hero
Manc GuyOctober 13th 2013.

Are you saying that despite the quantity of trains travelling between Manchester and London every day, there still aren't enough to meet passenger demand?

David Michael EvansOctober 14th 2013.

Manc guy... HS2 is designed for 100 years use and beyond! Demand will increase hugely. You have to take calculated risks with infra-structure investment and plan and build for the future, like the Victorians did, and like the Chinese are doing now. The west coast main line will be at maximum capacity for train movements well within 50 years, and HS2 will free up capacity for carrying freight, important for the future health of the economy.

DavidOctober 26th 2013.

What an act of betrayal.Labour is cynically betraying the North with its attitude to this project.Whether you are in favour or not,the position of Labour is absolutely unprincipled.When will people in the north realise these people don't give a dam about us,all Balls et all care about is the interests of London.

AnonymousOctober 28th 2013.

Bit late I know... but is it not true that the real congestion on the West Coast Line is Rugby to London? Hence building the London-Birmingham bit first. Will the Manchester spur actually ever get built?

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