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General Discussion & Feedback => Just Chat! => Topic started by: alancalverd on 21/01/2020 15:04:09

Title: Is high speed rail a Good Thing? It's even quicker and cheaper by bus!
Post by: alancalverd on 21/01/2020 15:04:09
Current thinking is that the HS2 rail line from London to Birmingham will cost over 100,000,000,000 - 5 times the original estimate and rising.

It will save 15 minutes compared with the fastest trains running today.

There are about 20,000,000 taxpayers in the UK, so HS2 will cost you 5,000 even if you don't use it.

It now takes 3 hours to travel from Cambridge to Birmingham via London, or 2 hr 45 minutes (at half the price) by direct crosscountry train*. So I will get nothing for my 5000, despite being a frequent rail user.

What benefit will you get?

*Footnote: it's even quicker and cheaper by bus!


 
Title: Re: Is high speed rail a Good Thing? It's even quicker and cheaper by bus!
Post by: Bored chemist on 21/01/2020 19:00:05
The point of HS2 is not actually to get people from London to Birmingham half an hour quicker. That would be silly.

Once you realise that, it makes rather more sense.

If you have a new "fast" line then you can run the inter city traffic on it, and leave the other line for improved local services.
And that will allow them to run other local services more efficiently.
So, yes, in fact you will* get a better service for your money.
And, odd as it may seem, "taxpayers" are not the only source of income for the government. Corporations pay tax too (well.. they are meant to).
And, it's business that will really benefit from better transport links.


* OK, if you live long enough to see HS2 completed.

So, it's not 5000 and it's not so that you can get from London to B'ham quicker.

But apart from that, you are right.
Title: Re: Is high speed rail a Good Thing? It's even quicker and cheaper by bus!
Post by: Petrochemicals on 22/01/2020 00:08:26
Hire a car(40 quid) or fly (hire a plane and pilot).  Maybe a fast acceleration maglev train link from london to birmingham via  cambridge
Title: Re: Is high speed rail a Good Thing? It's even quicker and cheaper by bus!
Post by: alancalverd on 22/01/2020 16:40:46
If you have a new "fast" line then you can run the inter city traffic on it, and leave the other line for improved local services.
Interesting suggestion. My understanding has always been that the problem with UK rail services is indeed that they all use the same lines, which is why intercity passenger services have to fit in between the slowest freight and commuter trains. Bypassing the slow and stopping traffic only really makes sense if you anticipate huge numbers of passengers and a minimum distance of about 200 miles between stops. As it is, many stations have a "fast through" track already.

It's interesting to calculate the break-even carbon emissions between HS2 and an equivalent air shuttle. My first estimate is about 50 years but I'll have another think in a few days and report here.   

Quote
Hire a car(40 quid) or fly (hire a plane and pilot).
The bus from Cambridge to Birmingham costs 13 - why bother to drive yourself? Interestingly, the bus company runs at a profit whilst railway companies, who charge between 50 and 150 for the same trip, are all subsidised.   If I fly my own plane it takes 30 minutes and costs 50 but I can carry 3 passengers, which makes it as cheap as the bus!
Title: Re: Is high speed rail a Good Thing? It's even quicker and cheaper by bus!
Post by: Bored chemist on 22/01/2020 19:07:51
This bit
railway companies, ..., are all subsidised. 
highlights the real problem.
We make the investment, but the train operating companies take the profit.
Title: Re: Is high speed rail a Good Thing? It's even quicker and cheaper by bus!
Post by: alancalverd on 22/01/2020 22:43:16
Corporation taxpayers are taxpayers too. The difference is that we get our income from other taxpayers, so Joe Public ends up paying anyway: if corp tax rates rise, so do our prices.

In the bad old days, railway companies were entirely private ventures and made a profit by competing with horses and canal barges. Nowadays, if they can't make a profit in competition with road and air traffic, surely they should either go to the wall along with stagecoaches and river boats, or be fully nationalised as a public service? I find it incredible that you can't run a train profitably for 50 p per passenger mile, whilst airlines charge half that price, go 5 - 10 times faster, and make a profit. Must be something fundamentally wrong with the technology.   
Title: Re: Is high speed rail a Good Thing? It's even quicker and cheaper by bus!
Post by: Petrochemicals on 23/01/2020 00:56:29
 

Quote
The bus from Cambridge to Birmingham costs 13 - why bother to drive yourself?
Because of knees round elbows, because of 20 stops,  because of an average speed of 20mph.......Because of 40 strangers farting in an enclosed space. You forgot that a car you have to provide fuel so 100miles 15 qiud infuel too, minimum 55 quid.

If a coach had a load of 10 people that would mean a single seat double length. That would be quite good. 10 people would mean pretty direct too so birmingham to cambridge in 1.5 hrs 50 quid at an outside estimate seems good. Only 10 people farting too !!!!!
Title: Re: Is high speed rail a Good Thing? It's even quicker and cheaper by bus!
Post by: Bored chemist on 23/01/2020 07:19:22
Must be something fundamentally wrong with the technology.   
AIrcraft aren't obliged to stop here
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanlow_and_Thornton_railway_station
Title: Re: Is high speed rail a Good Thing? It's even quicker and cheaper by bus!
Post by: Bored chemist on 23/01/2020 07:20:23


Quote
The bus from Cambridge to Birmingham costs 13 - why bother to drive yourself?
Because of knees round elbows, because of 20 stops,  because of an average speed of 20mph.......Because of 40 strangers farting in an enclosed space. You forgot that a car you have to provide fuel so 100miles 15 qiud infuel too, minimum 55 quid.

If a coach had a load of 10 people that would mean a single seat double length. That would be quite good. 10 people would mean pretty direct too so birmingham to cambridge in 1.5 hrs 50 quid at an outside estimate seems good. Only 10 people farting too !!!!!
Any minute now, you will invent the taxi.
Title: Re: Is high speed rail a Good Thing? It's even quicker and cheaper by bus!
Post by: Petrochemicals on 23/01/2020 07:47:27
Do you know you can have a tunnel to ireland for 50billion ? Probably far better use, something like 70 percent of irish stuff comes this way.
Title: Re: Is high speed rail a Good Thing? It's even quicker and cheaper by bus!
Post by: alancalverd on 23/01/2020 09:45:40
Must be something fundamentally wrong with the technology.   
AIrcraft aren't obliged to stop here
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanlow_and_Thornton_railway_station

Nor does the train under consideration, unless there's been a major earthquake that moved Birmingham to Liverpool.
Title: Re: Is high speed rail a Good Thing? It's even quicker and cheaper by bus!
Post by: alancalverd on 23/01/2020 09:53:36


Quote
The bus from Cambridge to Birmingham costs 13 - why bother to drive yourself?
Because of knees round elbows, because of 20 stops,  because of an average speed of 20mph...

er, no. The 13 bus averages 45 mph, which is why it is quicker than the train.
Quote
Because of 40 strangers farting in an enclosed space.
and it's airconditioned, and the seats are a lot more comfortable than the crosscountry train!

Title: Re: Is high speed rail a Good Thing? It's even quicker and cheaper by bus!
Post by: alancalverd on 23/01/2020 10:04:11
Do you know you can have a tunnel to ireland for 50billion ? Probably far better use, something like 70 percent of irish stuff comes this way.
Still works out at 1bn per mile, and only takes you to Machynlleth, with a daily stopping service (not Sundays) to Caernarfon if it is in a good mood. And you can expect the cost to double before the first sod is cut.
Title: Re: Is high speed rail a Good Thing? It's even quicker and cheaper by bus!
Post by: Bored chemist on 23/01/2020 19:31:14
Nor does the train under consideration, unless there's been a major earthquake that moved Birmingham to Liverpool.
Nobody said it did.
So why did you say that?
Title: Re: Is high speed rail a Good Thing? It's even quicker and cheaper by bus!
Post by: alancalverd on 23/01/2020 20:22:39
I was intrigued by your idiosyncratic example of a place where aircraft are not obliged to stop. Reminiscent of N F Simpson's "Were you, for instance, in Ashby de la Zouche?" "No. I was in London." "So  you absented yourself from Ashby de la Zouche on the day in question...."

So reminiscent of the1950s: Ionesco, Milligan, Albee.... I was momentarily transported to  Stanlow in its heyday. Not that the theatre there was any good, but the plays were rarely interrupted by landing aircraft.

Please indulge an old man. I've just emerged from a Kafkaesque brush with Elfin Safety inspectors who alleged (at the taxpayer's expense) that being somewhere else is  a "special procedure", and my sense of the ridiculous is particularly acute!
Title: Re: Is high speed rail a Good Thing? It's even quicker and cheaper by bus!
Post by: Bored chemist on 23/01/2020 22:00:03
Do you understand why I chose Stanlow?
Title: Re: Is high speed rail a Good Thing? It's even quicker and cheaper by bus!
Post by: alancalverd on 24/01/2020 00:35:02
I can see the absurdity of a compulsory stop at a station with no public access, which matches the absurdity of trains not stopping at Durham Tees Valley where the station is actually inside the airport boundary. Or indeed Ronaldsway: the train makes umpteen compulsory stops at individual pubs and crossroads between Douglas and Castletown, but you have to personally ask the driver to stop at the airport. I've not had reason to visit Stanlow since 1963 (I used to be a chemist and was never bored)  but every 3 years I'm one of the privileged passengers who use both Denton and Ronaldsway. 

All part of the charm of British life, but completely irrelevant to HS2.   
Title: Re: Is high speed rail a Good Thing? It's even quicker and cheaper by bus!
Post by: Bored chemist on 26/01/2020 15:49:33
completely irrelevant to HS2.   
Perfectly relevant to the issue of why trains make a loss.
They are obliged to do things like stop at stations where there are never any passengers.
Planes, on the other hand, only ever stop where the passengers have travelled to in large numbers.
Title: Re: Is high speed rail a Good Thing? It's even quicker and cheaper by bus!
Post by: AlphBravo on 07/02/2020 15:14:10
So probably building a dedicated freight network would be cheaper and more efficient for all concerned, rather than getting a niche service which probably only benefits a small percentile of commuters that would use a more efficient local service given the option and why not at each station log passengers request to embark or disembark , thus reducing delays, maybe the HS2 would then be better placed to do the larger inter city runs
Title: Re: Is high speed rail a Good Thing? It's even quicker and cheaper by bus!
Post by: Bored chemist on 07/02/2020 18:00:53
It' probably more worthwhile to look at whether spending the money improving local bus services would be better value.
Title: Re: Is high speed rail a Good Thing? It's even quicker and cheaper by bus!
Post by: alancalverd on 09/02/2020 23:15:57
Planes, on the other hand, only ever stop where the passengers have travelled to in large numbers.
If only....
Famous old story about a man getting into a taxi at Belfast International (formerly, and more logically, "Nutts Corner").
Passenger "Why on earth did they build the airport so far from the city?"
Taxi driver  "Because that's where the planes land, sir."

But the important aspect of air travel is the old adage: A mile of road will take you nowhere. A mile of runway will take you anywhere. Just imagine: 12,000  miles, nonstop, at 600 mph, with no infrastructure. And the flight London - Sydney (including "environmental taxes") is cheaper than the first class train to Inverness. What on earth is wrong with our railways?   
Title: Re: Is high speed rail a Good Thing? It's even quicker and cheaper by bus!
Post by: Bored chemist on 10/02/2020 19:45:17
Just imagine buying a strip of land 12000 miles long...
Title: Re: Is high speed rail a Good Thing? It's even quicker and cheaper by bus!
Post by: alancalverd on 11/02/2020 00:29:31
It's been done, almost. The TransSiberian railway links up with lines running to London. But HS2 doesn't link Manchester to Leeds, which would be useful.
Title: Re: Is high speed rail a Good Thing? It's even quicker and cheaper by bus!
Post by: Bored chemist on 11/02/2020 09:02:32
But HS2 doesn't link Manchester to Leeds, which would be useful.
HS2 doesn't actually exist so...
However, once it's built, it will cut 15 mins of the journey from Siberia to Birmingham.

Now imagine having to maintain that 12000 mile strip of land.
Title: Re: Is high speed rail a Good Thing? It's even quicker and cheaper by bus!
Post by: alancalverd on 11/02/2020 10:15:44
Just imagine buying a strip of land 12000 miles long...

At 1,000,000,000 per mile, so far...  For a mile of railway you could buy two good runways and a lot of airliners
Title: Re: Is high speed rail a Good Thing? It's even quicker and cheaper by bus!
Post by: Petrochemicals on 13/02/2020 05:38:35
Just imagine buying a strip of land 12000 miles long...

At 1,000,000,000 per mile, so far...  For a mile of railway you could buy two good runways and a lot of airliners
Come off it  alan, 100billion is for london manchester with the branch to leeds is is not ? That must be 300 miles. 333mil a mile ! Seems quite reasonable. Plus some fancy new stations too ! ~250mil per mile~ ? Thats only 170,000 per sleeper.
Title: Re: Is high speed rail a Good Thing? It's even quicker and cheaper by bus!
Post by: alancalverd on 13/02/2020 13:00:31
There is at present no commitment to take the line beyond Birmingham. The cost estimate doubles every 3 years and the bit that everyone actually needs and wants, linking Liverpool/Manchester with Leeds and Newcastle, is not part of any proposal. I guess this is the reason for the deliberate failings of Northern Rail: eventually, it will be so awful that people will travel from coast to coast via London and Birmingham!

Still, if anyone will pay me 170k to dump a sleeper in the countryside, or at least to "consult" about doing so, I wouldn't refuse.
Title: Re: Is high speed rail a Good Thing? It's even quicker and cheaper by bus!
Post by: Bored chemist on 13/02/2020 20:55:14
There are two separate questions

Is HS2 a good idea?

Should HS2 cost roughly 20 times as  much per mile as HS1?
Title: Re: Is high speed rail a Good Thing? It's even quicker and cheaper by bus!
Post by: alancalverd on 13/02/2020 21:55:03
Three answers (it's a Jewish prerogative!)

It is certainly a good idea to invest in railways

It would be better to invest in railways north of Birmingham, and redevelop existing or Beechingised lines, than cut a swathe through virgin countryside to increase capacity where it isn't really needed

If you open the public purse and say "help yourself", people will do so. Governments should permit enterprise, not commit to paying for it.

And finally (for the time being): where public transport is concerned, speed isn't everything, affordable reliability is. Concorde was technically brilliant but was wiped out by the 747. If it takes an hour to travel from London to Birmingham at 100 mph,   you will only save 10 minutes by travelling at 120 mph, but the energy required to do so is 60% greater and the technology difference between a 100 mph and a 120 mph train is significant. The brakes have to dissipate 40% more power, the pickup pantograph imposes completely different stresses on the overhead wires, the signalling system has to be upgraded....

And it would behove transport planners to look carefully at the market. After 9 am, First Class tickets are amazingly cheap because most inter-city business travel happens between 7 and 9 in the morning. Inter-city Standard Class is packed  pretty much any time with families, tourists and students, who are more conscious of cost and availability than speed. There probably isn't a demand for a 12- or 24-hour premium nonstop service, but an awful lot of taxpayers want to go to the next village or commute a dozen miles to work.
Title: Re: Is high speed rail a Good Thing? It's even quicker and cheaper by bus!
Post by: Bored chemist on 13/02/2020 22:11:01
you will only save 10 minutes by travelling at 120 mph
Damn!.
If only someone had realised that before.
Oh, yeah- I forgot; they did.

The point of HS2 is not actually to get people from London to Birmingham half an hour quicker. That would be silly.
If memory serves that's the third time I have pointed that out.
Concorde was technically brilliant but was wiped out by the 747.
Concorde was wiped out by US insistence on it not doing the only thing it was good at- flying faster than sound.
Title: Re: Is high speed rail a Good Thing? It's even quicker and cheaper by bus!
Post by: Bored chemist on 13/02/2020 22:15:43
an awful lot of taxpayers want to go to the next village or commute a dozen miles to work.
If you have a new "fast" line then you can run the inter city traffic on it, and leave the other line for improved local services.
And that will allow them to run other local services more efficiently.
Fundamentally, if you have two lines you have a choice.
You can run a very fast service at a premium for the commuters heading to London on HS2 and run the fairly fast service as now for that same time slot.
And then you can use the HS2 link for intercity and the other line for local trains.
Or you can use both for local trains.

Are you beginning to see what HS2 is for, or are you just going to repeat that stuff about clipping ngeligible time off the london to B'ham time?
Title: Re: Is high speed rail a Good Thing? It's even quicker and cheaper by bus!
Post by: Petrochemicals on 14/02/2020 07:55:56
There is at present no commitment to take the line beyond Birmingham. The cost estimate doubles every 3 years and the bit that everyone actually needs and wants, linking Liverpool/Manchester with Leeds and Newcastle, is not part of any proposal. I guess this is the reason for the deliberate failings of Northern Rail: eventually, it will be so awful that people will travel from coast to coast via London and Birmingham!

Still, if anyone will pay me 170k to dump a sleeper in the countryside, or at least to "consult" about doing so, I wouldn't refuse.
I bet if we got the chinese to take it over they could bring it in under 50 billion for the whole thing to manchester including the 20 billion already spent !

Before beeching did not the west coast mainline have 4 tracks, that would give the extra capacity ? The rolling stock  guage could be updated to european (and hs1) standards lots cheaper, that is the real sticking point about transeurope rail, our bridges are smaller and rollingstock narrower, we cannot run double deckers !
Title: Re: Is high speed rail a Good Thing? It's even quicker and cheaper by bus!
Post by: Bored chemist on 14/02/2020 19:20:06
The rolling stock  guage could be updated to european
The UK has decided to join the rest of the world in driving on the right hand side.
The change will be introduced gradually.

But it's actually slightly stupider than that
"A standard-gauge railway is a railway with a track gauge of 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in). The standard gauge is also called Stephenson gauge after George Stephenson, International gauge, UIC gauge, uniform gauge, normal gauge and European gauge in Europe.It is the most widely used railway track gauge across the world, with approximately 55% of the lines in the world using it. All high-speed rail lines use standard gauge except those in Russia, Finland, Portugal and Uzbekistan. "

From
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standard-gauge_railway

Europe already upgraded to use our rail gauge.
Title: Re: Is high speed rail a Good Thing? It's even quicker and cheaper by bus!
Post by: alancalverd on 15/02/2020 11:42:53
Not the track gauge, but height and width clearances.

Given that there is no commitment to extend HS2 beyond Birmingham, what is the true market demand for the actual proposal? As I've pointed out, First Class is pretty much empty most of the day, and from the point of view of a Standard Class shopper or tourist, there's not much to choose between the first and second cities - certainly nothing that would require frequent commuting. Am I subsidising matinee theatregoers, or just speculative construction and operating companies (the trains will run at a loss, just like all the others) ? Football specials - there's the market! Now if they added stops at Edgbaston and Twickenham, there might just be some money to be made.
Title: Re: Is high speed rail a Good Thing? It's even quicker and cheaper by bus!
Post by: Bored chemist on 15/02/2020 12:13:27
Not the track gauge, but height and width clearances.
That's not what Petrochemicals actually said.

If the track could be built for a penny would you accept that it's a good investment?
Title: Re: Is high speed rail a Good Thing? It's even quicker and cheaper by bus!
Post by: alancalverd on 15/02/2020 13:21:30
With one reservation, that the trains are either not subsidised, or wholly nationalised. And given that pretty well every train company in the world loses money, I'd need to see a damn good public service case for its existence before they tear up the countryside.

I had a friend years ago who, after a career with British Railways, was called in to advise rail authorities all over the world. After studying their data, his advice was almost always to scrap the computers and sell paper tickets, thus minimising their inevitable operating loss, then nationalise it so the government had control over the cost of providing a public service.   
Title: Re: Is high speed rail a Good Thing? It's even quicker and cheaper by bus!
Post by: alancalverd on 15/02/2020 13:32:32
Quote from: alancalverd on 13/02/2020 21:55:03Concorde was technically brilliant but was wiped out by the 747.Concorde was wiped out by US insistence on it not doing the only thing it was good at- flying faster than sound.

Not true. The once-profitable NYLON route always flew supersonic, as did Paris - Rio, over the Atlantic. True, there was no internal US or Australian market and it never acquired the range for Pacific routes, but QANTAS dropped their options as soon as the 747 flew.   
Title: Re: Is high speed rail a Good Thing? It's even quicker and cheaper by bus!
Post by: alancalverd on 15/02/2020 13:34:57
Quote from: alancalverd on Today at 11:42:53Not the track gauge, but height and width clearances.That's not what Petrochemicals actually said.
Oh yes it was! He said "rolling stock gauge" which, as you remember from your Hornby catalogue, refers to the superstructure, not the bogie.
Title: Re: Is high speed rail a Good Thing? It's even quicker and cheaper by bus!
Post by: Bored chemist on 15/02/2020 13:49:54
So the issue is not whether it's a good idea or not, but how much it costs.
Now, does anyone know why it's so insanely expensive?
HS1 cost  5.8 bn and is 67 miles in 2007 (about 8 bn in today's money).
HS2 is expected to cost about 100 bn and is 140 miles or so.

Twice as long, but 12 times the price.
To me that looks like evidence of criminal activity.

Title: Re: Is high speed rail a Good Thing? It's even quicker and cheaper by bus!
Post by: Bored chemist on 15/02/2020 13:52:51
Quote from: alancalverd on 13/02/2020 21:55:03Concorde was technically brilliant but was wiped out by the 747.Concorde was wiped out by US insistence on it not doing the only thing it was good at- flying faster than sound.

Not true. The once-profitable NYLON route always flew supersonic, as did Paris - Rio, over the Atlantic. True, there was no internal US or Australian market and it never acquired the range for Pacific routes, but QANTAS dropped their options as soon as the 747 flew.   

Even the US wouldn't claim jurisdiction over the whole of the atlantic.
But, where the US had any say- that is for flights over the US, they forbade supersonic flight.
You could get to the edge of the US, but you couldn't get any further.
Title: Re: Is high speed rail a Good Thing? It's even quicker and cheaper by bus!
Post by: alancalverd on 15/02/2020 17:46:03
You could get to the edge of the US, but you couldn't get any further.
Not a big deal, as far as air travel is concerned. The premium long-haul market is between Europe and the Eastern seaboard. Some 80% of the US population live within a hundred miles of the coast. NYC-LAX travellers might benefit from quicker services but it's  very doubtful that the FAA would grant profitable internal routes to European airlines, and Boeing (who actually control the FAA) was trying to develop their own SST at the same time.
Title: Re: Is high speed rail a Good Thing? It's even quicker and cheaper by bus![/quot
Post by: alancalverd on 15/02/2020 17:54:58
So the issue is not whether it's a good idea or not, but how much it costs.
No. If it were justifiable as a state-owned public service, it would have been promoted as such. If it is going to run at a profit for private companies, there should be no public investment in it. Neither criterion has been met, so on current evidence, it is not a good idea.

Quote
Now, does anyone know why it's so insanely expensive?
HS1 cost  5.8 bn and is 67 miles in 2007 (about 8 bn in today's money).
HS2 is expected to cost about 100 bn and is 140 miles or so.
Twice as long, but 12 times the price.
To me that looks like evidence of criminal activity.
Absolutely. And there's plenty more devil in the detail, I'm told. But the criminals are all Party donors, so that's OK.
 
Title: Re: Is high speed rail a Good Thing? It's even quicker and cheaper by bus!
Post by: alancalverd on 05/03/2020 23:13:53
Today's news is relevant and revealing.

In January the government offered Flybe a repayable commercial loan of 100,000,000 (enough to build a bit less than 150 meters of HS2) to cover temporary difficulties. The offer was subsequently withdrawn, Flybe is bankrupt, and a highly efficient network linking cities from the Channel Isles to  Orkney and from Norwich to Belfast, has collapsed with the loss of 2000 jobs and acute hospital access from island communities.

Radio phone-ins today varied from an ex-Flybe pilot explaining that it had nothing to do with coronavirus* and everything to do with systemic managerial incompetence, to ecofascists extolling the virtues of rail travel, presumably  between  Jersey and Southampton. Channel Islanders  pointed out that the 7 hour boat trip to the nearest radiotherapy unit didn't actually run if the wind was blowing or the sea was wet. The manager of Newquay airport reminded everyone west of Exeter (as if they didn't remember) that the railway line gets washed away every few years. Government spokesmen said Flybe tickets would be honoured by bus companies, including, presumably, the regular service from the Isle of Man to Manchester.

Some folk suggested that the air fare of 50 from Southampton to Edinburgh  couldn't possibly make a profit when the train fare is 180. But (a) 13 of the air fare is tax (there is no rail passenger duty) (b) the railway companies are subsidised and (c) Flybe and its predecessors had been operating at break-even or profit for years.

To nobody's great surprise, the sharks moved in within hours. Loganair, for instance, suddenly showed a philanthropic interest in running a whole swathe of Flybe's dreadful lossmaking routes in these plague-ridden times.

There is a stench of corruption about this. And I need to be in Guernsey next week.....

*Come off it, guys. Holiday flights will have been booked and paid for weeks ago. Short-haul business and emergency travellers aren't going to be put off by the negligible chance of catching a bug en route. Fact is that in winter time and outside school holidays, there is less demand for "elective" aviation - flight "consolidation" is quite normal. And none of those regular passengers who were caught on the ground last night said that the plane was less full than usual.
Title: Re: Is high speed rail a Good Thing? It's even quicker and cheaper by bus!
Post by: Petrochemicals on 06/03/2020 01:54:16
Quote from: alancalverd on Today at 11:42:53Not the track gauge, but height and width clearances.That's not what Petrochemicals actually said.
Oh yes it was! He said "rolling stock gauge" which, as you remember from your Hornby catalogue, refers to the superstructure, not the bogie.
Sorry chemist, the common term is loading guage, but it  was obvious from the quote content
The rolling stock  guage could be updated to european (and hs1) standards lots cheaper, that is the real sticking point about transeurope rail, our bridges are smaller and rollingstock narrower, we cannot run double deckers !
Thats why your on the ignore list.

Quote from: boredchemist
You are ignoring this user. Show me the post.
i love it when you say that though
Title: Re: Is high speed rail a Good Thing? It's even quicker and cheaper by bus!
Post by: Petrochemicals on 06/03/2020 02:06:26
Today's news is relevant and revealing.

In January the government offered Flybe a repayable commercial loan of 100,000,000 (enough to build a bit less than 150 meters of HS2) to cover temporary difficulties. The offer was subsequently withdrawn, Flybe is bankrupt, and a highly efficient network linking cities from the Channel Isles to  Orkney and from Norwich to Belfast, has collapsed with the loss of 2000 jobs and acute hospital access from island communities.
They can open a nice bridge like the isle of sky and charge for it, guernsy to france, orkney to somewhere else ireland to the outer hebredies, "bonkers boris and his crazy shemes" would make a good cartoon strip..

I hear that they are providing assistance now to other airlines, so fly be is just one they let fail. Regional development and de londoncentric, helping communities. Maybe the cartoon strip should be "bollocks boris and his bullshit promises"

I do apologise if this is offensive, I do not often use language as such, but really id be suprised if the "northern powerhouse" and the "midlands engine" ammount to more than a trainee scheme to get people off the unemployed lists and a new tram.
Title: Re: Is high speed rail a Good Thing? It's even quicker and cheaper by bus!
Post by: alancalverd on 06/03/2020 09:24:13
"Orkney to somewhere else" has a good ring about it. Obviously not Inverness, because Mistress Nicola is proudly independent and won't accept a handout from Westminster. Reykjavik has good hospitals. All that is needed is to build a weatherproof bridge over one of the most dangerous bits of ocean anywhere, then subsidise some Party donor to run a train on the days when the wind drops below gale force and it isn't actually snowing.

Better still, as we will soon be enjoying a cod war with the EU, why not negotiate a mutual fishing agreement with Iceland and fit a few medical beds to the trawlers (except those that were scrapped under the Common Fisheries Policy)? "Broken your leg, sonny? Never mind, we'll have you in A&E within a week, and you'll eat like a king on the way, if you like fish."
Title: Re: Is high speed rail a Good Thing? It's even quicker and cheaper by bus!
Post by: Petrochemicals on 06/03/2020 23:27:33
"Orkney to somewhere else" has a good ring about it. Obviously not Inverness, because Mistress Nicola is proudly independent and won't accept a handout from Westminster. Reykjavik has good hospitals. All that is needed is to build a weatherproof bridge over one of the most dangerous bits of ocean anywhere, then subsidise some Party donor to run a train on the days when the wind drops below gale force and it isn't actually snowing.

Better still, as we will soon be enjoying a cod war with the EU, why not negotiate a mutual fishing agreement with Iceland and fit a few medical beds to the trawlers (except those that were scrapped under the Common Fisheries Policy)? "Broken your leg, sonny? Never mind, we'll have you in A&E within a week, and you'll eat like a king on the way, if you like fish."
Seems sane to me, yet this solution does not help anyone in anywhere uk mainland not in the south east. I suppose they could build a railway like japan.

Considering birmingham is londons closest neighbour and the midlands runs to within throwing distance of the big smoke, it is appaling that Hs2 is such a posterboy project, imagine if yokohama and tokyo where the onlyplaces connected thus far and a little more track was going to be comnected at 100 billion quid cost.  Fly be has gone, the severn crossing has only just become toll-free, and hs3 is projected to be 2035. Its not really regional development. That is both political parties fault by the way, red and blue, for years and years.
Title: Re: Is high speed rail a Good Thing? It's even quicker and cheaper by bus!
Post by: Bored chemist on 07/03/2020 00:54:42
Quote from: boredchemist
You are ignoring this user. Show me the post.
i love it when you say that though
In the real world, I never said that - so you are a liar.
If that's the best you can do... leave.

Title: Re: Is high speed rail a Good Thing? It's even quicker and cheaper by bus!
Post by: alancalverd on 07/03/2020 12:06:00
Considering birmingham is londons closest neighbour
If you ignore Watford, Luton, Milton Keynes, Northampton and Coventry, yes.

More to the point, Brum is without doubt the "second  city", with a population of 1.3 million, the center of manufacturing industry, major hospitals, universities, banks, markets, orchestras, theaters, civic amenities, international airport.....so there's very little point in saving 15 minutes travelling from one to the other at the taxpayer's expense. If you are that desperate to hear the CBSO instead of the LSO or vice versa, or to visit your aged aunt, get an earlier train.
Title: Re: Is high speed rail a Good Thing? It's even quicker and cheaper by bus!
Post by: Bored chemist on 07/03/2020 15:02:56
there's very little point in saving 15 minutes travelling from one to the other at the taxpayer's expense.
How fortunate, then, that the point of SH2 isn't to take 15 mins of teh London to B'ham rail journey.

It's a pity that nobody mentioned this before.
Oh, hang on,  they did.
It's just that you can't seem to accept this.

The point of HS2 is not actually to get people from London to Birmingham half an hour quicker. That would be silly.
you will only save 10 minutes by travelling at 120 mph
Damn!.
If only someone had realised that before.
Oh, yeah- I forgot; they did.

The point of HS2 is not actually to get people from London to Birmingham half an hour quicker. That would be silly.
If memory serves that's the third time I have pointed that out.

Title: Re: Is high speed rail a Good Thing? It's even quicker and cheaper by bus!
Post by: alancalverd on 07/03/2020 22:58:53
Of course, I keep forgetting. The point of HS2 is for the taxpayer to buy bits of expensive real estate at inflated prices, pay "consultants" as much as they want, subsidise yet another failing train operating company, pay excessive leasing charges for unreliable trains....we've seen it all before, and it is Good For The Economy.

Best of all, it uses quantum entanglement or some other form of magic to transport people from A to B even in the absence of a railway line, according to its official website
Quote
HS2 could also see the amount of hourly services double between Leeds and eastern towns such as#Newark, Grantham and Retford, with direct services to Norwich and Cambridge possible.
So there you have it!  If you spend 1,000,000,000 per mile on a track between London and Birmingham, you get a direct service from Leeds to Norwich! Maybe if we spent twice as much, say on a track from Cardiff to Swansea, we'd get a direct service from Dover to Penzance, or even New York. 
Title: Re: Is high speed rail a Good Thing? It's even quicker and cheaper by bus!
Post by: Petrochemicals on 07/03/2020 23:33:20
Considering birmingham is londons closest neighbour
If you ignore Watford, Luton, Milton Keynes, Northampton and Coventry, yes.

More to the point, Brum is without doubt the "second  city", with a population of 1.3 million, the center of manufacturing industry, major hospitals, universities, banks, markets, orchestras, theaters, civic amenities, international airport.....so there's very little point in saving 15 minutes travelling from one to the other at the taxpayer's expense. If you are that desperate to hear the CBSO instead of the LSO or vice versa, or to visit your aged aunt, get an earlier train.
To be pedantic you have forgotten daventry oxford and warwick rugby etc, luton and watford are part of london as far as i can make out.. The point is birmingham is the closest of the major cities, the most easily reached an largest place in the "regions", yet regional development connectivity has not reached even that far. So in saint austell  or blackpool you will be waiting until next century.
Title: Re: Is high speed rail a Good Thing? It's even quicker and cheaper by bus!
Post by: alancalverd on 08/03/2020 11:17:35
I had considered Oxford but it isn't on the shortest route from London to Birmingham. Watford and Luton do not have London postcodes or 0208 phone numbers, so are officially in Herts and Beds respectively.

There's a famous line from "Yes Minister" where the minister and permanent secretary are en route to a college dinner in Oxford. Minister asks (this was some years ago) why there are two motorways to Oxford and none to Cambridge. Reply: "Fifteen Oxford graduates have held the post of  Minister of Transport, and none from Cambridge." Which probably explains why HS2 is only funded to run to Neville Chamberlain's constituency, with not even a proposed link between Liverpool, Manchester and Leeds, where it's actually needed.

Having bought the northern vote with Brexit, why waste money moving pigeons and whippets across the country? Party donors own the land along the M1, not the M62.   
Title: Re: Is high speed rail a Good Thing? It's even quicker and cheaper by bus!
Post by: Bored chemist on 08/03/2020 11:25:01
Of course, I keep forgetting. The point of HS2 is for the taxpayer to buy bits of expensive real estate at inflated prices, pay "consultants" as much as they want, subsidise yet another failing train operating company, pay excessive leasing charges for unreliable trains....we've seen it all before, and it is Good For The Economy.
You are, presumably deliberately, muddling up the stupid political process with the actual point of the project- which is to more than double the rail capacity.
Title: Re: Is high speed rail a Good Thing? It's even quicker and cheaper by bus!
Post by: Bored chemist on 08/03/2020 11:27:43
Reply: "Fifteen Oxford graduates have held the post of  Minister of Transport, and none from Cambridge."
For HS2 it's more likely to be the 28 vs 14 score line for Prime Ministers.
Title: Re: Is high speed rail a Good Thing? It's even quicker and cheaper by bus!
Post by: alancalverd on 08/03/2020 13:54:25
the actual point of the project- which is to more than double the rail capacity.
And thus double the amount of public revenue subsidy required to keep the owners happy once we have paid for the infrastructure.

Fact is that private railways make a loss despite charging 3 times as much and taking 3 times as long as profitable airlines on the same route, which suggests that there is something wrong somewhere.
Title: Re: Is high speed rail a Good Thing? It's even quicker and cheaper by bus!
Post by: Bored chemist on 08/03/2020 14:42:55
Fact is that private railways make a loss despite charging 3 times as much and taking 3 times as long as profitable airlines on the same route, which suggests that there is something wrong somewhere.
Yes, it suggests that the airlines are not covering costs.
Which may be why one just went broke.
Title: Re: Is high speed rail a Good Thing? It's even quicker and cheaper by bus!
Post by: alancalverd on 08/03/2020 18:30:51
Whilst Ryanair, Easyjet, Loganair and Aurigny have been making a profit on similar routes and pricing for years, despite 20% of the fare being a direct tax. The problem with Flybe was longterm mismanagement. 
Title: Re: Is high speed rail a Good Thing? It's even quicker and cheaper by bus!
Post by: Bored chemist on 08/03/2020 20:15:03
Whilst Ryanair, Easyjet, Loganair and Aurigny have been making a profit on similar routes and pricing for years, despite 20% of the fare being a direct tax. The problem with Flybe was longterm mismanagement. 
Watch this space.
Title: Re: Is high speed rail a Good Thing? It's even quicker and cheaper by bus!
Post by: alancalverd on 08/03/2020 21:59:24
I've been watching it for years. It is noticeable that these very successful airlines have been negotiating to take over Flybe routes in the last few days, suggesting that Flybe's suicide was at least encouraged if not actually assisted. It's also odd that Virgin Atlantic was involved in propping up Flybe - and VA are not amateur philanthropists. I think it unlikely that Ryanair or Easyjet will pick up the shortest routes which seem  more suited to turboprop and even piston  aircraft, but these are also the ones like Scillies and Channel Islands that are essential public services and not particularly price sensitive, so Aurigny and Loganair are likely to step in once the government reviews the tax situation.

With train companies charging upwards of 50 p per mile for standing room, there's plenty of fat in the market.
Title: Re: Is high speed rail a Good Thing? It's even quicker and cheaper by bus!
Post by: Petrochemicals on 08/03/2020 23:04:32
Reply: "Fifteen Oxford graduates have held the post of  Minister of Transport, and none from Cambridge."
For HS2 it's more likely to be the 28 vs 14 score line for Prime Ministers.
the actual point of the project- which is to more than double the rail capacity.
And thus double the amount of public revenue subsidy required to keep the owners happy once we have paid for the infrastructure.

Fact is that private railways make a loss despite charging 3 times as much and taking 3 times as long as profitable airlines on the same route, which suggests that there is something wrong somewhere.
I think if there is a lesson here its that train costs are exponentially linked to train speed. Diesil and coal are a bit slower but far cheaper.
Title: Re: Is high speed rail a Good Thing? It's even quicker and cheaper by bus! physi
Post by: alancalverd on 09/03/2020 10:15:54
I think the lesson is more about economics than physics. If a government says "help yourself", snouts will come to the trough. There are two ways to control costs: wholly private capital and operating risk, or wholly nationalised project and public service operation.

The "nationalised project" approach can be run by a series of genuinely competitive tenders but it is difficult to protect it from overruns and political interference, so it's really a last resort where the public interest outweighs the lack of market interest. In the case of HS2 I would argue that the public service aspect, at least of the only phase so far approved, is marginal, so the correct approach would have been to permit private enterprise, not to commit public funding.

There's an inevitable degree of mission creep, but it's slow and manageable. 150 years ago there was no conceivable requirement for flights to the Channel Islands, but public expectation of centralised health services, express mail, and easy family and business travel, has turned an unimaginable luxury into an everyday necessity. Hence, inter alia, the need to bring Northern Rail into the 19th century and move the lines around Dawlish and Crewe to less flood-prone ground, and for government to operate now-essential but unprofitable flights. The island council contracts Shetland inter-island air services very successfully.

As for the physics, airplane fuel costs rise with the cube of cruise speed, but infrastructure costs remain constant and negligible.
Title: Re: Is high speed rail a Good Thing? It's even quicker and cheaper by bus!
Post by: Petrochemicals on 11/03/2020 15:18:20
I think the lesson is more about economics than physics. If a government says "help yourself", snouts will come to the trough. There are two ways to control costs: wholly private capital and operating risk, or wholly nationalised project and public service operation.

The "nationalised project" approach can be run by a series of genuinely competitive tenders but it is difficult to protect it from overruns and political interference, so it's really a last resort where the public interest outweighs the lack of market interest. In the case of HS2 I would argue that the public service aspect, at least of the only phase so far approved, is marginal, so the correct approach would have been to permit private enterprise, not to commit public funding.

There's an inevitable degree of mission creep, but it's slow and manageable. 150 years ago there was no conceivable requirement for flights to the Channel Islands, but public expectation of centralised health services, express mail, and easy family and business travel, has turned an unimaginable luxury into an everyday necessity. Hence, inter alia, the need to bring Northern Rail into the 19th century and move the lines around Dawlish and Crewe to less flood-prone ground, and for government to operate now-essential but unprofitable flights. The island council contracts Shetland inter-island air services very successfully.

As for the physics, airplane fuel costs rise with the cube of cruise speed, but infrastructure costs remain constant and negligible.
Like i say the tender approach is working, the chinese have offered to build it.

https://www.ft.com/content/d5b6aaaa-4f1a-11ea-95a0-43d18ec715f5

Trouble is that this will highlight the cost of the construction and infrastructure and seperatley highlight the cost of administration and payouts. If china had spent 100 billion per 200 km  of track they would be broke as they have 25000km of it as stated in the article,  12. 5 trillion at these rates. If we have 2000 km of railways that need upgrading that is half of the uks GdP spent on it, that is without maintenance  and running costs. Truly ludicrous.
Title: Re: Is high speed rail a Good Thing? It's even quicker and cheaper by bus!
Post by: David Cooper on 24/03/2020 19:10:03
I hope they're considering cancelling this idiotic scheme again now - it's all money straight down the drain, building something that will have to be shut down in the future for environmental reasons due to the higher pollution involved in unnecessarily high speed travel and the noise nuisance to. It certainly won't make the money back on the investment because all those commuters are going to evaporate before the project is finished. It's just a vanity project.
Title: Re: Is high speed rail a Good Thing? It's even quicker and cheaper by bus!
Post by: Petrochemicals on 28/04/2020 22:33:19
I've been watching it for years. It is noticeable that these very successful airlines have been negotiating to take over Flybe routes in the last few days, suggesting that Flybe's suicide was at least encouraged if not actually assisted. It's also odd that Virgin Atlantic was involved in propping up Flybe - and VA are not amateur philanthropists. I think it unlikely that Ryanair or Easyjet will pick up the shortest routes which seem  more suited to turboprop and even piston  aircraft, but these are also the ones like Scillies and Channel Islands that are essential public services and not particularly price sensitive, so Aurigny and Loganair are likely to step in once the government reviews the tax situation.

With train companies charging upwards of 50 p per mile for standing room, there's plenty of fat in the market.
And now they are crying too, despite saying it was unfair comptition, or againt euro rules. You where quite correct.
Title: Re: Is high speed rail a Good Thing? It's even quicker and cheaper by bus!
Post by: Bored chemist on 30/04/2020 14:46:50
building something that will have to be shut down in the future for environmental reasons due to the higher pollution involved in unnecessarily high speed trave
Trains are generally more environmentally friendly than the road traffic they replace.


all those commuters are going to evaporate
Will I be able to buy tickets to watch that phenomenon?
Title: Re: Is high speed rail a Good Thing? It's even quicker and cheaper by bus!
Post by: alancalverd on 01/05/2020 11:17:52
Trains are generally more environmentally friendly than the road traffic they replace.
Yes and no. A train has to run if it is timetabled to do so. A train that is big enough for the rush hour will run almost empty the rest of the day. An empty car doesn't move.

Quote
Quote
from: David Cooper on 24/03/2020 19:10:03
all those commuters are going to evaporate

Will I be able to buy tickets to watch that phenomenon?

Maybe not, but you  can see them seething and fuming most days