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Speedy train line given green light

The £32 billion high-speed rail line from London to Birmingham has been given final approval and will go ahead as proposed, ministers will announce next week.

So why is it so expensive? They're building a new high speed line in the Saudi desert for just £6 billion. Saudi railway plans My guess it will be the cost of compulsory purchase, especially in land near London and the Chilterns...

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White Elephant

I'm sure that if built, it will be used by millions every year. It's the cost of these projects that's the problem - all down to our overpriced housing market. Gordo gets flack for selling gold a couple of billion below the future price, yet no-one bats an eyelid seemingly at projects like this that cost 10 or 20 billion more than similar abroad.

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Thank God,

It was looking like the may have pulled / gutted the plans due to a few rich southern nimbys. As to expense that is a legitimate complaint, all civil engineering projects seem to be a fair bit more expensive in Britain. But it's simply not fair to compare the cost of this high speed line to building one in the flat desert. You've got bridges, miles of extremely expensive tunnels, buying up lots of prime land in central london (and birmingham).... "mitigation measures" like adding half a mile of tunnel to the chlterns so people there can pretend to live in the 14th century (except with added motorways)

Plus all this stuff needs to be structurally good for a century or more.

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Do any engineers know why the maglev idea is a total no go? The Japanese are planning a Tokyo/Nagoya maglev in about the same timeframe as HS2

http://en.m.wikipedi...i/UK_Ultraspeed

http://en.m.wikipedi...333;_Shinkansen

i understand the Chinese implementation is very unreliable so far

and a steel rail line has network compatitbility with the european high speed network

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So why is it so expensive? They're building a new high speed line in the Saudi desert for just £6 billion. Saudi railway plans My guess it will be the cost of compulsory purchase, especially in land near London and the Chilterns...

The actual construction costs for HS2 are expected to be £6 billion (of which £1.5 bn is tunnelling work, and £1.6 bn is station construction/upgrade work and about £1 billion is bridges, and other earthworks to allow the route to cross roads/valleys). This is inflated to £9bn by allowance for the "expected" volume of cost-overruns (£1bn), special environmental mitigation during construction (£1bn) and land purchase (approx £1bn). There's then about £1.5bn in management, design, public consultation, planning and survey fees. And about £0.5 bn for depots, modifying existing rail infrastructure to connect to HS2, etc. And finally, there is a £1bn "slush fund" to absorb any unanticipated cost overruns.

The other issue is the trains. HS trains are very expensive anyway (about £50k per seat). However, they are not compatible with conventional rail, unless they are specially modified for dual-running (this puts the price up to about £90k per seat).

Edited by ChumpusRex
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i understand the Chinese implementation is very unreliable so far

and a steel rail line has network compatitbility with the european high speed network

With all due respect to the Chinese, they seem to have had problems with running high speed rail. I suspect the issue is systems and maintenance (which they may lack capacity for) rather than inherent problems with the technology.

The Japanese run the Shinkansen on a separate track to the other speed trains, so compatability may not be a problem. Given they are planning this for one of world's most geologically active countries again suggests the technology itself is not an issue. As things stand by 2030 the UK will have a "high speed" train that runs as fast as a 90s era Shinkansen, whereas the Japanese will be running a maglev. It is a great pity the UK doesn't go for these grand projects anymore - we have the brains and the ability, but not the ambition. Shame

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It will be used as an excuse to cut back services on adjacent London to Birmingham lines. Meanwhile, due to the inevitably high ticket-prices, anyone not earning megabucks or on expenses will have to take the bus.

Yup, long distance express services will be cut on the London-Brimingham WCML. To be replaced by more local and freight which can't be fitted on at the moment. This is a plus not a minus.

As to prices being more expensive than not building it... what's going to happen to prices when the WCML is full in 15 years? Adding tonnes of extra capacity will lower prices not raise them.

Everyone moans about the railways and say they're not using it, etc etc but statistics say otherwise

http://dataportal.orr.gov.uk/browsereports/4

Edited by gadget
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Thank God,

It was looking like the may have pulled / gutted the plans due to a few rich southern nimbys. As to expense that is a legitimate complaint, all civil engineering projects seem to be a fair bit more expensive in Britain. But it's simply not fair to compare the cost of this high speed line to building one in the flat desert. You've got bridges, miles of extremely expensive tunnels, buying up lots of prime land in central london (and birmingham).... "mitigation measures" like adding half a mile of tunnel to the chlterns so people there can pretend to live in the 14th century (except with added motorways)

Plus all this stuff needs to be structurally good for a century or more.

Okay, then, the high speed line between Madrid and Barcelona (over 330 miles long) cost 9 billion Euros. And their terrain is far harder, requiring more bridges, tunnels, viaducts etc.

No, it's the cost of buying expensive land that inflates the UK figure.

Someone on another talkboard has suggested building a very long tunnel, so no compensation/land purchase is required around London/south east. If only that were viable.

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Okay, then, the high speed line between Madrid and Barcelona (over 330 miles long) cost 9 billion Euros. And their terrain is far harder, requiring more bridges, tunnels, viaducts etc.

No, it's the cost of buying expensive land that inflates the UK figure.

Someone on another talkboard has suggested building a very long tunnel, so no compensation/land purchase is required around London/south east. If only that were viable.

As I pointed out in my cost breakdown, it's not solely the land figure that inflates the price. The cost of land for HS2 is £1bn. Other things that inflate the prices are the £1.5 bn legal, management, professional services, architects/surveyors fees.

Bear in mind that Madrid-Barcelona was started over 10 years ago, and there has been rampant inflation since then. Additionally, it was designed and built to a much lower specification than HS2 will be (similar to the original French TGV specifications with a maximum line speed of 186 mph). As the maximum speed places limits on the size of turning circles, once the track is built it can never be upgraded past the original design speed.

By contrast HS2 track will be designed for 250 mph. The first trains will run at 220 mph, leaving scope for an upgrade when higher speed trains are available.

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Yup, long distance express services will be cut on the London-Brimingham WCML. To be replaced by more local and freight which can't be fitted on at the moment. This is a plus not a minus.

As to prices being more expensive than not building it... what's going to happen to prices when the WCML is full in 15 years? Adding tonnes of extra capacity will lower prices not raise them.

Everyone moans about the railways and say they're not using it, etc etc but statistics say otherwise

http://dataportal.or...browsereports/4

Fair enough but I still feel that the money would be better spent on speeding things up in the North; introducing double-decker trains where possible; having free, fast, secure, reliable broadband on all classes onboard and the reintroduction of private 1st class compartments for business-people.

I have been to high-speed lines in France and Germany and from about 200 metres away, the noise is not actually that loud (I think the govt. should have taken a tougher stance with the NIMBYs on this one), so my issue is not with high-speed rail per-se but just in this case in particular. HS2 will only be used by a tiny amount of the people traveling between London and Birmingham and will only shorten the time by a fairly small amount.

They'd be much better off following this american idea.

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Bear in mind that Madrid-Barcelona was started over 10 years ago, and there has been rampant inflation since then. Additionally, it was designed and built to a much lower specification than HS2 will be (similar to the original French TGV specifications with a maximum line speed of 186 mph). As the maximum speed places limits on the size of turning circles, once the track is built it can never be upgraded past the original design speed.

Not quite correct - they've increased the average speed to 192 miles per hour (310 km/hour), through improved signalling methods. You have to remember that Spain and France are mountainous countries, and southern and central England is not. Far more tunnelling and bridge/viaducts (for deep valleys) required.

Quicker journeys

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Fair enough but I still feel that the money would be better spent on speeding things up in the North; introducing double-decker trains where possible; having free, fast, secure, reliable broadband on all classes onboard and the reintroduction of private 1st class compartments for business-people.

I have been to high-speed lines in France and Germany and from about 200 metres away, the noise is not actually that loud (I think the govt. should have taken a tougher stance with the NIMBYs on this one), so my issue is not with high-speed rail per-se but just in this case in particular. HS2 will only be used by a tiny amount of the people traveling between London and Birmingham and will only shorten the time by a fairly small amount.

They'd be much better off following this american idea.

I think there's been a lot of deliberate mis-information about HS2 ("all this money just to shave 15 mins to birmingham!"). So just to clarify:

From day 1 HS2 will be used not just to Brimingham but all points north, cutting tourney to manchester, Glasgow etc.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_Speed_2#cite_ref-51

This does increase the cost of the first set of trainsets (having to be custom and cross-compatible) but that's neccessary at least until phase 2.

Also it really is about boosting the North rather than more London centric development. Brimingham becomes a hub with direct trains to paris in under 3 hours. A businessman in Manchester can go to work as normal, have a London lunch meeting and be back in the office for the end of the day. This makes setting up a business further north more attractive than expensive overcrowded London.

Also double deckers can't run on UK lines because the gauge it too small. HS2 wil be standard european gauge so double deckers can run on it.

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I wonder how many years you could run a free London-Birmingham coach service for with an endowment of £32bn.

Pretty sure it would be a lot less than the time the rail line will last.

I also wonder how much it would cost to build enough motorway to provide the same capacity as one high speed line. And how much more land it would take to move people slower and in far less comfort.

Edited by gadget
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I think there's been a lot of deliberate mis-information about HS2 ("all this money just to shave 15 mins to birmingham!"). So just to clarify:

From day 1 HS2 will be used not just to Brimingham but all points north, cutting tourney to manchester, Glasgow etc.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_Speed_2#cite_ref-51

This does increase the cost of the first set of trainsets (having to be custom and cross-compatible) but that's neccessary at least until phase 2.

Also it really is about boosting the North rather than more London centric development. Brimingham becomes a hub with direct trains to paris in under 3 hours. A businessman in Manchester can go to work as normal, have a London lunch meeting and be back in the office for the end of the day. This makes setting up a business further north more attractive than expensive overcrowded London.

Also double deckers can't run on UK lines because the gauge it too small. HS2 wil be standard european gauge so double deckers can run on it.

Thanks for the clarification. I must admit I thought double-decker trains couldn't run on UK lines because of low bridges, station capacity etc. I didn't realise the UK lines were built to a different gauge to Europe.

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I think there's been a lot of deliberate mis-information about HS2 ("all this money just to shave 15 mins to birmingham!"). So just to clarify:

From day 1 HS2 will be used not just to Brimingham but all points north, cutting tourney to manchester, Glasgow etc.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_Speed_2#cite_ref-51

This does increase the cost of the first set of trainsets (having to be custom and cross-compatible) but that's neccessary at least until phase 2.

Also it really is about boosting the North rather than more London centric development. Brimingham becomes a hub with direct trains to paris in under 3 hours. A businessman in Manchester can go to work as normal, have a London lunch meeting and be back in the office for the end of the day. This makes setting up a business further north more attractive than expensive overcrowded London.

Also double deckers can't run on UK lines because the gauge it too small. HS2 wil be standard european gauge so double deckers can run on it.

Your quoting wikipedia which is edited in the main by 14 year old Americans!

From day 1 there is no HS1 direct link Manchester and Glasgow, the line is only being built to Birmingham with an option to build further, but by then the whole thing will be such a waste of money they won't chuck 3x what ever stage 1 costs! to get to Manchester let alone Glasgow (in fact Manchester to Glasgow would be an engineering nightmare and probably way too expensive to build even in good economic times).

Birmingham may be called England's second city but what is there that is there? its a dump, no commerce that would warrant such expenditure. All just so a few Tory MP's can travel home a bit quicker.

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Thanks for the clarification. I must admit I thought double-decker trains couldn't run on UK lines because of low bridges, station capacity etc. I didn't realise the UK lines were built to a different gauge to Europe.

Sorry i didn't explain properly. We're not talking track gauge (which is the same) but the loading gauge: ie specified height and width clearance of the trains.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loading_gauge

Europe's is bigger, so bridges are higher etc. meaning they can have double deckers.

High speed one and two will be built to european gauge so double deckers will be possible.

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  • 415 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
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      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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