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AdrianR
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Could have replaced or upgraded the ENTIRE motorway network for that money!

 

And motorways at least have the advantage that they actually take people from where they are to where they want to go.

 

A journey time of 2 hours from central Manchester to central London is all well and good - but only if you happen to be starting in central Manchester and only want to get to central London. In the real world, the people who would use this actually want to get from diverse locations somewhere outside Manchester to any number of places somewhere in the South East generally. The journey into Manchester (at times dictated by the rail timetable) the journey out of central London, and the same again in reverse (again at times dictated by the timetable) will mean that a decent road and motorway network which delivers people directly from start point to destination at a time of their choosing will always be both quicker and cheaper.

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I don't see why it is needed. Shaving a few minutes off the run from Manchester to London is hardly a phenominal achievement. As Inky says, the motorways could provide a much better and more versitile benefit for that kind of investment.

 

The mainline trains to London from Scotland, Manchester etc already give a pretty good service as it is. It is the rural trains that are bad such as the commuter belt trains into and out of the major cities. No doubt there will be many directorships and donations to be had for those in parliament

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Is there really a need to travel so fast ?  If it is for business purposes we have the information super highway which can provide video conferencing at the touch of a button. If the long term plan is to increase the importance of Manchester & Leeds will the Pennines finish up with a major conurbation as the 2 cities expand & eventually join together.

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Apparently they're going to be running double decker trains - which means that all of the bridges over the line will have to be significantly higher than the standard for a normal railway line.

 

This alone makes it ideal as a freight line.

 

The current height of bridges over normal UK lines is too low to be able to put a standard articulated lorry trailer onto a flatbed rail wagon and transport it long distances that way. Containers have to be craned off lorry trailers and onto wagons them back again, bulk materials need specialist handling equipment to be onloaded and offloaded at each end of the rail journey.

 

A rail route with high bridges would allow lorries to just drive their trailers on and other lorries to hitch up and collect them at the other end - similar to the way the eurotunnel freight trains work, but without the necessity of transporting the drivers and cab units. A network of such a lines would be FAR cheaper to build than a single 250mph line, and by taking large amounts of goods traffic off the trunk roads would massively reduce journey times for the remaining road users.

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Even the quoted journey times are a con.

 

They assume a non-stop train all the way from Manchester to London - but they have also announced that there will be stations at Manchester Airport, Crewe, and Birmingham. So at least 15 minutes slowing down, stopped, and speeding up again for each station stop, and there's 3/4 of the time saved by the higher top speed gone right there.

 

Same on the eastern leg from Leeds - stops at Sheffield Meadowhall, Totton for Derby and Nottingham, and then Birmingham.

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Got any figures to support your assertion Lt.? Freight trains and switching yards are subject to the same night time noise abatement constraints as airports.

 

I agree we need dedicated freight lines. Converting pretty much all of the existing intercity network over to increased height freight carriage would be my bet.

 

Lorries should ideally only be on the roads for local runs from rail terminals to end users, that way the roads could work the way they were designed to.

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Two very long freight trains went through Bank Quay (northbound) this morning in the 30 minutes I was there. Not exactly unused capacity then.

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Is this ok inky

 

 

The first phase of the HS2 is to build a double track that conforms the to European standards for high-speed train travel. The maximum speed possible on the European structure gauge is 250 mph, although trains on the new HS2 will be initially limited to 225 mph. The HS2 network will also be used for freight movements, but restricted to operate during the night as the speed of freight trains is significantly lower than the passenger trains that will run.

 
 
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