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HS 2

(22 Posts)
Pentillie Mon 25-Nov-13 19:01:26

Just watching the news, giving updates on HS 2, and yet again, I wonder why it is estimated it will cost at least £42.5 billion. High speed railways, most of them faster than HS2, have been built,over the last few years, in Switzerland,
Germany,Italy and the Far East, for amounts ranging from £2.5b to £4b
Our Lines will be built on mainly open countryside, without many, if any, engineering or geographical problems - some of the European lines go under mountains, and a soon to be finished line in Turkey runs under the sea!
Am I being cynical when I feel that yet again there is a feeding frenzy around the public purse, as The Suits can see the project will go ahead regardless of opposition from all quarters?

FlicketyB Tue 26-Nov-13 05:54:23

The difficulty with comparisons like this is that of comparing like with like, the relative cost of the land needed for each railway, compensation payments to those affected, how many individuals and businesses are affected, railway lengths, labour costs. Without all this information and, no doubt, many more, comparisons are impossible.

Having said that, there has been a report recently that showed that British civil servants at a senior level are singularly inept in inviting tenders, assessing them, letting contracts and monitoring them properly once they are awarded, which means that contractors can ride roughshod over them. You only have to look at the string of failed government IT projects and the way for decades the Ministry of Defence has consistently let contract overruns escalate, costing the country £ billions to realise just how incompetent they are.

goldengirl Tue 26-Nov-13 12:17:23

I'm concerned that cutting into the countryside will alter the water table - not that I know about these sorts of things so I might be talking out of my hat. Cutting down trees and stopping the egress of water will surely lead to more flooding - water has to go somewhere. In addition I've yet to meet someone who thinks it will be useful to have HS2. We are a small country and spending billions on this project when councils are being forced to cut basic services I think is appalling.

Tegan Tue 26-Nov-13 12:28:41

We are way behind Europe with our outdated rail network. Every time I watch the Michael Portillo programme about European train journeys I feel ashamed of the rail network in this country. I know I'm biased because I come from a railway family bt, imo this has to go ahead.

Aka Tue 26-Nov-13 12:51:03

Wouldn't it therefore be more beneficial to more people to spend the money upgrading our existing rail network. I agree that we are way behind Europe but what's the point in having HS1, HS2 etc when the rest of the system is laughable.

Tegan Tue 26-Nov-13 13:01:16

I think most of Europes rail network was rebuilt because so much was damaged during WW2, whereas ours escaped largely unscathed; that's why we're so outdated. I'd need to speak to my ex about it to get the full picture [which I probably can't due for a while].

nightowl Tue 26-Nov-13 13:21:45

We desperately need to upgrade our present railway infrastructure, and this could be done using the money set aside for HS2. By the time HS2 is finished (if it goes ahead) it will be redundant. It's meant for business people, not the general public, and the need to travel for business is reducing every year. My son travels for business and is a software developer, and he tells me it's a stupid idea. I believe him.

Aka Tue 26-Nov-13 13:29:28

My point exactly Nightowl

JessM Tue 26-Nov-13 13:32:31

They have just published a monstrously long bill
This must surely be the work of thousands of civil servants. hmm

Mishap Tue 26-Nov-13 14:18:33

I feel that this project is a complete money pit for little gain.

It is environmentally important that we get more people on to the trains; and more freight. In order to do that, we do not need to shave a small amount of time off one particular journey for a few executives, but to increase the rolling stock so that more freight can be carried and passengers are not squashed in like cattle. This vast amount of money could do so much more good if it were pent improving what we already have.

I have done quite a bit of rail travel recently an it is expensive, uncomfortable, and either too hot or too cold.

The price of rail travel is beyond many people's pockets, and if you then add in bus or taxi from your end station to your destination, people reasonably make the decision that it is easier to go by car.

A handout of these vast billions that are proposed for HS2 to reduce ticket prices might be a better option!!

Bez Tue 26-Nov-13 14:52:34

It was cheaper for us to park at Heathrow for five weeks - than to travel by train from home!!

Nelliemoser Tue 26-Nov-13 16:42:58

In some ways I don't think we can easily compare rail travel with the situation in Europe. We are a small country with no vast distances between any where much, when compared with France, Germany etc.

The actual amount of time saved by high speed travel has to be less over shorter distances than larger ones. Any train has to stop more often in this country to service the major cities and actually benefit passengers.
I hope that makes sense?

Aka Tue 26-Nov-13 22:33:51

hmm not sure if I've understood you Nellie ? If we're a small country (and we are) then surely that means we need less track and rail infrastructure so it should be easier to get it sorted?

Bez Tue 26-Nov-13 23:29:56

But also less need of the speed maybe?

Aka Wed 27-Nov-13 13:24:14

In case we fall off the end of the island?

Nonu Wed 27-Nov-13 13:33:58

Well we travelled to Bournville from Suffolk via London , travelled on the underground also , all for the princely sum of £30.00 return .
So you sure won"t hear me complaining about the rail service !!

it would have cost nigh on £100 in the car !!


nanamacatj Wed 27-Nov-13 16:47:39

Will be able to see, and hear, this monster from my bedroom window, taking out at least 5 public footpaths in our village alone, money should be spent on upgrading internet. We would have to travel 20 mins in the wrong direction to get the superfast link to London a journey we can already do in 2hrs 15mins.sad

nightowl Fri 10-Jan-14 12:34:34

This is an interesting alternative to hs2. Not sure how accurate it is as I'm no expert on railways

janerowena Fri 10-Jan-14 14:41:12

DBh is a railway buff, he says the cost is almost entirely down to huge land prices in a country where land is at a premium, with such a large population density, and the railway will necessarily run through some quite densely populated areas which will also cause many lawsuits. That has all been factored in to the cost. The french aparently rode roughshod over all objections and compulsorily purchased land at not particularly good prices, but the english are more inclined to arbitration and fair play, and it costs.

I agree, the freight trains are what need more rail, which would in turn decrease motorway costs. It would also make them far nicer places to travel on, without all those vast lorries making it almost impossible at times to turn off at junctions.

Iam64 Fri 10-Jan-14 18:45:14

Great suggestions from gransnet contributors. We've just had the number of carriages into Manchester cut significantly. The trains were already dreadfully overcrowded at peak times. A friend got involved with a family with a child in a wheelchair, who were simply unable to get on the first two trains that came is, as commuters pushed past the wheelchair, no doubt anxious not to be even more late for work. Driving into manchester is almost impossible, and the cost of parking astronomical. The train company did a survey, in response to criticisms and questions in Parliament from our local MP's. They did it 'over one week in December' and found the trains were not overcrowded, so no need to add the carriages they'd removed. I suspect the survey was done between 24 and 31 December - but then, I'm cynical.
I wish the powers that be would listen to the voice of the people, just occasionally.

FlicketyB Fri 10-Jan-14 19:59:15

Ah, yes, like the developer who did a survey of traffic outside our village primary school in the first week of August - and found that there was so little traffic that cars from the proposed new development would not cause problems during the school run.

Soutra Fri 10-Jan-14 22:17:59

I think what we need are more freight-only lines and I believe the suggestion has already been made to resurrect a line Great central?) which would do just that and to a large extent *on existing but disused land. Are they called railbeds/trackbeds? It would free up passenger lines as at present, e.g. between Birmingham and London freight has to be held back to let fast trains through and passenger train times have to take account of freight trains - as they move at different speeds. It would make a massive difference on the roads as anybody driving on the motorways around Christmas would have noticed when there were very few lorries.