Presentation on theme: "Why Oh Y ? HS2 -- grand projet, great delusion or national network ? Jonathan Tyler Passenger Transport Networks, YORK Institute of Railway Studies and."— Presentation transcript:
Why Oh Y ? HS2 -- grand projet, great delusion or national network ? Jonathan Tyler Passenger Transport Networks, YORK Institute of Railway Studies and Transport History National Railway Museum / University of York 1 June 2011
Why I’m sitting on the fence  as a long-time environmentalist I hold to a radical critique of high capitalism / the presumption of globalisation / the concept of eternal growth / hyper-mobility but transition to a less mobile society will take time and we need excellent public transport
why I’m sitting on the fence  demand for rail travel is growing strongly and rail’s mode share is rising there are some difficult capacity issues significant sections of the infrastructure are of poor quality the pattern of services requires overhaul >> high-speed rail could be part of the solution
The case for the grand projet  capacity is at a premium on WCML and will become so on MML and ECML expanding capacity by rebuilding the existing railway is out of the question the nation therefore needs new railway on fine new alignments if doing that then we should build a high- speed line using the best available technology – indeed, a 400 km/h railway
the case for the grand projet  maximises economic benefits (shorter journey times, enlarged markets) the best route to serve major centres, relieve the main lines and capture traffic from other modes is the ‘Y’ the new railway will release capacity on the ‘classic’ railway for growth in commuting, regional travel and freight
“a truly national high speed rail network for the whole of Britain” Programme for Government May 2010
It’s a beautiful concept, but DOUBTS My involvement > long-time advocate of better timetabling Greengauge 21 – use of WCML post-HS2 timetabling support for critics Arup – advice to eastern regional bodies
Doubts  is capacity really (going to be) tight ? -timetabling -operating practices, performance regime -size of trains - load factors and the fares system - peak hours (should we query the economics ?) - the Friday evening phenomenon - growth assumptions
doubts  rebuilding - legitimate argument against total rebuilds -but not against location-specific projects new railways -an HS network not a necessary outcome -incremental alternatives
doubts  is ultra-high-speed technology appropriate in Britain ? -relatively short distances -implications of straight alignments - no point without long runs, hence omission of calls at intermediate stations -risk from extended building timescale -no assessment of < 400 km/h options ?
doubts  economic benefits -evaluation depends on possibly-obsolete classical models -is ever-increasing mobility credible, sustainable ? -is forecasting way into future sound ? -tendency to favour large conurbations
doubts  the ‘Y’ configuration - small number of stations - stations not in city centres capacity release on classic railway -not as great as claimed ? -benefits of commuting and freight ?
so you might reasonably conclude that I’m falling off the fence onto the ‘no’ side
Great delusion(s) ? that we need a ‘transformational’ project rather than incremental change a project which will not be completed until 2026 is relevant to problems now running Scotland <> London in 3½h in 2033 is a serious means of curtailing flying a scheme which is merely carbon-neutral helps to achieve carbon-reduction targets
great delusion(s) ? [continued] that high-speed lines serving few stations make sense in a multi-centric country centre-city stations separately located from existing stations will diffuse benefits ex-urban stations are acceptable capacity will exist for every aspiration to be satisfied this last issue is vital and unacknowledged
The capacity delusion  trains / hour - Tokaido : 14 - RFF / SNCF : 13, rising to 15 - study for Greengauge : under ERTMS 3, in theory : 18 -eddy-current brakes, calculated risk : HS2 Ltd : 10 / 14 / 18
the capacity delusion  now look at the aspirations and at the reality
distribution of paths [peak hour] aspir- ations HS2 Ltd single trains portions Scotland2222 x ½ Newcastle … York Yorkshire + E.Midlands6446 x ½ Manchester other North West x ½ Birmingham4444 Europe via HS14see quote -- Heathrow4-- TOTAL
“Further work is being done to determine which of the above services might serve Heathrow and which might run on to mainland Europe” Department for Transport / HS2 Ltd, February 2011
The capacity delusion – the problems planning must not assume a techno-fix somehow we have to decide priorities no credible basis for HS1 or Heathrow links infrastructure decisions, eg. E.Mids, portions Newcastle and York not served by HS2 complicates capacity release on classic lines not just HS2 core but also LDHS-J <> WTOE-J regulation and competition
can we put the pieces together again ?
Why oh Y are we in this mess ? keeping up with Japanese, French, … (politicians + railway enthusiasts) alternative to Heathrow expansion models of economic growth regional interests – links with London DfT and Network Rail forecasts fashionable sustainability arguments (freight) engineers’ excitement about the perfect railway no understanding of strategic timetabling route plans > secrecy > no debate on principles
Above all : no strategic plan for public transport last of my three perspectives : the case for a national network does Britain need milch-cow / minimum- subsidy franchises or a public transport network to ensure sustainable mobility ? do we want competing operators or an integrated system ? has McNulty ignored this ?
What does a high-quality, integrated and genuinely-sustainable system of public transport require us to do ? change planning objectives abandon competition in the market accept desirability of central planning tender concessions for service delivery plan and timetable comprehensively (HS2 started from wrong place)
modal-split targets national standards of service-quality and connectivity modelling route-specific demand organisations, budgets timetabling, operations planning infrastructure plan toward an excellent system of public transport data, scenarios
Where does this leave High Speed Rail ? conceivably with a significant role, where -an increment of capacity is essential -existing inter-urban route devious, slow [eg. Leeds … Sheffield, Leeds … Manchester] but NOT 400 km/h, NOT ex-urban stations, NOT separate network more like German than French model >> incremental change
conscious that I may be the little boy pointing out the emperor’s nakedness, but my criticism is of the present ‘Y’ plan for HS2, not of high- speed railways Jonathan Tyler / Passenger Transport Networks, YORK /