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Why Oh Y ? HS2 -- grand projet, great delusion or national network ? Jonathan Tyler Passenger Transport Networks, YORK Institute of Railway Studies and.

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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:

1 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

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3 Why I’m sitting on the fence [1] 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

4 why I’m sitting on the fence [2] 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

5 The case for the grand projet [1] 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

6 the case for the grand projet [2] 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

7 “a truly national high speed rail network for the whole of Britain” Programme for Government May 2010

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9 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

10 Doubts [1] 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

11 doubts [2] rebuilding - legitimate argument against total rebuilds -but not against location-specific projects new railways -an HS network not a necessary outcome -incremental alternatives

12 doubts [3] 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 ?

13 doubts [4] 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

14 doubts [5] 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 ?

15 so you might reasonably conclude that I’m falling off the fence onto the ‘no’ side

16 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

17 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

18 The capacity delusion [1] 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

19 the capacity delusion [2] now look at the aspirations and at the reality

20 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

21 “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

22 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

23 can we put the pieces together again ?

24 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

25 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 ?

26 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)

27 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

28 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

29 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 /


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