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Railfuture High-Speed Rail Conference Jonathan Tyler Passenger Transport Networks, YORK Bletchley Park 9 July 2011.

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Presentation on theme: "Railfuture High-Speed Rail Conference Jonathan Tyler Passenger Transport Networks, YORK Bletchley Park 9 July 2011."— Presentation transcript:

1 Railfuture High-Speed Rail Conference Jonathan Tyler Passenger Transport Networks, YORK Bletchley Park 9 July 2011


3 Why I’ve been sitting on the fence [1] as a long-time environmentalist I hold to a radical critique of the concept of eternal growth / high capitalism / globalisation / hyper-mobility transition to a less mobile society essential but will take time and we need excellent public transport

4 why I’ve been sitting on the fence [2] demand for rail travel growing strongly and rail’s mode share rising 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 [just as it was in the 1970s]

5 But I have been on a journey … invited by Greengauge 21 to design an integrated WCML + HS2 timetable : accepted, given longstanding campaign on need for strategic timetabling not previously involved in HSR debate objective view based on HS2 assumptions delivered a detailed and credible proposal

6 Proposed integrated WCML + HS2 timetable at opening of HS2 phase 1 designed by PTN for Greengauge 21 prepared using the Viriato software developed by SMA of Zürich

7 Pathing schemes : Crewe … London, up / southbound, HS2 + inter-city + regional services Viriato SMA of Zürich

8 Pathing schemes : solutions for specific problems the Birmingham … Rugby corridor Viriato SMA of Zürich

9 Capacity challenges : Colwich Junction Viriato SMA of Zürich

10 The beginning of doubt [1] simplistic assumptions about growth trends, sheer scale of expected demand, arguable economic evaluations peculiar timescale, no carbon-reduction no previous study of timetabling, only broad statements by HS2 – my conviction about its importance derived from Switzerland (Taktfahrplan stages) problems passed elsewhere, eg. Stafford

11 the beginning of doubt [2] realisation that apparent anomalies reflect HS2 thinking (focussed on large conurbations, compare no Stoke stops) dismissal of places not served by HS2, eg. one ‘residual’ train/hour for Coventry confusion about links with regional and local services, eg. in Birmingham uncertain role of Birmingham Interchange

12 Then serious worries – and few answers [1] field observations inconsistent with rhetoric and with data about capacity (WCML RUS, sources) capacity – the problem of reconciling all the aspirations with the number of paths no analysis of portion-working (nb. both operational and infrastructural implications)

13 then serious worries – and few answers [2] study of eastern arm of Y: # no clear strategy for connectivity with ‘classic’ railway # ex-urban railheads – unacceptable ? # maximum HS2 capacity limits benefits of relief for MML, ECML # confusion over cross-country services # politics of Wichnor Curve

14 then serious worries – and few answers [3] more superficial assumptions, eg. # OOC interchange, GWML capacity # workability of HS1 connection no study of cost saving against disbenefits of British rather than European gauge regulatory regime – in whose interests will HSR be operated ?

15 So what has gone wrong ? 1)absence of a national strategy for public transport as context for planning 2)failure to consider alternative scenarios 3)predilection for grand projets 4)HS2 propensity toward ‘perfect railway’ 5)dispersal of responsibilities [DfT / HS2 Ltd / Network Rail / TOCs]

16 1) a national strategy for public transport accessibility objectives, standards of provision, optimised connectivity modal-split targets, eg. narrow huge disparity between high and low rail shares (compare environmental gain with promotion of new trips) a national integrated timetable plan to frame investment priorities (Swiss model) in its absence # limited assessment of alternative programmes # a technology in search of an application ?

17 modal-split targets national standards of service-quality and connectivity modelling of route-specific demand organisations, budgets timetabling, planning, marketing infrastructure plan toward an excellent system of public transport data, scenarios

18 2) alternative scenarios continuous growth comprehensive socio-economic collapse large reductions in mobility (esp. air ?) moderate reductions in mobility changes in composition of rail demand, eg. less long-distance commuting, many (non-London) trips transferred from car much rail freight not environmentally sustainable ?

19 3) the grand projet engineers propose, politicians are tempted a problem (apparent capacity shortfalls), a political hot potato (Heathrow), a longstanding economic imbalance (n / s), a shiny technology (HSR) loved by campaigners, and envy of foreigners (Tokaido, TGV, …) >> long-term, ‘transformational’ ‘solution’ excludes short-term, incremental measures

20 4) the perfect railway separation from ‘classic’ railway : # understandable, visionary, BUT # relevance in multi-centric Britain ? # optimal specification not tested against lesser options (esp. speed) # connectivity disbenefits # two-tier quality of service


22 5) dispersal of responsibilities fragmented planning: # WCML RUS passed buck to HS2 # no detail on WCML benefits until Greengauge study [TOCs indifferent] # limited study of interfaces [HS2 / NR] # unachievable aspirations [DfT] timetabling culture discourages visions

23 Capacity confusion trains / hour - Tokaido : 14 - RFF / SNCF : 13, rising to 15 - study for Greengauge : 16.6 - under ERTMS 3, in theory : 18 -eddy-current brakes, calculated risk : 19.2 -HS2 Ltd : 10 / 14 / 18

24 distribution of paths [peak hour] aspir- ations HS2 Ltd single trains portions Scotland2222 x ½ Newcastle … York1-22-- Yorkshire + E.Midlands5446 x ½ Manchester3-4434 other North West3-4234 x ½ Birmingham4444 Europe via HS13see quote -- Heathrow3-- TOTAL24-27181614

25 “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

26 capacity confusion – the problems planning must not assume a techno-fix complicates capacity release on classic lines somehow we have to decide priorities no credible basis for HS1, Heathrow links infrastructure design, eg. E.Mids, portions also affects Lichfield Y Junction … Water Orton East Junction

27 So what should now happen ? devise a national strategic (timetable) plan for routes with capacity constraints identify step-wise solutions, eg. timetable recasts, fares, train-reconfiguration, minor works, then larger works for specific problems for routes with long-run capacity constraint or sub-standard speeds consider new (but classic-compatible) alignments

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

29 can we put the pieces together again ?

30 Jonathan Tyler Passenger Transport Networks 49 Stonegate, YORK YO1 8AW 01904 611187

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