Let’s not travel back

First published in Letters by

WHILE I agree with R Goscinski that rail re-nationalisation would be preferable to the dog’s breakfast we have now (Letters, January 11), I would not be keen to return to old British Rail.

Those with long enough memories will recall a nationalised industry which (like many others) was run more for the benefit of the employees than the public. Any improvements to service had to be negotiated with unions who would insist on pay rises.

The travelling public came well down the pecking order, while service, reliability and punctuality were poor. Not much different to now really.

That it can be different can be seen by trying some of the European rail lines. I’d like to see a unified rail service run by people who care about their customers, but I’m not holding my breath.

Clive Tiney, Towthorpe Road, Haxby, York.
 

• GEOFF ROBB’S letter of January 12 doubts the need for HR2, as he calls it; he suggests instead longer trains.

He should be pleased to learn that work is ongoing on the West Coast Mainline to increase capacity by train lengthening together with improvements to track and signalling.

But these measures can only provide a short-term boost in capacity and cannot keep pace with demand. The only viable option to meet long term growth and provide the necessary step change in capacity is a new line, High Speed 2.

He might like to know that the estimated £32 billion cost includes allowances for risk and optimism bias of over 60 per cent, making his £100 billion guess quite uninformed.

J Harrison.

York.

Comments (1)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

11:31pm Wed 16 Jan 13

Magicman! says...

The problem with HS2 is that (a) the section where it actually matters (between the north and birmingham) won't be built for 2 decades, which is ridiculous in anybody's books, and (b) the section beyond the north to scotland will just have the trains running on normal lines - this breaks down into further points: (1) This limits the loading guage of the train to current UK guage rather than the wider european guages, which means trains will still be narrow and extra capacity per unit will only be done by adding extra carriages (instead of having wider trains where you could comfortably fit 3 seats with arm-rests next to each other then a gangway and then another 2 or 3 seats, for example), and (2) this will add extra pressure on the ECML and WCML which are already just about at full capacity (the WCML is at capacity between Preston and Oxenholme, which is why when TPE's electric trains for manchester-scotland services start running in 2014 this will see even less trains from manchester to windermere, as the diesels will not be able to couple to the electrics) - it is north of Northallerton and north of Preston where the main lines need as much extra capacity as possible, ideally by building new lines running a similar route to take the long distance travellers away from these older lines so they can be used for more intermediate services - but instead the government somehow think the HS2 trains will be able to squeeze onto lines that will, by then, be at full capacity.
The problem with HS2 is that (a) the section where it actually matters (between the north and birmingham) won't be built for 2 decades, which is ridiculous in anybody's books, and (b) the section beyond the north to scotland will just have the trains running on normal lines - this breaks down into further points: (1) This limits the loading guage of the train to current UK guage rather than the wider european guages, which means trains will still be narrow and extra capacity per unit will only be done by adding extra carriages (instead of having wider trains where you could comfortably fit 3 seats with arm-rests next to each other then a gangway and then another 2 or 3 seats, for example), and (2) this will add extra pressure on the ECML and WCML which are already just about at full capacity (the WCML is at capacity between Preston and Oxenholme, which is why when TPE's electric trains for manchester-scotland services start running in 2014 this will see even less trains from manchester to windermere, as the diesels will not be able to couple to the electrics) - it is north of Northallerton and north of Preston where the main lines need as much extra capacity as possible, ideally by building new lines running a similar route to take the long distance travellers away from these older lines so they can be used for more intermediate services - but instead the government somehow think the HS2 trains will be able to squeeze onto lines that will, by then, be at full capacity. Magicman!
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree