HS2 opinions

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karatestu
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HS2 opinions

Unread post by karatestu »

I am biased about this as my house is within 120 metres of the proposed line and HS2 ltd have to buy my house off me if i want to move - of course i will be moving as who wants to live near a construction site of this magnitude.

I am obviously against HS2 (nimby) and don't know what my views would have been about it had i lived miles away and unaffected.

It will cost every household thousands of pounds even if they don't use the bloody thing. It will be used by politicians and the elite who can afford the fares. With all this austerity and budget defecit the powers that be would save a lot of money by scrapping it but then politicians are all about saving face.

What is your view, for or against ?

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Re: HS2 opinions

Unread post by _D_S_J_R_ »

I hate seeing the countryside chewed up for so-called 'progress' and I expect back in the day, the locals hated the original railway lines being created, cutting fields in half and channelling into hillsides as they did in the Chiltern chalk near my home-town - the station was two miles out from the town centre though...

Here, it's houses! All the main schools are full to bursting and they can't cope, as are doctors and dentists, yet they still want to build hundreds of new homes for non-existent jobs (jobs at the docks go to established 'young' locals who work their way up from the bottom and they've delayed further expansion as far as I know). If one particular development goes ahead (it's currently in appeal after first rejection), we'll almost certainly move and hopefully our son will have finished at our local Uni by then and won't rely on us for 'everything...'

Sorry, didn't mean to bring it back to 'me!' Will HS2 genuinely help to restore the North, or is it just a very expensive political thing?

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Re: HS2 opinions

Unread post by Dr Bunsen Honeydew »

We need it, it is progress. Everyone is building them, why would they do that. The same things were said against George Stephenson in the 1830's.

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Re: HS2 opinions

Unread post by guydarryl »

ok with progress, as long as the best route has been chosen AND all materials/resources are UK manufactured and owned. This country, particularly post "Brexit", needs to get back in to manufacturing/engineering.
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Re: HS2 opinions

Unread post by Dr Bunsen Honeydew »

The history is that at the time of the APT project (1975 tilting and fast) we were ahead of the world, and in the HST production units we had the fastest, still is the fastest diesel, and 40 years later we still use them. The prototype APT trains wouldn't bend properly so we closed the project as it needed more money. The Italians (similar bendy railways) employed the experts from the UK and did it for us, and now we (Virgin West Coast) buy them from Italy, yet a majority of development work was ours. Reality is we have lost the people to do it and the Japanese are so far ahead in train design it is pointless to try and compete, even if we had a company capable of doing it. So Hitachi have the high speed contracts for the normal lines. Who gets HS2 is up in the air, but the Chinese are most cost effective and the Japanese best engineered.

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Re: HS2 opinions

Unread post by Classicrock »

It's a massive waste of money. They have gone from the fast argument (because saving 10 mins from London to Brum is nothing) to the capacity argument. It is easier and far cheaper to put in more tracks between London and Birmingham and that corridor already contains M1 and the canals. Your not spoiling much attractive countryside that way. As for the Tilting train the Gateway supermarkets Derby depot (when I was working on projects there) was next to the sidings were it was dumped (late 80s). Just needed more investment and we would have had the world dominance in the technology. Which under lines the big problem with the country (both private industry and government) relying on foreigners to keep anything technological going. If it wasn't for Indians and Chinese we would be close to having nothing.

HS2 and the need for more houses in symptomatic of the same mentality. Short term projects that create work for a few years without any forethought to what happens next. Of course HS2 is pointless as well as building 100s of houses out in the sticks were there are no jobs. In the case of houses there is actually nobody who can afford them as even affordable is unaffordable for most and end up as rented by landlords or shared ownership apart from the luxury 'country' houses for the rich. In fact the housing shortage could be addressed to a large extent by buying up empty properties and slum dwellings owned by private landlords and modernising and redeveloping. Certainly new housing need to be near where work is. HS2 is actually demolishing decent housing making matters worse and is a conduit for more activity being drawn to London rather than the opposite. I predict it will barely get off the ground before being curtailed or scrapped due to escalating costs and lack of funds following Brexit.
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Re: HS2 opinions

Unread post by Fretless »

We had a similar problem around 2000 - 2001. The Dutch government began on a very expensive goods rail line from Rotterdam Europort through to the German border, called 'The Betuwe Line'. This passes about 1 mile away from me and ploughs straight through an agricultural area.

To break even there needs to be at least 10 trains per hour running over this line.

Big drawback - on the German side the trains firstly run through the middle of a small town and then on slow passenger rails to the first big city. As yet the German rail authorities have no plans to connect the Betuwe Line properly to a faster network in Germany.

This huge white-elephant project cost the taxpayers here over 3x the original estimate, caused major upheaval AND hardly any goods trains run over it (many of which we suspect to be empty and just for show). Also this route is earmarked for large-scale transport of dangerous materials - including atomic waste.

There are ongoing political arguments about this line which still costs a huge amount in lost revenues. The government admitted that it finally got built because the contracts with the builders had been signed and it would have cost more in cancellation fees than to let the work continue.

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Re: HS2 opinions

Unread post by Dr Bunsen Honeydew »

Rocky - It is not often but I disagree with absolutely everything you have just said, and your reasoning is all wrong IMO, from railways to landlord and houses. Landlords are the benefiters of not building houses (high rents), not the benefiters of houses being built. It is always the NIMBYs who always get in the way, and they mostly vote Conservative, as they own the assets they don't want devalued by more houses being built or better infrastructure being built.

They have been optimising the west coast corridor for over 100 years trying to catch up and there is no way it can be optimised more. Also there is so much proof of the benefits of High Speed lines from all over the world, everyone benefits. it has opened up China. Taiwan where I have just returned from and travelled part of the HS route was Taipei and the rest hobbling along behind, I say that from being there 25 years ago as the line was being built. Now the corridor is packed with business and housing and the economy has boomed because of it, AND the beautiful parts of the eastern side of the island have been saved from it. Italy, France, Germany, Spain, Switzerland, Austria, etc have benefited, look at this http://www.eurail.com/europe-by-train/high-speed-trains we are the eeediots who argue over it instead of doing it.

Do you really want more and more short haul flights to bad airports with bad transit links, as that is the alternative.

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Re: HS2 opinions

Unread post by Classicrock »

Even if you disagree Doc you can't deny there is 50/50 chance of it being scrapped. Having lived near west coast line I know there is scope for more tracks without plowing up half of Britain. There is also route of Great Northern that runs close to Rugby and through Leicestershire. A plan for using that was scuppered about 15-20 years ago but there are still possibilities. If speed isn't the dominant factor (no curves) plans could have been more flexible with better tilting trains. Landlords are buying houses in new developments and renting them out - have seen it. Nothing much new with 3 beds south of Birmingham is under £230K which means lack of families that can buy/mortgage outright. Agree BTR is a menace and I don't think there is much coin in it purely on rent if you actually bother to maintain the property.
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Re: HS2 opinions

Unread post by Dr Bunsen Honeydew »

Basic - supply and demand. In all commodities, and houses are commodities it rules the market and prices. It doesn't take much thought to realise who benefits from what.

Of course there is room in parts on the WCML. Old railways and new railways are not compatible that is why it is always new build. I went by train in Italy from Naples to Rome and back. There are three prices, the old type train, stops lots is max 90 to 100mph. Faster trains using the same line with short cuts, less stops, and 125mph (all approx), and the new high speed line 160mph and no stops. Price of ticket doubles each time, and all trains are nearly full. HS is business travel largely.

I sort of agree about the old Great Central, I am sure it was looked into and costed. A lot of it is no longer there and would need changing as much as a new build. Plus it used Metropolitan lines from Aylesbury into Marylebone, HS couldn't do that so a large new build out of London would still be needed. PLUS the GCR was originally the Muck Sludge and Lightning (Manchester Sheffield and Lincs) which was a cross country line and when Edward Watkin took it over he planned a connection at Annesley north of Nottingham via Nottingham, Leicester and Rugby to London. So it goes no where near Birmingham, the prime reason for HS2.

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