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Blot On The Landscape

The Benefits Of HS2?

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Journeyman24/04/2020 13:46:49
985 forum posts
182 photos

Out taking my Covid allowed exercise, my cycle route took me to this moonscape. I am standing believe it or not on a bridle path, totally impossible to ride on though.


Now I can appreciate why people protest, reminiscent of the 1985 TV series "Blott On The Landscape" where Lady Maud is trying to prevent the building of a motorway through the family estate (hence the thread title). This carnage is apparently one of the construction compounds for HS2, it is some 2 miles east of the actual route roughly between Denham and Tatling End in Buckinghamshire. I don't know how many hectares this compound covers but it goes out of sight in both directions.

I had to push the bike for a good few hundred metres, with hindsight I would have been better off just turning round and going back. Now that everyone has discovered home working, I wonder if HS2 will ever have any of the promised benefits. The landscape is certainly going to take a long time to recover.


Ady124/04/2020 13:59:10
4444 forum posts
693 photos

While people get all mushy about Britains train network and how fabulous and nostalgic it is, the brutal reality is, especially in cities, thousands of people were forcefully displaced to make way for the railways from the 1800s onwards.

Back in the good old days you got turfed out onto the street

Aat least nowadays you get some compensation

For better or worse, it's the price of progress

Journeyman24/04/2020 14:06:57
985 forum posts
182 photos

The question being, is it really progress? I can't help thinking that a fraction of the cash could have been used to upgrade what is already there and provide similar benefits. The railways need a lot of work to make them viable again. A few years ago I found it was cheaper to fly to Manchester rather than take a train! I doubt whether the pricing structure has improved.


mgnbuk24/04/2020 14:29:33
992 forum posts
69 photos

I wonder if HS2 will ever have any of the promised benefits.

Many people think that the supposed "benefits" have been overstated period. A vanity project that will not be of benefit to the majority & will probably have unintended consequences, like raised property prices in areas that become a "viable" commuting distance from London.

Nigel B.

Chris Evans 624/04/2020 14:37:53
1923 forum posts

"At least nowadays you get some compensation"

Where I live we get the HS2 and the second split (HS3 ?) 15 or more years of construction misery. Digging of "Borrow Pits" to extract local gravel, and compensation ? Market value plus 5% is all that is offered. Who could get a comparable house for just 5% more It won't cover legal fees and stamp duty.

Speedy Builder524/04/2020 14:49:49
2298 forum posts
175 photos

That is just a scratch - how about the night skies littered with Musk's satellites. How many is he proposing - 40,000. Its not enough that we have destroyed our planet with insecticides, and goodness knows what else, now we have space trash on a gigantic scale. One can imagine a "space War" where satellites are gobbled up to bring a business down. How long before the dark side holds us to some sort of ransom.

Phil Whitley24/04/2020 15:33:39
1341 forum posts
147 photos

HS2 is uneccasary, and grossly overpriced. No doubt it was lobbied for by representatives of the firms who will build it, and they were able to convince the government tnat the country desperately needed this project, whereas in reality, the only people who desperately need it are the contractors, who rely on endless govenment contracts and bottomless pits of taxpayers money. We have one of these megacontractor vanity projects in our neck of the woods., it is known as "The Humber bridge", or by the locals as "the bridge to nowhere". It was supposed to cost 80 to 100 million, ended up costing 800 million, carries nothing like the amount of traffic it was supposed to, did nothing to halt the decline of East Yorkshire and noth Lincolnshire, spawned no new business, and now they talk about scrapping the tolls, as they are not worth collecting! HS2 should be scrapped, as should the other vanity project at Hinckley, especially in the present economic downward plunge caused by Covid 19.


Ady124/04/2020 15:36:54
4444 forum posts
693 photos

Big capital projects are how modern corporations extract huge amounts of taxpayer cash from society via their pals at Westminster

Maggie tried to make private capital fund stuff like that when the chunnel was built, but it went bust

Edited By Ady1 on 24/04/2020 15:44:52

Baz24/04/2020 15:46:01
525 forum posts
2 photos

Totally agree HS2 is totally unnecessary and eye wateringly expensive, it is just a cash cow for the contractors who will keep hiking the price up and governments will continue to hand over cash. Perhaps now that Covid19 has nearly bankrupted the country the power that be might reign in their spending on such large projects.

KWIL24/04/2020 15:48:23
3395 forum posts
66 photos

How would you upgrade existing routes using the same tracks? Longer trains, faster trains, more trains,merely slow down the network due to safety spacing.

Ady124/04/2020 15:53:49
4444 forum posts
693 photos

HS2 is a hugely upscaled version of the Edinburgh Tram Farce

We could have had free buses (or 20p a pop) for 50 years with the billion plus quid the trams cost

50 years of free travel for the entire city, chuck your car away

What could you guys have done with the 200 billion quid that HS2 will eventually cost?

The bigger the crime the fewer the number of people who can comprehend it

DMB24/04/2020 16:08:10
1105 forum posts

How to upgrade existing routes? How about widening existing trackbeds, London to Glasgow via Brum and Manchester and bring back the wider carriages on a new broad gauge? Same number of carriages but more passengers in each due to the wider bodies and could go up at the same time with double deckers, even more passengers per block section.

Just get me coat

Journeyman24/04/2020 16:08:46
985 forum posts
182 photos
Posted by KWIL on 24/04/2020 15:48:23:

How would you upgrade existing routes using the same tracks? Longer trains, faster trains, more trains,merely slow down the network due to safety spacing.

Yes and straighten out some of the bends, improve signalling, electrification, better timetabling, improve point layout, double up on tracks where space permits. Probably a lot more simple stuff like developing a decent leaf-blower, better station facilities. I am sure the railway buffs on here can think of many more small improvements.


Lainchy24/04/2020 16:15:27
271 forum posts
103 photos

A total waste IMO, and during and after this virus is done, people will have realised that most meetings can be done via video conferencing, and I doubt very much if the project will recoup even half of its cost.


duncan webster24/04/2020 16:36:32
3249 forum posts
56 photos
Posted by DMB on 24/04/2020 16:08:10:

How to upgrade existing routes? How about widening existing trackbeds, London to Glasgow via Brum and Manchester and bring back the wider carriages on a new broad gauge? Same number of carriages but more passengers in each due to the wider bodies and could go up at the same time with double deckers, even more passengers per block section.

Just get me coat

But you'd have to close the West Coast main line for a long time to do this, you can't do serious upgrades to a line with trains whizzing past. We don't have the alternative routes they had back in the 60's when the WCML was electrified. What I object to is the phenomenal amount of money spent on non construction, lawyers, enquiries, environment surveys etc etc. Don't get me wrong we should do our best to minimise the environmental impact, but according to a chap I know who has been involved in a similar project they send one chap to count the trees, another to count the bats and so on and so on. It only took about 6 years to build the GWR from Bristol to London, why does it cost so much nowadays when we have all the construction kit? The French can build infrastructure a lot cheaper and faster than we do. I wonder if instead of lawyers and accountants they have engineers?

According to **LINK** we managed to spend £53 million on the Garden Bridge, don't try crossing it, you'll get your feet wet. We could have done a fair bit of upgrading of the Trans Pennine routes for that, as it is we still have to suffer Pacers on long distance journeys.

Edited By duncan webster on 24/04/2020 16:43:20

mgnbuk24/04/2020 16:55:27
992 forum posts
69 photos

we still have to suffer Pacers

I don't really "do" railways, but have they not now been replaced ? There was an item on the local BBC Look North program recently about the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway having rented it's tracks out to park the redundant Pacers that have been taken out of service. The K&WVR cannot operate at present & renting out the tracks to park the Pacers is at least bringing in some money. IIRC the commentary suggested that the Pacers were just awaiting being moved on to being scrapped, but I could be wrong.

Nigel B.

duncan webster24/04/2020 17:04:23
3249 forum posts
56 photos

For obvious reasons I haven't been on a train for a month, but according to **LINK** there are still some in service as of April.

Someone is actually proposing to preserve some. Perhaps it's to be an example of how not to design a passenger train

J Hancock24/04/2020 17:17:02
618 forum posts

Double-decking was the way to go to increase passenger carrying capacity.

But, the brown envelopes had already been posted, too late to correct the mistake.

Martin Kyte24/04/2020 17:38:04
2407 forum posts
40 photos

The UK rail loading gauge is quite tiny thanks to Mr Stevensons coal cart gauge.

regards Martin

Martyn Duncumb24/04/2020 17:49:34
44 forum posts
2 photos

I was amazed with a train journey I make from Paris to Augsburg, Germany. I only travel once or twice a year but when I first went about 10 years ago the journey took 7 hours, via Strasbourg, direct with no changes. From two years or so ago it now takes only 5 hours a 25% improvement. This improvement has mainly been made on the section from Paris to Strasbourg as the Germany section of the route is through more difficult country.

I have no idea of the cost, or who paid for it (?EU), but the benefit in journey time is far easier to comprehend. Speeds of 320 kph are attained and the trains are now double-decked. A further point of interest, the fare was €110 and last time €64.

There are all sorts of reasons we cannot compare this with HS2 but seeing benefits of this magnitude makes an investment easier to understand.


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