Written evidence from Neil Mathers (HSR
Bearing in mind there is no justification for statements
in the recent Consultation I had to look elsewhere for corroboration.
Alas I found no good news, but discovered details which fall
woefully short of reality. Your proposals do not reflect current
experience from high-speed lines operating elsewhere in the world.
There is no justification regarding the train paths
or proposed speeds, or any revised requirements for rolling-stock.
There is no information on the daily operation and performance
of the new scheme from Euston to Birmingham and further north.
comparison with high-speed rail elsewhere.
path diagrams showing how it will operate.
supporting the train path diagrams.
load factors are not provided.
While such data is missing and your proposals not
fleshed out, it is not possible to review your proposals today
and determine if the scheme is coherent and valid. How do you
imagine it will operate?
Train paths per hour (see attached chart (Train
paths per hour, High-speed Rail world-wide))
In the consultation you say: "The proposed new
line to the West Midlands would initially provide 14 new
train paths every hour for long-distance services, with developments
in train control technology expected to see that rise to 18
trains per hour on a wider network."
I reviewed a number of operating lines in Europe,
and determined the traffic density averages 1.2 paths per hour,
whilst the aggregate traffic is 12.1 paths per hour.
The HS2 figure of 18 train-paths per hour over
a single track is ludicrous
You must develop accurate train-path diagrams to
integrate the different routings, and to ensure the system does
not snag up. This is another concern which has not been addressed.
Average trip speeds (see attached chart (Average
trip Speeds, High-speed Rail world-wide))
I checked average trip speeds in Europe and elsewhere
from timetables and plotted these against distance.
You will notice these speeds are all less than 200km/hr.
Proposed HS2 speeds to Birmingham Interchange, Birmingham, Leeds
and Manchester are significantly higher; 16 to 30%. There can
be no validation for such higher speeds over a shorter distance,
and where the traffic intensity is so high.
Without the necessary train path diagrams you cannot
determine the ultimate capacity of the new scheme. And it seems
likely several paths will be lost when you combine differing routings
to/from the north.
Daily load factor (see attached chart (High-speed
load factors, from Network Rail))
In the Consultation you do not mention Load Factors
on the HS2 scheme. Instead there is discussion on load factors
and growth on other tracks such as West-Coast mainline, but that
is largely irrelevant.
To calculate "the efficiency" or otherwise
of HS2, you must estimate the daily load factor/s. As those factors
are applied to the ultimate capacity, you arrive at the ridership
on a daily basis. And please remember as you operate more trains,
more frequently, then the daily load factors fall away.
Some data on HS2 load factor are found in the earlier
Network Rail report "Comparing environmental impact of
conventional and high-speed rail." Here performance
on high-speed lines in Europe is compared with estimates for HS2
north from London. The differences are indeed significant,
with HS2 load factors lower by 33%. Imagine how HS2 would increase
its ridership; by reducing its fares?
train intensity (train paths per hour) is unbelievably high. Evidence
with Europe and Japan HS2 trip speeds are too high. Evidence is
load factors and ridership may be too low. Evidence is included.
is no substantiation for your technical offering. Evidence is
Once the basic data is validated, train-path diagrams
and levels of rolling stock established, only then can system
capacity be calculated, load-factors applied and possible cost-benefits
establishedbut not before.
With critical information still missing as to the
operation and validity of the scheme, further engineering studies
must be completed. Without that extra work there is little likelihood
the project will be successful and the anticipated benefits accrue.
Presently I consider this project is a pig-in-a-poke.
28 February 2011