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I found this news item "buried" in a local section of the BBC website. You can read all about it via this link.

I wonder will it actually happen? At the very least, the report will make interesting reading. If it is anything like the study into using double deck trains it will be thorough and informative.

Will it get me out of my car? Possibly but so long as I have a car in the driveway, the marginal cost of a journey with two passengers can often be considerably less than the same train fare.

David
 

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Here in Ireland (the republic of or Éire), there is also a review but more to do with the reopening of old rilway alignments such as the ralway corriodor along the west from Limerick to Sligo and also some of the closed suburban routes (to the much expanded and badly planned towns of navan to the west of Dublin). (Check it out on Google earth to see urban sprawl at its worst - cited by the EU as an example of how NOT to plan the urban and suburban areas)

generally this sort of infrastructure defecit takes a long time to fill and hopefully we will actually build or reopen these lines.

In Europe generally, there is a move to create railway cities where the train becomes not only the main mode of transport but urban planning targets these areas for development.

Check out OBB's website (Austria) or Prorail in the Netherlands.

Real railway and urban planning
 

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I sawthis report- it was also in the Financial Times. I think the government has finally come to terms with the fact that oil prices are just going to go up resulting in people being priced out of their cars. The era of cheap flights is also about to end. To keep the country running, how are people going to travel?
The obvious answer is train.

Not sure about new tracks alongside existing ones. Clearly there are environmental reasons why this might have to be the case. However I would have thought one railway up the spine of England (old GCR as basis?) with branches to Birmingham, Manchester/Merseyside, Leeds, Tees-Tyne and finally Glasgow/Edinburgh would be best . TGV or Shinkansen style, high frequency fast services. Pie in the sky? No absolutely necessary if the country wants to be economically succesfull in future. Of course we will need more capacity on local routes and get trucks off the roads onto the freed up capacity on ECML and WCML

If there's one good thing coming out of the currebnt oil price it is that its forcing the government to finally look ahead in transport and energy policies

Russell
 

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'The obvious answer is train.'

and travelling to the train station by bicycle if we can. To follow the european model again, the Utrecht station upgrade also involves a bike park for 11,000 bicycles. Part of this energy equation is not providing so many park and ride places for cars and thus requires public transport or bicycle.

'Not sure about new tracks alongside existing ones. Clearly there are environmental reasons why this might have to be the case.'

In the upgrade , the hedgerows and trees along the alignment would have to be removed (unless they are left as a median and the track built 'offside' but this would not be usual). However, with proper replacement planting (in advance of the actual rail works if possible), the environmental impact can be minimised. Most of the environmental proiblem is the loss of a linear corridor habitat. We do need the infrastructure though.

'If there's one good thing coming out of the currebnt oil price it is that its forcing the government to finally look ahead in transport and energy policies'

especially as we will have to get a small (or large) bankloan to fill our petrol / diesel tanks in the not too distant future
 

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You only have to look at the environmental case work done by the CTRL and the measures employed along the route to see how well new lines can be built - existing motorways can also provide suitable corridors for new lines. Remember, despite all the "softening" work, the CTRL and HS2 both came in on time and budget - could NR repeat this?

60134
 

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QUOTE (60134 @ 22 Jun 2008, 21:38) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>- existing motorways can also provide suitable corridors for new lines.

60134

Remember at the height of the Thatcher era, just 20 years after Beeching, when Alfred Sherman said that all rail lines should be closed and turned into roads? This neatly showed their commitment to railways. How times change.

mal
 

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There's a similar phenomena happening here in a suburban context. The commuter trains are getting filled to twice the passenger levels they were experiencing two years ago. The petrol price rise has really forced people out of their cars and onto public transport.
 

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They're looking at a completion date of 2025? That's seventeen years (!) or four governments which will require an inconceivable amount of forward thinking by our short term politicians? This should all have been started years ago...and it all sounds wonderful but when the chancellors pen finally hits the taxpayers chequebook it will no doubt be a case of pick one and only one, oh and it'll be flogged to the highest private bidder who'll charge through the teeth, with nimbyism all the way during construction. There was a recent hoo-haa about how the UK building industry is heavily corrupted, with endemic shill bidding, bribery, materials cartels and of course the mandatory incompetence and waste. The bigger the project the more scope for it...

...I fear it's all pie in the sky just like the massive off-shore wind farms of Scotland and our new nuclear power building spree. Nice though it would be to have a tilting-TGV roaring through our green and pleasant land. Is this an opportunity for any new line to be European loading gauge for double-deck trains? Oh look, a Sodor Railways class 66 with a curly tail just flew past...
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
QUOTE Is this an opportunity for any new line to be European loading gauge for double-deck trains?

As I understand it, the HS1 or channel tunnel rail link as most of us probably recognise it, has been built to the European loading gauge, but I think the correct term for that has a word beginning with U for Uniform or Universal.

David
 

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QUOTE (dwb @ 23 Jun 2008, 17:57) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>As I understand it, the HS1 or channel tunnel rail link as most of us probably recognise it, has been built to the European loading gauge, but I think the correct term for that has a word beginning with U for Uniform or Universal.
Aha, is that UIC?
 

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They seem to be adding new lines or trains such as Stobart rail, aiming to take off the equivalent-I believe- of 3 000 lorries. There is also a new "wine train" to ship wine cases between big wine consuming English cities, and apparently they are thinking of opening a new TGV line to Nice. They just can't decide whether to have it go direct to Nice from Paris or Lyon, or to stop at Aix-en-provence or Marseille.
Regards,
Ben
 

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While people may think this is "Pie in the Sky" the seismic shift in oil prices is what has prompted the rethink. Be in no doubt , the oil price (and the associated price of oil) is forcing rethinks into transport and energy needs around the world.

While Japan, France , Germany,Spain, Korea have been aware of this and building for years -its taken a dramatic change in the price of oil to wake up the British Government. We are all used to mobility now, so it would be a brave govt that failed to invest to make sure we can maintain this.

I have a real sense the tide has turned. While we may not be building new railways on top of motorways, alongside them seems very sensible to me!

Russell
 

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QUOTE (neil_s_wood @ 22 Jun 2008, 23:25) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>There's a similar phenomena happening here in a suburban context. The commuter trains are getting filled to twice the passenger levels they were experiencing two years ago. The petrol price rise has really forced people out of their cars and onto public transport.

And there's the plan to re-open the Waverley line to Galashiels, and onto Hawick and Carlisle if it works out; handy for diversions when the ECML/WCML are closed weekend after weekend for engineering work.

But shouldn't they be doing something about ticket pricing, too?

mal
 

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QUOTE (Purley Oaks @ 24 Jun 2008, 06:08) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>And there's the plan to re-open the Waverley line to Galashiels, and onto Hawick and Carlisle if it works out; handy for diversions when the ECML/WCML are closed weekend after weekend for engineering work.

But shouldn't they be doing something about ticket pricing, too?

mal
There also seems to be a lot of discussion about reopening the line to Leven too. It actually sounds serious this time.
 

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I think you're absolutely right and the likelihood is that oil prices will continue their upward trend beyond $150 to $200 per barrel in the near term. It's not all about reserves of oil, as exemplified by the increase in the price of oil despite Saudi Arabia's commitment to increase production, but political anxieties and also the weak US dollar play a signifiacant role (I don't see any of these factors going away any time soon!).

What's interesting from a railway point of view is that it may force rail operators themselves to look at alternative motive power. I think its almost certain that electrification projects such as the oft-proposed Great Western electrification programme will be re-looked at in earnest, especially with diesel prices actually outpacing those of conventional petrol.

Sulzerjev

QUOTE (rb277170 @ 23 Jun 2008, 23:05) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>While people may think this is "Pie in the Sky" the seismic shift in oil prices is what has prompted the rethink. Be in no doubt , the oil price (and the associated price of oil) is forcing rethinks into transport and energy needs around the world.

While Japan, France , Germany,Spain, Korea have been aware of this and building for years -its taken a dramatic change in the price of oil to wake up the British Government. We are all used to mobility now, so it would be a brave govt that failed to invest to make sure we can maintain this.

I have a real sense the tide has turned. While we may not be building new railways on top of motorways, alongside them seems very sensible to me!

Russell
 

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QUOTE (60134 @ 23 Jun 2008, 21:19) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>The Scottish executive have thrown millions at rail enhancement schemes and have plans to do much more - alas, poor, deprived England seems destined to years of Govenment procrastination - just look at Crossrail if you want a blinding example..... sigh.....


60134

They're currently doubling the track between Edinburgh and Bathgate for a planned onward extension to Airdrie, too, which is great. Oban via Stirling and Callander, anyone?

mal
 

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QUOTE (Sulzerjev @ 24 Jun 2008, 05:50) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>especially with diesel prices actually outpacing those of conventional petrol.
Sulzerjev
The actual price of diesel for major rail & bus companies is not the issue it is for road users.

AFAIK they buy their fuel in bulk, in advance on the Rotterdam Spot Market at something like 39p/ltr - yes, they have to pay distribution costs, some duties & VAT but they get that back anyway.

I may be wrong but will gladly stand corrected if so.
 

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Good point Brian. You know more than I do about actual purchasing arrangements! But how much in terms of diesel stocks do the railway companies typically maintain? Are we talking months or year's worth? Eventually I would have thought even the spot market prices will increase (due to sustained $/barrel prices of the feedstock crude oil), although when this would be to a level where it actually becomes more economic to consider other motive power generation is the key question. Maybe that point is actually years away - I don't know. We've seen it in the airline industry where the cleverer companies have successfully managed their fuel inventories and used hedging to alleviate the price of fuel, but sooner or later they all have to face the prospect of increased fuel costs. However, the situation isn't quite as critical with diesel as it is with aviation fuel.

Hope this isn't going too much off topic! The bottom line is that it's likely to result in more rail investment, not less, which has to be a good thing, if done responsibly.

Cheers
Sulzerjev
QUOTE (Brian Considine @ 24 Jun 2008, 12:38) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>The actual price of diesel for major rail & bus companies is not the issue it is for road users.

AFAIK they buy their fuel in bulk, in advance on the Rotterdam Spot Market at something like 39p/ltr - yes, they have to pay distribution costs, some duties & VAT but they get that back anyway.

I may be wrong but will gladly stand corrected if so.
 

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QUOTE (neil_s_wood @ 23 Jun 2008, 23:35) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>There also seems to be a lot of discussion about reopening the line to Leven too. It actually sounds serious this time.


And the Stirling-Alloa-Kincardine line has re-opened to passenger traffic this month.

mal
 
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