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High speed rail announced

Community Veteran
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Registered: 24-09-2008

High speed rail announced

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/8221540.stm
Do we need high-speed rail.
Or are we better off with trains that run on time, join up with busses, passengers can always get a seat.
9 REPLIES
Community Veteran
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Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: High speed rail announced

I think part of the point is that the current rail network is so clogged up that in order to guarantee the things for which you've asked, a whole new rail line would need to be built anyway.
Community Veteran
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Registered: 02-02-2008

Re: High speed rail announced

The proposed route runs about 50m from my house and right under one of my friends nearby.
(in a tunnel but only 30m down so I guess there may be some "rumbling")
Another of my friends who is more out in the country will have it 100m from his house in a shallow cutting (10m or so).
MrC
Grafter
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Registered: 17-07-2008

Re: High speed rail announced

Quote from: journeys
Do we need high-speed rail.
We certainly need more rails laid down; not sure if they really need to be high-speed ones.
idlewis
Grafter
Posts: 245
Registered: 20-01-2010

Re: High speed rail announced

The Rail Network is very expensive so most people will use other forms of transport to get from A to B even if there was High Speed Rail network.  I only use trains for going to North West England to watch Football otherwise I use National Express to travel throughout England.  I also buses in Scotland and only use the train verey rarely.  Finally in Scotland the government here has cancelled the Glasgow Airport Rail Link but if it went ahead it would cost a lot of money for ordinary people to use.
Community Veteran
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Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: High speed rail announced

It's perhaps worth pointing out that some savings on rail fares can be had, only, it's not always very obvious how. For example, the ‘default’ fare for a journey my mother is making with two other people on Tuesday is £15.00 each, but with a bit of tinkering I managed to get it down to £10.80 each with no appreciable loss of travel flexibility. I'd say actually that it's very often the case that a cheaper fare can be had if you know how… which I guess is the problem really; not many people do. Even I'm sometimes stumped… I just have the miserly desire to save as much money possible to cause me to keep persevering until I figure something out!
Midnight_Caller
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Registered: 15-04-2007

Re: High speed rail announced

Be3G, Any tips on how to save money then?
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,111
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Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: High speed rail announced

Not sure I can really offer any generic tips – I live in London so ticketing's all a bit different to elsewhere in the country. But I suppose a good one that often works is considering splitting a journey in to multiple tickets. For example, if you're going somewhere that's quite far away, the cheapest return you can probably buy is an Off-Peak [period] Return. However, if you want to go there for a day, it might be cheaper to split the journey in to two shorter chunks, for which Off-Peak Day Returns are available.
Or perhaps you're departing just before the end of peak time (this is the case with my mother's journey above). The obvious thing to do is to therefore buy an Anytime Day Return for the whole journey. However it might, in fact, be cheaper to buy an Anytime Day Return for just the portion of the journey that takes place during peak time, then to buy an Off-Peak Day Return for the remainder of the journey.
There is a caveat to the splitting-a-journey trick though: the train must stop at the station where you change from one ticket to another. (There are exceptions to this, but for the intents and purposes here I don't think I should confuse people with them.)
Midnight_Caller
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Re: High speed rail announced

Thanks
WebDude
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Registered: 11-03-2010

Re: High speed rail announced

Quote from: journeys
Do we need high-speed rail.

Given the rather unimpressive time savings, I'd say a firm No!  Seems unlikely to make enough difference for Scotland trips and the bulk would appear to annoy those living along the route without allowing them many chances to use the new service for trips they may want to make - 50 miles to their nearest station means they may as well use that travel time to go direct to their destination, unless it is hundreds of miles away. 

Do Swindon / Bristol or the south-west or S Wales see any improvements?  No, of course not !

We certainly need some development, so that EU-size freight trucks can be used on the UK rail network, but replacing Victorian tunnels is not a short term, or cheap task (I guess deepening them to increase the overall height might be possible but not sure if any widening would also be needed (or a second, parallel tunnel so one way traffic down each could allow them to fit). 
One train driver on a phone-in said the current proposal had no mention of freight, and given the number of trains per hour, there'd be no chance as an "siding"  would be needed, to allow the fast passenger trains to "overtake" yet if there are 10 minute intervals between outgoing trains, there'd be no time for freight to get onto the fast train track and up to speed before it was needing to clear the way again...
I'll have to ask a rail consultant friend what his feelings are on the whole scheme (and what he'd suggest as an alternative).
PS I'm in N Wales, so no axe to grind over S West / S Wales, just unimpressed - better to fund fibre and get more teleconferencing so some trips would be avoided!