Close Close
Poll

Do you agree with Driver Only Operation on railways?

View the poll

HS2’s impact on the conventional network

HS2 will have a major impact on the existing rail system, says the National Audit Office.

It points out that because HS2 trains will not have the ability to tilt on the conventional rail network, they will be slower than Class 390 electric multiple units on the West Coast Main Line. This means that infrastructure improvements will be needed to prevent existing services having to slow down.

The NAO also says that there will be a potential loss of value for some existing franchises, with timetables having to change from 2026 with consequences for revenue. The full impact of the new railway on existing franchises is not fully understood, it says.

Disruption caused by construction work on Phase 1 also provides uncertainty, particularly for the InterCity West Coast franchise, which operates into London Euston. The competition for the next ICWC franchise is due to open in June 2016 to align with HS2, and the NAO says the Department for Transport is examining how it can get value for money from this during HS2 construction.

Assessing how to make use of capacity released on the West Coast Main Line elsewhere on the network is also a key consideration. The NAO says the DfT has started work on this, but that this work is at an early stage.

The NAO concludes that the challenge of managing the interdependencies on the wider network should be supported by the DfT’s first attempt at producing an overall strategic vision for the rail network.

It says that while it is encouraging that this is now being produced, “we and the Committee of Public Accounts have been recommending that such a strategy be developed for some time, and some of the challenges the Department is now facing could have been made easier if this had been completed earlier”.

  • For more on the NAO's report into HS2, read RAIL 804, published on July 6.

Comment as guest


Login  /  Register

Comments

  • FrankH - 28/06/2016 22:10

    This is the first time I've read that custom will be taken off WCML operators officially. I wrote this weeks ago on here, an alternative route= less custom, less revenue thus less repayments. So add that to the costings of HS2 plus the upheaval at Euston.

    Reply as guest

    Login  /  Register
  • Philip Walker - 29/06/2016 11:05

    It is clear that classic-compatible HS2 trains should tilt. If, as I understand it has been claimed, it is technically impossible for a train of more than 300kmh to have tilt capability, that seems incredible and actually not really believable. With respect to timetable changes post HS2 causing revenue loss to franchises, presumably this is made worse by proposed reduction and/or slowing down of services to cities like Coventry, Stoke, Derby, Nottingham and Sheffield, although HS2 will serve none of those cities. ("Parkway" stations in the region or countryside near those cities requiring tram or whatever connections into the cities don't amount to HS2 serving those cities themselves)

    Reply as guest

    Login  /  Register
  • Philip Walker - 29/06/2016 11:13

    It is clear that classic-compatible HS2 trains should tilt. If, as I understand it has been claimed, it is technically impossible for a train of more than 300kph to have tilt capability, that seems incredible and actually not really believable. With respect to timetable changes post HS2 causing revenue loss to franchises, presumably this is made worse by proposed reduction and/or slowing down of services to cities like Coventry, Stoke, Derby, Nottingham and Sheffield, although HS2 will serve none of those cities. ("Parkway" stations in the region or countryside near those cities requiring tram or whatever connections into the cities don't amount to HS2 serving those cities themselves)

    Reply as guest

    Login  /  Register
    • FrankH - 29/06/2016 15:18

      So we have new trains that will be slower than the 390's once on the WCML. They won't actually go anywhere specific apart from Euston (maybe), just close to town and city centres. The final costs are unknown, they don't know where it's starting from Old Oak or Euston, if the latter the buying of land and houses for track space I believe is not accounted for. Apart from freeing capacity on the southern part of the WCML it doesn't seem to have much going for it. If I travel to say Birmingham I want to go to New Street where I can get my connection to wherever, not be dumped at Lawley Street if that is where HS2 is planned.

      Reply as guest

      Login  /  Register

RAIL is Britain's market leading modern railway magazine.

Download the app

Related content