Skip to content

Holy Shit they’re gonna get raped

The HS2 railway is facing a cost increase of tens of millions of pounds after ordering train carriages without enough doors.

Whitehall officials have gone back to the drawing board with train manufacturers after the alarm was sounded that having one set of doors on each carriage risked delays to HS2 services.

A “variation order” to amend the contract could cost taxpayers tens if not hundreds of millions of pounds, sources said.

A variation order on the basic design?

Short story. If HS” called at its own stations, or at lesat platforms, then one door a carriage could – might – work. If they’re to use extant stations then it won’t. So, at this late stage, change the design of the trains to have two doors per carriage.#

Lube up lads, this is going to be painful even then.

There is a solution here of course. The line now is only London to Brum. So why not just use regular trains on it? Higher speed just isn’t much on an issue on a 1 hour-ish journey anyway.

24 thoughts on “Holy Shit they’re gonna get raped”

  1. Decnine has it right. Complete WOFT. There is no time, will be no time, has been no time when canning it would not have been the best thing to do.

  2. “Risk” delays… And they’re worried about having a single set of doors would do that…

    When everybody + dog knows the damn things won’t run on time to begin with.
    Or at all, when the Prestige Project makes a lovely target for a strike…

  3. The existing HS1 trains in Kent have two doors per side, as do most trains in the UK. More doors means shorter dwell times but slightly less capacity. The Eurostar and French TGVs only have one door per side. If you’re running a non-stop service like Paris or Birmingham to London, then it’s reasonable to prioritise capacity over boarding time.

  4. @Andrew M

    Apart from the Eurostars, the trains using HS1 (Javelins) spend more time on ‘traditional’ lines than on the dedicated high-speed section, so that’s what they’re designed for.

    One of the ‘arguments’ for HS2 was that it would improve journey times even from points beyond the actual high-speed links, because the HS2 trains could run at normal speeds on traditional lines and then sprint for London once they reached HS2 metals: so the carriages should have been designed with this in mind. But they’re not tilting trains, unlike the existing Pendolinos on the WCML, so they’d be restricted to 100mph rather than 125mph on lines beyond HS2, pretty much negating any time saving advantage of running on the high-speed line.

    Madness on stilts.

  5. And Sunak scrapped the northern leg of HS2 beyond the Midlands in October this year amid spiralling costs, claiming that the pandemic had “massively weakened” the economic case for the project.

    It did. Mr Long Term Decisions For A Brighter Future should have cancelled the whole thing. Unfortunately, he’s just a small boy who is playing at being a leader.

    The leg between London and Birmingham, which still go ahead, is estimated to cost as much as £57 billion alone — and may still end in Old Oak Common in the outskirts of the capital rather than at Euston station as previously envisaged.

    I wonder if the Romans ever went insane and decided to build a cripplingly expensive network of roads for the use of Carthaginians and Sarmatians.

  6. Grikath – Or at all, when the Prestige Project makes a lovely target for a strike…

    It’s a bizarre prestige project, isn’t it?

    Because HS2 has no prestige, the public never wanted it, isn’t excited about it, and won’t use it. It’s the fantastically expensive obsession of a tiny number of fiscally incontinent people who all go to the same parties in SW1. There’s no votes in HS2, this is being done despite (and to spite) public opinion.

    Less Stevenson’s Rocket, more Groundnut Scheme. As usual, the British-identified government is straining every sinew to give you precisely what you don’t want.

  7. Can’t really get that bothered about a cost overrun measured in 10s of millions when so much more has been flushed down the toilet on this.

    However, this is another example for the list of what you get when bureaucrats get involved in the real world decisions.

  8. Steve,

    “Less Stevenson’s Rocket, more Groundnut Scheme. As usual, the British-identified government is straining every sinew to give you precisely what you don’t want.”

    The thing with railways in the Brunel era is that it means Bristol to London and back in a day, 2 at worst, instead of a week. It was a total gamechanger. People really cared about that saving. But no-one gives a shit if Bristol to London is 2 hours or 1’40. It’s not like people are doing it every day. The extra 20 minute inconvenience for a monthly meeting with a client, or for a trip to London to see your girlfriend is just irrelevant. People are still going to do it and they won’t pay much more to get that time saving.

  9. @WB
    It’s like Concorde or the Eurostar link to France. They’re only of benefit to a small group of a certain sort of people. But everyone else ends up having to pay for them.
    I’ve regularly commuted London/Lille. In one case, both ways the same day. I’ve never thought of using Eurostar. Mostly I drove. The convenience of the car was greater than the train because you have to get to & from your destinations at each end & the odd couple of hours in between were the least of my problems.

  10. That 20 minutes saving is eaten up in waiting for the bus to get to the railway station in the first place. Instead of, eg:
    Leave house 6:50
    Bus leaves 7:00
    Get to station 7:20
    Train leaves 7:30
    Train arrives 9:30
    Bus leaves 9:45
    Get to destination 10:45

    It would be:
    Leave house 6:50
    Bus leaves 7:00
    Get to station 7:20
    Train leaves 7:30
    Train arrives 9:10
    Run for 9:15 bus, miss it
    Bus leaves 9:45
    Get to destination 10:45

    It would only work if things were like Hong Kong and people actually lived and worked *at* the railway station at each end.

  11. BIS,

    This is a perennial problem with train talk. Media/politicians/trainspotters think in terms of people being right in the centre of London and going right to the centre of some city. And some do, but a lot of people are living out in the suburbs of St Albans or Reading, and then maybe aren’t going to Paris but a business park somewhere around the Peripherique. And once you have to connect into St Pancras or Gare du Nord, train can be a lot slower than car.

  12. Probably too late to get China to build the Very Fast Train for you , They have 46,000 kilometres built . Took them 10 years, I have used the system a few times, very efficient…A Google search may be interesting, for showing what can be done.

  13. Only one set of doors per carriage?!?
    What happened to elfnsafety?
    If there is a fire between you and the only set of doors …

  14. @Jimintheantipodes

    Even if you just stumped up cash for the Chinese to come over and do it, gave them an exemption on paying minimum wage to their staff they brought over here, etc, etc… still not gonna get done cheaply. Because they wouldn’t apply Chinese planning laws to getting the thing built. Would have to have all the environmental assessments, the planning enquiries, the court cases. The problem isn’t that British engineering companies don’t know how to build, for example, a tunnel. But might not have needed to build so many expensive tunnels as part of the process had there not been so much heed paid to environmental and visual considerations.

  15. Dennis, Pointing Out The Obvious


    Guess how they’re going to find out which sections are tofu dreg.

  16. I don’t think trains should have any doors.

    Passengers getting on and off, cluttering the place up.


    Helluva way to run a railroad.

  17. Do not give me any of that”tofu dregs” nonsense.. British engineering is not all that wonderful now. I speak as a ma who owned a LandRover Discovery, for eighteen miserable trouble filled months.

  18. Jim: I’ve spent the afternoon trawling through job vacancies, and noticably huge amount of them are management. Team Lead this, Project Management that. Where are all the “doing” jobs? This is the JobCentre website with job=”*”. Who the **** are these people managing? I think we’re approaching a Management Event Horizon. We’ll have an entire country either unemployed because they aren’t managers, or employed as managers desperately screeching that they can’t find any workers and MOAR!!!!!! IMMIGRANTS NOW!

  19. Dennis, Santa’s Not So Little Helper

    Well, if you spent 18 months with a British car I can see why tofu dreg high speed rail wouldn’t bother you much.

  20. Dennis, have a look ata map of Australia, Find Cameron’s Corner then Oodnadatta Track Two of several places my Built in England vehicle broke down……not a lot in the way of roadside service there.There is a very good reason everyone out there drive Toyota’s, maybe the odd Patrol, Apart from serious breakdowns, having a/c fail, and your mates in Toyota’s laugh at your unfortunate choice of vehicles while they are cool and comfortable is no fun .

  21. The line from the HS2 fans these days is, “It was never about shorter journey times; it’s ackshully for freeing up capacity on the WCML”. So using ordinary trains on it would do that just as well, no?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *