Thursday, 27 August 2009

High Speed Rail

From The Independent:-

Under the proposals, the new trains would run from London and travel to Birmingham, Manchester, Warrington, Liverpool, Preston, Glasgow and Edinburgh. Passengers could reach Birmingham in just 45 minutes.

The thing is, I'm quite sceptical about that "Birmingham in just 45 minutes" thing. The fastest TGV service, TGV-Est takes 45 minutes to travel from Paris to Reims. Paris to Reims is about 90 miles, where London to Birmingham is 110 miles.

Now, there's no doubt that high speed constantly gets quicker, but over relatively short distances there is so much time in acceleration and braking (as well as limited speed in suburban areas) that the room for improvement is slight. The thing that almost no high speed advocates recognise about France is the scale of the country and the distribution of cities.

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