[sclug] OT: convert rail tracks to tarmac for private coach network which saves billions and provides a better service!

Tom Carbert-Allen tom at randominter.net
Thu Sep 10 10:00:36 UTC 2009

oh dear this is very dis-appointing.

I was hoping people on a technical mailing list would be interested in 
discussing the technical aspects of the idea (cost, capacity, efficiency 
etc) but you seem to have provided quotes of lots of mud slinging with 
no facts, figures or logical analysis of his proposal.... how useful

the last quote from Nigel Harris about needing to rebuild bridges is 
almost technical but as it provides no figures, just guess work, it 
turns out it's actually wrong. figures about widths of tracks can be 
found on fact sheet 3


now does any one have any technical challenges to the idea or are we all 
in agreement we should be spending our massive rail subsidy budget on 
tarmac instead of wasting ?34billion on the new north south line (which 
is more than double the cost of replacing every metal rail in the UK 
with road)


Jonathan H N Chin wrote:
> tom wrote:
>> the site which provides all the facts and figures the rail lobby doesn't  
>> want you to see is here:
>> http://www.transport-watch.co.uk/sitemap.htm
>> read it, then post back your thoughts on this dramatic but very  
>> worthwhile proposal.
> >From a quick websearch, I don't find Paul Withrington very credible.
> http://www.teslamotorsclub.com/archive/index.php?t-2625.html
> | By the way, this
> | (http://www.transport-watch.co.uk/about-transwatch.htm) and this
> | (http://www.transport-watch.co.uk/railway-lobby-group-transport-2000.htm)
> | page on the website would seem to indicate he is a one man
> | band with possible funding from a large road haulage company. I
> | remember now, I've come across him before - he is also known as a
> | bit of a nutjob who advocates ripping up railways and replacing
> | them with guided-busways or multi-lane highways (how many lanes
> | can you get on a typical railway anyway?) He seems to submit a
> | lot of "evidence" to government committees etc, and unfortunately
> | seems to have influenced the thinking of at least one conservative MP
> | (http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/columnists/article883785.ece).
> | It's pretty pathetic that the Telegraph feels the need to base their
> | case on a source like that. Interestingly this will be good test of
> | Boris Johnson's commitment to the electric car cause, if indeed his old
> | employers and his current national party are going to take this stance
> | (note Conservative central office has been quiet on this so far, it
> | would appear, but it is interesting that many of their supporters in
> | the press are publishing stuff like this).
> http://www.zoominfo.com/people/PersonDetailLimited.aspx?id=554026303
> | Without any wish to sound rude, it would be interesting to know what
> | motivates the thoughts of Paul Withrington.
> | 
> | As stated in his letter in LTT on 12 April, Mr Withrington is director
> | of Transport-Watch. This appears to be largely a campaign against
> | "cumbersome trains", to turn railways into roads. It uses cherry-picked
> | "facts" to discredit trains and promote roads, which blissfully ignores
> | both the many realities of doing so and the many virtues of trains.
> | 
> | Away from this campaign, he now appears to dispute mankind's contribution
> | to global warming (Letters LTT 12 Apr). In LTT letters on 26 April,
> | Matthew Ledbury very eloquently addressed the questions raised by Mr
> | Withrington but why were they being asked?
> http://web.archive.org/web/20070221034349/http://www.transport2000.org.uk/celebrity/maintainEditorDiary.asp?EditorDiaryID=14
> | His argument is constructed around carefully selected figures which
> | purport to show that taxpayers are being "railroaded", as he puts it,
> | by a railway industry demanding ever greater subsidies. According to rail
> | commentator Christian Wolmar, Withrington has confused himself by feeding
> | his calculator not with current rail costs but the prices attached to
> | an extravagant "dream" list of projects produced by someone in the
> | SRA with no more expectation of them becoming reality than a young child
> | hoping to be served with triple-layer chocolate fudge cake every meal
> | time for as long as he wants it.
> http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2005/feb/02/transport.uk
> | Nigel Harris, the editor of Rail (January 19-February 1), spoke
> | out. "The blunt truth", he said, is that standard double-track railways
> | are just not wide enough to be replaced by roads "without buying extra
> | land, rebuilding bridges and widening cuttings, embankments and other
> | structures. The seductively simple idea... that it's simply a matter of
> | concreting over a railway, is risible."
> -jonathan

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