[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 18:21:36 UTC 2009

Alex Butcher wrote:
> On Thu, 10 Sep 2009, Tom Carbert-Allen wrote:
> Firstly, by abandoning rail, you'd lose access to 300mph land travel. I
> would expect that people and cargo that needed that speed would then be
> forced to fly instead. Fail.
We don't have 300mph train either, I think you mean 300kmph which is the 
normal top speed of eurostar and TGV etc. Rest of the UK is limited to 125.
The government tells us that 80% of all train journeys are less than 30 
miles though, so I doubt the top speed comes into it much for those 
journeys when they have already waited up to and hour to get on in the 
first place.
We are about to spend 34 billion pounds on a single new line just to 
increase the speed from 125mph to 180mph to Scotland. With that much 
money I am pretty sure we COULD make a 300mph rubber wheeled vehicle and 
the surface to run it on.

In Spain they are already testing a 140mph rubber wheeled vehicle with 
60 first class plane size seats and two toilets. And that is just a 
small R and D project on a few million.

> Secondly, once the land used by railways was turned into roads in all but
> name, I would expect that an increasing number of operators would 
> lobby to
> be allowed to use it instead, or even as well as the existing roads.
> Eventually, I think, the private individuals and organisations would 
> lobby
> to be allowed to use it too, leaving the end effect of a massive 
> expansion
> in roads and destruction of the railways (i.e. only the 'good and cheap'
> option, no 'good and fast').
I fail to see this as a problem, the vehicles would be specially 
designed for the job, not normal road vehicles. And I don't see private 
people lobbying to drive there own trains on the rails. All the journeys 
would be centrally planned and controlled as with current system. This 
would maintain all the differences between the current systems, just 
change the technology between the vehicle and the ground to one which 
allows better braking and costs waaaay less.
>> (at the moment we can't put more trains on because capacity has already
>> been reached, so everyone just puts up with standing which makes trains
>> seem un-attractive to commuters)
> Perhaps a rail buff can enlighten us as to why double-decker trains, 
> as seen
> in mainland Europe, aren't possible here...
> Best Regards,
> Alex
The needed track upgrades to support them would cost so much it isn't 
possible. We are talking tens of billions per line.That would only 
increase capacity by 30% at best and that still isn't enough to make it 
worth it. Especially while people are prepared to stand instead of take 
Trains only carry 9% of passenger miles and on most routes are already 
maxed out. To get to a decent level of capacity where people didn't have 
to drive would take 50 decker trains....

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