ollieollieollie wrote:[We are not in the 1830's & 40's. Construction workers stay in B&B's rather than tents nowadays. They stay in Villages & towns. They spend their wages locally thus creating employment too. This is how employment figures are worked out. There may only be 10k workers on the ground, but they will be backed up by 5 times as many support staff & office bods. All mechanised these days? Have you seen how many people are on the ground doing manual work during any kind of renewal/new track laying?
Still no real alternative offered.
As you are repeating your question about "alternative" I'll throw it back to you... "They" say that the WCML is on the point of collapse yet the initial stretch of line will only open in 13 years so what's going to happen in the mean time? The rest won't happen for several years longer, same question? The fact is the "capacity" is the only real argument for HS2 that could make any sense, but it relies on their "guestimates" being correct... I still challenge you on the construction workers figures, they will use existing facilities so they are not creating extra jobs, just using existing ones. I'd also question the 5x backroom figures, I would hope that they are a damn site more efficient than that!! Anyhow if the money was used elsewhere the same jobs would be created, just spread around the country!
Putting in loops, adding extra lines alongside existing (as they've done on the Trent Valley) does increase capacity very effectively and are more cost effective, as does reopening old branches that can be used as alternative routes (who said anything about opening "minor" branches? Though having said that Scotland has done that successfully and they are well used and help out local communities well.).
Ok, a list, for starters...
4 tracking Rugby to New Street
Relaying 4 track from Moor Street out past Solihull to Dorridge
Relaying/lengthening of old loops on the section south of there down to Oxford including 50mph crossovers
Increase capacity on Chiltern Line in the same way
Rebuild of Oxford Station
Re-instate the old diversion line between Exeter and Newton Abbot
Electrifying all the major gaps they've left in the Electrification Programme they've announced, Derby to Bristol via Birmingham, Leeds to Colton Junc (a stupid omission if ever there was one), same again from Sheffield to Leeds/Doncaster (same comment applies)
And a general one: Increase train and platform lengths across the network
All of the above (and I'm sure i could think of others as could other people) would help many millions of rail travelers and represent a much better use of the money.
Many Pro HS2 people say that we have to "drag the railways of this country out of the Victorian era" and HS2 is the way to do it... I'm sorry, but it's not, as although we'll have a shiny new railway the rest of the system will still be firmly left in their so-called "Victorian" era and won't have any chance of escape because all the money's been wasted on HS2! The way to modernise the Rail system is to start with the existing system and improve it, not just build a new line that has dubious and questionable benefits...