Whatever the whys and wherefores of this project and its route, we are absolutely bleedin’ shite at large infrastructure projects in this country.

The Chinese would have had this knocked out in 12 months.


Yep, and they wouldn’t keep reducing the spec. Fucker’s only going to be about 10 miles long by the time they finish it :unamused:

Haha, model railway. :train:

It’s a rare case where I can point to the entire Political spectrum from Caroline Lucas to various chinless wonders on the rightmost hinterlands of the Tories and state with confidence that every motherfucking last one of them comes out looking like a tiny minded, short termist forever in rapture to whatever special interest group is fellating them.

We are condemned to a system where anything that doesn’t yield immediate gain within one parliamentary cycle is simply left to die and it doesn’t matter what colour tie they’re wearing. It’s a system that seemingly exists to preserve the country like a decaying necropolis.



Reckon the victorians would have finished it quicker

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Maybe 6 if the Germans had done it. Why are we so shite at this. Why does no one do the maths before we begin.

Proposed cost x 10 (or any larger number) = Actual cost.

Same maths goes for expected completion time.

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Yup they’d have knocked out in 12 months with slave labour, no health and saftey / risk assesssments / ecological assessments etc. etc. etc.

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I was laughing to myself yesterday at the Governments (May) previous decision to electrify the GW mainline, but to stop the electricifcaion at Cardiff. The Hitachi trains have to run on both electricaty and Diesel. WTF. Just spend the bloody money and get the job done properly. Bloody messers.


It could be worse. Spain have just bought 200 million euros worth of trains that don’t fit through their tunnels.

The spur north from here to Oxford (and beyond ?) has never happened either - quite a lot of the steel piles are still lying alongside the track.

Projects seem to happen here despite a) those funding them being ridiculously penny-pinching but b) because they’re also too stupid to learn from what happened last time (Channel Tunnel, HS1, Crossrail, GW electrification etc etc).

When it was up and running I saw Alastair Morton explain the basic approach to raising the Channel Tunnel money in some TV interview or other. He said they’d worked out in advance what it would cost and realised the funders would never pay that much. So they picked a much smaller number and cut the budget to fit that. They started building and kept the true costs hidden for as long as they could. They did have to keep asking for small increases in funding but eventually they still ran out of money. Then they turned to the investors, told them what the cost really was and pointed out that their only chance of getting anything back was to stump up what it was always going to cost to finish the job. Which they did. Actually it could have cost less if the company hadn’t had to waste money trying to save money. That was sad but, he reckoned, necessary.

I’m a big high-speed railway enthusiast, but the way it was initially sold was “London → Birmingham fast”.

Err, there’s already a good line to Birmingham. Isn’t the money better spent elsewhere?

I didn’t really get it.

Agree, flawed in concept at its inception and now years down the line the current climate makes this look particularly foolish.

‘Yeah I know we’re making a good fist of running the country down and destroying public services, but look - shiny pointless trains you didn’t ask for!’

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Indeed they should’ve started by making sure the sections above Birmingham and particularly linking across the Pennines were done before putting all the spend into the SE as usual.


The trouble was getting round the bottleneck of Birmingham. The current fast train from the lake district, starts in Glasgow, runs once a day and gets to Euston in under 3 hours, bypassing Brum. If you want a faster service and a regular service then you have to build a line to run it on.

We would askari like a fast service to connect Liverpool to Newcastle, a route that is essentially a linear city.

I think it was really about capacity, but of course it was badly marketed and/or reported.


Nail/head, if they had started in the north you can guarantee the money would have been found to continue to London.

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More years ago than I care to remember I used to travel from Euston to New St once a month.
I was able to claim breakfast on expenses. So armed with a second class ticket I used to head to the 1st class restuarant car have a full English breakfast and finish the last piece of toast, the second pot of coffee and the crossword just in time to arrive at New St.
I remember it all being very civilised

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This was the greatest wheeze ever. Apparently they’ve put a stop to it.

I did Warrington to Morpeth a few times. I might well have hitched it more quickly.

On a summer’s afternoon the views in places could be lovely either way. You certainly had plenty of time to look at them if you went over the Pennines first and then took the East Coast Main Line (mostly a very long way from the coast).