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back to article Analyst says Brit rail broadband plan is TRAIN CRAZY

Analyst outfit IDC has found fault in a new plan to “fix” broadband blackspots around Britain's rail network. UK Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin announced the plan on Monday, declaring it is time to start fixing “areas along rail corridors with intermittent or poor coverage of mobile phone signals” so that “hardworking …

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From firsthand experience over the summer on 3 networks... the broadband on trains is crap - anyone with a smartphone or tablet with a 3G connection already has a better connection with more bandwidth.

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There will always be a cost... To the 'customer'.

Stick with 3G and chill out if you lose your signal, it's not the end of the world having to wait a few minutes.

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It's ok it's been thought through

Drivers will be asked to slow down to enable faster speeds. Passengers will be allowed to change seats if the signals stronger on the other side of the carriage. A special tech support number in India will be setup. BT will get the contract funded by local councils in an entirely fair procurement and will of course match any funding.

'Customers' will heap praise on the new 'super fast train super not so fast broadband'

As for which areas it will be deployed - any where commuters don't stand in the rush hour.

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Joke

Re: It's ok it's been thought through

...but in providing network access for travellers on "a super fast train", surely the business case to provide super fast mobile broadband becomes very difficult - They won't be on the super fast train long enough to use their super fast mobile broadband consuming phone-i, tablet-i or dongle-i-thing...

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A fundamental problem with this...

...is that the whole comedy business case for HS2 is based on the "lost productivity" of all those businessmen needing to rush between Birmingham & London. If this improved coverage is so important that it needs government intervention (always a success, of course), then it will improve productivity such that most of the fictitious "benefits" of the unneeded train set will vanish.

Or, is it simply that our porcine MPs need this connectivity because they wish to be able to update their expenses claims as they waft along in publicly funded first class splendour?

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Re: A fundamental problem with this...

This : HS2 alleged benefits - beat me to it.

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Re: A fundamental problem with this...

And HS2 will in all likelihood have full broadband coverage. Anything less would be a terrible shambles, unfit for purpose, etc...

Meaning that it should disappear in a puff of its own redundancy and the money that they're going to waste on HS2 should be spent on improving broadband on existing lines.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: A fundamental problem with this...

" the whole comedy business case for HS2 is based on the "lost productivity" of all those businessmen needing to rush between Birmingham & London."

No it's not. A huge part of the benefit is the freeing up of capacity on existing overcrowded main lines. Due to the braking distances and safety margins involved it's inefficient to try and run high speed passenger trains alongside freight and other passenger services. Moving the high speed stuff to a separate line creates space for many more trains to run on the existing lines - and that's the point of the whole case; it's cheaper by far to build a new dedicated high speed line than it is to try and increase the capacity of what's already there.

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Re: A fundamental problem with this...

"No it's not. A huge part of the benefit is the freeing up of capacity on existing overcrowded main lines."

Wheep! Wheep! Wheep! Train enthusiast alert! Head up arse £50bn solution to non-problem alert!

There's no shortage of intercity capacity between London and Birmingham, or anywhere else on the WCML. The West Coast Main Line could add 20% more capacity by the simple, cheap, and immediate measure of ripping out the first class Pendelino interiors and fitting all carriages out as standard class. So an 11 carriage Pendolino has 589 seats, but if we replaced all first class seating and the first class galley with standard class seats you'd add another 113 seats on every single train. And you could add another twelve-twenty five percent by the modest cost measure of one or two extra carriages in each Pendolino set and further extending the platforms. And that 20-45% increase in capacity could be delivered within existing timetables and at existing speeds. There's similarly straightforward solutions for the commuter routes at peak times, if the will is there, but whilst the idiotic HS2 scheme persists the industry is in denial about how to fix those as well.

And that's before we look at the Chiltern line to Birmingham which is nowhere near capacity. Within existing train timetabling we could easily see extended trains with existing platforms at most stations (the intercity stations mostly appear capable of handing twelve coaches, but rarely see more than eight, so there's a 50% capacity boost without running more trains, just adding carriages. And we've even got the spare carriages kicking around, as the retired Mk3's from the WCML and HSTs can be refurbed to a very high standard, as Chiltern's silver train sets demonstrate. The Chiltern line could without much stretch double its capacity between Birmingham and London without undue investment, particularly if they had a daylight moratorium on running freight trains. And the silver trains could all run at 125 mph if the signalling were addressed, further cutting journey times.

You've also conflated speed with capacity. If speed's the problem, then sort the signalling out on the WCML, regear the Pendelinos for 160 mph, straighten the curves at Weedon, Leighton Buzzard and Wolverton and you're done. Admittedly we might need SNCF to do the signalling work given the history, but cost overrun and technical failure are bigger threats to HS2 than to a further WCML upgrade.

So, maybe you think that £50bn is a good price for not disturbing the first class fat cats, and ignoring what we could achieve with existing infrastructure? I don't.

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Re: A fundamental problem with this...

"Wheep! Wheep! Wheep! Train enthusiast alert! Head up arse £50bn solution to non-problem alert!"

I agree the £50 bn will be a complete waste since steam hauled excursions will never be allowed on HS2

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Anonymous Coward

Re: A fundamental problem with this...

Increasing speed reduces, not increases, capacity. The faster a train travels, the greater the clear space needed in front of it to allow for safety margins. Your proposed solution makes the problem worse.

A moratorium of running freight in the daytime is also unworkable. The nights are needed for maintenance of the infrastructure, needed more than ever as the lines are running at capacity. Higher speed running increases that maintenance need. Given that freight is growing rapidly and it's the most profitable part of the network by far, I'm not sure how your proposal works.

We're thirty years behind on high speed rail. I'm amazed that you haven't been offered a high-powered position in the rail industry given that your insights seem to prove France and Germany have been getting it completely wrong all this time and that those separate high-speed lines have just been a big waste of money.

Your anecdotes are not the same as a detailed analysis of the problem and the most cost-effective solution.

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Re: A fundamental problem with this...

"he West Coast Main Line could add 20% more capacity by the simple, cheap, and immediate measure of ripping out the first class Pendelino interiors and fitting all carriages out as standard class"

Yes, but the lack of 10 people being gouged for 300 quid in 1st would collapse the words economy.

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Re: A fundamental problem with this...

>And HS2 will in all likelihood have full broadband coverage

Unfortunately not

Reason 1: It isn't included in the specifications or costings and if it were it would be removed because they are already trimming the costs to in a futile attempt to stop them spiralling further.

Reason 2: The first services along HS2 Phase 1 will be in 2026, ~13 years from now. So using mobile comm's history and MoD procurement as our guide, we can see that even if HS2 was specified to support broadband, by the time it entered service no one apart from museums will have a device capable of using it...

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Re: A fundamental problem with this...

You don't work for the Daily Mail, do you?

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Old or new line

re HS2: longer, more frequent or double deck trains are all difficult on the existing line. Adapting it for any of the above will be hugely expensive and disruptive. So building a new line may be the easiest and cheapest option.

As to the 50 billion ouch, one might suggest adopting the French approach - pay compulsory purchase victims double what their property is worth and offer their local council/MP a few million to shut up. Exeunt nimbies stage left, build railway in three years for 20 billion.

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Unhappy

Re: Old or new line

"As to the 50 billion ouch, one might suggest adopting the French approach - pay compulsory purchase victims double what their property is worth and offer their local council/MP a few million to shut up. Exeunt nimbies stage left, build railway in three years for 20 billion."

A chunk of that price hike has been the "success" of assorted articulate and rich NIMBY's getting concessions and whining about the noise.

Something I've never understood is why the hell they don't open the line for traffic once the first stations were open. It would begin generating revenue from that point onward. the time savings might be minimal but they'd start earning revenue.

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Re: A fundamental problem with this...

"Your anecdotes are not the same as a detailed analysis of the problem and the most cost-effective solution"

I'll state it again for the hard of thinking:

You could add 20% capacity to WCML services in about two months, at a cost running into a few hundred thousand pounds, just by the elimination of first class. That doesn't require "detailed analysis", it just requires morons like you to count the seats, and see the blindingly obvious:

http://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CDAQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.virgintrains.co.uk%2Fassets%2Fpdf%2Fglobal%2Fseating-plan.pdf&ei=_2JMUvy8DuTs0gWUloGYAQ&usg=AFQjCNEwZ1hpQlNEswi0mO3x1NexhM35PQ&bvm=bv.53371865,d.d2k&cad=rja

Regarding your point on a daytime freight moratorium and speed, I've already offered you 45% extra capacity on the WCML, and probably more on the Chiltern line, within existing speed limits, timetabling and infrastructure. How much more do you want? Why this obsession with a conventional rail solution, that will actually place us 40 years behind the cutting edge, since that will be maglev or similar by the time this ridiculous scheme might finally be open?

I can only conclude that you're AC because you had a hand in the HS2 business case. In your case I think I'd hide in shame as well.

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Re: A fundamental problem with this...

That is fine if you are just looking at the Virgin West Coast services. It doesn't work so well if you also look at the Watford AC (London Midland), Watford DC (Overground) and Bakerloo Line Services that run alongside them.

Back in the 1950s and 1960s, there was a debate about whether we should increase capacity on the A roads or build new motorways to take long distance traffic off them. In the end, we did a mixture of both, but looking at that particular corridor, the M1 was built to take traffic off the A5, and the A1 was upgraded in places to improve capacity.

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Re: A fundamental problem with this...

"That is fine if you are just looking at the Virgin West Coast services. It doesn't work so well if you also look at the Watford AC (London Midland), Watford DC (Overground) and Bakerloo Line Services that run alongside them."

Well, the same train length argument applies to the London Midland trains where more could be run as 12 coach formations than the handful that currently are, and that's a 50% capacity increase. You could also close some minor stations that constrain capacity by more seats than they fill - eg Apsley, maybe Kings Langley and so forth.

The DC services can be considered separately, since these are effectively isolated from the WCML equation. Arguably the answer is in part to make it all "underground", or all "overground", because solving capacity constraints is difficult with the mixed traffic.

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How does this deal with...

Cuttings and Tunnels?

The 3G (or 2G for that matter) coverage is still patchy on lines less than 40 miles from London let alone in some of the more remote parts of the network. From memory it is only O2 that does not drop signal on the line from Blackwater to Wokingham (Reading to Redhill line).

Ok, I admit that on the main lines there is a fibre network running alongside a lot of it already but there are all sorts of issues to be resolved before this plan, sorry 'Pie in the sky idea' can become reality.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: How does this deal with...

re:"How does it deal with Cuttings and Tunnels?"

The eurostar/eurotunnel trains use onboard picocells in each carriage to provide excellent coverage even while under the channel: proper engineering (well, it's SNCF doing the engineering there, so no surprise).

My opinion is that there is no chance this will be picked up by the antique train companies in the UK -- they aren't living in this millenium yet, never mind today.

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Re: How does this deal with...

Only on the northbound tunnel which was given to the French to do. The southbound tunnel, which is in England as far as mobile telephony is concerned, is still a mobile free zone.

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Missed a bit in the article

He went on to say "who am I? What am I doing here, and when are you going to pay the absurdly high bill I sent you to ask questions I could have answered if I was paying attention to the real world?"

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Sounds crazy and backwards

The proper solution is to put a base station in each carriage. Perfect wireless signal all the time. The 'backbone' could either be handled with a wired connection, perhaps transmitted in the rails, or with an expansion of the same system the railway company uses to communicate with the drivers on the trains. If it is a wireless link, there's certainly no shortage of power there. Compared to the juice they need to move the trains, the communicates power would be a blip in the error term.

However, what I really want is a talking car where all the phone people can go. I want it so I can sit elsewhere. Unfortunately, I think if you put it to a vote of the passengers, you'd probably wind up with 9 talking cars full of NOISE for each quiet car.

Okay, now I have to go to far. How about USB electricity vending sockets on the talking cars?

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Re: Sounds crazy and backwards

"How about USB electricity vending sockets on the talking cars?"

I think the main problem (from the passenger's point of view) with that suggestion is the word "vending". The electricity should be included in the price of the ticket. As you yourself said, the cost of the extra power is irrelevant compared to the cost of the power that propels the train(*).

(*) Even on non-electric lines. The main cost there would be stabilising the voltage supplied in the carriages.

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Re: Sounds crazy and backwards

"(*) Even on non-electric lines. The main cost there would be stabilising the voltage supplied in the carriages."

All the inter city trains I've been on for some years have had at seat 240V for passengers use even in peasant class. So at least you could charge your phone even if you couldn't get a reliable signal to use it. The problem with broadband will be the ones that bedevil Chiltern Railways free wifi - that you have to mess around and register, signal is often too weak in the carriages, the kit simply doesn't seem reliable, and not all trains are fitted out, so if the wrong set is put in service there's no wifi fitted. Then you've got the slow speed of the connection from train to backhaul, shared between everybody (with some optimists trying to stream movies with limited success, but using a fat share of the limited bandwidth).

You could overcome these problems at a cost of more and better equipment, but why should those who don't need or want continuous connectivity pay to subsidise those that do?

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Re: Sounds crazy and backwards

Comms and signalling to trains and staff uses GSM-R, a specialised variant of GSM. It's not appropriate to try and mix public traffic on that network and there's no provision for the kinds of bandwidth being talked about.

The rails can't be used as they are already carrying other, infrastructure level signalling information.

Without significant changes to the way mobiles pick a network connection cellular data's not a good option - which leaves WiFi. Hand-off between access points for a moving WiFi terminal device isn't great and so the remaining, easier technical option is APs on the train communicating with a regularly spaced set of wireless concentration and backhaul nodes, probably bolted to the frames for the overhead electrical wiring.

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Re: Sounds crazy and backwards

"talking car"? you don't use 4G for talking, its for movies and online gaming...

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So..

I will be able to call for help while I'm freezing my arse off on a FCC train because the heating is off in winter, after nearly dying of heatsroke in summer because the heating was on ?

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WTF?

seems to raise a lot more questions than it answers

Tue, not least that McLoughlin was commenting that mobile phone networks need to add more cells to ensure normal 3G coverage along rail lines, so why is Delaney discussing shortcomings of Network Rail's on-train networks, and proposals for some apparently imaginary new network specially for train customers?

If ordinary 3G coverage is OK, there's little need for extra-cost dedicated networks on trains, although WiFi hotspots might be useful for non-phone users with untethered laptops. In any case the "analyst" doesn't seem to be analysing the proposal as made...

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Re: seems to raise a lot more questions than it answers

The problem with that being that it's hard to provision capacity for a rapid rise and fall in users of a given cell as a crowded train passes through it's coverage area without also disrupting the service of people working or living next to that same railway line, also using that same cell. It's cheaper and easier to build an overlay than it is to accommodate that traffic on the main network.

In urban areas the cell handover signalling for hundreds of users passing through multiple small cells at high speed, while trying to use the data connections, is something of an engineering problem.

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70% coverage by 2019... that's the issue

As someone who regularly does the long round-trip of London-Plymouth, I can vouch for the terrible lack of 3G connectivity. Sadly I used an app a couple of weeks agao to track my connection: in a 4 hour journey (6 at weekends, thanks Network Rail for those weekend "scenic" routes) I had 54 minutes of connectivity, most of that fairly sporadic and only really stable on the run from just outside Reading to Paddington. The longest period was 46 minutes of no data at all. On a major intercity route in 2013, that's quite frankly disgusting . Why are we even considering HS2 when there's such low hanging fruit to pick. Worse still is that when I ride what always was regarded as "the worst, most over-priced network in the world", Amtrak, I get free, fairly stable wifi for the equivalent journey of New York to Boston :(

As a side note, I'm actually surprised at how much I miss connectivity. I used to enjoy doing some nice work unplugged and getting through it without distraction. But now I always find I need access to some file/presentation held in a repository or acess to cloud based business service. Sad, but I suspect I'm typical and 2019 for 70% coverage is just too little too late.

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Stop

“Few things more frustrating”

Man, I wish I had his life: McLoughlin needs to get our more.

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Anonymous Coward

The truth is something else

A long time ago, I worked for BR. There was a plan to upgrade ALL of the line-side copper to fibre. This was obviously going to be expensive. Mrs Thatcher wanted to break up and sell off the network.

The head of BR showed some guts and stood up to her. One of the options was to put in extra fibre capacity so that BR could lease the extra to Telcos. As most of the cost was ripping out the copper infrastructure and putting in fibre, the additional cost of extra capacity was relatively small.

It was noted that the projected commercial lease amount to Telcos was several times that of the Public Service Obligation subsidy paid by taxpayers. This meant that the Nationalised BR could run either at a profit or, more realistically, invest the surplus in other modern infrastructure. Needless to say this did not happen.

Government: You are losing money, therefore we must privatize you.

BR: You know we could run at a profit if we did things differently?

Government: If you are profitable there is no need for you to be Nationalized, so we will privatize you!

This thinking is is why branch-line feeder trains connecting to main-line city services were re-timetabled such that they no longer connected with the main-line train. That way the usage of the branch line would fall below economic levels, then the branch-line could be shut. Then when the private companies took over it would be easier for them to run the system.

Anonymous for obvious reasons.

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Thumb Up

Re: The truth is something else

I also worked for the railways, and you've got the parts I knew about in a nutshell.

To understand the state that railways (and UK transport generally) are in today, you need to understand that politicians, at least from Macmillan's to Thatcher's tenures, HATED railways. So today we have, instead of one man driving a train hauling 2000 tons of oil or minerals, we have 50 drivers in 50 lorries to do the same, in vehicles that require more fuel and maintenance in total, and on an infrastructure that requires more maintenance. And that is said to be more efficient? And they used to argue that a guard on the train (no longer required) made the train option impossibly inefficient!

Politicians of the time up to Thatcher hated trains largly because they thought they were "slow and "dirty", largely based on their childhood journey experiences on steam trains during WW2. But instead of allowing the railway to modernise, they equated "modernisation" with closure, and used every dirty trick in the book to do so, both wrt to the legal requirements and wrt public relations.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The truth is something else

Well said folks.I also used to work for the railways.

Notice how the current success story on the railways is the East Coast Mainline... which the government of the day is desperate to privatise...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The truth is something else

HATED railways.

Well, more precisely HATED Rail Unions. Remember all the Aslef jokes "Ah's lef' my train at home", etc. It was't just the politicos, everyone outside of the railways hated them.

Now, of course, when tne governmemt actually tries to do something positve for rail use, they still can't do anything right. Some people are never satisfied.

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Re: The truth is something else

I think the East coast Mainline has set up an interesting dynamic in the industry, that perhaps could be applied elsewhere. However, I don't see any government going down this stakeholder operator route, as they seem to prefer an all or nothing approach.

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Holmes

Re: The truth is something else

AC wrote :- "Well, more precisely [politicians] HATED Rail Unions.

Mrs T hated railways, with the unions being only part of the reason. She only once got on a train while Prime Minister - for the Channel Tunnel opening ceremony.

Conservatives hate railways because they see them as nests of Trade Unionism; Liberals hate railways because they are run essentially in authoritarian ways; and Socialists hate railways because they think they are transport for toffs. Interestingly, you can detect all those attitudes in some of the posts here.

AC wrote :- "It was't just the politicos, everyone outside of the railways hated them."

I recently made a journey by car from Bristol to Southwark. Hours of it (yes, hours) were spent in traffic jams around the London "South Circular Road" (and other roads in my attempts to avoid said traffic jams). By the end of that car journey, I LOVED trains. I will never drive it again. I do not know how people can stand driving through London every day.

Odd that people's reaction to road delays is "Build more roads!" while their reaction to train delays is "Close the railways down!"

AC wrote :- " when tne government actually tries to do something positve for rail use, they still can't do anything right. Some people are never satisfied."

I recognise they are trying to do something positive, but no-where near enough. They should be getting far more freight onto rail for a start.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The truth is something else

I'm the Anonymous for obvious reasons poster.

In my BR days I attended a meeting at the Transport and Road Research Laboratory. One of the "road" attendees told us a truth - The way to solve road congestion is to build less roads. It is a Malthusian situation, more roads give people geometrically more choices. If you have a new Motorway near a city, commuters may consider working many miles from where they live, because initially the journey times are reasonable. An example might be that someone who lived near High Wycombe could have considered getting a job near Cheshunt when the M25 was constructed. Before the M25 this would not have been a viable option, the job that you looked for would have been a short drive or bus ride away, or a train ride to London.

Once the Motorway exists it encourages urban sprawl and the associated satellite roads, the motorway becoming saturated within a few years...

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Re: The truth is something else

The way to solve road congestion is to build less roads

It's an interesting theory, but I don't think it's true, at least not phrased like that.

It's essentially a variant of Parkinsons law; if you provide an increase of capacity on any network then the network use will increase until you return to some level of journey-time equilibrium where the inconvenience of congestion balances the convenience of the additional capacity, unless you've over-specified the network to the point where there isn't enough demand to cause congestion anyway (say a 10-lane motorway between, oh, Monmouth and Ross-on-Wye).

Reducing the network size doesn't solve the congestion problem, it simply reduces the scale, the congested roads remain just as congested, since they are again at equilibrium.

It's equally applicable to trains, of course, although the pattern will be different since train travel tends to be point-to-point, not as flexible as road travel. When the London-Ipswich line was electrified in the 1980's there was a big increase in traffic since it brought Ipswich within commute distance of London. It also caused a huge rise in Ipswich housing demand and prices, houses would go on the market at 9am and be sold by noon.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The truth is something else

"if you provide an increase of capacity on any network then the network use will increase until you return to some level of journey-time equilibrium where the inconvenience of congestion balances the convenience of the additional capacity"

Ironically when railway capacity is limited, it is cheaper to increase it and the surrounding infrastructure compared to building major roads networks. A good example would be building the railway "Garden Cities" compared to the motor car dominated Milton Keynes.

I think that the point was that there was no increase in capacity until motorways and dual carriageways were built. There was less reason to buy a car (or more than one car for each family). I know families at a single address who have 4 cars which are mostly used to get the individuals to work. Your point about Ipswich (and Norwich) is true, but much of the demand was caused by London having high wages with limited and thus expensive private housing stock compared to East Anglia. Decreasing journey time gave the network effect that you mention by offering people more choice. This was, as you imply, a self limiting effect - Also, Conservative governments increased the cost of the (subsidized) fares until that particular network-pipe was throttled.

In the 1970s I commuted around London. At one point I lived about 3 miles (radially around London) from work, it was quicker to walk as public transport generally does not go radially. On holiday a couple of years ago, I used a car for the same journey. The time was about the same as walking. The M25 had saturated the network. Admittedly, I and many others, could not afford a car in the 1970s, but we had less need for them as public transport was better, or we walked or cycled and didn't consider a longer commute except by train.

An interesting effect was observed in Newcastle. The local authority introduced an integrated public transport system where buses were scheduled to meet trains. Car ownership levelelled off, and many families only had one car. This was "fixed" when it was necessary to prepare for privatization, new central government guidelines discouraged this policy, and so car use increased.

Incidentally you could only get a mortgage for 3 times the husband's salary, or 2.5 times the husband + wife's salary so this limited the pressure on house prices.

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Re: The truth is something else

And Eurostar, which is majority owned by the French Government.

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Re: The truth is something else

" The local authority introduced an integrated public transport system where buses were scheduled to meet trains."

This happens in the Czech Republic. If a bus or train is delayed, the connection waits for a reasonable time - something I was extremely grateful for when the international train from Vienna was delayed, and arrived at the connecting station 15 minutes after the last train to Brno should have left ... Fat chance of that happening here, and a reason I avoid trains even though they are the better option for many long journeys.

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FAIL

You've all missed the point ...

Which was, saturation press coverage, ( http://bit.ly/1aKeiZQ ), of a political headline grabbing piece of spin. A bit more follow up and questioning from hacks and editors, along the lines of this article, would have been welcome, but that would involve boring work, detail and original copy. Detail, what details? who the hell has time for detail these days?

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Don't want it

I rather like a bit of peace, quiet, and the opportunity NOT to be doing any work while I am travelling.

Buy a book, even if it is on a kindle. Look out of the window, sip coffee slowly and pleasurably, chat to total strangers, even (as I saw last week) do push-ups in the vestibule. There is lots to do beside wear out the airwaves with internut traffic.

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Re: Don't want it

Why would anyone downvote this? does someone think you are lying when you say you don't want it?

Last friday I was on the train from Edinburgh south, talking to a bloke who used to be a KGB colonel, who now exports flowers from Russia. The week before we had an impromptu bridge tournament between 4 tables. (I lost).

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Clearly spoiled on the Chiltern line

Free WiFi in all trains, and 240V power points for charging phones.

It was only meeting a colleague recently who has to travel Swindon->London that I realised this is uncommon ....

e2a:Just read another posters comment. Yes WiFi can be temperamental, but it's still better than nothing.

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Re: Clearly spoiled on the Chiltern line

>240V power points for charging phones

Only need USB for phones and tablets, 240v is only really needed for laptops.

But the advantage of 240v is that people don't tend to vandalise the outlets!

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