HS2 rail project touts ‘carbon benefits’ through increased freight capacity 

Posted: July 23, 2020 by oldbrew in Emissions, propaganda, Travel
Tags: ,

West Coast main line and M1 motorway, southern England

Can’t blame the promoters for claiming their monster rail project is a benefit to all and sundry, by any means available. It’s obviously part of their job to try and do so. Cue climate propaganda.
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The project promoter has said that HS2 will enable new train paths on the existing network which can be used to move more goods by rail, and has released a new video to demonstrate this potential, reports New Civil Engineer.

The video uses Derby-based rail freight company DC Rail, which specialises in moving construction materials by rail, as an example. The firm is part of construction firm Cappagh Group which is currently constructing a new rail freight terminal in Wembley, on the West Coast Main Line, that will help it offer new rail services to customers in London.

HS2 Ltd has said that building HS2 will free up a “massive amount of space” by moving high speed services onto dedicated tracks to free up more train paths on the existing network for freight.

“The West Coast Main Line is the busiest mixed-use railway in Europe and is effectively full, meaning there is a lack of additional space to run more freight services on it,” said a spokesperson for HS2. “HS2 will change that, and once further phases of the railway are built, will provide additional capacity on the East Coast and Midland main lines.”

According to DC Rail, each freight train can remove up to 76 lorries from the UK road network and that currently amounts to 7M fewer lorry journeys.

HS2 Ltd said that rail freight has a key role to play in the low carbon economy as rail produces 76% less carbon dioxide emissions than the equivalent road journey.

By enabling more freight to travel by rail, HS2 will help reduce carbon emissions, improve air quality and make motorways safer.

Full report here.

  1. oldbrew says:

    Cool summer in Britain offers no alarmist headlines to media climate obsessives.

  2. Chaswarnertoo says:

    BS. A white elephant pork barrel.

  3. ivan says:

    A few problems with that idea.
    1) how do they move the goods from where it is manufactured to the rail terminal? Initial loading, then unloading and reloading for rail transportation.
    2) after the rail journey how do the goods get from the rail terminal to the person/company that ordered them? More unloading, transport and final unloading.

    So, with this hair brained idea we get multiple handling of the goods that requires upgrading of roads to and from the rail terminals especially if the goods are shipped in containers. If goods are shipped in containers those containers may not be full so where are they consolidated at the start of the journey and at the end where are they sorted for final distribution to the clients?

    The simple answer is to load the goods on a lorry at the manufacturers which is then driven to where that are wanted and unloaded.

  4. oldbrew says:

    Rail is much more suited to bulk transport than to multiple single truck loads. Existing lines can do that overnight or any other non-busy times.

  5. John, Uk says:

    Dear ivan,
    Some background to the non-simple answer.
    The Uk is basically a service economy. Many manufactured items are imported. Thus trainloads of containers are shipped from the major ports to large regional container depots directly for final delivery or via very large inland distribution depots such as Daventry (Tesco/Walmart) from which further container trains proceed to eg South Wales, Teesside, Glasgow, Manchester, Inverness etc. The last I read the % of containers landed at the major ports of Felixstowe / Southamptonn shipped out by rail was around 30-35%.
    There is an element of virtue signalling in this in that they can claim to be emitting less CO2 on the trunk haul but the UK also suffers from a long standing chronic lack of people willing to work antisocial hours as heavy goods vehicle drivers and a further problem that our roads are heaviy congested as well as our railways. It may seem hare-brained to you but I doubt the major players have gone along with these solutions without some benefits to their bottom line and the rail freight companies are not recipients of any sizeable government subsidies, Scotland excepted.
    DC Rail / Cappagh Group interest is in railing large quantities of construction materials in heavy trainloads (heavy for the Uk anyway) from a small number of very large quarries to the South East
    where this market continues to grow and the opening of their new depot of course is mightily handy for shipping in the huge quantities of material which will be needed inter-alia for the construction of HS2 itself

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