Latest Rail News

14.07.16

Chris Grayling appointed as transport secretary

Chris Grayling has replaced Patrick McLoughlin as transport secretary as part of the Cabinet reshuffle.

Grayling has previously served as leader of the House of Commons, justice secretary and minister for work and pensions.

He will now take over the Department for Transport whilst Patrick McLoughlin, his predecessor, has been moved to the posts of Conservative party chair and chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster.

Grayling’s appointment comes amidst a wholesale reshuffle of the Cabinet by Theresa May after she took over from David Cameron as prime minister last night.

(Image c. Dominic Lipinski from PA Wire and Press Association Images)

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Comments

Dan   14/07/2016 at 15:58

"Grayling claimed expenses for his flat in Pimlico, close to the Houses of Parliament, despite having a constituency home no further than 17 miles away" "During the Parliamentary expenses scandal, The Daily Telegraph reported that Grayling refitted and redecorated the flat in 2005 costing over £5,000." "Grayling came under fire as Shadow Home Secretary over the Conservative Party's use of statistics on violent crime.[14] In February 2010, the Conservative Party issued press releases to every constituency in the UK claiming that crime had "risen sharply" in the UK. They failed, however, to take into account the more rigorous system for recording crime. The chairman of the UK Statistics Authority, Sir Michael Scholar, said that the figures Grayling was using were "likely to mislead the public" and "likely to damage public trust in official statistics"".

John Burns   14/07/2016 at 16:35

The press are all saying this re: Mr Grayling job: "will oversee Heathrow Expansion and the future of the HS2 rail line". Obviously from Downing Street. Note 'future'. Not ensure it is built. May and Grayling should cancel HS2 ASAP, and cut the waste with £1.4bn already spent. It is a political project not a transport project that meets a need. In her opening speech as PM, May said she will not just favour a few cities (as Osborn clearly is) and HS2 favours only a few with dedicated track from centre to centre to only FOUR cities. The money is best spent on other rail projects with clear desperate needs.

Neil Palmer   14/07/2016 at 18:17

John - it DOES meet a need. The WCML is close to capacity especially at the southern end. Either you KNOW the rest of the reasons for HS2 and are just another anti-everything NIMBY, or you are ignorant of the facts behind the need for HS2, in which case go educate yourself.

John Burns   14/07/2016 at 20:38

There are only problems on the WCML from MK downwards. The Birmingham and Wolverhampton trains can go on an uprated Chiltern line via High Wycombe taking them off the WCML. HS2 meets few 'needs', if any. The money is best spent on local and regional rail.

John Burns   14/07/2016 at 20:42

MK trains to London can go via Crossrail, which is near certain they will. Again alleviating the WCML and keeping them out of Euston. Birmingham trains can to Paddington or into Crossrail tunnels.

Len   14/07/2016 at 23:15

I Hope grayling sees sense and srapped this evil multi-billion pound fraud,because that's all it is. Far from anything else the £1.5 billion Milked so far should be payed back,there is no such thing as a free lunch....

Neil Palmer   15/07/2016 at 03:57

John - you do realise that if MK trains are routed into Euston via a Crossrail connection near Old Oak Common (an excellent idea by the way that should be pursued, instead of the useless termination of many Crossrail trains per hour at Paddington) that they will join.leave the WCML south of Wembley and do nothing to relieve traffic on the southern part of the WCML, except the small distance between Wembley and Euston, which in itself admittedly would be worthwhile to reduce platform requirements when Euston is rebuilt for HS2. Of course the sensible solution for Euston remains the underground Euston Cross proposal with an end-on connection to HS1.

Neil Palmer   15/07/2016 at 04:00

It seems the one thing the Anti-HS2 crowd is is Anti-Democratic. All parties support HS2 and MP's have voted overwhelmingly in support of HS2. As Theresa May supported the Remain camp, but has stated that she will pursue Brexit as that is what the majority voted for, I can hardly see her ignoring the overwhelming vote of support HS2 has received.

Scraphs2   15/07/2016 at 07:11

HS2 was approved by MPs who were whipped into voting for it. Hardly democratic and public opinion is almost certainly against it for very good reasons. Many of the arguments put forward for it do not stand up to scrutiny and many are lies. It is wrong to argue that opponents are NIMBYS as many are not. An improved Chiltern line and some relatively simple and cheap changes could easily meet any reasonable capacity growth between the "HS2 cities" but there are far more pressing capacity problems elsewhere. If is about speed rather than capacity then the benefits of going faster than 250kph, not mph, have yet to be proved. The huge costs of the scheme could be reduced massively if it was not designed to EU standards but it would be far better to scrap it entirely.

John Burns   15/07/2016 at 08:08

HS2, if it needs to be built, is best being one line from London to the Crewe via Birmingham with access to centres via classic lines and existing stations. With trains to Scotland, Liverpool and Manchester, the high-speed trains run to the Crewe hub and on existing classic lines. To Manchester it will be only about 12 minutes slower than using a full dedicated HS2 line from Crewe, With new Hitachi 140mph trains Leeds & Sheff can be accessed on existing 'straight' 'direct' ECML & MML(uprated) lines, again only about 12 minutes slower than from London than HS2 door to door. The eastern leg of the HS2 'Y' can be abandoned cutting great costs. Birmingham needs only to be accessed via existing classic lines into New St, branching off the adjacent HS2 backbone. This is where most connections are made for the area. At London terminating at Old Oak Common with passengers changing for the Overground and Crossrail. Leave Euston alone.

Stu   15/07/2016 at 13:02

Beyond the HS2 and Heathrow issues - I'm more concerned to hear about the multitude of other transport infrastructure projects that will need investment and a assurances on delivery. Not to mention the many thorny issues around franchising that are rumbling on...

Gb   15/07/2016 at 18:35

HS2 is an unecessary, unpopular, very expensive vanity project causing stress to hundreds if not thousands due to the disruption it would cause along its route for many years to come. It should be scrapped entirely and resources diverted to far more needy upgrades of existing lines and re-openings of lines regretably closed, to provide greater capacity and better connectivity. The cash saved would be better spent on the NHS, the Police, education and other public services for which the nation would be extremely grateful..

John Grant   15/07/2016 at 18:41

"terminating at Old Oak Common with passengers changing for the Overground and Crossrail" -- the current fashion seems to be for terminals around the edge of London, with journeys across London needing two changes. That's how Crossrail has been built, and it looks as if Crossrail 2 will be the same. Why can't we have more like Thameslink? (Though even Thameslink stops at Bedford now and it'll stop at Peterborough when it's connected to the ECML.)

John Burns   16/07/2016 at 08:57

Thames link on the ECML? That is one of the problems. Keep regional rail off these lines as much as possible to make them expressways. The Sheffield train can run on the ECML and with the line from the ECML at Retford uprated Sheffield is easily accessed using 140mph Hitachi trains. This keeps the Sheffield trains off the MML releasing capacity on that line which was partially electrified for....Thameslink. The MML can be for slower traffic, the ECML for faster traffic.

John Burns   16/07/2016 at 12:14

Gb, I have never come across a proposed public works programme that has met with such widespread opposition and hostility as HS2. The design: - Connects with the existing network poorly. - Rips up Camden in London to rebuild a station that does not need rebuilding. - has a branch into a new Birmingham station that is a walk away from the main station which has the connections (how clever). - Birmingham airport station is well away from the terminal requiring transport to reach the station. - Manchester airport station is well away from the terminal requiring transport to reach the station and remote from the existing station. - The Manchester airport station is only access from Birmingham and London (they have their own airports). An existing line served Manchester airport from its city centre. - London Heathrow does not have a link. - A 7.5 mile 'branch' tunnel runs under Manchester to reach a station not facing the right way. Such long expensive tunnel needs to be a through tunnel to maximise its capacity. - From Crewe to Manchester the line takes a double loop into the city slowing the trains to less than classic line speeds. - The Manchester train will have a tunnel under the existing Crewe station. - The Liverpool City Region of over 2 million is left off the HS2 network. - Leeds is on a branch entailing a new station or a complete rebuild. - Sheffield served by a station in an out of town shopping mall. - HS2 does not connect to the Continent. A line across Herts would do that. - etc - etc

Nickk   16/07/2016 at 17:11

The idea of a link from the WCML into Crossrail at Old Oak is a great one, but the reality of works required is a different matter. The Scrubs Lane route of the WCML to Kensington crosses the Great Western line almost at right angles, hardly conducive for a linking chord, especially with the Lane running alongside. The Neasden to Acton line has a single track link to the WCML, but again to reach the GW would need significant building demolition, including the OOC trainsheds. The best option, not popular, would be to split off from the Scrubs Lane run, probably bulldoze a new building, run the track under the Lane, and across Kensal Green/St Marys Cemetery and the Grand Union canal! And a fully graded junction onto Crossrail would be needed to maintain the anticipated throughput. Not cheap.

John   16/07/2016 at 22:32

So £32 billion is now nearly £64 billion,oh less the £9 billion savings hs2 found overnight what's the final cost £150 billion £200 billion?,scrap it now!,business people can take a fight for around £60 return.

Emlyn   22/07/2016 at 01:20

Why are we investing in 19th centaury technology which will need constant maintenance to the track and trains like when it's to hot the rails buckle or the train wheels and brakes ware away or we get snow on the line or even leaves. Also the is always the limitations of speed or rails. We should be following the example of chain and japan and invest in frictionless, quiet rail and wheels that require very little maintenance. They don't stop for a little snow or leaves on the track bed and can trace at the same speed as aeroplanes and carry a lot more people in one go. Has anyone bothered to cost up how much this will cost compared to laying all the steel that needs constant replacements the lengthy and breathe of the country. Has anyone asked the Chinese for a quote ?

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