Join moving Motorail trainsas alternative to Motorways

Use this board for general non-cycling-related chat, or to introduce yourself to the forum.
SA_SA_SA
Posts: 1709
Joined: 31 Oct 2009, 1:46pm

Join moving Motorail trainsas alternative to Motorways

Postby SA_SA_SA » 2 Feb 2019, 12:45pm

Given that most people seem to view motorway driving as a tedious necessity (rather than enjoying 'the motoring experience' as advertised), and motorways are brutally ugly polluting blots on the landcape:

a pity an alternative of motorail (for HGVs too of course) where train did not need to stop to 'pickup' more vehicles was not invented

and to fend off/limit the automatic 'it'll never work' responses: I bet the French could get it to work :)
------------You may not use this post in Cycle or other magazine ------ 8)

thirdcrank
Posts: 28648
Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 2:44pm

Re: Join moving Motorail trainsas alternative to Motorways

Postby thirdcrank » 2 Feb 2019, 1:20pm

Dr B Ching - the pen-name of the author of a regular railway column in Private Eye SIGNAL FAILURES - has a bit in the current edition on p14 headlined Tempting freight in which they note that when the Channel Tunnel opened in 1994 things were planned on the assumption that trains would initially carry 7m tonnes of freight a year, eventually rising to 10m tonnes. In fact, that figure today is 1.2m tonnes - just 6% of Channel Tunnel freight. It seems the majority of the special locomotives allowed to use the Tunnel have now been flogged off far and wide, so it's not even an alternative to turning part of Kent into a post-Brexit lorry park. And almost forgot, special rail terminals were built to handle it all away from the Channel - around here, Wakefield was very proud of its selection as a Europort.

brynpoeth
Posts: 9862
Joined: 30 Nov 2013, 11:26am

Re: Join moving Motorail trainsas alternative to Motorways

Postby brynpoeth » 2 Feb 2019, 2:59pm

Was the tunnel expected to put the ferries out of business? I fear a great increase in trade was one reason that did not happen
How do ferry and train prices compare?
Entertainer, juvenile, curmudgeon
Cycling-of course, but it is far better on a Gillott
We love safety cameras, we love life

SA_SA_SA
Posts: 1709
Joined: 31 Oct 2009, 1:46pm

Re: Join moving Motorail trainsas alternative to Motorways

Postby SA_SA_SA » 2 Feb 2019, 9:14pm

thirdcrank wrote:Dr B Ching -... Channel Tunnel opened in 1994 things were planned on the assumption that trains would initially carry 7m tonnes of freight a year, eventually rising to 10m tonnes. In fact, that figure today is 1.2m tonnes - .....

Interesting.
Do you know why:
do lorry drivers just prefer ferries?
Would the channel tunnel take unattended freight (eg trailers on their own) like the ferries (at least NI ones) do? If not that might explain it?
Some other reason?
------------You may not use this post in Cycle or other magazine ------ 8)

thirdcrank
Posts: 28648
Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 2:44pm

Re: Join moving Motorail trainsas alternative to Motorways

Postby thirdcrank » 2 Feb 2019, 9:38pm

The article I quoted suggests something that has often been pointed out on here: hidden subsidies for road transport, with a quoted sum of about £6bn a year.

PH
Posts: 7003
Joined: 21 Jan 2007, 12:31am
Location: Derby
Contact:

Re: Join moving Motorail trainsas alternative to Motorways

Postby PH » 3 Feb 2019, 12:32am

SA_SA_SA wrote:
thirdcrank wrote:Dr B Ching -... Channel Tunnel opened in 1994 things were planned on the assumption that trains would initially carry 7m tonnes of freight a year, eventually rising to 10m tonnes. In fact, that figure today is 1.2m tonnes - .....

Interesting.
Do you know why:
do lorry drivers just prefer ferries?
Would the channel tunnel take unattended freight (eg trailers on their own) like the ferries (at least NI ones) do? If not that might explain it?
Some other reason?

I think there's some confusion here - Rail freight is something different to road freight that uses the shuttle or ferry to cross the Channel. The HGV Shuttles are I think running at near capacity, they increased it a couple of years ago to meet demand, though it's still a good bit less than uses the ferry.

thirdcrank
Posts: 28648
Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 2:44pm

Re: Join moving Motorail trainsas alternative to Motorways

Postby thirdcrank » 3 Feb 2019, 10:00am

I think the point is that freight is freight. The mode of transporting it is a choice - within certain limits eg some large things won't fit into railway tunnels. With one hand the planners provided for much more rail distribution of freight eg the €uro terminals, but with the other they gave hidden subsidies to road transport.

PH
Posts: 7003
Joined: 21 Jan 2007, 12:31am
Location: Derby
Contact:

Re: Join moving Motorail trainsas alternative to Motorways

Postby PH » 3 Feb 2019, 2:40pm

thirdcrank wrote:I think the point is that freight is freight. The mode of transporting it is a choice - within certain limits eg some large things won't fit into railway tunnels. With one hand the planners provided for much more rail distribution of freight eg the €uro terminals, but with the other they gave hidden subsidies to road transport.

I don't disagree at all, but what SA_SA_SA is talking about is road freight using the tunnel and the tunnel Vs the ferry and that isn't what was being discussed in PI. I understand the argument of road Vs rail, but that has nothing to do with the question of lorry drivers preferring the ferry. The volume of road freight using the shuttle is as it was envisaged and I understand close to capacity.
Also - it isn't just the subsidies to road transport that has killed of rail freight, I read a few years ago about the expected pay back period that any rail freight proposal would need to meet, it simply priced it out of the market.

merseymouth
Posts: 792
Joined: 23 Jan 2011, 11:16am

Re: Join moving Motorail trainsas alternative to Motorways

Postby merseymouth » 3 Feb 2019, 5:35pm

Hi all, Oh the grey cells are working overtime in nostalgia mode?
I seem to recall what the purpose of those big steel boxes towed behind artic units where for. Yep, filling with freight then a short drive to the Freightliner Rail Depot, for long distance transfer.
These days the 44 tonners are to be found clogging up even the smallest roads! So why can't the containers be off-loaded from the ships at major ports, then the string of such boxes could then travel by rail as they where intended to?
Oh yes, Eddie Stobart now has trains as well as HGV's, so others might soon follow. If they are reluctant to do so then HMG should legislate to force them! IGICB MM

SA_SA_SA
Posts: 1709
Joined: 31 Oct 2009, 1:46pm

Re: Join moving Motorail trains as alternative to Motorways

Postby SA_SA_SA » 3 Feb 2019, 9:24pm

PH wrote:...but what SA_SA_SA is talking about is road freight using the tunnel and the tunnel Vs the ferry and that isn't what was being discussed in PI. I understand the argument of road Vs rail, but that has nothing to do with the question of lorry drivers preferring the ferry. The volume of road freight using the shuttle is as it was envisaged and I understand close to capacity..

Yes, I was suggesting a shuttle system rather than motorways, but with no need to stop the train to join. As motorways were new builds I was also assuming such a system would also have been new build thus avoiding the UKs legacy narrow rail tunnels which limit freight routes on old lines.
PH wrote:Also - it isn't just the subsidies to road transport that has killed of rail freight, I read a few years ago about the expected pay back period that any rail freight proposal would need to meet, it simply priced it out of the market.

NB Apparently the Germans have some sort of tax disincentive on longer lorry journeys that makes rail preferable in terms of cost....

Rather than waste money on the white elephant of HS2 I would rather have more electrification and more ordinary lines (which should be made to cope with.containers /shuttles etc). In a recent rail magazine nicer cheaper gantrys were reported using a resin impregnated wood triangle which doubles as insulator and support while looking nicer, and being cheaper.... (hung from steel post ie vertical of P is steel , rest of triangle is resin-wood) .
https://www.architectsjournal.co.uk/news/three-finalists-in-overhead-lines-contest-revealed/8662318.article?search=https%3a%2f%2fwww.architectsjournal.co.uk%2fsearcharticles%3fqsearch%3d1%26keywords%3doverhead+lines+contest

EDITed to add link
------------You may not use this post in Cycle or other magazine ------ 8)

ThePinkOne
Posts: 207
Joined: 12 Jul 2007, 9:21pm

Re: Join moving Motorail trains as alternative to Motorways

Postby ThePinkOne » 4 Feb 2019, 9:02pm

SA_SA_SA wrote:
PH wrote:...but what SA_SA_SA is talking about is road freight using the tunnel and the tunnel Vs the ferry and that isn't what was being discussed in PI. I understand the argument of road Vs rail, but that has nothing to do with the question of lorry drivers preferring the ferry. The volume of road freight using the shuttle is as it was envisaged and I understand close to capacity..

Yes, I was suggesting a shuttle system rather than motorways, but with no need to stop the train to join. As motorways were new builds I was also assuming such a system would also have been new build thus avoiding the UKs legacy narrow rail tunnels which limit freight routes on old lines.
PH wrote:Also - it isn't just the subsidies to road transport that has killed of rail freight, I read a few years ago about the expected pay back period that any rail freight proposal would need to meet, it simply priced it out of the market.

NB Apparently the Germans have some sort of tax disincentive on longer lorry journeys that makes rail preferable in terms of cost....

Rather than waste money on the white elephant of HS2 I would rather have more electrification and more ordinary lines (which should be made to cope with.containers /shuttles etc). In a recent rail magazine nicer cheaper gantrys were reported using a resin impregnated wood triangle which doubles as insulator and support while looking nicer, and being cheaper.... (hung from steel post ie vertical of P is steel , rest of triangle is resin-wood) .
https://www.architectsjournal.co.uk/news/three-finalists-in-overhead-lines-contest-revealed/8662318.article?search=https%3a%2f%2fwww.architectsjournal.co.uk%2fsearcharticles%3fqsearch%3d1%26keywords%3doverhead+lines+contest

EDITed to add link


Starter for ten: W10 gauge all over, some more long loops and more paths plus not keep putting track access charges up. That would make use of container trains much easier, add in a few more intermodal depots & links to distribution hubs.....

More better value for money than HS2 methinks.

TPO

User avatar
NUKe
Posts: 3604
Joined: 23 Apr 2007, 11:07pm
Location: Suffolk

Re: Join moving Motorail trainsas alternative to Motorways

Postby NUKe » 4 Feb 2019, 9:27pm

PH wrote:
thirdcrank wrote:I think the point is that freight is freight. The mode of transporting it is a choice - within certain limits eg some large things won't fit into railway tunnels. With one hand the planners provided for much more rail distribution of freight eg the €uro terminals, but with the other they gave hidden subsidies to road transport.

I don't disagree at all, but what SA_SA_SA is talking about is road freight using the tunnel and the tunnel Vs the ferry and that isn't what was being discussed in PI. I understand the argument of road Vs rail, but that has nothing to do with the question of lorry drivers preferring the ferry. The volume of road freight using the shuttle is as it was envisaged and I understand close to capacity.
Also - it isn't just the subsidies to road transport that has killed of rail freight, I read a few years ago about the expected pay back period that any rail freight proposal would need to meet, it simply priced it out of the market.

Felixstowe port in recent years has extended its rail freight capacity, this has included work to lower all tracks under bridges to take containerised freight as far Doncaster. There are upto 33 freight trains a day leaving the port.
NUKe
_____________________________________