The Anonymous Widower

Proposed High-Speed Two Services Are Not Complete

This diagram shows High Speed Two services.


  1. Trains to the left of the vertical black line are Phase 1 and those to the right are Phase 2.
  2. Full-Size trains are shown in blue.
  3. Classic-Compatible trains are shown in yellow.
  4. The dotted circles are where trains split and join.
  5. In the red boxes routes alternate every hour.

Click on the diagram to enlarge it.

Are The Services Incomplete Or Has Someone Left Something Out?

Look at trains 4, 5 and 6.

  • Train 4 is a pair of Classic-Compatible trains, which split at Crewe, with one going to Liverpool Lime Street and the other to Lancaster.
  • Train 5 is a single Classic-Compatible train, that goes to Liverpool Lime Street.
  • Train 6 is a single Classic-Compatible train, that goes to Macclesfield.

As an example, Train 5 could be a pair of Classic-Compatible trains, which split at Crewe, with one going to Liverpool Lime Street and the other to Chester, Llandudno, Bangor and Holyhead. I actually believe that this would be a way of creating a low-carbon route to Dublin, with a zero-carbon high-speed ferry from Holyhead.

What to do with Train 6 is more difficult.

  • Stafford and Stoke need to be served by High Speed Two.
  • Stafford, Stoke and Macclesfield are not stations with long platforms, so may not be suitable places to split a pair of Classic-Compatible trains.
  • Places North of Macclesfield to terminate trains are not numerous and probably only Manchester and Huddersfield may be suitable.

The alternative might be to split a pair of Classic-Compatible trains forming Train 6 at Birmingham Interchange, one going to Stafford, Stoke and Macclesfield and the other going to Blackburn, Blackpool, Crewe, Lancaster, Liverpool or Preston


February 18, 2023 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Stadler To Supply Norwegian Long Distance Trains Making The Journey An ‘Experience In Itself’

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on the Railway Gazette.

This is the introductory paragraph.

State-owned rolling stock company Norske Tog has selected Stadler as the winner of a contract to supply 17 long distance trainsets to be branded as Flirtnex, with options for 100 more.

The article is very much a must-read or should I say must-look-at?

February 18, 2023 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , | Leave a comment

Gilkes Reveals 900MW Scottish Pumped Storage Plan

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on

This is the sub-heading.

Earba project would be ‘largest in the UK’ in terms of energy stored

And this is the introductory paragraph.

Gilkes Energy has unveiled scoping plans for its 900MW Earba Pumped Storage Hydro Project in Scotland.

These are a few more details.

  • It will have a capacity of 33 GWh.
  • Loch a’ Bhealaich Leamhain is proposed to be the upper reservoir.
  • Lochan na h-Earba is proposed to be the lower reservoir.
  • There will be a three kilometre tunnel between the reservoirs.
  • The 900 MW power station will be on the shore of Loch Earba.
  • Construction is expected to take between 3 and 4 years.

This Google Map shows the location of the site.

And this Google Map shows the site.


  1. Lochan na h-Earba, which will be the lower reservoir is clearly marked, in the North-West corner of the map.
  2. Loch a’ Bhealaich Leamhain, which will be the upper reservoir is in the South-East corner of the map.
  3. Much of Loch a’ Bhealaich Leamhain appears to be frozen, with only a small triangular area of water visible.
  4. There doesn’t seem to be too many roads.
  5. There is a detailed map on the Earba Storage web site.

This looks like it could be extreme construction, at it’s most extreme.


With a power output of 900 MW and a storage capacity of 33 GWh, this pumped storage hydroelectric power station will have the largest storage capacity of any energy storage in the UK.






February 18, 2023 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Is Liverpool Going To Get High Speed One-Point-Five?

Some of the best train journeys, I’ve ever had were not on high speed trains on specially-built tracks.

The connection between these stories, was that all had a superb biological control system in the cab, who with help from the signallers was able to keep to a difficult schedule or make up time.

Last year, I made several journeys between Euston and Liverpool Lime Street. A couple of the journeys were unusual in that we arrived at our destination around six or more minutes early.

I suspect, that Avanti West Coast were experimenting to make sure that they get the new two trains per hour (tph) for the route perfect.

In Avanti West Coast Looks To Recover, I said this about Euston and Liverpool Lime Street services.

A paragraph talks about the second hourly service between London and Liverpool.

Avanti still has ambitions to introduce a second hourly service between Euston and Liverpool, but when this will come in will depend on demand recovery.


  • If would be desirable if some or all trains running on the route could achieve a timing of two hours between London and Liverpool.
  • It is felt that the second service should stop at Liverpool South Parkway station, where the platforms are too short for eleven-car Class 390 trains.
  • Avanti have stated they would like more stops in the Trent Valley, especially at Nuneaton, where they would connect to services to the East Midlands.
  • Nuneaton is almost exactly halfway between London and Liverpool.
  • Running two tph with Class 807 trains would need nine trains and Avanti have only ordered ten in total.

I believe that a practical timetable like this could work.

  • Class 390 train – one tph – Non-stop or perhaps a single stop in the Midlands – Under two hours
  • Class 807 train – one tph – Stopping at Nuneaton, Stafford, Crewe, Runcorn and Liverpool South Parkway – Current time or better

An hourly service between London and Liverpool in under two hours would surely be a passenger magnet.

So what is possible?

I found this service on Real Time Trains, which ran on the 16th February 2023.

  • Scheduled to leave Liverpool Lime Street at 0943, but left at 1012 or 29 minutes late.
  • Train did a ninety second unadvertised stop at Liverpool South Parkway. Now running 26 minutes late.
  • There was a two minute stop at Runcorn and a four-minute stop at Crewe. Now running 25 minutes late
  • There was a one-minute stop at Milton Keynes. Now running 20 minutes late.
  • The train arrived in London Euston at 1220 or 16 minutes late.


  1. Liverpool Lime Street and London Euston took 2 hours and 8 minutes.
  2. As Liverpool Lime Street and London Euston is a distance of 193.6, a 128 minute journey is an average speed of 90.7 mph
  3. Liverpool Lime Street and Crewe took 32 minutes with two stops.
  4. Crewe and London Euston took 1 hour and 32 minutes with one stop.
  5. In West Coast Main Line Electro-Diesels On Test, I found that a Glasgow and London train took 1 hour and 28 minutes between Crewe and London Euston.
  6. All services last week had the unadvertised stop at Liverpool South Parkway

What can be deduced from these figures?

  • If the Crewe stop were to be cut out, two hours and four minutes could certainly be possible between Liverpool Lime Street and London Euston with a Class 390 train.
  • I also suspect that if the train were to be run non-stop, that the other four minutes could be saved.

So will Avanti West Coast run the current service using new Class 807 trains, with the extra stop at Liverpool South Parkway and perhaps other stations and the additional hourly train with a non-stop nine-car Class 390 train?

This way of delivering a two tph service would mean.

  • Runcorn, Crewe and Milton Keynes would not lose any of their current fast services to and from Liverpool Lime Street and London Euston.
  • Liverpool South Parkway station is probably a more convenient location for some passengers going to and from the South. It would gain an hourly service to London Euston.
  • There will be an additional 77% of seats between Liverpool Lime Street and London Euston.
  • Passengers who don’t like tilting trains could use the Class 807 trains.
  • One tph would be timed for two hours or under and would be a marketing man’s dream.

No train would be slower than the current services.

Improvements To The Non-Stop Class 390 Train Service

I earlier said.

As Liverpool Lime Street and London Euston is a distance of 193.6, a 128 minute journey is an average speed of 90.7 mph.

An average speed of 90.7 mph, doesn’t seem fast for a Class 390 train with an operating speed of 125 mph or 140 mph under full ERTMS digital signalling.

These are some times for a selection of average speeds between Liverpool Lime Street and London Euston.

  • 90 mph – 2 hours 9 minutes
  • 100 mph – 1 hour 56 minutes
  • 110 mph – 1 hour 46 minutes
  • 120 mph – 1 hour 37 minutes
  • 125 mph – 1 hour 33 minutes
  • 130 mph – 1 hour 29 minutes
  • 135 mph – 1 hour 26 minutes
  • 140 mph – 1 hour 23 minutes


  1. Average speeds of upwards of 130 mph are unlikely, but I’ve added them to show that the train speed is less important than the speed of the track.
  2. High Speed Two’s planned time between Liverpool Lime Street and London Euston is 1 hour and 32 minutes.

But I do think times of around 1 hour and 35 minutes should be possible for non-stop Class 390 trains between Liverpool Lime Street and London Euston with an improved track and full ERTMS digital signalling.

Improvements To The Stopping Class 807 Train Service

As the track of the West Coast Main Line is improved with better track and full ERTMS digital signalling, this will also benefit the times of the stopping service run by the new Class 807 trains.

The Class 807 train with its lighter weight will have better acceleration than the current Class 390 trains. This will mean, that they will not be slowed as much, when they stop.

It may be possible to add extra stops at places like Watford Junction, Nuneaton and Stafford and still time the train for a few minutes over two hours.

Avanti West Coast Looks To Recover, is a post, that I wrote based on an interview in Modern Railways with Phil Whittingham, who is MD of Avanti West Coast.

There is a lot of talk in the article about.

  • Using Nuneaton to connect the North West and the East Midlands.
  • The acceleration of the Class 807 trains.
  • Improving the Customer Service.

I think that Liverpool will find it is connected to more of the country on services with just a single change.


Liverpool is getting greater connectivity to the Midlands and the South-East of England, with times, that could be improved to be comparable with High Speed Two.

February 18, 2023 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments