According to Professor Andrew McNaughton, transportation goes through periods of gradual changes, punctuated by giant leaps. These leaps cause massive changes in economic development and mobility. In the 18th century, it was canals. In the 19th century, it was the development of railways. The 20th century saw two leaps: the automobile and the airplane. This 1 hour video lecture gives in-depth coverage of what may be the next great leap: high-speed rail.
Professor Andrew McNaughton is the Chief Engineer of the proposed High Speed 2 (HS2) project in the UK, which would connect London with the Midlands and Northwest. His lecture covers a large range of topics in the area of high-speed rail, and will be of great interest to those following similar projects in California and Florida.
Some of the topics covered:
- Ballast or slab? (Answer: perhaps neither!)
- Capacity vs. speed vs. punctuality
- Dwell time, and the design of turnouts
- Designing train terminals to accommodate huge passenger flows
- UK vs. France vs. Germany development patterns
The HS2 has come under some criticism, because it may divert “eye-watering” amounts of funding which might be better spent upgrading conventional railways. Dr. McNaughton touches on this at the end of the lecture, in which he argues that HS2 would serve as a catalyst for growth in the Midlands, eventually creating a “supercity” made up of Birmingham, Manchester, and Leeds.
Incidentally: the HS2 ROW would be designed for up to 400 kph operation. The expectation is that over the lifetime of the HS2 infrastructure, high-speed rail technology will continue to improve well beyond current 300-350 kph speeds.
High Capacity and High Speed Travel: A 21st Century Solution
Professor Andrew McNaughton, Chief Engineer, High Speed 2
From: The IET Railway Network annual lecture and dinner 2009
2009-10-22 12:00:00.0 Transport Channel