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BMIFlyer
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BHX An 'extra London Airport' With New HSR Link?

Tue Jan 10, 2012 2:05 pm

When the newly announced (today) HS2 link opens, with a new HSR station built at BHX it will be possible to reach BHX faster than STN from London.... by 2026 at least. The new High Speed trains will run at 250mph and will link BHX and London Euston in 39 minutes....

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-birmingham-12557717

Could we see BHX become a "London Airport 6"??
(obviously not in name, but it could ease a lot of capacity troubles).

Could be some interesting views here  
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DanTaylor2006
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RE: BHX An 'extra London Airport' With New HSR Link?

Tue Jan 10, 2012 2:15 pm

Birmingham Airport's management team have made no bones about the fact they would love to become "London Airport 6"... alas the reality is likely to be a little different.

As much as I love BHX, and would love it to become a London overspill, I can only see a HS2 rail link being detrimental to BHX. If London is a mere 39 minutes away (49 from Birmingham) then people are more likely to choose Heathrow, which offers far more destinations and often better prices. This will especially be the case if the proposed HS2 spur from Old Oak Common to Heathrow is included at some point. Even if Heathrow has capacity issues, you'd have a hard time convincing full service carriers to start up mid or long haul flights to BHX, HS2 or no HS2. I've often chosen to fly from LHR because it's been more convenient/cheaper and that's with the current 1h24m journey time to Euston and a 1 hour commute on the tube.

It'd be nice, and of course nobody will truly be able to say until the thing actually opens, and while BHX hope it works I'm going to remain cautious about its effect on BHX.

[Edited 2012-01-10 06:20:55]
 
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RE: BHX An 'extra London Airport' With New HSR Link?

Tue Jan 10, 2012 2:18 pm

Without a doubt in my mind, BHX is an airport running well under capacity and has the transport links to soak up even more London/South East travelers than it currently does. The current Terminal-Station transit system will be replaced by a faster link which will link HS2 to the current train station and BHX.

I still don't agree with the route, my view is that it should be sent underground from BHX and directly beneath Birmingham City Centre so it actually ties up with the current infrastructure instead of having to re-orientate it towards a third HSR station outside of the current city centre. Plus it would save the awkward and costly spur into Birmingham.


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danielmyatt
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RE: BHX An 'extra London Airport' With New HSR Link?

Tue Jan 10, 2012 3:04 pm

Hi all, first post on the main forums.

As a BHX native, i am overjoyed at this, so just had to join in the discussion.

Quoting PlymSpotter:
my view is that it should be sent underground from BHX and directly beneath Birmingham City Centre

This statement has cropped up a few times in the past. There were plans to build an underground rail / tube network in Birmingham in the 1960's, but it was discovered that the city is basically built on a sandstone hill, thus it couldn't support a network of tunnels being built underneath the city centre.
So for the same reason I doubt a tunnel which would have to be 12 miles from the proposed location of the "interchange station" the other side of the M42, to the city centre, could be built because of this, and within suitable cost effectiveness.
 
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RE: BHX An 'extra London Airport' With New HSR Link?

Tue Jan 10, 2012 3:26 pm

Quoting danielmyatt (Reply 3):
This statement has cropped up a few times in the past. There were plans to build an underground rail / tube network in Birmingham in the 1960's, but it was discovered that the city is basically built on a sandstone hill, thus it couldn't support a network of tunnels being built underneath the city centre.
So for the same reason I doubt a tunnel which would have to be 12 miles from the proposed location of the "interchange station" the other side of the M42, to the city centre, could be built because of this, and within suitable cost effectiveness.

It could be built and was looked at as one of the options. The geology is well known and tunnels were no issue, especially at the depth they would have been located. The issue was that the area for the station is required to be open and spacious - an underground option could not offer that over the full platform length. My view is that the spur and Eastside terminus away from existing infrastructure is a more costly compromise than having less space but higher functionality and connectivity with regional transport in an underground setting.


Dan  
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airbazar
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RE: BHX An 'extra London Airport' With New HSR Link?

Tue Jan 10, 2012 4:07 pm

Quoting BMIFlyer (Thread starter):
The new High Speed trains will run at 250mph and will link BHX and London Euston in 39 minutes....

That's faster than taking the tube from LHR into downtown London  
 
danielmyatt
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RE: BHX An 'extra London Airport' With New HSR Link?

Tue Jan 10, 2012 4:38 pm

I'm so glad for the city of Birmingham, its the first thing that we have got that completely out-shadows Manchester. despite us being the 2nd city, they always seem to get the regeneration and exhibition projects. This gives Birmingham a 5-7 year edge over Manchester in the Transport respect.
 
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RE: BHX An 'extra London Airport' With New HSR Link?

Tue Jan 10, 2012 4:46 pm

Quoting BMIFlyer (Thread starter):
Could we see BHX become a "London Airport 6"??

Nope, however you will see Birmingham passengers availing themselves of greater choice and connections at LHR in less time though.

London-Birmingham +
London-Oxford +
London-Southend +
= marketeers with their heads up their backsides. Only Ryanair might buy that sort of malarkey.
 
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RE: BHX An 'extra London Airport' With New HSR Link?

Tue Jan 10, 2012 4:53 pm

Gotta agree with most of the points, Think it will actually be detrimental to BHX.. Gives alot better options in London for people in the midlands to fly from easily.
 
skipness1E
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RE: BHX An 'extra London Airport' With New HSR Link?

Tue Jan 10, 2012 5:26 pm

Quoting airbazar (Reply 5):
That's faster than taking the tube from LHR into downtown London

Yes but it takes you to Birmingham. Once you've lived in London, anything beyond the Watford gap might as well be on the moon.
 
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RE: BHX An 'extra London Airport' With New HSR Link?

Tue Jan 10, 2012 5:34 pm

Quoting skipness1E (Reply 9):
Yes but it takes you to Birmingham. Once you've lived in London, anything beyond the Watford gap might as well be on the moon.

For the millions of foreign visitors who come to London every year, they may not care whether they fly into BHX or LHR, as long as the price is right. I'm sure a smart airline and/or travel agent will eventually combine the air+train into one ticket just like it's done in other countries in Europe.
 
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RE: BHX An 'extra London Airport' With New HSR Link?

Tue Jan 10, 2012 5:54 pm

Quoting DanTaylor2006 (Reply 1):
If London is a mere 39 minutes away (49 from Birmingham) then people are more likely to choose Heathrow, which offers far more destinations and often better prices. This will especially be the case if the proposed HS2 spur from Old Oak Common to Heathrow is included at some point.

No doubt LHR will have the connections. However, unless a new airport is built for London, it will require more capacity. I'm not a fan of 'split hubs' as that breaks connections. For example, few will be willing to fly into BHX for a LHR transfer. (Just as passengers stopped flying into NRT for a HND transfer once the mainland Asia hubs provided alternatives (PEK, ICN, PVG, HKG, etc.)

However, this will allow BHX to grow. With slots being so precious at LHR, I expect further long haul service at BHX by 2026. All of the mid-east carriers: EK (already at BHX), QR, EY, and I'll include IT. If India ever builds a 'mega-hub,' I would expect service there too.

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eurowings
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RE: BHX An 'extra London Airport' With New HSR Link?

Tue Jan 10, 2012 5:56 pm

Quoting skipness1E (Reply 9):
Yes but it takes you to Birmingham. Once you've lived in London, anything beyond the Watford gap might as well be on the moon.

Some Londoners seem to forget that life does exist beyond the M25....    
Quoting airbazar (Reply 10):
For the millions of foreign visitors who come to London every year, they may not care whether they fly into BHX or LHR, as long as the price is right. I'm sure a smart airline and/or travel agent will eventually combine the air+train into one ticket just like it's done in other countries in Europe.

You're probably right, but that's mainly the LCCs we're talking about, who seem to have plenty of room at Luton, Stansted and now Southend. I mean STN is after all only around 50 minutes by train to the financial district of London and most of the full-service airlines have no desire or business case to operate services from there.

The difference between STN and BHX is of course, that BHX has a very large catchment area of its own and does not rely on London traffic much.

[Edited 2012-01-10 09:59:11]
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GT4EZY
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RE: BHX An 'extra London Airport' With New HSR Link?

Tue Jan 10, 2012 6:43 pm

Quoting danielmyatt (Reply 6):
I'm so glad for the city of Birmingham, its the first thing that we have got that completely out-shadows Manchester. despite us being the 2nd city, they always seem to get the regeneration and exhibition projects. This gives Birmingham a 5-7 year edge over Manchester in the Transport respect.

But Manchester will be the focus of the Northern Hub which will effectively open up train travel right across the North of England, freeing up paths on the rail network, electrification and, if anything, drawing investment into the City. HS2 could well have the opposite effect for Birmingham.....and Manchester when HS2 arrives here.

As for the topic at hand. I don't see BHX becoming London's 6th airport. Whilst the name will certainly be Birmingham and Birmingham alone, a.netters and the general public are always bemused and moan at Ryanair's loose sense of geography so why would it be ok for BHX? Of course, some would always opt for BHX the London if they price was right but price sensitive doesn't alway = yields and low yields isn't likely to have the desired effect for those who are hoping that BHX will see the big carriers who would be searching for extra capacity in and around the South East.

The whole idea of living off the South East effectively adds credit to those who say that the BHX catchment is flawed. The catchment area is pretty much confined to the Midlands with anyone South of the City within easy reach of LHR and those North can easily make it to MAN. In essence this makes it like any other local airport. Plus areas of the Midlands, such as Stoke on Trent and Northern areas of Derbyshire Nottinghamshire, Shropshire aswell as Wales all look towards MAN. Meanwhile MAN's catchment area is huge and contrary to what some may say, the local airports of the North tend to compliment each other rather than competing.

It just seems that BHX is just unfortunate geographically being stuck in the middle of two of the UK's largest airports. Two's company, three's a crowd.

Please don't perceive my comments as being Manchester V's Birmingham. I see myself as an adopted Manc and love the City but I just see BHX as being unfortunate in where it is situated. I genuinely believe that if MAN was transported overnight and placed into Sheldon and BHX was transported into Ringway they would be in each others shoes.
Proud to fly from Manchester!
 
babybus
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RE: BHX An 'extra London Airport' With New HSR Link?

Tue Jan 10, 2012 7:47 pm

We forget BHX was a BA eurohub back in the 80s.


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So a resurrection isn't off the menu with better transport links.

However, there is a thing called 'mental maps' in economic geography where people will always see Birmingham for where it is despite being able to get there quicker. Also like the other airports it's on the wrong side of London and will have to compete with Stansted and Luton.

It will have to have some distinct advantage over the others like shorter security queues, less crowded, good value for money etc.
and with that..cabin crew, seats for landing please.
 
r2rho
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RE: BHX An 'extra London Airport' With New HSR Link?

Tue Jan 10, 2012 8:19 pm

So there will be a HS2 station at BHX? That's great news, multi-modal transport is the way to go. If an airline offers me an attractive rail&fly option, I'll be glad to fly into BHX to get to LON. Just like today you can fly into FRA and continue to CGN on the same LH ticket, to name just one example. I definitely see BHX with potential to attract LON O&D traffic.

Quoting DanTaylor2006 (Reply 1):
If London is a mere 39 minutes away (49 from Birmingham) then people are more likely to choose Heathrow, which offers far more destinations and often better prices

The risk of BHX losing pax to LHR only exists if LHR is connected to HS2, which is still up in the air. But even then, you'd have to assume that LHR will be able to cope with demand, which it already cannot today, let alone in 2026. So that overspill has to go somewhere, and a well-connected BHX is a good candidate.

Quoting skipness1E (Reply 7):
London-Birmingham +
London-Oxford +
London-Southend +
= marketeers with their heads up their backsides. Only Ryanair might buy that sort of malarkey.

Not for the people who measure distances in time, not kilometers. 39min is closer than many "main" airports are to their home cities.

Quoting PlymSpotter (Reply 2):
I still don't agree with the route, my view is that it should be sent underground from BHX and directly beneath Birmingham City Centre so it actually ties up with the current infrastructure instead of having to re-orientate it towards a third HSR station outside of the current city centre.

   I am no fan of HSR stations outside the city with no interconnection to the rest of the network, as has been done in some places around Europe. However I understood that some trains will run into Birmingham itself, while others will bypass via the suburb station?
 
skipness1E
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RE: BHX An 'extra London Airport' With New HSR Link?

Tue Jan 10, 2012 8:30 pm

Anyone who thinks that Birmingham Airport is going to be a London Airport with a BA hub is kidding themselves. We're NOT Germany, we never will be, we cannot have that sort of infrastructure in and around London as the cost would be astronomical. There is a good reason the Heathrow Express is the most expensive railway journey by distance in Europe.
We don't even use Stansted if we can avoid it and even Luton struggles as a real London airport. Only LHR and LGW are mass market world airports with LCY having a fantastic product and niche but from a Londoner, no matter how great Stansted is sold to us, it's still way off the radar and too expensive to get to from town.
The price to get to Birmingham from London isn't going to be coming down as the whole point of rail strategy is to depend less on the taxpayer so this vanity project will have to be paid for by the traveller. On experience of the current operators, good luck with that !
 
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RE: BHX An 'extra London Airport' With New HSR Link?

Tue Jan 10, 2012 9:38 pm

I admit I have not taken the time to read through all the previous comment, but here is my 2c to the discussion:

If BHX can bring relief to the LON airports, which are by common knowledge overwhelmed by the traffic they must handle, then why not implant a system similar to the one which LH is using in Germany, in case the HS2 is going to be built:

Codeshare BA flight numbers with High Speed Rail on chosen segments where flying does not make sense. LH does this on ICE's FRA-CGN and FRA-STR runs, which both seems to work out quite well.
It gets Pax where they want to go by train and flight (train to airport + flight to wherever), with the bonus that (1) pax can book the train+flight at once and (2) they can check in their luggage before boarding the train already.

Your thoughts?
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skipness1E
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RE: BHX An 'extra London Airport' With New HSR Link?

Tue Jan 10, 2012 9:42 pm

Semaex google the UK railway structure, it's a hopeless, tangled commercial disaster, sucking up more taxpayer subsidy than in the days of being a public company. It has no chance of making real money without continuing massive subsidy, it's practices defy logic and the structure is not built for anything beyond short term planning due to the short length of the franchises. I know we like to moan but it's just an absolute joke.
 
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RE: BHX An 'extra London Airport' With New HSR Link?

Tue Jan 10, 2012 9:46 pm

Quoting r2rho (Reply 15):
I am no fan of HSR stations outside the city with no interconnection to the rest of the network, as has been done in some places around Europe. However I understood that some trains will run into Birmingham itself, while others will bypass via the suburb station?

The station will be in the middle of the city, but it will be 5-10 minutes walk from the current main station and the station where the majority of inter-regional services depart from, as well as services further North in the UK until further HSR lines are built. Maybe insignificant on the face of it, however in perspective it strikes me as odd that around £33 billion will be spent to save 33 minutes in travel time, when a quarter to a third of that advantage will then be lost for anyone connecting to another service by having to walk to the old station. Currently Birmingham's main station sees around 25 million passengers a year, 4 million of whom are connecting to another train, of which around half do so from or to a London train.


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fruitbat
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RE: BHX An 'extra London Airport' With New HSR Link?

Tue Jan 10, 2012 9:54 pm

Quoting skipness1E (Reply 9):
Yes but it takes you to Birmingham. Once you've lived in London, anything beyond the Watford gap might as well be on the moon.

Right you, outside. Now. And I'm bringing my flat cap, pint of mild and whippet...............  

(and yes I have lived in the smoke in the dim and distant past!)

Quoting r2rho (Reply 15):
Not for the people who measure distances in time, not kilometers. 39min is closer than many "main" airports are to their home cities.

That's if you're flying Ryanair!! Seriously though, if I am standing at Euston Station, then it's what, 50 minutes (at best) to LHR? 100 mins to LGW? There must be a decent opportunity for BHX to market itself as a viable alternative to London for anyone in Central and North London.

It'll never be "London 6" (and I thank all the higher powers for that!) but expanding the range of US and Mid-East flights combined with access from London in under an hour could prove attractive for those who want to avoid LHR, if BHX management are prepared to put the work in. Maybe they could consider subsidising the rail fare for everyone travelling to BHX on HS2 who then flies out of the airport? Or maybe give 'em vouchers to spend in the airport?

Quoting skipness1E (Reply 16):
Anyone who thinks that Birmingham Airport is going to be a London Airport with a BA hub is kidding themselves.

Completely agree. Growth at BHX will not come from "British" Airways. And as an ex-employee that saddens the romantic in me somewhat, but after all this is a business not a hobby for armchair A-Net CEOs!  
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danielmyatt
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RE: BHX An 'extra London Airport' With New HSR Link?

Tue Jan 10, 2012 10:11 pm

Quoting PlymSpotter:
however in perspective it strikes me as odd that around £33 billion will be spent to save 33 minutes in travel time

The saving of time isn't the point in building the network. It appears that most people don't really understand that the prime driver for HS2 is to massively increase capacity, not to shave 20min off London to Birmingham.
 
theginge
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RE: BHX An 'extra London Airport' With New HSR Link?

Tue Jan 10, 2012 10:36 pm

Quoting danielmyatt (Reply 21):
The saving of time isn't the point in building the network. It appears that most people don't really understand that the prime driver for HS2 is to massively increase capacity, not to shave 20min off London to Birmingham.

That is a good point and the Government have not helped matters by only planning it as far as Birmingham so far, so the opposition argue why do you need to get to Birmingham 20 mins quicker? And I agree with them. It needs to go to Manchester and further from the outset. At the moment it seems to be a typical UK half a job when it comes to infrastructure. You could then transfer some people from shorthaul domestic flights to trains, but that needs......... A station at Heathrow, and that isn't in the plans yet and won't be for some time and even then it may be off the main line.
Look at AMS,CDG and FRA, they all have stations on highspeed lines connecting to the rest of the rail network. Heathrow needs this too.

Back on subject I don't think people will use Birmingham instead of London as even though it could take similar time it would be percieved as being further. Cologne airport i believe is on a high speed line connecting to Frankfurt. Do people go from Frankfurt to fly to Cologne rather than use Frankfurt airport? Be interesting to know if they do.
 
fruitbat
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RE: BHX An 'extra London Airport' With New HSR Link?

Tue Jan 10, 2012 10:46 pm

Quoting danielmyatt (Reply 21):
It appears that most people don't really understand that the prime driver for HS2 is to massively increase capacity, not to shave 20min off London to Birmingham.

Yes, but the headline is 250mph and 20mins. If BHX see the HS2 station as an opportunity to grow then advertising the airport as less than 45 mins from London might do it.......??
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fruitbat
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RE: BHX An 'extra London Airport' With New HSR Link?

Tue Jan 10, 2012 11:08 pm

Quoting theginge (Reply 22):
At the moment it seems to be a typical UK half a job when it comes to infrastructure.

In an ideal world, I'd rip up LHR and LGW, build the London Estuary Airport with 4 or 5 runways, connect it via high speed rail to Central London, BHX, Birmingham, MAN, Manchester, GLA, Glasgow, EDI and Edinburgh, NCL and Newcastle, BSL and Bristol plus lines to Leeds, Nottingham, Hull, Derby, Leicester. Let the rest of the mid-size UK regional airports (LTN, STN, EMA, LBA, HUM etc etc) fight amongst themselves for LCC and Cargo business and feeder traffic to the main Euro hubs (incl other UK ones if they can make it work!).

Yes, I know it wouldn't really work in reality and any transport studies undergrad will point out a million flaws. The point I'm trying to make is that what we've needed in this country for about 30 years is a LONG TERM, structured, coordinated, integrated transport policy to replace an infrastructure that hasn't been seriously reviewed since, well, Dr Beeching. And the day we get one I will die of shock!!
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PlymSpotter
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RE: BHX An 'extra London Airport' With New HSR Link?

Tue Jan 10, 2012 11:10 pm

Quoting danielmyatt (Reply 21):
The saving of time isn't the point in building the network. It appears that most people don't really understand that the prime driver for HS2 is to massively increase capacity, not to shave 20min off London to Birmingham.

Actually it's about just that, there are ways to increase and add more than the proposed line capacity at a fraction of the cost of HSR, they have been looked at but were rejected. Why? Time - they weren't going to be anything other than a marginally quicker solution and couldn't claim to offer an alternative to air travel. Plus when it comes to transport Birmingham city council is obsessed by two things; the travel time to London and attracting direct long haul air services to the Far East and US West Coast. The latter is why BHX is about to get a runway extension to 3,000/3,150m, whether it needs it or not.


Dan  
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fruitbat
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RE: BHX An 'extra London Airport' With New HSR Link?

Tue Jan 10, 2012 11:18 pm

Quoting PlymSpotter (Reply 25):
attracting direct long haul air services to the Far East and US West Coast. The latter is why BHX is about to get a runway extension to 3,000/3,150m, whether it needs it or not.

"If you build it, they will come."

Oh, no, sorry, that only works in the movies........     

But if the runway is only 45 mins from London by direct rail link......   

One can hope............
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Viscount724
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RE: BHX An 'extra London Airport' With New HSR Link?

Wed Jan 11, 2012 2:14 am

Quoting BMIFlyer (Thread starter):
Could we see BHX become a "London Airport 6"??
(obviously not in name, but it could ease a lot of capacity troubles).

The problem is that U.K. train fares (in my experience) are ridiculously expensive. If someone wanted to use the new high-speed train between BHX and London in conjunctioln with air travel to/from BHX, in many cases the train fare would probably be higher than their air fare, making the total uncompetitive with direct flights to any of the London airports.

[Edited 2012-01-10 18:15:21]
 
GIANCAVIA
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RE: BHX An 'extra London Airport' With New HSR Link?

Wed Jan 11, 2012 2:33 am

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 27):
The problem is that U.K. train fares (in my experience) are ridiculously expensive. If someone wanted to use the new high-speed train between BHX and London in conjunctioln with air travel to/from BHX, in many cases the train fare would probably be higher than their air fare, making the total uncompetitive with direct flights to any of the London airports.

Ding ding! This^.
 
SKAirbus
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RE: BHX An 'extra London Airport' With New HSR Link?

Wed Jan 11, 2012 9:22 am

Main problem with BHX marketing itself as a London airport will be the cost of getting there... Looking at France, the only way you can get a cheap ticket on the TGV is booking well in advance. The price of travelling from London to Birmingham on HS2 will be astromomical, especially if the Tories have anything to do with it. When it comes into service the only people using it will be politicians aristocrats and city bigwigs. I think BHX's hopes of attracting London passengers will be left unforfilled when the plane ticket is less than the train ticket.

Unfortunately we have a government of contradictions... On the one hand they want to get more people off the roads and onto public transport but they still let rail tickets go up well above inflation and where is the investment?? Over the last few years we have just seen vanity projects in London to make it look good for the olympics and no other sign of investments in the existing infrastructure.

Personally I think having a subsidised rail system would be a brilliant way to promote growth as it will allow people who previously haven't considered commuting due to the costs to find better paid work in the big cities or further away from home.

I also think it is a travesty that HS2 is not going to pass directly under Heathrow, capturing some of the domestic market. Like posted above BA could operate codeshares with the new train company, moving passengers off domestic flights eventually and onto trains.

I am all for high speed railway but only if it is accessible and affordable, really enticing people away from the roads.
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skipness1E
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RE: BHX An 'extra London Airport' With New HSR Link?

Wed Jan 11, 2012 9:43 am

Quoting fruitbat (Reply 20):
Right you, outside. Now. And I'm bringing my flat cap, pint of mild and whippet...............

I'm from Ayrshire, believe me it's true ! London looks South to Europe not North to whatever horrors lie there! *ducks incoming*

As to rail, there is rolling stock on the network that should have been retired 30 years ago. The only way railways work is via taxpayer subsidy, my gripe is that existing subsidy is being horribly mis-managed and bringing subsidy down to balance other budgets makes the existing problem worse. Crossrail I get as there have been major capacity pinchpoints for years getting across London but HS2 has the classic hallmarks of a vanity project. Millenium Dome or Scottish Parliament budgeting issues will unfold as "unforeseen problems" appear. This is being planned by the colleagues of those who brought a two aircraft carriers, only one afforrdable, no aircraft for either for ages thinking.
 
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RE: BHX An 'extra London Airport' With New HSR Link?

Wed Jan 11, 2012 1:27 pm

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 27):
The problem is that U.K. train fares (in my experience) are ridiculously expensive. If someone wanted to use the new high-speed train between BHX and London in conjunctioln with air travel to/from BHX, in many cases the train fare would probably be higher than their air fare, making the total uncompetitive with direct flights to any of the London airports.

UK rail fares are both the most expensive and the cheapest in Europe. The ticketing system is confusing, but if you can work your way around it then tickets become a lot cheaper. That might sound like a strange statement, but on longer distance journeys I think it's true. I have used the railways extensively all over Europe so I have compared.

On Birmingham International to London Euston currently if you turned up before 9.00 am on a weekday and wanted a Return ticket to London you would be charged £158 for the Virgin Trains fast service or £70 for the slow stopping train.

However, if you book in advance (more than 10 days for the best deals), then you would probably pay from around £25 return for the fast service or about £12 return for the slower service. If you have a student/OAP/disabled/family/two person railcard, then knock 35% off these fares.

The cheapest fare I have seen is Glasgow to London for £14.50 single - tremendous value for a 350 miles journey on a fast train. With the railcard I have, I would pay £9.55.

[Edited 2012-01-11 05:47:00]
"Freddie Laker may be at peace with his Maker, but he is persona non grata with IATA."- HRH Duke of Edinburgh
 
airbazar
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RE: BHX An 'extra London Airport' With New HSR Link?

Wed Jan 11, 2012 2:16 pm

Quoting EuroWings (Reply 12):
You're probably right, but that's mainly the LCCs we're talking about, who seem to have plenty of room at Luton,

Uh? LH and AF are just some of the airlines that already sell combined air+rail tickets at various airports. I wouldn't be surprised if LX doesn't do it too. BA used to do it but I don't know if they still do. In fact these airlines don't just do rail+air, they also do bus+air.

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 27):
The problem is that U.K. train fares (in my experience) are ridiculously expensive. If someone wanted to use the new high-speed train between BHX and London in conjunctioln with air travel to/from BHX, in many cases the train fare would probably be higher than their air fare, making the total uncompetitive with direct flights to any of the London airports.

There's a difference between you buying the 2 tickets seperately and the airline offering a combined ticket.
 
skipness1E
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RE: BHX An 'extra London Airport' With New HSR Link?

Wed Jan 11, 2012 2:33 pm

Quoting airbazar (Reply 32):
LH and AF are just some of the airlines that already sell combined air+rail tickets at various airports.

Yes and the thing about the UK is we con't have the French or German rail networks. Europe is not a cohesive country, there are some pretty huge differences in practice and infrastructure. Each London mainline station is dominated by a different railway company, often owned by the same group and all complicated when you throw in Network Rail.
It would not surprise me if they did this to find Manchester Piccadilly to New York via LHR with BA being cheaper than a standard London to Manchester buy on the day first class return rail fare.
 
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eurowings
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RE: BHX An 'extra London Airport' With New HSR Link?

Wed Jan 11, 2012 2:39 pm

Quoting airbazar (Reply 32):
Uh? LH and AF are just some of the airlines that already sell combined air+rail tickets at various airports. I wouldn't be surprised if LX doesn't do it too. BA used to do it but I don't know if they still do. In fact these airlines don't just do rail+air, they also do bus+air.

Yes, I've bought them before from LH.

In the case of London, I meant that the likes of BA will not want to operate a hub out of Birmingham and then sell air+rail tickets to transfer passengers to London. They have closed all their non-London bases in order to seemingly focus on LHR, LGW and LCY. Although, having said that, they may have to one day if the current and future Governments of the UK won't stop neglecting the issue of airport capacity at the London area airports.

Stansted was built to serve as an overspill from Heathrow, but full service carriers refused to move or tried it for a while and then withdrew. This was despite STN's capacity and seemingly good rail links to Central London (and other places too). So it became a LCC airport, it was never designed to be such (although Europe was a regulated market at that time, so LCCs were not commonplace).

[Edited 2012-01-11 06:41:36]
"Freddie Laker may be at peace with his Maker, but he is persona non grata with IATA."- HRH Duke of Edinburgh
 
hohd
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RE: BHX An 'extra London Airport' With New HSR Link?

Wed Jan 11, 2012 3:07 pm

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 27):

Exactly. Rail fares are quite high as it is and no matter what, the HSR fares WILL be high enough to discourage most passengers from London and/or Birmingham. May be for an international long haul flight to BHX if it is considerable cheaper than London area airports, a Londoner might consider, especially if they live in the north side.

And this is for a single person, for a family of 3 or 4, it will be prohibitively expensive, since a car in a long term park ( or even a taxi) would be cheaper than flying to BHX. In fact it will hurt BHX even more for the odd single passenger since they will have more options in London airports.
 
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RE: BHX An 'extra London Airport' With New HSR Link?

Wed Jan 11, 2012 11:28 pm

Quoting EuroWings (Reply 31):
However, if you book in advance (more than 10 days for the best deals), then you would probably pay from around £25 return for the fast service or about £12 return for the slower service. If you have a student/OAP/disabled/family/two person railcard, then knock 35% off these fares.

Availability of cheap fares on Virgin is pretty good, beats CrossCountry that''s for sure

Quoting EuroWings (Reply 31):
UK rail fares are both the most expensive and the cheapest in Europe. The ticketing system is confusing, but if you can work your way around it then tickets become a lot cheaper. That might sound like a strange statement, but on longer distance journeys I think it's true. I have used the railways extensively all over Europe so I have compared.

There are also lots of knacks to getting a cheaper ticket. A straight A-F return for me would be £141 on a route I use at least weekly to Birmingham, but if I instead buy 5 local return tickets A-B-C-D-E-F it works out around £50-60rtn in total even with walk up fares bought on the day. One heck of a saving.


Dan  
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danielmyatt
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RE: BHX An 'extra London Airport' With New HSR Link?

Thu Jan 12, 2012 12:23 am

I do believe Cross Country and Virgin are the same company
 
adriaticflight
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RE: BHX An 'extra London Airport' With New HSR Link?

Thu Jan 12, 2012 1:38 am

Quoting skipness1E (Reply 16):
but from a Londoner, no matter how great Stansted is sold to us, it's still way off the radar and too expensive to get to from town.

Hmm, well not all Londer's think like this and i wish people wouldn't claim that we do. This city is HUGE and for some people some of our airports are harder to get to. But for millions of others its fine.

Quoting skipness1E (Reply 16):
The price to get to Birmingham from London isn't going to be coming down as the whole point of rail strategy is to depend less on the taxpayer so this vanity project will have to be paid for by the traveller

I agree with this, its gonna be expensive to get to Birmingham airport even if it is close. We need a totally nationalised railway service and the kind of investment that Germany or Holland have put into their railways. But it won't happen whilst we are being held hostage to the the conservatives who are mostly voted for by people in the countryside and who drive cars.
 
BMIFlyer
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RE: BHX An 'extra London Airport' With New HSR Link?

Thu Jan 12, 2012 11:46 am

Quoting danielmyatt (Reply 37):

I do believe Cross Country and Virgin are the same company

Not any more, XC is owned by DB of Germany now.
Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own
 
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RE: BHX An 'extra London Airport' With New HSR Link?

Thu Jan 12, 2012 12:26 pm

Quoting BMIFlyer (Reply 39):
Quoting danielmyatt (Reply 37):

I do believe Cross Country and Virgin are the same company

Not any more, XC is owned by DB of Germany now.

Indeed, very different companies and a very different service ethos. CrossCountry are diabolical in terms of service, although staff do their best.


Dan  
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skipness1E
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RE: BHX An 'extra London Airport' With New HSR Link?

Thu Jan 12, 2012 12:54 pm

Quoting adriaticflight (Reply 38):
We need a totally nationalised railway service and the kind of investment that Germany or Holland have put into their railways

It's not often I think something is the "only" option but this is exactly it, the railways are fragmented into incoherence! It's not realistic to pretend they can get by without subsidy but Comrade Brown splashed so much cash there's nothing left to sort this mess out with.
 
vv701
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RE: BHX An 'extra London Airport' With New HSR Link?

Thu Jan 12, 2012 2:15 pm

The economic argument for HS2 is that it will help spread the prosperity of London and Southeast England north first to Birmingham and the West Midlands and then to Manchester and the Northwest and to Leeds and Yorkshire. It is claimed it will do this by bringing these provincial regions closer at least in travel time to London.

These objectives may be achieved. Alternatively it may bring these provincial regions closer to London and the Southeast. That is to say that the London commuter belt that arguably already stretches as far as the South Midlands and towns like Northampton will be extended to Birmingham and beyond.

In terms of the impact on BHX the idea of a point to point railway line between Euston and even Birmingham International being a benefit to BHX is dependent on the destinations travellers wish to reach being served from BHX. But just as HS2 will reduce the travel time from Euston to Birmingham International so it will reduce by an equal amount the journey time from Birmingham International through Euston to LHR. The problem is that this quicker route from the West Midlands to LHR will be available from the very first day that HS2 opens for business. But it is improbable that on that same day their will be a significant surge in the destinations served from BHX in the hope that passengers will be prepared to travel from their homes in the southeast to Euston in central London and on to Birmingham International in preference to travelling from their homes more directly to LHR, LGW, STN, SEN or LTN.

Indeed is it not possible that some airline customers originating in the West Midlands who currently fly from BHX to AMS, CDG or FRA to connect with another flight to their final destination will not instead choose to use HS2 to travel by surface to LHR to take a single flight to that same destination?

Of course we will have to wait to see what actually happens. But while HS2 may be seen as an opportunity by the operators of BHX it might also be an opportunity for airlines operating out of LHR. HS2 may simply extend the catchment area of LHR into the West Midlands. It is almost worth repeating that the trains travelling south will save just as much time as those travelling north.
 
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eurowings
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RE: BHX An 'extra London Airport' With New HSR Link?

Thu Jan 12, 2012 2:47 pm

Quoting BMIFlyer (Reply 39):
Not any more, XC is owned by DB of Germany now.

Yes, but really its Arriva who run it, DB just have ownership of Arriva, it's not comparable to other DB divisions.

Quoting PlymSpotter (Reply 40):
Indeed, very different companies and a very different service ethos. CrossCountry are diabolical in terms of service, although staff do their best.

I didn't find CrossCountry much better in Virgin days, except for more catering. The trains are too small and the fares set by the firm are high because of very little spare capacity.

Virgin kept the more prestigious routes when they lost the CrossCountry franchise.

Quoting PlymSpotter (Reply 36):
Availability of cheap fares on Virgin is pretty good, beats CrossCountry that''s for sure

It's all about capacity. On Birmingham - London Virgin are often the most expensive, because cheaper (but slower) services provided by London Midland and Chiltern Railways (incidentally also ran by DB/Arriva) are often available.

[Edited 2012-01-12 06:51:36]
"Freddie Laker may be at peace with his Maker, but he is persona non grata with IATA."- HRH Duke of Edinburgh
 
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RE: BHX An 'extra London Airport' With New HSR Link?

Thu Jan 12, 2012 3:54 pm

Quoting EuroWings (Reply 43):
I didn't find CrossCountry much better in Virgin days, except for more catering. The trains are too small and the fares set by the firm are high because of very little spare capacity.

I have to admit the trains were the right size when they ordered them in the 90s, the overcrowding issue has been caused by rail usage growing quicker than was expected. I've traveled 20,000-30,000 miles each year for the past six, mostly on the CrossCountry franchise and the deterioration since Virgin has been noticeable; no catering scheduled at all on many services or for hundreds of miles; constant maintenance issues like broken toilets; far, far fewer advance tickets; trains being filthy etc... I don't enjoy making profits for shareholders when the product they provide has gotten worse whilst fares have risen massively, however I have no choice as I don't drive and can't fly on the routes I use.

Quoting EuroWings (Reply 43):
It's all about capacity. On Birmingham - London Virgin are often the most expensive, because cheaper (but slower) services provided by London Midland and Chiltern Railways (incidentally also ran by DB/Arriva) are often available.

But the availability is there to begin with on Virgin and getting the tickets depends on uptake i.e. how quickly you book, that's not the case on CrossCountry in my experience. Case in point a few days ago, I was booking around a week ahead for an XC service and no advance tickets were available, when I get on the train it has 5 people on it, peaking to about 15 by the time I get off three stops and an hour later - this is on a 5 carriage train with seating for something like 250. Wind back to Virgin days and an excellent selection of advance fares were available, which stopped literally overnight when the franchise changed.


Dan  
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danielmyatt
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RE: BHX An 'extra London Airport' With New HSR Link?

Thu Jan 12, 2012 4:45 pm

The Cross Country service between where i go to uni (Leicester) and Birmingham (when i go home) is atrocious, the prices aren't bad. £7 same day return with a railcard, and £11 standard return. But the trains are some of the most over crowded i've been on. Its usually the service from stansted airport to Birmingham, and it is 2 carriages long, and at Leicester there is always 100+ people waiting to get on the train, which is already busy, due to passing through Cambridge, and Peterborough. Its that busy, people sit in the aisles and around the doors (an obvious fire hazard), even the drinks and snacks trolley cant get down the aisles.
 
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eurowings
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RE: BHX An 'extra London Airport' With New HSR Link?

Thu Jan 12, 2012 4:45 pm

Quoting PlymSpotter (Reply 44):
Wind back to Virgin days and an excellent selection of advance fares were available, which stopped literally overnight when the franchise changed.

You've got a point there, XC have less advance fare availability. Although on the route I use quite often (Manchester/Preston to Edinburgh) - the Virgin XC services were taken over by First TransPennine Express and fares have dropped slightly. I don't know why because the services are often rammed and the regional style trains are not suitable for such long routes (but that's the Government's fault again - they control so much behind the scenes).

[Edited 2012-01-12 08:47:50]
"Freddie Laker may be at peace with his Maker, but he is persona non grata with IATA."- HRH Duke of Edinburgh
 
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DanTaylor2006
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RE: BHX An 'extra London Airport' With New HSR Link?

Fri Jan 13, 2012 2:13 pm

Quoting VV701 (Reply 42):
But just as HS2 will reduce the travel time from Euston to Birmingham International so it will reduce by an equal amount the journey time from Birmingham International through Euston to LHR.

Even moreso if/when Old Oak Common interchange is open... people could just alight there from HS2, change to Crossrail which will serve Heathrow Airport 4 times an hour with a journey time of around 20 minutes or so.

Quoting PlymSpotter (Reply 44):
Case in point a few days ago, I was booking around a week ahead for an XC service and no advance tickets were available

Usually I also find this the case (I had to use CrossCountry to get to and from University in Sheffield, and nearly always had to use Off Peak Returns), but this week I just purchased a £4.95 advance single from Manchester Piccadilly to Stafford for this weekend. I was quite amazed!
 
theginge
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RE: BHX An 'extra London Airport' With New HSR Link?

Fri Jan 13, 2012 6:15 pm

Quoting DanTaylor2006 (Reply 47):
Even moreso if/when Old Oak Common interchange is open... people could just alight there from HS2, change to Crossrail which will serve Heathrow Airport 4 times an hour with a journey time of around 20 minutes or so.

But a change, even with a quick connection to LHR is still a change and that won't appeal to some. By the time you have done that its not much quicker than by road from parts of Birmingham if there is little traffic. The line should go through LHR, the station at Old Oak Common doesn't seem to be much else apart from a connection to LHR and cross rail, it would be better for that interchange to be at LHR! Saves a change of trains for people going to LHR and onwards...
 
PlymSpotter
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RE: BHX An 'extra London Airport' With New HSR Link?

Fri Jan 13, 2012 7:36 pm

Quoting theginge (Reply 48):
The line should go through LHR, the station at Old Oak Common doesn't seem to be much else apart from a connection to LHR and cross rail, it would be better for that interchange to be at LHR! Saves a change of trains for people going to LHR and onwards...

   Exactly, if we are going to spend billions doing something then we should at least do it properly. I see two major compromises in the route, lack of direct connection to Heathrow and Birmingham on a spur.


Dan  
...love is just a camouflage for what resembles rage again...

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