Railways: Speed Limits

Department for Transport written question – answered on 23rd March 2017.

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Photo of Lord Berkeley Lord Berkeley Labour

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon on 9 March (HL5562), what assessment they have made of advice from SNCF quoted in the March edition of Railway Gazette International that operating above 320 km/h incurs significantly higher track maintenance costs.

Photo of Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)

HS2 Ltd has collaborated with several high speed rail Infrastructure Managers, including SNCF, to ascertain the implications of running trains at 360km/h.

Using recommendations based on experiences of managing High Speed Lines in Europe, HS2 Ltd intends to incorporate specific components in the track design which will improve the system performance whilst utilising an Infrastructure Management System that determines asset performance and condition at all times.

The combination of these factors and the use of innovative maintenance activities, that go beyond current best practice, should reduce the maintenance implications of running at these speeds.

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