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Michael Fabricant keen for tilting trains to solve Lichfield rail route problems

Tilting trains will be on the agenda for Michael Fabricant if he is re-elected in Lichfield.

The Conservative candidate – who is looking to hold on to his seat in the constituency – has said that the new high speed rail link needs to utilise the technology.

Transport Secretary Lord Adonis has said that the controversial new line, which will see a viaduct stretch over parts of Lichfield, needed to be straight wherever possible.

Michael Fabricant MP

Michael Fabricant MP

However, Mr Fabricant believes that such an approach isn’t  practical.

He said:

“When I met Transport Secretary Lord Adonis back in March, he told me that a major factor determining the route of the High Speed Train was the need for the track to be as straight as possible. And that was why it had to cut through the eastern side of Lichfield.

“With the UK having twice the density of population as France, it is essential that the track is capable of avoiding densely populated areas. The Government has stated that the High Speed Train Service should be able to achieve speeds of 250mph (400kmph).  However, the Japanese firm Hitachi has already developed a tilting train capable of using curved track just like the proven Pendolino but at speeds of up to 400 km per hour.

“While I recognise that tilting trains, like the Pendolino, have to be narrower than standard trains and that continental European non-tilting trains will not be able to run at full speed on curved track – though, of course, British tilting trains can run at full speed on European tracks – I believe that this minor ‘sacrifice’ is well worth accepting.”

And the Conservative PPC – who will face challenges from Labour’s Steve Hyden, Ian Jackson from the Liberal Democrats and UKIP’s Karen Maunder – believes the people of Lichfield will be looking for their MP to fight against the new high-speed rail line’s proposed route.

He added:

“If I am re-elected, I shall be pressing the Transport Secretary to investigate the use of tilting high speed trains so that the existing route of HS2 can be altered to avoid built-up areas like Lichfield and minimise the damaging effect of the track on sensitive areas of the countryside.

“It will be more expensive, as will the use of cuttings and tunnels to minimise environmental impact, but the current route proposed by Labour is totally unacceptable.”

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9 Comments

  1. Simon

    16th April, 2010 at 6:10 pm

    Why do we need a new railway? What’s wrong with the existing one? Wouldn’t it be better all round to spend some of the proposed money on making the existing line more reliable and cheaper? Its a big price to pay so that you can go from Birmingham to London 20 mins faster – it takes an hour to travel from Lichfield to London – that’s pretty quick already.

  2. Kat

    16th April, 2010 at 9:57 pm

    Instead of spending so much time on new railways why not spend the money sorting out Trent Valley?! The station is appalling, the ticket office looks like a garden shed and there is no access for wheelchairs or buggies making 2 of the 3 platforms unusable! I’m sure Mickey Fab has waxed lyrical about this many times before but now seems to have lost interest?

  3. Roger Robinson

    19th April, 2010 at 11:32 am

    “Why do we need a new railway?”

    Well one reason is at peak times the trains are full, especially sunday evenings.

  4. Phil

    20th April, 2010 at 10:29 am

    ““Why do we need a new railway?”Well one reason is at peak times the trains are full, especially sunday evenings.”

    That doesn’t require a whole new railway, that needs improvements to the existing line. And LTV really does need upgrading – it’s crap to say the least. That’s far more important than getting up north a bit faster.

  5. Roger Robinson

    20th April, 2010 at 10:47 am

    “That doesn’t require a whole new railway, that needs improvements to the existing line.”

    Are you sure ? Im pretty sure during the week at peak hours virgin run as many trains as they can between london/birmingham and london/manchester. I’ll admit sunday evening they obviously dont.

    There are limits to how many trains you can fit on a line. Also squeezing new trains onto a crowded line is going to make that line more inefficient and if a train develops a fault its going to create greater delays if the line is already maxed out.

    Building a new line as well as creating faster trains north will take pressure off the other line and may even allow more local services, it may not if there not enough passengers but I think it will generally give the train companies more choice and options.

    Basically a new line will give the train companies more options depending on ther demand it may even mean more direct trains to london from lichfield.

    “And LTV really does need upgrading – it’s crap to say the least. That’s far more important than getting up north a bit faster. ”

    Well only for people who use trains in lichfield far not for everybody in the city/country.

    As keen MTB from boley park I’ll be as annoyed as everyone else about the basic destruction to the south and east of the city. But even Michael Fabricant isnt arguing there shouldnt be a new train line just the route needs to be looked at again. Which I agree with.

    Also it has to be said these improvements can lead to a better environment if done properly. Take the A5 improvement from weeford island to tamworth. As a MTB I have cycled round that area hopwas etc.

    The way they have built that road has taken traffic off the smaller roads and actually makes the area feel alot quieter and more peaceful than before. Hopefully the new train line will eliminate some car journeys and will also help reduce congestion on the current rail network.

  6. Freddy

    20th April, 2010 at 5:36 pm

    This new line s only going through Lichfield, there’s no stops here. It’ll make no difference to trains journeys to and from Lichfield.

  7. Roger Robinson

    20th April, 2010 at 9:56 pm

    I think it your missing my Point im not saying that there will be trains on the new line but it will free uP sPace, both in terms of Passengers and trains on the old line

  8. Mick

    29th April, 2010 at 2:38 pm

    Think Fabricant needs to check his facts on the Japanese trains. They do run the odd few tilters but not up to 400kmh as he says.
    Tilting trains run on the Trent Valley now and they have only added 15mph to the old line speed at most. The idea of HS2 is to intergrate our railway network with other high speed networks so travel across Europe will be easier and potentially quicker by train rather than by plane. high speed intercontinental freight also needs to be looked at as well. I agree though we should campaign for a station on the route at Lichfield, to provide a station for all residents South Staffordshire to use this route if built, to save travelling to Birmingham. I also agree with Kat, Lichfield TV is a disgrace with no proper ramps for access to platforms. Wrote to fabricant years ago about this and he has done nothing. He managed to keep his beloved 0708 to Euston running though.

  9. Bob Scrivens

    6th May, 2010 at 1:03 am

    The high speed rail system is not a Public rail system. OK if you want to or from from London to Birmingham, Manchester or be on. But we need local stations we can use to get to OUR local centre’s, and at a price to get the car driver off the road.