Jantra, all of those ten minutes saved add up to.a lot of productivity gains. If 100,000 people use an improved valley lines per day, that's 16,666 hours per day. FACT. Multiply that day by the minmum wage, £100,000 per day, or about £30 million per working year. More reliable trains mean that more people are confident to use the network and business and leisure activity increase. Look at the parts of south Wales with no train station: Ely. St.Mellons, New Tredegar and until recently Ebbw Vale. House prices are more depressed in these areas than surrounding areas with train lines because people don't bid the price up because there is less demand to live there. Not everyone can drive. An electrified train line means that people can live further away from where they work, confident that they can get to work on time. The present diesel trains do not inspire confidence and put people off commuting. Hundreds of cities, including Santo Domingo, capital of third-world Dominican Republic, have recently developed electrified metros because they see the economic benefits. If you can't see it, it's just tough luck, you obviously haven't got brilliant vision
Your argument, whilst I'm sure took you all of five minutes to think up, is flawed. Those extra ten minutes a day will not be spent in work but will be spent on the individual. The individual will spend ten minutes more in bed, or have ten minutes more free time at the end of the day.
I also find it absurd that you claim that people in Merthyr will start commuting to Cardiff because triain journeys are now five minutes less.
Whilst there may be some merit in your argument that house prices may rise in certain areas that have train lines, I can't see how this will increase the economy directly? all it will do is increase house prices which means more funds for the individual to buy bigger houses with.
notwithstanding that, Cardiff is relatively small and has a decent public transport provision in Cardiff Bus. But if you really want to get people commuting, you need to break the UKs love affair with the car. Any development in hte UK is almost always met with the derisory 'more traffic' from the naysayers and harbingers of doom. The car is centric to almost all peoples commute. The train is not.
NB apologies for the typos, it is not because I am mentally ill
Jantra, all over the world, electrified rail systems are being built because they have the aforementioned economic benefits. You are Trolling, aren't you? Why don't you go and look in the mirror and say these words: "Why am I Trolling?" You might find your life, and productivity improving if you can find the answer.
Just one little thing to think about: Very often, people are late for work because of the old, unreliable Valley Lines trains. This causes problems for their employer. If electrification occurs this particular problem will diminish. Understand?
if someone is late for work surely they make up that time at the end of the day - thats how it normally works. There is no lost productivity for the employer.
I'll say it again, other than saying there are economic benefits, can you try and quantify what they are? diverting productivity away from the fuel providers/maintenance companies is not increasing economic output. Diverting pollution away from the trains to the power stations in not improving the environment. I am looking at the macro picture and i am asking in that context. What are the benefits to the whole economy? i do not see how eletrifying trains will increase economic output. I am not against train electrification - i am for it - but it just means we get a more more effiicient train which is cheaper for the consumer, it doesn't necesarily mean we increase our economic output overall.
As for the comment regardin troll, sometimes you're funny, this is not one of those times. I am asking a question - hence why I asked for a comment from more learned posters such as CamboDai, our resident economist, who perhaps can explain how train electrification increase productivity and economic output overall.
I happen to know one of the major financial services organisations in Cardiff maintains data on staff retention and churn rates Vs home location. There is a clear correlation between commuting experience and the retention rates. The better, easier, etc. the journey the higher the retention and lower the churn. A better, faster and more efficient local rail network will reduce HR costs of many organisations whose staff commute to work from across the wider region. From this data the places with highest churn include most of the upper valleys away from the rail network and also places like St Mellons.
I also have plenty of other data on this and know that one aspect of the valley line electrification business case included a quantified economic contribution using standard DfT models and assumptions
Jantra, I've copied this from citytransport.info.
Electric railways have the potential to be the least environmentally damaging form of traction. Although this depends on how the power is sourced, even the dirtiest emissions are easier to reduce at a few power stations compared to many hundreds of moving trains.
Electrification is also a more efficient way of transmitting power, especially on the busiest and most heavily trafficked routes where any additional capacity (either through longer trains or more frequent services) will require proportionally less additional energy when it comes from a common source rather than on each train. Electric locomotives can deliver as much as 2½ times the tractive power output of an equivalent diesel.
With electric traction it is also possible to further increase efficiency through regenerative braking, which means that a slowing-down train can use its electric motors as generators and recycle energy back into the system for other electric trains to use. Electric traction offers significantly improved performance when ascending gradients, plus the possibility of using regenerative braking to cost efficiently maintain safety whilst descending..
For passengers the advantages of electric traction includes improved overall performance and less vibration which results in faster, more comfortable, smoother and quieter journeys. The improved acceleration also means that extra stations can be served with less time penalty - this is especially beneficial to users of minor stations which might otherwise have a less frequent service. Experience has shown that the very act of investing in railway electrification also gives passengers greater confidence that the line is 'valued' by the railway operators and therefore has a secure future. The sparks effect is a well proven phenomena whereby passenger numbers significantly increases when a line is electrified.
Transport operators usually find that thanks to the fewer moving parts and the 'slide out / slot in' modularity of the traction packages electric trains are simpler and cheaper to maintain. As with trolleybuses the reduced vibration and sheer ruggedness of the electric traction system means that although they are more expensive to initially purchase their operational lives will be far longer than their fossil fuel counterparts, so in the longer term they will be more cost efficient.
Critics of electric traction often allege that when the necessary electricity is sourced from fossil fuels all that is really happening is that the pollution is being shifted up the energy chain to the power station. However, following extensive research in the University of California it has been found that even with low grade coal that produces a lot of carbon dioxide (as is used in Germany) electric traction offers an almost complete elimination of carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons, resulting in a significant global air quality benefit. Of course if the fuel used is high grade coal or natural gas (or another so called 'cleaner' fossil fuel) the benefits are even admirable. Experience in Sweden has shown that when a type of coal-burning power station known as 'pressurised fluidised-bed' is used then the emission of sulphur oxides and nitrogen oxides are also considerably reduced; furthermore, when these facilities are linked in with combined heat and power facilities (ie: provides both electricity and hot water which can be made available to industrial and domestic consumers alike) then they are about 40% more efficient than their traditional large coal burning equivalents, (75% efficient opposed to 35% efficient) and are so clean that they can even be located within cities.
Of course where the electricity is sourced from renewable sources (eg: hydro, wind, waves, solar, geothermal and tides) it will be 100% non-polluting, it is to be very much regretted that despite the potential benefits (and the globally recognised need for humankind to adopt more environmentally sound policies - anyone remember Rio 1992??) only the first two of these are used to any extent.
People who live near rail lines have found that electric trains are also quieter than diesel trains (both locomotives and multiple-unit passenger carriages) and therefore are better neighbours.
I really enjoyed reading that and it confirmed pretty much what we already know.
however, the report fails to identify any economic benefits, which is the question i keep asking.
Do electric trains increase a nations economic output?
do electric trains make workers want to stay in work for longer hours?
i think the answer to both questions is a resounding no.
my opinion is that electric trains provide a better quality of life, but do not increase economic output. no evidence has been presented to show that an economy increases production due to using electric trains
You are mining a somewhat narrow seam there.
I think the key thing here has already been touched upon - perception. If south Wales is perceived to have a modern, clean and comprehensive train system that can carry large numbers of people in relatively short times then it becomes a more attractive place. Maybe initially its more attractive for residents only (which justifies the cost alone in my view) but its not a great leap to think that it becomes more attractive for business. The alternative is to do nothing and risk being perceived as poorly connected, having crumbling infrastructure and falling behind other regions. It then becomes not a question of how an improved transport system increases economic output but how an existing one works towards decreasing economic output.
On the your reasoning what infrastructure improvements (and you have called on WAG to make them time and time again) will increase economic output?
Isn't this obvious? The more time people spend in transit, the less time they have to be productive in work or at home.
I have said several times its about perception or kudos. you are also correct that it improves the quality of life of the residents. i have already said that i am for it on this basis.
All I am saying is that I don't buy into the argument that electrifying the trains increases economic output directly. That is not to say I disagree with your view that having a modern infrastructure is more likely to bring new business longer term, but that reverts back to perception rather than any direct benefit.
productive at home - how exactly does that impact economic output? what exactly does it mean? washing the dishes faster? mowing the lawn thrice a week instead of twice?
if a worker has to be in work 9-5, do these hours change because he comes to work on an electric train - of course not. it is up to the worker to get to work on time or make up the time he is not in work due to being late. As Karl has stated, electrification is about improving quality of life with the hope that there will be an improvement in perception of (south) wales leading to businesses wanting to come here longer term.
there is no direct improvement to productivity though. none at all. I wish our politicians would stop going on about it.
creating all new infrastructure is different. if you said create new train lines to S'mell or the college of knowledge up in the valleys that currently do not have a train link, then I can see very real tangible benefits to that area.
But thats the same as any infrastructure improvement isn't it? You widen the M4 for example. It makes people journey time less. They still spend 8 hours in work. They might not be late as often but it doesn't improve economic output.
The alternative is to do nothing and the people have longer to travel. They are late more often. They are late going home. Their quality of life suffers. The perception is that south Wales is a motoring hell hole. Who wants to relocate or grow a business there?
I don't think that the benefit of these type of projects can be calculated in the way you are seeking. Its always going to be some form of guesswork based on predictions of what might happen which are supported by examples of what may have happened elsewhere in the past.
if you don't mind me saying its quite refreshing debating with you.
i accept all that you say - I agree with all that you say. So why then are we continuously told that without electrification our economy will suffer. I don't think it will, i just think the quality of life won't be as great due to spending more time on a train rather than in front of the TV.
i do think that new infrastructure can improve economic output as it brings people together that otherwise could not do business with each other. changing infrastrucutre (such as the M4 widening) only improves life quality. There is nothing wrong with that at all and is to be commended as a worthwhile goal.
i just think politicians citing upgrading our infrastrucutre as being the panacea for our economic ills is masking the real structural problems we have here in Wales. i don't see any long term benefits to wales by electrifying unless we can attract new business at the same time.
Jantra, time spent standing in cramped trains is unproductive. And you are really showing your chauvinism by suggesting that housework is nothing to do with economic productivity. Electrified trains can carry more people, more quickly, more comfortably and more reliably. This will help to increase economic output. More people will be able to.work in the places the trains serve. Do you really think that all these electrified train networks have been built for the sake of projecting a positive image? Why not just gold plate all of the buildings, or hire beautiful models to wander the streets smiling at people? I give you permission to use these two policies in the manifesto for your centre-right, business-focused party, chum
I think electrification of the railways is also a compoment of a much larger integrated public transport scheme which has loosely been described as a Cardiff Metro.
A sometimes poster on here, Mark, is heavily involved in developing these proposals. I don't want to break confidences or tread on his area but as I recall electrification of the GWML makes electrification of the Valleys lines much easier (and cheaper). The Valleys Lines electrification is then a key component of a wider public transport system which involves opening new lines (or re-opening disused lines), bus transport, park and ride facilities etc. Not just too and from Cardiff but inter valley as well.
I guess what I'm saying is that electrification isn't an end in itself just a major component of a wider scheme that has those elements you identify that will (or should) improve economic output. The proposals that I have seen are quite well developed and costed. They also appear eminently do-able.
If Mark is reading this thread then hopefully he can add some detail to the broad outline above. He really is the go to man on this topic.
standing in cramped trains is not unproductive to the economy. If my hours of work are 9-5 then I have to be in work from those hours. If I am not then i have to make up those hours elsewhere replacing lost productivity. so where is the lost productivity? as Karl has alluded to, it is quality of life.
it is very easy to say there will be economic benefits - its a buzzword or phrase - but when you actually try and quantify what those benefits are or how they arise, it becomes a lot more difficult to place any sort of meaning to it.
FWIW I have read the IWA report twice previously. I agree that electrification will bring improvements to the infrastructure, but I doubt in itself it will increase economic output.
You have not provided any evidence to suggest that there is a direct correlation between using electric trains and an increase in GDP/GVA (or some other economic measure)
Jantra, standing on a cramped train for 40 minutes means that you are not producing anything (apart from sweat) for 40 minutes. Sitting on a less cramped electric train for 30 minutes might mean you can send a few emails to work contacts. A gain in productivity. With the ten minutes you save each wsy every day, you could use to develop a business idea, mow the.lawn, read to your child, go jogging, develop wearisome trolling arguments on the internet. Some of that time saved by some people will increase productivity and economic output.
just so i've not misunderstood what you are saying...all these valleys folk who commute into Cardiff have jobs that require laptops, blackberry's etc and can send work emails when on the train?
is that what you are suggesting?
Aren't the uk government expecting that the high speed rail link between london and brum to yield large economic benefits.
Mightn't this be similar, albeit on a different scale.
I guess that the less time spent commuting, the more people are prepared to make that journey, effectively increasing the work pool and access to customers.
Also the more free time you have the.more likely you are going to go and.spend some money after work.
Jantra, less time travelling=more time for potentially working. The self employed who use public transport will benefit. One of my family members is a consultant who divides his time between Cardiff and London. The delays on the unreliable GWR have cost him business. He is looking forward to electrification as he will be able to be more productive ie do more work that would have goneoto consultants in other parts of the UK or abroad. That was an answer to your question, Jantra
this contradicts what you have previously posted. you said that being sat on trains workers can email - a virtual desk if you like. now you are saying being sat on a train means that your consultant friend/relative is losing business. I assume that GWR passengers have no restrictions on laptops and other devices - in fact, i know this to be the case since I travelled to Aylesbury last week to work using GWR
Jantra, yes oh wise one, you are indeed correct and the rest of the world is so wrong. Be that as it may,my close relative is an arbitrator and expert witness, there are some jobs he's had to turn down because he couldn't make the meeting because of problems with the trains. Panels and Hearings aren't interested iin why your train was 3 hours late, and I know that unreliable trains, engineering work and breakdowns have cost him work. He can't use the facilities on the train to be at the meeting in person. Trains don't have matter transferers which can "beam" him into meetings when he is delayed. He sometimes travels first class on FGW sometimes he pays himself and goes second class. He always has a seat booked,regardless of which class of carriage he's in. So he always has the opportunity to work on inter-city journeys. He doesn't use Valley Lines to commute at rush hour, but if he did he would probably be more productive on a reliable,fast,spacious electric train. I will ask him about it the next time that I see him and let you know what he reckons.
good morning to you.
If i may say, you're just being daft. In this thread I have asked for evidence of tangible economic development as a result of developing the rail infrastructure. for example, evidence pointing to an increase in jobs, new factories, new offices, an increase in consumer demand, an increase in exports....all the things that show an economy is increasing in size.
Other than whooly political answers that electrification will bring economic benefits, none of the evidence has indicated how these benefits will arise. burden of proof is everything.
I am not suggesting that new infrastructure does not bring better connectivity between peoples thus improving trade relations, but where existing infrastructure is being upgraded, then my personal opinion (if I am allowed to have one) is that due to lack of evidence to suggest otherwise, the only real tangible 'economic' benefit is the soft benefits such as improvements to quality of life rather than hard benefits such as new factories, new office blocks, more jobs...the type of measures that show an increase in economic output.
I do not believe everything the media or politicians or any form of agency happens to tell us. i prefer to see the evidence and look at it and form an opinoion. Thus far in this thread there has been no evidence of any tangible benefits to the economy other than a few presentations saying 'there will be economic benefits'. That is not evidence, that is a statement of opinion.
so you close relative couldn't make the meeting to act as an independent expert....I assume the meeting organisers found another expert witness to undertake the task. If this is the case, there is no lost economic output, just a shift of output to another party.
Scotland gets a percentage of rail spend. Wales doesn't, so it is classed as 'England and Wales'. Very little of that spend goes to Wales, so it is Welsh people paying for rail improvements in England, more than anything else.
We are paying for crossrail, we are paying for high speed rail. A bit pissed off with it to be honest.
Yawn yawn yawn yawn. 'wales receives more than its fair share'. Based on what? pure population numbers? You can't base the amount of welfare/benefit payments an area should receive based solely on the number of people living there. It must be calculated on need. Wales has higher levels of social deprivation and thus requires a greater relative proportion of benefit payments, than say London.
If the private sector bothered to invest in Wales and create jobs, then perhaps some of these people wouldn't need benefits. Spending on benefits should not prevent investment in infrastructure.
I totally agree, benefits and welfare should be based on need not population. However, we cannot expect our 5% of the population to receive say 7% of the welfare budget without seeing a reduction elswhere. Wales already receives £9bn more per annum in funding than it contributes in tax receipts. Yet some people think this is not enough. It appears we want all the modern benefits that the hard workers of the South East get, but we also want the benefits of a welfare system that we hardly contribute towards.
as for your comment regarding the private sector...perhaps it is because Wales is not seen to be business friendly, too bureaucratic, too focussed on developing an English funded public sector whilst doing not a lot to develop its own indigenous private sector. I find it absurd that you would question why the private sector does not invest in Wales? The private sector will invest where they think they will get maximum utility. If that means certain areas see lower private sector activity and investment then it is up to government using the levers of power to apploy market corrections or policy changes. In Wales we have not seen anything near what is required in the last 12 years - a charge laid directly at WG for they are responsible for economic development. Wales is not seen as business friendly and it is not seen as being entreprenuerial and we have to change that culture. We will not do that having a Trotskyist in charge of ecomomic development.
The perception (and I stress the word perception) regarding the WLA does put off business from being based here.
I have said on this forum that WG went about developing the welsh private sector the wrong way. Rhodri morgans preferred approach was to work with Entreprenuer Action (itself liquidated due to insolvency), Venture Wales, Business eye, Business in Focus et al. These organisation would take from from WG, cream a bit off for themselves, then pay 'mentors' to draft business plans for business start ups. 12 months later if those businesses were still going WG would claim that due to their intervention and their policies they were creating an entrepreneurial culture. The fact was lost on WG and its ministers that the businesses may not have needed business plans drafted in the first instance and that following the creation of the business plans, no further mentoring was provided. It was a complete fallacy that this type of support created new business start ups. it just gave money to the Venture Wales etc al and the mentors
Thankfully WG are now adopting a more pragmatic approach targetting the larger more established businesses within the SME sector...such businesses who trade up with multinationals and trade down with local based business. The sort of businesses that actually drive economic growth. WG were more interested in created 'new starts' as opposed to creating sustainable growth and economic development. Death by measurement in effect.
Despite Wales mirroring the UK and transferring to a service based economy, WG and its Finance Wales offshoot have only recently allowed B2B business investment....its this sort of delayed reaction that has kept Wales back. This goes full circle....the private sector does not invest in Wales because it is not business friendly. that is the long and short of it. Create the correct business environment and the investment will come
Give me the infrastructure investment so that the welfare payments might not be needed.
London is set up to succeed, and surprise, surprise it largely does (albeit with highh unemployment and shocking inequality).
Wales is set up to fail, and by and large does.
take away the welfare payments so that we can invest...viscious circle. Wales does not want to lose its welfare but it wants the investment. Something has to give.
Wales does have potential, but needs to understand that it must produce more and contribute more to the central pot before it can justify having any more to spend.
Wales lagging behind England in attracting private industry has to be pqartly a function of poorer transport infrastructure surely?
Historically it certainly has.
aA half decent airport would be better, but I'll take this.
you raise a valid point, and it ties in with my comment that the government should apply market corrections or change policy. For example, the 10 borough councils that make up Greater M/cr pooled their resource and purchased ringway - which is now the largest airport outside of London. The councils appreciated the benefits of having a world class airport on their doorstep and took the bull by the horns. Connectivity with the rest of the world has business advantages.
Unfortunately for Wales, CCC/VoGC et al were not so bold or forward thinking. ringway shows what can be done when governments get involved. Ringway exists solely for the purpose of Greater M/cr with all profits being reinvested. Can we say the same about CWL given Abertis invest nothing and even our own ministers are embarrassed to use it?
We could be bold in Wales, but blaming the English for all our ills is apparently much easier
Yes oh wise one, you are indeed correct and the rest of the world is so wrong.
and a good example project here;
www.crossrail.co.uk/assets/download/743 have a look at this, loads about the productivity and economic benefits of infrastructure
All I have asked are what are the economic benefits and where is the evidence? I have not said none exist, just that there is no evidence.
you have provided a report relating to crossrail (NB the other link does not work). this report identifies four key areas:
1. Move to More Productive Jobs
2. Pure Agglomeration
3. Increase in labour force participation
4. Impacts on imperfect competition
lets assume that the above are typical examples of economic benefits of a major infrastructure project, do we have any such evidence that electrifying Cardiff - Paddington will bring the very same benefits. For want of repeating myself, it is fine to suggest that other projects have benefits (because the evidence says so), but I am concerned with electrification of the Valleys and would like to see the analysis, evidence and conclusions relating to that particular project.
I feel you misunderstand my statement when I say I have not seen any economic benefits. I was referring to electrification of the Valleys lines. I thought it was a given that we were talking about the Valley lines, I didn't realise you were talking more widely.
anyway, back to my question, is there any evidence that electrifying the valley lines will bring economic benefits? I have not seen any evidence or analysis except political bluster.
are you saying that because someone has suggested that cross rail will bring economic benefits to London you have concluded that electrification of the valley lines will bring economic benefits to south Wales?
Final question, why so much angst in your responses? do you think it might be better for all concerned if you adopted a more cordial approach to your responses?
will try again
my tone is thanks old boy. I suppose your posts are confusing as you jump around a lot and when pulled up you chnage tack. Your posts to date here do infer that you do not buy into the genral concept of infrastructure improvements having a productivity effect, these documents should indeed answer a few of your wqueries, read them, analyse and respond please. As for valley lines elcytrification, it is a concept currently based on other similair projects, I believe the analysis is going on as we speak, M I beleiev has mentioned he has sight of such work?? lets wait and see it shall we, but we can take note of similair schemes and infer simialir benefits surely?
still bad link Eric
so in that post you have stated that (i) there are not quantifiable economic benefits as of yet and that there is no analysis of note and that (ii) you reckon even if there were the valleys electrification could garner the same type of benefits as cross rail (the train line running through one of the most advanced cities in the world)
The devil is in the detail. I asked if there was any evidence of economic benefits of electrification (of the valleys).You said there was. I asked you to provide the evidence, then you said there is no evidence as the analysis hadn't been undertaken yet.
This reinforces my point that politicians are simply saying there are economic benefits without actually understanding them or knowing how those benefits will manifest in the economy. I have said several times on this thread that I wished politicians wouldn't make such empty promises.
You then say we should compare the valleys electrification with similar projects and cite cross rail as an example. I personally think its bonkers to compare cross rail with the valleys electrification. I don't think I need to explain why?
CARDIFFWALESMAP - FORUM