Go Back   Alternate History Discussion Board > Discussion > Alternate History Discussion: After 1900

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old February 25th, 2007, 06:11 PM
The Dean The Dean is offline
No Pain No Pain
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Surrey, England
Posts: 1000 or more
Send a message via MSN to The Dean
Green and Pleasant Land

This is my take on how transport could have evolved in the UK over the last 60 years given a POD in 1955 when the British Transport Commission decided to start electrification of main line railways.


Green and Pleasant Land


Looking forward to next years 60th anniversary celebrations of the foundation of the British Transport Commission we must began by looking back at the beginning of the Commission's illustrious history.

The first steps that led to trains travelling the length of the country in under three hours every thirty minutes, carrying most of our bulk goods not travelling on the waterways and taking 90% of people to their places of work every day.

It may seem far fetched to us today but back in 1955 there were people considering extending the experimental electrification of the rail network in the South East to cover the whole country. You may ask how these proponents of electrification could justify this extreme expense when over 70% of the energy produced by the fuel used in the generating stations was lost in resistance in the distribution network, when even the oldest locomotives in use could turn 70% of the heat their boilers produced into kinetic energy and the locomotives produced in the British Railways program of 1951 all approached 90% efficiency. Of course compared to the latest model steam turbines, fired by fluid bed solid fuel, gas and oil, with condensing boilers, these were the last of the dinosaurs from the so called “golden age” of steam power.


British Railway 9F Goods Locomotive developed from the WD 2-10-0 goods engine used by the RASC

Then, of course, the generating stations would shoot all of the pollutants up into the upper atmosphere spreading pollution far more than burning the fuel at the point of use. Also the capital outlay would have been enormous, how they were going to justify this, when the infrastructure to support steam generating vehicles was in place, we can only wonder at.

Looking now at the problems other nations are having in regard to air pollution this is one of the less obvious benefits of maintaining our multi-layered transport system but potentially one of its most valuable. Once it was accepted that transport was going to be achieved by burning non-renewable resources of fossil fuel then it became obvious that it should be done in the most efficient manner. To do this with the least impact on the environment it became obvious that burning the fuel at the point of use was far more efficient and less harmful to the environment. The apparent lack of pollution from electric vehicles ignored the fact the the electricity was generated by burning fossil fuel. Without the luxury of readily available power from a hydro-electric system the electric trains produced more and, by ejecting it up high from tall chimneys, more harmful pollution.

The main problem of the time taken to get the locomotives up to working pressure was being addressed by the introduction of powdered coal and oil fired boilers which also eased the workload on the engineer or fireman as he used to be called back then, when he was basically a labourer feeding the boiler. Now of course it would be possible one person to operate the locomotive, although no rational company would advocate that practice any more than an aircraft operator would use a one man crew on a transport aeroplane.

The phased transfer of RASC rail assets to British Railways over the decade led to an increasing ability to move large loads to within 15 to 20 miles of ANYWHERE in the country. There was not a town or village in the country more than a short journey by road to a railway station. The organisation of freight and personnel transport handling gained from the supplying of the forces in the recent world war became utilised by British Railways.
The heavier industries that required bulk deliveries were already sited on or near existing waterways so it was obvious to modernise the canal system. Once the chains of barges started moving every 30mins it was irrelevant if they took a day or two to complete their journey 250 tons or more arrived every 30mins. The amount of fuel required to move 250 tons 100miles by water was less than one tenth of that required by rail and one hundredth of that by road.

These figures are taken by the simple comparison of the loads that a horse can move. It can for instance on a hard surfaced highway pull one ton on a wheeled cart. On a permanent way, and the first railways were all horse drawn, they could move ten tons on level ground. But on water in a barge they could easily pull one hundred tons all day without any difficulty.



British Road Services together with the private companies Pickfords, Corrals and Charringtons Fuels increased their sitting of depots at railway yards and stations. This formed the final link in the transport chain moving goods around the country.There were railway sidings with access to the road system all over the system dating back to WW1 when vast quantities of munitions and supplies were being transported to the ports for the western front. These became available for general use again by 1950. Large and small haulage and transport companies used these as points of transfer for goods in the initial and final stages of the chain of delivery.

Many industries had their own rail links to the main system and indeed possessed their own rolling stock and even locomotives. By actively encouraging this practice and scheduling trains from these companies into the system the maximum use of the capacity and a high level of efficiency was achieved.
The urban transport system did for some time remain powered by electric motive units both trams and light railways above and underground. Then of course the gas fired condensing boiler steam turbine units replaced electric power on the underground rail systems and eventually, after a short flirtation with diesel power, the trams followed suit.

Now of course monorail systems using magnetic support for the carriages and some even with a linear induction power system are being proposed to save space in urban areas. These however are generating there own power locally with small gas fired generators and using the national grid system for emergency backup only.

After the Suez crisis of 1956 Egyptian president Gamel Abdel Nasser initiated a boycott on Arab countries supplying oil to Britain and France in retaliation for the invasion of the canal zone. This prompted the government decided to adopt a policy of minimum reliance on oil as a fuel which compelled the Commission to ensure that the most economical means of transporting people and materials were employed. This required the layered system we enjoy today to be developed to it's full potential.

The Royal Navy at Suez

It is strange to think that back in the late 50s there were plans to build a network of freeways or autobahns similar to the American or European systems in our country. One can only wonder who would have used them if their construction had gone ahead. The amount of fuel you would use and drivers you would have to train and employ to transport say, food for a city, across the country when one trainload with one driver could carry it in one journey would suggest that no commercial enterprise would ever be able to operate economically unless the whole system was altered in some way to load the dice in favour of the transport by road.

As for private motorists who in their right mind would want to sit in a confined box for hours on end to travel when you can put your car on a train at say London and drive off in York in an hour or Edinburgh in three whilst relaxing in comfort and, if time allows, enjoying a meal in the dining car.
In 1958 British Car Hire was formed with offices at main stations at the system and if a vehicle was required when the rail journey was completed it could even be hired in advance and paid for with the ticket. If the journey was to a station without an office with two days notice a car could be made available.

Bearing all of this in mind it would be incomprehensible for anybody to suggest altering the rail infrastructure to make roads a viable option for long distance travel within the UK. Indeed you would have to dismantle half of the rail infrastructure and scrap all of the new build engines from the 1951 construction program to make roads a viable option and who in their right mind would have suggested that back in 1955. Why obviously no government would have considered such an illogical course of action and the electorate would have put them out of office at the very next election if they did carry out these peculiar policies.

The main expense in the formative years of the late 50s and early 60s was of course standardising the loading gauges of all of the lines to allow the latest and most efficient rolling stock and locomotives to have access to all parts of the rail network. This was expensive but not as much as the figures proposed for the electrification of the network.

This does not even take into account any savings on not building a freeway system far more suited to a large continent rather than a small island. The ability of mainland Europe to rebuild their road system to cope with extremely large loads was of course mainly due to the fact that there was not a major bridge left standing after the second world war. Any bridge that the Allies didn't destroy to hinder the Axis's supplies the Axis destroyed to hinder the Allied advance.

Bielefeld Viaduct

This of course meant that the replacements could and were built to take far heavier loads than their predecessors. This was actively encouraged by NATO and financed by the Marshall Plan. This, just like Hitler's construction of the autobahns, was to enable tanks to be readily transported by road. In Britain it was not necessary to carry out such reconstruction and as we were hardly likely to need to deploy tanks on home soil, rail transport would be perfectly adequate for any military requirement.

Now after this brief précis of the early history of the Commission we must look at its recent achievements. The monorail systems we have mentioned earlier in South and East London, around Birmingham and Manchester have made the daily journey to work shorter and more pleasant for workers living in these areas. This has left more space on the main line trains travelling through and leaving more capacity on the network for transport of goods. The new computerised signaling and and control system has been installed with an independent duplicate to give an instant backup in any failure situation.
Then the largest recent project has been the upgrade and extension of the inland waterways to rationalise bulk transport of goods around the country. This together with the latest generation of vessels has given the Commission more than enough capacity in the transport system to take us well into the next century and beyond.

Finally the ongoing maintenance of the road system has been kept up to date with the creation of more motorail transfer stations across the country to give the traveller more choice. Making it possible now to drive onto a train in Scotland and in less than four hours drive off in France through the Channel tunnel. Then of course those who actively enjoy the motoring experience can move around the country on reasonably clear roads for the foreseeable future. The latest addition to the system is this boat lift in Scotland which raises the vessels some 24m.



I would welcome any comments or suggestions on this TL.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ward
M1 Carbine.

My great uncle once said a canteen cup was more effective at stopping enemies in the field.
G&PL

Last edited by The Dean; February 25th, 2007 at 07:34 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old February 25th, 2007, 06:47 PM
Electric Monk Electric Monk is offline
Does Your Believing For You
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Independent Republic of Calgarystan.
Posts: 1000 or more
It looks interesting (And I love the picture) but could you post it with paragraph breaks? It's kinda hard to read as it is.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old February 25th, 2007, 06:52 PM
The Dean The Dean is offline
No Pain No Pain
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Surrey, England
Posts: 1000 or more
Send a message via MSN to The Dean
Quote:
Originally Posted by Electric Monk View Post
It looks interesting (And I love the picture) but could you post it with paragraph breaks? It's kinda hard to read as it is.
I'll do that now. Thanks.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ward
M1 Carbine.

My great uncle once said a canteen cup was more effective at stopping enemies in the field.
G&PL
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old February 25th, 2007, 06:58 PM
nunya nunya is offline
none of your business
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: west WA
Posts: 453
Fascinating.Noone ever did something like this before.I love the picture.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old February 25th, 2007, 07:42 PM
ninebucks ninebucks is offline
Banned
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Blighty
Posts: 1000 or more
Very interesting!

As the automobile tends to increase individualistic tendencies, could we see a more communitarian Britain? Your post certainly does have a utopian tone.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old February 25th, 2007, 07:48 PM
Ward Ward is online now
The sick old fart
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: West Mich
Posts: 1000 or more
This is Great were are you going with this from here .
I dont think this system would work in the US because we are way to big but it would be intresting to see some one try ,
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old February 25th, 2007, 08:46 PM
Thande Thande is offline
Zordrak, Lord of Nightmares
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Viltheed
Posts: 1000 or more
Great use of pictures.
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old February 25th, 2007, 08:48 PM
The Dean The Dean is offline
No Pain No Pain
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Surrey, England
Posts: 1000 or more
Send a message via MSN to The Dean
Thanks for the feedback guys keep it coming. I grew up and lived through all of this and groaned with despair at every wrong turn my country took. Before most people had the motor car we were not particularly communitarian and I did not mean to make my TL seem Utopian (that would make me turn into a suicide bomber, and I hate those suckers). Rather I wrote this first entry in "Green and Pleasant Land" as if some smartarse PR guy for the British Transport Commission had written it to big up their anniversary in 2008.
The commission was a real organisation formed in 1948 but because it spent so much money attempting to electrify the rail system and failed to develop an integrated transport system, which was after all its brief: was in so much debt it was disbanded in 1962.
I certainly intend to flesh this out is as a subject. I have waxed lyrical on this subject at great length whenever anybody would listen or I was drunk enough to not care whether anybody was listening or not.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ward
M1 Carbine.

My great uncle once said a canteen cup was more effective at stopping enemies in the field.
G&PL

Last edited by The Dean; February 25th, 2007 at 10:17 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old February 26th, 2007, 02:14 AM
DoctorMO DoctorMO is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Boston
Posts: 7
I can attest to the above, having enjoyed numerous good meals at the Deans.

OK so first thing is that the transport commission would look towards bikes as well as cars for renting as bikes (motorised or none) are far easier to store and rent than cars and during the 1990/2000 fitness craze the transport commission could really promote this method of local transport (maximum range 10 miles for non motorised) a large development of this nature would have produced a culture more willing to take bikes on the train and visit far off places in britian for a bike ride.

the second point is that I have come up with a system for sending mail automated using modern rfid technology and clever mecanics for moving packages from one train to the next and having a simple local delivery mechanism such as might be used by the royal mail.

With the advent of internet shopping the uk was now in a good spot for ordering things online, a package could be loaded onto the train at morning and arrive by evening to anyones door care of a local train/package delivery services. this includes the delivery of foods and goods for which could not be localy grown. this service system has eventually dominated the way in which british people shop allowing them greater time to do other things.

The only down point in the great history of the TC was during the miner strikes when coal fired trains faired worse shortages than the electrical grid resulting in more oil based trains being put in position by the thatcher government. this in the end is seen as a worsening problem as we go into the future with some aging trains which are completely dependent on oil and gas which is more and more being imported from unstable nations.

During the 2003 London suffork bombings the middle east terrorist organisation 'kandahad' attacked a number of trains, the placing of the suicide bombs at the front of trains with several large explosive devices which combined with the high pressure of the train to maximise the damage and death toll. it's assumed that without the attraction of the high pressures available, popularity and importance in the modern fleet of trains the organisation might have attacked the underground, tram or road networks but this has been dismissed by many experts as damage to the road network would not effect the economy of Britain.

Last edited by DoctorMO; February 26th, 2007 at 02:54 AM..
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old February 26th, 2007, 02:53 AM
MrP MrP is offline
Witchfinder General
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Emirate of Cheshire
Posts: 1000 or more
A most interesting TL! I fear I myself am not very up on rail transport, but I'll get P Senior to take a look at this tomorrow.
__________________
PLC
Englishman
Wargaming and whimsy Updated 12th July, 2011!
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old February 26th, 2007, 07:07 AM
Hendryk Hendryk is offline
Banned
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: France
Posts: 1000 or more
Quite interesting. Most detailed transportation-based ATL I've seen so far. I like the way Britain managed to keep rail as its primary mode of transportation, thus avoiding the inherent problems generated by overreliance on cars--namely pollution, urban congestion, and dependence on imported oil.

And as someone who has seen first-hand the sorry state of OTL's British rail infrastructure, I see the point of coming up with such a TL
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old February 26th, 2007, 01:19 PM
The Dean The Dean is offline
No Pain No Pain
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Surrey, England
Posts: 1000 or more
Send a message via MSN to The Dean
This is good I am getting lots of good detail here. I had not thought of making cycle hire available but that makes sense. I love the mail handling ideas we can keep TPOs and "The Night Mail" is safe into the 21st century "crossing the border, Bringing the cheque and the postal order".



TPO (traveling post office)

It had not occurred to me but it is obvious that internet shopping would be integral to the entire system.

Here is a glimpse of what should have been. This is a painting of the only test train pulled by OV Bullied's 0-6-6-0-T Leader in 1949!

The drivers compartment is "leading" the locomotive like all trains in OTL. The fireman was in the middle, but this was only as the first model was coal fired, eventually it would have been oil fired and the engineer could have occupied the same cab as the driver. Incidentally there was a cab at each end so it could be driven in either direction doing away with the need for turntables or turning triangles. Later versions could have used liquid bed granulated coal,gas or fuel oil and turbines instead of reciprocating engines fitted with condensers.
When these technologies come into service it would be possible to start up a locomotive with a key and reach operating pressure in well under an hour.



I had not even thought of the effects of terrorist or industrial action on the system. These would not be insurmountable problems as the network was so extensive that any break could be bypassed. This proved to be the case in WW2 when the railways were damaged. The German rail network proved extremely resilient during allied bombing.

The locomotives would be multi fueled capable of being fired by granulated coal, oil or gas. This would reduce the effect of a shortage in any particular type of fuel. This would be useful during industrial action or foreign embargo.

Railways would be the major primary mode of transport for passenger transport but the major bulk carrier would be water rather than rail. Only time sensitive cargoes, perishables would need to be transported exclusively by rail. Coal and other bulk cargoes could move on the canal system or from sea access.

The one class of goods I have not mentioned yet is fuel oil and gas where the BTC would make far more extensive use of pipelines.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ward
M1 Carbine.

My great uncle once said a canteen cup was more effective at stopping enemies in the field.
G&PL
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old February 26th, 2007, 04:22 PM
birdy birdy is offline
Taking your freedom from you
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: A briar patch
Posts: 1000 or more
Thats a cool TL .
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old February 26th, 2007, 04:22 PM
The Dean The Dean is offline
No Pain No Pain
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Surrey, England
Posts: 1000 or more
Send a message via MSN to The Dean
This is my latest version of Green and Pleasant Land

Green and Pleasant Land

Looking forward to next years 60th anniversary celebrations of the foundation of the British Transport Commission we must began by looking back at the beginning of the Commission's illustrious history.

The first steps that led to trains travelling the length of the country in under three hours every thirty minutes, carrying most of our bulk goods not traveling on the waterways and taking 90% of people to their places of work every day.

It may seem far fetched to us today but back in 1955 there were people considering extending the experimental electrification of the rail network in the South East to cover the whole country. You may ask how these proponents of electrification could justify this extreme expense when over 70% of the energy produced by the fuel used in the generating stations was lost in resistance in the distribution network, when even the oldest locomotives in use could turn 70% of the heat their boilers produced into kinetic energy and the locomotives produced in the British Railways program of 1951 all approached 90% efficiency. Of course compared to the latest model steam turbines, fired by fluid bed solid fuel, gas and oil, with condensing boilers, these were the last of the dinosaurs from the so called “golden age” of steam power.


British Railway 9F Goods Locomotive developed from the WD 2-10-0 goods engine used by the RASC

Then, of course, the generating stations would shoot all of the pollutants up into the upper atmosphere spreading pollution far more than burning the fuel at the point of use. Also the capital outlay would have been enormous, how they were going to justify this, when the infrastructure to support steam generating vehicles was in place, we can only wonder at.

Looking now at the problems other nations are having in regard to air pollution this is one of the less obvious benefits of maintaining our multi-layered transport system but potentially one of its most valuable. Once it was accepted that transport was going to be achieved by burning non-renewable resources of fossil fuel then it became obvious that it should be done in the most efficient manner.

To do this with the least impact on the environment it became obvious that burning the fuel at the point of use was far more efficient and less harmful to the environment. The apparent lack of pollution from electric vehicles ignored the fact the the electricity was generated by burning fossil fuel. Without the luxury of readily available power from a hydro-electric system the electric trains produced more and, by ejecting it up high from tall chimneys, more harmful pollution.

The main problem of the time taken to get the locomotives up to working pressure was being addressed by the introduction of powdered coal and oil fired boilers which also eased the workload on the engineer or fireman as he used to be called back then, when he was basically a labourer feeding the boiler. Now of course it would be possible one person to operate the locomotive, although no rational company would advocate that practice any more than an aircraft operator would use a one man crew on a transport aeroplane.


Test train pulled by OV Bullied's 0-6-6-0-T Leader in 1949 The pioneer of today's Locomotives.

The drivers compartment is "leading" the locomotive like all trains today. The fireman was in the middle, but this was only as the first model was coal fired, eventually it was oil fired and the engineer occupied the same cab as the driver. There was a cab at each end so it could be driven in either direction doing away with the need for turntables or turning triangles. Later versions used liquid bed granulated coal, gas or fuel oil and turbines instead of reciprocating engines installed both fitted with condensers. These advances meant drivers no longer had to fire up hours before the Locomotive was required. They could come on duty fire up the loco with a switch and move off in well under an hour.

The phased transfer of RASC rail assets to British Railways over the decade led to an increasing ability to move large loads to within 15 to 20 miles of ANYWHERE in the country. There was not a town or village in the country more than a short journey by road to a railway station.

The organisation of freight and personnel transport handling gained from the supplying of the forces in the recent world war became utilised by British Railways.
The heavier industries that required bulk deliveries were already sited on or near existing waterways so it was obvious to modernise the canal system. Once the chains of barges started moving every 30mins it was irrelevant if they took a day or two to complete their journey 250 tons or more arrived every 30mins. The amount of fuel required to move 250 tons 100miles by water was less than one tenth of that required by rail and one hundredth of that by road.

These figures are taken by the simple comparison of the loads that a horse can move. It can for instance on a hard surfaced highway pull one ton on a wheeled cart. On a permanent way, and the first railways were all horse drawn, they could move ten tons on level ground. But on water in a barge they could easily pull one hundred tons all day without any difficulty.



Horse Drawn Barge

British Road Services together with the private companies Pickfords, Corrals and Charringtons Fuels increased their sitting of depots at railway yards and stations. This formed the final link in the transport chain moving goods around the country.There were railway sidings with access to the road system all over the system dating back to WW1 when vast quantities of munitions and supplies were being transported to the ports for the western front. These became available for general use again by 1950. Large and small haulage and transport companies used these as points of transfer for goods in the initial and final stages of the chain of delivery.

Many industries had their own rail links to the main system and indeed possessed their own rolling stock and even locomotives. By actively encouraging this practice and scheduling trains from these companies into the system the maximum use of the capacity and a high level of efficiency was achieved.

Bulk transport of materials and coal was kept on waterways wherever possible and the only goods that could not travel by water were time sensitive loads and perishables. The transfer of liquid and gas fuels was achieved by an expanding system of underground pipelines from refineries and ports of entry.

The urban transport system did for some time remain powered by electric motive units both trams and light railways above and underground. Then of course the gas fired condensing boiler steam turbine units replaced electric power on the underground rail systems and eventually, after a short flirtation with diesel power, the trams followed suit.

Now of course monorail systems using magnetic support for the carriages and some even with a linear induction power system are being proposed to save space in urban areas. These however are generating there own power locally with small gas fired generators and using the national grid system for emergency backup only.

After the Suez crisis of 1956 Egyptian president Gamel Abdel Nasser initiated a boycott on Arab countries supplying oil to Britain and France in retaliation for the invasion of the canal zone. This prompted the government decided to adopt a policy of minimum reliance on oil as a fuel which compelled the Commission to ensure that the most economical means of transporting people and materials were employed. This required the layered system we enjoy today to be developed to it's full potential.


The Royal Navy at Suez

It is strange to think that back in the late 50s there were plans to build a network of freeways or autobahns similar to the American or European systems in our country. One can only wonder who would have used them if their construction had gone ahead. The amount of fuel you would use and drivers you would have to train and employ to transport say, food for a city, across the country when one trainload with one driver could carry it in one journey would suggest that no commercial enterprise would ever be able to operate economically unless the whole system was altered in some way to load the dice in favour of the transport by road.

As for private motorists who in their right mind would want to sit in a confined box for hours on end to travel when you can put your car on a train at say London and drive off in York in an hour or Edinburgh in three whilst relaxing in comfort and, if time allows, enjoying a meal in the dining car.
In 1958 British Car Hire was formed with offices at main stations at the system and if a vehicle was required when the rail journey was completed it could even be hired in advance and paid for with the ticket. If the journey was to a station without an office with two days notice a car could be made available. This was eventually supplemented by the cycle hire system which was started in the fitness boom after the 1966 world cup victory.

Bearing all of this in mind it would be incomprehensible for anybody to suggest altering the rail infrastructure to make roads a viable option for long distance travel within the UK. Indeed you would have to dismantle half of the rail infrastructure and scrap all of the new build engines from the 1951 construction program to make roads a viable option and who in their right mind would have suggested that back in 1955. Why obviously no government would have considered such an illogical course of action and the electorate would have put them out of office at the very next election if they did carry out these peculiar policies.

The main expense in the formative years of the late 50s and early 60s was of course standardising the loading gauges of all of the lines to allow the latest and most efficient rolling stock and locomotives to have access to all parts of the rail network. This was expensive but not as much as the figures proposed for the electrification of the network.

This does not even take into account any savings on not building a freeway system far more suited to a large continent rather than a small island. The ability of mainland Europe to rebuild their road system to cope with extremely large loads was of course mainly due to the fact that there was not a major bridge left standing after the second world war. Any bridge that the Allies didn't destroy to hinder the Axis's supplies the Axis destroyed to hinder the Allied advance.


Bielefeld Viaduct

This of course meant that the replacements could and were built to take far heavier loads than their predecessors. This was actively encouraged by NATO and financed by the Marshall Plan. This, just like Hitler's construction of the autobahns, was to enable tanks to be readily transported by road. In Britain it was not necessary to carry out such reconstruction and as we were hardly likely to need to deploy tanks on home soil, rail transport would be perfectly adequate for any military requirement.

Now after this brief précis of the early history of the Commission we must look at its recent achievements. The monorail systems we have mentioned earlier in South and East London, around Birmingham and Manchester have made the daily journey to work shorter and more pleasant for workers living in these areas. This has left more space on the main line trains traveling through and leaving more capacity on the network for transport of goods. The new computerised signaling and and control system has been installed with an independent duplicate to give an instant backup in any failure situation.

The Post Office has extended its service by sending mail automated using modern rfid technology and clever mechanics for moving packages from one train to the next. This combined with the internet shopping services means that "The Night Mail" is safe into the 21st century "crossing the border, Bringing the cheque and the postal order".


Traveling Post Office of the Royal Mail

Then the largest recent project has been the upgrade and extension of the inland waterways to rationalise bulk transport of goods around the country. This together with the latest generation of vessels has given the Commission more than enough capacity in the transport system to take us well into the next century and beyond.


Falkirk Wheel

This is the latest addition to the canal system in Scotland which raises the boats some 24m joining the Union and the Forth and Clyde canals by replacing the original system of eleven locks.

Finally the ongoing maintenance of the road system has been kept up to date with the creation of more motorail transfer stations across the country to give the traveller more choice. Making it possible now to drive onto a train in Scotland and in less than four hours drive off in France through the Channel tunnel. Then of course those who actively enjoy the motoring experience can move around the country on reasonably clear roads for the foreseeable future.

Please make any suggestions and comments you have.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ward
M1 Carbine.

My great uncle once said a canteen cup was more effective at stopping enemies in the field.
G&PL
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old February 26th, 2007, 05:34 PM
DoctorMO DoctorMO is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Boston
Posts: 7
Instead of posting a new message you can simply edit the original; this will reduce repetition and people coming into the thread for the first time will read the latest version at the top.

Those clever people at CRA.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old February 26th, 2007, 07:21 PM
Thande Thande is offline
Zordrak, Lord of Nightmares
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Viltheed
Posts: 1000 or more
I like the additions. What about air travel? How is that different in this timeline and how has it been affected by the oil embargoes etc? Perhaps there aren't any cheap charter flights and cheap European holidays are mainly via ferry?
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old February 26th, 2007, 07:50 PM
Electric Monk Electric Monk is offline
Does Your Believing For You
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Independent Republic of Calgarystan.
Posts: 1000 or more
Awesome. I like rail, and hate cars. We totally went the wrong way.

How about public transit? Subways? LRT lines since there's a lot less in the way of traffic?

Monorails aren't that great I'll point out, and of the few places they've worked it's been massively dense urban with limited to no space for anything else—Japan basically.

Everywhere else it simply hasn't been that great. The problem is that LRT lines move nearly as many people much cheaper, and subways move way more people at a per capita cheaper cost. Furthermore it involves investing a lot of money in new technology when streetcars and subways can benefit more.

Expansion of the Tube makes more sense frankly.

Any chance of high-speed bullet trains and MagLev trains? I imagine a Britain which kept its rail network sees a lot more spending on trains—maybe they set up a joint Japan/Britain rail co-operation project as Japan is one of the few countries to keep spending money on rail.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old February 26th, 2007, 07:55 PM
The Dean The Dean is offline
No Pain No Pain
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Surrey, England
Posts: 1000 or more
Send a message via MSN to The Dean
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thande View Post
I like the additions. What about air travel? How is that different in this timeline and how has it been affected by the oil embargoes etc? Perhaps there aren't any cheap charter flights and cheap European holidays are mainly via ferry?
As the policy since 1956 has been using oil on a last resort and as sparingly as possible, even after the discovery of North Sea oil, air travel will only be used when there is no viable alternative. Subsidies will never happen so nobody will miss them. This would make transcontinental travel less common perhaps putting some traffic back onto ocean liners. Air travels virtue will be the obvious one of speed and the BTC (British Transport Commission) actively supported the development of Concorde which became a great success with BOAC.
The Channel tunnel my happen earlier and with the British trains being as advanced as anything abroad there may be exports. Paris will be under two hours from London maybe less. Motorail will be able to get you and your car to anywhere in Europe quicker than fly drive today and you would have your own car to use! Ferries would be used extensively as they still are in OTL. Newhaven, Portsmouth and Southampton car ferry's to France and Northern Spain are usually fully booked up in OTL.
I still see cars in use but not with families having multiple vehicles. There would just not be the need for every individual to have their own independent means of transport. Most car owners would not use their vehicles to travel to work unless driving was integral with their employment. It would be far more common to hire a vehicle for specific purposes such as a holiday.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ward
M1 Carbine.

My great uncle once said a canteen cup was more effective at stopping enemies in the field.
G&PL

Last edited by The Dean; February 26th, 2007 at 08:33 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old February 26th, 2007, 08:28 PM
The Dean The Dean is offline
No Pain No Pain
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Surrey, England
Posts: 1000 or more
Send a message via MSN to The Dean
Quote:
Originally Posted by Electric Monk View Post
How about public transit? Subways? LRT lines since there's a lot less in the way of traffic?
Quote:
The urban transport system did for some time remain powered by electric motive units both trams and light railways above and underground. Then of course the gas fired condensing boiler steam turbine units replaced electric power on the underground rail systems and eventually, after a short flirtation with diesel power, the trams followed suit.

Now of course monorail systems using magnetic support for the carriages and some even with a linear induction power system are being proposed to save space in urban areas. These however are generating there own power locally with small gas fired generators and using the national grid system for emergency backup only.
As you can see the BTC (British Transport Commission) has this covered.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Electric Monk View Post
Monorails aren't that great I'll point out, and of the few places they've worked it's been massively dense urban with limited to no space for anything else—Japan basically.

Everywhere else it simply hasn't been that great. The problem is that LRT lines move nearly as many people much cheaper, and subways move way more people at a per capita cheaper cost. Furthermore it involves investing a lot of money in new technology when streetcars and subways can benefit more

Expansion of the Tube makes more sense frankly.
Quote:
The monorail systems we have mentioned earlier in South and East London, around Birmingham and Manchester have made the daily journey to work shorter and more pleasant for workers living in these areas
I have thought about this and if you saw the volume of traffic on the motorways in OTL that these monorails occupy in G&PL you would have no doubt about the need for high density transport system. Britain especially the South and East is one of the most densely populated areas in the world.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Electric Monk View Post
Any chance of high-speed bullet trains and MagLev trains? I imagine a Britain which kept its rail network sees a lot more spending on trains—maybe they set up a joint Japan/Britain rail co-operation project as Japan is one of the few countries to keep spending money on rail.
Oh yes definitely, I was thinking of an Anglo-French Cooperation like Concorde, which incidentally may go ahead and become a success as air travels only virtue will be speed and Concorde has that in spades. So an Anglo-Japanese collaboration may happen as well.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ward
M1 Carbine.

My great uncle once said a canteen cup was more effective at stopping enemies in the field.
G&PL

Last edited by The Dean; February 26th, 2007 at 08:37 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old February 27th, 2007, 02:56 AM
The Dean The Dean is offline
No Pain No Pain
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Surrey, England
Posts: 1000 or more
Send a message via MSN to The Dean
Timeline for G&PL

G&PL Timeline.pdf
Attached Images
File Type: pdf G&PL Timeline.pdf (226.9 KB, 746 views)
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ward
M1 Carbine.

My great uncle once said a canteen cup was more effective at stopping enemies in the field.
G&PL
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 04:39 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.