High Speed trains are most effective when running over long distances (say 150-170+miles) at sustained high speeds, as in Europe, because they can then cruise with minimal power consumption, they are unable to do this
in the UK as our island is so relatively small.
To go into more detail about how this consumption will affect the UK:
1. HS locomotives have huge engines requiring prodigious amounts of power (See rear).
2. Those engines require most power at start to get the train to an economic speed (180-250mph) after every stop.
3. Those trains will have to stop regularly, (40 to 70 miles) to collect enough passengers to begin to meet costs.
4. Stopping at such regular intervals greatly increases power consumption and costs (see back).
5. The considerable demands for power from the national grid are no longer the most efficient (or green) means of producing electric power for railway locomotives, while starting and stopping at such short distances is wholly uneconomic for High Speed trains.
6. To produce power of the order required (see Mr. Whitehead back), while bearing in mind that we are committed as a nation to phase-out the burning of coal, oil, gas, or nuclear fuel , even with the increasing amounts of renewable energy being bought on stream, it is likely that we may have to return to further construction of new power stations to burn coal etc. or nuclear fuel.
7. Both options are very undesirable given known collateral damage, both short and long term, therefore those options hardly form a good basis for a low carbon economy and a dubious heritage to leave our descendants! Demands such as those overleaf can only make matters worse, or at best make far more protracted, the attainment of the low carbon society sought.
8. 23.6.2011 It has just been announced that sites for further nuclear power plants are under consideration, despite the recent Japanese experience and Germany announcing that it is to turn away from Nuclear fission as a power source due to potential hazards and long term detrimental effects and costs in decommissioning . Our government presumably feels that radiation is good for you!