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Michael Thorn

Michael Thorn



Environmental and civil engineering hydraulics
Tidal hydraulics, sediments and dredging
Research management and dissemination
Technical writing and editing - training
ICE Representative in Cornwall and W Devon

Recent activity

Comments (24)

  • Comment on: Revealed | The true extent of Crossrail completion work

    Michael Thorn's comment 13 February, 2019 10:54 am

    And what happened to the project workplans and Gantt charts, which all students are required to produce as part of their degree projects? They are supposed to identify and resolve conflicting elements and how one thing needs to be completed before another can happen. I know that some students have a tendency to produce over-complex Gantt charts, and then (because they are complicated) ignore them in the delivery of their project. Maybe they are all working for Crossrail!

  • Comment on: Heathrow Southern Rail and DfT at loggerheads about track access

    Michael Thorn's comment 4 February, 2019 11:12 am

    The shambles of access to, and within, Heathrow airport is an indictment of the privatisation philosophy which has resulted in disparate organisations providing disparate transport services which fail to add up to a coherent system. This is exacerbated by a Government Department that either does not understand or does not care, and clearly has no strategic plan. For many years easy access to Heathrow from the West and North has been almost non-existent, apart from an execrable coach service from Reading station along frequently congested motorways. There appears to be fix of mind that cannot imagine that travellers might not want to start in Central London. Any agreement to expansion at Heathrow should be conditional on establishing coherent transport links to the rest of the country,

  • Comment on: Exclusive | HS2 boss admits budget pressures on civils works

    Michael Thorn's comment 20 November, 2018 12:18 pm

    The HS2 saga has been, and still is, a text-book example of how an egotistical project with powerful backers can be distorted in terms of cost and benefits to make it appear economically desirable. First the case was made in terms of a theoretical "saving in precious business time". When that fallacy was exposed, it became an issue of capacity. The projected costs have been manipulated to keep the benefit-cost ratio more than unity, and now there is an admission that the cost estimate of the original plan was too low and savings and variations are necessary. Are we surprised? Do we think that the latest cost estimates have any more credibility than the previous estimates? The only thing that seems certain is that if HS2 is built, it will cost far more than is being admitted, and will exceed the theoretical benefits being claimed. Meanwhile, the planned modernisation and improvement of the rest of the rail network is being culled to save money.

  • Comment on: Call for Euston Road to be ‘sorted out’ for HS2 to HS1 connection

    Michael Thorn's comment 13 November, 2018 10:35 am

    This is pure Metropolitan and HS2 hubris. The "walk from HS2 to HS1" is far from being a very pleasant walk as suggested by David Joyce and I fail to see how making people drag their luggage between the two will "enliven the area" and enable them to "enjoy and experience that part of London". It might present opportunities for touts and porters. At the very least, a free electric shuttle bus should be provided from door to door.

  • Comment on: Forth Road Bridge joint replacement work begins

    Michael Thorn's comment 12 November, 2018 9:56 am

    It is an indictment of the current UK civil engineering industry that an American company (albeit in UK guise) is contracted to renovate an iconic bridge that was once heralded as a flagship for British engineering skills.

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