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Old February 19th, 2014, 01:42 PM   #841
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Today:

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http://www.railwaygazette.com/news/p...ubt-again.html

DB’s London – Frankfurt plan in doubt again
19 Feb 2014

EUROPE: Deutsche Bahn has cast further doubt on the introduction of direct high speed services between Germany and London, citing authorisation delays to its fleet of Class 407 Velaro D high speed trainsets now being delivered by Siemens.

At a press launch on February 18 marking the introduction of the Class 407 trains into traffic on domestic services in Germany, Andreas Busemann, Head of Production at DB Fernverkehr, told the Reuters news agency that ‘we have not entirely given up the goal of going to London. But for now we are concentrating on going to Brussels and Paris. Once that is done we will think about whether, how and when we will go to London.’

Busemann added that the process to approve the operation of the multi-system Class 407s in France and Belgium had proved much more difficult than anticipated, and ‘the business environment has changed’ with higher track access charges in France and ‘tough competition’.

A DB spokesman told Railway Gazette International that the company ‘is still planning to operate a service from Germany to London. Based on current Siemens estimates, we do not think that the trains will be ready for multiple working in Belgium and France before 2016. This is a prerequisite to move forward with our planning for the London service.’

DB displayed a Class 406 high speed trainset at London’s St Pancras International terminus in October 2010. At that time, DB Chairman Rüdiger Grube said that he expected Frankfurt – London services to launch in 2013. Since then the timescale has regularly slipped, and there has been no word on how DB might deal with the cost and complexity of the border controls required for operation to the UK.
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Old February 23rd, 2014, 08:34 AM   #842
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Published on Camden New Journal:

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http://www.camdennewjournal.com/news...d-rail-project

EXCLUSIVE: HS2 bosses set to abandon Camden Town 'link' stage of high speed rail project

Published: 20 February, 2014
BY TOM FOOT


A MAJOR railway development threatening to devastate Camden Town for more than a decade and to drive traders out of its world-famous markets is set to be dropped, the New Journal understands.

HS2 officials are refusing to deny that its plan to build a “link” through Camden Town to the Eurostar Paris line will be axed in a cost-cutting review next month.

A new design for Euston station is also thought to be included in a raft of significant changes to the £50billion scheme.

HS2 Ltd’s chairman David Higgins, who has been asked to slash the cost of the Euston-Birmingham high-speed rail project, is believed to have singled out the Camden Town section of the route as an unnecessary “luxury”.

The dramatic shift has become an open secret among those connected to the project but HS2 officials are dismissing the current speculation as “curiosity and conjecture”.

The plan has, since 2010, been to send high-speed trains on overground tracks through Camden Market over the Kentish Town viaduct onto the North London Line towards Agar Grove before “linking” up with the Eurostar line. The idea was to allow passengers an uninterrupted journey to the continent.

The “link” would have led to the demolition of the iconic Camden Lock and Camden Road bridges and gridlocked Camden Town, Kentish Town, Chalk Farm with road closures. The knock-on effect would have been “severe” in Hampstead, with hundreds of lorries jamming roads daily and spewing pollution onto the Heath. The cost of the work was budgeted at around £300million.

Market bosses have warned that building a railway through the heart of Camden Town would have forced traders to leave, with the loss of more than 9000 jobs. Independent campaign groups and Camden politicians from all four major parties have taken the fight to central government. It would represent a major campaign victory if the plan was overturned.

The £300million Hawley Wharf development and plans to build a new primary school would not be affected by HS2 if the “link” was scrapped. Camden Road and Camden High Street road closures would be abandoned.

Businesses such as Camden Boxframe, Ivy House Dental Practice and the parade of garages at 120-136 Camley Street would be saved from demolition.

Camden Town Unlimited chief executive Simon Pitkeathley said of the “link” axing: “If true, that would be an amazing result for Camden Town and the businesses who are seriously concerned about their livelihoods. We also thought that if they do the ‘link’ they should do it properly, not some Meccano version.”

Significantly, a top director at Transport for London – which launched a review of HS2 on behalf of Mayor of London Boris Johnson – came out against it at a major public meeting in Primrose Hill last month, saying that the authority was “opposed to the link”, “the business case is weak” and “we also have substantial issues with Euston station”.

But the HS2 project’s threat to the basements of Primrose Hill homes, the parade of houses in Park Village East and Morning ton Crescent, Drummond Street’s historic Indian restaurants and more than 200 homes on the Regent’s Park estate remains.

Camden Council has, since 2011, publicly opposed HS2. But it remains to be seen whether hostility will remain if the “link” is scrapped and major changes to the current plan for Euston station are unveiled in the soon-to-be-published Higgins review.

Council leader Sarah Hayward said: “If it was definitely announced that the ‘link’ was scrapped then obviously we would welcome it. They should invest the money in a better station design for Euston. But I simply don’t think this is tenable, that they think they can cook up plans for Euston and not involve the community in it. Actually, it is an offence to democracy.”

She added: “Our resolve would not wane whatever they come up with for over-station develop ment. Whether it delivers an affordable station and jobs, we will still oppose the impact on housing, open space, the vent shafts, regeneration projects. Whatever they do there will still be a massive cost to Camden.”

Ben Ruse, HS2 Ltd lead spokesman, said: “Given the significance of Sir David Higgins’ initial report, it is only natural there is curiosity and conjecture surrounding different aspects of the project. However, it is important to stress that any thoughts as to content is speculation.”

'WHAT ARE THE VESTED INTERESTS BEHIND DEMOLITION PLANS?'

A TOP expert in engineering has warned that “vested interests” may be driving a plan to terminate the HS2 line in Euston and has swung behind a new station design proposal that would save hundreds of homes from demolition.

Professor James Croll, professor of civil engineering at University College London, is backing the Double Deck Down (DDD) scheme drawn up by Jubilee Line extension engineer Jeff Travers and Euston railway planner Richard Percival.

With major changes to the current Euston station design plan expected to be announced next month, campaigners are turning their attention to the plight of residents on the Regent’s Park estate. More than 200 homes are being demolished to make way for the high-speed railway.

Professor Croll told the New Journal: “A carefully-thought-out phasing of the works could avoid almost entirely any disruption to those living and working in the Camden area. It would avoid almost entirely the need for any demolition of existing housing, recreation space and office buildings west of Euston and allow preservation of the hotels, schools, curry houses.”

Supporters say DDD would be quicker and cheaper to build, would allow HS2 rail work to finish earlier and provide space for “over-station development”. Professor Croll said the changes would preserve the “wonderful heritage bridges” in Mornington Crescent with “greatly reduced construction work” around Hampstead Road.

A potential stumbling block for the HS2 project in Euston has been that Network Rail, which operates the current railway, has said that trains coming out of Euston station cannot be disrupted by HS2 building work.

But Professor Croll said the DDD scheme would allow for the “smooth continuous running” of trains during construction”. He added: “One is left wondering what can be the possible vested interests that are driving what appears to be such an incredibly inefficient and disruptive plan to knock down and rebuild so much of Camden.”

Since 2010, more than £50million in design contracts have been handed out, with Arup already trousering £10million to draw up images of a new Euston station.

Those designs were scrapped in January 2009 after HS2 Ltd changed the scope of the development when costs spiralled from £1.2bn to £2bn. Now, the remit has changed once again and yet another design proposal is expected to be unveiled next month.

HS2 activist Peter Jones, who has set up a new campaign group, SOS Camden, said: “Double Deck Down is clearly better than HS2’s plan and it should be looked at. Let the people of Camden say what we are going to get at Euston.”

The Town Hall has not yet officially endorsed the DDD proposal, despite calling on HS2 to pay for it to employ experts to look at the plan in more detail. Costs of working up the plans could run into hundreds of thousands of pounds, according to council leader Sarah Hayward.

She added: “The issue with DDD is that we do not know if it is or is not deliverable. Whatever is built there, there will be construction blight.”

For more information, visit www.soscamden.org

'DDD WOULD SAVE HOMES'

THE Double Deck Down (DDD) scheme is essentially to layer high-speed tracks on top of each other, allowing for a narrower approach into Euston Station.

This would prevent the demolition of 200 homes on the Regent’s Park estate. The design would allow rubble to be taken away by train, which would mean far fewer lorries on roads.

DDD would create a large triangle of “over-station development”, where new homes and businesses could be built.
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Old February 24th, 2014, 08:04 PM   #843
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From Global Rail News:

Quote:
http://www.globalrailnews.com/2014/0...ton-super-hub/

Osbourne signals support for Euston ‘super hub’
24 FEB, 2014


Photo: HS2

George Osbourne has hinted that plans to scale back the redevelopment of Euston Station could be reversed in order to construct a new ‘super hub’ for HS2.

The Chancellor said the UK should go “really big” with the Euston redevelopment in an interview with the London Evening Standard during a visit to the new West Kowloon high-speed rail terminal in Hong Kong.

Euston was due to be knocked down and redesigned for the arrival HS2 in original blueprints for the £42 billion railway, but in April 2013, the government published an alternative plans to renovate the existing 60s rail terminal. The proposals included modifying platforms 1-15 at their current level and building 11 new platforms for high-speed services.


MTR chief executive Jay Walder (centre) with George Osbourne (right). Photo: MTR

Osbourne’s comments, which came off the back of a tour of Hong Kong’s four-floor, 11-hectare underground station in West Kowloon, seem to support a rethink to last year’s U-turn.

Rail campaign group Railfuture has come out in support of Osbourne’s views, believing that the best option would be to put the HS2 platforms underground and connect Euston with HS1 at King’s Cross.

Bruce Williamson from Railfuture said: “The incorporation of the sub-surface Euston Cross means that the surface redevelopment of Euston would need almost no additional land-take and also means that more space is available for commercial and residential development thus increasing the value of the scheme”.

“Crucially, the Euston Cross proposal means that we won’t have to demolish half of Camden, because some of the high-speed trains will be approaching in tunnel from Old Oak Common, as well as giving us the ability to project through trains to the southeast. With the addition of subterranean pedestrian connections, we can create a fully integrated Euston-St Pancras-King’s Cross International super hub.”

Williamson added: “Basically, we need to think big, think out of the box and think ahead, just like the Victorians did. We’ve lost our way in terms of entrepreneurial endeavour in the last 100 years, but here we have the opportunity for a win-win-win.”

West Kowloon, which is due to open next year, will become the Hong Kong terminus of a new HKD $62.4 billion (US $8.05 billion) high-speed line to Guangzhou and Shenzhen.
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Old February 24th, 2014, 09:26 PM   #844
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Euston is a bit of a hole. It was my old station into London when I lived there, and when I was back in 2013 it hadn't changed at all! It would be fantastic if they invested heavily and rebuilt the station.
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Old February 25th, 2014, 09:19 PM   #845
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Yes, I was there yesterday, when you compare it to St Pancras and the newly renovated Kings Cross just down the road it is a dump. If I'm not in a hurry I sometimes take the services from Marylebone even though they are slower....
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Old February 27th, 2014, 11:59 AM   #846
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Today:

Quote:
http://www.globalrailnews.com/2014/0...tion-revealed/

Birmingham’s HS2 station revealed
27 FEB, 2014



Birmingham’s HS2 masterplan, which includes the revival of the original Curzon Street station entrance, has been unveiled by the city council.

The plans were accompanied by a spectacular image of the city’s future station, designed by architects Wilkinson Eyre, which would sit at the centre of a 141-hectare redevelopment.

City leaders have said the proposals could lead to the creation of more than 14,000 jobs and feed £1.3 billion back into the city’s economy each year.

The designs also incorporate the original entrance to Curzon Street station which was built in 1838.

The city’s plans for HS2 follow a series of other multi-million rail projects still be delivered in Birmingham, including the £600 million transformation of New Street Station and the extension of the tram network into the city centre.

Sir Albert Bore, leader of Birmingham Council, said: “We’re not waiting around for HS2 to get built before we get started. We’re announcing our plans today, and we’re ready to start building as soon as the new railway gets the green light.

“Up and down the length of HS2 there is huge potential for major regeneration and development and we must press forward with this project without delay.”

An eight-week consultation has now begun, with construction projected to start in 2017.
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Old February 27th, 2014, 01:38 PM   #847
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Will it be a terminal station? What about trains running through, towards Manchester?
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Old February 27th, 2014, 02:01 PM   #848
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Well, it looks like underground tracks...
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Old February 27th, 2014, 02:25 PM   #849
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silly_Walks View Post
Will it be a terminal station? What about trains running through, towards Manchester?
Yes, it's terminal, for Manchester-bound services there will be Birmingham International station next to airport
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Old February 27th, 2014, 02:31 PM   #850
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More from plans for Birmingham Curzon HS2 station:

image hosted on flickr

3D New Canal Street by Birmingham News Room, on Flickr


3D Internal by Birmingham News Room, on Flickr

image hosted on flickr

3D Birmingham Curzon Moor Street Entrance by Birmingham News Room, on Flickr
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Old February 27th, 2014, 03:00 PM   #851
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Will it be a terminal station?
yes, but the junction with the main route will allow travel from the spur to the North West (Manchester, Scotland), North East (East Mids, Yorkshire, Newcastle) and South (London).
Quote:
What about trains running through, towards Manchester?
As now, they will avoid the Birmingham urban area, taking a more direct route and not getting slowed down by the slower-speed alignment through the urban area and the stop in central Birmingham.

Also, having one route from the edge of Birmingham to the centre is going to be much cheaper than the two routes that a through line would need.

Also the approach from the east is the easiest by far, especially when you have to think about a station. Not great for through-traffic though. Also there's no viable route heading north or north west out of that urban area.
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for Manchester-bound services there will be Birmingham International station next to airport
Only 1tph Manchester - London will stop there: the 2tph Curzon Street - Manchester Piccadilly high speed serves seems much more relevant to me...
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Old February 27th, 2014, 05:56 PM   #852
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aranou View Post
Well, it looks like underground tracks...
No, there will be overground tracks. More draft drawings, maden by architect:



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Old February 28th, 2014, 07:48 AM   #853
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And one more from Birmingham. Straight blue line is for proposed Midland Metro tram route, red line - existing:

image hosted on flickr
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Old March 1st, 2014, 12:38 AM   #854
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BIRMINGHAM CURZON - HS2 Station



My favourite angle from all of the computer images. Could be one of the World's most recognisable stations if these plans are realised, and will regenerate a huge area of East Birmingham.
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Old March 1st, 2014, 01:07 AM   #855
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Will it be a terminal station? What about trains running through, towards Manchester?
Like this ....




Birmingham will have the advantage by being directly connected by HS2 to both Manchester and Leeds .... and of course London.
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Old March 7th, 2014, 03:03 PM   #856
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(...) I sympathise massively with people who may be affected by this construction and agree that they must be properly compensated. However, they will not be able to stop a project of national significance - hence the environmental arguments. In the long run I am sure their kids and grand kids would appreciate the sacrifice...
I agree...

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Old March 7th, 2014, 03:36 PM   #857
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Quote:
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Deutsche Bahn has cast further doubt on the introduction of direct high speed services between Germany and London, citing authorisation delays to its fleet of Class 407 Velaro D high speed trainsets now being delivered by Siemens.
Well, you never know what tomorrow will bring, DB International may get in through the back door. Problems are time wasted for issuing safety certificates and vehicle authorisations. Emu Velaro UK from Siemens is being further tested in since july 2013. I see this train every day at Brussels-Forest depot, between TGV France, Thalys and “old” Eurostar class 375. Last summer an other Velaro, class 407, was also in Belgium for one week to catenary test in 3kV DC. What is the situation with regard the certification ? I don’t know…

OK, it takes us away from HS2. And a question remain : Eurostar or DB International or not on HS2 in the future, to Birmingham or Manchester ? It’ will depend to the travel market (low-cost airliners…).
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Old March 12th, 2014, 07:30 PM   #858
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From Global Rail News:

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http://www.globalrailnews.com/2014/0...rail-services/

Southeastern to extend high-speed rail services
12 MAR, 2014


Photo: Go-Ahead

Southeastern has submitted plans to the Department for Transport (DfT) to create a new ‘coastal loop’ high-speed rail route.

The operator hopes to run additional services on a circular route between Faversham, Ramsgate and Dover Priory which will see high-speed trains stopping at Walmer, Martin Mill and Birchington-on-sea for the first time.

Southeastern has said it will add almost 700 seats from Ashford International during the morning peak and 349 seats from Ebbsfleet International.

New direct services between Maidstone East and Canterbury West will be added as well as additional services from Margate and Broadstairs, and one extra service from Margate and Canterbury West at the start of the off peak.

The plans will also see fewer trains being split in half at Ashford and Faversham, instead having full 12-car trains operating on the loop.

Southeastern said: “The plans are in response to significant growth in passenger numbers on high speed from Dover, Canterbury, Ashford and Ebbsfleet.

“We’re carrying 60 to 70 per cent more passengers to and from all of those stations now compared to the year before high speed was introduced. We’ve also seen an increase of 25 per cent in the number of passengers visiting Kent from London and further afield.”

A decision is expected within the next couple of weeks and the new services could be in place by December.
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Old March 17th, 2014, 07:29 PM   #859
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Published today:

Quote:
http://www.railwaygazette.com/news/s...-chairman.html

Northern focus needed, says HS2 Chairman
17 Mar 2014

UK: Deferral of the proposed link between High Speed 2 and High Speed 1 and extension of the first phase route from Lichfield north to Crewe are among the recommendations of a report issued on March 17 by HS2 Ltd Chairman Sir David Higgins outlining how the UK’s proposed high speed network should be taken forward.

Higgins, the former Network Rail Chief Executive who became Executive Chairman of the government’s project delivery body on March 1, was asked by Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin to prepare a non-binding review of the costs and phasing of the programme. As currently envisaged, a 190 km first phase between London and Lichfield is to be built by 2026, followed by a second phase taking the line north to Leeds, Manchester and junctions with the East and West Coast main lines near York and Wigan by 2033.

On costs, Higgins believes that the timescales for parliamentary approval and project delivery are key to determining how and where any savings might be made. The budget for constructing both phases of the 540 km network is currently £28·2bn plus £14·4bn of contingency imposed by Treasury rules. Higgins eschews the chance to reduce this total, instead noting that ‘I am confident that the budget can be made to work. The key variable is the length of time for legislation.’

Some savings should accrue from postponement of the proposed link between HS2 and HS1 through north London which would have shared part of the alignment of the heavily-used North London Line. Instead, Higgins recommends ‘a more comprehensive redevelopment of London Euston’ on a ‘level deck design’ to better connect the residential areas on both sides of the station, and ensure the hub stands comparison with the nearby stations at St Pancras and King’s Cross.

To accelerate the transport and wider economic benefits to northern England, the reports recommends construction of a ‘regional transport hub’ at Crewe by 2027. This ‘would bring together road and rail services for the region as a whole, allowing faster services sooner to Manchester, the rest of the northwest and to Scotland’. The Phase I route would be extended north by 69 km from the planned junction with the WCML at Handsacre near Lichfield.

On the second phase, Higgins suggests ‘more work needs to be done’ to integrate HS2 into the existing rail network, to ensure that it plays a greater role in improving journeys between regional cities, as well as between northern England and London. This ‘need not be a hugely lengthy or costly process’, he says, but ‘the aim should be to develop the second phase alongside NR’s Strategic Business Plan for the five-year control period starting in 2019’.

The report urges greater involvement for ‘civic and business leaders’ in developing the remainder of the network, rather than a ‘local or bilateral’ approach focused solely on the route of the railway itself. Higgins cites Network Rail’s national electrification programme and enhancements to the ECML as factors which, while not directly in HS2’s remit, are ‘hugely relevant’ to the final decisions about the project.
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Old March 19th, 2014, 04:54 PM   #860
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Public needs to be persuaded if HS2 uncertainty is to be banished

http://www.theengineer.co.uk/opinion...018232.article

The Engineer - 19 March 2014 - By Stephen Harris

By stressing that HS2 will only deliver its full benefits to the North of England (and indeed most of the rest of Britain) if it is part of a more ntegrated infrastructure plan, Higgins has in one sense admitted what many critics of the scheme have long argued: that the scheme as it stands fails to deliver the necessary connectivity that the North so needs.

But hindsight is a wonderful thing. Sure, there are plenty of things the infrastructure planners and politicians “should have” done. Not delaying preparations for the northern phase of the network until so long after the London-to-Birmingham line is probably one. Looking at the wider picture of connectivity in the North earlier in the process is another. And sorting out the country’s airport problem sooner in order to produce a properly integrated transport strategy would have been very welcome.

On this basis, HS2 is, as Higgins described the now almost certainly scrapped connection with the Channel Tunnel Rail Link (HS1), ‘an imperfect compromise’. But what proposal wouldn’t be: A maglev system at tremendous financial cost? Yet more upgrades leading to years of disruption with even less benefit? Britain’s original Victorian network was hardly a triumph of efficient planning, built at inflated cost due to speculation and leading to much duplication of routes, while benefiting from a country that was much less densely populated – and democratic – than it is today. With a 21st century railway, there was never going to be an easy answer.

HS2 does at least provide a solution to some key problems with the current network: capacity and north-south connectivity. Scrapping it now and going back to the drawing board would only lead to yet more wrangling and years of uncertainty as our existing infrastructure creaks ever louder, constraining economic growth and condemning millions of us to even more cramped, unpleasant and slow journeys.

We also need to be careful of a “what about me?” attitude. Manchester might benefit more from HS2 but that doesn’t mean Liverpool will necessarily suffer. Government-commissioned figures (only released after a freedom of information request) found that HS2 could make more than 50 places around the country worse off, depending on circumstances. However, over three-quarters of the counties and cities of the UK will likely be better off. This is an argument not for scrapping HS2 but for asking what else can we do to ensure the whole UK benefits - precisely what Higgins has proposed. In this vein, the North needs to come together to demand investment for the region as a whole, not squabble over scraps while a united South East happily binges.

And there are already plans for huge additional investment in the rest of the railways. Network rail has just been awarded £38bn for the next five years – almost as much as HS2 will cost over the next 20. The precise spending plan has yet to be agreed but the organisation’s business plan says £4bn a year will go on upgrades. By 2019 there will be an estimated 30 per cent more freight on the rails than today, while the £600m Northern Hub project improving links across the North of England is set to provide space for 44 million extra passengers a year within the same timeframe. Yet several surveys have revealed the public still thinks it’s an either-or situation, with upgrades favoured over HS2.

This highlights what remains the project’s biggest problem. The only way to bring about the political certainty that Higgins says will speed HS2 along and bring down costs is to persuade the public of its necessity and its benefits. In perhaps the biggest “should have” of them all, the government and HS2 Ltd itself have so far failed to win the argument that there even is a capacity problem on the railways, never mind that HS2 is the best way to deal with it, or that reduced journey times really will make a difference. It’s an issue The Engineer has been banging on about for far too long now.

Higgins is focused on delivering HS2 as efficiently and cheaply as possible. In the foreword to Network Rail’s strategy document, he says: ‘The question is not “why build High Speed 2?” but “how quickly can we build it?”’ But without answering that first question he won’t be able to address the second. When The Engineer asked him how he intended to overcome this problem, he said the public need to understand the consequences of failing to invest adequately in infrastructure. What he and the politicians need to understand is that it is up to them to demonstrate this - and at the moment they are failing.


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