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Double-decker trains, to cut journeys between London and Birmingham to 45 minutes, are being considered.

A link is suggested with Eurostar, bypassing central London

The Department for Transport is looking at plans for a new 190mph (305km/h) link from near the new Channel Tunnel terminus in London to the Midlands. Costing £15bn, the link would enable Midlands travellers to reach Paris in three hours, bypassing central London.

The BBC's Midlands Transport Correspondent, Peter Plisner, said raising the money would not be easy. He said the initial cost would inevitably escalate to billions of pounds more.

Heathrow tunnel

He added: "After initial disappointment when Eurostar was launched that Midlanders could not go direct to the continent on the train, this plan could finally allow this to happen."

The line would have the opportunity to extend at each end - to Heathrow, via a five-mile tunnel, and to Manchester.

The plan was first envisaged by Greengauge 21, a group of rail industry leaders, and is being looked at in Whitehall. It is estimated the new line would take at least 15 years to complete.

A spokesperson for the Department for Transport confirmed the scheme was among those being considered but added that £8bn was being spent on the west coast main line upgrade, which would be completed next year. "That will set the standard on that line to 2020," he said.

"We are not ruling out any projects at present, but we will be making a major announcement about the future of railway services next month," he said. "Until then we cannot comment any further."

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/west_midlands/6766803.stm
This sounds good! I just hope they connect it through London - Stratford International and not London - St. Pancras to make through trains Birmingham - Paris possible.
 
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Remains to be seen whether this is just something to keep the brummies happy for now or if it's actually a positive step forward.

But the concept sounds very good and simple, extend the CTRL to Birmingham and then to Manchester.

After that you could eventually have it extended to Leeds, York and Newcastle with one branch and to Glasgow and Edinburgh via another branch.

Could also bolt on some other branches to Liverpool, Sheffield and Leicester over time.

Would be interested to know how they'd intend to fit more trains into St Pancras which has a relatively low number of platforms. Perhaps a new station under Kings Cross as was once suggested?

If it happens it's a very good start.
 
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If you're spending those sort of sums, I would of thought maglev would be a much better option.
I suppose the argument is that it's a new railway being added alongside existing railways so it connects better. But then again the size of trains using a high speed line won't be able to fit on typical UK lines without extensive gauge enhancements.
 

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Maglev is not exactly an option when extending an existing line!
Stratford International might be used the way it was intended to after all, then. I do hope this goes through.
We'll need Crossrail first, though, because Stratford could never handle all these extra passengers if it's not constructed. And I hope that at least some trains would go into a central London terminal!
 

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Would be interested to know how they'd intend to fit more trains into St Pancras which has a relatively low number of platforms. Perhaps a new station under Kings Cross as was once suggested?
The Greenguage 21 report is a little vague about capacity but when they list specific sefvices we find "St Pancras (Euston)" in the text. They also call out Euston as an alternative destination in London.

My biggest concern is that they have fallen into the Birmigham International trap to avoid longer tunnels. This will force hugh crowds onto the trains from New Street to International to catch through trains from the north.
 
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The Greenguage 21 report is a little vague about capacity but when they list specific sefvices we find "St Pancras (Euston)" in the text. They also call out Euston as an alternative destination in London.

My biggest concern is that they have fallen into the Birmigham International trap to avoid longer tunnels. This will force hugh crowds onto the trains from New Street to International to catch through trains from the north.
My only dissappointment with St Pancras is it seemingly has no scope for future expansion which should be a must at such a blue chip station.

Euston would seem to be the next option, but capacity again remains a question. Presumably HS2 would seriously lower the number of pendolinos travelling from Euston to BNS so that would free up capacity greatly.

But if that presumption was incorrect there would be a problem, only other option I could think of is either Thameslink or Crossrail having the Euston local services included aswell and the pendolinos shifted to occupy their Euston platforms.

Besides if the current Euston rebuild proposals are anything to go by I wouldn't want our showpiece HST's going to that place. I'd personally want them in a monumental station like St Pancras.

If you look on the Birmingham forum and the New Street 2 thread there is a quote from the renew street website:

Q. Are you making provision to safeguard land for future rail schemes (to ensure there is sufficient capacity on the network)?

A. It is very important that we plan for the future. Our plans are compatible with measures to provide longer and more frequent trains between London and Birmingham and we are committed to working with the Government should any future decision be taken on an intercity High Speed Line. Birmingham City Council are presently protecting an area of land that would allow for two extra tracks to run from Proof House junction on the north side of the existing track into a terminal platform beneath New Street Station and Moor Street Station.
Personally I think a new line should run into Birmingham via Water Orton and Duddeston.
 
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Another benefit of such a line (as already mentioned) is further traffic for Stratford International. This place will eventually become a city in it's own right and I think a very important destination for many people in the UK especially with it's connections to the City and Docklands. Also provides connections for trains to Stansted.
 

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Norwician
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If you're spending those sort of sums, I would of thought maglev would be a much better option.
You're obviously not understanding the Governments thinking. In Government land spending £15bn on a 190 mph route that only goes from London to Birmingham is better than spending £18bn on a 310 mph maglev route which would connect London (Stratford) to Edinburgh. It's brilliant logic that only the most intelligent can understand.
 

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If it was always the plan to extend CTRL beyond London then why on earth build a stub-terminals such as Waterloo and St Pancras if only a certain amount of trains are gonna stop there when it makes more sense for Stratford International to be a through station.

OK keep a central London Terminus but why bother spendin millions on it?? When possible one in three journeys won't be stopping there.

I'm all for extending northwards but first we need a cohesive HighSpeed system (or a least a planned routes) that would be accesible to the UK's major cities.
My suggestion is make Stratford the main through station
then a stub line into St Pancras. With route 1 Cardiff - Bristol to Birmingham to Straford
Route 2 Glasgow -Lancaster -Manchester -Birmingham to London
Route 3 Edinburgh Newcastle York Leeds Sheffield following ECML to Stratford
 

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The UK Ultraspeed plan is to have a station at Stratford or the Thames Gateway if i'm not mistaken. So simply a case of changing from 1 to the other when you get there.
This is exactly what most of the forumers from the "Heartland" have been objecting too for the last ten or more years. They were promised through connections when the Channel Tunnel was approved.

Just because you want to play with innovative and speculative technology, does not permit you to deny the "Heartlanders their right to a through connection to Europe
 

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The Glasgow forumers are getting more and more excited about a Glasgow-Edinburgh maglev, irrespective of the plans further south. This is mostly based on increasingly positive noises from the Scottish Executive. Given the cost of the proposed line to Birmingham, I really don't understand why that isn't emerging as the preferred option here.
 

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The Glasgow forumers are getting more and more excited about a Glasgow-Edinburgh maglev, irrespective of the plans further south. This is mostly based on increasingly positive noises from the Scottish Executive. Given the cost of the proposed line to Birmingham, I really don't understand why that isn't emerging as the preferred option here.
Look at the source of the propsal. :bash:

Greengauge 21 is supported by the railway industry where Ultraspeed is a marketing group for MagLev :eek:hno: :) :eek:hno: :) :eek:hno:

By the SNP is busily cutting back on transportation projects!
 

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The SNP aren't cutting back on transport - they just favour spending the money (e.g. for the Edinburgh Airport rail link) elsewhere (e.g. buses).

It's not just Ultraspeed who are making positive noises - for example, here is a newspaper report about Edinburgh city council;

http://edinburghnews.scotsman.com/scotland.cfm?id=609972007

Ultraspeed have also collected a number of the stories that have emerged in the Scottish press recently;

http://web.mac.com/alan_james/iWeb/UltraspeedMedia/Latest News/Latest News.html

At least two of the major political parties (Labour and the Conservatives) seem to be starting to favour maglev, and both Glasgow and Edinburgh councils and the SPT are pretty much in favour.
 

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Norwician
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This is exactly what most of the forumers from the "Heartland" have been objecting too for the last ten or more years. They were promised through connections when the Channel Tunnel was approved.

Just because you want to play with innovative and speculative technology, does not permit you to deny the "Heartlanders their right to a through connection to Europe
With all due respect I couldnt give a stuff about what the people from the 'Heartland' want. I'd much rather see a system being built that would benefit the whole country which is what the maglev would do.
 
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With all due respect I couldnt give a stuff about what the people from the 'Heartland' want. I'd much rather see a system being built that would benefit the whole country which is what the maglev would do.
That's a rather silly thing to say considering it's people in the heartland who'll be making up a large percentage of a HSR's passenger base.

Basically you think a multi-billion pound transport network should be aimed at the needs of a minority of people?
 
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