HS2 – It’s in a bit of a pickle – But it should still be built

An HS1 train stands at St. Pancras Station in April 2009.

My good friend Phil Holden has recently been commenting at length (Phil is rarely short of words) on the pickle that HS2 finds itself in. Here’s a link to Phil’s blog posting on the matter:-

phlhldn.blogspot.com/2019/09/take-h-out-of-hs2-now.html

And here’s my comment on what Phil has said:-

Well Phil you’ve blown a whistle on HS2 with your full head of steam aimed at the chief promoter. Anyone would think you are trying to shunt him into a siding or even send him to Barry scrap yard where steam engines went to die.

But seriously, I agree with much that you say. HS2 is mainly about capacity, it always has been. Whether it is being poorly managed or not I bow to your expansive knowledge on such matters.

But yes of course it should be built, of that I have no doubt whatsoever. As for significantly high speed, I can live without that.

And finally how come the French, Spanish, Germans etc. can build high speed rail networks (and have been doing for many years) when we can’t without huge delays and breaking the bank?

Edinburgh Tram was another massive failure (in cost terms) and so has been our attempts to electrify rail routes across the UK. Indeed, the Government got so cheesed off with Network Rail’s carry on that they (wrongly in my view) cancelled many planned electrifications rather than sort out the dysfunctional Network Rail. I think a significant part of the problem will be associated with the UK losing too many experienced railway engineers in the years when we (not me I must add) thought railways were done and gone. We then got caught out with folks flocking back to them and having no capacity. Out came the plans for HS2 and electrifications but no one knew how to do it any more.

We should probably have got SNCF or the Spanish/German equivalents to design and build HS2 and it would probably be up and running before your mid 70’s. The birth place of railways has forgotten how to build them I’m sad to say.

Liverpool to London in 85 MINUTES?

The Liverpool Echo has the article on its website – see link below:-

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/business/liverpool-london-85-minutes-huge-15756932

HS2 was always going to lead to some cities feeling left out of the high-speed rail network and Liverpool fell into that category when routing it from Manchester to Leeds became the sadly unsurprising favoured direction. Since then much lobbying has been taking place to try to get Liverpool connected to HS2 and this latest plan by TfN looks to be a credible offer to Government.

Will it get the go-ahead? Goodness knows in the strange political times in which we presently live, must be the answer! Having said that we are told that the Conservatives are reaching out to Brexit leaning Labour enabler MP’s to offer them things to get them on board the Tory train off a cliff edge. Will a promise of funding for this high-speed rail link buy any of them off?