The Anonymous Widower

Grayling Declares Government Will Not ‘Betray People In The Midlands And The North’ And Will Deliver HS2 In Full

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on Rail Technology Magazine.

There has been talk recently of cutting back High Speed Two.

Grayling has stated that this Government won’t do that.

I meet people, who think that High Speed Two is a waste of money.

Usually, they fit into one of the following categories.

  • Nimbys
  • People who always drive.
  • Those that wouldn’t use a train, bus or tram if it was free.

I also think that most of the reasons people are against High Speed Two are for personal selfish reasons.

So why should High Speed Two be built?

Overwhelmingly, it is about greater capacity between the North and South of this country for freight and passengers.

Although, High Speed Two will not carry freight, it will free up capacity on the West and East Coast Main Lines, to allow more freight on these routes.



January 26, 2019 - Posted by | Transport | ,


  1. I am concerned that once HS2 opens that it will cause a reduction & deterioration of passenger services on the West Coast Mainline. I am also worried that in the long term that the ECML may eventually close down. I hope that the ECML will:- REMAIN ELECTRIFIED RETAIN IT’S 125mph SPEED LIMIT. RETAIN THE PRESENT FREQUENCY OF TRAIN SERVICES TO ALL OF ITS STATIONS.

    Comment by PETER WESTON | January 26, 2019 | Reply

    • Everything, I’ve seen about HS2 and the WCML, seems to suggest that the paths released will be used for new services to places like Walsall, Burton and Chester. As to the ECML work is progressing to get extra paths on the line and also 140 mph running, so I suspect services will be more frequent and better before HS2 gets to Leeds.

      I think your worries are unfounded.

      Comment by AnonW | January 26, 2019 | Reply

    • One piece of work on the ECML that will have a big effect, will be the dive-under at Werrington, which will cut delays caused by freight trains just to the North of Peterborough. I also think LNER will then run a fast service from London to Leeds via Peterborough, Sleaford, Spalding, Lincoln, Robin Hood Airport and Doncaster. The line has been upgraded and some of LNER’s new trains could run a nuch-needed service perhaps 2-3 times per day. What would that do for the prosperity of Lincolnshire?
      Work has already started on the dive-under and should be finished in two years.

      Comment by AnonW | January 26, 2019 | Reply

  2. I enjoy your blog, thanks.
    Living in Preston I am in favour of HS2 of course, though I wonder if I will live long enough to use it
    But as you say it’s all about capacity. Do we really need it to be built for such a high speed? It must cost a great deal more to give an extra, say, 25mph

    Comment by Andrew | January 26, 2019 | Reply

    • The key figure is to get fast times to London for Birmingham, Crewe and Nottingham. That way fast times happen from Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Preston and Sheffield. Liverpool and Manchester for example woll be well under two hours from London, so will be attractive to companies to set up satellite operations, especially, if last trains leave at 9-10 pm. Think what that will do for business and leisure!

      Comment by AnonW | January 26, 2019 | Reply

  3. I am in favour of HS2 in principle, however there are two major problems: –
    1. Cost it is hard to see how it can have a positive cost benefit given the current figures, which are vast.
    2. Plans, the current proposals just near me are a mess, worse than the initial plans five years ago and more costly (more land, bigger shafts, more TBMs).

    Unsurprisingly the new ex Crossrail boss has just been sacked and a new chief appointed, who immediately stoked controversy by proposing lower speeds and service frequencies. Very sadly failing Grayling has been appointed the Secretary of State for Transport and only this week drove to a rail appointment.

    My guess is that the lines will get from Euston to north of Rugby, rejoin existing lines and then the rest of the scheme, by now years late, will be canned.

    Comment by Mark Clayton | January 26, 2019 | Reply

    • You may have seen but a few months ago I went to the launch of tge TBMs dor the new London super sewer. I had a long chat with one if the tunnellers, who’d worked on Crossrail and was now boring the super sewer. His view was that it is now easier and more affordable to tunnel a rail route, than built it on the surface! Better techniques are evolving every year. That’s probably why Modern Railways even mentioned a cross-Manchester tunnel is a possibility!

      HS2 will certainly get to Crewe, as that opens up faster services between London and Liverpool, Preston, Carlisle and Glasgow! Mnchester is trickier for various reasons. A new line in tunnel from the airport to Piccadilly Gardens where it interchanged with HS3 would be my choice. In fact there could be underground stops at Piccadilly and Victoria.

      Comment by AnonW | January 26, 2019 | Reply

    • You also have to remember that after the work in the summer, that Liverpool is now ready for HS2. When Manchester realises that, they won’t like it!

      Comment by AnonW | January 26, 2019 | Reply

  4. Worth remembering the recent problems with Crossrail infrastructure are about Station fit outs and not tunnels which were delivered as required. While stations fit Out has been affected by workers being lured to an oversized football stadium in North London which is still not finished!

    As for TBMs and HS2 then even bigger ones than those used on Crossrail will be needed and work to clear the site for launching TBMs from Euston has recently been cleared and I read that plans to transport waste by rail using closed platforms at Euston Station are being considered and I suppose supplies could be brought in the same way thus reducing road usage.

    It’s also worth remembering that while HS2 from London End is about increasing capacity along the overcrowded WCML the sections in the north form part of the Northern Powerhouse Rail project to provide better East to west connections across the north of England. Hopefully, any extensions will be built to the same gauge as HS2 thus making through running using larger gauge trains possible if they are introduced in the future as has occurred on HS1 with recently introduced Eurostars which are built to a larger gauge.

    Worth remembering that full HS2 will cut journey time from London to Manchester by an hour from around just over two hours to just over an hour making a day return as easy as London to Brighton!

    Comment by Melvyn | January 26, 2019 | Reply

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