The Anonymous Widower

Thoughts On Phase 2a Of High Speed Two

This map shows the route of Phase 2a of High Speed Two.


  1. The blue circles are stations.
  2. From the top, the stations are Crewe, Stoke-on-Trent, Stafford, Birmingham Curzon Street and Birmingham Interchange.
  3. The lighter blue track is sections of the West Coast Main Line, that will be used by High Speed Two services.
  4. The darker blue track is Phase 1 of High Speed Two.
  5. The orange track is Phase 2b of High Speed Two to East Midlands Hub, Leeds and Sheffield.
  6. The mauve track is Phase 2a of High Speed Two.

This page on the High Speed Two web site, which is entitled Phase 2a: West Midlands To Crewe, says this about the building and opening of Phase 2a.

It will be built at the same time as the line between London and the West Midlands. High speed services will begin operating between London, Birmingham and Crewe between 2029 and 2033.

It is my opinion, to build Phase 1 and Phase 2a together is a good move.

  • Crewe is a very well-connected station.
  • It will reduce times between Crewe and London Euston by 34 minutes.

But most importantly, it completes a second separate route for the West Coast Main Line between Crewe and London Euston.

Just think what new bypasses and motorways have done for your driving.

These are some thoughts and observations.

West Coast Main Line Benefits

The High Speed Two web page, which is entitled Phase 2a: West Midlands To Crewe, has a section called West Coast Main Line Benefits, where this is said.

Phase 2a unlocks more rail capacity on the West Coast mainline. It will carry six long distance high speed services per hour, freeing up the West Coast Mainline between Lichfield and Crewe. This could see services rise from hourly to half-hourly or better between Crewe and Stoke-on-Trent to Nuneaton, Tamworth, Lichfield and Rugeley, as well as more services from Crewe to Runcorn and Liverpool, as well as via Crewe between North Wales, Chester and London.

It would appear the six long-distance services could be.

  • Train 1 – London Euston and Lancaster – Splits and joins with Train 2 at Crewe.
  • Train 2 – London Euston and Liverpool – Splits and joins with Train 1 at Crewe.
  • Train 3 – London Euston and Liverpool – Single train
  • Train 4 – London Euston and Edinburgh/Glasgow – Splits and joins at Carlisle for Edinburgh and Glasgow
  • Train 5 – London Euston and Edinburgh/Glasgow – Splits and joins at Carlisle for Edinburgh and Glasgow
  • Train 6 – Birmingham Curzon Street and Edinburgh/Glasgow – Serves Edinburgh and Glasgow alternately.

Note that all services use a single or a pair of High Speed Two Classic Compatible trains.

A High Speed Test Route Can Be Created


  • At the Northern end of the Phase 2a track is Crewe station.
  • At the Southern end of the Phase 2a track is Birmingham Interchange station.
  • The track between the two end stations will be newly-laid modern high speed track capable of 225 mph running.
  • There will be no intermediate stations or Victorian throwbacks like level crossings.
  • The only junctions are at the end of the route.
  • If the High Speed Two trains are built in this country, there will be a need for somewhere to check them out.

The Phase 2a track will surely make an ideal test track for testing trains and systems and training drivers.


August 22, 2021 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

HS2 Moves Stafford Ahead At High-Speed

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on StokeonTrentLive.

It seems a positive headline in comparison to some you usually see about High Speed Two.

The subtitle doesn’t have any negative words either.

Construction has begun on the first section and there will be a community and business roadshow this August to find out more.

Perhaps people from Staffordshire have a positive outlook on life.

After all, with respect to High Speed Two, Stoke will be one of the first two cities in the country outside London to receive a high speed service.

Stoke might even be first!

August 22, 2021 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , | Leave a comment

A Big Advantage Of Only Ten Platforms For High Speed Two At Euston Station

Many of us have been involved in the start-up and handover of a new project, even it is just buying a new house to live in from a builder.

All projects have one thing in common. Something will go wrong, even if it is just the lock on the toilet door.

Harold Macmillan expressed it memorably as “Events, Dear Boy! Events!”

This article on Ian Visits is entitled Call For A Rethink Of HS2’s Euston Station Plans.

These two paragraphs describe the current plan for Euston station.

The current plans for the HS2 station at Euston will see it delivered in two phases, with six platforms opened first to carry HS2 trains on the first stage of the railway up to the West Midlands. The second phase of the Euston station would open later, with an additional 5 platforms to manage demand when HS2 is extended to Crewe, Manchester and Leeds.

Phase one was scheduled for completion in 2026, and phase two in 2033.

This paragraph describes the latest idea from the Department for Transport.

However, the Oakervee review from last year called for a redesign of the station scaling back the station and increasing the amount of oversite development to fund it. Earlier this year it was revealed that the Department for Transport has instructed HS2 to refine the development to build it in one phase, but with just 10 platforms instead of 11 platforms.

There are now two camps arguing as to whether the station should be built with ten or eleven platforms.

The eleven platform station project will involve.

  • Two-phase construction
  • Five platforms by 2026
  • Eleven platforms by 2033

On the other hand, the ten platform station project will involve.

  • Single-phase construction
  • Ten platforms on opening.
  • More oversite development.


  1. There will be eleven trains per hour (tph) in Phase 1 of High Speed Two from London Euston.
  2. , Trains will serve Birmingham, Carlisle, Lancaster, Liverpool, Macclesfield, Manchester. Preston, Stafford, Stoke-on-Trent and Scotland.
  3. Full-size trains will be able to run to Birmingham Curzon Street and Crewe, but not to the two Manchester stations, as the trains don’t fit the infrastructure.

I suspect that Speed Two Classic-Compatible Trains will be running to Manchester.

The Big Advantage Of A Two-Phase Project With Ten Platforms

In the two-phase project with eleven platforms to rebuild Euston station, there will be five platforms, when the station opens, but in the single-phase project with ten platforms, there will be ten platforms.

If there are ten platforms, the station must be easier to operate, especially during the tricky phase of opening the new station.

With ten platforms, there will be more space to sort out those unexpected events!

August 22, 2021 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , | 7 Comments

Building Council Flats In London

I was told this tale by the Head of the Construction Branch of the Greater London Council, who was a big user of the first Project Management System;PERT7, that I wrote in the 1970s.

The GLC were building some council flats alongside the railway.

There were four parallel blocks with five floors and I’ll number them 1 to 4, with 4 alongside the railway and 1 furthest away.

The plan to build them involved the following.

  • Deliveries were planned, so that the many residents around the site and British Rail were not inconvenienced.
  • Site access was arranged with British Rail along the railway on a track to and from a major road a few hundred yards away.
  • The site would be cleared with all the rubble going out in the reverse direction.
  • The plan then was to build the blocks 1, 2, 3 and 4 towards the railway.
  • This was logical, as when each block was completed it could be occupied and the new tenants wouldn’t be living in a building site, as what needed to be done was towards the railway.

But he was overruled by a vociferous local lobby and some local politicians, who had convinced themselves that building away from the railway in a 4, 3, 2, 1 order would be better.

In the end they were built in the 4, 3, 2, 1 order with budget and time overruns and endless complaints from residents.

If there is a lesson from this fairly insignificant project, it is that in a construction project, there is often one way to build it, that minimises construction time and disturbance to neighbours and maximises the cash flow from the development.

August 22, 2021 Posted by | Computing, Design, World | , , , , | Leave a comment