The Anonymous Widower

The Definitive High Speed Two Route Map

This map is shown on the High Speed Two web site.

The map shows how it links to other routes.

  • High Speed Two joins the West Coast Main Line at Crewe and South of Wigan.
  • High Speed Two uses a route via Stafford and Stoke-on-Trent to serve Macclesfield.
  • High Speed Two uses the current Crewe and Liverpool route to serve Runcorn and Liverpool.
  • High Speed Two to Manchester Piccadilly share tracks with Northern Powerhouse Rail between Liverpool and Manchester Piccadilly via Warrington and Manchester Airport.
  • High Speed Two uses the loop around Crewe to Wigan to serve North West England and Scotland.
  • High Speed Two joins the East Coast Main Line South of York, to serve York, Darlington, Durham and Newcastle.
  • High Speed Two joins the Midland Main Line at Clay Cross to serve Chesterfield and Sheffield.
  • High Speed Two has connections to Midlands Rail Engine at Birmingham, Crewe and East Midlands Hub.
  • High Speed Two has connections to Northern Powerhouse Rail at Liverpool, Manchester Airport, Manchester Piccadilly, Sheffield and Leeds.

June 25, 2020 Posted by | Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

Huddersfield And High Speed Two

There are only nine Grade I Listed Railway Stations In The UK and Huddersfield station is one of them.

As you can see, it also has several long platforms and two pubs.

In addition, the station is step-free and has connecting local services to Leeds, Manchester and Sheffield.

This Google Map shows the basic layout of the station and its position on St. George’s Square.

Manchester is to the South and Leeds is to the North.

Huddersfield station has no direct services to London, but there are three routes to and from London with a single change.

These are best times.

  • Euston changing at Manchester Piccadilly – two hours and fifty-five minutes
  • Kings Cross changing at Leeds – two hours and forty-eight minutes
  • St. Pancras changing at Sheffield – two hours and forty-eight minutes

There’s not really much in it!

I bought an Off Peak Return from London Terminals to Huddersfield, travelling North via Euston and Manchester Piccadilly and returning South via Sheffield and St. Pancras.

How Long Will A Journey To And From London By High Speed Two Take?

In Changes Signalled For HS2 Route In North, I looked at proposals to effectively merge High Speed Two and Northern Powerhouse Rail into a comprehensive High Speed Rail system for the North of England.

My thoughts in the related post, were based on this report on the Transport for the North web site, which is entitled At A Glance – Northern Powerhouse Rail.

This map from the Transport of the North report, shows Western section of the rail system.

There are three routes going East from Manchester.

  • The yellow route is a possible new route to Leeds via Bradford, which I feel will probably be largely in tunnel.
  • The black toute is the upgraded existing Huddersfield Line between Manchester and Leeds via Huddersfield, which is shown.
  • The purple route is the upgraded Hope Valley Line to Sheffield.

I feel that the upgraded black route will be created first, with the faster yellow route, which I suspect will be mainly in tunnel, being added later.

In Changes Signalled For HS2 Route In North, I said that I believed that both London and Liverpool and London and Manchester services could be below seventy minutes.

In that report I also quoted a figure from a Transport for the North report, that said that Manchester and Leeds services would take twenty-five minutes.

I think the following timings, should be possible by High Speed Two trains.

  • London and Manchester – 70 minutes
  • Manchester and Huddersfield – 20 minutes

What would a ninety minute time between London and Huddersfield do for the town?


High Speed Two should call at Huddersfield station.




August 14, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , | 1 Comment

Is It Back To The Future In Manchester?

In the 1970s British Rail, proposed three tunnel projects in the North

  • A Loop and Link  in Liverpool that linked railways from North, South and the Wirral underneath the City Centre.
  • A tunnel under Newcastle.
  • The Picc-Vic Tunnel,  under Manchester.

All three tunnels were designed to connect the railways on both sides of the cities.

  • Liverpool got the much-loved and successful Northern and Wirral Lines of Merseyrail in 1977.
  • Newcastle got the much-loved and successful Tyne and Wear Metro in 1980.
  • Manchester got nothing, as Harold Wilson cancelled it, like Maplin Airport and the Channel Tunnel.

Am I right in thinking that the Channel Tunnel was resurrected later and opened in 1994? It is now much-loved and successful!

Finally, the Government and a lot of opposition MPs and unions have decided that Maplin be replaced by a third runway at Heathrow.

Will that be cancelled by Boris, David, Jeremy, Ruth or Vince?

Today, this article has been published on Rail Magazine, which is entitled Option For Underground Station At Manchester Piccadilly.

Apparently, to integrate Northern Powerhouse Rail into the HS2 station at Manchester Piccadiily station, one option is to go underground.

So are those ideas and surveys of the 1970s being looked at for a solution?


July 9, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Hammond To Announce ‘More Money’ For Northern Powerhouse Rail

This title of this post is the same as that on this article on the BBC.

This is said.

Chancellor Philip Hammond is to announce an extra £300m to improve rail links in northern England, in a speech to the Conservative Party conference.

Plans to electrify the whole Trans-Pennine route have been in doubt.

But the new money will be used to ensure HS2 will link to faster trains between Liverpool and Manchester, Sheffield, Leeds and York – so-called Northern Powerhouse rail.

What would I do with £300 million to improve the rail lines in the North?

To Electrify Or Not!

If we don’t electrify a few routes it will make things difficult.

As an example, you might want to create an HS2 route from London to Middlesbrough, using the Northallerton to Middlesbrough Line.

HS2 trains would probably travel from the HS2 terminus at Leeds along the East Coast Main Line to Northallerton.

If the last few miles were not electrified, then the train would need to be a bi-mode.

However, the dead weight of a diesel engine might reduce the performance sufficiently, so the train couldn’t run at full speed on HS2.

So the HS2 trains would probably need electrified track at all time!

I don’t think that all the destinations that might need an HS2 service are on all-electric route from HS2.

How about these stations?

  • Barrow
  • Blackburn
  • Burnley
  • Edinburgh
  • Huddersfield
  • Lincoln
  • Middlesbrough
  • Newcastle
  • Sheffield
  • York

Note that Carlisle and Glasgow are not on my list, but four important stations , that are served by the East Coast Main Line, cannot be reached by an electric train from HS2, because of gaps in the electrification.

Splitting And Joining

I am assuming that trains can join and split like the Class 395 trains to Kent.

As a simple example two five-car trains might start from London as a ten-car train and split at Crewe or Nottingham, with perhaps each train going to different destinations.

Going southward, two trains would join for the dash to London.

Cross-And Same-Platform Interchanges

By clever station design, it might be possible for interchanges at places like Crewe, Nottingham, Preston and York to be a simple procedure, where passengers get off one train and get on the connecting service either immediately or after a few minutes, without negotiating any steps, escalators or lifts.


Possible routes to electrify would be as follows.

Batley To Selby Via East Leeds Parkway, Leeds and White Rose Centre

Leeds are keen to build two new stations; East Leeds Parkway and White Rose Centre. The line could be electrified between these two stations to form a new electrified CrossLeeds service perhaps between Batley in the West and Selby in the East.

There is the 4km. long tunnel at Morley and this could be easy to electrify, by using an overhead rail, as was used in the Severn Tunnel.

Leeds to York

This would give the following advantages.

  • It would complete a fully electric route from Leeds to York, Newcastle, Edinburgh and Glasgow.
  • A time saving of upwards of upwards of five minutes between Leeds and York.
  • Direct connection for HS2 to the East Coast Main Line.
  • It would allow electric trains to be moved between York and Neville Hill depot in Leeds.

It would also be a fairly simple piece of electrification.

Northallerton To Middlesbrough

This line is only twenty miles long and it would allow electric trains and HS2 to go to Middlesbrough.

Preston To Burnley via Blackburn

I’m very keen on this electrification.

  • It would give a lift to the area.
  • Electric and bi-mode trains could run between Blackpool, Blackburn, Clitheroe, Burnley, Colne, Liverpool and Manchester.

HS2 trains would be able to reach Blackburn and/or Burnley.


There are several long tunnels in the Pennines. I believe that these should be electrified, as Network Rail seem to be able to handle tunnels.

Bi-mode trains would run through using the electrification.

Improved Lines

These lines could be improved and might even be electrified.

Camp Hill Line

This would create a second line across Birmingham. Extra chords at Bordesley, a couple of stations and electrification would make it a quality improvement.

Carnforth To Barrow

Barrow and the nearby Sellafield need a lift and perhaps, if the line were to be improved bi-mode trains could reach Barrow from Crewe, where there will be an easy interchange with HS2.

Electrifying the line might be possible, but the Heritage lobby won’t want the Lake District spoiled.

Derby To Nottingham Via East Midlands Hub

When HS2 gets to the East Midlands Hub station between Nottingham and Derby, it will need good connections to both cities.

This could be heavy rail or an extended Nttingham Express Transit.

Liverpool To Manchester Via Chat Moss

The electrified route between Liverpool Lime Street and Manchester Victoria stations has a very low operating speed.

Sort it!

New And Reopened Lines

There are a couple of lines thsat could be built or reopened.

MerseyRail’s Northern Line to Skelmersdale

I like this idea and it could be an improvement with a high return.

Skipton And Colne

This missing link should be created, so that there is another route across the Pennines.

As Skipton is electrified, why not electrify the link and the existing Colne to Rose Grove line, which would be on the Preston to Burnley route that I think should be electrified.





I’ve probably spent £300 million now!

But I do think, if Network Rail are innovative, things can be made a lot better.



October 2, 2017 Posted by | Transport | , , , | Leave a comment