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  1. We have just lost our half-hourly train service to Birmingham, and some of our rush-hour trains, due to funding cuts. The money for HS2 should be spent on creating better countrywide trains.

  2. You have not stated a REAL alternative yet.


    “the railway is already relatively a rich mans toy”
    “If you are working in a factory in Manchester you might never get on HS2″ he goes on “if the Salesman and Sales Director of your company is routinely hopping on it to go and meet customers, to jet round the world from Heathrow, in a way that brings in orders that keep you employed” .

    Mr Hammonds’ comments are not aspirational to the working class . I don’t know why but box and get back in it working class springs to mind.

    To hear it with your own ears go to:

    http://www.Parliament.co.uk archived 13th September 2011 Commons

  4. What an absolut load of rubbish this site is……is this the best you can do ???? I suggest you read todays report from the ORR regarding CP5 funding and investment plans, it will absolutely put to bed the constant myths and lies that stopHS2 campaigners perpetuate.

  5. Message for Daphne Tucker…..HS2 is a countrywide train, it stretches from London to Scotland. Also please provide hard evidence of where you say services have been cut…. TIA

  6. Railway capacity is a bit confusing, but you have still got dreadfully confused by the issue. Let’s try thinking of it in terms of motorway traffic – a concept with which most people are familiar. If you have too much traffic on the motorway it tends to clog up, creating a traffic jam. When that happens do you a) Recognise there is a traffic jam and wish there was an alternative route available which would get you to your destination more quickly; or b) Deny the very possibility of a traffic jam, since many of the cars around you have got empty seats in them, so the motorway is not being used to its full capacity. Your argument on rail capacity is essentially b) above. See how ludicrous it is?

  7. I see no need to waste the tax payers money on an ill afforded railway line for which there are alternative solutions that can be applied

  8. What would you say when you have a rail route with stops ~ each 30km and 600km of route to be passed in 3 hours?

    Transrapid is capable for that.

  9. HS2 is unaffordable and too narrowly focussed a project. If completed by 2026 It will just deliver a third rail route from London to Birmingham and not the centre of Birmingham so that the journey time saved will be offset by the need to access the city centre by other means. It will be of no benefit to Coventry. And who will be able to afford the price of a ticket on HS2. Supporters claim it will bridge the north south divide. But there is also and east west divide. Witness the recent refusal of the Govt to fund £43 miillion for the reinstatement of the Portishead to Bristol railway line to bring badly needed relief to the local roads. Or to help fund reinstatement of the railway from Milton Keynes to Oxford which already exists and would open up travel oppurtunities from Beds, Northants and Cambs to Bristol, West of England and S Wales without the need to go via London. So save money and bring real benefits nationwide. Scrap plans for HS2. Longer trains and platforms and nationwide electrification is the way to go

  10. There are many disused routes where freight could be diverted off the main radial routes from London at the same time giving communities their railway back for much less than £32Billion. Examples are March-Spalding and Sheffield-Woodhead-Manchester for all Felixstow and southeast ports to Manchester/Liverpool/Leeds/Glasgow container trains. Reopen the Great Central from Sheffield to London.This route was built to Contienetal stadards so can take big boxes.or double deck passenger trains. Half the current Birmingham-Euston trains could run this route south of Rugby to Marylebone freeing up the southern end of the WCML. immediately. 125mph would be possible for most of the distance to Aylesbury then 100mph onward to London. Electrify.

  11. There is a big gulf between what the HS2 strategy and the limited RUS’s produced by Network Rail. This campaign is trying to address that gap but at the moment doesn’t go far enough. Whilst the WCML is heavily featured (somewhat forgetting the WCRM delays and cost over-runs) other lines such as the ECML, Western and Southern networks are all too light in content and ideas. Re-opening of disused lines is hugely more cost effective with the Grand Central being the big headline but smaller lines should be featured such as the Varsity line, Lewes to Uckfield and even AirTrack.

    It would also be good to consider the commercial structure best to deliver an alternative strategy. How best to make operator, construction companies and network co-ordinator work best together?

    What is more concerning is why does it take a group of volunteers to attempt to create an alternative strategy to HS2 when that should be the role of the DfT? Unfortunately the DfTs mismanagement of franchise renewals and rolling stock, in particular the ill conceived IEP aptly demonstrates that it is not fit for purpose.

    Good luck with the campaign, you have my support.

  12. An alternative to HS2.
    1. Extend EuroStar to Birmingham.
    2. Saves cost: St.Pancras was rebuilt for
    high speed trains.
    3. EuroStar has a fleet of high capacity
    19-car trains.
    4. Will allow passengers from Birmingham to go to Paris or Brussels
    without changing trains.

  13. correction: EuroStar has 18-car trains.

  14. HS2 is supposed to be primarily about giving increased capacity out of London. The logic being that if we need to build capacity it would be foolish not to build high speed. This week’s derailment at Bletchley set me thinking. A rebuilt, re-engineered and electrified Northampton to Bedford line would provide access to an alternative approach to London that doesn’t need additional terminal capacity in London as it connects into Thameslink.

  15. Whilst many Old Pro’s may think HSR is the way forward, why is it that HSR is put forward as the only solution? Surely an ounce of common sense suggests a solution based on many different approaches is more effective. On a purely risk basis we will be throwing all our efforts into one massive gamble (one which has not paid off massively anywhere else in the world). We can only spend this £32 B once. I’d rather it spent (if it must) on a range of solutions – specifically designed to get us off the drug of travel ANY travel. As for sure all forms are finite. Also, whilst we think we’re the only ones to be at risk of white elephantitis, http://www.downsizinggovernment.org/transportation/high-speed-rail#_edn15 is a well researched and referenced article… making the case against US HSR

  16. Heathrow is allready connected to London Main line from Paddington. Coulld this not be linked to Birmingham by putting in a tunnell link between London Paddington & London Marylebone. Either or both these stations would be stops rather than Terminii & would not be needing protracted platform time.

    At the same time capacity at these stations could be increased by linking existing services in this way.

  17. This is the biggest load of tosh I’ve ever read, written by a bunch of NIMBYs who are clutching at straws by thinking that we can better spending the money by “simply” investing in the network we already have. Oh right, year long closure of the East Coast, West Coast and Great Western Main Lines, anyone, while we upgrade them? No, thought not. The vast majority of anti supporters seem to be from Aylesbury, the Chilterns, Oxfordshire, Warwickshire, ie along the route. If that’s not NIMBYism, I don’t know what is. Why don’t you all stop hiding behind the rubbish (non) arguments that are here, and come out and say why you REALLY don’t support HS2, that is because you don’t want a new railway line near your house. Which, fair enough, that is a perfectly valid argument. The country needs HS2, we can’t not build it. You’re absolutely barking if you think we can get the extra capacity we need by investing in the railway we already have. It’s at breaking point as it is. You only have to look at any busy commuter line. If a train breaks down, there are delays and knock on effects for the rest of the day. The service should return to normal in an hour or two, but because the railway is so massively over capacity, one small delay causes major inconvenience for tens of thousands of people.

  18. Obviously the last comment was written by someone not near the train line, and or employed by benefiting Construction Company!
    I too am not particularly close, certainly not enough for if to have any direct affect, I will say that I think it a complete waste of money. You can understand that people feel very emotive especially when it will ruin a significant number of communities let alone country side all for 20mins!
    And as I see it that’s largely achieved because it doesn’t stop in between.
    It ruins a 100 miles of countryside affects numerous people in between who get zero benefit all for the dubious so called trade it will bring, the trade is already there using the road, rail and airport, and the wealthy who can afford the train leave 20mins early.
    The economic benefits are seriously diminishing the payback predictions have so far twice been reduced, if you take in to account all major projects tend to go seriously over budget, the payback it truth will be completely negated.
    Also who actually uses the train, I for one can’t afford too, I find the car far cheaper and more convenient in all recent cases that I have looked into.
    There just has to be better options to spend that many billions we haven’t got, crazy idea how about paying off some of the country’s debt.

  19. I am strongly against HS2, but all for rebuilding of closed lines such as Oxford – Bedford – Cambridge, Manchester – Sheffield via Woodhead and the Tavistock line in Devon. Countryside and woodland have come under threat and the whole thing is absurdly expensive and potentially destructive.

  20. By 2020 oil imports will be greater than home produced and it is also the deadline for meeting EU carbon reduction measures. Common sense dictates the budget for building HS2 would be far more beneficial economically if used to improve the rest of the network for both passengers and freight. There already exists in Europe rail operating equipment that if introduced would reduce lorry miles by millions per year.
    More importantly for this Government is the question ‘ what would the electorate vote for – HS2 or a reduction of commercial vehicles from our roads’? The answer is obviously ‘common sense’ needs to be applied. Perhaps a way of backing the argument further is to provide an alternative budget using the amount allocated for HS2 .

    Chris Drayson

  21. My main comment is WE CAN’T AFFORD THE HS2 Railway and I was always taught if you can’t afford it, you can’t have it!!

  22. The building of the HS2 is outrageous! The profit of the HS1 hardy delivered and so the apparent welfare of this new railway is ridiculous. The government are fooling themselves as they believe we need it which isn’t true . The money which is being ripped out from underneath all working citizens of the UK it wrong. We are in crisis, we have no money and there are already people lining up on streets asking for money as they have nothing and you are just adding more people into that category. I believe we should hold on tight to our purses and bank accounts because it seems to me that we have no say and the money that went into building the Olympics hasn’t been taken into account either. So when we are at the point to rationing again I want the parties that are for HS2 to be rotting in hell as most people will be dead by the time the railway is made.

  23. What we need is LS1; Low Speed rail is necessary to avoid stupidly high energy requirements and consequent emissions whilst providing cost-effective transport for goods, because that is what is currently (and will continue to be) throttling this country’s economy.

  24. It looks as if everyone has given up on changing the Government’s mind about this, but we will not win technologically as a Nation from this venture and at best will only boost lower paid Construction jobs, ultimately leading to a similar poor Economic outlook for years and years and years to come. Nobody listens… because what we write and say makes too much sense.

  25. In an era of austerity we simply cannot afford £32 billion for HS2. It would cost 1% of this amount to reopen the Uckfield to Lewes and in doing so provide another route from the South coast into London. It would not be a fast route but it would provide cost effective capacity. The decision for HS2 but not projects like Uckfield to Lewes in the current climate is like not driving your Ford Fiesta because it needs a couple of tyres for the MOT and then buying a new Porsche instead!

  26. How would spending money on the Uckfield-Lewes route alleviate overcrowding and lack of train paths on the West Coast Main Line. HS2 is not about speed it is about adding more rail capacity between London-Leeds and hopefully Scotland in the future.

  27. There are two issues at stake with HS2 and transport generally: one is speed, the other capacity. The journey times on the West Coast Mainline are very competitive with road and air (e.g. 2 hrs 7 min from Manchester to London). The real problem is lack of capacity – this affects both long-distance and local trains. The Government is following the French model of the TGV. This is tried and tested, but France is much less dense than UK – cities/major towns every 80-100 miles rather than every 30-50. Furthermore, where parkway stations have been built, people drive there rather than using local or regional railways, which have gone into decline or closed. This could happen with HS2′s Derby/Nottingham parkway. In addition, towns like Tours and even Lyon have effectively become suburbs of Paris. Do we want Birmingham to become a suburb of London? Jobs would be drained out of Birmingham and even more pressure put on London’s transport system. A better model for Britain is Germany – a federal country of many regional capitals. The German railways have been upgraded on a mixture of improvements, bypasses and new lines. Capacity over speed, in other words. For West Coast capacity, this could mean the Chiltern mainlline widened (there is a lot of extra track space) and electrified , with some longer bypasses and new links. Better news for the regions, including more money for local transport, and less pressure on London.

  28. Dominic White is absolutely right. Capacity is the issue which needs to be addressed and it needs to be addressed soon.

    The emphasis of HS2 is on speed and its timescale is too long. The DfT has asked the right question but given the wrong answer.

    HS2 is a badly designed scheme, in most respects. Take as only one example the logic-defying decision to make Euston the London terminus.

    However, something bigger is at stake. HS2 may put the future of investment in the railways at risk, both because it will cost so much and because, if it proves to have fewer benefits than its supporters say it will have, Whitehall will have an excuse to withhold money from other schemes.

    Those schemes [mainly capacity improvements at stations and around "pinch points" on routes] are desperately needed. Some stations are dangerously overcrowded.

    Let’s not forget that the busiest and most profitable lines in the country carry ordinary commuters to work, not DfT officials to the West Midlands or Brummie businessmen to London.

    I wonder where all these tycoons have been hiding for the last thirty years, as manufacturing has declined to the point where it employs around an eighth of the workforce. All of a sudden, there are so many that we need to spend [realistically] £50 billion on a special railway line for them.

    Might it not be the case that we’re really building it for “public servants” who have a sense of entitlement which includes (mostly unnecessary) first-class, high-speed trsvel? With the advent of new technology, a lot of “business” travel is unnecessary and any that is necessary will be undertaken, whether the journey time from Euston to Birmingham is 90 mins or 60 mins. As many others have said, it is often useful to have time to work on the train, before a meeting.

    Someone wrote a letter to “The Guardian”, last week, which made me smile.

    “HS2 is based on the assumptions that (a) everyone wants to go to London and (b) anyone wants to go to Birmingham”.

    Those are very large assumptions indeed. Another contributor to this board referred to the east-west divide. High-speed rail should be rolled out across the whole country at much the same time or not at all. If it reaches only Birmingham and perhaps Manchester and Leeds, most cities will suffer.

    You can correct me, if I’m wrong, but I think the three cities I’ve mentioned, while having pockets of poverty, also contain very wealthy suburbs and CBDs. In overall terms, their hinterlands are not among the most deprived regions in England. The need for investment is greater elsewhere.

    In its current form, HS2 will deepen the North-South divide by extending London’s commuter belt hundreds of miles to the north. This is what the independent experts are warning us will happen. In other words, HS2 may well end up doing the opposite of what Cameron claimed it would. My Goodness, can you imagine it? One of Dave’s predictions might turn out to have been a load of rubbish. It’s not as if that has happened before.

    Look at the groups which support HS2. We have the choo-choo fanatics, who quite frankly would build a branch line to every corner shop in the UK if they were given enough sleepers, ballast and fishplates. We have the civil-engineering contractors who would cover the entire country in structures if the money were available. [Shades of Marples, the man who was really responsible for Beeching?] We have the allies of the latter at the DfT, DBIS, the Treasury and in the main political parties. We have the “Brum” lobby, with a key insider in charge of the DfT at the crucial moment.

    On the other side, we have most rail users; most transport-planning and and logistics lecturers; most hard-pressed taxpayers; and many backbench MPs and local councillors.

    We have the NIMBYs and conservationists too. However, they are entitled to make their case. Instead, they have been derided by the HS2 campaign and the media (and portrayed as the only group opposing HS2).

    Last but not least, we have what appears to be a sizeable majority of people in the North (the very people whom HS2 is supposed to help according to Cameron and his cabinet). Northerners aren’t as stupid as members of the ruling class think they are. They can see that HS2 has more disadvantages than advantages, except for very restricted groups. [The Manchester business lobby, which will be wheeled out from time to time, does not represent the entire North.]

    There are alternatives to HS2 but these have been ignored or shouted down, so it appears to many observers than the “antis” have no constructive suggestions to make. We have the BBC (bimbos, biased and cursory) and other elements of the Fourth Estate to thank for that.

    In the short term, overcrowding on WCML trains can be addressed by lengthening trains. Pendolinos were recently lengthened to 11-car units (although this would not have been necessary when it was, if the right mix of “Standard” and “First” coaches had been ordered in the first place).

    Some nonsensical suggestions are made in connection with this issue too. The omission of selective door opening on Pendolinos was a serious oversight. This should be rectified if at all possible, so that longer trains can stop at existing platforms.

    The calls, which some have made, to spend £70 million here and £40 million there on longer platforms at various stations are unwise. They amount to a 1960s civil engineer’s solution; an attempt to solve a problem by building the biggest and most complex structure possible. That’s what HS2 itself is.

    Seats in first-class Virgin coaches should immediately be made available, at reduced cost, on off-peak services, to ease overcrowding (by further encouraging non-business travellers to avoid busy trains).

    In the medium term, some “First” coaches might be converted to “Standard”. Virgin was reluctant to do this (and ordered too many “Firsts” in the, er, first place) because first-class tickets are so profitable. Well, they are and they aren’t. It’s not profitable to haul empty coaches around, outside peak times.

    Virgin (jointly owned by Stagecoach) has been dictating transport policy for too long. It is time to rid the rail network of the operator, once and for all. Sadly, the last attempt was bungled.

    As Dominic White suggests, the former Great Central mainline is an ideal candidate for upgrading.

    In Buckinghamshire, there are two routes to Aylesbury [not only via the GC and Metropolitan Joint line, but also along the GW & GC Joint route via High Wycombe and Princes Risborough, the last stretch being a lightly used branch line these days].

    Once Chiltern’s latest “Evergreen” project has been completed, things will be even easier. One route can be upgraded while traffic is diverted on to the other.

    The whole Chiltern operation shows what happens when railways are run for the benefit of passengers, rather than that of directors or shareholders. It also proves that services can be drastically improved through fairly modest investment.

    Beyond Calvert, the GC mainline has been lifted. Therefore, relaying it as far as Rugby would not interfere with lines currently in operation (except when a new connection is built with the WCML at Rugby).

    This scheme could be started almost immediately. It would cost much less. It would provoke far fewer objections. It would not require extensive tunnels or highly specialised equipment and technical advisers. Its environmental costs would be must lower.

    As it is on on smaller scale, the work could be undertaken by existing (British) construction firms, which are currently going through hard times. It would inject money into the economy, straight away (whereas the first sod won’t be cut on HS2 for quite some time and it will be twenty years before it is fully operational).

    Reopening the GC main line as far as Rugby would not incur huge interest payments. There would be benefits to people living along the route. Far from property falling in value, it would rise!

    It would also be easy to restore links with the rest of the GW network, allowing freight trains to run via Bicester, Didcot, Reading and Tonbridge to the Channel Tunnel, without going through London.

    At a later date, there would be an opportunity to rebuild the rest of the GC route (sadly with the exception of the stretches through Nottingham) with the object of reaching Liverpool (via Woodhead, Glazebrook, the CLC Manchester-Liverpool route and possibly a reopened Liverpool Loop Line), where the prize of valuable transatlantic container traffic awaits.

    Piggyback services [articulated lorries on well wagons], to which one of the contributors alluded, could also be run on such a route.

    One survey, conducted among road hauliers, found that a network of piggyback rail routes in the UK had the potential to take around 60% of freight traffic off the motorway and trunk-road network. It’s a shame that no one at the DfT had the courage or vision to promote the idea.

  29. all you critics are biased and your cases are the same as your penis’s…….tiny and useless, if you want to carry on this argument then tweet me at @mikster92. i look forward to destroying you cretins

  30. As a professional track designer, I feel this report is seriously flawed and blatantly blinkered by nimbyism.
    I have worked on a number of feasibility 12 car lengthening schemes and freight diversionary routes and the same answer is always found – the existing infrastructure and land footprint is insufficient to achieve the necessary remodelling schemes, 12 car operations invariably require platform extensions and the complete remodelling of the complex junction work at the throat of each station, combined with resignalling, the cost is massive, in addition, each station can only realistically be remodelled during a lengthy blockade, creating further suffering for the commuter.
    Freight diversion routes generally aim to maximise the use of lesser ran branch lines, the increase in traffic and vehicle size normally results in the requirement to relay the entire track, resignal and reconstruct numerous bridge structures along the route. The cost of this is massive. In addition, a number of heritage groups invariably become upset at the thought of smashing down a Brunel bridge for example. However, the most annoying part of this report by far is the general sense that its ok to rip apart town centres, plague the urban areas which have built up around towns and quiet branch lines with incessant freight services, disrupting hundreds of thousands of working class people, all so that we don’t disturb the idyllic lifestyle of the affluent country elite.
    People will be priced out of owning a car within my lifetime. Mass transit routes will have to be developed. The only answer is to build new routes now, branch lines and interurban routes will have to be upgraded as well in due course, if we maximise their capacity now, we effectively put a cap on future capacity.

  31. Thankyou, Steve. Valuable to have the input of a professional here. Certainly I think that we opponents of HS2 need to avoid short-sightedness, and we can easily forget that upgrades (like the WCML upgrade) can cost nearly as much as new build, not least because of the massive disruption involved. Furthermore, building for expansion is more cost-effective than temporary relief of overcrowding.
    My worry remains that HS2 is too much about speed and not enough about all-round capacity enhancement – as well as the negative impact of parkway stations on local railways and road traffic (such as that proposed between Derby and Nottingham).
    It’s interesting that one early option was an M1-paralleling route. It would have had far less environmental impact, and within Greater London it could have made use of the 3rd pair of tracks alongside the Midland mainline between Camden and Haverstock Hill and Finchley Rd and Hendon, with extra tunnels under Belsize Park and from Hendon to Scratchwood. A much easier connection to HS1 too than forcing international trains through the Camden Rd bottleneck as per the Government’s preferred route. The reason the M1 option was dropped was lower speeds, so lower cost benefit, even though the ratio was still good.
    But the superfast HS2 route still leaves me asking who will be able to afford to use it, and if they do, how London Underground will cope with the projected influx of “customers” (this has already become part of the case for Crossrail 2).
    The German approach of combined upgrades and new builds has been very effective. Wealth is spread across regions rather than drawing everything and everyone into an ever-growing and increasingly overcrowded metropolis.

  32. If, and it’s a big if, HS2 had any real credibility then it should be started in the North and develop southwards to London. Not the other way round. London sucks in so much development in England at the expense of our regions. London has a ‘gravitational field’ effect rather like the Sun in our solar system. In England we need a ‘Jupiter’ type economic area to help keep the economic equilibrium, just as the planet Jupiter keeps our Earth in gravitational equilibrium in our Solar System. If HS2 does get approval and is built from London TO the regions then it will inevitably benefit London more than anywhere else in England.

  33. There would be great economic gains in the north by improving local transport links rather than spending a fortune on HS2.

    I’d like to see the M65 extended towards Leeds to help reduce congestion on the M62/M60. Not only would Leeds and Manchester see improvements but the poorest areas of East-Lancashire would see economic gains that wouldn’t be touched on by HS2.

  34. The sole purpose of HS2 is to offer up the Midlands and eventually the North as an overspill housing solution for London based workers. Once built, house prices in the area’s serviced by HS2 will rocket as “London money” eat’s up the local housing stock. It will force local people out of the housing market similar to the situation many of our seaside towns now find themselves in now. If it were simply a matter of capacity issues then far cheaper solutions are available. How about double decker rolling stock similar to those used in other countries.

  35. Dont forget the East Coast line which goes from London to Edinburgh and beyond and includes Leeds. It will be down graded if HS2 ever gets to Leeds (there is some doubt north of Brum will ever get built)
    East Coast is seriously under capacity and hampered by several lengths where the track is single pair – contention with local urban services. Investment would produce significant benefits in both speed and capacity, but even now the route is underutilised. With the latest revelations the HS2 is dead in the sidings and the government is shown up for their underhand tactics. Had the losses been quantified before the reshuffle Mr McLoughlin would have been gone.

  36. The most obvious solution is to lower the track and put on double decker trains. As far as I can see the equipment is available to lay huge sections of track and something could be developed to scoop out 6 ft of earth before its relaid. Of course some services would need to be rediverted but I believe the population would go for this in exchange for cheaper tickets.
    I’d recommend spending the 50billion saved on 5 nuclear power stations to give the country security of power and the population cheaper electricity. Tell me why this doesn’t make sense!

  37. Good god i have walked 9 times the route from london to manchester along the old great central railway i sent a 20 page dossier to the goverment (no response) it would save 9 billion ,why does no one listen ?? why because the lords and people in power have shares in the construction companies , if you want to know the best route ,even news channels please contact me .

  38. I hear you and sympathise, Mick. Thing is I’m now doubting that HS2AA are any better at listening than the government.
    I had an idea I though might help the campaign and, as this group’s HQ is 20 minutes from where I live, suggested dropping in and running it by them. Not good apparently. Suggested I send a Word Document or Power Point presentation! I’m in this to save some countryside, (they’ll waste the money some other way.) not to polish the egos of some twits who think this is a career move.

  39. Hs2 should not go ahead until the country is more stable if this bad childish bickering govenment got there act together and spent the money on the health board it would not be at braking point it’s time for the spineless mps to stop with yet another costly legacy

  40. The Great Central Railway is the answer. It would not as Lord Mandelson suggests, suck the life blood out of transport schemes for the rest of the country but it would need a new branch to Birmingham. It would be a great deal cheaper than a brand new railway carving through the countryside.

  41. This report seems to be as bad as the one in favour of HS2. It completely ignores the real problems in the West Midlands. It treats Birmingham as if it IS the West Midlands (which it is not).

    Wolverhampton to Birmingham takes 30 minutes. This is a distance of 14 miles. This has to be the slowest InterCity service in the world. Coventry to Birmingham takes a similar time which means more than half the journey time to London is taken up with the passage through the West Midlands (and alternative routes to enable improvement are available).

    This should not just be about the London commute. The rest of the country needs communications too. Our railway service is designed to serve only 10% of the population i.e. those who live in London.

    HS2 would seriously impair the capability to improve other services by swallowing up resources.

  42. No to HS2
    HS2 will swallow large amounts of money and hinder future development of the railway as a whole. We don’t want 200mph or 300mph trains or 18 trains per hour. High speed trains are energy hungry. We want an additional south north railway that runs at similar speeds to West Coast and serves the community it passes through.
    Phase 1 will not serve any communities between London and Birmingham. We should be opening the Great Central Main Line (GCML), I know many commentators say this will not work, they say trains on GCMLHS2 will be queuing with Chiltern Trains to get into London. There are two parallel lines for some 90 miles from roughly Rugby to London. The line to the west is the existing Chiltern Line from Birmingham via Warwick and Banbury into Marylebone and the easterly line is also Chiltern but only carries passengers from Aylesbury to Marylebone, this is the old GCML. We would not be talking about 18 trains per hour so there is capacity when shared between the two lines, and trains could use Marylebone, Paddington or Euston.
    I know there would be problems in Leicester as much of the GCML has been built on and many bridges demolished but we could build a short section of new line to connect with the Midland Main Line and use the existing station in Leicester. At Loughborough we can re-join the GCML and head for Nottingham, again it would be possible to link in with existing lines and use Nottingham Midland Station, skirting Nottingham to re-join the GCML to Sheffield and Manchester, with a link on the old Midland line track bed to Leeds.
    The GCML with additions will do everything that HS2 phase 2 would have done. I know there would be difficulties but they can be overcome. Woodhead line may need a new tunnel, bore one.
    With this scheme we would have connections to WCML at Rugby, MML at Leicester and the westerly of the routes out of London is already linked to West Coast at Coventry, goes to Birmingham and can access New Street as well as Moor St and Snow Hill and could have a link into the proposed HS2 station at Curzon Street.
    With the above scheme costs will be a fraction of £42Bn or was it £50Bn? And decimation of the countryside will be minimal in comparison. Money saved can be used to open more closed railway lines to give better connectivity for freight and passengers and give the British public a railway system they can be proud of.
    If we really want to be clever we could open relatively quickly the first stage to Rugby, some 40 miles beyond the end of the GCML currently being used. This would alleviate capacity problems on the most highly used section of WCML. Electrifying Chiltern Main Line from London to Birmingham and the GCML via Aylesbury to Rugby would also increase capacity on existing routes without having to do little more.
    Of course all inter-connecting lines should be electrified; we don’t want diesel powered trains running long distances under the wires.
    Finally why are the Government promoting their own product, who is likely to be involved with construction projects on HS2, who will be making big bucks?

  43. No to HS2
    Do we need to really lose anymore money in the UK.Did we not sell our Olympic dream buildings with great loss again and numerous other fantastic projects which were to help our economy.
    Does anybody actually know how this is supposed to be the great economy booster,if it saves a few minutes travelling. Or is it going to contain huge amounts of goods to release lorries from filling our motorways and making them clearer for vehicles to travel to work easier.
    I was to believe that our fossil fuels were running low so the huge amounts of electric needed to sustain this railway system will obviously need it’s own nuclear power station to run it,more safety in mind for our small island.
    What about the poor people who will have to give up their homes,or even having to look at this great monstrosity. The farms,more crops and more animals with less room,but not to worry we could always shut them down and import at least the tax man can earn more money.
    What is going to happen to our beautiful country,I am very proud of Great Britain ,but unfortunately I will be moving to France where they actually care how their country looks.
    I am now to presume that all the MP ,s who voted for this disaster will be buying plots near the railway lines so they can sit outside and watch it while it goes past the bottom of their gardens.
    I hope somebody sees sense before anymore money is wasted.

  44. Instead of building a whole New Transpennine Train line, namely HS2/3
    Why Not Re-open the 27 Miles of The Woodhead Line, which should Never have been closed in the first place.
    The line goes through some of the countries most beautiful countryside, would cost a hell of a lot less money to re-open as it already has the route, although, Woodhead Three Tunnel, now has Electricity cables running through it, Woodhead one and two, the Victorian Tunnels could be both bored would not cost Billions as mentioned before.
    Regards David out into one New Larger tunnel, to enable the line to proceed again on its original route, please consider this as it Worth

  45. i wood like to suggest you reopen the Wolverhampton to Birmingham Curzon street railway station via Bushbury -Willenhall darlaston -Walsall-Bescot-Tame Bridge-Hamstead-Parry barr-wilton-Aston-Duddeston-Birmingham Curzon street and the other railway link goes right into Wolverhampton railway station and wood have a HS2 Rail link as well.

  46. I have just read through all of these comments. There’s an awful lot of hot air, but the big picture is very clear.

    Those who think tactically and short-term are against it. They look at costs and impact over a limited period and from a largely personal point of view.

    Those who think more strategically and long-term are for it. They (like the Victorians) see this as an investment for generations to come.

    It’s a no-brainer.

  47. In response to Phil’s comments above. I think you have got it the wrong way round. It seems to me that the people who are thinking strategically are against it. Just look at how many people have given precise and detailed alternatives to the expense and disruption of the HS2 project! There’s more strategic thought gone into their arguments than any of the “for” campaigners. It seems to me that that the people in favour of HS2 are the short term thinking tacticians. If you are in favour of bulldozing your way through “OUR” countryside, villages and businesses etc rather than making use of the existing pre Beecham infastructure. Then I would respectfully suggest that you are the one thinking in the short term.

  48. The destruction HS2 will bring isn’t at all necessary. in 1965 the then conservative government closed the country’s main artery railway line. I speak of the old Great Central Mainline which was built to the Berne(continental laoding gauge) it was designed for high speed and the 1890′s abortive channel tunnel project and ran from London Marylebone to Brackley, Rugby, Leicester, Nottingham, Sheffield and under the Pennies via the Woodhead tunnels to Manchester. Most of the trackbed is still there and some still is track down. This line needs re-building and re-opening.

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  50. I am sure the ‘Northern Powerhouse’ will want direct HS trains to mainland Europe (and vice versa), not via a tedious amble under Camden etc. In addition Birmingham is too near London to make the most of the top speed of 300kph (200mph).
    Where HS could be used to maximum advantage is on the ECML (East Coast Main Line), direct to Leeds or first stop Doncaster on the way to Scotland, both linking to a ‘Powerhouse Ring’ Leeds- Manchester- Sheffield-Doncaster. That would give well over 100 miles at maximum speed south of Doncaster, a saving of over half an hour. Re-opening Spalding to March and Leicester to Banbury could remove freight from the ECML, allowing its four tracks to become a two-speed passenger route.
    I am amazed that the French, German, Belgian etc. HS operators haven’t grouped together and said they’d support EU funding for a UK HS route provided it gave them DIRECT access onto HS1. i.e from the ECML north of Stevenage direct to Stratford. In the time HS2 might take to get to Euston, a traveller could be well on the way through Kent after just one stop at Stratford.
    The old Great Western route to Birmingham through Princes Risborough was faster than the West Coast Main Line and could be so again; it should be re-signalled, electrified and upgraded to 140mph. Javelin class trains from Birmingham, Birmingham Interntional and Coventy could go direct to Paddington and even onto Crossrail within 10 minutes of the time suggested for HS2. Alternate services could run into Heathrow.
    The North London wiggle is probably going to be slower than most conventional routes and undoubtedly the slowest piece of HS track on the planet. What’s the point?

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  52. 1. Railways should play to their strengths when competing with air and road.
    2. High quality, spacious carriages which allow business travelers to work, and leisure passengers to stretch their legs
    3. Improve signalling to maximize capacity
    4. Stations in city centres – not Parkway stations which require additional transport (especially cars)
    5. Judicious use of additional parallel track and tunnels could be obtained for a fraction of the cost of HS2

  53. Now that it is going ahead, what has all of this “debate” achieved…very little.
    HS2 is not interested in engaging with communities, it is interesting in delivering its project. ” Consultation” is telling you what it is going to do to you.
    Like all bullies they understand only one thing strength. HS2s weakness is it’s supply chain. A very small number of people can legally and peacefully cause chaos.
    Time for talk is over and peaceful direct action is here. When HS2 gets the message communities are not some pushover then we can have a debate based on respect

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