HomeHigh Speed RailNew focus on HS2

New focus on HS2

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As campaigners against High Speed Two try to reverse the government’s decision a new report published by Passenger Focus and Network Rail spells out public backing for the increased levels of rail service that will benefit hard pressed commuters.

The report also finds public support for the project increasing. HS2 will benefit commuters travelling between Northampton, Milton Keynes, Watford Junction and London. These routes can expect greater overcrowding in the coming years as demand for rail continues to grow.

However initial analysis suggests as many as twelve trains per hour could operate on this section of the route in the busiest peak hours.

Other key beneficiaries include passengers travelling between the major towns and cities of the West Midlands and between London and destinations in the Trent Valley. Companies that rely on moving goods by rail freight stand to benefit too.

Says Anthony Smith, Passenger Focus chief executive, ‘Passengers know that with more people using the West Coast Main Line it is only a matter of time before capacity runs out. If a new line was to free up this much-needed route, passengers, especially commuters, have signalled they want to be able to get a seat as well as more direct services.’


  1. THis is too true – if only people in Tamworth, Lichfield and Northampton had pockets as deep as people in Great Missenden, we might hear about this in the national press rather than [no offence chaps] a minor trade magazine.

  2. What a shame there won’t be any capacity benefits for rail users (if at all!) until 2026? Surely if ‘they’ truly wanted to improve capacity NOW they would upgrade and improve our existing infrastructure for a fraction of the cost of HS2 ?….when ‘they’ announce the Y section for HS2 the protests will get even louder because HS2 is a 250mph blot on the landscape none of us want! Can’t help thinking HS2 will turn out to be the worst of all solutions for rail, too expensive to build, too expensive to travel on if it does get built, too long to wait, too dangerous re high speed risks and too far from any sensible commuter destinations – airport shuttle service nothing more!…sorry Rail folk…you have been bluffed…just like motorists were ‘bluffed’ about M6 Toll!!!….the conventional M6 is still congested even though ‘they’ promised the new Toll road would add extra capacity?….er…don’t fall for the same old lies….please think about our environment and please think about the dreadful waste of tax payers money on a vanity train project only rich business folk will be able to afford to use….we should be able to do so much better with £32bn….

    • Oh dear, the same old misinformation trotted out by a nimby again. Readers of RS will of course be fully aware that there are many, many improvements under way across the rail network but, even with these, the ‘Full’ signs get ever closer. You can argue about the precise route if you wish, but there is no doubt at all that what we need for the longer future is a high speed network, relieving the existing network and offering a real alternative to roads.

    • I really can’t stand anti HS2 people constantly going on about the cost of HS2, yes £32bn is a lot of money but it is a total budget for the project spanning 15 years. That is £2bn a year, less money than RBS lost last year and the bankers are getting bonuses for doing such a good job!?!?! Think about all those unemployed who will be able to find employment with this project.

      • If you are considereing employment
        the £2 Billion per year is equivalent to around ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND jobs at a £30,000 per year salary in terms of costs to the Treasury when allowing for Tax, NI and VAT on those items bought with the nett income

        How many jobs was HS2 claiming to create and most of these were more towards London that elsewhere

        • That would be correct if you meant £20,000 per year.

          When you think about the government spending over £170 billion per year on benefits (equal to what they spend on the NHS, Schools and Universities combined) and not even going into the hundreds of billions the government shelled out to the banks I think £2 billion a year for a needed project that will create jobs is a bargain.

          One word… “reform” (funny, the Independent Banking Commission’s plans to reform the banking sector will probably cost 10 billion, which will be passed on to all of us general public lark).

          People should stop moaning about HS2 and moan about the banks!

          • The £30K figure is correct because you include the figure paid back to HMRC as Income Tax & NI and the amount of VAT paid on items bought with the Nett salary

            The more the debate goes on the less there is any proof that it is a needed project and that by 2026 (AT THE VERY EARLIEST) there will be anybody to use it or that the existing capacity will not cope

            I see NR have just launched a new RUS scope as to alternative means to looking at capacity / cost in the wake of Mc Nulty

            The jobs created is not really anything more than an educated guess of what the effect will be where as direct funding of jobs is an exact figure and could start by 2018 when Crossrail finishes

  3. Oldrailman is right. Newbuild is the only show in town. Four-tracking all our inter-city lines, building flyovers and introducing twelve-car trains is a beguiling idea but would be hugely disruptive and take years. Who can remember the WCML being shut every other weekend for most of the noughties? Neither would it address the issues that many major cities have no meaningful connection with either Heathrow or the Channel Tunnel, and that many long-distance timings are not competitive with domestic or short-haul continental air journeys. Oh, and then there is the poor service that many town on the WCML get as priority is given over to fast non-stop Pendolino services. I could go on…

    • and you think that HS2 won’t be disruptive! 4 to 6 years with massively reduced platforming at Euston, Shorter trains only running into the station. God help the poor commuter!

  4. Jam tomorrow but never jam today…

    Except when it comes to HS2

    The users of West Coast South already massively overcrowded witll see reduced numbers of trains and reduced numbers of carraiages for a number of years as HS2 is delivered. Tihs is due to the constraints of losing access to 4 of the platforms (at least) at Euston. Also there may need to be an MKC or Watford to Euston Shuttle as well.

    It is already too congested and unreliable, but during the cionstruction phase it will be a nightmare and will so alienate the travelling public that may will give up on rail for good.


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