A submission into the HS2 review has found that over 50 stations that are not part of the HS2 network will be able to offer more train services once HS2 is built.

Analysis by Sub-national transport body, Midlands Connect and sent to the Oakervee HS2 Review found that of the 73 locations that could benefit from HS2’s released capacity, 54 are stations not even served by HS2 trains.

That’s because of the great sucking sound caused by HS2 taking intercity trains off the regional railways and releasing tons more space on the railways for the regional services that carry commuters and families between the smaller cities.

As has been previously reported, although the headlines talk about the High Speed intercity element of HS2, the big impact is actually the average commuter heading into work each day.

By moving long-distance traffic from the current rail infrastructure onto the new high speed line, HS2 will create the extra room needed to improve local and inter-regional services.

That is due to the timetable impact of sharing fast and slow services on the same railway line — as there needs to be fewer slower trains to avoid the fast trains being delayed. Good for intercity services, but a pain for the regional travellers who don’t live in the big cities.

According to the report, HS2’s capacity-releasing effects on the conventional network mean that — for example — Coventry will be able to benefit from new direct connections to and from Derby, Sheffield, York and Newcastle; more frequent services to and from Shrewsbury, Telford, Leamington Spa and along the Coventry-Birmingham commuter corridor; as well as less crowded trains on existing stopping services to and from London.

If the economy is to reballance, then boosting regional travel options would be essential, and that’s what HS2 is really about. Get the intercity services off the existing tracks so that regional railways can be improved.

That is also why the suggested cost cutting plan for HS2 to cancel either the Euston or Old Oak Common stations in London would be so short sighted as it severely hampers either the capacity boosting at Euston to reduce commuter over crowding, or the ability to divert North-to-West travel by avoiding central London.

The report says that the projected benefits of HS2 released capacity have been calculated using the projections outlined in local rail strategies, existing rail models and the Midlands Connect technical programme.


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  1. Christine says:

    Another ‘fight-back’ to cancelling HS2. Odd that ‘increased capacity’ (freight) is only now being raised to justify this white elephant. ‘Increased capacity’ certainly isn’t going to benefit Northern towns where electrification of local lines and increased train (passenger) capacity isn’t even on the rail industry agenda. The fact that people especially from coastal/rural areas have to travel longer distances to work in economic hubs on clapped out diesel trains with often one or more route changes may be just one reason why productivity is such a problem in the UK. ‘Increased (freight) capacity’ is not worth the cost of the misery caused to communities along the HS2 route , nor justify the destruction of ancient, or any other woodland.

    • Melvyn says:

      Northern and TPE are in the process of renewing their whole fleets of both DMUs and EMUs while new hybrid trains can run as electric trains under the wire and switch to diesel and soon battery power beyond electrification .

      HS2 is integral to NPR ( Northern Powerhouse Rail) as NPR is an extension of HS2 .

    • ianvisits says:

      I never said “Increased (freight) capacity” — I said “increased capacity”.

      Yes, freight will benefit, but by far and away the biggest beneficiaries are humans, crammed onto the trains you complain about who will benefit the most from the huge increase in capacity for human traffic on the railway.

  2. Richard says:

    All love reading a comment about cancelling rail investment whilst standing up in a packed commuter train. Cheers.

  3. Melvyn says:

    Simply visit nearby Kings Cross Station where work is underway to reinstate the 3rd tunnel approach in order to provide two extra tracks into/ out of Kings Cross to provide the extra capacity needed given the station has enough platforms for growth but not approach lines.

    While at Euston Station it has enough platforms but no space for additional tracks . Therefore even if HS2 didn’t exist a strong case to build another two tracks from Euston Station exists !

    Unlike HS1 which had the alternative name of Channel Tunnel Rail Link to describe its purpose HS2 has no alternative name although West Coast Mainline 2 describes its main purpose!

    Go to Euston Station and you will see trains who’s first stop is Euxton Junction so transfer these trains to HS2 and their path becomes available for additional trains while the long distance trains cut around an hour from their journey time!

  4. Simon says:

    I am actually starting to think that, just as HS3 has been rebranded as Northern Powerhouse Rail, HS2 might benefit from a name change. There is a great deal of negativity linked to the name HS2 and the perception that it is merely a faster railway line, not an expansion of the capacity of the network.

    Furthermore, it seems to me that the environmental cost of HS2 is as hard to justify as the financial cost and that this won’t be solved by a rebranding. The lack of a credible alternative option to increase capacity means it might not matter in the end if HS2 is deemed a necessary evil, but it is sure to cause resentment in local communities, especially true for those who don’t directly benefit from HS2 (i.e. no stops on their stretch of the line). As the article suggests, they may struggle to see that there is any benefit to commuters in their region from a train which only passes through it.

    • Alex McKenna says:

      Ancient woodlands! As if most of these complainers care a fig about ancient anything. It’s too funny. The gas from their gigantic guzzlers will kill far more trees, and people, than one railway line.

  5. John Burns says:

    The map refers to Liverpool as Ditton. Amazing, a City Region of over 2 million is omitted.

  6. John says:

    If it was about “capacity” only, it would be “4-track”, not 2-track, only from Old Oak Common to Crewe, and no more, with expensive run-ins to cities on existing rail, as the French & Germans do. All the other lines can be updated giving similar times to HS2.

    Removing bottlenecks on the ECML, WCML, Chiltern Line & MML and electrifying the Chiltern putting the West Midlands trains (inc’ Birmingham train) back on that line will alleviate capacity problems south of Rugby.

    Even so, the HS2 design as it stands will be full to capacity. The City of Chester is bumped off entirely from HS2, with Liverpool to Birmingham also bumped off taking an eternity on snail rail.

    HS2 design needs to be cut back extensively.

    • Kevin says:

      “Mad” John Burns strikes again! He cannot even mount a consistent argument in a single post – complains that HS2 will be “full to capacity” the claims the solution to that is to build less of it!

      Ignore him, he “Gish Gallops” every HS2 article he can find in his one man crusade to spam the project to death.

  7. John says:

    Only 14 miles of the Gt Central Line has been obliterated – through Nottingham and Leicester. This can be reinstated via tunnelling, leaving underground stations along the way. The line’s trackbeds are still there with some parts of the line still used. The great thing about the Gt Central Line is that all the trackbed land is owned by Network Rail. One of the biggest costs of HS2 is land purchasing.

    The Gt Central was built for high speed with spaced out tracks. The Gt Central can be used for mainly freight and also fast passenger trains can be fitted in along with regional services.

  8. It is said that HS2 is an integral part of the NPR, so why isn’t construction planned to start concurrently in the North and South? It may be recalled that HS1 acknowledged the dual benefit by starting concurrently in England and France.

    • Gareth says:

      If its only about north to south capacity, scrap hs2 and rebuild the old great central route via rugby for a fraction of the cost.

  9. Duncan Martin says:

    In the rail industry, HS2 has always been primarily about increased capacity. Unfortunately someone, and I’ve never discovered the guilty party, decided to sex up the project by demanding a 400km/h route rather than the 300/330 km/h speed of HS1 and most other HS lines on the continent.
    This dictated the route through pretty countryside, ancient woodlands and the estates of some wealthy and influential people.
    If they had gone for the normal speed it would have been possible to create a route more or less along the existing transport corridor. Not only would this have drawn fewer objections, it would also allow trains to swap between the routes in case of disruption.

    • Kevin says:

      Just what is “normal” speed…? If you are going to build a new railway, why on earth wouldn’t you build it to run as fast an current technology permits?

      Would you insist that a new road scheme was built so that it could only cope with ox-carts? Or maybe you would – if it were being built past your house.

      Just another NIMBY fig leaf being deploying to hide the embarrassment of their NIMBY’ism.

  10. JP says:

    Is there anywhere in the HS2 love letter from my liege Adonis et al where they considered the possibility of reinstating the Great Central route? Perhaps the curves are too tight? If so, if only we’d invented (and finished investing in) some sort of tilting train system…

  11. Duncan Martin says:

    Kevin – I’m not in any way a Nimby. I want hst2 built. But technology is a servant, not a master. Opting for 400km/HR increases construction costs, increases the cost of the trains, and increases the running costs, and damages our transport system by making it less likely that it will be built at all.
    There’s a valid comparison with supersonic flight.

  12. Curtis Carpenter says:

    They need a serious cost/ benefit analysis, they need to understand a white elephant isn’t born its made, they need to understand if they can guarantee prices for the first so many thousand passengers and they need to build more underground so it is more resilient against the weather and leafs blowing onto the track.

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