Furious northern leaders demand free vote on slashed rail plans | The Independent


‘Everybody in the north is getting a bargain-basement solution’ says South Yorkshire mayor Dan Jarvis

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Once again the North is getting less than promised and the East even more so than the West.

For the West is getting the full HS2 while the East is getting none and the Midlands is also getting everything. But neither the West or the East are getting HS3.

If this was London and the South both would have been proceeded with, for the South get while the North does not.

This is no where ‘levelling up’, the North have been the poor relations of the South for far too long and the West has always been better treated that the East. This is expressly so for the Old Midland line from Leeds through Sheffield down to London. For under British Rail it was always subjected to Third Hand rolling stock, no Electrification and much more while the West received. Only with the arrival of EMR was there new rolling stock, station improvements and others, etc

Network Rail the public arm of the railways are still not as ‘fit for purpose’ as they should be, which HS2 would have solved, but will the watered down version be.

From past experience I doubt it.

 

Source: Furious northern leaders demand free vote on slashed rail plans | The Independent

HS2 minister fails to rule out that eastern leg between Leeds and Birmingham will be scrapped | Yorkshire Post


The minister in charge of HS2 failed to rule out that the eastern leg will be scrapped.

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The whole HS2 project has been and still is a Love and Hate project for many due to various opinions and various degrees of opinions.

Whether this is a good or bad project I will leave to others, but what I wish to look at is both the North/South divide and then the West/East divide.

Take the North/South there is a vast difference in investment both potential and actual over many years and while objections and supportive comments are always submitted on the the projects, it does feel that in more cases than not the South Projects seem to move forward and are completed, while this does not seem so for those in the North.

I can remember many years ago that with the Euro line there was to be a link to the North which for one reason or another did not take place. But the South, especially around London have had Cross Rail for one and many upgrades and new projects re the London underground.

As to the West/East there was the rail electrification where the West Coast  was electrified but not the old Midlands line from St Pancras to Leeds was not, but investment was made to the Kings Cross to Newcastle.

So even in the East, the Middle misses out as it may well do so re HS2 and where is the mention of HS3.

Source: HS2 minister fails to rule out that eastern leg between Leeds and Birmingham will be scrapped | Yorkshire Post

London’s €21bn Crossrail delayed again — and could cost an extra €750m | Euronews


The east-west rail link, one of Europe’s most ambitious engineering projects, has been repeatedly delayed and could now cost an €750m.

Source: London’s €21bn Crossrail delayed again — and could cost an extra €750m | Euronews

HS2 could be axed for Leeds and Sheffield in bid to save £10billion | The Star


Today the Financial Times reported that the high-speed rail network, planned to connect London to Birmingham, Manchester, Sheffield and Leeds with a superfast train line, could be slashed in scope.

 

It would mean the trains would no longer serve north of the Midlands, while the trains themselves would be reduced in speed by 40mph in an effort to bring the project’s spiraling costs under control.

 

Source: HS2 could be axed for Leeds and Sheffield in bid to save £10billion | The Star

 

A rail network for everyone | New Economics Foundation


This report looks in considerable detail at the economic and strategic case that underlies the planned construction of new high-speed rail lines between London, Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds (HS2). It also looks at how the benefits of investing in the nation’s rail network could be shared more widely across the UK. However, in the debate about HS2, there is only one set of questions that is commonly asked: Should HS2 proceed, be postponed, be cancelled, or at least be re-routed?

The New Economics Foundation’s answer is linked to the evidence. Though HS2 is alluring as a project and enjoys cross-party support, the strategic case that underpins it is unconvincing and leaves the scheme looking like an expensive answer in search of a question.

It is impossible to ignore the reality: Contracts for phase 1 are soon to be let and the government may have already spent more than £4 billion on the project. Furthermore, judging HS2’s efficacy is made more difficult in the absence of a wider rail, transport, or economic strategy, and against a backdrop of poor management and coordination across the network. There is also a lack of available detailed data about passenger movements because it is collected by private enterprises and therefore ​commercially confidential’.

It is also important that the starting point of any debate about HS2 be the right one. Too often reports arguing against HS2 have started from the principle that it is too expensive and that it would be better to invest in cheaper infrastructure or not invest at all. This is the wrong point of departure as our railways suffer from massive under-investment in every UK nation and region. Putting that right will cost very significant sums of government capital. But in a time when the government needs to rediscover its fiscal role and invest more in productive assets, such as transport, that should not be a major barrier.

The problem with HS2, however, is that it is the product of decades of government retrenchment from the fiscal realm and strategic planning, and of a fragmented rail network, with multiple private sector and public stakeholders. It is also the product of an economy in crisis, an economy desperately trying to unhook itself from London-centricity and all its malcontents, but actually compounding the problem by starting the project in London.

Following a shambolic 18 months on the railways, with disastrous timetable changes, the wrong kind of weather, and the cancellation of planned electrification schemes, the government has launched a ​root and branch’ review. However, the review is missing some key roots and branches, two of them being HS2 and the latest package of maintenance and upgrades agreed with Network Rail. These have been deemed out of scope but should be included.

There are two fundamental problems with the railways in the UK that, in the interests of ensuring immediate and long-term value for public money, need addressing before the much-needed major investment is committed. The first is the absence of an overarching rail or transport strategy, which leaves HS2 looking like the solution to a problem that has not yet been defined. It is what many in the rail industry call an engineering-led project rather than something that enjoys strong strategic or economic justification. The second fundamental problem is the chaotic ownership and management structures that will almost certainly lead to the squandering of investment capital.

 

Source: A rail network for everyone | New Economics Foundation