A few of the differences between HS2 and HS1

A few of the differences between HS2 and HS1. The developers of HS2 are ignoring the lessons learnt and experience gained from developing HS1.

Early plans for HS1 intended to use the North London Line to run Eurostar trains from St Pancras onto the West Coast Main Line, so services could run from the Continent to Milton Keynes, Birmingham, and beyond. However, it was not possible to make the necessary alterations to the North London Line so the link from HS1 to the West Coast Main Line was dropped.

The HS2 proposal was initially put forward by the last Labour government with no link to HS1 and when the Coalition came into government, they tried to correct this. Again it was proposed to use the North London Line for high speed trains and again it has proved to be impossible. Similarly, HS2 does not have a connection to Heathrow or any other London airport.

Empty car park at Ebbsfleet 30th July 2011

Ebbsfleet station car park, July 2011: HS1 has a third of the original predicted passenger numbers

This all shows that HS2 has not been developed to be part of a high speed network but with a shortsighted view of simply duplicating parts of the existing rail network.

This is very different design viewpoint to HS1. HS1 was an entirely new route to the Channel Tunnel, and made St Pancras a new and viable destination for commuters from Kent.

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One comment on “A few of the differences between HS2 and HS1
  1. Good article. Another aspect is that HS1 was built a while ago. The Japanese have just opened a Maglev line. We have yet to start HS2 which is based upon last century’s technology. HS1 has an excuse, it was built with prevailing technology and bi-passed a very slow (third rail electrified) suburban network. HS1 also created new routes and made it possible for travelers to switch trains and continue onto another capital (Edinburgh). HS2 adds no imagination!! It even starts at Euston rather than the financial heart of London which is six miles away!

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