Right from the start, it was obvious that there was one thing missing in the plans for Andrew Adonis’ high speed network – a connection between HS2 and HS1 (which had been called the Channel Tunnel Rail Link until it was renamed by Adonis).
This was not a new hole. One of the arguments in favour of HS1 had been the idea that there could be a link between the new HS1 high speed railway and the West Coast Main Line, but the particular suggestion, using the North London line proved impossible for engineering reasons. When it was again mooted as a possible connection to join HS2 to HS1, it (not surprisingly) proved impossible for very similar reasons.
According to the Independent last week
“HS2 Ltd and Network Rail are looking at several options, including a travelator and splitting the line before it reaches Euston. This would mean trains could connect directly to HS1, but this time on a twin track that would allow trains to go up and down the link at the same time.
…However, a Network Rail director told The Independent on Sunday that a previously mooted travelator between the two stations was the likely “end game”. Rail experts fear that this could be an expensive option and would cause upheaval, because a tunnel would have to be built close to the surface between the two busy stations.”
What’s clear is that when HS2 was first being developed – before the details of the route and the speed were made – some very fundamental flaws were designed in. No connection to Heathrow, no connection to HS1 – and therefore no connection for trains from Manchester and Birmingham to go to Paris and he Continent.
And with the addition of Andrew Adonis to the HS2 Ltd executive board, no new ideas to resolve the problems.
(Meanwhile, the plans for Euston have gone through numerous iterations, with the next set of Additional Provisions covering Euston planned to be made public (according to HS2 Ltd’s internal timetable we are told) in September. Or possibly later. Maybe sometime.)