In last week’s HS2 documents, the rail link between HS2 and HS1 was formally dropped, with to be replaced by an ‘enhanced walking route’. This link was described in the January 2012 HS2 decision document as ‘potentially very important’ and that there was a ‘strong strategic case for ensuring that a high speed rail network in this
country connects directly into the many thousands of miles of network in operation across Europe.’
The Northern Powerhouse is supposed to put the North on a par with London and the Southeast, but dropping the link between HS1 and HS2 ensures that the new railway is not connected to continental Europe. There has been a significant amount of support for Hs2 on the basis that people from the north of England and Scotland will be able to seamlessly catch a train to the Continent, and yet not merely will they need to change trains from HS2, they will also need to change stations.
As far as anyone coming by train from Paris, Brussels, Berlin, Madrid, or further afield will see, Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds and Sheffield will remain provincial cities, not worthy of being able to easily catch a train to them.