Just recently, Network Rail has tried drumming up support for HS2 by describing all sorts of new services they say will be possible if HS2 goes ahead.
Some local papers have been quite enthusistic about the “new” services they expect to get from HS2, but if you look a bit more closely, you see that they are nothing to do with HS2.
Take for example, the report in Southampton based Southern Daily Echo.
Among the new services that will become possible are:
• Southampton to Manchester – via Winchester, Reading, Oxford, Milton Keynes and Stoke.
In reality, there is already an hourly service from Southampton to Manchester, with some trains starting at Bournemouth, and including stops at Winchester, Reading, Oxford, and Stoke, as well as Banbury, Leamington Spa and Coventry. (Business travellors can even get a train from Southampton in time for a 10am meeting in Manchester.)
The only ‘new’ stop is Milton Keynes, but this does not need HS2 to be built. Direct Southampton to Milton Keynes services would be able to happen with the completion of the East-West link from Oxford to Milton Keynes. HS2 Ltd rejected a station at Milton Keynes.
• Southampton to the north-east – extra stops at Sheffield, Nottingham, Derby or Leicester, on a new “electric spine” that is already proposed.
The electric spine, from Southampton to the Northeast was announced last year, on the Stop HS2 Day of Action. This is not dependent on HS2, and although the planned East West line is likely to be part of the electric spine, HS2 Ltd is designing HS2 without the possibility of an interchange station on the East West line.