“No money to pay for it”

British politicians, like Philip Hammond and Norman Baker have argued strongly for HS2 on the grounds that Europe and the rest of the world have been building high speed railways, and we can’t be “left behind”.

But it seems that other countries in Europe are not quite so keen on high speed rail as they may have been a year or so ago.

Last week came the news that Portugal had decided there was “no money to pay for” their high speed link to Spain. The project has now been suspended, for a second time. This is part of a package of austerity measures brought in by the new government.

The Portuguese share of the cost of the line was €3.3 billion (about £3 billion), and would have reduced the time on the train from an overnight journey taking more then 9 hours to under 3 hours. (Spain’s share of the cost was €3.8 billion.) Compare that to a cost of the London to Birmingham section of HS2 of £17 billion, with a time saving of just 20 minutes or so.

More on the Portuguese decision:
Portugal shows austerity zeal, postpones high speed rail.
Spain-Portugal high-speed train link postponed .

Meanwhile, in Italy, there have been a number of demonstrations against a high speed link from Turin, Italy to Lyon in France. Villagers of the Val di Susa have strongly opposed the project, which is being promoted by the government.

The opposition to the high-speed rail link has grown beyond the Val di Susa, winning support from a range of groups, from anarchists to Catholics.

In a remarkedly familiar commentary on the proposed link, Paolo Ferrero, secretary of Italy’s Communist Refoundation Party said “The majority of residents of the valley are against this project which damages the environment and is an absurdity for public finances”.

And Stuttgart 21 protests continued in June.

Maybe when HS2 gets cancelled, Britain will be seen to have had a lucky escape from high speed madness…

70 comments to ““No money to pay for it””
  1. martin h you are not correct in what you say. phillip hammond stated that non stop trains would take less then 49 minutes. the scheduled times at the moment are either 1 hr 22 or 1 hr 25 which is 82 to 85 minutes and of course west coast trains are often late which means more then 5 minutes so that gets you to at least 90 in most cases. and 85 minutes less 49 minutes is let me see 36 minutes.

    so are you really arguing with me because i said approximately 40 minutes which i have proven to be at least 36 minutes. hs2 critics often say a few minutes savings or quote the 20 minute savings which is only true for one train in one direction ! and you accuse me of exaggeration ! quite incredible really.

    i hope that the moderator will allow this post as i know i have already said this above but i have been accused of something here which i dont think is valid. i think it is a very important issue as it shows that hs2 critics are prepared to distort facts and figures to support their case.

    if we had the full enquiry that you have requested it would become obvious that this massaging and denial of the facts was going on. i mean how can you dispute that 85 minutes less 49 minutes equals 36 minutes ? it is indisputable. even if you doubt the 49 minutes all you have to do is divide the distance by the average speed of hs2. the whole thing is in any case a smokescreen as the main reason for hs2 is to provide extra capacity, something else hs2 critics are in denial over

    • Nick , you exaggerated saying that there was only 1 current train less than 90 minutes. Glad to see that you have retracted that.

      82 mins minus 49 mins is a saving of 33 mins ( not 40 ) which is what I have already accepted is a reasonable assessment ( ignoring the 2 quicker trains ) of the time saving on a “do nothing” basis. We all seem to agree that “do nothing” isn’t an option which is where the 20 minutes comes from. You are really just splitting hairs for the sake of it.

      As regards trains not stopping at Old Oak Common. Your link shows me that Phillip Hammond has said there is the potential …. that’s not the same as it happening. I don’t have the consultation docs in front of me but, from memory, the traffic to/from Old Oak Common is a very substantial minority of the whole traffic going to London.

      Similarly Greenguage 21 were saying that there was “potential” for Kenilworth to have it’s own High Speed Station. Just an attempt to deflect some criticism, the decision has just come that the town isn’t even going to get a station on the Conventional line that runs through the middle of it.

      On a more serious point you say that the whole point of HS2 is to provide additional capacity.

      In this small country it should be about capacity. But that’s not what HS2 Ltd can be thinking. Otherwise they wouldn’t have contrived an “Economic Case” that is so reliant on time saved.
      If you had trains that travelled at speeds of 250 kmph or just over then the cost might be ( a bit ) lower , they would use less energy and importantly ( as far as I am concerned at least ) there would be a better chance of routing it along an existing transport corridor ( which must be a better solution even if you don’t want to go for Railpack 2 ) or at least giving towns and even isolated communities a wider berth.

      It is the speed requirement that was dictated centrally which has resulted in the flawed proposal.

      • thats okay are you going to admit that you exaggerated your side of the story enormously by claiming only a twenty minute savings. my claim was about 4 mins for some trains (and you can get very very easily to 40 minutes on most journeys) yours was somewhat more !!!

  2. Let us hope that the Chinese have nothing to do with any rail associated building in this country .Todays Metro 1 killed 30 injured on escalator on one of the newest underground lines in Beijing when an escalator went suddenly into reverse.What a dreadfull thing.

  3. I too stay over most week and normally have a problem get a sit to get home. a few time i have had to stand all the way. I think that is full or do you travel 1st class.

    • Never travelled first class. Couldn’t afford it. I can only just afford the peak time standard class fare.

      Of course in the future ever that will be harder to bear. If the base case seems to be inflation plus 3 % for the next few years and then inflation plus 1 % then in 20 years time fares will be 31 % higher in real terms than they are now.

      • yes but that like saying 1 pound in 1972 is the same as 1 pound today in real trerm, avergae wage will increase and threfore so will inflation. That the way of life or do you know something the rest dont. I wish i could pay the same today as the price i paid even in 1980`s but again inflation. Even the cost of a loaf of bread or a bottle of milk is more today

          • yes i do, like a loaf of bread how much in REAl tream higher then before. Your argument has no point to HS2. all cocts in real will increase, very unlikly to lower

            • Morris , I will try and explain just this once. Then you are on your own . Prices usually increase, sometimes they go down but usually increase. It’s called inflation. Prices go up in ABSOLUTE terms. Prices only go up in REAL terms if they go up by more than inflation. That is what is suggested will happen to train ticket prices. Suggested by HS2 Ltd. They go up by 31 % MORE than inflation over the next 20 years.

              Good luck with that.

            • yes, inflation i know what that is but again wher did you get – “Suggested by HS2 Ltd. They go up by 31 % MORE than inflation over the next 20 years” as inflation target is 3%. or again is this just hot air from a atni HS2

        • Dies, dam lies and Government sponsored statistics. When have you ever known a Government project to come in on time on budget.
          No proper surveys have been done yet. Perfect excuse for elasticity in budgets. In places on the proposed route the line 12 metres below the water table, submarines trains??? Or move the line more ££££

  4. morris says:
    July 5, 2011 at 3:38 pm

    Have you seen a train out of london at about 7 ot even 9am, I think not. All these are still full, please check the figures will the train companies

    Where do i find these figures please Morris

    • Do i have to do all the work for you? but just look at the rail company numbers. I am a pro Hs2 and i not going to make it easy for you. If i can find then you can. Now do you home work or even god for bid go to a station and have a look for you self, or is that work

      • In France or Germany when they build a project of this scale, not a single telf tapping screw is purchased from another Country. This week we make thousands redundant from our remaining train building company, and give Germany an order for trains.

        Our wondrous politicians do NOT always no better. We are having the wool pulled over our eyes as we did with the Iraq war.
        HS2 if built will cost every household in this country double their council tax to benefit a few fat cat businessmen and get them to their destination a little earlier so they can linger over their coffee and brandy’s a bit longer.

        Still I bet the Conservative party get a “big bung” out of the contracts

  5. Some time ago I asked on here if all MPs had been polled regarding HS2.
    No reply from you.
    I asked if support from Groups like the WI and the Unions had been sought.
    No answer from you.
    Now it appears there is no coherent coordinated plan of campaign when I asked you about the County Show.
    On the STOPHS2 calendar there are two dates, one for Aylesbury Ramblers and one for Wendover White Elephant.
    As media Director Penny, is that the sum total of the public awareness campaign throughout the region before the Consultation Period ends?
    Is there no coordination or cooperation between the “70 local HS2 GROUPS?
    Also, is there a central collecting place for all the Petition signatures? Are they still out there languishing in volunteers desks?
    The few of us on here trying to get through the verbiage distractions of the ProHS2 lobby recognise that time is short and we want some leadership, guidance and specific answers, and now please, if you expect us to maintain the enthusiasm shown when the campaign started.

    • The reply to your question about polling MPs, John, is here: http://stophs2.org/news/2368-hs2-bill-1000-family/comment-page-1#comment-2095.

      The petition’s page on this website tells you where to send paper copies: see http://stophs2.org/news/378-petition-government-stop-hs2.

      I’ve suggested three different things that you personally, John, can do to help the campaign against HS2, but you’ve objected to two of them and didn’t do the third.

      There are lots of things going on behind the scenes, but given that the pro-HS2 lobby can and will read the website, we don’t make every single plan public.

      The comments are here to discuss the articles, not to discuss plans: but if you want to make a positive contribution, we are happy for you to use them to discuss what you are going to do.

  6. The roof is leaking, pipes are dripping we need to rewire
    The house we need new windows and doors….. No forget that
    All we need is a massive big plasma screen on the wall and the
    Problems will go a way. Do you see my point?

      • Morris,

        I’m sorry to say that I haven’t heard anything like a good one from you yet. Please justify “the whole country needs it” and I will give it my full consideration. You never know, you may just sway me. At the moment you are strengthening my stance against it.

        • The WCML built, when? and been updated from day one. with be full Capacity soon. The whole population of the Uk is going up, so more pople on a over capacity rail network. The WCMl has just been updated again, so building a whole new system is better the trying to fix at old one.

          • When weighed up against the information contained in “the facts” (link below stophs2 strapline above), I’m afraid your response is found seriously wanting! So, better do some more homework if you want to beat the reasoned arguments – but I think you will find that you can’t beat the facts or the situation of UKplc.

            • Lell – here are the facts

              1 – We have a capacity issue on our rail network.
              2 – Passenger growth is around 5% a year.
              3 – Intercity routes have shown the biggest growth of all – particularly West Coast after some serious investment and a 300% increase in service frequency.
              4 – Total government spending for next year is £700 billion and continues at that amount for the next few years.
              5 – Rail travel is a green form of transport.

              These are hard stark in your face facts which cannot be denied.

            • The facts, please have at look at the goverment website again and each argument in stophs2 s its so funny. Why does big compaines and all the rail comapany and that network rail are in favour of HS2. The whole argument for stophs2 is funny, ask someone that does not live on the propsed route and they are in favour. The only people that are not for HS2 on people living on the route it self. as i know this as i live on the route do you? It not in my back yard or we cant pay for it, the whole agrument of stophs2

            • The growth of 5% is very low and set to increase and with even more of the disused line comming back into service set to increase alot more.

              Hs2 is set to go pased birmingham to manchester and leeds how is that a commuter belt ?
              The A7 m6 bottle neck, if poeple are on trains that will reduce the bottle neck or is that too simple for you to understand. With regards to bus that is a local issue with your council, try talking to your council.

              local housing again what to do with Hs2 but the govement are building more housing or do you disagree with that too.Affordable housing is going to be built.

            • Gary, rail travel might be a green form of transport but that doesn’t mean that HS2 is. Remember the Green Party ( who should understand these things better than you and me ) said that HS2 is environmentally unsound. You know the main reasons. Apart from the damage of building a new line through virgin countryside the main reasons are — not enough stations and the trains go too fast. So many people will drive a long distance to use the train in the first place and the trains use more electricity than they need to. The Government laudably wants to decarbonise the grid, but it won’t happen in my lifetime, particularly with the new doubts about nuclear.

              It was Phillip Hammond who said the scheme is “broadly carbon neutral” not me. We should be looking to do better than that if we are going to spend this sort of money.

              If we do have to build a new line it should have far more stops and I just don’t understand why you wouldn’t want it to follow an existing corridor ( like HS1 ) .

              Of course HS2 Ltd wouldn’t want more stops because that would increase journey times a bit and destroy the BCR due to the ridiculous premium put on the valuation of “time saved”. The BCR is the fig leaf for the whole thing and we keep coming back to it. Happy to pick up the debate on the BCR again if you’ve got anything new to add about “Agglomeration”.

            • Martin …..as I told you before , neither me or you are in positions to have a full debate on the BCR……there is a benchmark figure below which a project fails , above which a project passes. Thats is the stark reality of it in plain english. A figure has been presented to the wider audience, whether that figure ultimately turns out to be right or wrong will only be proven with hindsight, as so often happens with mega infrastructure projects. Motorways are a classic example of that.

              Now as I have stated before , I m not particularly wedded to the route…if someone can find a better one that does what it sets out to do then great. However what I do see is the need for extra capacity on our rail network, no one can argue against that fact as its one stopHS2 agree with. You only have to look at the other rail programmes going on right now ( such as Crossrail and Thameslink ) to see that the capacity issue is starting to be addressed …..its somewhat ironic that stopHS2 use the strapline ” no money to pay for it ” , and yet here we have 2 programmes costing a shedload of public money. I ve nothing personal against you guys, but the hypocrisy is astonishing. Having said that , I would certainly challenge the raw hard cost of HS2 and see just how that breaks down …..I myself have a personal beef about ” operational waste ” within government departments, and to prove that, when I was employed by the NHS, I was shocked to find out just how much is wasted on such programmes as ” IT for Health “. It seems the Taxpayers Alliance have got a very good handle on this as well…..

              You may have noticed the report the other day into population growth in the UK….by the time this project is complete, we will be looking at 70 million people residing in the UK. If we dont want any more motorways built which by all accounts are far more destructive than rail, then doing nothing is simply not an option.

            • Gary , we live in a small country compared to France, Germany, Spain, and of course USA and China. So that’s why capacity is indeed the issue not speed, we don’t have to cross half a continent.

              From your comments there might be more that we agree about than we might care to admit.

              But on the BCR I’ll just add this. My job is as a Finance Director of a medium sized service sector business with interests in the UK and Germany. That doesn’t make me a financial genius but I do have considerable experience of reviewing and also putting together a whole variety of business plans. I know what questions to ask ( and I have been asking them, including at the roadshows ) and I know what the signs of bull**** are? I’ve even put together one or two slightly wobbly plans myself in the past ( not crooked just optimistic ! ). It’s a strange thing but you don’t usually have to dive too deeply into detailed spreadsheets to get to the truth.

              There are all sorts of arguments that could be put forward for a new line, possibly even a High Speed one but, trust me, the “Economic Case” as put forward isn’t one of them.

          • There are a lot of things we need. Public transport included. But explain to me again how 17 billion from London to
            Birmingham will improve the lives of say the working man in Newcastle or Glasgow when his subsidy for his/her
            bus to work is being slashed? How about addressing The Road deaths on the lethal A7? Bottlenecks on the M6 at Manchester, upgrading of existing lines, electrification off…… etc……..
            17 Billion for ONE point to point connection. Just so we can show the Germans and French how clever we are?
            Do you think that expanding the London commuter belt into Birmingham, pricing locals out of affordable housing
            a good thing? Sucking jobs further down South? 17 Billion for the most EXPENSIVE railway in the world? Do
            you think we don’t have a right to question any of this? Or are you going to keep bleating the Nimby argument
            like a spoilt envious child who wants a train set for Xmas?

            • Some good points including the one about other transport priorities. The list is endless including :

              The Plymouth to Paddington service takes from 3 hours to 4 hours 8 minutes at an average speed of 46 to 63 miles per hour. A city of over 250,000 people with the 9 th largest university in the country. It doesn’t have an airport anymore.

              Swansea to Paddington takes 2 hr 56 minutes to 3 hr 16 minutes because they won’t electrify the line. A city of roughly 200,000 people.

              The service from Nowrich to London is also rubbish.

              Cathorpe Interchange is a death trap. I can’t believe they haven’t sorted that one out yet.

            • Swansea to Paddington takes 2 hr 56 minutes to 3 hr 16 minutes because they won’t electrify the line. A city of roughly 200,000 people. again wrong line to have eletctive to cardiff and from ther a hyb/electic car will do rest. again wrong information – get fact right

            • Electrification to Cardiff announced in March but to an outcry in South West Wales not Swansea. As of 22 June ( source : walesonline.co.uk ) the Cardiff to Swansea leg was “under review”. Have they made an announcement in the last 13 days or do you know something that I don’t ?

            • Last think i was reading was that Electrification was only to cardiff and new Hybr disal power cars will take you to Swansea. As elect to swasea was not required but this is under review i as told

            • but electrified to Swansea is not reuired at last review – Again your agrument will not hold up to facts. If the wales gov dont wnat it,

            • Morris , wrong once again ! The Welsh Assembly are desperate to have the line electrified all the way to Swansea . They are lobbying Phillip Hammond against HIS decision. ( Source : walesonline.co.uk — 3 March 2011 article ) .

            • Morris , you are ageing me !

              I told you it was ” under review ” about 5 exchanges and 50 minutes ago.

              Your favourite phrase is “get facts right”. You wouldn’t know a fact if it hit you between the eyes. At least I can expect a bit of sensible sparring with Gary and Nick.

            • bottlenecks on the m6 will be eased by people using hs2 instead……..

              subsidy on buses costs money although may also have economic spin offs greater then the revenue as do most transport schemes.

              hs2 is predicted to have many many passengers and we dont even now the fare levels yet and also has a positive benefit to cost ratio.

              these derided fat cat businessmen actually pay lots of taxes and create jobs for ordinary people. people who travel create economic activity as a result of that travel and tourism is also very important job creator. countries with superior trasnport systems have an economic edge in competitiveness.

              yes the whole system needs upgrading and more capacity and hs2 will provide these.

              hs2 critics seem to be obsessed with the speed element of hs2 and seem to wilfully ignore that capacity is the main reason for hs2. The speed is part and parcel of that capacity upgrade and also acts as an incentive to transfer traffic from more polluting and dangerous forms of transport !!!!

  7. here we go again ! firstly whilst the uk has debt problems we are not in the same category as portugal although obviously their problems will effect us. stop hs2 are always saying that the uk is not the same as other countries when they want to criticise hs2 but then when the shoe is on the other foot want to quote other countries who may be having problems financing hsr at this point in time !!! what is your position ???

    the first problem with your take on this is that portugal is suspending the project which isnt the same as cancelling it.

    secondly, as you well know penny hs2 is not going to be built for some years so the current debt problem is not relevant. i dont hear you calling for the thameslink and crossrail projects to be suspended, why is that ?

    thirdly penny why do you keep saying hs2 will only save 20 minutes from london to birmingham when the reality is over 20 minutes ? there is only one train currently scheduled to take less then 90 minutes and the hs2 time will be 49 minutes with a stop at old oak common included. so hs2 will be at least 40 minutes faster the currently even with one stop enroute !!!!

    and if high speed rail is so bad why are they building more lines in france and why do the italians want to do likewise ?????

    i dont see how you can keep repeating statement that do not stand up to any factual scrutiny. it is also apparent that even some hs2 critics are accepting that large numbers of passengers will in fact use hs2. it is telling that some against hs2 say it wont ever meet its targets but then turn around in the next breath and say that there will be so many passengers that the tube wont be able to cope ? what is your position ???

    why dont stop hs2 come clean and admit that the main reason for opposing hs2 is because of the local disruption and environmental issues. what other reason would you have for distorting the facts as above.

    • If you were to take the trouble to ask the man in the street Nick, or even your neighbour I suspect they will all tell you that to commit 2 billion pounds a year for 20 years and expect it to have the same purchasing power in year five as year one let alone years ten fifteen and twenty is naive in the extreme.
      Also if you asked then to choose between Education, Social Services, Defence of the Realm, Care of the Elderly, Upgrading our present road and rail infra structure, National Health Service in general and Hospitals in particular, do you genuinely believe anyone would choose a new railway line to get guys wearing bowler hats and carrying umbrellas piling into the already crowded London Underground system?.
      Now can we get back to the subject of how to prevent this unwarranted expenditure? That’s why this site is called STOP HS2

      • oh when did you last see anyone with a bowler hat and an umbrella !!!!! mary poppins lol !!!

        and i thought you believed that not many would use hs2 but now all of a sudden these non existent bowler hatted whirling dervish umbrella waving commuters are going to be pilling in to the underground. the use of that word implies crowds.

        and again hs2 will be connected to the rest of the railway network so it is an upgrade to the existing network. and you say you are against hs2 on environmental grounds but you want us to spend money on roads instead. those roads where still nearly 2000 die every year, where combustion engines will be the majority for years and where many cars only have one occupant !!!!!!!

        also hs2 is not being built yet anyway. why dont you mention crossrail and thameslink ? by your reckoning the man in the street would be against these too. so why do you accept that these projects are worthwhile and have positive benefits ? but then maybe you dont live nearby !

        and of course if we are talking about future spending what you say about hs2 applies to any major project contemplated doesnt it ? and surely any project which is expected to have benefits greater then its costs will be of financial benefit to the country overall.

        it unfortunately seems to be in the psyche to be critical and negative about most things especially when people are losing jobs and facing cutbacks and price increases. but many thing governments do are criticised sometimes fairly other times in a knee jerk reaction. and how is the person in the street expected to know about decisions that need to be taken when even the so called experts dont always agree. provide both sides of the argument so that people can decide, but in our system we elect officials to act on our behalf

        it is obvious that if you asked somebody if they wanted their local school, hospital leisure centre or library to remain open or a high speed railway the answer maybe wouldnt be surprising. especially if you leave out the part about it not being built now or choose to not mention the benefits. and especially if you throw around words like fat cats and bankers ! always gaurantees a reaction.

        • OH, how very true,Nick,

          “how is the person in the street expected to know about decisions that need to be taken when even the so called experts dont always agree. provide both sides of the argument so that people can decide”

          We just want the nation to know whats happening, not let it be suppressed so that some people can get to London faster at the taxpayer expense.

          • i agree lets get all the facts out but you might find that doesnt do the anti case many favours.

            and once again the main reason for hs2 is to provide additional capacity and yes quicker journey times. and the economy is expected to gain from hs2 with benefits overall double the costs. sounds like a good deal for the taxpayer to me

    • Nick ….. only 1 train less than 90 minutes !!!!! How’s this for a bit of factual scrutiny. They are nearly all 83 or 84 and the fastest is 70 minutes. So if HS2 takes 49 , you could indeed say it only saves 21 minutes. At a push you might say it is 34 but that ignores the time savings that would come from upgrading the existing lines …. so it seems perfectly reasonable to say 20 minutes. ( One of the problems about the HS2 case is that it hasn’t been referenced to Railpack 2 in NPV terms) .

      Compare this with the three and a half hours saved by the ( much troubled ) construction of the Madrid – Barcelona route . That really is a time saving worth having. Mind you at 2 hours 38 minutes it is still half an hour longer than the current journey from Euston to Manchester .

      We live in a very small country with a densely populated core. So speed shouldn’t really be the issue, capacity is. The problem is the speed imperative built in by HS2 Ltd colours the whole debate and leads to bad decisions.

      As regards Thameslink ( Siemens, also a bad decision ) and Crossrail I don’t see that they have any relevance in making HS2 a better or a worse idea. I do know that London businesses will be paying for about a third of Crossrail through a Supplementary Business Rate. If the Manchester business people who were going to get an extra 45 minutes in bed every morning when they go to London were volunteering to do something similar with HS2 I would have more respect for them.

      • yes you are right i am sorry that i exaggerated the time by a few minutes ie about five.

        i am glad that you agree with me that 1 hour 22 to 1 hour 25 is nearly 90 minutes and with delays probably close to what i said.

        and i am glad that you agree with me that there is at least one that only takes 70 minutes. why is that – lack of capacity which hs2 is designed to alleviate.

        the average of all trains according to the timetable i am looking at right now is 82 to 85 minutes before delays.

        i dont know how many trains will be non stop on hs2 so lets assume the 49 minutes applies to all trains using hs2, thats right, 49 minutes applying to all trains as opposed to one train doing the trip in 70 minutes. si hs2 will be 21 minutes faster then that trip and all other trains will be at least 33 minutes to 36 minutes faster. and quicker still for non stopping trains. this is how i get to 40 minutes faster by calculation from known timetables and the announced hs2 journey time. care to argue that with me ????

        • It ain’t 40 minutes, stop exaggerating .

          The best you could possibly argue is 34 minutes — and even that makes it half a billion pounds for every minute saved !

          • how am i exaggerating – i leave that up to hs2 critics as you are so much better at it then i am !!!!!! as outlined above many trains will save 36 minutes with one stop at old oak common so those trains that do not stop enroute will save 40 minutes !

            and the point of hs2 is to provide capacity so the billions per minute saved isnt really relevant like the cost per jobs that is trotted out at regular intervals.

            • HS2 49 min , current service ( leaving aside the fastest couple of trains ) 83 mins . Difference = 34 minutes. Didn’t see anything in the consultation paperwork of HS2 not stopping at Old Oak Common. Similarly didn’t see anything about it taking less than 49 minutes if the wind was behind. Therefore 40 minutes is an exaggeration.

              Of course if West Coast Mainline is upgraded we could expect that 34 minutes to be reduced to maybe 20.

              Similarly saying just one current train under 90 minutes was exaggeration.

              What’s all this ” hs2 critics …. are so much better at it than I am !!!!!!” ? Please don’t turn into Morris or else I will only have Gary to talk to .

            • MartinH, is see that you are very quite now about wher you live, have i said something about not in my back yard which was too close to the truth.

        • One could argue that Birmingham, Curzen Street is but a BRANCH LINE from the junction station at the Airport Hub and the real value of HS2 would be to increase capacity to the North West, Manchester and beyond to Scotland and also to the North East, Leeds and beyond.

          Bypass the congestion,-mainly the first hundred miles from London,- and allow the long distance trains to leapfrog the the mixture of stopping services, “semi fasts”and freight trains, which are even now jostling for paths on a network (WCML) whose origens and route go back nearly 200 years.

          “Classic Compatable “Trains , able to travel at maximum speed on the dedicated new HS route, but also able to “fit” the present electrified main lines,would connect with the present Network .If and when the dedicated HS is extended , true High Speed running could be extended; this is what has happened in mainland Europe as the HS lines have developed in parellel with,and complementing, the existing lines.

          * Therefore long arguments about a couple of minutes more or less in comparison with either the average or the fastest present train times seem of little importance.*

      • there is only ONE train that does the journey in 72 minutes not 70 as you claim and that is southbound only.
        so stophs2 20 minutes quoted hs2 time savings applies to one train in one direction only !!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. Penny—with under a month to go for the consultation can we please focus on stopping HS2 and not discussing side issues?

  9. And Britain will be still left behind: China, Japan and Korea are moving on to Maglev.
    We should seize the opportunity to take advantage of the German Maglev technology and lead the way, not follow what Europe and the rest of the world are supposedly doing.
    Unfortunately, the governments position is based on a number of factual inaccuracies about Maglev, and they frequently confuses the $30m/km German Transrapid with the £100m/km Japanese system.

    • Luke, you’re off about Maglev again… As has been pointed out to you, this was seriously considered and rejected by the Tories before they came to power. Its main problem is that it requires dedicated tracks into city centres and would cause far more collateral damage than high speed rail. To avoid this, it would require its own out-of-town terminal much like an airport, so any time saving would be lost as you’d need to get to the city centre.

      On top of that, it rides on a raised concrete platform for its entirety, so I don’t see how this being welcomed with open arms by the Stop HS2 lobby, many more of whom could look forward to living under a concrete bridge.

      • Shanghai has a station on top of a subway station, not out of city.
        HSR also requires it’s own dedicated track – the HS2 route is a HSR dedicated track.
        The Tories did not talk to the experts before coming to their conclusion, and they have frequently ignored requests from the people behind the £1m study for a more detailed study to be carried out, and the same weight be given to the two technologies.
        Unlike HS2, Maglev is not contained to being as straight as possible, so it would not go though town and villages en-route.
        HS2 would destroy everything in it’s path, but the raised platform of Maglev would mean that everything at ground level would be untouched.

        • Hi, it sound like you are a supporter for the Maglev does that mean you are also a support for the new line what ever it is built from. Or just hoping the bringing up the maglev will confuse people. This country needs a new rail system that is upto day and HS2 is the best proven tech for the job. Agian most people on here do not know what they are talking about regarding the railway, STOPHS2 sould say not in my back yard.

          I had one anti HS2 supporter only argument for not agreeing with HS2 was that the line will dig up valuable food production land and the best one was that trees we need for breathing will be removed. That was the best one for a very poor anti Hs2 supporter and that was the best argument an anti hs2 supportor could come up with. Again the whole of the argument is not in my back yard.

          • Morris, shut up about the nimby argument already!. The main reason why it shouldn’t be built is it is ridiculousy expensive even by European standards, It won’t solve the ‘North south divide’. (Pumping 110,000 extra people a day into London) , it won’t be green and guess what- ( you haven’t been reading the news recently) , we can’t afford it!

            • yes but if the shoe fits then that the whole arugment of stopHS2 not in my back yard. The country needs it. lat time i checked trains run both ways. Thats north and south, again in your words” Pumping 110,000 extra people a day into ” the North, or do you think that trains or even the M1, M6 and M40 are eight land single directions roads into london.

            • Yes, I have seen it it’s called the ‘rush hour’ and it’s onto London. You will get 110,000 passengers going the other way but that is after they have done a days work in London. Check out any mainline station in London now and count how many are travelling North as to the numbers arriving. Guess what?

            • Stuart – When was the last time you got on a train or be may even went to London by Train, the rush hour is Both ways out of London, Have a look at euston station around 7am. But i forget the stopHs2 is not in my back yard. The country need a new rail system. Hs2 will be the start we need more.

            • I’m on a train now and I can say that more people arrive than leave at Marylebone.
              The whole system needs upgrading, North South, East West, but funding this scheme won’t help.
              One stretch of line a privileged few can afford won’t solve it. Capacity issue aside the majority of us will
              Still be crammed on dirty old trains on lines not fit for purpose. I couldn’t care less whether it’s in my back garden, the fact remains that it is a complete rip off of public funds.

            • wow you must be the first anti Hs2 that is on a train. Again your words is called a RUSH HOUR. but again the line is not for the privileged few, the whole country need it and it not a rip of but a GOOD use for public money.

            • Morris — the rush hour is both ways out of London? No. Some people travel out, hundreds of thousands of people travel in every day.

            • Have you seen a train out of london at about 7 ot even 9am, I think not. All these are still full, please check the figures will the train companies. But again that wish full thinking. Agree more come into London than go out but the out band trains are still full. Again wish ful thinks that someone will really check the facts and not just say a lot of hot air.

            • I stay over in London fairly regularly and usually travel back between 7 am and 9 am . Never had any problem getting a seat.

              London is a magnet ( can’t remember which government minister said that but one of them did ) since that is where most of the big corporates have their head office.

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