mr angry manchester wrote:Cant make my mind up about it TBH. On the positive side, it will relieve capacity on the West Coast Main Line, putting all the fast traffic from London to Manchester/Leeds onto HS2 will free up the existing routes and allow more semi-fasts and stoppers to use them.
On the other hand, I cant help but get the feeling that it is something of a vanity project, and that the money could be spent on improving local services and reopening some of the lines which were closed under Beeching. Also, I suspect the fares on HS2 will be expensive and most of its users will be business people. With the growth in technology, Skype etc, there could be less need to travel up and down the country for business meetings by the time it is open.
I am a don't know on this
Most of the figures you see for reopening lines closed by Beeching have been produced by the scheme's promoters. Borders Rail has been a success in terms of numbers, but that was a link into a big city from an area with no railway lines at all, with nothing much in the way, which isn't true of most proposals.
There's a lot already being done to improve existing lines. The latest 5 year Network Rail period has £38.4bn of work in it, before a spade goes into the ground for HS2. A lot of that will be Crossrail, but even so it's pretty impressive. There are currently 4,000 carriages/engines on order.
Lots of the existing work is over budget and behind schedule, so it's not really feeding through yet.
HS2 relieves the ECML as well, plus the slow "Cross Country" line from Birmingham to Leeds etc. Beyond that, it should be a catalyst for other improvements. If you can get from eg Crewe to London in under an hour, then there's more of a case for improving the journeys into Crewe. So it's not really a zero sum game in terms of HS2 being built and not other stuff.