High Speed One (UK), the inconvenience

London has many railway stations for a reason

Maybe I shouldn’t have been surprised to read that one year later the UK’s first High speed commuter rail service wasn’t doing so well. It wasn’t just because of economic woes hitting the UK, or the fact that the tickets were much more expensive, it seems that the train doesn’t go to where the people want it to go.

Let us, for a moment, forget the economic woes, and the more expensive tickets to ride the “premium” service, if you just get on with all this because you know that in the end you will get something useful out of, like getting to your destination, somewhere in London, faster then maybe this would be a good thing, right? Yes, if it took less time to get to your destination, which it doesn’t.

If you live in the South East or England then it is highly likely that you will live there because it is easier getting to the Eastern London, South Eastern London, or somewhere close to London’s Eastern railway stations (such as Victoria, Cannon St, or Charring Cross) close to work. Ending up in the wrong part of London isn’t going to help you cut your journey time. So much so, in fact, that statistics suggest that only 15% of commuters living in SE England have bothered to take up the new, high speed service.

Didn’t someone bother to think about this in the first place, or even stop to wonder why there are so many main railway stations around London that serve different areas outside of London.

Solution could be simple

Another major project is currently being built (probably): Cross Rail. This will take trains from West to East, right across London.
In the East of London Cross Rail meets HS1 at Stratford. Can you see where this suggestion is going…

Crossrail - London Section

Here’s where it gets crazy: If this line is going to be built and intersects along the way, then why not add a junction to connect the two systems.

HS1 - London Section

The result could be fabulously convenient! you can then run trains from the South East of England all the way through to Paddington in the West stopping off along the way and in the process being a little more useful for commuters and without the need to change along the way. Why stop there, why not run trains from the West of England to St Pancras, or even connect to HS1 South and run all the way to Europe, without having to change.

Crazy? Well for how much more in the project’s budget would this really cost, and provide so much more convenience and actually provide a useful travel solution where everyone is potentially a winner.

Sources: The Telegraph | Cross Rail Project | High Speed One