No decision on HS2 until Jan 2012 according to reports today.
Not that this would ever happen, but if they started the line from Leeds going to Edinburgh via Newcastle even trains on the East coast main line would see benefits long before London to Birmingham completes. The mad idea goes as follows, I am using Leeds as a start point because this is where they want HS2 to end up, and Newcastle because this is where the East coast main line would connect:
- Leeds to Newcastle – High speed line approx 157 km. Average speed along this line 200km/h (at least, without setting the bar too high). Journey time, around 55 mins
- Newcastle to Edinburgh – High speed line approx 102 km. Average speed along this line 200km/h. Journey time, approx 40 mins.
From Kings cross to Edinburgh you cut almost an hour off the journey, at least, and benefit from just one short section. Leeds to Newcastle would benefit from at least 30 minutes saving. The upshot to all this is that whilst the South argues, the North benefits, and so would travellers from London; plus if you employ contractors from the North you stimulate the economy in that part of the world.
Mad idea, approx times, approx distances, it will never happen, but you get the point.