The madness of HS2

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.

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Report backs HS2

HS2

An official report published today backed the high speed 2 project that would link London with Birmingham, Manchester, and Leeds. The report published by The Transport Select Committee stated that the link would benefit the economy and should go ahead. The next step will be for the government to detail the plan for construction and routing. Additionally, the Scottish government has been urged to start planning for the construction of the line from Glasgow to the borders to link up with the high speed line from the south.

In my opinion, the time line is terrifically pessimistic and will take a painfully long time to have any benefit. Whilst planning for the future can only be a good thing, a time line for completing the project within 20 years is just far too long (okay, I admit I am impatient to try it out). Building the line from Glasgow to Newcastle in an earlier time frame could see more immediate benefits, and I believe if planned and executed correctly could happen a lot sooner than even the London to Birmingham route, which would certainly be a one up for the Scottish government. Now all the UK needs to do is make sure it can employ British contractors to complete the work thus providing good inward investment which is badly needed.

The Guardian | The Telegraph | BBC News

Singapore to KL

The Malaysian government is rethinking the high speed link between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. The intention would be to provide a high speed connection between the two capitals cutting the journey time from seven to just two hours. The intent would be to provide a number of key stops along the way, and the government is now awaiting feedback from the Singapore government.  It is believed that the project would have a high impact on economic growth for the region, hence the rethink on the prioject, which was originally shelved because of the high costs involved.

Asia One

HS Freight

Meanwhile, Japan and India are each looking into the possibility of introducing high speed freight lines. The plan in Japan is to use existing high speed lines in the country, whilst the study in India is being performed by a Japanese company. Now details yet on when these services would be introduced, although the freight corridors in India would need to be built first. How cool is that!

Rail.co | Zeenews