Report backs 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! | Zeenews

High Speed Rail news

Some news items that have grabbed my attention:

  • Ontario, Canada – High Speed rail key to future economic development; plus it takes forever to travel to Toronto from anywhere outside of Toronto, 22 hours from Chicago is insane considering it takes half that to drive, and a hour 30 to fly.
  • NY to Washington DC – Let us hope that the California scheme now puts momentum into the rest of the US getting into the 20th Century
  • Milan to Rome – Making flying even more unattractive (assuming they are still flying that route)
  • Development in USA – US railways playing catch up