HS2: a magic money tree?

27 September, 2018

Unthinking populism has led some to put forward scrapping HS2 as a solution to worrying projections of economic losses from Brexit. ‘Here’s £50bn we could save and spend instead on (say) the NHS’.

But scrapping HS2 does not create a magic money tree.

Rather, it would be an act of extreme short-termism, signalling no belief in the future of the UK.

For a start, aborting the capital spend on HS2 means losing the stream of economic benefits it generates at roundly the rate of £2 benefit of every £1 outlay. Read on »

Simon Jenkins on HS2

11 August, 2018

This time (The Guardian, 10th August) Simon Jenkins attacks not only HS2 but also the wider rail network: “Like it or not, roads are the lifeline of the economy”. Yes, but we can’t sustainably expand the road network (Jenkins wants motorway congestion eased); expanding the rail network is the better approach.

Simon Jenkins knows this really, and as long it isn’t high-speed, he favours expenditure on rail, for the “chronically underfunded commuter network”. Bizarrely he calls for HS2 trains to operate over Read on »

Greengauge 21 on the first National Infrastructure Assessment

12 July, 2018

The first National Infrastructure Assessment, published yesterday by the NIC, provides the rare perspective of a comprehensive assessment of the nation’s needs over the next 25+ years.

Having considered all the exciting developments ahead in areas such as autonomous vehicles, the Assessment re-states the significant role that rail plays in connecting city centres and in providing the transit systems that enable larger cities to grow and prosper. It foresees Read on »

Celebrating top performing train operators across the UK and Europe

14 June, 2018

The development of high speed rail brings with it the possibility of driving excellence in the rail travel experience for the many. Its appeal is growing, as travellers consider not simply how fast they can get to where they want to go, but also the experience of getting there. Commissioned by online train booking service Loco2; the Great Train Comparison Report is a Europe-wide report that sets out the diverse rail services on offer and how rail travellers can experience the very best of European rail travel, depending on their specific (and varied) needs.

Loco2 selected 11 target audiences and researched how well modern European train operators Read on »

Crewe Hub Commitment Secured

12 March, 2018

Greengauge 21 warmly welcomes the Government’s commitment to develop Crewe as an integrated high-speed rail/conventional rail hub station by 2027, when it will provide a fitting culmination to HS2 Phase 2a. The planned investment has benefit:cost ratios in the range 3.2:1 to 4.1:1.

The existing Crewe station, partially modernised in the 1960s, is badly out-dated, with poor road access and a poor railway track layout. Read on »