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Capacity and connectivity – what high speed rail is really all about

Writing in the Rail Engineer – Tim Smart, Head of Engineering and Operations, HS2 Ltd, notes that there have been a number of negative comments in the media during the latter part of the summer concerning the likely outturn costs of HS2. He suggests that these comments have been made on the narrow and short sighted view that big infrastructure projects are not successful in meeting cost targets, rather than a proper understanding of the proposals and strategies behind HS2. He also suggests that they ignore recent successful projects such as the Heathrow Terminal 5, 2012 Olympics and the Channel Tunnel Rail Link – HS1. The article goes on to say that suggestions that the HS2 project will either divert money from other infrastructure projects, or that the money allocated for HS2 would be better invested in enhancing the existing rail network again demonstrates a further misunderstanding of what HS2 will deliver: “It is not about getting to Birmingham or Manchester, Leeds or any other northern city faster. It is about capacity and connectivity. Network Rail has stated that it cannot provide the future capacity the nation will require by piecemeal upgrades.” Read the full article here