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Walk away from trouble if you can

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Express and Star: the difficulties in escalating commitment to HS2 (13 Jan 2014)

Written by beleben

January 13, 2014 at 2:22 pm

Posted in High speed rail, HS2

2 Responses

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  1. An example of the unreality of the analysis that underlies HS2 is the supposed £15bn annual Wider Economic Benefits canvassed by KPMG. The £15bn implies that existing business trips on the West Coast Main Line generate a value averaging up to 20 times that for the nation as a whole, see .

    We do not have corruption by way of brown envelopes in the UK, or not much. Instead, and in the words of Stewart Joy, Chief Economist to British Railways in the late 1960’s in his book ‘The Train that ran away’ writing that – “There were those in the British Transport Commission and the Railways who were cynically prepared to accept the rewards of high office in return for the unpalatable task of tricking the Government on a mammoth scale. Those men”, Joy wrote, “were either fools or knaves”.

    Our view is that those who have generated the “rational” for HS2 should suffer penalties in that they too are misleading the Government on a mammoth scale. At any rate no one should ever again believe what emanates from HS2 Ltd or its consultants.

  2. @Paul Withrington

    One of the “features” of our railway system is the (sort of state run) monopoly of Network Rail. If any proposal is made to improve the UK rail network (e.g. the Halton curve to connect Runcorn & Chester), then only one quote for the work is obtained. If the quote is “too expensive” then the work doesn’t get done.

    This is akin to building a house extension and only getting one quote from a (state run) building firm !

    HS2 demonstrates this process. The government has only had one “quote” to solve the capacity problem (from HS2 Ltd). A sensible organisation would have received a number of “quotes” – such as this blog’s RM6 proposals, the proposals of Christopher Stokes or Andrew Gritten’s 1988 proposal (CPS think tank) to re-open lines for freight use (Barry Doe in the latest Rail Magazine mentioned the idea again).

    The only published “alternative analysis” from DfT/HS2-Ltd is that of the 2 Atkins reports which are obviously reverse engineered to produce a large number (e.g. the 30 mile tunnel south of Biggleswade !)


    January 14, 2014 at 7:55 pm

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