die belebende Bedenkung

Goodwill to all Warringtonians

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Warrington South MP David Mowat asked the Secretary of State for Transport what improvements would be required to the existing West Coast Main Line north of Wigan to allow classic compatible services to run to stations beyond Preston; and what estimate HS2 Ltd has made of the cost of such improvements (Hansard 10 February 2014).

Transport minister Robert Goodwill’s response effectively admitted that the costs are not known. All that exists in the Phase 2 HS2 budget is a high level estimate of £151 million for platform extension and track works at Carstairs and Preston.

[Robert Goodwill]

Further work is being undertaken by HS2 Ltd and Network Rail on the introduction of classic compatible trains onto the WCML between Golborne and Scotland as well as the selection of Carstairs as preferred location for splitting and joining classic compatible trains.

Mr Mowat also asked which individual upgrades HS2 Ltd believes are required to the existing West Coast Main Line between Crewe and Wigan to enable classic compatible services to Preston and beyond without the Winterbottom to Bamfurlong spur; and what the cost estimate of each individual upgrade is.

[Robert Goodwill]

Under the route that was consulted on, significant works would be required between Crewe and Warrington, involving the widening and four-tracking along 24 km of the route, where there are significant constraints. In addition, Crewe station and the junction would need to be remodelled or an additional grade separated junction from the high speed line to the north of the Crewe tunnel would need to be provided.

HS2 Ltd have not looked in detail at these works or the potential associated costs.

The low frequency of HS2 trains proposed to Preston and Scotland would suggest Mr Goodwill is talking nonsense. And like every other section of HS2, the cost (and benefit-cost ratio) of the Winterbottom to Bamfurlong spur appears to be a state secret.


Written by beleben

February 12, 2014 at 3:33 pm

Posted in High speed rail, HS2

One Response

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  1. Robert Goodwill talks a load of poppycock.
    It has to be recognised that the whole HS2 branch from Birmingham to Manchester and Wigan is surplus to requirements except for a short section.

    Four tracking or even six tracking the present WCML along the route through, Nuneaton,Lichfield et al is quite sufficient for the next 100 years.

    An underpass for Crewe has to be constructed to avoid conflict. That means for through trains to Scotland and those that diverge to Manchester. That he admits in the last paragraph.

    The route from Crewe to Wigan is about 50% four-tracked. The conflicts and resulting expense are at Winsford and Hartford while the rest is no problem at all for expansion.

    The line from Crewe through Holmes Chapel and Wimslow to Manchester Airport can be four-tracked without any problem. The only new construction which is necessary is from the airport(not nearby) to Ardwick. All the rest from Lichfield is superfluous and unnecessarily environmentally destructive.

    On the line from Crewe to Warrington there are no constraints as he says – most of the necessary infrastructuure is already in place.

    When can we get some politicians to admit they are ignorant and wrong. I am disappointed that david Mowat was not more agressive.

    Stephen Cryan

    February 14, 2014 at 8:40 pm

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