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HS2’s Ben Ruse: “enhance” existing rail services, by withdrawing them

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According to HS2 Ltd spokesman Ben Ruse, the high speed line would ‘transfer long distance travel away from the existing railway through Stockport’. That would ‘free space for Network Rail to enhance existing services. We hope this will lead to faster, more frequent commuter services into Manchester Piccadilly via Stockport”.

HS2 spokesman Ben Ruse comments about Stockport 'released capacity'

HS2 spokesman Ben Ruse comments about Stockport ‘released capacity’

But how it is possible to “enhance” existing services by withdrawing them, has never been explained by Mr Ruse. The HS2 Ltd vision also appears to be markedly different to that of transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin, who stated that he anticipated that classic services post-HS2 would be broadly similar to what they are now.

High peak morning trains into Manchester from Stockport, 6 March 2014

High peak morning trains into Manchester from Stockport, 6 March 2014. Trains threatened by Mr Ruse’s vision are shown with a red question mark. (Realtimetrains)

The screengrab from Realtimetrains shows the chasm between Mr Ruse’s expectations, and the reality on the rails. In the high peak, there are about 14 trains an hour into Manchester from Stockport, most of which do not stop at intermediate stations. HS2 could not be a significant enabler of additional capacity or connectivity for the Manchester suburbs. And removing long distance trains from the HS2 cities of Birmingham and London would break connectivity for places like Stoke on Trent and Wolverhampton.

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Written by beleben

March 6, 2014 at 12:49 pm

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