die belebende Bedenkung

Flannel is not information

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35 minutes of waffle

35 minutes of waffle

On 25 March 2014 the House of Commons transport committee took evidence from HS2 Ltd chairman David Higgins (on his HS2 Plus report), and Lord Paul Deighton (on the ‘findings’ on the HS2 Growth Task Force). Unfortunately, very little hard information emerged from the session.

One of the topics mentioned in the discussion with Mr Higgins — but with no real information forthcoming — was the proposed HS2 hub at Crewe, recommended in the ‘HS2 Plus’ report. Mr Higgins admitted that he did not know what the hub’s cost would be. But if he does not know its cost, how could he recommend that it should be built?

Also unclear was what the purpose of the hub would be. Mr Higgins has suggested that capacity supposedly “freed” by not running trains from HS1 onto HS2 could be instead used to provide HS2 services to North Wales. However, such services would not require construction of the Crewe hub.

In 1985 the lines around Crewe were extensively remodelled, and capacity taken out. Undoing the capacity reduction, and creation of Crewe Hub, would be a project of similar scale to the remodelling of Reading station.

The Beleben estimate is that the Crewe hub proposal would add at least £1 billion to the cost of HS2, which would cause presentational difficulties. There may be attempts to ‘externalise’ the costs of HS2-related expenditure by reallocating items like Crewe Hub to Network Rail or other budgets.


Written by beleben

March 25, 2014 at 4:08 pm

Posted in High speed rail, HS2

One Response

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  1. […] it was hard to see the point of what was saying. Deightons evidence has been charitably termed as ‘waffle and flannel’ by one commentator, after he said he wanted to win ‘hearts and minds’ by ‘growing cake’, but could not offer […]

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