die belebende Bedenkung

Bigger and blanker

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In her speech to the Labour conference in Manchester, Shadow transport secretary Mary Creagh repeated the meaningless “HS2 no blank cheque” mantra.

[Mary Creagh, Labour press release, 23 Sep 2014]

The costs are significant, we must keep them under control, and there is no blank cheque for this or any other infrastructure project, but the benefits will be great.

HS2 will connect our cities, rebalance the economy and create new skilled jobs and apprenticeships in every nation and region of the UK.

It will create new railway capacity to tackle overcrowding on commuter services and get freight off roads and onto rail.

Ms Creagh also said the budget for rail electrification — “the government’s flagship project” — had been blown, meaning “delays to the whole project, and more misery for commuters in Reading, Swindon, Exeter and Plymouth”.

Of course, the budget overrun on electrification is the taste of much bigger things to come, if the HS2 programme continues. When Labour created Network Rail, they failed to provide effective oversight and transparency mechanisms, and as a result, very little information is available on Great Western electrification. Whether Network Rail’s much-vaunted electrification factory train is actually faster than BR’s 1960s wiring train (above), is anyone’s guess. But it certainly isn’t cheaper. Apparently, most of the electrification gang have to travel to worksites by van, because the factory train doesn’t have room.


Written by beleben

September 23, 2014 at 11:27 am

Posted in High speed rail, HS2

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One Response

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  1. No Health and Safety considerations in those days!


    September 23, 2014 at 8:29 pm

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