Identification of released capacity
HS2 released capacity. What is it?
Where is it?
What does it mean?
Slide #13 from Andrew McNaughton’s presentation on 13 February 2015 provided a representation of peak West Coast paths in December 2014, and in “2026” (when the new high speed line is supposed to open). So, the right hand, year-2026, diagram should show the benefits of released capacity.
So which of the trains in the right hand diagram are actually running in the paths transferred to the new HS2 track?
In practice, HS2 “released capacity” means little more than “the ability to stop WCML long distance trains at Milton Keynes”.
Rail journalist Nick Kingsley has written a blogpost called “HS2: McNaughton outlines the released capacity win”, but neither he nor the Professor have explained what the released capacity actually is.
There is no justification for — or need to build — hundreds of kilometres of high speed railway, just to allow a few people to make long-distance journeys northbound from Watford or Milton Keynes.