die belebende Bedenkung

Atkins forecasts of North South GB passenger rail demand

with 3 comments

According to a 2013 report prepared for the government by the Atkins company, if the HS2 railway were not built, highly disruptive upgrade works would need to be carried out simultaneously on the West Coast, Midland, and East Coast Main Lines. Some of the most expensive works — new tunnels — would be on the East Coast Main Line London approach, to support twice-hourly fast services to Nottingham.

So what were Atkins’ actual forecasts of demand between London and Nottingham?

The company’s 2003 High Speed Line study for the Strategic Rail Authority showed that the forecast passenger rail volumes between London and the East Midlands (and South Yorkshire) are very small. Consider Figures 2-4 and 2-5 from the study (below).

Atkins 2003 high speed lines study (extract)As can be seen from the diagrams

  • passenger volumes are much stronger in southern England than in the North
  • the forecast traffic to and from Manchester, Leeds, Sheffield, Liverpool, and Birmingham does not support construction of new high speed tracks.

Atkins did not even bother to show traffic on the Chiltern route, but no doubt, it would be similar in scale to the Midland Main Line. There must be enormous potential to increase throughput on all the existing lines, but especially on the Midland.

Written by beleben

May 18, 2015 at 11:10 pm

Posted in HS2

3 Responses

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  1. MML passenger volumes would benefit from a rail tunnel proposed in HS2 Plan B and by BML2**, to relieve London Bridge and its Jubilee Line connection to Canary Wharf at peak hours, allowing more trains to run-on through St Pancras Thameslink to and from Gatwick and Brighton. It would connect the South London rail network at Lewisham (portal at Ladywell) to the Lea Valley, Stansted and Cambridge line at Stratford via Canary Wharf.
    See: and
    * and

    Michael Wand

    May 19, 2015 at 2:14 pm

  2. Aren’t there already twice-hourly fast services Nottingham-London on the Midland Mainline?
    Electrification of the Midland Mainline in the next couple of years will supposedly reduce Nottingham-London to less than 90 minutes. HS2 quote 70 minutes via Toton. So HS2 will save 20 minutes. Released capacity will halve Nottingham-London services from twice-hourly to hourly (from 3 & 8 stops to 5 stops – slower with stops lost). Capacity in the East Midlands on Nottingham-London is at 30%. About 1% of Nottinghamshire workforce commutes to London.


    May 20, 2015 at 6:36 pm

  3. The attraction of St Pancras as the London destination of the upgraded MML is that it offers a same-concourse interchange with Eurostar services (much cheaper than any HS2-HS1 connector) and through-running via the St Pancras Thameslink platforms to a next-stop interchange with the east-west London Crossrail at Farringdon and, two stops later, on to the south London, Kent, Gatwick, Brighton and Sussex network via Blackfriars. See above and: and

    Michael Wand

    May 20, 2015 at 7:08 pm

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