‘Shared use’ of HS2 tracks
The Department for Transport is looking at the development of rail between the city regions of the North to support the Northern Powerhouse, including the shared use of HS2 tracks — according to its July 2015 Rolling Stock Perspective.
The current specification of HS2 does not really support shared running (with classic rail, or with a new-build high speed line in the north of England). The HS2 stage two concept features dead-end stations in Manchester (new Piccadilly) and Leeds (New Lane), and attempts to adapt for ‘Northern connectivity’ are likely to involve significant additional expenditure for limited returns.
Suppose, for example, the Manchester and Golborne branches of HS2 were re-engineered to allow shared running with a ‘HS3’ service between Liverpool, Manchester Airport, and Manchester. Demand for travel to and from the Airport high speed station would be modest, because the existing classic station is better located for most prospective customers. And for speed of travel between Manchester and Liverpool city centres, the existing Chat Moss route would probably match, or beat, an airport / Golborne HS3.