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HS2 and its operating surplus

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In Western Europe and North America, passenger rail operations require subsidy, but according to the British Government Response to the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee [High Speed 2 report],

  • around 90 million passenger trips would be made on HS2 each year
  • and, on a standalone basis, it would generate an annual ‘surplus’ of £2,800 million.

So the government appears to be claiming that each HS2 roundtrip would bring in £62 more in revenue, than its cost of production.

However, the Department for Transport has refused to provide any information on projected HS2 operating costs and revenues.

How does the HS2 ‘£62 surplus’ compare with other lines in Britain? In the year 2013 / 2014, train operators Virgin Trains West Coast and Southeastern received subsidies of £0.047 and £0.124 per passenger mile respectively. So each return journey from Manchester to London would have generated a ‘negative surplus’ of ~£17.

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Written by beleben

July 31, 2015 at 1:40 pm

Posted in High speed rail, HS2

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