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HS2 and Meadowhall

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Presumably, Sheffield City Region’s High speed rail Meadowhall connectivity ‘factsheet’ was intended to make the case for a HS2 station at Meadowhall.

Sheffield City Region, 'High speed rail Meadowhall connectivity', Figure 1

Central Sheffield has a much larger ‘professional services’ sector than Meadowhall (source: Sheffield City Region, ‘High speed rail Meadowhall connectivity’, Figure 1)

[High speed rail Meadowhall connectivity, Sheffield City Region]


The first major national transport infrastructure project since the inception of the motorways, HSR will modernise travel in the UK. It will provide a genuine alternative for long distance journeys by providing more seats at the right times of day for the UK rail network.

Our early forecasts are that up to 15% of customers who currently use the Midland Main Line (Sheffield) and 50% from the East Coast Main Line (Doncaster) will transfer to HSR.

In addition to this, we project up to 66% of Cross Country users could utilise HSR when they make inter-city journeys. This transfer provides the opportunity for rail planners to overhaul the traditional rail network and and serve new destinations and provide improved connectivity for people within our region.

‘Up to 15% of customers who currently use the Midland Main Line (Sheffield) would transfer to HSR’, i.e. 85% of Sheffield customers who currently use the Midland Main Line would not transfer to HS2. Never mind, wouldn’t new-build HS2 at least avoid the need to do disruptive enhancements work on the existing lines?

[High speed rail Meadowhall connectivity, Sheffield City Region]

Improvements to existing lines are required, in addition to building a national HSR network, to enhance the capacity and performance of the current railway and to promote economic growth.


Written by beleben

August 25, 2015 at 9:16 am

Posted in HS2

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7 Responses

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  1. I wonder if their transfer projections allow for both the St Pancras/Euston and Meadowhall/Sheffield-centre interchange penalties for MML customers.

    Michael Wand

    August 25, 2015 at 10:09 am

    • I don’t know about the figures being quoted in the table above, but the original modelling undertaken by HS2 / DfT uses the PLANET system, which models a large number of journeys throughout from origin to destination. This includes an allowance for changing modes of transport or connecting as appropriate.

      I suspect the table was produced (some time ago?) as part of the argument AGAINST a station at Meadowhall, but in favour of one in Sheffield City Centre instead.

      Jeff Hawken

      August 27, 2015 at 4:53 pm

      • They’re interesting figures and illustrate a conundrum. They certainly seem to support the City Council in wanting an HS station in the City Centre, but would that generate more South Yorks economic growth (agglomeration economics) than one at Meadowhall? And, what would be the collateral damage in Sheffield of running the HS2 fork into Sheffield Victoria and on towards Leeds with no handbrake turns?

        Michael Wand

        August 27, 2015 at 7:40 pm

      • A city centre station on the through HS2 route is better for the people in the centre of Sheffield, or those wishing to travel there. But it is worse than Meadowhall for the rest of the South Yorkshire region (notably Rotherham, Doncaster and Barnsley), and results in a slower journey time for everybody travelling further north on HS2. It is the same argument that has been taking place between Crewe and Stoke, Derby and Nottingham (and Leicester). Each city wants the HS2 station to be in the middle of their most important area, without giving any real thought to the fact the station has to serve a much wider area than conventional stations do. It pushes you towards a single compromise solution, which is perfect for very few people, but caters for a much wider catchment area.

        Jeff Hawken

        August 27, 2015 at 11:44 pm

      • My Sheffield solution is chords off the main line to take trains from London St Pancras westwards into and out of the city centre. Obviously, they could not rejoin the main line, which would have a stop at Meadowhall on its way to Leeds. But I’d still build a Manchester Victoria-Leeds fast connector before any start on HS2 :

        Michael Wand

        August 28, 2015 at 8:00 pm

      • You need to consider several things at once, including the route capacity, the levels of demand, and the cost. Building a high speed station is expensive. It would be almost impossible to justify building two such stations in the environs of Sheffield. If HS2 trains were to run on a spur into Sheffield city centre as you propose, they would be unable to continue north beyond Sheffield, so they would have to terminate there. Given the 18 tph capacity limitation on the core HS2 route, every train you sent into Sheffield would mean one train fewer to Leeds, York or Newcastle. Is the economic case for building a city centre station in Sheffield (as well as Meadowhall) so strong as to justify one of the other cities losing part of their service?
        Taking that into account, it becomes clear that the station has to be on a through route, not a spur, in order to give a reasonable number of services per hour without jeopardizing other cities. Meadowhall might not be perfect for everybody, but its about as good as its likely to get.

        Jeff Hawken

        August 28, 2015 at 11:06 pm

  2. In a previous post, emanating from old DfT/HS2 docs, the govt could not release its calculations on how HS2 would affect existing services such as Virgin West Coast because: ‘it could affect (ie lower) the price Virgin et al will bid when next tendering for the franchise’. The old doc discussed above is just one of many demonstrating the jumble that is the DfT’s Central Processor.
    Where to begin?
    1. Will naive Virgin see through DfT’s devious scheme? See 2. below.
    2. DfT knows all the main existing franchises will be affected from 2027 (with final nail around 2033) but ploughs on with the tendering plans as if nothing is to change. As with the WC line in 2013, they will end up begging TOCs to keep the services running until usage patterns settle down in maybe 2035 – 2040, depending on actual HS2 build progress.
    3. Existing TOCs might hope to be handed an HS2 franchise (EC or WC?) for hanging on in with current operations but govt will have to open up to international players with HS experience.
    4. Poor old Cross Country, meandering its way from Glasgow and Edinburgh to Penzance, in 20 years to be down to a schools and shopping service between neighbouring towns.


    August 26, 2015 at 9:20 am

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