The difference in disruption, part two
A HS2 Ltd paper estimated 183 weekend closures of a day’s duration or longer on the existing railway would be needed to allow for construction of its London – Birmingham high speed line. That figure is likely to change, because in March 2014 the government accepted recommendations from HS2 chairman David Higgins for a more comprehensive redevelopment of Euston than the plan currently in the bill, the Guardian reported.
[HS2 plans require ‘huge number’ of weekend line closures, say campaigners, Mark Tran, The Guardian, 31 Aug 2015]
[…] The number of weekend closures comes from an HS2 Ltd information paper prepared for the hybrid bill committee, based on plans submitted to parliament in November 2013. The paper said the closures would be done in normal night-time and weekend maintenance periods so as to minimise disruption to passenger and freight services.
Construction of Britain’s second high-speed rail link will lead to the closure of several lines for up to 33 weekends and Euston station for 19 weekends, campaigners have said.
Figures from HS2 Ltd, the public body responsible for developing and promoting the plans for a new London-to-Birmingham line, show that proposed closures include those of the west coast mainline near Lichfield for 31 weekends, the Derby-to-Birmingham line for 32 weekends and 33 weekend closures at Old Oak Common affecting Crossrail and the Great Western mainline.
However, that figure seems to have changed already, because page 24 of the July 2015 Government Response to the Lords Economic Affairs Committee gave the ‘indicative number of weekend closures’ required to build HS2 phase one as 223.
So why, one might ask, is there a difference of 40 weekends between the two estimates? Could it be that the numbers were just, ahem, plucked out of the air? Has anyone actually seen a site-by-site breakdown or description of the 183 (or 223) weekends? (This blog hasn’t, and it’s not for want of asking.)
It has been said that without HS2, Euston would need to be ‘rebuilt anyway’. What has never been said, is why it would need to be ‘rebuilt anyway’.
On 19 June 2015, WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff announced that it had been contracted to undertake an ‘early phase study’ to investigate the realignment of existing tracks around the HS2 Old Oak Common site.
“Early phase study”. In other words, there was no detailed information about the amount of classic works required to accommodate HS2 at Old Oak Common.