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Fast and frequent dissemblance

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A Network Rail press release dated 19 January 2012 stated that HS2 would free up space for faster, more frequent trains on the West Coast Main Line.

[Network Rail]

Passengers on Britain’s busiest rail route could benefit from faster, more frequent trains, less crowding and better connections if the first phase of the proposed high-speed rail line is built between London and Birmingham.

Network Rail: 'HS2 frees up space for faster, more frequent trains'

Network Rail: ‘HS2 frees up space for faster, more frequent trains’

But how true are those claims?

HS2 chief engineer Andrew McNaughton’s February 2015 presentation on West Coast Main Line capacity showed that following the introduction of HS2, the number of Euston trains would fall, not increase.

Andrew McNaughton's presentation on West Coast Main Line capacity

What would be the speed and frequency benefit between Birmingham and Coventry? With HS2, the WCML London intercity service would reduce from three to two per hour (according to HS2 Ltd). According to SLC Rail, that would allow a net increase of just one train each hour between the two cities.

SLC Rail, visualisation of post-HS2 Birmingham to Coventry passenger services

It would be helpful if Network Rail could provide actual figures for ‘speeded up’ journeys, for example, for the trips listed below.

Journey ‘Fast’ journey
time in 2015
(minutes)
‘Fast’ journey
time with
‘HS2 released
capacity’
in 2033
(minutes)
Change
London to Milton Keynes
London to Coventry
London to Northampton
London to Tring
London to Watford
Birmingham to Coventry
Birmingham to Liverpool
Birmingham to Wolverhampton
Birmingham to Milton Keynes
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Written by beleben

September 23, 2015 at 2:33 pm

Posted in Freight, HS2

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