Pulling long-distance trains out of the equation
There are three types of traffic on the West Coast main line (WCML) – long-distance, commuter and freight. HS2 “will pull the long-distance out of the equation and leave the other two to run on the current line”, wrote Rail Engineer’s Nigel Wordsworth.
[NW:] Removing the long-distance traffic will allow commuter and freight trains to run on all four lines of the WCML, hence increasing their capacity as well.
According to HS2 Ltd’s Andrew McNaughton’s diagram of services in 2014, the West Coast Main Line fast lines did not host any ‘dedicated’ peak commuter trains, apart from one train to Northampton.
Could HS2 “pull the long-distance out of the equation”? Below is Andrew McNaughton’s visualisation of West Coast fast line services with HS2 in operation.
It is not possible for HS2 to replace West Coast long distance services, without breaking connectivity for non-HS2 towns (the vast majority). The Economic Case and HS2’s stated objectives are not reconcilable.