Where is HS3 going?
In a “keynote speech” in Leeds on 1 June 2015, transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin stated that, ‘building on the concept of High Speed 3 (HS3), the government would progress plans to transform east to west rail connectivity with high-speed services linking Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds, Sheffield, Newcastle and Hull, radically reducing travel times, increasing frequencies and improving the customer experience’.
But so far as can be established, Mr McLoughlin’s new “high-speed services” would only run at speeds achieved on a daily basis, on existing lines, since October 1976.
According to The Guardian’s article of 10 January 2012, Britain had just 71 miles [~114 km] of high speed railway, compared with Germany’s 803 miles [~1293 km].
However, most of Germany’s high speed rail mileage is made up of existing track that has been upgraded for higher speeds. The British “71 miles” figure referred only to the Channel Tunnel Rail Link (HS1). If the upgraded existing trackage in Britain were included, the situation would look quite different.
The problem with viewing HS1 as ‘high speed’ is that the entire western section is severely speed-restricted (and most of the trains using it — Class 395 — rarely exceed 200 km/h in service).
Oddly enough, the 2015 Northern Transport Strategy Autumn Report does not seem to mention “high speed”, or “HS3”.
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|The Northern Transport Strategy: Autumn Report
One agenda. One economy. One North.