Have a tough time
HS2 Ltd chairman David Higgins has said that the company’s new high speed line would not aim to take business away from the Midland Main Line, and would have a “tough time” competing with Derby Midland train station.
[Timesavings HS2 could bring to Derby travellers are revealed, Chris Mallett, Derby Telegraph, January 21, 2016]
[…] Buoyed by last year’s decision by the region’s councils to unify and get behind an HS2 station at Toton, Sir David Higgins was almost incredulous when asked if he expected any issues in the region when he visited Derby on Wednesday.
He said that achieving the quick link between Derby, Toton, and Nottingham would need some kind of “Metro” service – in this case meaning a light rail or tram service.
Sir David said: “I don’t think there’s any contentious issues here [in the East Midlands]. “We’ll be working with residents and business owners all along the route that are affected and to keep them informed about the compensation they are entitled to.”
Asked whether it wouldn’t be better to electrify the current tracks and increase lengths of platforms and trains to increase capacity Sir David said this had been tried.
He pointed to the revamp of the West Coast Mainline, where “£10 billion” of spending had brought only a 20% increase in the number of people the line could serve.
But according to the National Audit Office, Phase 3 of the West Coast Main Line modernisation
was undertaken to increase capacity by “80 per cent for long distance passenger trains”, and “60 – 70 per cent more freight paths“.
And if HS2 is not supposed to compete with classic rail, why does its January 2012 Updated appraisal of HS2 transport user benefits state that 65% of its passengers would be transfers from classic rail?
The Derby Telegraph article mentioned that Mr Higgins was ‘keen to highlight the reliability HS2 would bring in comparison to existing train routes’.
He said: “The West Coast Mainline is down for three months [after storm damage].
“There’s no form of traffic there now. So it’s all about reliability. You can go down on HS2 a morning trip and get back.”
He said the line would benefit from flood protection that leaves it susceptible to flooding that has only a 0.1% chance of happening in any given year.
What a load of old nonsense. West Coast Main Line trains to Glasgow were stopped by flooding in Cumbria, but not one yard of the £56 billion HS2 Y network track would be in that county.