die belebende Bedenkung

What are the decongestion benefits of HS2?

with 3 comments

The official documentation for the proposed HS2 railway does not seem to make much mention of ‘decongestion’ as a benefit of the scheme. Where the word does occur, it tends to be in the context of the supposed road, rather than rail, decongestion effects.

However, some supporters of HS2 are claiming the scheme would ‘decongest the existing rail network’.

What is patently lacking, is any meaningful definition of ‘decongestion’, or evidence of how that would take place.

twitter, @WhatTrainToday,

Consider, for example, the idea that ‘HS2 is decongestive’ because ‘each express train on the existing West Coast line eats up 3 to 6 stopping paths’.

In fact, ‘express trains’ out of Euston run on their own separate tracks, and have done for decades. The idea that removing one of those express trains, would allow 3 to 6 stopping trains to run in its place, is laughable.


Written by beleben

November 6, 2018 at 1:12 pm

Posted in HS2, misinformation

3 Responses

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  1. Why aren’t MPs asking what services would be ceasing on existing lines?


    November 7, 2018 at 8:18 am

    • It’s not my place to answer your question, but:
      a) The MPs really don’t care.
      b) The proposed cancellations were published back in 2013 for the consultation. At least, in the ever-changing world of HS2. Roughly, half the inter-city services to London were cancelled on affected lines.
      c) HS2 & the government have washed their hands of the replacement services. They are the responsibility of the franchise holders – the same holders of the HS2 franchise. My impression of HS1 is that the cancelled services were not replaced. Someone has to subsidise them.


      November 7, 2018 at 10:55 am

  2. ‘MPs not asking’ about HS2 will be the vast majority: Members with constituencies out-with the route, Members affected by the route who have ‘won’ alleviation works and Members who are affected by HS2 but who don’t want to be seen asking awkward questions. And of those MPs who could ask questions about HS2, and who understand the detail, Andrew Tyrie has now retired from the House:

    Andrew Tyrie MP letter to Transport Secretary 4 Jan 2017

    “The largest impact to the benefit-cost ratio for the full HS2 network comes from more recent outturn demand data from 2011 to 2014. It is demonstrated in Figure 1.2 in the Department’s economic case for HS2 that the impact of this increase on the benefit­ cost ratio is 1.6. If the demand update were to be removed, the benefit-cost ratio falls dramatically, from 2.7 for the full network, to 1.1. In other words, without this latest data, the business case suggests that HS2 is scarcely worth the candle.”


    November 8, 2018 at 12:16 pm

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