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Repurposing HS2 land and prep

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Much HS2 destruction has taken place, but no construction

On BBC Radio’s Westminster Hour (12 May), the outgoing head of the National Audit Office, Amyas Morse, questioned whether it would still be possible to cancel HS2 phase one (London to West Midlands).

Intercity trains at Euston

The situation is that although well over £4 billion has been spent, not one yard of track has been laid. Cancelling HS2 phase one is a feasible and attractive option, and much of the land and property acquired on the route could easily be re-sold.

There would also be the possibility of repurposing certain HS2 lands for alternative transport purposes. For instance, on the west side of Euston, new long platforms could be built, but connected into the West Coast Main Line. This would enable 12-car IEP, or similar trains, to run from London to the Midlands and north, on existing tracks, at some point in the future.

For example, the metro mayor of Liverpool, Steve Rotheram, wants to build a new station with long platforms in his city. So, in principle, 900-seat intercity trains could run from Euston to Merseyside, on existing West Coast Main Line tracks.

Another repurposing option might entail building a section of HS2 from Old Oak Common as far as the Great Central alignment in Buckinghamshire. Re-using the existing GC alignment from there as far as the outskirts of Leicester would create new capacity with much reduced environmental impacts (e.g. much lower embedded carbon), and allow local benefits which are entirely absent in the HS2 scheme. Connection with the West Coast Main Line could be made east or west of Rugby, and would require some kilometres of new-build.

Calvert interchange station concept (Beleben)

The local benefits of this option would come from stations at Calvert, Brackley, Woodford Halse, Rugby, and Shawell.

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Written by beleben

May 16, 2019 at 10:01 am

Posted in HS2

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