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Andy Street disses the HS2 eastern leg

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Yesterday (14 July), the mayor of the West Midlands, Andy Street, told the House of Commons transport select committee that the eastern leg of HS2 (Birmingham to Leeds) “does not need to be built in full”. He called on the government to focus on “better connecting towns in the Midlands” and the ‘Midlands Rail Hub’ instead of building the eastern leg, but said it would be “cataclysmic” for the West Midlands if the western leg of HS2 to Manchester were cancelled.

This is all rather awkward, considering the sustained and vociferous support for the eastern leg from the West Midlands Combined Authority, Transport for West Midlands, and Midlands Connect.

One might well wonder, why would it be ‘cataclysmic’ to cancel the western leg, but not the eastern one?

Regular readers of the Beleben blog may be aware that the HS2 western leg is an environmental disaster and economic basket case, and that the centrepiece of the Midlands Rail Hub, the ‘Camp Hill chords’, are probably unbuildable in the form put forward by Midlands Connect.

The Beleben blog prediction is that the Midlands Connect idea of two Camp Hill chords, apparently merging in mid-air above the Great Western lines, never happens, and that would mean any feasible Midlands Rail Hub would bear no resemblance to the currently proposed scheme.

Camp hill Chords, official diagram

Written by beleben

July 15, 2021 at 1:23 pm

Posted in Bizarre, HS2

One Response

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  1. Forget Camp Hill Chords & deliver an 18-20 platform Central Birmingham station with a 400m tunnel linking Red Lounge at New Street with Mezzanine/Livery Street Car Park at Snow Hill & restoring platforms/tracks where lower levels of Livery St Car Park have used footprint

    At least 1 new entrance for New St/Snow Hill as new Birmingham Central Station via ‘shop unit’ on Temple Row, with options to break in to the Anchor Telephone Exchange and the New Street-Mailbox Tunnels & have direct access to this central station complex from many parts of the city (eg New Hall Street access to Anchor Exchange)

    Extend second tunnel bore at Snow Hill – currently ends at Temple Row – under Bull St & Carrs Lane (< 1Km) to emerge & make a grade separated connection to a re-engineered Proof House junction, enabling all 4 'New Street' routes from East to also run in to Snow Hill

    Punch down through arches under platforms 5 & 6 at Moor Street to meet East Approach Tunnels for New Street (which pass under the buffer ends of current platforms 3-5 at Moor Street) thus XC from Reading can run directly in to 11-12 at New Street.

    New chord 1 at Winson Green (400m turning SW on to Bescot Loop), enables all trains via Snow Hill to continue to Wolverhampton/Kidderminster or hold to loop back via New Street

    New chord 2 at Winson Green (800m turning NE on to Bescot Loop) enables XC services to Derby without reversals (if Lichfield-Burton upgraded), & diversions via Tame Valley to Wolverhampton, when direct line not available

    Lichfield TV-Burton, a very short section to electrify, perhaps keep the team that did Rugeley-Walsall together for this, and then Coventry-Nuneaton as small, steady infill, with Kings Norton-Camp Hill, and Bromsgrove-Burnt Green as a portfolio of smaller projects that can roll steadily forward. Another being Coventry-Leamington, extending the current local service from New Street, or running Leamington-Nuneaton to maximise use of EMU's. Extending TV-Burton could ease commuter demand via Tamworth & get more use of electrics on Cross-city network.


    July 15, 2021 at 3:29 pm

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