23 March 2010

HS2 Report

We've poured through the report into Britain's first internal High Speed Railway, which was commissioned last year at the behest of Transport Secretary Lord Andrew Adonis, who received HS2 Ltd's report at the end of last year.

Having spent the first two months of the year pouring over its finer detail, the Labour government now recommends the most of the report and plans to start work building the new high-speed railway from 2017 that will see trains capable of running at speeds of 250mph, with a headline London-Birmingham journey time of just 49 minutes.

The route has been identified as a Y-shaped network shown above, with Scotland connected to the eventual high-speed network utilising existing lines

There are two train types recommended - 'Classic Compatible' and 'Captive'. The former are trains capable of operating over both new-build high-speed railway and existing lines; the latter are trains to travel exclusively over new high-speed line, though 'in principle' would be able to traverse the metals of the existing railway lines.

HS2 Ltd's report makes no reference to exact train types, only their likely cost. It's widely assumed a train based strongly on France's TGV is expected to be plumped on

We report the main detail in bullet form:
  • Work to commence in 2017, following hot-on-the-heels of Crossrail's completion
  • Trains to travel at speeds up to 250mph
  • Phase 1 between London (Euston) and Birmingham (Curzon Street)
  • Initially14 trains per hour
  • Train sets generally operating doubled-up
  • Each train set to seat 550 passengers, 200m in length
  • Seating capacity of 1,100 per complete train
  • West London interchange planned under Old Oak Common (to connect here with Heathrow Express to Heathrow Airport and Crossrail)
  • Heathrow interchange planned
  • Birmingham Interchange planned for M42/M6, Airport & NEC
  • Phase 2 will see likely extension of high-speed line to Manchester and Leeds
  • Trains to pass onto existing lines for travel north of Manchester to Glasgow & Edinburgh and north of Leeds to Newcastle.
  • 'Captive' train set to cost £25 million each, 16 required
  • 'Classic Compatible' train set to cost £37.5 million each, 45 required
  • £2.8 billion is initial fleet cost total
  • 'Classic Compatible' sets won't tilt and will thus be slower than Virgin's Pendolinos
  • High-speed lines to only be used by High Speed Trains
  • London-Glasgow in 3:30 using high-speed line to Manchester and then existing WCML to Glasgow
  • Full consultation planned on entire route length defined as Phase 1
  • New depot planned at Washwood Heath, near Birmingham
  • Main element the DfT changed from HS2 Ltd's report was high-speed line directly linking Leeds-Manchester
  • Heathrow Express' journey time between Old Oak Common-Heathrow guaranteed at 10 mins
  • Adonis describes HS2 as a 'once-in-a-lifetime chance to overcome the severe limitations of Britain's Victorian north-south railway'
  • WCML passengers to reduce from 105,000 to 20,000 per day by 2033, benefiting cities such as Milton Keynes, Northampton etc
Euston would be rebuilt as shown by the outline in red


March 2010 – Government published proposals for high speed rail
Summer 2010 – further engagement work and consultation preparation
Autumn 2010 – formal public consultation
2011 – Government decides whether to proceed and proposed route for London to Birmingham
2011-2013 – further detailed design and assessment of the route
2013 – further public consultation
2014 – Hybrid Bill laid in House of Commons
2019 – construction could start
2026 – line between London and Birmingham could open

Further reading:
High Speed 2 Report (Captive Document, pdf file, 152 pages)
High Speed 2 Official Website
Lord Adonis' Ministerial Statement to the House of Lords, announcing the report into High Speed 2

No comments: