BBC: "HS2: 12 arguments for and against"

Link to web site

"Labour has cast doubt on the future of HS2 but just what are the arguments for and against a new high-speed rail link between London and the north of England?

"Shadow chancellor Ed Balls still supports the government's scheme but warned there should be no blank cheque.

"So what are the main arguments?"


[Reposted Q&A from Jan 2012] Latest Old Oak Common information from TfL

The Old Oak Common sand pit: have fun!
(Image added July 2013: Wikipedia user: Cnbrb)

1. What time-scale would transport improvements happen there (at OOC), if the Government approves of HS2 in the new year?
It is too early at this stage to be definitive. TfL are pushing High Speed Two Limited (HS2 Ltd) to include plans for connecting the London Overground into the interchange at Old Oak Common in time for the initial phase, due to open in 2026.
2. What does TfL think of the light-rail proposals of LBH&F?
TfL are supportive of the principle of providing local connections from Old Oak Common to surrounding areas, such as Kensal, Park Royal and Willesden Junction. A light rail system may be the best way to provide these links, but more work is required to determine whether other options may be more suitable.
3. Is there any news of how HS2 would connect to HS1?
TfL do not support the current proposal to link HS2 to HS1 due to the likely adverse impacts on both London Overground and freight services on the North London Line. Network Rail are undertaking further work for HS2 Ltd exploring alternative options for linking the two high speed lines.
4. Is there any news about a Crossrail station in K&C as well as at Old Oak Common?
TfL do not support having Crossrail stations at both Kensal Gasworks (K&C) and Old Oak Common (H&F). The journey time disbenefits to through passengers would outweigh the benefits. Due to the connectivity benefits brought about by providing an HS2 / Crossrail interchange, TfL are fully supportive of a Crossrail station at Old Oak Common. As such, TfL do not support stopping Crossrail trains at Kensal Gasworks. In addition to this – given the close proximity of the two station locations, it is felt that links between Old Oak Common and Kensal Gasworks could be provided by other means.
5. Would WCML slow trains be diverted onto Crossrail? If so how would that be done; would the trains call at Old Oak Common? With extra platforms?
TfL have undertaken extensive analysis into diverting some of the WCML slow trains onto Crossrail. In particular, if those London Midland slow line services that currently run into Euston are instead run as Crossrail services, there may well be a large reduction in passenger arrivals at Euston, potentially freeing up space for HS2 passengers. This would require a new rail link between the WCML and GWML in the Old Oak Common vicinity, potentially utilising the Dudding Hill Line. Crossrail trains running up the WCML could call at Old Oak Common, either at new platforms, or they could utilise the platforms provided on the GWML as part of the HS2 proposals.
6. H&F have suggested completely new Overground platforms parallel to the Old Oak HS2 and Crossrail platforms on the south side of those lines.

a. Is this being considered?
H&F have safeguarded a section above the North Pole sidings, as part of the conditions for the IEP depot. This would potentially allow for London Overground platforms, although such a station would be 200-300m away from the HS2 / Crossrail interchange at Old Oak Common. TfL are exploring options that would allow for easier interchange between all three services (LO, HS2 and Crossrail) – see Figure 1, below.
b. If so, would NLL or WLL Overground trains use it?
Potentially both WLL and NLL services could serve this station.
c. If not are platforms on the NLL or WLL at Old Oak being considered?
See (a) above.
7. Would the Central line station at North Acton be moved nearer to Old Oak or NLL?
Under TfL’s preferred plans, North Acton station would remain where it is.
8. Would Southern services stop at OOC and if so how?
Southern services could make use of the connection from the WLL (see Figure 1 below) potentially allowing Clapham Junction to Milton Keynes services to run via Old Oak Common.
9. Regarding a possible “Hounslow to Hendon” Overground service, would this call at Old Oak (and how)? What stations are feasible in Brent?
As part of a new interchange at Old Oak Common, running London Overground services along the Dudding Hill Line, via Old Oak Common could be considered, although these services might have to reverse at Old Oak Common for this to be possible.
10. Is Overground being considered because light-rail on the Dudding Hill Line is too difficult to mix with freight?
Overground services on the Dudding Hill line are being considered because, given the other London Overground services in the area, extending the London Overground network is likely to be more cost-effective than providing a new light rail network. It is essential that the ability for freight trains to use the Dudding Hill line is retained. It may be possible to develop a scheme where light rail services can operate alongside freight trains, but operating London Overground services over the Dudding Hill line is likely to be a simpler way of providing improved connectivity between Brent Cross and Old Oak Common.

[Reposted] TfL Old Oak Common thoughts in Feb 2012


"The British first complain about big infrastructure projects, then come to revere them. HS2 will be no different"

Link to The Independent

"Is HS2 an expensive white elephant that should be put out of its misery?

"Well, no. The arguments in favour of HS2 are just as compelling as they were – even if they have been badly made and badly defended in recent months.

"Part of the problem is the focus on speed as the main selling point of the new railway. Yes, the new railway will go faster but that is not the real reason for building HS2. The real reason is capacity. The current West Coast main line is – in non-technical language – full. It cannot take any more trains. Not just fast trains – but commuter trains and freight trains as well."

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