HS2 once over for Birmingham

On June 22nd I reported that Network Rail were looking at a series of potential routes for High Speed trains across the UK; HS2 twice over for Birmingham.

After more changes in opinion it was recently reported that the Government has changed it's opinion on High Speed routes following Tom Harris' suggestion that High Speed's damage to the environment ruled it out as a government option in June; Hopelessly Silly Trains?

The Buckinghamshire Advertiser has reported that the route shadowing the Chiltern Line to Birmingham mused in the Independent's article is now dead; No high speed rail for Chilterns. This would give one High Speed link to Birmingham routed from Heathrow.

The government announcement on the 30th October revealed plans for a high speed rail link from Heathrow to the North which would go via St Pancras and allow airline passengers to transfer to trains for connections to Europe and across Britain. There would be a high speed hub with 12 platforms North of the M4 near Heathrow which would connect upto the High Speed One route from St Pancras.

It seems however that this route would sink the proposed shadowing of the Chiltern Line but which was further undermined by Network Rail who have outlined the technical obstacles to the proposed route.

Meanwhile Network Rail's community relations manager Matt Rice has said that the Chiltern Line is not suitable for high speed rail.

In a letter to Gerrards Cross resident Harvey Parr, dated September 25, he wrote: "The route from London to Birmingham via the Chilterns on the face of it is not a practicable one. Whilst the new tunnel (underneath Tesco at Gerrards Cross) would be able to carry traffic designed in the exact mould as HS2 (High Speed 2), the existing infrastructure would need completely revamping. The current gauge restrictions and the elevation of the infrastructure at certain points do not lend the route to a high speed service."


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