HS2 – Notes from Glasgow

Jim Steer, Greengauge 21 – Carbon savings quadruple during phase 2 of HS2

In previous posts we’ve written about the call from Scotland to bring high-speed rail north of the Border.

At the high-speed rail summit in Glasgow the wish to build a new route between Edinburgh and Glasgow by 2024 was unveiled. But Scotland’s determination to be part of HS2 – connected to the North, Midlands and London by high-speed rail – was stronger than ever.

Before we leave Glasgow it’s worth examining some of the interesting comments and observations made by speakers.

Professor Roderick Smith of Imperial College London told the audience that the land needed by 500km of high-speed rail tracks was the equivalent of building one airport.

Prof Smith said that capacity was key to high-speed rail and revealed that a Japanese Shinkansen double-decker train could carry 1,634 passengers.

Prof Smith also concluded that Birmingham looked a ‘very good candidate’ for airport expansion with HS2.

Jim Steer of Greengauge 21 said that a Glasgow-London high-speed rail service could complete the journey in 2h 40m.

Mr Steer said Greengauge 21 had calculated that the carbon savings made by HS2 would quadruple in phase 2 (Birmingham to Manchester/Leeds) of the project.

David Simpson, route managing director for Network Rail Scotland , said 30% more train services were operating in Scotland than a decade ago.

Scottish transport minister Keith Brown said high-speed rail would deliver £2.4bn worth of benefits north of the Border.

Pete Waterman said we should build high-speed trains in Britain.

“The question is not can we afford to build it; rather can we afford not to,” he added.

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