New lines will “fire up the northern economy" - Stephenson

HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail offer an historic challenge and an unprecedented opportunity, according to the Minister responsible for both projects.

Speaking in Manchester on February 27, Andrew Stephenson said they would “reverse decades of underinvestment in your northern railways” and “fire up the northern economy just like the original railways did.”

Stephenson said of the planned new railways: “To really address overcrowding on the network, and provide the connections required to stimulate renewal across the North, we need to build new capacity.

“New rail links north to south, and east to west. That’s why we’re going ahead with both HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail. These are not ‘either/or’ projects. They are both crucial to our future prosperity.

“HS2 is not simply a project that the North and Midlands benefit from. It is a project for these regions - liberating new capacity on the existing railway, connecting communities and unleashing their potential.

“The critics who say that HS2 will only benefit London are simply wrong. They ignore the voices in towns and cities across the North. They ignore the businesses and passengers who are crying out for investment and change.”

Stephenson warned that Government needs to have a realistic, pragmatic and hard-nosed management of the costs, and a determination to unleash benefits that will revitalise northern England.

  • For the FULL story, read RAIL 900, published on March 11, and available digitally from March 7.

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  • John Berry - 02/03/2020 15:38

    HS2 has nowhere to terminate in the North. Suggested was Manchester Airport which has no extra capacity. The money should be relocated to the Northern power house as Electrification between Manchester and Yorkshire is sadly lacking behind London ---to Brighton which was up and running in the 1940s. North/South .

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  • Angus Munro - 06/03/2020 20:20

    It is a great worry that there seems to be a shift of emphasis from speed, then to capacity and speed, to now just capacity; but we need both. ------------------------------------------------------------ Stephenson is acting like a typically party selected robotic politician, following the script of Shapps who now wants to save money by building cheaper HS2/NPR lines and running trains slower. We know we can have speed and capacity despite having more circuitous lines by using the latest Alstom and Talgo tilting very high speed trains – with tilt available up to 155mph, and non-tilt to HS2 speeds. -------------------------------------------------------------- What we seem to be being briefed is to now accept the WORST OF BOTH WORLDS with circuitous track AND slow conventional speed track, so the north will be offered a lower standard of infrastructure investment. ------------------------------------------------------------ FOI18-2201 24Jan2019. Footnote 28, p35 PWC report Nov 2016 ------------------------------------------------------------ The above FOI shows that it cost just 9% more for a 360kmph line v a 125mph line. If economic improvement is to come about, journey times need to come down significantly so that commuting between cities is as efficient as commuting from the suburbs to a city centre. So build the track to operate trains to at least 155mph in tilt mode and higher if possible, and 360kmph on less restricted alignments; then we have the best of both worlds.

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