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.