In the news again today. I wondered if it might be interesting to gauge people's opinion here given we have a large number of members that are involved in railway infrastructure projects - large and small.
Exciting new project creating jobs and easing pressure on the network? Or waste of time and money that could be better spent elsewhere?!
I'm in no doubt that the WCML is full. Whether the answer is a new line - at massive expense - or further upgrades to the existing infrastructure such as carried out at Norton Bridge I don't know. The other rather silly thing is that HS2 will have no connection to HS1 except via crowded underground lines or a trudge along Euston Road. The mistake was closing the Great Central but that's because no-one had a crystal ball at the time.
I don't want to see the money spent on building the new line, we already have one that goes from south to north. But seriously, how can we have such a 'modern' railway constructed when pockets of the network are still controlled by semaphore. I feel that the current network will better serve us by being upgraded, than overlooked.
As Andrew quite rightly observes, the WCML IS full. However, the rationale regarding no connection between HS1 and HS2 seems a trifle ridiculous, and one that I am absolutely certain, will be bitterly regretted in the future. I also wonder about the remaining services on the WCML after.
I thought that WCML was full until I studied the first class usage on Virgin trains. The total nonsense on WCML is compounded by still sending freight from Felixstowe to the north via London and WCML. Need to quadruple line north of Bedford and reinstate Great Central north of Aylesbury which would be cheaper option than the current lunacy of HS2 actually being slower than current layout in getting to Central London via Old Oak Common. A quadrupling of Welwyn viaduct is desperately needed as is electrification of Nuneaton to Birmingham. A viaduct over Harefield Lakes seems like crass stupidity but I do admit to being a NIMBY on this particular point.