New high speed railway lines must be designed to run trains at up to 300km/h if they are to take traffic from the roads, supporters of the proposed High Speed 2 link between London and the north said this week.
Speaking at a Mace transportation briefing last week, high speed rail pressure group Greengauge21 founder Jim Steer said reducing journey times between London and Manchester by half an hour would not be enough.
“We have to do more,” said Steer. “Saving half an hour will not encourage enough transference from road to rail.”
“Saving half an hour will not encourage enough transference from road to rail.”
Jim Steer, Greengauge21
The Department for Transport is working on plans to place capacity ahead of speed, with trains speeds limited to 250km/h. Britain’s only existing high speed line, High Speed 1, runs trains at a maximum 300km/h.
High Speed 2 rail director Andrew McNaughton even suggested that the new high speed line be called “High Capacity One’” (NCE 12 February). However, Steer said he would be surprised if maximum operating speeds for the new line were less than 300km/h.
Mace director Dean Benson agreed: “Engineers need to bring ideas to the public and engage with them.” Transport secretary Lord Adonis set up High Speed 2 to investigate high speed rail options between London, and the north earlier this year.