YP Letters: HS2 is key to getting railways back on track and increasing capacity

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From: GC Wilson, Forest Crescent, Harrogate.

YOUR correspondent Karl Sheridan (The Yorkshire Post, March 18) is just the latest to grasp the wrong end of the stick when it comes to commenting on HS2.

The fact is that the main line railways are full to capacity since the explosion of the numbers travelling since the early 1990s. There are now approaching two billion journeys being made by rail each year. You have only got to stand near the East Coast main line to appreciate the number of trains running and the short headways to which they operate.

All this on what are the safest railways in Europe. Now you can argue at length on the wisdom of the cuts which followed the Beeching report, carried out with at least equal enthusiasm by both Conservative and Labour governments, but this is entirely a separate subject.

The fact is we need extra capacity and building a new railway is an expensive business. If we do need a new railway, we could always construct a steam-operated system which might delight some but would hardly send a signal to the world that we are a modern country with which they can do business.

So, gentlemen, just remember that the reason for HS2 is capacity and faster journeys are simply a consequence, and not the be all and end all.