‘Upgrade East Coast Main Line before HS2’ if Leeds and Yorkshire want faster rail links to London – Yorkshire Post Letters

From: Mike Rawson, Cheshunt, Hertfordshire.

Work continues on HS2.
Work continues on HS2.

THE decision to scrap HS2 running to Leeds is controversial but those who travel to London should not despair.

The planned scheme would have seen a saving of 50 minutes on the current East Coast journey time but at considerable cost because a premium for the high-speed service is a certainty.

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Work continues on HS2 but the eastern leg to Leeds is on hold.

The current journey time to the capital is two hours 13 minutes at a cost of £28-60 (if purchased in advance) and planned improvements on the East Coast Route will reduce the journey time to London King’s Cross to one hour 56 minutes. This compares well to the one hour 22 minutes on HS2.

If sections of the line between the East Coast Route and Leeds were to be improved, the journey time could be reduced to one hour 45 minutes, making the difference just 23 minutes.

If the government ‘four tracked’ the entire East Coast Route, 140mph Azuma trains would match the HS2 journey times from Leeds, via Birmingham, to London Euston.

Rail Minister Andrew Stephenson, who assures MPs 18 high-speed trains per hour will run between Birmingham and London Euston, is anxious to pacify Yorkshire folk by telling everybody HS2 trains will run to Leeds at conventional speeds.

Work continues on HS2 but the eastern leg to Leeds is on hold following the Government's Integrated Rail Plan.

If the Minister thinks operating 225mph trains on the classic railway will not affect the ability to run trains travelling at four miles per minute, about three minutes apart, on the high-speed network, he knows nothing about railways.

Will the HS2 trains be fitted with two different signalling systems? Ministers should look at the delayed Crossrail project which involves three different systems with massive interface problems.

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