Thursday, 12 January 2012


If you live in England I am sure you will have heard of HS2!

It is the new high speed rail link that was approved this week by the government and is going in between London and Birmingham, for which there has been serious opposition.

Obviously no one wants a big and loud train zooming along in their back garden probably vibrating and blowing the poor little birds out of their trees and I sympathise with those who will have to move and be compensated.

I am also quite environmentally minded having studied Geography at university and so I am concerned about the environmental implications of the new line as it goes through ancient woodlands and SSSI's, but I also love my trains and I have travelled on the German ICE (high speed trains) a fair bit too and they are brilliant.

They are expensive to use however and currently having my 18-25 Young Person's railcard is the only way I can afford to use the trains in England and once I turn 25 that ability will disappear and I am likely to be priced out of using the train which is my fastest and easiest way to get to London.

Not only is price a concern but the cost of £33 billion to build the new line and then the time it will take to build the new line! Around 12 to 14 years just to build approximately a 100 mile stretch! If it could be done in 5 that would be great, but that just seems a bit too long! 

The chinese would have one built in 2 years if not a year! Mind you we have health and safety galore etc....

It has been suggested that the money should be invested in the current network. This is actually being done by Network Rail with investment taking place at Reading, Birmingham New Street and many other locations, but for example trains can't go faster on my local line because it is too bendy. High Speed trains need long straight lines to go fast on and so new lines are certainly needed. 

I do think the country needs high speed rail, and we have lagged behind mainland Europe too long and it should make a large difference to the country, but I do hope the environmental impact can be minimised and I do hope the new line will pay its own way and not have to be heavily subsidised in years to come, because then investing in old lines would have been much more beneficial.

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