Ditching electrification plans and keeping HS2 shows UK has a two-tier rail system, campaigners claim

Campaigners fighting the HS2 scheme say ditching plans for electrification of other parts of the network show the UK now has a two-tier railways system.

An artist's impression of HS2

An artist’s impression of HS2

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling confirmed yesterday (July 20th) that a number of routes in the Midlands, Wales and the north would not be upgraded.

The Government instead plans to introduce trains that can run on diesel and electric instead.

Penny Gaines, from the Stop HS2, group says the move asks even more questions of the controversial £55billion high speed rail route linking London with the north via Birmingham.

“It seems that when it comes to rail spending there is a definite two speed system in this country,” she said. “A handful of places which have already have good links to London are getting HS2, which will make their already fast journeys even faster.

“But elsewhere, spending on rail improvements is being cancelled. The electric spine of rail improvements promised in 2012 turns out to have been a mirage, while the government is blinded by the shiny glamour of HS2.

“In what is a real kick in the teeth to people affected by HS2, the Government has cited concerns about unsightly electric gantries spoiling the view and disruption to local communities as being part of the rationale for downgrading their plans. But when the same sort of concerns about HS2 have been made by local communities affected by HS2, the Government has basically said ‘tough’.”

Mr Grayling said a new generation of dual-operating trains meant widespread changes to routes was not necessary.

“Thanks to this new technology disruptive electrification works will no longer be needed,” the Transport Secretary said.

“Passengers will benefit sooner and experience less disruption compared with putting up intrusive wires and masts along routes where they are no longer required.”


  1. Mr Andy McIntyre

    April 19, 2018 at 12:33 am

    I’m hopeful that Andreas Vogler’s approach to Double-Deck rolling stock (compliant with UK’s structure gauge) sets a precedent for comparable designs on non-highspeed applications. (1) We don’t even need two-fold standing/walking headroom to achieve the seating capacity of oversea’s existing (2×1-abraest) Gallery Railcars, save for minimal reconfiguring of seating columns v passageways. The levels could effectively interlaced ‘tongue & groove’ fashion. Also (2) ‘ditching’ the arched bridges and tunnels on remaining Diesel lines would facilitate ‘game changing’ flat-roofed rolling stock.

    • Mr Andy McIntyre

      April 19, 2018 at 12:45 am

      I’m hopeful that Andrea Vogler’s Aeroliner300 concept sets a precedent for designs compatible with more suburban applications. UK’s existing structure gauge is perfectly adequate for rolling stock which comprise Vogler’s ‘interdeck’ approach. Upgrades merely to the arched structures on non-electrified routes would present a total ‘blank canvas’.

      • Mr Andy McIntyre

        April 19, 2018 at 12:49 am

        I’m hopeful that cues are taken from Andrea Vogler’s Aeroliner300 in designing regular non-highspeed rolling stock. UK’s structure gauge is, by no means, restrictive. Also, removal of existing arched bridges/tunnels would be a further ‘game changer’.

  2. Mr Andy McIntyre

    April 19, 2018 at 12:51 am

    We don’t need true double-deck trains anyway as exemplified by proposed HS2 rolling stock. Cues need to be taken from Vogler’s Aeroliner300.

  3. Mr Andy McIntyre

    April 19, 2018 at 12:54 am

    Hopefully, Vogler’s Aeroliner300 concept will set a precedent for non-highspeed bi-level applications as well.

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