What is the point of HS2?

Mohammed Salique owns a Restaurant called Diwana in Drummond Street, which runs west from the side of Euston station. Diwana, which opened in 1970, claims that it was the first restaurant in Britain to serve South Indian vegetarian food. It wasn’t the first Asian food outlet in the street: Ambala, now a chain of shops selling Indian sweets, opened in 1965, catering to the immigrants from India and Bangladesh (then ...

HS2 is one big punt

January 28th, 2013 Guardian 14 comments
Let battle commence. The controversy so far over the building of the new north-south high-speed railway line, HS2, has been led by well-heeled residents of the Chilterns who are seen as self-serving nimbys. Now that the northern sections of the route have been announced, the arguments will undoubtedly intensify and broaden out to examine the viability of a project that will cost at least £33bn and take ...

HS2 case rests on flimsy foundations

January 20th, 2012 Accountancy 9 comments
The plan to build a high speed rail network across Britain is the largest ever single infrastructure project this country has ever seen. In cost terms, at £32.7bn, it dwarfs predecessors such as the Channel Tunnel or the Olympics and is on the scale of, say, the Pyramids or the Panama Canal. While it is, therefore, hardly surprising that the project generates considerable controversy, it is astonishing that the basis ...

One million jobs claim is a disgrace

October 13th, 2011 Christian Says 9 comments
A few weeks ago I wrote in my Rail column (http://www.christianwolmar.co.uk/2011/08/rail-676-dishonest-arguments-by-both-pro-and-anti-hs2/)  about the dishonest arguments being pushed by both sides in the debate over HSR. While the antis had certainly been a bit dishonest with the evidence from surveys, by far the most outlandish claim was from the Campaign for High Speed Rail which claimed that the line would create 1m new jobs. As I wrote at the time, this was ...

High speed evidence is flimsy

December 20th, 2010 Times 109 comments
  I love railways. It was only the discovery of girls that lured me away from hanging around on station platforms, notebook in hand, in my teens, and I still love the feeling of settling down to a long train journey, book on my lap. But despite that I am adamantly opposed to the idea of a new north high-speed line that is the subject of a consultation paper being published ...

High speed rail spreads around the world

Building a high-speed rail line between London and the North of England was one of the few policy areas on which all three of the main political parties agreed during the recent UK election campaign. That was a complete turnaround from the previous election when the subject was barely mentioned and none of the parties were supportive. Perhaps British politicians now realise the UK is lagging behind the rest of ...

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