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HSUK A new railway for Britain


HSUK map sketch

Many of us have, for several years now, suspected that the published plans for the proposed new railway system HS2 were not really good for the UK. Colin Elliffe has prepared plans for an alternative scheme which he has called HSUK. Colin has worked on various railways throughout his long career and is a man who clearly knows how railways work. His plans reveal that our fears were indeed justified and that HS2 has failed to meet most of its own objectives even before construction has begun.

HS2 was proposed to the nation as a scheme to rejuvenate Britain and provide a high speed rail link between London and the manufacturing heartland of this nation. In this it has failed; the passenger times from London to Birmingham will actually be greater than at present and much more inconvenient. There was supposed to be a link to Heathrow which has mysteriously disappeared. The proposed HS1 link to the channel tunnel was abandoned because it required the demolition of half of Camden. The idea was to spread the wealth of London across the nation but there is a vast array of scientific proof that connecting two great bodies of energy together results in the larger one increasing to the detriment of the smaller. In this tiny island 400 kph trains are a nonsense. They also require extremely large amounts of energy to achieve those speeds and are environmentally unfriendly.

HSUK is predicated on connecting the manufacturing centres of the Midlands and North and Scotland to help regenerate the manufacturing capacity which has been deliberately run down in recent decades by years of deliberately anti-manufacturing government policy. The simple fact is that civilisation consists of people taking materials from the ground—there are only 92 of them—and turning them into saleable and useful products. Without these artefacts we would die. They ARE civilisation.

HSUK includes useful improvements to numerous existing junctions, reinstatement of a few useful links removed by Beeching and provision of a true nodal system directly connecting at least 22 midlands and northern cities. There is not a major town in the heartland of the country that does not benefit from this scheme. It also includes a four track super rail from London to Glasgow on the East Coast which avoids the conurbations of Birmingham and Manchester/Liverpool but does link in several northern cities on its route. It also reinstates the link to the Channel Tunnel line by sensible means and includes links to Heathrow and Gatwick; it does everything that HS2 does not and also will help rejuvenate manufacturing and wealth-creation and cost £20 billion less. It can also be done a little at a time and thus avoid massive disruption of contractors, wealth and traffic. Its flexibility means that it could probably be constructed far faster than HS2.

HS2 appears to have failed in all its major requirements; its benefits are that it pushes a huge amount of wealth into the hands of a very few companies and people and aggrandises London. It will however reduce traffic on the southern spur of the WCML and enable many more commuter trains from Milton Keynes and area into London. London wins again; the manufacturing heartland suffers. The present services between London and Birmingham are to be slashed thus leaving many smaller cities, especially Coventry, in limbo land.

Brexit will be over and forgotten in five years. HSUK will be of benefit to the nation for at least two hundred years. It is far too important to get it wrong. Rebuilding railways does not happen often. This one must be right. For further information search on-line for “HSUK proposal” and there are many articles to chose from. Then write and tell your MP to scrap this ill-conceived HS2 and substitute HSUK instead.

25th September 2017

Colin Walker

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