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High Speed Rail

London to the West Midlands and Beyond

A Report to Government
by High Speed Two Limited
While High Speed Two (HS2) Limited has made every effort to ensure the information in this document is accurate, HS2 Ltd does
not guarantee the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of the information contained in this document and it cannot accept
liability for any loss or damages of any kind resulting from reliance on the information or guidance this document contains.

© Copyright, High Speed Two (HS2) Limited, 2009.

Copyright in the typographical arrangements rests with HS2 Limited.

This publication, excluding logos, may be reproduced free of charge in any format or medium for non-commercial research,
private study or for internal circulation within an organisation. This is subject to it being reproduced accurately and not used in
a misleading context. The title must be acknowledged as copyright and the title of the publication specified.

For any other use of this material please contact HS2 Limited on 020 7944 4908, or by email at HS2Enquiries@hs2.gsi.gov.uk,
or by writing to HS2, 3rd Floor, 55 Victoria Street, London, SW1H 0EU.

Further copies of this report can be obtained from www.hs2.org.uk.

ISBN: 978-1-84864-072-6

Unless specified, all maps, tables, diagrams and graphs in this report are a product of HS2 and its consultants.

Chapter 1:
ICE 3 high speed train on the Frankfurt-Cologne high-speed rail line, Sebastian Terfloth;
Eurostar, Dave Bushell www.canbush.com/ppbfrontpage.htm;
Gümmenen viaduct over the river Sarine with TGV 9288, Berne, Switzerland, Chriusha;
Tunnelling, HS1 Ltd
AVE Tarragona-Madrid, Fototrenes
St. Pancras Station, HS1 Ltd

Chapter 5:
Matisa www.matisa.com/matisa_ang/matisa_produits.html

Britain built only one new transport network in the twentieth century, the motorway system. Its origins lie
in a report prepared for the war time Cabinet and one which attracted all party agreement. The first map of
a projected motorway system, in which we can recognise today’s reality, was published in 1946. It was more
than a decade later before the first stretch of motorway opened.

The only new network we can expect to build in the twenty first century is for high speed rail. It will be an
endeavour just as challenging in terms of cost and timescale as building the motorways. This report sets out
the case for building a high speed rail network, how it might be constructed and a vision of how it should look.
We envisage a network of high speed lines and services, bringing together the main conurbations of England
and Scotland but integrated with the classic railway so that the benefits can be spread more widely. As a first
step, we set out in the report a detailed and buildable route from London to the West Midlands.

Building such a network will be the work of a generation. It will need real ambition and consistency of
purpose across a succession of Governments. It will require support across the political divide of a kind our
forebears showed more than half a century ago.

It will be an enormous challenge simply to build a high speed network. The second challenge will be to make
it a success. The new network will only be a twenty first century success if it breaks with twentieth century
railway thinking and practices. It makes no sense to spend billions only to recreate today’s railway.

A great many have helped us to prepare this report and we owe them all our thanks. If Britain is to build a
high speed network then much more will be needed by way of assistance. In the end, a truly national network
can only be built by national endeavour.

Sir David Rowlands

High Speed Two Limited

December 2009


Executive Summary.....................................................................................................................................   2

Chapter 1: The Context for HS2

1.1 Rationale and specific remit..................................................................................................   11
1.2 The domestic and international context for HS2...................................................................   16

Chapter 2: Our Approach

2.1 A basic model for British High Speed Rail............................................................................   27
2.2 Establishing the case – our approach....................................................................................   32
2.3 Design and Appraisal: Specification and Assumptions.........................................................   37

Chapter 3: Determining the Preferred Scheme

3.1 Option generation and sifting.................................................................................................   50
3.2 London stations......................................................................................................................   53
3.3 Interchanges with Heathrow, Crossrail and Great Western main line.................................   69
3.4 Intermediate stations.............................................................................................................   89
3.5 Routes between London and the West Midlands..................................................................   93
3.6 West Midlands principal station and approaches.................................................................. 105
3.7 Options for an interchange station in the West Midlands..................................................... 127
3.8 International rail connections................................................................................................ 134
3.9 Freight.................................................................................................................................... 140
3.10 Train service specification and use of released capacity...................................................... 143
3.11 Maintenance and stabling locations...................................................................................... 151
3.12 Summary of the preferred scheme....................................................................................... 155

Chapter 4: Business Case

4.1 Passenger demand and costs................................................................................................ 158
4.2 Appraisal results.................................................................................................................... 173
4.3 The case for HS2: value for money........................................................................................ 185
4.4 Testing our assumptions........................................................................................................ 187

Chapter 5: Implementation
5.1 Delivery and funding.............................................................................................................. 194
5.2 Implementation and timescales............................................................................................ 206

Chapter 6: Developing a Longer Term Strategy

6.1 Approach and findings........................................................................................................... 217

Glossary . ................................................................................................................................................243

List of Supporting Documents.....................................................................................................................246

High Speed Rail for Britain – Report by High Speed 2 Ltd

Executive Summary
The Context for HS2
High Speed Two Ltd (HS2 Ltd) was established in January 2009 to develop proposals for a new high speed
railway line between London and the West Midlands and to consider the case for high speed rail services
linking London, northern England and Scotland.

This report presents our advice to Government. It offers a thorough assessment of the case for building
Britain’s next high speed line to the West Midlands and a viable proposal for its construction, with options
for the Government to consider.

It also sets those plans within a long term vision and context for high speed rail in the UK. Our work points
to a good case for developing a network of high speed lines with branches from the West Midlands to the east
of the Pennines, serving cities in the East Midlands, Yorkshire and the North East, and west of the Pennines,
serving the North West and Scotland.

Our Approach
There are various models of high speed rail in operation around the world. We have sought to tailor an
approach that fits with the particular circumstances in Britain and which is sufficiently flexible to allow for the
growth and evolution of a wider network.

We recommend that six principles form the basic model for high speed rail in the UK:
1.  High speed capacity should be used in a way which yields the maximum overall benefit, given its high cost
and expected strong demand.
2.  High speed rail services should serve long distance, city-to-city journeys rather than shorter distance trips.
3.  New high speed lines should only be used by high speed trains. Adding slower trains reduces capacity.
4.  In the early stages of developing a network, the benefits should be extended to cities further north with
trains running off the high speed line and onto the existing classic network. This is crucial to the business
5.  Over time, however, the longer term high speed network should become more segregated from the
constrained classic network to maximise the benefits of reliability and capacity.
6.  High speed lines must be well integrated with other transport networks to allow the time savings to be
carried through to the whole end-to-end journey.

We have sought to ensure a robust approach through independent expert challenge and close collaboration
with relevant organisations. We have drawn on major project experience accumulated in the UK and overseas
experience of high speed rail. We have also sought to maximise the value of our wider stakeholders’ input
by adopting as open and inclusive an approach as possible. During the course of the year we met over 200
different interested parties.

Executive Summary

Our specific proposals for HS2 have been focussed on serving the places where people live, work and visit. To
guide the design we developed a project specification, comprising the line’s main technical, operational and
environmental requirements.

Key features are:

• The infrastructure is designed for speeds up to 400kph (250mph) – a higher maximum speed than existing
lines but in line with designs for future routes in Europe.
• The adoption of proven European standards, technology and practice.
• Capacity for 400m-long European-sized trains, which are higher and wider than UK rolling stock and with
up to 1100 seats.
• An initial capacity of up to 14 trains per hour for HS2, rising ultimately to 18 with a longer term network
and likely future technological development.
• At opening, we assume a maximum train speed of 360 kph (225mph).
• The design should follow the Government’s sustainable development objectives, avoiding as far as possible
harm to the natural and built environment and to communities.

Underlying our approach was also the requirement to achieve value for money, by striking an appropriate
balance between costs and the design aims.

High Speed Rail for Britain – Report by High Speed 2 Ltd

The Preferred Scheme

An extensive and systematic process of option sifting and assessment has led us to identify our recommended
route between London and the West Midlands and two possible alternatives. The report describes this
process and its results and the supporting documents describe the components in depth.

A Birmingham Interchange station on the

A central Birmingham terminal station near line of the route near Birmingham
Fazeley Street, in the Eastside area of the city. International Airport.











A central London
terminal station at
Euston, expanded
to accommodate
high speed services.

An interchange station with Crossrail, Great Western

Main Line and Heathrow Express connections,
at Old Oak Common, near Willesden.

Executive Summary

The recommended route leaves London via the Ruislip district, crosses the Chilterns in the Aylesbury
direction, partly in tunnel, and approaches Birmingham on an alignment between Coventry and Kenilworth.
In the report we also present two alternatives to the main line of route, one following a more westerly route
through the Chilterns via Gerrards Cross, and the other following the West Coast Main Line corridor further
to the east.

In the West Midlands, the line skirts to the east of Birmingham, with a short spur into the city centre from the
Water Orton area. An alternative alignment to the east of the city is also presented, alongwith a second route
into Birmingham along the Coventry corridor.

The routes, with alternatives, have been developed in detail, with alignments plotted to a corridor width of +/-
25 metres.

We concluded that city centre stations should be an essential part of the scheme. For London, we recommend
a single level, completely rebuilt and expanded station at Euston, serving high speed services alongside
classic services. In Birmingham, we recommend a new station in the Eastside area near Fazeley Street,
developed in an integrated way with the existing Moor Street and New Street stations.

Our remit required us to include a station serving Heathrow and an interchange with Crossrail and the
Great Western Main Line. In the first stage of the development of a high speed network, we recommend
an interchange station at Old Oak Common, in the west of London near Willesden. This could significantly
relieve passenger dispersal pressures at Euston, by offering access to the West End, the City and Canary
Wharf via Crossrail; and it could provide easy interchange to fast services into Heathrow Airport.

We also recommend an interchange station in the West Midlands, extending the overall West Midlands
market and providing very fast connections between London and the outskirts of Birmingham, Birmingham
International Airport and the National Exhibition Centre.

HS2 would offer regular journey times between the

centres of London and Birmingham of 49 minutes London - Birmingham Arr Dep
– a saving of more than 30 minutes on today’s
standard service. Euston — 10:00

A connection to the West Coast Main Line would Old Oak Common 10:07
allow high speed trains to run off HS2 and on to
major destinations further north. Typically these Birmingham Interchange 10:38
destinations, including Manchester, Liverpool,
Preston and Glasgow, would benefit from around Birmingham Fazeley Street 10:49 —
30 minute savings on journey times to London.

Passengers would be able to connect with National Rail services at each station, with Crossrail at Old Oak
Common and via a rapid transit people mover with the NEC and Airport at Birmingham Interchange station.

High Speed Rail for Britain – Report by High Speed 2 Ltd


Birmingham International Airport London

NEC/ICC Crossrail Underground

Birmingham Old Oak Euston
Interchange Common
Fazeley Street

We have concluded that further intermediate stations on the line of route between London and the West
Midlands would not offer value for money.

In the report we present options for serving Heathrow Airport directly via a loop from our proposed route,
possibly as the network is extended in the longer term. We also present options for building a connection
to High Speed One (HS1) for through services to mainland Europe. In neither instance is there a clear cut
economic case for doing so at this stage, given the costs involved. Providing a loop to Heathrow would add at
least £2.5bn, after risk is included, to the overall cost. An HS1 connection would add more than £1bn. While
passive provision could be made for a Heathrow loop, we recommend that, should Government wish to pursue
the HS1 connection, at least the tunnel should be built for Day One to avoid costly disruption at a later date.
We also highlight the option of providing passenger connections to HS1 at St Pancras International by way of
an advanced people mover from Euston.

The Business Case

HS2 would transform the long distance rail market. By 2033, each day some 145,000 HS2 passengers would
be transported into and out of London, with about 54,000 passing through the two Birmingham stations.

Without HS2, the West Coast Main Line would become severely capacity constrained, with the likelihood of
passengers being crowded off trains during the peak hours.

At a national level, over half of the passengers on HS2 services would otherwise have travelled by classic rail.
A further 16% would come from mode shift, split equally between air and car trips. The remaining 27% would
be new trips, with more people travelling more often due to the faster journeys offered by high speed rail.

Of the daily journeys 30% are made by business passengers and the balance by mainly leisure passengers.

Executive Summary

HS2 can be built only at very substantial cost. Our estimates have been built up from the engineering
plan and profile drawings of our preferred route and alternatives. We have subjected our cost modelling to
extensive peer review and carried out a significant benchmarking analysis with European high speed lines
and with HS1 as comparators.

The construction of HS2 would generate capital costs of between £15.8 and £17.4 billion, including risk and
optimism bias, but excluding rolling stock. We have given costs as a range in order to reflect the level of
uncertainty inherent in a project at this stage.

The costs forecast for HS2 are broadly comparable to the costs of HS1, but remain significantly more than
those of other European high speed rail projects. Our analysis has pointed to certain differences which partly
explain this. For example, European projects have normally avoided major station developments and new
urban routes through exploiting under-used existing rail capacity and have generally incurred lower land
costs. Nevertheless, a major challenge in taking forward construction of high speed lines in the UK would be
how to achieve greater parity with European construction costs.

We forecast that the preferred HS2 scheme would generate transport user benefits worth £29bn (2009 PV), as
well as additional revenues worth £15bn (2009 PV). This is driven almost entirely by time savings – which also
reflect benefits from relief of crowding. Wider Economic Impacts would add a further £4bn or additional 11%.

HS2 would bring benefits not only for direct users. Capacity freed up on the West Coast Main Line would allow
users of shorter distance services to gain through faster, more frequent and less crowded services. Overall
this is expected to deliver benefits of around £2-4bn. There would also be capacity for freight growth on the
southern section of the WCML, the principal UK railfreight corridor.

Balanced against the costs of construction and operation, we calculate that HS2 would demonstrate a Benefit
Cost Ratio (BCR) of 2.7 : 1 including Wider Economic Impacts. Consistent with the range of costs, the range
of the BCR would be 2.5 - 2.9. Without Wider Economic Impacts the central figure would be 2.4 : 1.

HS2 would have both positive and negative effects on transport emissions. The ultimate impact depends
critically on a number of external factors (such as the grid intensity of electricity) which we set out in the
report. Taking these variables into account, we calculate that the impact of HS2 on carbon emissions will be
between a reduction in emissions of 25 million tonnes of CO2 and an increase of 26.6 million tonnes of CO2
over 60 years. This is small when set in the context of overall transport emissions.

We have sought to design HS2 to minimise its effect on people and the natural environment. However, a
construction project of this magnitude cannot completely avoid environmental impacts, particularly in relation
to noise and landscape. In particular the line would affect a corridor within the valued landscape of the
Chilterns. Nor can it avoid land take and property impacts, particularly around the station sites in London
and Birmingham. After including these impacts, we believe that the scheme remains high value for money
(i.e. it delivers at least £2 of benefits per £1 of Government spending).

High Speed Rail for Britain – Report by High Speed 2 Ltd

There are significant opportunities for development and regeneration in the areas immediately around the
new stations in London and Birmingham, including at the Old Oak Common interchange. Ensuring a high
degree of integration between the design of HS2 stations and the relevant local transport and development
plans will be critical.

Construction of HS2 could begin by 2018. Before then the project would need to pass through three
investment approvals; provisional approval for the preferred route; conditional approval after securing the
necessary powers and final approval before start of construction.

Effective public consultation will be critical. We recommend two consultation stages: the first on the
Government’s proposed strategy in relation to this report and the second to follow after further detailed
design of the preferred route. This would be associated with the process of securing powers, on which we
present options.

We provide advice on a range of options for project delivery, drawing a number of key conclusions on the
future delivery of UK high speed rail projects:
• Government must make an early decision on whether HS2 is intended to be a stand-alone high speed rail
line project or the first phase of a future high speed rail network as this influences the delivery structure
and financing opportunities.
• Long term stability is essential for a project of this size and duration; we recommend this is achieved
through an arm’s-length public sector body as project sponsor.
• Public sector procurement will offer best value for money for the majority of the construction.
• There should be a single owner and operator of high speed line infrastructure.

We have also explored various funding sources and mechanisms. HS2 cannot be built without substantial up-
front public sector investment, though once constructed HS2’s revenues would more than cover the cost of
its operation. We believe the scope for additional funding sources is unlikely to exceed 5% of the total project
cost. Major capital spending would not be required until 2017/18, and would be spread over a period of 6-10
years. The Government would then have the flexibility to decide how HS2’s operations were to be delivered
over the long term, including exercising a “build for sale” option, which might also offer the prospect of a
financial contribution to the next phases of a high speed rail network.

HS2 would be one of the largest construction projects undertaken in the UK, with the potential to create up to
10,000 construction jobs, and a further 2,000 permanent jobs through maintenance and operation.

On our provisional timetable, HS2 could open in late 2025.

Executive Summary

Developing a Longer Term Strategy

Glasgow Edinburgh We have studied the prospects for developing HS2 into
a network of high speed lines to the north. This analysis
has been undertaken at a corridor level; we have not
developed route proposals.
Lancashire We show that there is a case for a network with branches
Teeside Interchange
Interchange to the east and west of the Pennines, taking high speed
rail to the North West and Scotland, to the East Midlands,
Yorkshire and the North East.
Liverpool Leeds

Manchester Our proposals for the London to West Midlands line

South Yorkshire have been designed to be consistent with this longer
term network. We have also considered whether, with
East Midlands this network, there is a case for passive provision for
four tracks between London and the West Midlands.
We concluded that two tracks would be sufficient for
the foreseeable future and that, should greater demand
Birmingham Birmingham Interchange
materialise eventually, it would be preferable to provide a
second, separate line from the East Midlands to London.
Our proposed longer term network would bring radical
Heathrow Interchange London journey time savings. Manchester and Leeds could be
accessed from London in around 1hr 20 minutes. Both
the East Midlands and West Midlands would be less than
an hour from London. Edinburgh and Glasgow would be 2hrs 40 minutes from London, making high speed
rail highly competitive with aviation.

The overall network demonstrates a good BCR. We have also examined Manchester and Leeds as the
possible next stages and both show a good business case. Further work would be required to investigate
routes in more detail and to analyse the impacts in greater depth. However, we believe our findings can give
Government confidence that there is a substantial case for deploying further resources on such work and we
recommend both the North West and Yorkshire via the East Midlands as priorities for the next stage.

Chapter 1 – The Context for HS2
Chapter 1: The Context for HS2

1.1 Rationale and specific remit

Rationale and high speed objectives
1.1.1 In January 2009 the Government announced a package of decisions on the long term future
of Britain’s transport infrastructure. Alongside confirming policy support for a third runway at
Heathrow and confirmation of a £6bn strategic road investment programme, High Speed Two
Limited (HS2 Ltd) was created as a Government company to examine the case, and develop
proposals, for a new high speed railway line between London and the West Midlands – ‘HS2’ –
and potentially beyond.
What is ‘high speed’ rail?
1.1.2 We were asked to focus our attention
on a corridor between London and the Although ‘High Speed Trains’ have been running on
the principal UK network since 1975, their top speed
West Midlands, principally because the
of 200kph (125mph) now pales in comparison with the
evidence at the time showed that, of
fastest trains in use, on High Speed One (HS1) and
all the UK main lines, the West Coast
elsewhere in the world, which can regularly reach
would be first to experience a shortfall speeds of 300-350kph (186-217mph).
in capacity, which would begin to affect
the line south of Birmingham in about These trains operate either on new fully segregated
networks – such as the UK’s HS1 and the Linea de Alta
15 years. Constraints on capacity bite in
Velocidad in Spain; or run on a mixture of newly built
three ways – firstly the line cannot carry
lines and existing track – as do the TGV in France and
more trains; secondly the trains cannot
the ICE services in Germany.
be made longer; and thirdly as all spare
capacity on the route is used up the In order fully to exploit their speed capability, high
speed trains need to run non-stop over long distances
overall route performance becomes less
and so high speed networks tend to be characterised by
resilient. This means that the frequency
major city-to-city routes, engineered to be as straight
of the service can never be improved
as possible to optimise journey times.
or extra room made for freight, and the
trains that do run become crowded, The speed of these journeys can be transformative.
uncomfortable and unreliable. People in Madrid can now reach Barcelona by rail in
2hrs 38mins – compared with 6hrs before. Paris and
1.1.3 The West Coast Main Line (WCML) is Marseille are now around 3hrs apart – having once
a critical north-south artery for both been 5hrs.
passenger and freight, connecting the In this report we deal with both mixed and segregated
largest cities in England and Scotland. running and take 360kph (223mph) as our benchmark
At the southern end of the route it is aspirational speed.
also a vital commuter line serving
growth towns such as Northampton and Milton Keynes. From the outset we have taken the need to
provide additional passenger capacity on the London to West Midlands route as a key rationale for
constructing a new line between these locations.

High Speed Rail for Britain – Report by High Speed 2 Ltd

1.1.4 But there would be other objectives for any new line, particularly when set in the context of the
existing transport network. From the outset a new line to the West Midlands could offer journey time
savings not just between London and Birmingham, but to other major cities further north, such as
Manchester, Liverpool and Glasgow – which would benefit from having services run at higher
speeds for a portion of the journey. Wherever journey times can be shortened there are real gains
to be won: for business people who can spend longer on productive activities and forge better links
with their clients and colleagues; for commuters who can make more efficient use of their time and
access employment further afield; and for leisure passengers who can make journeys more easily to
distant friends and relatives. These gains translate to society as a whole – by extending productivity
and expanding labour markets. We viewed the unlocking of those benefits as another key objective
of any new line.

1.1.5 In the same way, it is clear that a new line has the potential to improve connectivity, opening up new
journey possibilities for passengers. A new north-south line could be linked to Heathrow, either
directly or via an interchange with Heathrow Express and Crossrail, and could connect with the
international network via a link into High Speed One (HS1).

1.1.6 A new high speed line should not be seen in isolation as merely a transport project. Where faster,
easier journeys are possible, high speed rail can support economic regeneration and growth. Just
as housing and employment growth often results in the need for enhanced transport links, so too
can the provision of such transport links act as a catalyst for development. We recognised that a
further objective of a new line between London and the West Midlands should be its integration
with potential land use changes, both directly in the areas it affects and indirectly in the areas which
would benefit from the capacity that is freed up on the WCML.

1.1.7 Lastly, a new line may offer the possibility of attracting passengers off congested roads and
domestic flights onto rail. These modal shift objectives are legitimate aims for high speed rail,
although we must be realistic about the scale of their potential contribution to the Government’s
overall carbon reduction strategies. Any carbon savings need to be balanced against carbon costs
both embedded within construction and those generated by the net additional trips which high speed
rail enables. These issues are considered more fully in Chapter 4.

Providing new Creating faster Encouraging modal Improving
regeneration and
passenger capacity journeys shift connectivity

Chapter 1: The Context for HS2

1.1.8 Together these objectives have been the motivation behind many of the high speed rail projects
around the world. The core rationale for considering the construction of a high speed line between
London and the West Midlands at this time is the need to meet the anticipated shortfall in capacity.
This is a problem, visible on the near horizon, and it requires a solution. The Government will
properly wish to consider various ways of solving that problem, but our task has been to examine
the case for a new line to provide the answer. In the end though, that case may well be made in part
by the additional benefits that high speed rail can achieve, rather than by providing capacity alone.
And as we contemplate a more extensive network stretching northwards, the benefits of shorter
journeys, greater connectivity and modal shift from air are increasingly likely to take precedence
over capacity.

1.1.9 Without doubt, achieving any of these objectives would come at considerable cost. The capital cost
of the infrastructure would run, unavoidably, into billions of pounds and while new railway lines can
have very positive impacts at their stations and on the areas they serve, their negative impacts – in
land take, noise, visual intrusion – can be acutely felt by many. The appraisal that follows in Chapter 4
assesses the overall balance between these benefits and costs.

HS2 Ltd’s remit and scope

1.1.10 Mindful of the objectives described above, we were tasked with the following remit in respect of
London to the West Midlands:
To consider and to provide advice to the Government on the costs and benefits of:1
a. A proposed route with any options as appropriate;
b. Options for a Heathrow International interchange station on the Great Western Main Line with
an interchange also with Crossrail;
c. Options for access to central London and the other cities served;
d. Options for linking with HS1 and the existing rail network, including the potential for services to
continental Europe;
e. Options for providing an intermediate parkway station between London and the West Midlands.
Any such station should not be detrimental to the overall business case, and should support
economic and spatial strategies;2
f. Financing and construction proposals.

1.1.11 In addition, we were asked:

..to provide advice on the potential development of a high speed line beyond the West Midlands, at
the level of broad ‘corridors’…[and] to consider in particular the potential for HS2 to extend to the
conurbations of Greater Manchester, West Yorkshire, the North East and Scotland.3

1 Britain’s Transport Infrastructure: High Speed Two. Published by DfT 15 January 2009
2 Confirmed in the remit letter from Lord Adonis to Sir David Rowlands. Available at www.hs2.org.uk
3 Confirmed in the remit letter from Lord Adonis to Sir David Rowlands. Available at www.hs2.org.uk

High Speed Rail for Britain – Report by High Speed 2 Ltd

1.1.12 Accordingly, our work has been pitched at two distinct levels. For HS2 – between London and the
West Midlands – we have carried out work at a sophisticated level of detail and analysis, in order that
Government is presented with sufficiently comprehensive evidence and advice to allow a soundly
based public consultation on specific route proposals and appraisal results in 2010 – as is the stated
intention. To that end we undertook to produce the following:
• A proposed route option and possible alternatives.
• Appropriate economic, environmental and social assessments to support a public consultation,
with a business case that addresses value for money, affordability and deliverability.
• A proposed technical specification of the new line.
• A proposed location for train maintenance facilities and stabling.
• A proposed location for infrastructure maintenance facilities.
• An identification of the capacity released on the classic line.
• Options for structuring the project for delivery and financing.
• An assessment of the implications for public funding.
• A recommended public consultation strategy.
• A recommended approach to obtaining powers.
• A blight management and safeguarding strategy.
• An outline plan and timetable through to opening.

1.1.13 The latter part of our remit, looking nationally at the possible corridors for a future network – what
we have termed the ‘longer term strategy’ – has been deliberately undertaken at a more conceptual
level. The purpose, at this stage, has not been to identify fully engineered routes, costed to a detailed
level, nor to develop the business case beyond a preliminary stage. Rather, the purpose and scope
of our work on the longer term strategy has been to set out a possible vision and context for the core
HS2 route, in order to inform its design and ensure it remains ‘future-proofed’; but also to learn the
lessons and generate the evidence that will allow Government to focus its planning and resources on
where high speed rail can yield the greatest benefit. This element of our work seeks to complement,
and build on, work being carried out by others, most notably Greengauge 21 and Network Rail, in
laying the groundwork for the possible extension of a high speed network.

1.1.14 This report, together with the documents that support it, aims to fulfil the requirements of both
aspects of our work.

Chapter 1: The Context for HS2

The status of HS2 Ltd

1.1.15 As a Government-owned company tasked with developing plans for a major railway infrastructure
project HS2 Ltd follows two notable predecessors: Union Railways Ltd, which was established by
British Rail in the early nineties to bring forward plans for the Channel Tunnel Rail Link; and Cross
London Rail Links Ltd, a joint venture between the Strategic Rail Authority (SRA) and Transport for
London (TfL), which was set up in 2002 to develop proposals for Crossrail. Following a similar model,
HS2 Ltd was created as a separate company, at arm’s length from Government, and staffed in part
by secondees from the Department for Transport (DfT) and Network Rail, along with others from
elsewhere in the public and private sectors.

1.1.16 From the outset there have been two aspects to our role – both to carry out an objective
consideration of the case for HS2, but also to recommend proposals which stand up to scrutiny and
reflect the aspirations and concerns of those potentially affected. Throughout this process we have
sought to conduct an objective and professional investigation, grounded in a solid evidence base and
informed by the varied views of others.

1.1.17 Throughout the year we have worked closely with a number of organisations whose specialist and
local knowledge has helped to inform our investigation. Indeed their views and advice have been
reflected in many of our conclusions. However, our findings, which we now present to Government,
are ours alone and the support of the organisations we have consulted should not be automatically

1.1.18 We have also commissioned specialist consultancy advice on a range of topics. The firms that
have advised us are listed below and their reports make up several of the supporting documents
published alongside the report. Again, HS2 Ltd takes full responsibility for the findings and
recommendations we present.

Arup Group Ltd Engineering services

WS Atkins plc Demand Modelling and Appraisal

   Sinclair Knight Merz Pty Ltd
   Arup Group Ltd - (subcontracted by WS Atkins)

Booz & Company Inc

Sustainability and Appraisal
Temple Group Ltd
BSL Management Consultants European Cost Benchmarking Analysis

CB Richard Ellis Ltd Land and Property

Dr Dan Graham & Patricia Melo Advice on the assessment of Wider Economic Impacts

Ernst & Young LLP Financial advisory services

Eversheds LLP Legal advisory services

Oliver Wyman Group Commercial advice

Reg Harman Advice on the spatial impacts of high speed rail

High Speed Rail for Britain – Report by High Speed 2 Ltd

1.2 The domestic and international context for HS2

1.2.1 High speed rail – though employing the most modern technology to deliver very different journeys
from today – must be considered and assessed as part of the wider transport network in which
it would operate. It would rely on the existing infrastructure to sustain its demand and extend its
benefits; it would change the journeys people make and how they make them; and where it relieves
capacity in places, it may put strain elsewhere. At the same time plans for HS2 must recognise
and respond to the Government’s policy priorities, which in turn must interact with the changing
nature of the economy, the environment, the way people live, and where people live. Moreover as
well as being able to adapt to the future, we must learn lessons from the past, and pay heed to the
wealth of experience amassed from high speed rail projects both at home and abroad. Therefore it is
important that we set HS2 in its domestic and international context.

1.2.2 In building a reference case for HS2 – essentially a description of the future against which we will
assess the case for building a new line – we detail various assumptions which we have made about
the future, and other sensitivity tests that will allow us to vary that model and gauge the impact of
certain changes. Generally speaking the assumptions follow from stated Government policy and
forecasts, and these are discussed in more detail in Chapter 2. The purpose of this chapter though,
before broaching that detail, is to map the broad policy landscape and consider its interplay with

HS2’s place in the UK transport network

1.2.3 Over the last thirty years, road and air passenger transport have both grown steadily, and in the last
fifteen years rail travel has also seen an unprecedented surge in passenger kilometres, as Figure
1.2a demonstrates.

Chapter 1: The Context for HS2

Total road traffic Terminal passengers at UK airports

(Source: Transport Statistics Great Britain 2008, DfT) (Source: Transport Statistics Great Britain 2008, DfT)
550 300

Terminal passengers (1000s)

500 250
Billion vehicle kilometres

450 200

400 150

350 100

300 50

250 0






















































Year Year

Total heavy rail passenger km

(Source: Transport Statistics Great Britain 2008, DfT)

Billion passenger km


































Figure 1.2a Growth in demand for transport

(Source: Transport Statistics Great Britain, 2008, DfT)

1.2.4 This growth has required the infrastructure to support it, which has meant either building new
roads, runways and railways, or making the existing infrastructure work that much harder and
more intensely. Such intensification has certainly been the case for rail. For example between 1980
and 2007 the length of the total road network grew by around 16%. In contrast the length of the rail
network open to passenger traffic grew by only 0.6% over the same period, but now carries 24,000
trains per day, compared to around 16,000 before privatisation.

1.2.5 Despite tough economic conditions in recent quarters, which for a period may act as a brake on
growth, over time these trends are likely to continue. In the 2007 Rail White Paper Delivering a
Sustainable Railway forecasts were made for a 30% rise in rail demand over 10 years. As a result, its
chief priority, and that of the 5-year funding plan that accompanied it, was an efficient and short-
order increase in the network’s capacity, principally by enabling longer trains and tackling the worst
network bottlenecks, and thereby increasing the already intensive use of the existing network.

High Speed Rail for Britain – Report by High Speed 2 Ltd

1.2.6 The assumptions made about growth in demand are critical to the appraisal of any transport project
business case, which can be highly sensitive to even quite small changes in base assumptions.
In recognition of the difficulty in forecasting demand far out into the future, we have capped
background demand growth at 2033 in our central modelling scenarios, and these figures take
into account the impact of the recession on demand for rail travel (which delays the previously
anticipated growth by around 3 years).

1.2.7 Figure 1.2b illustrates, under our central scenario, the forecast average load factors on the WCML
in 2033, without the construction of a new line. Load factors refer to the proportion of a train’s seats
taken up by passengers. Because these figures are given as an average across the day, an average
load factor of above 50% indicates a level of crowding on certain peak services.

(GLQEXUJK Forecast of average daily load factors
*ODVJRZ on long distance WCML services 2033










(Volume over seats) 

More than 80%
60% to 80%
40% to 60%
20% to 40% /RQGRQ
0 to 20% &DUGLII

Figure 1.2b Forecast of average daily load factors on long distance WCML services in 2033

Chapter 1: The Context for HS2

1.2.8 The need to concentrate on improving the performance of the existing network, and in particular on
congested urban networks and inter-urban corridors was stressed by Sir Rod Eddington, in his 2006
report to Government:

‘the key economic challenge is therefore to improve the performance of the existing network…
The strategic economic priorities for long term transport policy should be growing and congested
urban areas and their catchments; and the key inter-urban corridors and the key international
gateways that are showing signs of increasing congestion and unreliability. Government should
focus on these areas because they are heavily used, of growing economic importance, and showing
signs of congestion and unreliability – and these problems are set to get significantly worse. They
are the places where transport constraints have significant potential to hold back economic growth’4

1.2.9 While connectivity may be in place, capacity on any route is finite and there is only so much that
can be achieved by incremental, targeted improvements. Moreover – as was demonstrated by
the West Coast Route Modernisation – seeking to increase the capacity of an existing railway can
be hugely disruptive for the existing route users, both passenger and freight. Both the Eddington
Report and the Rail White Paper that followed it held open the prospect that new rail infrastructure
would be required in the longer term to tackle those same problems. While underscoring the need
for a cautious, evidence-based approach to identifying the right policy measures, and by no means
inclined towards high speed rail, Eddington recognised that ‘new lines, including new very high-
speed lines – should take their place within this range of policy measures, and each should be
assessed on their merits’.5 Likewise the White Paper concluded that proper consideration of new
lines would need be to given in order to inform planning for the next 5-year investment period from
2014 and to ensure that any necessary plans were put in place in time to meet the longer term needs
of the network.

1.2.10 Since then, the Government has set out its overall approach to transport policy in the policy paper
Delivering a Sustainable Transport System6. As well as explaining and elaborating upon the five
key goals for transport (see below), the document puts in place the beginnings of a national
framework for long term infrastructure planning – which reflects those goals – by identifying the
key strategic corridors and the major conurbations and international gateways they connect. In time
the Government intends to produce National Policy Statements as envisaged by the new Planning
Act7. These will establish the Government’s sector-specific policy context within which planning
decisions on major infrastructure will be taken. The National Policy Statement on national networks
(the strategic corridors referred to above) will set the context in which HS2 will be considered.
In Chapter 5 we consider the possible routes for obtaining powers to build HS2, which form part of
a wider question about how HS2 might be integrated within the new planning framework.

4 The Eddington Transport Study, 2006 www.dft.gov.uk/adobepdf/187604/206711/executivesummary.pdf

5 Ibid. pg 49 www.dft.gov.uk/adobepdf/187604/206711/executivesummary.pdf
6 Delivering a Sustainable Transport System www.dft.gov.uk/about/strategy/transportstrategy/dasts
7 The Planning Act 2008, www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts2008/ukpga_20080029_en_1

High Speed Rail for Britain – Report by High Speed 2 Ltd

The Government’s policy goals

1.2.11 In section 1.1 we set out the five objectives for HS2: increasing capacity and improving connectivity;
supporting regeneration and growth; creating faster journeys; and encouraging modal shift onto rail.
These objectives largely flow from the wider policy goals which the Government has set for transport.
In many respects they can be seen as a means to those ends.

1.2.12 Those goals have been defined as follows:

• to support national economic competitiveness and growth, by delivering reliable and efficient
transport networks.
• to reduce transport’s emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, with the desired
outcome of tackling climate change.
• to contribute to better safety, security and health and longer life-expectancy by reducing the
risk of death, injury or illness arising from transport and by promoting travel modes that are
beneficial to health.
• to promote greater equality of opportunity for all citizens, with the desired outcome of achieving a
fairer society.
• to improve quality of life for transport users and non-transport users, and to promote a healthy
natural environment.

1.2.13 Some of the links between the specific objectives for HS2 and the wider goals they support are clear
from the outset. For example reducing journey times feeds national economic competitiveness and
can improve quality of life, while supporting urban regeneration and housing growth can promote
greater equality of opportunity and contribute to better safety, security and health.

1.2.14 It is for the Government, ultimately, to determine how far our proposals for HS2 satisfy these goals.
It is right, though, that this report should look beyond the specific objectives set for a high speed line
and demonstrate how HS2 measures up to the wider goals in question. Indeed, our full evaluation of
HS2 adopts DfT’s appraisal criteria, which are in turn based on the goals above.

1.2.15 There are also further Government policy goals on which HS2 may have a bearing. The impacts
of HS2 would be felt in regions beyond the West Midlands, as journey times are improved to
destinations further north, with a possible influence on Government’s aim to reduce the gap in
economic growth rates between regions. Additionally high speed rail, and the capacity it releases
on the classic rail network, will have impacts on land use that in turn may affect the Government’s
pursuit of growth in the housing supply. These too must form part of the backdrop against which
high speed rail is considered.

Chapter 1: The Context for HS2

Previous work on high speed rail and its relationship with HS2
1.2.16 Much work has already been carried out, especially in the last decade, to examine how high speed
rail may play a future role in Britain’s transport infrastructure, and this forms part of the context
in which this report should be read. In addition to a wealth of academic papers on the technical,
economic and social implications of high speed rail, there have been several investigations which
may be considered in some ways precursors to our own.

1.2.17 At the time HS2 Ltd was established, the most comprehensive of these was a study carried out
by WS Atkins on behalf of the SRA in 2002/03 which examined the case for a national network of
high speed lines. This extensive piece of work evaluated the business and transport case for high
speed rail, configured in various different routes. In essence it concluded that there appeared to be
a positive – though not necessarily overwhelming – transport and business case for the indicative
routes considered. As part of preparations for the Rail White Paper in 2007, Booz Allen Hamilton
were commissioned by DfT to carry out a number of targeted studies, exploring specific issues such
as possible cost and carbon impact. These and Atkins’ inquiries, together with their supporting
evidence, have been made available to us and have since been published by DfT. In parallel,
Greengauge 21, a not-for-profit organisation, published a report in June 2007 called HS2, which set
out a proposition for a high speed railway between London and the West Midlands with connections
to Heathrow Airport, HS1 and the WCML. All these pieces of work have proved useful starting points
and we have sought to build upon them where appropriate.

1.2.18 During the course of 2009 the results of two other studies were published. In August 2009 Network
Rail reported the findings of the first part of its New Lines Programme, which had begun in 2008 to
look at some of the long term options for addressing capacity-constrained rail routes. The resultant
Strategic Business Case pointed to a positive case for a new high speed line along the west coast
of Britain, serving Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool and Warrington, Preston, Glasgow and
Edinburgh. Network Rail is currently concluding its strategic work on new high speed lines to
address capacity constraints on the East Coast Main Line and the Midland Main Line. In September
2009 Greengauge 21 – now sponsored and funded by a Public Interest Group of rail industry
organisations, city authorities, regional development agencies, transport partnerships and other
authorities – also published its own study which sought to develop an optimal long term strategy for
a national high-speed rail network. This work, which was the culmination of a project started early
in 2008, argues that a national network of high speed lines – with trunks on the east and west coasts
– would be a sound investment and necessary to provide sufficient transport capacity, stimulate a
more efficient economy and reduce carbon emissions from transport.

High Speed Rail for Britain – Report by High Speed 2 Ltd

1.2.19 The approach of both Network Rail and Greengauge 21 has been strategic. There are direct
parallels with the work we have undertaken to set HS2 within a longer term strategy and we have
kept in close touch with both organisations. Collectively the reports present a strong case for high
speed rail but examine different network propositions. There are other differences which limit
the extent to which direct comparisons between the results can be made. For example varying
demand assumptions have been adopted, resulting in different levels of forecast demand. There
are also different approaches to mode choice decision making and a range of whole life costs.
Neither Network Rail nor Greengauge 21 has modelled our basic proposition for London to the West
Midlands with trains running onto the WCML to serve destinations further north.

1.2.20 Clearly, then, there is no shortage of high speed rail studies. But while the findings have been
generally positive, none to date has been tasked to move beyond indicative lines and conceptual
analysis. Our remit goes further. We have developed and tested specific, buildable route proposals
for London to the West Midlands as potentially the first stage of a widespread network and
conducted detailed economic and environmental assessments of those plans to understand the
localised impact and discussed the options with local authorities and other interests.

International experience and its bearing on HS2

1.2.21 As well as the achievements of HS1 here
in Britain, another factor in building _ 250 km/h
momentum for high speed rail in the _ 250 km/h Planned
180 <
_ 250 km/h
UK has been the increasing prevalence

Other lined
and apparent success of lines in other 7DPSHUH


nations. Japan and France are well 7XUNX


known as pioneers in the development


of high speed networks and in recent


years Germany, Spain, Italy and China 'XEOLQ

are among those to have followed suit. %ULVWRO


There are now more than 12,000km of /X[ )NIW



high speed rail in operation around the 3DULV


world and today all but three of the G20


countries are either running, building or %RUGHDX[

planning high speed rail projects.
1.2.22 We have been able to access this rich

seam of knowledge and experience and 9DOHQFLD


apply it to our work. Where our thinking


has been particularly influenced by 0iODJD

international experience we have sought

to expand on this in the report. For Figure 1.2c Growth of the high speed network
example, as part of our cost forecasting in Europe
we commissioned a specific piece of work (Source: UIC, 2008)

Chapter 1: The Context for HS2

to dig deeper into the construction costs of European railways in an effort to understand whether,
and if so why, there were genuine discrepancies between UK costs (both projected and actual) and
the experience on the other side of the Channel. The findings of this work are set out in the HS2
Cost and Risk Model. We have also held discussions with operators such as Eurostar, Central Japan
Railways, SNCF and Deutsche Bahn which have informed our thinking on a wide range of issues
such as station location and whole journey integration.

1.2.23 We have also benefited from a review of international experience conducted by Terry Gourvish –
The High Speed Rail Revolution: History and Prospects – which is published alongside this report.
The review highlighted the fact that – beyond the common factor of speeds over 200kph (125mph) – the
implementation of high speed rail around the world has varied according to particular circumstances
and led to a diverse range of high speed rail ‘models’. Four in particular demonstrate the different
possibilities. The UK will need to decide which model, or combination of models, to follow.

The first Japanese ‘Bullet’ train – the To-kaido- Shinkansen – opened for service in 1964, running between
Tokyo and Osaka. Since then a network of lines has been built across Japan, on which over 150 million
journeys were made in 2008.
The Shinkansen is perhaps the best illustration of the radically different service that high speed rail can
offer, far removed from the classic rail we are used to. The To-kaido- line operates a very high frequency
timetable, with services departing every 3-5 minutes. A small number of these are stopping trains, which
use loops off the main line to serve stations roughly 20km apart. But the bulk of services run at high
speed, stopping only twice before their destination. The very precise integration of fast and slow services
is permitted by the exceptionally high performance and reliability of the trains and infrastructure, which
result in an overall average delay of less than thirty seconds. That is partly achieved by the total segregation
of the line from other networks, which insulates it from disruption elsewhere, and the exclusion of freight.
Segregation is also largely responsible for the zero casualty rate among the 6 billion passengers who have
used the network over the course of its life.
Great lengths are also taken to reduce the level of maintenance required, with lighter trains causing less
wear and tear. As a result all maintenance is carried out overnight, between midnight and 6am, meaning
that a full seven-day, all-day service can operate. It needs to, such are the levels of demand for rail
travel in Japan. The To-kaido- Shinkansen connects Japan’s two largest metropolitan areas – Tokyo and
Osaka‑Kobe-Kyoto, which together comprise some 53 million people, and generate almost £1trillion in
GDP. Between Tokyo and Osaka – a 3 hour journey over a line distance of 515km – the 1,300 seat capacity
bullet train captures around 67% of the overall market.
Terminal stations in Japan therefore have to cope with up to 2,600 passengers arriving and departing every
few minutes at peak times and do so thanks to exemplary operational discipline and innovations such as
‘open’ ticket gates, which close only when an invalid ticket is presented and luggage-advance services
which reduce the delays caused by the handling of bulky baggage. Effective passenger information
systems and highly efficient train dispatch help to preserve the Shinkansen’s reliability and punctuality.

High Speed Rail for Britain – Report by High Speed 2 Ltd

The first TGV line opened between Paris and Lyon in 1981, and since then another 6 lines or extensions
have been built, with a further 4 under construction and as many as 6 more planned for the future. The
network has been constructed in sections, with Paris as a hub, and now comprises around 1850km, of
which the more modern lines are engineered for speeds of 320kph (217mph).
As in Japan, high speed rail has proven to be hugely popular in France. The TGV has become part of the
national identity, used by 90 million passengers every year, and in preference to other modes – 91% of
journeys between Paris and Lyon are made by TGV.
The French model is quite different from Japan, characterised by a less frequent service pattern (for example
22 trains per day between Paris and Lyon), and city-to-city journeys with very few intermediate stations.
Where intermediate and parkway stations have been built, their fortunes have been mixed.
Another big difference is that TGV trains run off the high speed lines and on to the existing classic rail
network – much like the Eurostar trains used to before HS1 opened. In this way the benefits of high speed
can be spread much further afield, and when the population is distributed more sparsely, as it is in France,
this becomes a critical capability.

Germany is almost twice as densely populated as France, but with many more significant urban
settlements and no real hub such as London or Paris. As a result its high speed network has developed
into much more of a ‘web’, with relatively short sections built incrementally, a greater number of stations
and a lower average speed in consequence. Today there are over 1250km of high speed rail in operation in
Germany – although only around 700km is built for speeds over 250kph (155mph).
Various fleets of ICE trains provide national and international services on both high speed (in this case
300kph) and conventional lines. There are also conventional trains equipped to tilt – enabling speeds of
up to 230kph – on the conventional lines (similar to tilting trains on the West Coast Main Line). Many of
Germany’s high speed lines make use of both high speed sections and conventional running - for example
the true high speed line between Cologne and Frankfurt actually begins at Cologne-Porz, around 8km
outside Cologne, and ends at Frankfurt Stadium, on the outskirts of that city.
Also some routes have been designed for mixed use (either high speed plus freight or high speed plus
classic passenger trains). This has been followed where passenger flows were not sufficient to warrant
frequent high speed services to use up the new capacity. Conversely on the Cologne-Frankfurt line, where
passenger flows were sufficient to justify frequent high speed trains, the route was dedicated solely to high
speed use.

Chapter 1: The Context for HS2

In Spain, the high speed network is centred on Madrid, with lines to Seville and Malaga, Barcelona, and
Valladolid forming the core of the network. This network is used by two main types of services:
AVE (Alta Velocidad Española) services link the major cities on the high speed network. They operate at
up to 330 kph (205 mph), and have radically reduced the journey times on these routes. These trains are
confined to the high speed network.
Alvia services continue beyond the limits of the high speed network, to serve those cities which this
network has yet to reach. They operate at a maximum speed of 250 kph (155 mph) on the high speed lines,
and at lower speeds on conventional routes. As the track gauge (the distance between the rails) of the
conventional network in Spain is significantly greater than the standard gauge used on the high speed
lines, these trains are equipped with variable gauge bogies.
The comparatively low service frequency on the Spanish high speed lines permits AVE and Alvia services
to share the same lines, despite the difference in maximum speeds.

1.2.24 In the next chapter we explain both the model of high speed rail that we envisage in operation in the
UK, building on these examples from around the world, and outline the approach we have taken to
examining the case and developing proposals for high speed rail’s further expansion in the UK.

Chapter 2 – Our Approach
Chapter 2: Our Approach

2.1 A basic model for British High Speed Rail

2.1.1 As the brief survey of international high speed ‘models’ in the first section has made clear,
‘high speed rail’ is a catch all term which can be used to describe what are in fact quite different
approaches. In developing our proposals, we have aimed to tailor a high speed rail model that would
fit with the particular circumstances in Britain, but importantly allow it to develop and evolve over
time. In this chapter we describe some of the fundamental principles of that model.

A basic model for high speed rail in Britain

2.1.2 There are several fundamental cornerstones in the basic framework for HS2 which are described
below. Where these are not established a priori by our remit, they are the product of our
considerations during the course of the year and we explain here briefly the reasoning that has led
to them. Elsewhere in the report we expand in more detail on several of these arguments.

2.1.3 A model for HS2 cannot be designed in isolation from the potential wider network that may develop
around it. Although we have designed and appraised the railway as it would operate on ‘Day One’8,
we are mindful of the likelihood that HS2 would form the first stage of a widespread programme of
high speed line construction. As we explain in Chapter 6, there appears to be a positive case for the
extension of HS2 beyond the West Midlands and, as a result, we have sought to create a model for
high speed rail – and design of HS2 – that is compatible with future stages on the presumption that
this becomes a stated aspiration.

2.1.4 HS2 itself could be operational in around 16 years. Our

High speed capacity
modelling suggests that, by then, background growth in
should be exploited for
demand for travel, coupled with the additional passenger
maximum benefit.
flows generated by high speed rail, would result in HS2’s
initial capacity being fully employed serving the West Midlands
and other destinations further along the WCML. Furthermore, as we explain later in the report, a
longer term network serving cities east and west of the Pennines is likely to rely on HS2 as its
central trunk into London. Again, we expect a longer term network to make full use of HS2’s
available train paths.

2.1.5 Given also the considerable capital costs of providing a high speed line, there is therefore a premium
on ensuring that the capacity of HS2 is exploited for maximum benefit. Many of the principles which
follow are predicated on this fundamental proposition.

8 We use ‘Day One’ throughout the report to refer to the first day of operations on HS2, when the line will connect back onto the West Coast Main Line, as distinct
from the ‘longer term network’ of which HS2 would be a component part.

High Speed Rail for Britain – Report by High Speed 2 Ltd

2.1.6 High speed lines should be principally for long distance

HS2 should be used
trips connecting major cities and in particular city centres,
primarily for long
rather than serving commuter towns or other smaller
distance trips.
intermediate population centres.

2.1.7 City centres offer the densely populated markets to which high capacity, high speed lines are well
suited, with ready access to business destinations. They also provide the hubs for local transport
networks. High speed rail works best when it focuses on serving those markets directly. This has
been the experience in France, where high speed rail has contributed to thriving growth in cities
such as Lille and Lyon, but failed to succeed at smaller regional stations such as Haute Picardie.
By running city to city, the maximum benefit can be offered to the most people. The economics of
high speed rail are also dependent on an ability to offset the high costs of construction against the
revenues and associated benefits from running full trains. This can be only be achieved by non-stop
connections between large markets.

2.1.8 There are other strong reasons for focussing on longer distance trips and avoiding intermediate
stations between cities where possible which we expand upon later in the report. Stopping trains can
cut across the paths of faster non-stop trains behind it, so reducing the line’s capacity. Intermediate
stops also have an impact on the journey times of longer distance passengers. As Figure 2.1a below
illustrates, stopping even the most modern high speed trains can impose a time penalty of at least 5
minutes to through passengers. In this scenario, the train (modelled on a HS2 reference train) takes
91/2 minutes to stop (for two minutes) and regain top speed. In this time, the train travels just over
25.3 km – a distance that would have been covered in 41/2 minutes at a constant 330kph.

Effects of stopping a high speed train at max speed




Speed (kph)






























Figure 2.1a Effects of stopping a high speed train (Based on HS2 Reference Train)

Chapter 2: Our Approach

2.1.9 The penalties for stopping become less severe on the approaches to cities, where train speeds
tend to have already reduced. Where a portion of the city market can also be effectively served
by parkway or interchange stations in the outskirts there may well be a case for such stations,
especially where other transport connections can also be made – for example with airports or urban
transport systems.

2.1.10 To achieve the best journey times, clearly the ideal situation
HS2 should be used
for a high speed line is for the trains to be able to run at as
exclusively by high
high-a-speed as possible for as long as possible, thereby
speed trains.
exploiting the full potential of the technology. A high speed
network in the Britain would supplement the comprehensive
network that already exists, on which slower trains – including freight services – could continue to
run. As a result, a high speed line can instead be used exclusively by high speed trains.

2.1.11 This is important not only because of the greater benefits of faster journeys, but also because of
the impact of slower trains on the line’s overall capacity. Figure 2.1b below gives an example from
the TGV Atlantique route in France, illustrating how mixing different train speeds prevents high
frequency services from following closely behind each other. The slower train (in red) cuts across
six paths of the faster train - in other words, running a single train at 200 kph consumes the same
capacity as running six successive TGVs at 300 kph.

Paris - Montparnasse
Conventional Train at 200kph (80mins)

TGV High Speed Train at 300kph (53mins)

Tours - Montlouis 53 mins Source: UIC

Figure 2.1b Effects of a slower train on high speed line capacity

(Source: UIC)

High Speed Rail for Britain – Report by High Speed 2 Ltd

2.1.12 In the example above the full capacity of the line can only be exploited when the high speed trains
are closely “flighted” together, each following the preceding train at the same speed with the
minimum headway. Where possible this is the model we have sought to employ on the HS2 route
between London and the West Midlands, since the effect of a non-high speed train (notionally one
capable of speeds up to 230kph) would be to consume at least four high speed paths. With an even
interval service this would effectively reduce HS2 capacity from 14 trains per hour to just three
high speed and three conventional trains per hour, eliminating many of the benefits of the Day One

2.1.13 Adopting this principle has other implications for the design and specification of HS2, particularly
where differences in service patterns occur and/or trains leave the high speed network. For example
where a train may need to slow down to call at an intermediate station, a deceleration lane would be
needed in order to limit the impact on following services. Even then there is likely to be some impact
on the capacity of the line.

2.1.14 If a future network was to include lightly used stretches of route, there might be value in adopting
the German model of mixed use in order to gain maximum benefit from the line.

2.1.15 Although the stretch of high speed line between London

HS2 should be
and the West Midlands would carry only high speed services, it
connected to the
must be integrated with the wider national
classic rail network...
rail network on Day One if it is to achieve the widespread
benefits that are possible. Running solely a segregated
‘shuttle’ service between London and the West Midlands would not generate sufficient benefits to
justify the costs - there is not the scale of demand for journeys between these two places alone.
Instead trains should be able to continue off the high speed line and on to the classic network to
destinations beyond the West Midlands, following the French and German model. This would allow
the benefits of high speed to be spread further afield and the capacity of the line to be fully exploited.

2.1.16 Under this model, most long-distance

passenger services which have hitherto run To other
on the WCML to and from destinations North
north of Birmingham would transfer onto
the high speed line, freeing up paths on the Birmingham
existing network for additional shorter
distance passenger services and freight.
2.1.17 This is a model of high speed rail which may
continue even if, over time, HS2 is expanded HS2
to become part of a much wider national
network. Even under those conditions the
ability to run on to the classic network may
be valuable in connecting some cities to the London

Chapter 2: Our Approach

high speed line, especially where the level of demand from those places does not justify the expense
of a wholly new high speed connection. This is similar to the French model, where – for example – a
TGV is able to run off the central high speed line to serve places such as Dijon and St Etienne.

2.1.18 However, integration with the classic network comes at a price.

... but over time,
Reliability is poorer on the classic lines and some of this
become more
performance risk is imported onto the high speed line, with a
resultant loss of train paths in the planned timetable. The very high
frequency service and exceptional performance level which
characterise the Japanese Shinkansen network both depend on an ability to exclude risks from
elsewhere. A further cost is the classic-compatible train fleet. The bespoke design makes these
trains more expensive than the off-the-shelf, dedicated train which runs solely on a segregated
network and which is in generic use on high speed lines in Europe.

2.1.19 Therefore as a British high speed network grows, the aim should be to increase the level of
segregation as much as possible, commensurate with the requirement to serve locations which are
not part of the core network.

2.1.20 Inter city journeys do not, of course, exist in isolation –

HSR must be well
people are trying to get to their homes, businesses and
integrated with other
friends. These journeys invariably rely on the local transport
transport networks.
networks to deliver them to a final destination. Building a
brand new network presents an opportunity to tailor its
design to enable efficient links with these networks through effective interchanges, for example with
the use of modern people-mover systems, and to create station spaces which aid the free-flow of
large numbers of people.

Summary and key recommendations

2.1.21 We have identified the basic cornerstones which we recommend as a model for high speed
rail in Britain:
• Exploiting maximum benefit from high speed capacity.
• Long distance, city-to-city journeys.
• High speed trains only.
• Integration with the classic network to spread the benefits more widely.
• Greater segregation over time.
• Integration with other networks.

2.1.22 This is a model for Day One operation between London and the West Midlands, which also has an
eye to the future development of a national network of high speed lines.

High Speed Rail for Britain – Report by High Speed 2 Ltd

2.2 Establishing the case – our approach

2.2.1 The first sections of the report have described the objectives for HS2; the remit of HS2 Ltd; the
context in which that remit has been set; and the basic model for high speed rail in Britain with
which we have been working during 2009. This section sets out in more detail how we have
approached the task before us: to establish and examine the case for a new line, and to develop
buildable proposals for its design and construction.

Programme of work
2.2.2 Figure 2.2a below sets out the way in which we have structured the year, charting the development
of the project from the initial brief and remit, agreed with DfT at the beginning of March, to the final
report submission at the end of the December. Our approach throughout the year has been to run
option development and appraisal as almost concurrent workstreams, using the emerging appraisal
results to refine and sift our options, with a greater degree of detail applied at each stage of the

End of April End of June End of Sept End of Nov


Prepare Project Plan Develop, review, Test and assess Finalise Options Report
shortlist, refine options approvals and
Review previous options Environmental production
material Assessment
Deliver by
Confirm requirements Options for released capacity Finalise business 31/12/09
Define approach Business case development
Resourcing implementation
Initial view on
implications of longer Prepare final report
term options

Identify long list of

options and narrow

External Challenge (technical, analytical, strategic)

Figure 2.2a Programme of work during 2009

2.2.3 In developing and testing options throughout the year, we have sought to arrive at a preferred
overall scheme and then to appraise the standalone business case for building a new high speed
line between London and the West Midlands. This has addressed the line’s value for money, delivery
prospects and the appropriate environmental and sustainability considerations.

Chapter 2: Our Approach

2.2.4 We have undertaken the work to a demanding timetable. Inevitably this has limited our ability
to conduct wholly new research or, for example, to design bespoke demand modelling tools
from scratch. However we have been able to adapt and build upon work that already exists and
nonetheless conduct a substantial amount of new analysis.

Establishing the case

2.2.5 HS2 Ltd was established to provide Government with advice on which it could base important
decisions about the future of the UK’s national infrastructure. We have accordingly developed our
plans and the assessment of the line’s business case to a sufficient level of detail to enable durable
and confident decision making.

2.2.6 Where it has been necessary to make assumptions and define scenarios, we have adopted a
conservative approach so that options are not presented in an unduly favourable light.

2.2.7 The case for high speed rail rests in part on its relative merits when compared against other options
for achieving similar goals. Therefore, as an alternative, we have examined the case for building a new
line to alleviate congestion, but at conventional speeds. This examination has been conducted on a
more hypothetical basis. There may be other options for increasing capacity and lowering journey times
on the London – West Midlands corridor. The assessment of these alternatives – for example further
upgrades to the existing railway or intervention on the road network – has been taken forward by DfT,
with whom we have shared assumptions and analysis so as to create a consistent basis for comparison.
It will be for DfT to consider the relative merits of the various options open to Government.

2.2.8 The balance of objectives for a wider, national network of high speed lines beyond the West Midlands
may vary from that for HS2. Over the longer term, the focus may come to fall less on the increase of
capacity and correspondingly more on shortening journey times, creating modal shift and boosting
productivity. For this reason – allied to the fact that we have not been asked to produce specific
proposals for a wider network – we have not sought to analyse the possible alternatives to a wider
network of high speed lines. Such consideration may be necessary as part of any more detailed work
on plans for going beyond the West Midlands.

External input and challenge

2.2.9 We have sought to ensure a proper process of quality assurance is in place to validate our approach
and results. This has been particularly important given the UK’s relative inexperience in appraising
and delivering domestic high speed rail projects – although we have been able to draw on the UK’s
growing experience in the delivery of other major projects.

2.2.10 We set up three external challenge groups to provide independent expert scrutiny on different
elements of our work. There is no intention that any of the three groups should be seen as
accountable for the conclusions that, ultimately, we alone have reached. However, their advice has
been invaluable as we formulated our approach and findings. The membership and remit of each
group is set out below.

High Speed Rail for Britain – Report by High Speed 2 Ltd

Strategic Challenge Group Technical Challenge Group Analytical Challenge Group

Focused on offering an overall Focused largely on peer review Focused on the appraisal and
view and sense check of the and challenge of the engineering modelling of options, scrutinising
programme as a whole and and environmental specifications the relevant evidence base, as
on providing an independent and assumptions, including costs well as providing technical advice
perspective on our overall and mitigation. on key methodologies.
Kate Barker CBE Ted Allett Prof. Robert Cochrane
Monetary Policy Committee Formerly Planning Director of Transport planner and visiting
Member, Bank of England Union Railways Professor,
Imperial College London
Prof. David Begg Keith Berryman
Chair of the Northern Way Engineering Advisor, Crossrail Prof. Stephen Glaister CBE
Transport Compact Director,
Clive Burrows FREng
Royal Automobile Club
Richard Brown CBE Director of Engineering,
Foundation and Professor of
Chief Executive, First Group
Transport and Infrastructure,
Eurostar UK Ltd
Prof Andy Collop Imperial College London
Tony Collins Head of Civil Engineering,
Prof. Peter Mackie
Chief Executive, Nottingham University
Research Professor,
Virgin Trains
Alan Dyke Institute for Transport Studies,
Iain Coucher Former Chief Engineer and MD, Leeds University
Chief Executive, Channel Tunnel Rail Link Project
Prof. Henry Overman
Network Rail (HS1), now an Independent
Director, Spatial Economics
Stephen Joseph OBE Research Centre, LSE
Executive Director, Prof Robert Mair
Dr. David Simmonds
Campaign for Better Transport CBE FREng FRS
Director, David Simmonds
Cambridge University
David Leeder Consultancy Ltd
Vice Chair, Hugh Norrie OBE FREng
Prof. Roger Vickerman
Commission for Integrated Government’s Agent for Channel
Transport Tunnel Rail Link
Centre for European, Regional
Sir Michael Lyons Prof Roderick Smith FREng and Transport Economics,
Chairman of the BBC Trust Chair, Future Rail Studies University of Kent
at Imperial College and Vice
Sir Roy McNulty
President of the IMechE
Advantage West Midlands
(from Sept 09)
Anthony Smith
Chief Executive,
Passenger Focus
Tony Travers
Greater London Group, LSE

Chapter 2: Our Approach

2.2.11 We also established an Appraisal of Sustainability Reference Group, comprising relevant

Government Departments and other (eventual) statutory consultees, and throughout the year
convened several ad hoc groups to seek views and validate our approach to specific issues, namely:
Project Funding and Delivery, Climate Change and Noise. We intend also to subject the consultation
strategy to peer review.

2.2.12 On a more regular basis our work – particularly on the consideration of geographic options – has
been informed and guided by location-specific working groups, comprising representatives of
relevant organisations whose regional knowledge and experience has been an important input
to the option sifting and, ultimately, selection process. The specific terms of reference for each
group have varied according to membership and subject, but broadly speaking the working groups’
purpose has been to: collate and review existing data and analysis; identify gaps in that information
and make recommendations as to how they should be filled; identify key issues relating to the
existing proximate transport networks, in particular capability/congestion and the investment
required; identify and oversee resolution of local development issues, where appropriate; consider
environmental implications of proposals; and assist with the initial sifting of options and final
shortlisting. In addition to representatives of HS2 the group membership was as follows:

London Terminals Heathrow West Midlands Line of Route

Crossrail BAA Advantage West Midlands Internal to HS2
Network Rail Crossrail Birmingham City Council
TfL Network Rail Centro
TfL Highways Agency
Network Rail

2.2.13 The working group to consider line of route options was limited to HS2 and our advisers, in view of
the particularly sensitive nature of the discussions. However, we held confidential discussions with
individual or small groups of county and local planning authorities about relevant specific options
and these informed the working groups’ deliberations.

2.2.14 In addition to the groups above, we held a series of discussions with rolling stock manufacturers and
operators, as well as relevant local authorities, on the proposed maintenance and stabling strategy,
including depot locations.

2.2.15 We have also held regular discussions with Arup in their capacity as promoters of a scheme to
create a multi modal interchange station, including high speed rail, in the Heathrow area. This
scheme pre-dates HS2 Ltd. In recognition of the potential conflict of interest arising from Arup’s
separate roles as consultant to HS2 Ltd and promoter of their interchange scheme, a number of
assurances were secured from Arup, as a condition of their appointment, on the separation of
their own proposal for Heathrow and HS2 work. These assurances included the establishment of
a completely independent team for the HS2 work.

High Speed Rail for Britain – Report by High Speed 2 Ltd

Wider stakeholders
2.2.16 Our approach to consultation with stakeholders has been guided by the need to be as open and
inclusive as possible, in order to maximise the value of others’ input and ensure that our ideas and
findings are well tested. As well as external challenge and location-specific working groups, we had
meetings with a very wide range of stakeholders. These included (on a more formal basis) specific
London, West Midlands, North of England, Scotland and Industry stakeholder groups. In addition
to the established groups, we have also held a number of ad hoc meetings with other interested
parties, for example London (Heathrow) Airlines Consultative Committee (LACC), the Office of Rail
Regulation, the Association of Train Operating Companies, Manchester City Council, the Chilterns
Conservation Board and the National Trust.

2.2.17 Notwithstanding our open approach, throughout the year we have needed to protect certain
information on the development of specific geographic options, so as to avoid causing unnecessary
blight. In some cases it has been prudent to share this information on a confidential basis, but
generally we have avoided disclosing details of specific options to our wider stakeholders. A fuller
report on our interaction with stakeholders throughout the year has been submitted alongside this
report as part of the suite of supporting documents.

Summary and key recommendations

2.2.18 Our work during the course of 2009 has been guided by the need to produce robust and durable
proposals and advice in which Government can have confidence. To this end we have tended towards
conservative assumptions and also investigated the case for HS2 against a classic rail alternative.
We have also adopted an open and inclusive approach to stakeholder involvement and subjected our
approach to rigorous and independent expert challenge.

2.2.19 If HS2 were to progress through further stages of development, we strongly recommend that
this external challenge process be retained, and that consultation and collaboration with key
organisations continue, building on the structures we have established and which are described

Chapter 2: Our Approach

2.3 Design and appraisal: specification and assumptions

2.3.1 This section explains our more detailed assumptions and specification that we used in the design,
development and appraisal of the options. It covers three key aspects of our approach: the Project
Specification, comprising the main technical, operational and environmental requirements; our
‘demand-led’ approach to ensuring that HS2 serves areas where people travel to and from; and our
approach to achieving value for money.

Project specification
2.3.2 We developed a Project Specification that sets out in more detail the main technical, operational and
environmental requirements that governed our approach to the definition and subsequent initial
design of our options.

2.3.3 The fundamental building blocks in section 2.1 influence the way in which we approached our
design. Beyond these, the main driving factors in the design of HS2 were:
• Providing a safe and secure network for passengers, those who operate and maintain it and third
parties who may otherwise come into contact with it.
• Ensuring compliance with the EU Directive and Specifications for Interoperability to benefit from
standard, proven, competitively sourced high speed rail equipment, systems and trains.
• Providing internationally recognised levels of availability, reliability and speed…
• …with capacity maximised to allow as many as possible to benefit.
• Ensuring that high speed trains can run onto the classic network.
• Harnessing the principles of sustainable development, where possible avoiding or otherwise
minimising, and then mitigating, environmental impacts. We focus in particular on the effects of
effects of tunnelling.

A safe and secure network

2.3.4 Firstly, and most importantly, we have sought to design a secure high speed rail system to protect
passengers, those who operate and maintain it and those who may otherwise come into contact with it.
Measures to protect high speed trains from risk or disruption through interference and trespass have
been based on the experience gained in operation of HS1. By designing generally to internationally
accepted practice and established European specifications, albeit modified where necessary to control
UK-specific risks, HS2 is expected to match the exemplary safety record of other high speed lines.
This is a high standard - the Shinkansen in Japan have not seen a single fatal incident since operation
first commenced in 1964.

High Speed Rail for Britain – Report by High Speed 2 Ltd

2.3.5 The valuable lessons learnt from these experiences have been incorporated in recent European
regulations for the safety of high speed services (the Technical Specifications for Interoperability
- TSIs). These have taken precedence in our design criteria. The primary aim is to prevent risks
materialising in the first place where reasonably practical and then ensuring that any residual
effects are as limited as possible. Those services that run on to the classic line will also benefit
from new classic-compatible trains. Listed below is a selection of the key safety aspects of both new
infrastructure and new rolling stock:
• No level crossings so as to avoid derailments and improve safety for pedestrians and vehicle
• Use of European standard train control systems which incorporate full automatic train protection
(European Rail Traffic Management System - ERTMS).
• Specific structure specifications – such as the use of grade separated junctions to eliminate the
risk of collision through conflicting train movements.
• Appropriate fencing alongside the railway to prevent people and vehicles gaining access to the
infrastructure, including active monitoring systems.
• Separation of maintenance activity from train operations, and the automation of inspection and
mechanisation of maintenance activities as far as possible.

2.3.6 We have also considered the potential impact of a changing climate. We expect that HS2 would be
engineered to withstand extreme weather events and this will be achieved by detailed work in the
subsequent design stages.

Ensuring Interoperability
2.3.7 Our specification complies fully with the EU Technical Specifications for Interoperability. There are a
number of reasons why we have followed this approach:
• The specifications are based on, and in turn have promoted, standard and proven technology,
providing confidence that the components and systems will achieve the levels of security and
reliability required.
• The international high speed rail supply industry provides for competitive sourcing of these
standard components and systems, minimising the need to develop one-off British solutions
wherever possible.
• Through benefitting from such standard components and systems the cost, time and uncertainty
of undertaking UK specific testing evaluation and safety approval will be avoided.
• The TSIs maximise the potential for cross European services by establishing common technical
standards for new railway infrastructure and trains. If an HS1 to HS2 link was constructed it
would allow trains from other countries to run through the Channel Tunnel and onto our network
and vice versa.

Chapter 2: Our Approach

• The specifications are built on the expectation of the future growth in rail demand. Adopting them
allows us to future-proof HS2 by providing an affordable means of further upgrading to benefit
from continuing international advances. This will be particularly important in maximising the
future capacity of HS2 if it becomes the basis of a longer term network.
• The TSIs, brought into legal force through the Interoperability Directive, have been adopted by UK

2.3.8 Following consultation with industry, the DfT has adopted an approach of progressively upgrading
the classic network over time and building new lines (of which HS2 is one) in accordance with the
TSIs. Full adoption is subject to the cost not being disproportionate to the benefit achieved; the TSIs
allow for use of certain parameters, known as “British Specific Cases”, where full application of
the European norms cannot be achieved without incurring costs disproportionate to the benefits
realised. Such parameters include platform height, platform length, stabling track length, structure
gauge and the distance between track centres. These are all particularly relevant to the migration of
the existing classic rail network. In developing the new HS2 options we have not found that adopting
the TSIs fully would introduce costs disproportionate to the benefits achievable by this project.

2.3.9 The design of HS1 preceded the introduction of many of the EU high speed TSI requirements. It was,
however, designed to established French high speed practice and standards which were a major
source of evidence in drafting the TSIs. So, in respect of principal parameters such as train size and
platforms and route horizontal and vertical geometry, HS1 permits the access of trains from other
European high speed networks.

Available, reliable and fast journeys

2.3.10 High speed trains require certain infrastructure criteria to be met in order to achieve and maintain
their maximum speeds:
• High speeds can only be achieved on relatively straight routes. We have designed to vertical and
horizontal geometry values derived from the requirements in the TSIs appropriate to the ultimate
maximum speed required at any location on the HS2 route.
• We designed the infrastructure to accommodate an ultimate maximum speed of 400kph on
route sections where train performance (through acceleration and braking) or other factors
such as environmental impact could permit. We have been assisted by members of the
train manufacturing industry in modelling the attainable speeds, acceleration and braking
performance and energy consumption of a “Reference Train” for our Day One service. This
Reference Train is based on the performance in tests of trains currently being manufactured for
introduction on the European high speed network with a maximum speed of 360kph. In order to
calculate journey times we have adopted standard European high speed practice of assuming a
service speed of 90% of the maximum for any route section in order to secure on-time reliability
whilst making allowance for minor day to day perturbation.

High Speed Rail for Britain – Report by High Speed 2 Ltd

• Achieving an appropriate speed is about striking the right balance between maximising the use
of the line and the environmental effects. For example, where the line approaches city centres we
recognised the need to follow existing transport corridors to minimise disruption and the need to
travel at speeds appropriate to the area. Also there are practical limits for speeds through long
tunnels due to aerodynamic resistance and the additional energy required to overcome it.
• We have designed to a maximum gradient of 2.5% (1 in 40) at which the Reference Train could
still maintain maximum speed. This was also the value adopted during the design of HS1. We
have however used up to the maximum figure of 3.5% (1 in 28.5) allowed by the TSIs in some of
the options for access to Heathrow, and approaching Birmingham, where speeds would be lower
than those on the HS2 main line.
• Infrastructure maintenance would only be carried out on tracks closed to rail traffic. The route
would be configured to permit closure of one track whilst the adjacent track remains open
for traffic at sufficient (reduced) speed to maintain published journey times. Normal planned
inspection maintenance and renewal would be carried out in the closed periods overnight
between midnight and 5am Monday to Saturday (and until 8am on Sunday).

Maximising capacity
2.3.11 In order to assess the initial and potential ultimate capacity of HS2 we have used the modelled
performance of the Reference Train in conjunction with the current reported functionality of
ERTMS. With the assistance of British and European train control experts in the railway and rail
supply sectors, we have also assessed the likely development trajectory of ERTMS over the period
to the possible opening of HS2 and beyond. This work has informed our decision to base the
modelled initial capacity, conservatively, upon existing ERTMS Level 2 capability and make prudent
assumptions about the ultimate capacity at a time a longer term network could be brought into use.
From this activity we have developed an operational availability and capacity specification, the main
elements of which include:
• A seven day availability for full service operation on all sections of HS2 from 5am to midnight
(except on Sundays where an 8am start is assumed).
• Maximum initial utilisation of the line on Day One of up to 14 trains per hour during peak periods,
with a typical utilisation of 10 trains per hour at quieter times. In the longer term, if more cities
were to be served by dedicated new lines and a high degree of segregation from the classic rail
network was achieved, then the capacity of the line could be increased to 18 trains per hour. This
would also depend upon improvements in rolling stock and signalling technology.
• Platforms would be capable of accepting up to two 200m-long trains, either separately or joined
together to run in multiple. For demand modelling purposes, the assumed seating capacity was
550 per 200m set, giving a maximum 400m-long (two-train) capacity of 1,100 seats.

Chapter 2: Our Approach

• Standard European TSI compliant GC structure gauge – as illustrated in Figure 2.3a.

This specifies the minimum clearance outline for structures such as tunnels, bridge heights
and the interaction with the platform height. The GC structure gauge would allow European
interoperable double deck trains to run on this network if future demand required them.
The actual structure gauge is greater in tunnels where the cross-sectional area is dictated
by aerodynamic effects on air pressure and resistance.

(HS2 and HS1)

UK1: (Existing
infrastructure in
the UK)



Typical BR

Figure 2.3a Structure gauge comparison

Ensuring high speed trains can run onto the classic network
2.3.12 To make effective use of capacity from Day One, in advance of any wider network, it would be
necessary to run some services beyond the new high speed line on to the existing WCML. Standard
European gauge high speed trains cannot simply run onto existing classic lines, because they
are taller and wider, and are designed for a lower platform height, as illustrated in Figure 2.3a.
Moreover, stations on the classic network cannot accommodate two 200m trains connected together
and running in multiple.

2.3.13 Through running onto the classic network could be achieved in two ways. First there could be a
mixed fleet of trains. One set would be standard “off-the-shelf” trains dedicated to the new high
speed line and a second set would be specially designed, smaller, “classic-compatible” trains
capable of running at high speed on the new line and then travelling at conventional speeds on the
classic network. This was the approach adopted for the design of Eurostar trains to allow operation
partially on the classic network prior to the opening of HS1.

High Speed Rail for Britain – Report by High Speed 2 Ltd

2.3.14 A second approach would be to “gauge clear” classic lines to particular destinations. This
would require alterations to stations, bridges, tunnels and track spacing for sufficient tracks to
accommodate standard high speed trains as well as classic ones. Where station platforms are
altered to accommodate the HS2 trains, they could not also be used by existing UK trains because
of the changed platform height and stepping distances. The degree of work required in the vicinity
of stations would be considerable, with bypass lines being required at some locations. Ideally the
capability to accommodate 400m long trains would also be created to operate such services to
destinations where demand justified them.

2.3.15 Of the two options, we consider that adopting a specially designed classic-compatible train
(although, in itself, relatively expensive) would be the more cost effective. However, further work is
needed to identify whether there are classic routes or route sections where gauge clearance might
be more economic, especially if a longer term network is created.

2.3.16 Curves on the WCML in a number of route sections are sufficiently severe to restrict speeds of
classic trains, so “Pendolino” tilting trains have been introduced to improve journey times. The latest
Japanese Shinkansen train has a system whereby the suspension provides 1 degree of inclination
to improve passenger comfort, allowing the trains to take 250kph curves at 270kph on dedicated
high speed line. There are currently no high speed trains in service which tilt by rotating the actual
vehicle body – in the way conventional speed trains such as Pendolinos do – to allow higher speeds
around sharp curves on existing railway lines. After discussion with train manufacturers and rolling
stock experts, we have assumed that such trains would not be designed especially for our high
speed classic-compatible fleet. We have compared the effect of operating classic-compatible high
speed trains over the WCML in place of Pendolinos. The assessment concluded that, given the
installed power and performance of a high speed classic-compatible train and the extent of WCML
route which would not be limited on speed due to curvature, the time lost north of HS2 on Day One
in comparison to conventional tilting trains would be small. Classic-compatible trains would, of
course, save significant journey time on HS2 itself.

2.3.17 A further approach that has been suggested, pending the construction of a wider network, was to
create an interchange station at the northern end of HS2 and avoid through running by requiring
all passengers to change (cross platform) from high speed trains to classic ones for their onward
journeys and vice versa. This has not been examined in any detail as the time and inconvenience
would negate the benefits of the high speed portion of the journey.

Chapter 2: Our Approach

Designing a sustainable service

2.3.18 The four sustainability priorities listed below have underpinned our approach to both designing and
assessing the options and then ultimately deciding which should be recommended as our preferred
choices. We also used these to frame our assessment of the preferred package to demonstrate the
overall sustainability impact of the new line. The four priorities as set out in the 2005 UK sustainable
development strategy Securing the Future are:
• Reducing greenhouse gas emissions and combating climate change.
• Natural resource protection and environmental enhancement (adapted by us to include the
cultural as well as natural environment).
• Creating sustainable communities.
• Sustainable consumption and production.

2.3.19 In following the four priorities in the design of the infrastructure, we have sought where possible to –
• Avoid or, where this is not practicable, to mitigate direct or indirect harm to landscape, water and
ecological resources and to maximise opportunities to enhance such features where possible.
• Avoid or, where this is not practicable, to mitigate direct or indirect harm to historic cultural
resources and to maximise opportunities to enhance such features where possible.
• Avoid or ensure appropriate mitigation of any new noise, vibrations or localised air pollution
caused by HS2.
• Use, where practicable, land with planning designations appropriate to the development for high
speed rail and its infrastructure.
• Minimise land take and avoid demolitions of Measures used to help
properties where possible, particularly residential mitigate the impacts of HS2
properties. To limit noise in surface sections we
• Maintain the health and amenity of residential used the following measures:
communities potentially affected by the scheme, • Lowering vertical alignments to put
including where practicable the maintenance of track in cutting.
access to services and shops. • Noise barriers to limit noise in
• Ensure no net loss of flood storage capacity. surface route sections.

• Minimise waste production. • Bunding (low embankments)

running parallel to the track.
2.3.20 The Appraisal of Sustainability examines in depth the To limit ground borne noise in both
impact of the preferred scheme on the four sustainability surface and tunnel sections we used
priorities and how well our design meets the criteria the following measures:
above. As more detailed design is progressed we
• Resilient track support systems.
would expect, and have made provision in our cost
• Embedded track systems.
estimates for, the development of visual solutions for

High Speed Rail for Britain – Report by High Speed 2 Ltd

HS2 infrastructure elements – such as bridges, tunnel portals and overhead power line supporting
structures – to blend them into existing built and natural landscapes. Tunnels are often presented as
the best way to minimise the impact of new routes. We therefore focus on their effects in particular
below. Chapter 4 explains in more detail the scheme’s impact on greenhouse gas emissions and the
implications for design.

2.3.21 We have sought where possible to follow best practice guidance when carrying out our sustainability
assessments. We consulted the relevant statutory bodies, including the Environment Agency,
Natural England and English Heritage on our approach and emerging conclusions. We have sought
to apply the principles of Strategic Environmental Assessment, so that the work we have undertaken
will be transferable to any subsequent stages of appraisal required for scheme approval.

The effects of tunnelling

2.3.22 When approaching the design of the route, we considered the use of tunnels to avoid environmental
impacts, primarily impacts on landscape and major property demolitions. Where necessary, we also
considered tunnels for topographical reasons. There are two types of tunnel that we considered:
• Twin bore, single track tunnels with
cross passages at regular intervals to Door to outside
at Surface Level
allow evacuation from one tunnel to
the other in the event of an incident Intervention
(as per Figure 2.3b).
• Single bore, twin track tunnels for linking tunnels
shorter tunnels.

2.3.23 Both types of tunnel would accommodate


xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx

the GC gauge trains. The aim for the

new line would be to allow speeds of

xxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxx

400kph where practicable. However,


xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxx xxxxxx xxxxxx

we acknowledge that the design for

xxxxxx xxxxxx
xxxxxx xxxxxx

such speeds in tunnels would be very

expensive as much larger tunnels would
be required. Therefore we designed the
tunnels for HS2 to allow up to 320kph Direction of
and in some cases 400kph. Tunnels Non-Incident Passenger
Incident tunnel
tunnel Evacuation
cost about 5-6 times more per km than
building through open countryside. Figure 2.3b Section view of a twin bore tunnel

2.3.24 Safety regulations, aerodynamics and ventilation are the key drivers in deciding the size and
space requirements within the tunnels. Long tunnels, greater than 2km, require cross-passages
and intervention shafts, providing emergency exits, ventilation or access for emergency services.
From an aerodynamic point of view natural ventilation is required to relieve pressure in the
tunnel and avoid passenger discomfort or excessive noise when a train emerges from the tunnel.

Chapter 2: Our Approach

The intervention shafts could be required every 2km in long tunnels and could be up to 20m in
diameter at the surface. Two different tunnelling techniques would be used on HS2 -
• Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM). A standard tunnel construction method, a TBM can be used
through most types of ground conditions. Once launched from a shaft or cutting, they remain
below ground and so avoid many of the environmental issues that affect surface works. Ground
settlement on the surface can also be limited to small amounts. For longer tunnel lengths
intermediate construction shafts may be necessary.
• Sprayed Concrete Lining (SCL). The prevalent ground conditions on the HS2 route would mean
that excavations could be used for this technique. Instead of drills, progress is made through
excavating short sections before putting in support for the roof.

2.3.25 Using the TBM method, precast concrete segments are manufactured outside the tunnel and
installed behind the machine whereas in the SCL method the lining is created in-situ. Both
construction methods require a significant amount of building materials and there is a huge amount
of spoil produced with a sizeable logistics effort required to remove it.

2.3.26 The construction of the tunnels may cause some ground movement and therefore the potential
degree and impact of any settlement must be understood when designing the route and choosing
the tunnelling methodology. Mitigation measures to minimise the impact of tunnelling on surface
buildings and utilities include: reinforcing the ground by injecting grout; moving and then reinstating
the structures post construction of the tunnel; and providing additional support for building

2.3.27 During operation of the railway, property on the surface may experience ground-borne noise, a
rumbling sound created by trains passing through the tunnels underneath. The noise levels heard
in a property would depend on their proximity to the tunnel and the geology of the area. Mitigation
measures can be used but add extra cost to the construction and maintenance of the tunnels.

A demand led approach

2.3.28 Our station designs and locations are influenced by where people will start their journey and where
they want to finish. Getting this right determines whether enough people will want to use the service
to make it viable. We built on existing transport models, known as PLANET, to create a forecasting
model to test the impact of what we proposed. The HS2 Demand and Appraisal Report explains in
more detail our modelling approach. It combined three elements:
• An updated Long Distance Model – with rail, car and air demand for journey purposes (leisure,
business and commuting).
• Two regional models – Midland and South – mainly for detailed short distance local rail
movements and high level impacts on car traffic.
• Heathrow spreadsheet model – including both surface and air access to Heathrow.

High Speed Rail for Britain – Report by High Speed 2 Ltd

And two stand alone models:

• International spreadsheet model identifying the scope of international travel from key British
• Station Location modelling station accessibility in London and the West Midlands.

2.3.29 Together these models provide long-range forecasts using data, behavioural assumptions and
traffic and rail modelling parameters. We used the data to determine our preferred options and
understand the impact of our proposals not only on travellers’ choices but also on train crowding,
road congestion and emissions.

2.3.30 In understanding the choices that people would be likely to make there are a variety of reasons why
people would travel by high speed rail rather than road, air or classic rail:
• A faster journey time.
• A more reliable journey.
• Higher quality trains.
• Convenience of overall door-to-door journeys.

2.3.31 The first two are easier to measure and are included in the modelling results, with reliability or
punctuality modelled as an adjusted journey time (one minute improvement in average minutes
lateness is equivalent to an improvement of three minutes journey time). The third assumes some
further inherent attractiveness of high speed services over classic rail. Given the limited evidence to
support an exact measurement of this, we have taken a conservative approach and not treated high
speed rail as a ‘different mode’. It is possible therefore that there would be additional demand and
further benefits associated with high speed rail that we have not captured.

2.3.32 In considering the demand for high speed rail services, we recognised that it would be but one
part of a complete journey. The overall journey will have other sections involving private or public
transport or possibly both. If high speed rail is to deliver the full benefits predicted we recognised
that the specific location and detailed design of our stations would be critical to making the
interchange with complementary transport modes effective, convenient and attractive. We also
recognised the likely future capabilities of local transport networks, particularly the Underground in
central London. We reviewed regional and local strategies that map future plans, and we discussed
our potential proposals with bodies best placed to understand future travel patterns – the Highways
Agency, Local Authorities, TfL and others - in our working groups.

Chapter 2: Our Approach

Approach to value for money

2.3.33 Achieving value for money is about getting the right balance between costs and the design aims.
Two areas where decisions have a significant bearing on costs are station locations and the parts
of the route to tunnel.

2.3.34 City centre stations and their allied approach routes are invariably more expensive to build. High
land costs, intensive land use and the potential impact on existing property and services all
contribute. Building at city edges substantially avoids many of these problems. However most people
want to travel to the centre of cities to access other modes of transport, businesses and facilities.

2.3.35 Tunnels are much more expensive than open surface routes and their construction can be
disruptive. Nevertheless, we included them in the design where it was necessary to meet our
sustainability aims – for example where we propose to cross built up areas or particularly sensitive
natural features and where there was a need to reduce major property demolitions or noise.

Appraising value for money for the business case

2.3.36 DfT has a standard approach to appraisal (WebTAG) which ensures consistency and comparability
across transport schemes. We have appraised our proposals as far as possible, using this approach.

Our assumptions
We had to make some assumptions about what would happen between now and possible opening
of the high speed line. We called this our ‘reference case’. We assumed that by the time HS2
opens, the following would also be in place:
• Any highways, rail and local transport schemes that the Government has committed to build
before 2015.
• Continued investment in the roads programme and London transport beyond 2015, consistent
with the National Transport Model, which is unlikely to be affected by the building of a new high
speed line.
• Investment in specific rail schemes beyond 2015 – Thameslink, Crossrail and the Intercity
Express Programmes (now known as Superexpress), which are unlikely to be in competition
with a new high speed line. This is consistent with DfT’s Network Modelling Framework. There
are some specific rail schemes which may directly impact on the degree of detail which we
have not included in our reference case. These include Evergreen III, a proposed new fast
service between London and Oxford, and Airtrack, a proposed new rail line between Heathrow
Airport Terminal 5 and the existing rail network to the south and west, including Reading,
Guildford and Waterloo.
• A third runway at Heathrow Airport. We also reviewed the difference which the absence of a
third runway would make to the business case.

High Speed Rail for Britain – Report by High Speed 2 Ltd

2.3.37 We have assumed a ‘central case’ which uses assumptions about the methods used in future to
generate electricity and the likely growth in GDP. These forecasts are in line with the National
Transport Model and other Government forecasts. A key assumption is the demand growth forecast.
Growth in road and air traffic was based on the DfT’s most recently published forecasts. For air, this
involves a 178% increase in domestic aviation from 2008 to 2033, and for road this is a 43% increase
in trips from 2008 to 2033.

2.3.38 Growth in rail demand was calculated using the standard industry and Government recommended
approach. This assumes that growth is driven by changes in rail fares, population and employment
and in particular people’s propensity to make more rail trips as they become more affluent. Unlike
for road and air forecasts, the approach for rail produces a demand forecast that grows indefinitely.
Therefore as a proxy for market maturity and given the long term uncertainty in the forecasting
methodology, DfT recommends forecasting no further growth beyond 2026. Because of the longer
term nature of HS2, we have extended this cap to 2033. This therefore amounts to a 150% increase
in long distance rail to and from London between 2008 and 2033.

2.3.39 Our assumption on GDP growth follows the latest Treasury forecasts. Given the uncertainties in
forecasting rail growth, we tested different levels of growth to understand the robustness of the
business case to different scenarios.

Summary and key recommendations

2.3.40 In our approach to the design and specification of HS2 we have sought to achieve a balance
between a number of factors. We have aimed to realise the potential of high speed technology
and maximising its benefits with a demand-led approach. The design has carefully considered
and, where possible, sought to address the impacts on landscape and on those who may live near
the proposed route. At the same time we have striven to achieve value for money and apply the
standards and technology proven in use around the world.

2.3.41 We believe the proposals for HS2 that follow in the next chapter achieve an appropriate balance
between these factors. If HS2 proceeds to further design stages we would expect that its
performance could be further enhanced.

Chapter 3 – Determining the Preferred Scheme
High Speed Rail for Britain – Report by High Speed 2 Ltd

3.1 Option generation and sifting

3.1.1 This chapter describes the process by which we have arrived at preferred options for the design
of HS2 and explains the conclusions we have reached at each stage of that process. More detailed
information on the design and impacts of our chosen options can be found in the:
• Route Engineering Study
• Appraisal of Sustainability Report
• Demand and Appraisal Report

Scheme development - core components

3.1.2 As our remit required, we have studied options for providing the necessary components of a London
to West Midlands new high speed line. Our approach to design was driven by the factors described
in the previous chapter, and began by dividing the whole package into separate components so that
we could easily compare the options. For the following components we carried out a three stage
process to identify what we recommend as ‘preferred options’ which would fit together to make a
‘preferred scheme’:
• London stations
• Heathrow/Crossrail interchanges (including approaches to London)
• Lines of route
• West Midlands stations and routes

3.1.3 Throughout the three stage process we took a balanced view of the criteria and in very few
circumstances did one factor alone dominate a decision. The costs are given in 2009 prices.

Creating the long list and initial sifting - Stage One

3.1.4 We started with a long list of options for each category. We started with a clean sheet for our option
development and reviewed existing material, invited options from our working group members, took
on board recommendations from stakeholders and interested parties and drew on the knowledge of
team members.

Chapter 3: Determining the Preferred Scheme

3.1.5 For each station option we analysed at a very high level its engineering feasibility, the relative likely
demand and an indication of the relative costs (high, medium, low). We also captured any additional
comments that might have had a bearing on the ability of the location to be considered, for example
planning or environmental constraints. We identified those options that had obvious significant
operational difficulties. We continued to pursue some options which, although difficult, were best
in class of related difficult options and on which we needed to do further work to understand their
viability. For route options we did not undertake an initial sifting process, as we had insufficient
information at this stage to decide between the various options; we went straight into the more
detailed assessment of stage 2 to produce the short list.

Determining the short listed options – Stage Two

3.1.6 To produce our short list of station and route options we reviewed:
• Strategic fit. This was used to capture whether an option met the remit sufficiently.
• Costs. At this early stage of option sifting broad costs were estimated sufficiently to show
significant relative differences between options rather than taken as absolute.
• Construction and operational feasibility and impacts. This also included a description of
whether new infrastructure or services would be required and whether existing services would
be impacted. For stations, this included a review of passenger dispersal to and from the station,
covering road, rail and public transport (including the London Underground).
• Environment, social and spatial planning considerations. This involved using a “simplified”
sustainability appraisal framework which considered principally features of international or
national significance and those which required a more refined level detail to distinguish options
in sustainability terms. As with cost comparisons, much of this work was relative rather then
• Demand. Any relevant considerations of likely relative passenger numbers and journey times.

Selecting the preferred and alternatives - Stage Three

3.1.7 For the final stage of choosing our preferred options the level of appraisal and design intensified
further. We gathered detailed evidence covering the same topics as before:

• Construction and operational feasibility and impacts. For the comparisons between options,
we estimated costs in greater detail to give a relative assessment. The costs in this chapter
exclude risk and are for comparative purposes only. For line for route the estimates were
primarily derived by identifying the types of line within each route section (open route, corridor
widening or tunnel) and then multiplying the length of each type of line by its generic unit rate.
• A full appraisal of sustainability. Using the four sustainability priorities we applied a full
Appraisal of Sustainability Framework which focused on 18 specific issues and used a range
of objectives and evaluation criteria to appraise each of these issues.
• Economic analysis. Focussed mainly on journey time comparisons.

High Speed Rail for Britain – Report by High Speed 2 Ltd

Scheme development – additional components

3.1.8 As well as the individual components described above we also considered the following:
• The case for an intermediate station. A demand led approach to understanding the impact
of a station between London and the West Midlands.
• The case for an interchange station in the West Midlands. A demand led approach again to
identify and then assess potential locations for an interchange station.
• The case for international rail connections. A review of possible options for providing a link
between HS1 and HS2 and an analysis of the likely passenger demand.

Scheme development – operational components

3.1.9 To complete our understanding of the requirements for a high speed line we developed the
• A freight policy for HS2. The possible options for running freight on a high speed line and
a recommended approach.
• A train service specification for HS2 and released capacity. An initial view of a service
specification to inform the business case.
• Maintenance and stabling requirements. Relevant criteria for choosing a rolling stock
maintenance depot and an infrastructure maintenance depot for assessment in the business case.

Involving others
3.1.10 Throughout this process we worked closely with our working group stakeholders to help test
the robustness of our decisions and ensure that they took account of the available evidence.
Stakeholders were not asked formally to endorse the options taken forward. However, they did
provide an effective challenge to our processes and assumptions and were important in helping
to identify specific key local and regional impacts associated with the options we were considering.

Chapter 3: Determining the Preferred Scheme

3.2 London stations

3.2.1 This section sets out the option development process for identifying viable station options in London.
We followed the process set out in section 3.1 to help us reach conclusions on components to take
forward in our preferred package and viable alternatives.

Creation and initial sifting of the long list of station options - Stage One
3.2.2 Initially, we developed a long list of 27 possible sites in London, which are shown below in Figure
3.2a. The Figure shows in dark blue the sites that were sifted out at Stage One; sites shown in pale
blue were considered further at the next stage.

Figure 3.2a London sifting process – Stage One

Battersea Power Station


Canary Wharf

Clapham Junction


Euston Euston - all at the same level Euston - all at the same level
Farringdon Euston Double Deck - Classic above Euston Double Deck - Classic above
Finsbury Park Euston Double Deck - Classic below Euston Double Deck - Classic below
Heathrow Central Terminal Area King’s Cross Lands - Cavern King’s Cross Lands - Cut and Cover
Heathrow Hub King’s Cross Lands - Cut and Cover

Kensington Olympia Old Oak Common

King’s Cross Paddington

King’s Cross Lands Beneath a Royal Park

Liverpool Street St. Pancras

Marylebone Willesden Junction

Old Oak Common

Paddington Preferred Euston - all at the same level

Beneath A Royal Park Alternative? Euston Double Deck - Classic above

St. Pancras Alternative? King’s Cross - Cut and Cover


Beneath the Thames

Willesden Junction

Beneath Trafalgar Square



Watford Junction Option not pursued

Tottenham Hale Option pursued

High Speed Rail for Britain – Report by High Speed 2 Ltd

3.2.3 The creation of the long list of options was informed by our assumptions about the required size
of London terminal, both under a Day One scenario, and in the longer term, as the root of a wider
high speed network. In the future ten platforms could serve a possible 18 trains per hour, assuming
greater network reliability and allowing for appropriately reduced turn around times. On Day One,
without the benefit of such future improvements, ten platforms would be required to serve the 14
train paths per hour which represent the initial line capacity. This would require some optimisation
of the timetable and turnround times at the London end during peak hours and would provide some
flexibility in platform operation during off-peak periods.

3.2.4 The list included central as well as outer London locations and for each station option we considered
a surface, deep underground, or cut and cover solution as appropriate. Vacant space in and around
existing stations is limited, as large areas of former operational railway land in London have been
sold for commercial building developments progressively over the last 50 years.

3.2.5 We narrowed down the long list using the following high-level criteria:

• Overall fit with the remit.

• Operational/Engineering feasibility. An initial view on the ability to construct a station on the site
and the possible associated impacts – particularly dispersal opportunities recognising existing
capacity constraints on the Underground network. Finding a location already integrated into the
public transport network was a key requirement.
• Demand. A non-modelled, broad assessment of likely scale of demand using available data
including passenger access times to various locations in London – as set out in Figure 3.2b below.
• Cost. At the level of a basic order of magnitude for relative assessments.
• Other relevant factors, including potential planning and environmental constraints.

Chapter 3: Determining the Preferred Scheme

Figure 3.2b Number of people who live or work within 45 minutes

of the major London stations, 2008

Number of people who live or work within 45 minutes of major London stations
Location Station name Population Employment
Charing Cross 3,538,854 2,562,033

Euston 2,858,771 2,413,397

Farringdon 4,237,466 2,810,697

King’s Cross 2,651,242 2,278,835

Inner London Liverpool Street 4,047,736 2,681,155

Paddington 3,186,008 2,569,008

St Pancras 2,560,423 2,231,384

Victoria 3,100,706 2,472,419

Waterloo 3,163,206 2,491,534

Canary Wharf 2,032,821 1,908,139

Finsbury Park 1,338,988 1,550,089

Stratford 1,958,488 1,716,140

Outer London
Tottenham 1,822,286 1,561,869

Watford Junction 1,313,323 1,152,734

Willesden Junction 1,561,787 1,247,734

(Source: TfL analysis)

3.2.6 The station locations that progressed to the next stage included Euston, King’s Cross Lands, Old Oak
Common (railway land between Wormwood Scrubs and Willesden), Paddington, options beneath a
Royal Park, St Pancras and Willesden Junction. The stations that were not pursued at this stage are
described below.
• Canary Wharf, Farringdon, King’s Cross, Liverpool Street, Marylebone, Paddington, St Pancras,
Trafalgar Square (Charing Cross) and Victoria. Insufficient capacity to accommodate high speed
services or lack of long enough platforms at most of the existing stations in central London
means that, in effect, any expansion on the surface would require the construction of an entirely
new station alongside, with most of the 10 new platforms outside the original footprint. Whilst
other options remained in play, we felt that such a significant requirement for land on the surface
was unacceptable as all these stations are in highly built-up locations.

High Speed Rail for Britain – Report by High Speed 2 Ltd

• Given the difficulties of building on the surface at these locations, or using cut and cover
methodology, we tested the constructability of a major cavern at Paddington (extending to the
St Mary’s Hospital site) and King’s Cross Lands (the wedge of land between the stations of St
Pancras and King’s Cross) as they were the closest to our approach routes. These cavern options
were also chosen as examples in preference to taking forward the Beneath the River Thames
option, given the added technical difficulties associated with building under water and the longer
approach route required.
• Battersea Power Station, Camden, Clapham Junction, Cricklewood, Finsbury Park, a location
beneath the central terminal area of Heathrow, a hub near Heathrow, Kensington Olympia,
Stratford, Tottenham Hale and Watford Junction. The majority of rail passengers from London
to Birmingham (and destinations beyond) start their journey in inner London. Locating a
terminal station outside central London would jeopardise access to this market since it imposes
significant interchange and journey-time penalties on the majority of passengers. Whilst it may
be desirable to capture some of the (mainly car) trips from outer London, these trips are unlikely
to be well suited for rail (few for example go to city centre locations). Nevertheless, we carried
forward two options for further work – Old Oak Common and Willesden Junction.

Why are we not recommending using the former

Eurostar platforms at Waterloo?
Five long platforms, capable of taking 400m long trains, already exist at Waterloo – a legacy
from the original Eurostar operation pre-dating the opening of HS1. The current ‘high speed’
lines serving these platforms point south west and access for high-speed trains from the north
would require either a newly tunnelled route under the Thames, the parallel construction of lines
alongside the existing West London Line, or the extensive gauge clearance of (and removal of
existing capacity from) the West London Line to accommodate the larger trains. The latter would
also be a low-speed option. Both approaches would be highly expensive, and we would expect a
surface route to require significant land take. An additional five platforms would also be required
either here or elsewhere to meet the needs of a ten platform station.

Furthermore, the platforms are currently earmarked for integration with the rest of Waterloo
providing necessary additional capacity on the South West Main Line suburban network. We
would expect that growth in demand to Waterloo from areas served by the South West Main Line
will be such that, were HS2 services to take over these platforms, alternative platforms would
be required elsewhere to accommodate rising demand. Waterloo is a constrained site and both
it and its approaches are on viaducts. There is limited scope for building additional platforms
alongside or above the station.

Chapter 3: Determining the Preferred Scheme

Determining the short listed options - Stage Two

3.2.7 For those options that made it past the
long list stage, we intensified our work
Euston - all at the same level Euston - all at the same level
to cover the following areas:
Euston Double Deck - Classic above Euston Double Deck - Classic above
• Costs – based on an initial evaluation of Euston Double Deck - Classic below Euston Double Deck - Classic below
the high-level scope with a generic unit
King’s Cross Lands - Cavern King’s Cross Lands - Cut and Cover
rate applied.
King’s Cross Lands - Cut and Cover
• Construction and operational feasibility. Old Oak Common

• Environmental, social and spatial Paddington

considerations – using the simplified Beneath a Royal Park

appraisal framework. St. Pancras

• Demand – where relevant. Willesden Junction

3.2.8 Through this further work, we identified Preferred Euston - all at the same level
our short list of options as Euston and Alternative? Euston Double Deck - Classic above
King‘s Cross Lands (cut and cover). Alternative? King’s Cross - Cut and Cover
The following locations, as noted in
Option not pursued
Figure 3.2c were not pursed any further:
Option pursued
• Beneath a Royal Park. In the spirit
of looking at possible options, we Figure 3.2c London sifting process – Stage Two
investigated the potential for developing
a station underneath one of the central London Royal Parks. We looked at possible sites in Green
Park, Hyde Park and Regent’s Park. We envisaged using a cut and cover methodology so that the
park would be reinstated after construction with the only visible structures within the park being
a station entrance, associated access provision, emergency exits and the vent shafts that would
be necessary to provide ventilation and a means for smoke to escape in case of fire. Construction
of this nature in a green-field site poses relatively few engineering issues, mainly associated with
aligning the underground box to fit with existing tunnels. Of the Royal Park locations, Regent’s
Park offered better connectivity than Green Park or Hyde Park. This option had made it through
stage one on the basis that we required further information from a planning and sustainability
Gaining permission to build in any Royal Park would require a significant shift in the protection
afforded to these sites, which have remained largely unchanged for nearly 200 years. We took the
view that further consideration of a terminal station in any Royal Park should only be undertaken
as a matter of last resort. We recognise that there would be significant opposition to building in
these open spaces that have been safeguarded for the enjoyment of Londoners and visitors alike
and which are London landmarks. We therefore concluded that no options to build beneath the
Royal Parks should be taken forward.

High Speed Rail for Britain – Report by High Speed 2 Ltd

• Deep tunnelled cavern (Paddington and King’s Cross Lands). A sample cross section of a cavern
is provided in Figure 3.2d. The ground conditions at King’s Cross Lands would not permit this
method of size of structure to be built underground. At Paddington, whilst the ground conditions
would permit this type of structure, ground settlement could be of the order of 150mm. Although
grouting would reduce the risk of settlement, it would not be a viable solution over such a large
area. This degree and type of settlement would be unacceptable underneath Brunel’s Paddington
station, or a hospital. The significant risks associated with these deep cavern options, along with
the possible cost of over £5bn, led us to conclude that, while we still had potential sites in central
London without such risks, we should focus on those. Although we decided to do no further work
on a cavern option at King’s Cross Lands, we carried forward for further investigaton a cut and
cover station option.

Figure 3.2d Size and scale of a deep cavern option

200m long


50m wide

Typical Crossrail station The overall size would be in excess of

ten Crossrail stations. Each platform
would need to be located in its own
tinnel as it would not be possible to
build a sufficiently large cavern to
accommodate all the platforms

500m long
Concourse area


310m wide

All dimensions approximate A high rail deep cavern terminal

• St Pancras. We reviewed two options. The first, a ten-platform station constructed immediately
above the extended HS1 platform zone, was not pursued as it would present major construction
challenges – including building new foundations beneath the existing deck – and would be
hugely disruptive during construction since it would require complete closure of the station. The
second, a ten-platform terminal station sited to the north-west of St Pancras at the same level
as St Pancras International, on the site known as Somers Town, was not pursued. It would entail

Chapter 3: Determining the Preferred Scheme

significant disruption to the local community with housing demolitions and the loss of St Pancras
Hospital, commercial property, and a number of listed buildings and monuments.
• Willesden Junction and Old Oak Common. Further demand analysis continued to suggest that
the journey time penalty for central London passengers using these stations as the only London
terminal was likely to severely reduce the benefits of HS2. A Crossrail connection at Old Oak
Common or Willesden Junction would allow some passengers a quicker journey time to the East
or West of London, but the bulk of the demand for HS2 would come from the central, north and
south of London which would be best served by a central London station.

Selecting the preferred and alternative options - Stage Three

3.2.9 From our short list of options, noted in Figure 3.2e, we identified our preferred option using the
following criteria:
• Construction and Operational Impacts.
• The Four Sustainability Priorities.
• Costs.
• Economic analysis.


Euston - all at the same level Euston - all at the same level
Euston Double Deck - Classic above Euston Double Deck - Classic above
Euston Double Deck - Classic below Euston Double Deck - Classic below
King’s Cross Lands - Cavern King’s Cross Lands - Cut and Cover
King’s Cross Lands - Cut and Cover

Old Oak Common


Beneath a Royal Park

St. Pancras

Willesden Junction

Preferred Euston - all at the same level

Alternative? Euston Double Deck - Classic above

Alternative? King’s Cross Lands - Cut and Cover

Option not pursued

Option pursued

Figure 3.2e London sifting process – Stage Three

High Speed Rail for Britain – Report by High Speed 2 Ltd

Preferred station – Euston – all platforms on one level

Design, Construction and Cost
3.2.10 Euston station – the existing London terminal for the WCML – currently comprises 18 platforms of
varying length and width, with a concourse and retail area just south of the platforms. A parcels deck
- which is now largely disused - covers the station. Immediately in front of the station is a square
with additional retail facilities, some high rise office accommodation, a bus station and Euston
Gardens. The station is at its busiest during the morning peak period, during which time all 18
platforms are required to operate the service.

3.2.11 With the introduction of the HS2 platforms and the replacement of longer distance services from the
current WCML with local or medium-distance trains which have shorter turnaround times, slightly
fewer platforms would be needed for the classic services. The preferred HS2 solution extends the
current station footprint to the west to accommodate 10 HS2 platforms, with 14 classic platforms to
the east. The overall footprint can be found in Figure 3.2f.




HS2 Preferred Route
!. Listed Building Grade I /LVWHG%XLOGLQJ*UDGH,,

!. Listed Building Grade II*

Listed Building Grade I /LVWHG%XLOGLQJ*UDGH,,
Listed Building Grade II* /LVWHG%XLOGLQJ*UDGH,,
Public Open Space /LVWHG%XLOGLQJV*UDGH,,

Local Conservation Area 0HOWRQ6WUHHW1XPEHU
Registered Parks & Gardens

Figure 3.2f Proposed Euston station footprint

Chapter 3: Determining the Preferred Scheme

3.2.12 Figure 3.2g shows the platform layout. Two of the classic platforms adjacent to the HS2 platforms
would be built to the same length as the HS2 platforms, and connected to both the classic and the
HS2 approach tracks. This enables use by classic-compatible HS2 trains in the late evening and
early morning to reach Wembley for stabling overnight.

HS2 Platforms Figure 3.2g Proposed Euston station platform layout
Shared Platforms
Classic Platforms
Station Boundary 61
High Speed Rail for Britain – Report by High Speed 2 Ltd

3.2.13 The station footprint is also extended southwards to meet, but not affect, Euston Gardens.
We envisage that the platforms would be built about two metres below current track level to obtain
the necessary clearance under Hampstead Road Bridge immediately to the north of the station.
The concourse would be extended over the platforms at street level for two thirds of their length.
This would provide effective passenger access to the full length of the trains, with step-free access
to the concourse from three sides. This increases access across the site for both pedestrians and -
potentially - vehicles, which the current station cannot offer. Redevelopment opportunities have not
been a deciding factor in our station choice. However it is worth noting that this location would offer
development potential for commercial and retail facilities to be built above the station. Figure 3.2h
is an artist’s impression of the station that could be built; it may not necessarily have a glass roof if
there is redevelopment above.

Figure 3.2h Artistic impression of Euston concourse
3.2.14 We have undertaken an initial examination of how works at Euston might be staged, in order to
limit disruption to rail users and the local communities. The programme of work would need to
be developed in detail with stakeholders including the London Borough of Camden, TfL, Train
Operating Companies and Network Rail. For example, it would be potentially possible to construct
the west side of the high speed platforms in Stage 1 in a form capable of temporary use by classic
services to help reduce disruption during later stages. We have estimated the cost of Euston based

Chapter 3: Determining the Preferred Scheme

on an outline sequence of four principal stages which could last between 6 and 7 years in total.
Throughout these stages we have assessed the complementary construction of the classic and high
speed work on concourses, access to the Underground and approach tracks:
• Stage 1: Months 1-18. Buildings along the west side of the station cleared and the new high
speed station structure in that area constructed including any provision to permit development
above it.
• Stage 2: Months 6-30. Reconstruct the eastern half of the classic station.
• Stage 3: Months 30-54. Reconstruct the western half of the classic station.
• Stage 4: Months 54-78. Construct the remainder of the high speed station.

3.2.15 We estimate the cost of constructing the station and the rebuilding of the tube ticket hall would be
approximately £1bn. This includes all contractor costs but excludes location-specific construction
risks, ancillary items, environmental mitigation, land purchase, TOC compensation, project costs
and any routewide or programme level risks which are included in the overall costs.

Passenger benefits and dispersal

3.2.16 Euston has good links with most London destinations via the Underground, with the Victoria line
and both branches of the Northern line currently integrated within the station complex, and the
Metropolitan, Hammersmith & City and Circle lines at nearby Euston Square station, with the
potential for a new connection from the eastern end of Euston Square station platforms to the south
west corner of the Euston station site. A short Advanced People Mover could connect Euston to
St Pancras along a route to the north of the British Library. This would provide immediate access
to First Capital Connect (Thameslink and Great Northern services), East Midlands Trains, South
Eastern (domestic high speed services), Eurostar and East Coast core services. These connections
would require further work and have not been included in our costs.

3.2.17 Around half the passengers arriving or departing from Euston currently go on to use the London
Underground. Even with TfL’s investment programme for the Underground, parts of the tube
network are likely to be heavily loaded by the time HS2 opens. We forecast that the impact of HS2
would be to add as much as 50,000 long distance and 15,000 - 20,000 short distance passengers
per day to and from Euston (i.e. 25,000 in each direction). Assuming that half of these passengers
go on to use the Underground, that could mean around 32,000 additional passengers at Euston and
Euston Square Underground station per day. With an outer London interchange station, the number
of additional passengers on the Underground reduces to 17,000 per day. There are several potential
ways to relieve some of the crowding problems on the Underground. An HS2 interchange with
Crossrail in West London would be one such option, as discussed in section 3.3.

3.2.18 Suggesting improvements to the Underground network itself was not part of this study but we note
a number of potential ways that could help with crowding around Euston which we have discussed
with TfL. For the purposes of this study, we have not included their costs or benefits. Further work
would be required to understand the impacts of these proposals alongside a new HS2 scheme.

High Speed Rail for Britain – Report by High Speed 2 Ltd

Schemes to help dispersal at Euston –

Transport for London proposals
The following schemes were all included in the consultation on the Mayor’s Transport Strategy,
published in October 2009, and many of them meet wider objectives.
• Northern Line Upgrade 2. This proposal involves a service recast on the Northern line and
expansion of its train fleet in order to permit up to 28tph to operate from Euston southbound
via each branch (Charing Cross and Bank) in the morning peak – a capacity increase of 17%
over post-upgrade levels. This proposal is funded with completion scheduled for 2018.
• Removal of London Overground services from Euston. We have assumed that these services
would be able to return to Euston after construction of the new station, using the dual-voltage
capability of the rolling stock to run into any of the classic platforms at Euston, having removed
the third-rail DC equipment during the rebuilding of the station. To help relieve pressure at
Euston there would be a number of options including diverting these services elsewhere;
curtailing the services at Queen’s Park, or extending the Bakerloo line to Watford Junction. All
these would have different impacts that would need to be considered.
• Diversion of suburban London Midland services onto Crossrail. The transfer of eight stopping
services into London which are currently operated by London Midland from Milton Keynes,
Tring, Berkhamsted and similar (on the slow lines) into Crossrail from the West, rather than
terminating at Euston. We did a high level analysis of the difference this proposal would make
to the crowding issues at Euston. Removal of 16 train movements per hour from Euston (8
arrivals and departures) would equate to an estimated 13,000 number of passengers when
fully loaded in the morning peak hour and half loaded in the opposite direction. It could also
reduce the number of classic platforms required from 14 to 12.
• Chelsea-Hackney Line. This is a safeguarded long-standing proposal to create a new
Underground line from southwest to northeast London via Victoria, Tottenham Court Road
and King’s Cross St Pancras. Its relevance to Euston is that it could offer considerable relief to
the Victoria line. A Chelsea-Hackney Line may offer crowding relief arising from background
growth in trips in London.

Sustainability considerations
3.2.19 Any development at Euston should help to realise the potential aims of the Central Camden and
West Euston Renewal areas. As outlined in the London Borough of Camden’s Unitary Development
Plan, their objectives are to intensify job creation in the area and increase and improve housing. The
London Borough of Camden has produced a more detailed masterplan (Supplementary Planning
Document) for Euston where they have identified the station as being a fundamental catalyst for

Chapter 3: Determining the Preferred Scheme

3.2.20 Figure 3.2f, earlier in this section, maps the key sustainability features in the area. The proposed
footprint has an impact on around 220 flats, in 5 blocks, within Regent’s Park Estate and its
associated amenity space and community facilities, approximately 30 other residential units, and
more than 20 commercial and other buildings. We recognise the community impacts that such
significant demolitions could create. The phasing of the construction works could allow new housing
to be built nearby, although significant local authority and community consultation would be
required before any decisions could be made.

3.2.21 St James’ Gardens, on Cardington Street, provide enclosed green space for the local community
and would largely be taken up by the footprint. The Gardens also contain several listed structures
but it is likely that these could be preserved or moved. The overall heritage impacts of the proposed
Euston station are significant; in addition to St James’ Gardens, several Grade II buildings and
structures would need to be demolished or relocated. The Grade II* listed 194a Euston Road would
be retained, but, as it is very close to the new station site, would require very careful protection.

3.2.22 The design of the station would facilitate pedestrian access across the site at Euston, helping east
– west movements between the communities of Regents Park Estate and Somers Town, that are
currently limited by the existing station. Housing, employment spaces, different types of open space
and thoroughfares could be built on top of the station. Plans to relocate the Euston Arch at the front
of Euston Gardens by the hunting lodges would be compatible with this proposal.

3.2.23 The strategic view corridor stretching across the site from Primrose Hill to St Paul’s Cathedral
would be unaffected by the proposed design. The demolition of the office blocks to the front of the
existing Euston station to accommodate the expanded station would offer the opportunity to improve
the strategic view.

Is there a viable alternative - double-deck at Euston?

3.2.24 A new ten platform terminal station for HS2 at or just below the surface constructed below a new
classic terminal is the double deck option. The layout would extend through the existing office
blocks at the front of the station and several blocks of flats to fit in the required platform lengths.
The station approach would require alterations to existing highways which cross over the WCML.
The station and throat would create an impermeable barrier, in excess of a kilometre long, with
Hampstead Road as the only bridge. We estimated that this option would be about 15-20% more
expensive than the preferred Euston scheme.

3.2.25 Extensive civil works would be required which would be very difficult to carry out in a safe manner
above a live railway line. Construction would therefore involve significantly more disruption than
the preferred solution, taking out more platforms at any one time and lasting for a year longer.
Passenger dispersal opportunities and passenger benefits would be the same as for the preferred
Euston option, although a split level station would not be as easy for passengers to navigate.

High Speed Rail for Britain – Report by High Speed 2 Ltd

3.2.26 We would not expect the roof height to conflict with the strategic view corridor to St Paul’s Cathedral
from Primrose Hill. However, the station could reach a height approximately 44 metres above
ground level, leaving little room for further development above, to replace buildings demolished at
the front and west of the existing station.

3.2.27 The main difference from the preferred layout is the extent to which the double deck solutions would
create substantial visual and noise effects for residents to the East and West from the station throat
and approach tracks. Whilst the overall land-take would be less and therefore the number of houses
demolished would be less, the impact on the flats adjacent to a five storey high railway would be
significant. The height of the station would also create a significant barrier to east-west connections.
The direct impacts on the Grade II listed buildings would be less. However, given the height of
the station throat the noise and visual impacts would be significantly greater on the Camden and
Regents Park Conservation Areas, and the Grade II and II* buildings within.

3.2.28 Given the aggregate impact of these factors, we do not recommend that this option be pursed but
present it here for completeness. We also tested and ruled out an option to house HS2 services
on top of classic services at Euston, with the main difference being that the station throat in this
scenario would be substantially more difficult to build and to maintain. The HS2 lines would need to
move from above to below the classic lines over a short distance in order to minimise property and
highways impact. This would be a complex construction and provide no additional benefit.

Is there a viable alternative – King’s Cross lands?

3.2.29 In construction terms, the King’s Cross Lands site presents several difficulties. The location would
not easily accommodate a station box – bounded as it is by Thameslink tunnels, the HS1 and North
London lines to the north, the East Coast Main Line to the east, Midland Main Line to the west, with
Regent’s Canal at the southern edge and the Camden sewer crossing the site. The Thameslink
tunnels at the northern edge of the site also bisect the proposed throat, forcing the alignment
deeper below the ground and precluding a station on the surface. The Regent’s Canal would require
either to be permanently diverted, or careful construction beneath the canal would be needed to
create a permanent aqueduct over the finished station. The sewer would also require diversion.

3.2.30 King’s Cross Lands has long presented a major opportunity to create sustainable communities in a
deprived area of London for both Camden and Islington on land previously used for construction of
HS1. The current masterplan is designed to help create employment and provide new housing and
amenity space. Plans are currently underway for a significant heritage-led regeneration project.
We estimate that approximately 90% would be affected by a new HS2 station with 12 Grade II Listed
structures impacted directly. A cut and cover station would significantly disrupt these aspirations.
It would affect a substantial proportion of the initial phase of that development and blight future
planned development phases. Other commercial development could be achieved over the station
following construction but the uncertainty over the use of the site would blight the area for many
years. A substantial proportion of the retained heritage, that would otherwise be saved by the
current plans, would also be lost as a result. This would therefore be a very unattractive option.
We do not recommend that it be pursued but present it here for completeness.

Chapter 3: Determining the Preferred Scheme

Why not have two smaller stations?

3.2.31 We have considered whether building two smaller stations could reduce the overall costs and impacts
and therefore be better than our preferred station option. This high level assessment demonstrates that
the costs would actually be higher in most cases and if there was any additional demand benefits these
would not outweigh them. We considered a number of options.
• A central through station with the line going on to serve a second central London terminal. The
second station would still require a ten platform station to allow all trains to terminate there.
Therefore this option would significantly increase the overall costs. The demand case for this
variant would be sensitive to station locations. Although there is likely to be an improvement
in accessibility by using two stations this would be outweighed by a significant time penalty for
through passengers at the first station, and by the cost of building two central London stations.
• A through station with the line going on to a second location where the trains could turn round
and be cleaned. This option could reduce the time a train stood in the central station, possibly
reducing the number of platforms required. However, a train has to be physically checked to
ensure no passengers remain on board before it can depart to the turnback sidings. Similarly
a train entering service takes much longer than an intermediate station dwell, due to the need
for passengers to find seat reservations and load luggage. The tunnel linking the station and the
turnback sidings would need to be very deep to pass underneath the existing tunnels, including
Crossrail and so the station would need to be located below ground due to the practicality of
trying to connect from a surface station to the required tunnel depth. The length and therefore
the cost of the tunnel required to reach the turnback sidings would be significant and extra trains
would be required due to the additional travel time to and from the turnback sidings. There are
also no obvious areas of land large enough for turnback sidings in central London.
• Two stations independently served by the main line of route. This would require two 6 platform
stations and so we reviewed a number of options to understand whether this would reduce the
costs and impacts. There would be insufficient room to accommodate 6 platforms at Euston
without the need to rebuild the entire station and throat. Disruption would be broadly similar
when constructing 6 platforms on the site as with construction of 10 platforms. Similarly, some
extension to the West would also be necessary. If the entire station would need to be rebuilt it
would seem sensible to rebuild it to accommodate all the HS2 trains and provide 10 platforms.
As regards King’s Cross Lands, although 6 platforms would require a smaller footprint than 10,
there would still be no available land large enough for such a station. The station would still
require demolition of the brand new development above it to facilitate construction. A station
at Stratford would be unattractive to anyone accessing central London, with interchange and
connection penalties likely to be significant. The central London terminal would therefore have to
be larger than the six platforms to accommodate a greater proportion of the demand.

High Speed Rail for Britain – Report by High Speed 2 Ltd

Summary and key recommendations

3.2.32 We concluded that 10 platforms would be needed for a London terminal station, and that these
should be provided at a single location. Our analysis showed that the terminal station should be in
central London.

3.2.33 We found that accommodating all the classic and HS2 platforms at the same level at Euston was a
credible and viable preferred option. We looked in detail at two alternatives and found that we were
unable to recommend either.

3.2.34 We therefore recommend that the single level Euston option is taken forward and we suggest the
next stage of design should include:
• Further dialogue with Camden Council to ensure that appropriate re-housing measures and
master-planning for the area are considered early in the design phase, particularly for those
residents potentially affected by the current proposed station footprint.
• More analysis on how disruption to existing services might be kept to a minimum during
• Additional work to understand opportunities which would help with dispersal of passengers
from Euston.

Chapter 3: Determining the Preferred Scheme

3.3 Interchanges with Heathrow, Crossrail and

Great Western main line
3.3.1 This chapter sets out our consideration of options for an interchange on the Great Western Main
Line (GWML) and with Crossrail, providing convenient access to Heathrow, as specified in the remit.
This consideration depends on the options for the HS2 route leaving London, which is therefore also
covered below.

Objectives for the interchange

3.3.2 Reflecting our remit, we have assumed the two main objectives for the interchange would be to:

• Provide good access for HS2 passengers to London, whilst relieving pressure at Euston.
• Provide access to Heathrow airport for HS2 passengers.

3.3.3 To the extent that these objectives conflict with each other, we maintained an open mind on the
possibility of having two interchanges, one near London, one at or near Heathrow.

Our approach to the choices for the interchange

3.3.4 The range of options for serving Heathrow is wide and the issues complex. The airport is physically
complex with three main widely-separated terminal areas at present (the Central Terminal Area,
Terminal 4 (T4) and Terminal 5 (T5)). There is also the prospect of a third runway and a Terminal 6
(T6) to the north. It is therefore difficult to be certain about the way in which it will develop in future.
Our consideration of the issues had four main steps:
• We began with looking at the market for the interchange, and in particular the numbers of people
who would use HS2 (and, at a later stage, a wider high speed network) to get to Heathrow.
• We then looked at how best a high speed line could serve the airport itself, whether by routing
HS2 via Heathrow, or by a spur or loop off the main HS2 route. This required consideration of the
route that HS2 could take out of London.
• We then extended our analysis to look at all possible locations for the interchange station,
including those at or close to Heathrow itself and those more distant from it.
• This led to a more detailed comparison of a Heathrow option with an interchange closer to
London, leading to selection of our preferred option.

In carrying out this assessment, we had in mind that our analysis showed the majority of HS2
passengers would want to go to central London rather than to Heathrow.

High Speed Rail for Britain – Report by High Speed 2 Ltd

The market for the interchange

Dispersal from HS2 to central London
3.3.5 More than 80% of passengers using HS2 would be going to London itself. For many of these
passengers, an interchange with Crossrail would provide an opportunity for quicker access to parts
of the West End, the City and Canary Wharf than changing at Euston. Furthermore, without an
interchange, the addition of the HS2 services to Euston station, together with additional services using
released capacity on the WCML, would increase the number of passengers using this station by 60,000-
70,000 per day, compared with the number who would otherwise be using the station in 2033. Half of
these passengers would use the already heavily used London Underground for their onward travel.

3.3.6 The closer the interchange is to London, the more people would be likely to use it for onward travel
into London, especially if there were frequent trains to interchange with and an opportunity to
secure a seat. Options further to the west would be far less attractive for passengers travelling to
London as the journey time on Crossrail would be greater and they would have a far less frequent
service to central London.

Crossrail will connect central London, the City, Canary Wharf, the West End and Heathrow Airport
to areas east and west of London.It brings 1.5 million people within a 60-minute commute of the
city.The current intention is that Crossrail will begin operating in 2017.
It is proposed that Crossrail will provide a 24-train an hour service at peak times in each direction
in the central area between Whitechapel and Paddington.14 trains start or end at Paddington.
Trains will then run across or connect with the National Rail network on three branches.To the
west, on the Great Western Corridor 4 tph will run in each direction between central London and
Heathrow Airport.These services are additional to the 4 tph Heathrow Express service.In addition
there will be 4 tph in each direction between Maidenhead and central London and 2 further trains
per hour between central London and West Drayton. On the east, Crossrail connects to two rail
corridors.On the Great Eastern Corridor at peak times 12 tph in each direction will be provided
between central London and Shenfield, replacing 10 of the 16 tph currently provided by National
Express East Anglia. The remaining 6 National Express trains would continue serving Liverpool
Street.On the Abbey Wood Corridor, there will be 12 tph in each direction between Whitechapel
and Abbey Wood serving the Isle of Dogs, Custom House and Woolwich. Further details are
available from www.crossrail.co.uk.
The preferred option of an HS2 Heathrow interchange at Old Oak Common has been developed to
enable all 24 Crossrail trains per hour to stop at this station. It is proposed that the 14 tph which
operate in the central corridor area start or end at this station rather than at Paddington. Further
work would be required to understand the implications on Crossrail and the GWML of stopping
Crossrail trains at Old Oak Common.

Chapter 3: Determining the Preferred Scheme

Access to Heathrow
3.3.7 The market for access to Heathrow has four main elements:
• Those who use surface modes to access Heathrow and might transfer to HS2.
• Those who fly ‘point to point’ between a UK airport and Heathrow.
• Those flying from a UK airport to Heathrow to transfer to a long haul flight – the ‘interliner’ market.
• Those who would otherwise interline at a European hub airport.

3.3.8 There are currently around 40m surface access trips to and from Heathrow every year. Of these, over
80% start within London and the South East. The market for access to Heathrow declines rapidly with
distance. Journeys to and from Birmingham account for just 270,000 trips each year. We estimate that
at most 2.5 million surface trips to and from Heathrow originate in and beyond the West Midlands.

3.3.9 For locations north of Birmingham, air access to Heathrow becomes increasingly important. There
were around 2 million passenger trips by air to and from Manchester and Glasgow in 2008. Around
half of these are domestic ‘point to point’ passengers, for whom a connection to central London
is probably more important than a station at Heathrow. The remaining 1.2 million passengers use
domestic flights to transfer to other connecting flights. For these people, a station at Heathrow
would make HS2 more attractive.

3.3.10 This suggests that the total market for accessing Heathrow from the West Midlands, North West,
North and Scotland is currently around 3.7 million trips. Our modelling suggests relatively little of
this would shift to HS2, with the rail share increasing by less than 1 percentage point (about 2,000
passengers per day, or just over one train load each way). This reflects the inherent attractiveness
of road (for people travelling in groups) and relatively low air fares for connecting flights.

3.3.11 Even if HS2 were to capture the whole market of 3.7 million trips (which is unrealistic given the size
of the catchment area), this would represent just 8% of HS2 demand. The percentage would increase
with growth in the total number of air passengers using Heathrow, either through general growth
in air travel or by attraction of passengers to Heathrow from other UK airports and European hubs.
However even so Heathrow passengers would remain a minority of passengers using HS2.

Serving Heathrow directly

3.3.12 There are a number of possible options for serving Heathrow, but they fall into two main categories:
• Those that serve the airport most directly, being at or close to the airport.
• Those that are more distant from Heathrow but are connected by classic rail.

In this section we first consider how Heathrow could be served directly.

3.3.13 There is no single destination that is Heathrow. With the current airport, the two possible locations
for a station serving HS2 would be the Central Terminal Area or T5. If a third runway were built, there
would be the option of T6. Another option would be a site close to the airport, near Iver, from which
all terminals could be served by a people mover. These options are considered later in this chapter.

High Speed Rail for Britain – Report by High Speed 2 Ltd

Through, loop or spur?

3.3.14 A direct route for HS2 from London to the West Midlands would take a north westerly route, which
would not take it via Heathrow itself. A key question in considering any of the options which serve
Heathrow directly is therefore how best to serve it by the HS2 route. The three options are a station
on the HS2 main line or via a spur or a loop off the main line. These are illustrated in Figure 3.3a.

A loop allowing a
through service
via Heathrow

A spur for trains

accessing Heathrow

Preferred main line

surface route

The main route

via Heathrow

A station at or
near Heathrow

Figure 3.3a Heathrow access options

3.3.15 The relative costs of these options depend on what route would be chosen for the main line if it were
not going to Heathrow itself. The least expensive way out of London would be to follow a surface
route, rather than tunnel. We have identified only one such feasible surface route. This would follow
a widened Chiltern corridor from Old Oak Common near Willesden to the Ruislip area. The initial
stretch from Euston to Old Oak Common would need to be in tunnel to avoid the need for land
take and, potentially, property demolitions. Construction towards Euston would start from Old Oak
Common as the site would be large enough for a work site and it would also be possible for the spoil
to be brought out there. If there was no station at Old Oak Common, a tunnel would be required to
join the tunnel from Euston to the surface route out of London at a cost in the region of £150m. In
scenarios that include a station at Old Oak Common, this is effectively embedded within the overall
station costs.

Chapter 3: Determining the Preferred Scheme

3.3.16 The surface route would run close to existing settlements in the London Boroughs of Ealing, Brent
and Hillingdon and would require around 20 to 30 residential properties to be demolished. There
would be noise impacts for a number of properties along the route. There would be some disruption
to groundwater source protection zones and construction in some flood prone areas on the western
approach to London. The route would also result in impacts on the mid Colne Valley Site of Special
Scientific Interest (SSSI), where the route would be partly on viaduct. Our view, though, is that these
effects could be mitigated to acceptable levels through design and, where necessary, by limiting the
speed below maximum levels.

3.3.17 Any alternative exit from Central London would be in tunnel from the centre to a point close to or
beyond the M25. This would be significantly more expensive than following the surface route. For
example, a tunnelled route through to Heathrow would be some 20km long, since it would not come
back to the surface until approaching the airport interchange station itself. Any route beyond that
point towards the north would also entail extensive tunnelling of similar magnitude. The cost would
be of the order of £4bn (without allowance for risk).

3.3.18 Figure 3.3b sets out the construction costs, excluding risk, of the different ways of serving Heathrow.
It shows that a spur is by some way the cheapest option. When the cost of the surface route is
included, the costs of the least expensive loop and a through route are broadly comparable. This is
because, although the loop produces a greater total length when added to the surface main line, a
lower proportion of the combined length of it is in tunnel than the through route.

Cost (£bn)
Heathrow Options
(Base construction cost only, excluding risk)
Heathrow Terminal 5 loop 3.6

Heathrow Terminal 5 spur 2.0 All these Heathrow options include the costs of getting
to/from the preferred surface route plus the station.
Heathrow Terminal 6 loop 3.1 The estimated cost of the preferred route itself over this
section is £1.9bn. This would need to be added to these
Heathrow Terminal 6 spur 1.7 costs.
Iver loop 2.0

Iver spur 1.6

Heathrow through route via Iver 4.1

Figure 3.3b Construction costs of serving Heathrow, excluding risk and optimism bias
(2009 prices)

High Speed Rail for Britain – Report by High Speed 2 Ltd

3.3.19 On sustainability grounds, beyond consideration of the surface route, there is no overwhelming
reason to prefer one approach to the other. All options would be predominantly in tunnel, requiring
a high level of energy intensive construction which would generate a high level of spoil. A loop would
produce up to twice the amount of carbon dioxide resulting from tunnel boring as a spur. It would also
involve approximately 10 properties requiring demolition with a further 17 at risk. For the spur, some
ancient woodland would be lost from the local nature reserve where the junction box is located, as
well as approximately 50 demolitions which could arise from the grade-separated junctions.

3.3.20 A key issue differentiating the options is the extent to which the different types of solution have
different impacts on the capacity of the high speed line, and particularly on the number of train paths
available to serve London. Although there would be some (limited) spare capacity on HS2 in the
opening year with the Day One service, a longer term network would use all the capacity on the line.

3.3.21 In the case of a spur solution, one complete train path into London would be lost for every train
serving and terminating at Heathrow via the spur. Hence it is an unattractive option, as the value of the
capacity foregone, threatening for instance the ability to provide a reasonable service to Birmingham
or to serve Leeds via the East Midlands and Sheffield as part of a wider network, would significantly
exceed the cost saving of up to £1.5bn. A spur option was therefore not considered further.

3.3.22 With a loop option, not all trains would stop at Heathrow and, depending on operational timetabling
practice, potentially no capacity would be lost. With a through station on the main line, a choice
would need to be made on stopping patterns:
• If all trains stop at the through station, there will be no impact on the capacity of the line. There
will, however, be significant time penalties for those passengers travelling beyond the through
station, who make up the majority.
• In the case of selective stopping, there may be an impact on capacity depending on the
operational timetabling practice adopted. Operational timetabling practices – selecting a pattern
of stopping services which avoids loss of train paths, though at a potential cost in dwell time
– may avoid loss of capacity without a significant additional time penalty to passengers on non-
stopping services.

3.3.23 The pros and cons of both types of through station and a loop are set out in Figure 3.3c. For selective
stopping we assume that one train in three would stop at Heathrow. This allows around an hourly
service from Heathrow to most destinations, the frequency suggested by some airlines as necessary
to offer a sufficiently attractive service to travellers currently flying domestically to interline.

Chapter 3: Determining the Preferred Scheme

At or close to At or close to At or close to

Heathrow Station Heathrow Station Heathrow Station

Through route, Through route, Loop from the preferred

all stopping selective stopping route, selective stopping
Impact for All through passengers would 4 minute penalty for 2/3 of through 2/3 of through passengers on
Passengers suffer a 7 minute penalty (4 passengers as the route is longer. non-stopping trains would have
going to/from a minute journey time penalty as 1/3 of through passengers would the fastest journey times. 1/3 of
Central London the route is longer and 3 minute suffer a 7 minute penalty, (as for through passengers, routed by
Station dwell time and acceleration/ all stopping). the loop, would suffer a 9 minute
deceleration penalty). penalty, consisting of a 7 minute
journey time penalty including
acceleration/deceleration and a
2 minute penalty for dwell time.
Impact on No impact on capacity. Providing a mix of stopping and There would be no loss of train
capacity and non-stopping trains could reduce path capacity provided the
Long Term the capacity of the line by up to stopping patterns of trains via the
Strategy one train for each train stopping loop was optimal, thus offering
at the station, depending on the a somewhat better option than a
pattern of stopping and through through station.
Non-London All non-London passengers would Non-London passengers would As for the selective stopping
Passengers have the choice of all services. have only 1/3 the frequency of through service.
an ‘all trains stopping’ through

Figure 3.3c Differential impacts of Heathrow options

3.3.24 The analysis in Figure 3.3c suggests that:

• For those airport passengers who would use the station at Heathrow to access the airport
a through station with all trains stopping is very much the best option.
• For these passengers there is very little to choose between a selective stopping through station
and a loop.
• However, for the much larger market of passengers wanting to travel to or from central London,
all the arguments strongly suggest that a loop would be preferable.

Overall we conclude that a loop is the preferred way of serving Heathrow directly.

Locations for the interchange

3.3.25 The next stage in our analysis was to examine all the potential locations for the Heathrow
interchange, including those more distant from Heathrow as well as those serving it directly. This
followed the same process as we used for the London stations: initial sifting of a long list in stage 1,
shortlisting in stage 2, and finally selection of a preferred location and alternatives in Stage 3.

High Speed Rail for Britain – Report by High Speed 2 Ltd

Creation and initial sifting of the long list of station options – Stage One


North Pole depot North Pole depot - Old Oak Common Old Oak Common (optimised)
Willesden Willesden - Old Oak Common Iver
Acton Acton West of Terminal 5
Ealing Broadway Ealing Broadway T6 (under new terminal)
Hanwell Southall
Southall Hayes
Hayes Iver
Iver West of Terminal 5
West of Terminal 5 T6 (under new terminal)
Terminal 6 (under new terminal)

Heathrow Central Terminal area

Preferred Old Oak Common

Option not pursued Alternative? A wider hub serving Heathrow
Option pursued

Figure 3.3d Interchange sifting process – Stage One

3.3.26 As noted in Figure 3.3d, for those options not serving Heathrow directly we started by identifying a
number of sites along or near the GWML and Crossrail over the whole route section between West
London and Heathrow. The long list comprised potential stations at Old Oak Common, Willesden,
Acton, Ealing Broadway, Hanwell, Southall, and Hayes, plus the sites at Heathrow - a site at Iver,
west of T5, beneath (the proposed) Terminal 6 and beneath the Central Terminal Area. We narrowed
down this long list using the following criteria:
• Overall fit with the remit.
• Operational/Engineering feasibility.
• Demand – a non-modelled broad assessment of likely scale of demand for both dispersal into
London and Airport passengers.
• Cost – at the level of a basic order of magnitude.
• Other relevant factors, including obvious potential environmental constraints.

Chapter 3: Determining the Preferred Scheme

3.3.27 As noted in Figure 3.3d, this led to two station options not being pursued further:
• Heathrow Central Terminal Area. With no space for a surface station, it would be necessary to
construct it deep underground between the runways whilst avoiding existing sub-surface services
and transport links. Building a cavern at least 1km long and over 60m wide underneath a live
airport would be extremely difficult, entailing similar construction risks as the London cavern
• Hanwell. The site identified at Hanwell was located about 3/4 mile south of the current GWML, just
north of the M4 motorway on Osterley Park. This site was not pursued given its very poor onward
transport links and environmental impact.

Determining the short listed options – Stage Two

3.3.28 From this point the options at North Pole and Willesden were merged to become one optimised ‘Old
Oak Common’ option as they were very close in location. Through the application of the following
criteria we decided not to pursue four of the options as described below and shortlisted Old Oak
Common and the sites west of T5, near Iver and the proposed T6:
• Passenger demand.
• Environmental, social and spatial considerations – simplified appraisal.
• Costs – based on an initial evaluation of the high-level scope with a generic unit rate applied.
• Engineering and construction feasibility.


North Pole depot - Old Oak Common Old Oak Common (optimised)
Willesden - Old Oak Common Iver
Acton West of Terminal 5
Ealing Broadway T6 (under new terminal)



West of Terminal 5

T6 (under new terminal)

Option not pursued

Option pursued Preferred Old Oak Common

Alternative? A wider hub serving Heathrow

Figure 3.3e Interchange sifting process – Stage Two

High Speed Rail for Britain – Report by High Speed 2 Ltd

3.3.29 As noted in Figure 3.3e, the sites not pursued further were:
• Acton. The land we identified at Acton is currently a major freight facility used to stage freight
movements from the GWML. It would be extremely difficult to relocate this facility further west
given the insufficient capacity on the GWML, or further east due to the track gradients. Its loss
would result in additional road freight and so, while other options existed, we did not pursue it
• Hayes. A site at Hayes was substantially inferior to that nearby at Southall, with a significant
heritage impact and difficult and disruptive construction.
• Ealing Broadway. We concluded that there was insufficient undeveloped land at Ealing Broadway
to consider building a station without significant demolitions, or unacceptable construction risk.
A station in a cavern below ground risked unacceptable settlement issues and would be very
expensive even if feasible.
• Southall. Southall, though it is currently a largely unused site, performed badly in comparison
to options at Old Oak Common, particularly as a result of its limited onward connectivity and the
disruption it would cause to planned development.

Selecting the preferred and alternative options – Stage Three

North Pole depot - Old Oak Common Old Oak Common (optimised)
Willesden - Old Oak Common Iver
Acton West of Terminal 5
Ealing Broadway T6 (under new terminal)



West of Terminal 5

T6 (under new terminal)

Option not pursued

Option pursued
Preferred Old Oak Common

Alternative? A wider hub serving Heathrow

Figure 3.3f Interchange sifting process – Stage Three

Chapter 3: Determining the Preferred Scheme

3.3.30 As shown in Figure 3.3f, the short list of options contained three stations at or near Heathrow Airport
and one option nearer to West London. Below is a description of the engineering and sustainability
issues associated with the locations, followed by the analysis which led us to select the preferred
• T5 – Cut and cover box on a brown field site just to the west of T5 and the A3044. It would be
aligned north-south making through and loop access options particularly circuitous. It would
comprise 4 HS2 platforms plus 2 fast lines in the through option and could offer some parking
facilities with good links to the M3, M4 and M25. However the entire station would be within the
Hillingdon Air Quality Management Area. The T5 option would not be in conflict with and could
complement the proposed Airtrack alignment. Flood compensation would be required due to the
associated floodplain.
• T6 – Cut and cover box on ground by then already cleared for a third runway. It would comprise
4 HS2 platforms plus 2 fast lines in the through option. If T6 is built, inter-terminal connectivity
would be part of that construction. The T6 option is also within the Hillingdon Air Quality
Management Area. Since it is assumed that the station site for T6 would have already been
cleared for Runway 3, the additional impacts from the HS2 station would be minimal. (If a third
runway and T6 were not built, there would still be a possibility of using a site at or close to
this proposed site for an HS2 station, such as a site adjacent to the Northern Perimeter Road,
requiring the potential relocation of short stay airport parking and allied facilities; but further
work would be needed to develop this option, including consideration of the effect on the existing
• Iver – Cut and cover box on a site located immediately north of the GWML near the M4. It would
comprise 10 platforms (4 high speed platforms, 4 GWML platforms on the fast lines and 2 GWML
platforms on the relief lines) plus 2 fast high speed lines in the through option. We have assumed
a rapid Advanced People Mover link to the airport and an interchange with the GWML. We have
not assessed the cost of providing this link. Any station at Iver would have a major adverse
environmental impact with over 50% being within the Colne floodplain with potential to disturb
riparian habitat. There would be serious flood plain impacts which would be difficult to mitigate.
• Old Oak Common – The station would be in the area of railway land between Wormwood Scrubs
and Willesden with limited environmental impacts. The HS2 part of the station would be below
ground in a cut and cover box whereas the remainder would be on the surface. It would comprise
14 platforms (6 high speed platforms, 4 platforms serving the GWML fast lines, 2 platforms for
the GWML relief lines and 2 dedicated Crossrail turnback platforms). We estimate the cost of this
station at £570m. This includes all contractor costs but excludes location-specific construction
risks, ancillary items, environmental mitigation, land purchase, TOC compensation, project costs
and any routewide or programme level risks which are included in the overall costs. Given its
proximity to London and therefore the lower time penalty associated with stopping and higher
benefit to London passenger dispersal, we have assumed that all HS2 trains would stop at Old
Oak Common thereby maximising connectivity without reducing the capacity of the line. The site
also offers significant regeneration potential.

High Speed Rail for Britain – Report by High Speed 2 Ltd

Choosing between the options: Old Oak Common and Heathrow

3.3.31 Given the considerable uncertainty about the future development of Heathrow and of the other
opportunities for Western access, it is not our intention to make recommendations between the
stations near Heathrow. At this stage we have sought to identify whether an Old Oak Common
station or a station at or near Heathrow provides a better overall case. We therefore continued our
analysis on the basis of a generic Heathrow station that serves the GWML and Heathrow Airport’s
terminals equally well – a ‘best case’ Heathrow option.

The case for and against a Heathrow station

3.3.32 A station at or near Heathrow would better serve the airport market, although our modelling
suggests that market amounts to only just over 2,000 HS2 passengers per day in 2033 to and from
Heathrow. A station at Iver (but not T5 or T6) would also provide interchange opportunities for up
to 20,000 GWML passengers wanting to change to and from HS2, who would benefit from a shorter
overall journey time than with an interchange at Old Oak Common. However this would be offset
by the average wait time if only 1 in 3 trains stopped at Iver as opposed to all trains stopping at
Old Oak Common.

3.3.33 A Heathrow station is less attractive for the more than 80% of HS2 passengers travelling to and
from London, who would have a journey time penalty of some 4 minutes by virtue of the longer
route via Heathrow. This would extend to 7 minutes for trains stopping at Heathrow. If served by a
loop from the preferred main line route (which we have noted would overall be the best option) the
penalty for the third of stopping trains becomes 9 minutes. Few, if any, London-bound passengers
would interchange onto Crossrail at Heathrow, since it is too distant from London and the frequency
would not be attractive; so an interchange at Heathrow would not help with dispersal of London

3.3.34 Of the three station locations near Heathrow, T5 and Iver could offer the opportunity for people who
live or work near these locations to get by car to the HS2 station to travel on to the West Midlands
and beyond. Creating a “parkway” station in this way would encourage some people who would
otherwise drive to the West Midlands to use high speed rail. However, encouraging any increase in
car use in the area would also have congestion and local air quality implications. We estimated that,
in 2033, a possible 6,000 per day would use a station for travel to and from stations served by HS2 if
it had good, uncongested access to the M25 junction.

3.3.35 There would also be an additional cost of around £3bn in serving Heathrow directly (rising to around
£3bn with risk added). At Iver, the only Heathrow option to provide the direct GWML connection,
there would be serious and difficult to mitigate flood plain impacts.

Chapter 3: Determining the Preferred Scheme

The case for and against Old Oak Common

3.3.36 With 14 Crossrail trains starting at Old Oak Common, rather than Paddington, we would expect
around one third of London-bound HS2 passengers to get off here. Between half and two thirds
of those passengers would use Old Oak Common to get to locations such as the City and Canary
Wharf via Crossrail, experiencing better journey times than if they had stayed on HS2 to Euston. The
remainder would be using Old Oak Common to change onto GWML services or to access Heathrow.

3.3.37 A station at Old Oak Common would also offer a connection to Heathrow. We assumed 4 Heathrow
Express trains an hour stopped there, giving a modelled journey time to Heathrow of 14 minutes
(which it might be possible to improve in practice), along with 4 slower Crossrail trains an hour
to Heathrow. In order to allow Heathrow Express trains to stop we have designed a station layout
which, with timetable optimisation, would avoid reduction in capacity on the GWML fast lines. Our
modelling suggests that, on this basis, around 1,000 airport passengers would use HS2 to access
Heathrow via Old Oak Common. Moreover, the 14 minute journey time we have assumed from
Old Oak Common to access Heathrow is not a “gross” penalty compared with options that serve
Heathrow directly. From Old Oak Common, Heathrow passengers could make a direct journey to
the Central Terminal Area or T5, whereas both T5 and T6 station options would have inter-terminal
journey times for passengers not travelling from those terminals, and an Iver station would be 8-9
minutes off-airport whichever terminal was being used.

3.3.38 A station at Old Oak Common with all HS2 trains stopping would disbenefit the 95,000 passengers
travelling on HS2 to and from Euston and not wanting to interchange at Old Oak Common, who
would experience an additional penalty of 4 minutes in their journey. There would also be disbenefits
for passengers stopping there on the GWML who do not want to use HS2. On the plus side, there
would be benefits to GWML passengers travelling to the Midlands and North who can access HS2
more quickly via Old Oak Common rather than going into central London first (though a Heathrow
station at Iver might be better); and GWML passengers could also access Crossrail for journeys into
London. A station at Old Oak Common would have limited road access and so could not provide the
same parkway opportunities as Heathrow.

3.3.39 Taking the benefits and disbenefits together gives an overall benefit of £2bn for a station at Old
Oak Common and some revenue gains. These figures do not fully capture the benefits of relieving
overcrowding at Euston, as they do not reflect impacts such as the closure of stations due to
overcrowding. There are very limited adverse sustainability impacts at Old Oak Common, and
significant regeneration potential.

3.3.40 We recognise that there would be a number of possible ways to reduce the impact on the
Underground from the additional passengers likely to use Euston, as described in section 3.2.
Most of these could be developed in conjunction with an interchange station. However, the TfL
option of diverting suburban London Midland services onto Crossrail would have implications for
an HS2 station at Old Oak Common. Crossrail trains would already be relatively full when they
reached Old Oak Common if they started in Milton Keynes, Tring or Watford, potentially reducing
the attractiveness of the change for HS2 passengers.

High Speed Rail for Britain – Report by High Speed 2 Ltd

3.3.41 The comparison of Heathrow (assuming a loop) and Old Oak Common options is summarised in
Figure 3.3g. The key points are:
• For those going to Euston and for GWML passengers there is little between the options.
• Heathrow is better for those accessing Heathrow.
• Old Oak Common is better for those accessing London via Crossrail, and eases congestion
problems at Euston.
• Serving Heathrow directly costs around £1.4bn more (excluding risk) than an interchange at Old
Oak Common.

Heathrow (Loop) Old Oak Common

(A third of trains stopping) (All trains stopping)

Passengers to Two thirds have no time penalty. One third have a All have a four minute time penalty.
Euston time penalty of 9 minutes.
London Interchange not attractive. Around 20% of passengers would change to get
passengers shorter journey times to parts of London
changing at
interchange onto
GWML Journey time up to 20 minutes quicker than via Journey time slower than via Heathrow, but higher
passengers Old Oak Common, but lower HS2 frequency means HS2 frequency means an average 8 minutes
(interchanging an average interchange penalty of 24 minutes interchange penalty.
to HS2) on the assumption of 1 train per hour to each of
Birmingham and Manchester.
Heathrow access Better journey times, for those using the terminal Up to 14 minutes longer journey time.
served by HS2 (if T5 or T6) though with a time
penalty for those using other terminals.
Parkway Benefits for modal shift to rail for long distance No opportunities
journey; but possibly outweighed by local impacts.

3.3.42 While we recognise that the air passenger market may develop in a way which we cannot forecast
and while there may be wider arguments for a rail hub or interchange to the west of London
near Heathrow, our conclusion, in terms of the balance of benefits and disbenefits, and given the
substantially higher cost of serving Heathrow, is that the case for an HS2 station at Old Oak Common
is stronger than for a station at Heathrow.

Chapter 3: Determining the Preferred Scheme

Preferred option: Old Oak Common

Figure 3.3h Proposed Old Oak Common station platform layout

3.3.43 We therefore included a station at Old Oak Common in the preferred scheme. Figure 3.3h shows
the platform layout. Given the site is located on railway land which is extensively used for depots
and sidings, there are few environmental constraints. However there is likely to be some impact on
housing to the west due to shallow tunnelling. The proposed station location avoids the Grand Union
Canal and the large regionally important Metropolitan Open Land at Wormwood Scrubs to the south.
As with Euston, the site also offers significant potential for regeneration of the area, particularly
given it is within one of London’s growth corridors, the Western Wedge. The area also falls within the
opportunity area for London’s largest industrial site, Park Royal and is likely to provide the catalyst
to bring forward other redevelopment projects in west London as well as creating a number of
different employment opportunities. Benefits could be realised for the London Boroughs of Ealing
and Brent, as well as for the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham.

High Speed Rail for Britain – Report by High Speed 2 Ltd

Summary of evidence from London Borough of Hammersmith

and Fulham
The London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham commissioned work to investigate the
transport and regeneration case for a High Speed Interchange at Old Oak Common. They believe
that an interchange station could act as a catalyst to achieve dramatic transformation of the area
and its surrounding neighbourhoods through:
• Improving labour supply and skills.
• Promoting economic growth and diversification.
• Supporting wider regeneration initiatives.
• Stimulating strategic inward investment.

The London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham see a HS2 interchange opening up the
opportunity for employment and residential development with the Grand Union Canal becoming
a key feature, possibly providing a marina or riverside park, and Wormwood scrubs providing
valuable open space. With a balance of housing types and tenures it is expected that the
development would promote diversified communities and contribute to local requirements for
affordable housing. Similarly, the development could transform the quality of the local business
base and labour market and provide a significant source of construction and permanent
employment for local people – potentially 5,000 new jobs. The interchange station could also
significantly enhance the nearby Park Royal industrial estate as a strategic investment location.

3.3.44 Also within close proximity to this location are the West London Line, the North London Line, the Central
and Bakerloo lines (Underground) and the Dudding Hill Line (with potential links to Thameslink via
Cricklewood). It could be possible to provide links to these lines creating a station here with greater
connections. As part of the Old Oak Common station proposal, we recognise that an alternative depot site
for Heathrow Express would be required and that Great Western train depot facilities would be reviewed.

Chapter 3: Determining the Preferred Scheme

Heathrow as a future increment

3.3.45 Pursuing an Old Oak Common interchange as part of our preferred package leaves open the
opportunity of adding a loop to Heathrow in the future at an additional cost of £2bn excluding risk, or
at least £2.5bn including risk. The case for this and the choice of location would be dependent on a
number of future decisions and ought to take account of the scope to enhance wider public transport
options for airport passengers.

3.3.46 We have not sought to model and analyse the benefits of improved connectivity to Heathrow generally
through, for instance, improved Western access. We focussed on the case for high speed and considered
a Heathrow station on the basis of a wider high speed network. Against this background the case looks
weak with significant disbenefits to HS2.

3.3.47 However, other developments to improve surface access to Heathrow could provide opportunities to
include a high speed station in a wider interchange that serves Heathrow Airport directly. Similarly,
future decisions on the development of Heathrow Airport, including decisions on the third runway
and the scope for improved links between terminals, would affect the best way of serving Heathrow.

3.3.48 If it was thought likely that there would be a good case to serve Heathrow in future, it would be
prudent to build the civil engineering structures at each end of such a loop from the main line, from
Day One, to allow the connection to be built later with minimal disruption to HS2.

An airline’s view
HS2 would capture a significant proportion of the existing point-to-point passenger market from
airlines. However, this market is not the key determinant of the domestic flight schedule for
airlines. It is the maintenance of the transfer passenger markets that lead the airlines to operate
a given level of flights to make connections possible.

It is likely that transfer passengers will favour flying domestically instead of using a high speed
network. HS2 would have to service Heathrow directly at a competitive price and recognising
issues of convenience of through baggage handling and end-to-end carrier liability otherwise
airlines would maintain the transfer passenger market share. A codeshare arrangement between
the airlines and the HS2 promoter would be required to prevent the transfer passengers moving
to EU hub airports and would allow Heathrow to maintain its share of the transfer passenger
market. Such an arrangement may even capture transfer passengers that currently fly from the
UK regions to EU hub airports. The connection between HS2 and Heathrow, and the on-board
experience whilst using HS2, would be an essential element of that codeshare agreement.

High Speed Rail for Britain – Report by High Speed 2 Ltd

BAA submission to HS2

BAA made a submission to HS2 providing their high level technical appraisal of possible options
for high speed rail to serve Heathrow Airport, and their preferred option.BAA identified six critical
factors for a successful high speed service to Heathrow:
1. Frequency of service: critical for rail-air substitution
2. Wider transport connectivity: national, regional and local
3. ‘At Heathrow’ passenger experience: should feel like a plane-to-plane interchange
4. Ease of interchange: time, distance, ambience
5. Baggage management: check-in points, amount of handling
6. Inter-Terminal connectivity: efficient movement to/from each of the airport terminals

They identified 5 options for serving Heathrow by high speed rail, varying by proximity
of the station to the airport, and the type of connection (through route, spur or loop).

Setting aside funding issues, BAA conclude that their preferred option is a station at Heathrow
itself served by ‘through-running’, of which a loop from the high speed line is one version.
A station at Heathrow is considered to provide a better passenger experience of interchange,
baggage management and inter-terminal connectivity than an option near Heathrow such as the
Arup Heathrow concept.However BAA recognise that an option near Heathrow can meet some of
the criteria whilst also providing a connection to the Great Western rail network.

BAA’s least preferred option is a station remote from Heathrow serving the airport via classic rail
such as Heathrow Express.They consider that the need for interchange would provide a worse
passenger experience and thus reduce the likelihood of air-rail substitution.

Chapter 3: Determining the Preferred Scheme

Arup’s proposal for

“Heathrow Hub: The UK’s Global Gateway”
Arup has developed a proposal for a multi-modal interchange near Heathrow Airport, which they
call the Heathrow Hub. It would be located on the GWML, 3.5 km north of Heathrow, at the site
we refer to as Iver. The proposed 12 platform station would permit direct interchange between
Heathrow, HS2, GWML, Crossrail, and assuming provision of an appropriate link, to HS1. Direct
connections would be provided to the strategic road network (including the M25) and provision
made for a bus and coach station, the objective being to promote public transport use and keep
car parking provision to a minimum. The proposed site lies within the Green Belt, with a water
treatment works and other developments currently occupying a significant part of the site. The
eastern edge of the site is in the River Colne floodplain. Arup’s proposals would impact on a small
number of residential properties.

The proposal envisages that an airport terminal would be integrated with the Hub station (initially
illustrated with a capacity for 30 million passengers per annum). The station and air terminal
would be linked to the rest of the airport with a fast and frequent, automated people mover and
baggage systems. Arup estimates that the journey time from the Hub to T5 would be 3.5 minutes
and 6 minutes to the central terminal area.

Arup envisages 25-70 million Hub users per annum by 2030 of which 9-11million would be
passengers interchanging for non airport journeys. The proposal includes adoption of a charge
for cars to enter the airport (level unspecified), which helps increase the rail share of surface
access to Heathrow from 10% today to 25-45% in 2030, and raises revenues to contribute to the
costs of infrastructure. Arup argues that 50 to 80% of all domestic and international short haul
air travel to and from Heathrow could switch to high speed rail via the Hub; and that 50 to 80% of
trips between UK regional airports and European hubs would switch to using rail to Heathrow for
onward long haul flights rather than using other European airports. Arup argues that the top end
of the forecast represents what could be achieved with a deliberate policy to encourage modal
shift with air taxes and regulation of rail fares.

Arup proposes that the Hub would be directly on the route of HS2, to give the best level of service
for airport passengers. The proposed station and connecting rail links would permit “through
running” of trains to minimise delays for non airport passengers. Arup argues that direct high
frequency interchange between air and rail maximises modal shift.

Arup argues that the Hub would support the affordability of HS2, through increased fare
revenues, enhancing the value of HS1, and other transport and commercial development.
A phased development is proposed with Phase 1 establishing the integrated station and terminal
on the GWML and connection to Crossrail services. Phase 2 links the Hub to HS1 and Euston as
part of new HS2 infrastructure. Figures are not provided for the cost of the proposal, or funding

High Speed Rail for Britain – Report by High Speed 2 Ltd

Summary and key recommendations

3.3.49 The market for access to Heathrow by HS2 is small compared with the market for London. The
options for serving Heathrow directly are stations at T5, T6 or a site close to the airport at Iver. Given
the uncertainties around future development at Heathrow, and the wider opportunities for improving
access from the west, we do not make a recommendation for a preferred option at Heathrow.

3.3.50 If Heathrow were to be served directly, the best option for serving it is a loop from a surface main
line route which would follow the existing Chiltern line corridor to the Ruislip area.

3.3.51 Initially at least there is a stronger case for an interchange closer to London at Old Oak Common,
providing good access to London and helping the dispersal issue at Euston. We therefore
recommend that:
• For Day One a station at Old Oak Common is included in the core HS2 scheme.
• If serving Heathrow was still a priority, we recommend further work on the options in the light of
developments at Heathrow and the opportunities and plans for a wider hub.
• If Old Oak Common was pursued from Day One, a station at Heathrow, served by a loop, could
still be built following the construction of a wider network. If Government wishes to keep this
option open, passive provision should be made for the loop in the Day One scheme.

3.3.52 If work is to be taken forward on a station at Old Oak Common, we recommend that:
• A more detailed understanding of the implications of the interchange with the GWML should be
obtained to inform the next stages of assessment.
• Further consideration should also be given to the wider public interchange opportunities offered
at this location, along with options for the effective provision of road access.
• Additional work should be carried out to assess the long term implications for depot
management on the existing railway, given the impact on existing depot land that the HS2
proposals would entail.

Chapter 3: Determining the Preferred Scheme

3.4 Intermediate stations

3.4.1 Before describing the potential routes between London and the West Midlands, we set out here
our findings on the potential for an intermediate station. We have just discussed the case for a
station on the outskirts of London (serving Heathrow) and will do the same for an interchange near
Birmingham later in the report. In contrast this section focuses on the potential for an additional
station between those major conurbations.

The implications of an intermediate station

3.4.2 As with interchange stations, an intermediate station on the line of route can extend the benefits of
high speed rail by broadening the overall market it serves. The additional market would also be wholly
separate from the market served by stations at either end of the line of route in contrast to an interchange
station on the city outskirts, the market for which inevitably overlaps with its city centre terminal. For
passengers served by an intermediate station there could be significant benefits from shorter journey
times and increased capacity (through both relief from crowding and a more frequent service).

3.4.3 Typically however, high speed rail lines in other countries have not included intermediate stations on
open route sections, for a number of reasons.
• Journey times. Intermediate stations result in journey time penalties for through passengers.
In the case of an intermediate station on the line of route, these penalties are accentuated
because the train would be slowing from top speed, before then accelerating back to it after
stopping. From top speed the time penalty for stopping would be up to 5 minutes.
• Inefficient use of capacity. To serve an intermediate station in the middle of the line of route
implies that certain trains would run from their original destination with a sufficient number of
empty seats to allow passengers at the intermediate station to board the train. This would be an
inefficient use of capacity when demand from larger destinations elsewhere on a network means
that train paths are highly prized and the trains can be filled up there.
• Impacts on capacity. On the main line, stopping a train at an intermediate station can have a
dramatic effect on the number of available train paths, unless all trains stop on a consistent basis.
Intermediate stations other than on the edge of conurbations rarely provide a sufficient market to
justify the stopping of all high speed trains; and to allow a limited number of trains to stop at an
intermediate station requires additional lanes alongside the main route, so that stopping trains
can decelerate on their way into the station, stop, and then accelerate again to rejoin the line.
Nevertheless, there is still an impact on capacity. A gap must be created in the pattern of paths
to allow the train to rejoin the main line and then, as the train accelerates back up to top speed, it
takes up further capacity by once more holding up the progress of a non-stop train behind it. This
can only be overcome by choosing to stop that subsequent train at the intermediate station also.
On a core trunk section of route, where train paths are fully utilised, this impact can considerably
reduce the line’s overall capacity and the paths taken up to achieve this stop will be paths which
might otherwise have served principal city destinations (with their associated benefits) elsewhere.

High Speed Rail for Britain – Report by High Speed 2 Ltd

3.4.4 Many of these implications have particular significance for HS2, which would act as a trunk
route both on Day One and for the longer term high speed network. Our remit dictated that an
intermediate station should only be included as part of the HS2 scheme if it was not detrimental to
the overall business case. In the rest of this section we describe our process of investigation.

Passenger demand
3.4.5 We considered the potential demand for high speed rail from twelve of the largest population
centres in the London to West Midlands corridor.

No. of rail trips to/from

London 2004
Aylesbury Vale 0.8m
Bicester 0.6m
Banbury 0.6m
Milton Keynes 2.1m
Coventry 0.7m
Rugby 0.5m
Warwick 0.8m
Luton 3.3m
Kettering 0.5m
Bedford 1.8m
Northampton 1.9m
Oxford 1.5m

Figure 3.4a Number of rail trips between

London and intermediate locations in 2004
3.4.6 As Figure 3.4a demonstrates, there is considerable scope for demand on HS2 from several
population centres within the potential corridor for HS2. The focus of this demand is commuting
trips into London, and in a number of locations there would be considerable time savings – which
would lead to strong benefits as well as potential demand growth.

3.4.7 We selected three possible locations, Aylesbury, Milton Keynes and Bicester (which could also serve
the Oxford market), that looked to be the best options in terms of demand and potential journey
time savings and which were on our shortlisted lines of route. The conclusions below will hold for
any intermediate station. Of these stations, Milton Keynes offered the largest potential market but
less scope for time savings and greater competition from classic rail services – particularly with the
potential for released capacity. Bicester and Aylesbury had the greatest potential time savings, and
therefore the greatest potential for growth in demand.

Chapter 3: Determining the Preferred Scheme

Impact on passengers using intermediate stations

3.4.8 The three stations were modelled assuming they were served by three trains per hour, no premium
fares and a train capacity of 1,000 seats. It was clear from this modelling that a station at either
Bicester (serving Oxford) or Milton Keynes could generate significant benefits to passengers in the
vicinity of the intermediate station. The scope for benefits around Aylesbury was more limited.

3.4.9 Figure 3.4b shows that Milton Keynes would generate demand in 2033 of almost 9,000 passengers
in the morning peak three hours. This would mean virtually all of the capacity was used up in this
period. At Bicester just over 6,000 passengers would use the station in the morning peak, with
around two thirds of seat capacity filled.

Aylesbury Milton Keynes Bicester

Demand in 2033
1950 8700 6400
(passengers in am peak only)

Passenger benefits from intermediate station (PV 2009)

User Benefits 140 510 640

Am Peak Hours
Revenue -1 360 300

User Benefits 630 2590 3390

All Day
Revenue -110 1600 1500

Figure 3.4b Passenger volumes and transport user benefits from high speed
rail at intermediate locations, excluding impacts on other HS2 passengers
3.4.10 The benefits to passengers from these stations would also be significant, with both time savings
and relief of crowding on the classic network. These could amount to £500-600m during the peak
hours, rising to £2.6-3.4bn if services continued throughout the day. The revenues of an all day
service would also pay for the additional capital costs of an intermediate station at Milton Keynes or
Bicester (estimated to be in the region of £150m).

3.4.11 However the benefits outlined in Figure 3.4b only consider the impacts on people who use the
intermediate station. This ignores the wider impact on other HS2 passengers, which must be
considered before deciding whether an intermediate station could add to the business case.

Impacts on other HS2 passengers and costs

3.4.12 Passengers not using the intermediate station would experience a longer journey –over 5 minutes by
the time a train decelerated, stopped and accelerated again. To give an indication of the size of this
penalty, stopping a train with 500 passengers would reduce benefits by over £8m (PV). So stopping
three trains per hour in each direction throughout the day would represent a cost of almost £800m.

High Speed Rail for Britain – Report by High Speed 2 Ltd

3.4.13 This is not in itself sufficient to outweigh the benefits of the intermediate station. However two
further arguments suggest an intermediate station is unlikely to add to the HS2 business case:
• The trains running on HS2 are unlikely to have spare seats when they reach an intermediate
station, particularly during the peak hour. Given the level of demand forecast, this would either
result in severe crowding on trains south of the intermediate station, or would require additional
trains to be run (for which there is insufficient track capacity).
• Stopping at the intermediate station would result in the loss of up to 1 train path. So to stop three
trains in each direction over the course of an hour, this would reduce capacity by around 20% on
the most congested section of the line.

3.4.14 This latter point is of particular importance. In choosing the destinations the high speed line ought
to serve, it is necessary to review not only Day One but the potential future network. The loss of
capacity would in effect rule out extending a high speed network to serve Leeds and places beyond,
unless a second trunk were built to London. Chapter 6 is clear on the benefits of serving major
cities, which would generate benefits significantly in excess of those provided by an intermediate
station. In this context we do not believe an intermediate station would add to the business case for
HS2 in the long term.

Summary and key recommendations

3.4.15 An intermediate station at Bicester (serving Oxford) or Milton Keynes could generate significant
benefits to users of the station. However, the case for an intermediate station also depends critically
on the impacts this would have on other HS2 passengers and the capacity of the line.

3.4.16 We found that even with wider economic benefits, including any from regeneration, an intermediate
station would be detrimental to the HS2 business case unless a loss of other services on the line
could be avoided. This would not be achievable.

3.4.17 We therefore recommend that an intermediate station is not included in the HS2 scheme.

Chapter 3: Determining the Preferred Scheme

3.5 Routes between London and the West Midlands

3.5.1 We set out below how we arrived at our proposed route from Old Oak Common to the outskirts of
Birmingham. More detail can be found in the AoS and Route Engineering Study – including plan and
profile drawings for the preferred and alternative routes.

Creation of the long list and determining the short list – Stage One and
Stage Two
3.5.2 To produce our long list of options we started with the principle of following existing transport
corridors, for example the M40. Bearing in mind our minimum limits of curvature to maintain high
speed and recognising the impracticalities of building through centres of population, including small
clusters of housing or environmentally sensitive areas, we sought out possible routes linking the two

3.5.3 Figure 3.5a shows how we started out with many different route options. In order to evaluate the
routes and make decisions we carried out comparisons between options – known as ‘pairwise
comparisons’. To do this we divided the long routes into route sections. We were then able to make
comparisons on these shorter sections to clearly understand the different implications of choosing
one over another.

3.5.4 As there are fewer distinguishing features for lines of route than between our long list of stations,
we started with the more detailed criteria to narrow down the long list:
• Engineering and construction feasibility.
• Costs – based on an initial evaluation of the high-level scope with a generic unit rate applied to
different types of route, for example tunnels and open sections.
• Environmental, social and spatial considerations – simplified sustainability framework.
• Demand – any relevant demand assessment mainly focused on journey time benefits.

3.5.5 The lines coloured dark grey in Figure 3.5a are those routes that we decided not to pursue at that
stage. The pairwise analysis demonstrated that the construction of these route sections would
have resulted in a longer journey times than those provided by the alternatives. The sustainability
assessment indicated that these routes were no better than the remaining routes and in some
places were significantly worse.

High Speed Rail for Britain – Report by High Speed 2 Ltd

3.5.6 It is important to highlight the reasons why we decided not to pursue the two most easterly options
just north of London as these are the only two options that would avoid the Chilterns Area of
Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). As these routes continue further north they are substantially
longer than the other alternatives under consideration at the time and would require either
substantial tunnelling to avoid major population centres (particularly Luton) or could have resulted
in significantly more potential demolitions than the routes taken forward for further appraisal. They
would also result in longer journey times than the other routes under consideration at the time
(about ten minutes if they go via Old Oak Common which is in our preferred package).




Solihull Coventry Kettering

Balsall Common
Warwick Wellingborough
Lower Shuckburgh


Brackley Milton Keynes

Leighton Buzzard

Brill Aylesbury
Pickford Wendover Hempstead St Albans
Oxford Thame
Princes Raiborough Kings Langley
Aston Rowant Amersham
Legend Sounderton High Wycombe
Options not pursued beyond Stage Two Beaconsfield
Options preceeding beyond Stage Two Denham Ruislip
Options refined for Stage Three Gerrards Cross London


Figure 3.5a Long list of routes considered between London and the West Midlands

Chapter 3: Determining the Preferred Scheme

Selecting the preferred and alternative options – Stage Three

3.5.7 We continued to optimise those routes shown in green and blue in Figure 3.5a to improve journey
times, better adapt the route alignment to the topology of the land, avoid environmental and
sustainability features and, where possible, minimise the requirement for substantial land take and
demolitions. Whereas at Stage One we had compared sections of route alignment running through
similar areas to decide which were comparably weaker, we now turned to comparing whole route
lengths. Consideration of the route through the Chilterns was particularly important in our decisions.

Options through and round the Chilterns

The most direct route between London and Birmingham follows a north-westerly direction, going
through the Chilterns AONB. This is an area of extensive beech woodland, scattered villages and
farmsteads, contrasting intimate valleys with more open valleys and extensive views. We paid
particular attention to route investigation here, seeking to strike a balance between minimising
the impacts on the AONB with the engineering requirements for a high speed railway and cost.

Initially we identified six main corridors through the Chilterns:

M40 corridor: This would form part of route 1. The M40 passes through comparatively hilly
terrain, requiring much of the HS2 route to be in tunnel or on viaduct. A largely surface route
through rural land in the AONB to the southwest of M40 was also considered, but this would be
longer and take the route closer to the Cotswolds AONB. Variants and combinations of these
routes were considered but none improved the relative performance of these route options
compared to others under consideration, particularly in terms of potential sustainability impacts.

Chiltern Line corridor via High Wycombe: We tested a surface alignment in this corridor, as
part of route 2. We concluded it was not viable as it would require a large number of residential
and commercial property demolitions, and many properties would be affected by noise. A longer
alignment in tunnel was considered feasible but more expensive and would introduce a very large
number of properties to the risk of ground-borne noise and vibration.

A413 arterial valley: This offered a long broad valley across the Chilterns between the Chalfonts
and Wendover that would, through a combination of tunnelling and surface alignment, provide
a route that was both economical and performed well as a high-speed railway. The route would
cross a greater length of the AONB but the alignment would be largely hidden either in tunnel
or deep cutting to the north of the A413 between Amersham and Little Missenden, or shallower
cutting to the north before meeting the A413 and Chiltern Line corridor. Fewer properties would
be directly affected by the route or receive noise from the route’s operation because of tunnelling
and positioning to avoid settlements. This option was carried forward as part of route 3.

High Speed Rail for Britain – Report by High Speed 2 Ltd

Options through and round the Chilterns continued

WCML corridor: This would provide a shorter route across the AONB but would need to be served
by a very long tunnel alignment from London. The nature of the long tunnel carries with it certain
limitations, for example emergency exits at relatively regular intervals every 2km. This option was
carried forward as part of route 4.

M1 corridor: This provided a more northerly and less direct route for HS2 between London and
Birmingham. Northerly variants via Luton and Northampton were not pursued because of the
greater length of route and large numbers of property demolitions associated with required
land take. A route skirting the north of Hemel Hempstead was considered but provided a less
favourable railway alignment; it would also have affected aspirations for future development to
the west of Hemel Hempstead and crossed a greater length of the AONB than the WCML corridor,
which became the favoured northerly route.

Midland Main Line (MML) corridor: The MML corridor also connected a very long tunnel from
London but provided the most northerly alignment and least direct route for HS2 between London
and Birmingham. The alignment would exit London in tunnel, surfacing near St. Albans. Impacts
on properties were expected to be considerable. The route passed around Luton and the north
and east of Northampton, before continuing on to Coventry/Kenilworth. Noise and severance
impacts on a number of rural villages were considered to be significant. Two sub-alignments; one
through, and one to the east of Luton were considered. Both were considered inferior, based on
potential demolitions through required land take and impacts on SSSIs and heritage features.

Subsequently, we investigated hybrid routes between the Chiltern Line Corridor and the A413
arterial valley. These consisted of a variety of tunnels and surface alignments to overcome direct
effects on settlements, negotiate difficult topography and keep any surface alignment across the
AONB to a practicable minimum. A route between Gerrards Cross and Princes Risborough was
developed and taken forward as route 2.5.

3.5.8 We started with a consideration of four routes. Following further work we decided not to pursue routes
1 and 2, for the reasons stated below. As part of that work we devised a new route – 2.5. We then
compared this with routes 3 and 4 to reach conclusions about our preferred and alternative routes.

Chapter 3: Determining the Preferred Scheme

Route 1 – not pursued





! !


Route 1 - Not pursued !

Figure 3.5b Route 1 – not pursued
3.5.9 From Old Oak Common, this route would follow a 13 km section of widened route corridor, following
the existing railway line. From Denham the route would enter a series of 11 tunnels and 15 viaducts
before reaching the northern edge of the Chilterns at Aston Rowant. The line would then take a
surface level route until it reaches a tunnel and a viaduct near Ickford. From the Ickford viaduct it
would continue on open sections until a 4.25km tunnel. The route would then take either a surface
alignment or viaducts to reach Balsall Common, where it would meet the other routes.

3.5.10 This route had a longer journey time and cost more than the other routes. After West Ruislip the
amount of disruption caused by construction would be comparatively low except for properties in
Denham and Gerrards Cross that would be affected by tunnel construction, and the associated
settlement effects.

High Speed Rail for Britain – Report by High Speed 2 Ltd

3.5.11 We found it had major adverse impacts on landscape, biodiversity and water resources and
performed least well in comparison to the other options. It would pass at the surface through 14.5km
of the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, as well as passing close by the Cotswold AONB for some
9km. Its effects on biodiversity derive from potential indirect adverse impacts (via hydrological
change due to tunnelling) on the Aston Rowant Special Area of Conservation (SAC). It would also
potentially require diversion of up to 1km of the River Blythe at the West Midlands end, as well as
possible multiple river crossings. There would be scope to mitigate water and ecological impacts, but
less so for landscape impacts. This route would result in more substantial impacts to people and the
communities through which it passes, particularly from operational noise and vibration, demolitions
and potential community severance. On this basis we did not pursue it any further.

Route 2 – not pursued









Route 2 - Not pursued

Figure 3.5c Route 2 – not pursued

Chapter 3: Determining the Preferred Scheme

3.5.12 This route would follow the same path as route 1 until just west of West Ruislip where it would take
a more northerly route. From West Ruislip the route would follow the Chiltern Lines descending into
a 2km tunnel at Gerrards Cross and others at Beaconsfield, High Wycombe and Saunderton. After
leaving the Chilterns the route would pass over viaducts and through one tunnel near Brill. The
majority of the rest of the route is at the surface until it re-joins route 1 near Kings Sutton.

3.5.13 Following analysis of route 2 we decided that the southern section of the route, before it joins with
route 1 north of Bicester, was worth pursuing given it had a relatively short surface route of around
8km through the Chilterns AONB and provided a relatively close route for serving Heathrow in the
future. With further design and engineering work, in conjunction with the sustainability team, there
was also potential for a further reduction of the assessed noise and community impacts. To explore
whether route 2 could be achieve a further improvement in terms of journey times and costs, we
decided to create a route 2.5. This linked the southern most part of route 2 with the northern part of
route 3. We did no further work on the northerly part of route 2.

Preferred and alternative routes

3.5.14 After deciding not to pursue routes 1 and 2 and after further optimisation work, we chose the
preferred and alternative routes which we describe below. We produced plan and profile maps for
these three routes which have been submitted alongside this report. Figure 3.5d illustrates the main
cost and journey time differences between these whole routes.

Route 3 Route 2.5 Route 4

Journey time* 44min 09s 45min 47s 45min 43s

Length (km) 174.88km 179.07km 176.70km

Cost (Base Cost – without risk) (£bn)** 3.72 4.31 5.08

Amount of tunnelling (km) 20.25 27.52 39.5

* Includes time for stopping at Old Oak Common
** Each route includes all line of route links from Euston to a common point near Birmingham; all station costs

Figure 3.5d Comparative assessment of route options

High Speed Rail for Britain – Report by High Speed 2 Ltd

Route 3 – preferred route








Route 3 - Preferred route

Figure 3.5e Route 3 – the preferred route
Design and construction
3.5.15 From Old Oak Common the route would follow the same 13 km section of a widened Chiltern
route corridor as routes 1, 2 and 2.5. This would require works to the adjacent Chiltern Lines
infrastructure to accommodate HS2 as well as low retaining walls to support the boundaries of the
enlarged route corridor. Subject to more detailed design, there might be some temporary impact
on Chiltern line services during construction. From West Ruislip the route passes over a 3.6km
long viaduct to reach the M25. Just before the motorway it would pass into 9.6km tunnels before
surfacing in deep cutting north of Amersham Old Town. At this point the route would climb up the
side of the valley in cutting for just over 2km before entering a 1km tunnel. After this tunnel, the
route would climb in cutting, levelling out near the top of a ridge after 3km.

Chapter 3: Determining the Preferred Scheme

3.5.16 The route would continue in cutting close to the top of the ridge before beginning its descent towards
Wendover on a 450m viaduct. Just before Wendover the route would cross the A413 road and the
Chiltern Line Railway on a 600m viaduct, then pass Wendover on the surface before continuing
towards Aylesbury on a low 3.8 km viaduct crossing a flood plain. It would pass Aylesbury before
entering a 33km stretch of countryside, largely on the surface where the alignment follows close
to the former route of the Great Central Railway until Brackley. At this point the route topography
becomes hillier, though no major structures would be required until west of Southam and east of
Warwick where a 4km viaduct would cross a flood plain. Shortly afterwards a short tunnel would be
needed to pass under the Ufton Wood/Long Itchington Wood SSSI. A few kilometres further on the
alignment would pass through Stoneleigh Park and Gardens before passing between Kenilworth and
Coventry. It would then pass over the WCML at Berkswell before running close to the A452 to head to
a location east of the National Exhibition Centre.

Environment and sustainability

3.5.17 Compared to routes 2.5 and 4, this has the longest surface section through the Chilterns, although it
was considered to have less impact on a range of other features including communities, accessibility
(including impacts on access to footpaths and nature trails), sites designated for ecological purposes
such as SSSIs and ground borne noise impacts. Mitigation of the landscape impacts on the Chilterns
AONB has been incorporated by tunnelling certain sections of the route alignment (around 32%
of the route through the Chilterns AONB is in tunnel in the current plans), by following an existing
route corridor as closely as possible (around 37% of the route follows existing route corridors
including the A413), and by keeping the remaining sections of the route on the surface, minimising
the length of possible viaducts and ensuring the route could be set down in the landscape in cutting
and screened with vegetation and embankments wherever possible.

3.5.18 From Aylesbury north this route presents few significant impacts on communities and key environmental
features, although there are some key water resources and noise attenuation considerations which
would need to be explored at subsequent stages of any HS2 proposals and analysis.

High Speed Rail for Britain – Report by High Speed 2 Ltd

Route 2.5 – preferred alternative







Route 2.5 - Preferred alternative

Figure 3.5f Route 2.5 – the preferred alternative route

3.5.19 From Old Oak Common this route would follow the same 13 km section of widened Chiltern route
corridor as route 3 until West Ruislip. At this point it would continue running adjacent to the Chiltern
Lines (whereas route 3 diverges to the north), and would then continue running beside the Chiltern
Lines until Denham where it would enter a 4km tunnel passing beneath Gerrards Cross. West of
Gerrards Cross it would pass over undulating ground with a series of cuttings and embankments
and viaducts. It would then enter another tunnel to pass beneath Hazlemere, emerging at
Hughenden where the route would pass over a 720m viaduct crossing the valley before continuing
into a further 8.4 km tunnel. This would emerge about 1km west of Princes Risborough. From
then on the route would continue on the surface through open countryside passing to the west of
Haddenham until Dorton and Brill where it would enter 2 short (590m and 410m) tunnels. Thereafter
the route would continue on more gently rolling open countryside for a distance of 21 km, crossing
2 major viaducts of 1160m and 635m before joining route 3.

3.5.20 Key sustainability impacts associated with this route include noise impacts, particularly ground
borne noise and vibration effects associated with tunnelled sections, increased spoil disposal arising
from longer tunnelled sections of route, and community impacts through required land take and
potential demolitions.

Chapter 3: Determining the Preferred Scheme

Route 4 – alternative






Route 4 - Alternative

Figure 3.5g Route 4 – a further alternative route

3.5.21 From Old Oak Common the route would turn right to go in a northerly direction in 28km of twin bore
tunnels, to emerge at a portal at Kings Langley, just outside the M25. Apart from this tunnel and two
others at Catesby and Lower Shuckburgh there would be a relatively low number of structures on
this route.

3.5.22 Route 4 would have the shortest section of these three routes through the Chilterns and moderate
impacts on communities and environmental features along its full route. As with route 2.5, when
compared with route 3, it would have greater potential adverse impacts for biodiversity, vibration
and community integrity.

3.5.23 Route 4 would be significantly more expensive and offer a longer journey time than route 3. In addition
if a direct link to serve Heathrow was required, via a spur or a loop, this would be very much longer,
and would itself traverse sections of the Chilterns, and cost in the region of £4-5bn.

High Speed Rail for Britain – Report by High Speed 2 Ltd

Summary and key recommendations

3.5.24 We considered a wide range of routes between the outskirts of London and Birmingham, covering
an area broadly bounded by the M1 and M40. We paid particular attention to routes through the
Chilterns. We have identified three feasible routes. Our conclusions and recommendations regarding
these are:
• We recommend route 3 – which follows the A413 corridor across the Chilterns, partly in tunnel –
for inclusion in our preferred scheme. This route is somewhat better than the next best route on
cost and journey time, and no worse on sustainability grounds.
• Route 2.5 - which follows the Chiltern corridor via Beaconsfield, with a larger proportion in tunnel
- is slightly inferior overall, but there is a genuine choice to be made here.
• Route 4 – which follows the WCML corridor through the Chilterns – has significantly higher cost
and a longer journey time than route 3, but offers the shortest route through the AONB. A direct
link to Heathrow from this route is likely to be prohibitively expensive.
• Further optimisation should be undertaken. There is potential to avoid and mitigate further some
of the key impacts of all these routes.

Chapter 3: Determining the Preferred Scheme

3.6 West Midlands principal station and approaches

3.6.1 In the West Midlands our method for determining the preferred scheme was similar to that adopted
for London, although necessarily adapted to account for the different circumstances that apply in
the region. A particular question was whether a principal West Midlands station would be on a spur
off the main high speed line or a through station on the line itself – an issue that does not arise in

3.6.2 In specifying a region, rather than city, our remit also left open the question of in which part of the
West Midlands a principal station should be located. An initial long list of station options considered
station locations in the wider West Midlands area, including Wolverhampton, Walsall, Birmingham
International and Heartlands. However, early analysis of demand figures demonstrated clearly
the importance of serving Birmingham city centre in order to capture significant passenger flows.
With the endorsement of our West Midlands working group, sites outside central Birmingham were
therefore ruled out as potential locations for a principal West Midlands station. These locations were
retained, however, for consideration as part of the work to identify a possible interchange station,
which is described in more detail in the following section.

3.6.3 Having established that a principal station was required in Birmingham city centre, the decision
between locating that station on a line through Birmingham, or on a spur into Birmingham, was
driven by the feasibility of construction, as well as a range of business case criteria, including the
differential costs, journey times and sustainability impacts.

Terminal stations in the West Midlands

3.6.4 A terminal station in the West Midlands would require a minimum of three platforms to
accommodate the new high speed services to London and associated empty workings to and from
a rolling stock depot. Initially we assumed four platforms at the West Midlands terminal stations,
a decision based on early demand and timetabling assumptions. The option sifting stages were
carried out on this basis.

3.6.5 During the course of the year we continued to work on ensuring that the design of HS2 would
accommodate the potential long term aspirations for a network. Consequently we concluded that
for the new station to be able to accommodate regular services from Birmingham to locations other
than London, particularly as part of a longer term strategy for a high speed network, the station
would require six platforms. As a result, the final options we present for Government to consider
(and which we have appraised) are based on a six-platform station footprint.

High Speed Rail for Britain – Report by High Speed 2 Ltd

Through stations in the West Midlands

3.6.6 A through station in the West Midlands, located on the principal high speed line north would require
a different footprint. As the majority of trains to/from London would pass through Birmingham non-
stop at full speed on their way to destinations further north, deceleration lanes would be required on
either side of the station in order to minimise the impact upon the route’s capacity.

3.6.7 We were unable to identify any surface location for such a configuration, so a route through
Birmingham in this way would need to be approached by tunnel, with the station itself in a sub-
surface box, similar to Stratford station on HS1. The station box would be approximately 1 km long
and 50 metres wide. There would be secondary boxes located approximately 2 kilometres either
side of the main station box, to accommodate the pointwork necessary for the deceleration lanes.
In order to maintain access for maintenance of high speed point work, these boxes could not be
covered over and built upon.

Creation and initial sifting of the long list of station options - Stage One
3.6.8 The long list of station options was again generated by reviewing the scope for existing station sites
to accommodate a high speed station, either within the existing footprint or with additional adjacent
land, and other possible sites that were identified either by stakeholders or as a product of our own
research. Some options were identified as we progressed through the sifting process. These options
were also reviewed for compliance with the initial sift criteria, albeit at a later date, and so they are
included here. Figure 3.6a illustrates (in dark blue) those options which were sifted out at Stage One.

Chapter 3: Determining the Preferred Scheme

Moor Street (Through)

Moor Street (Terminal) STAGE TWO

Remodelled Snow Hill (Terminal) Moor Street (Through) STAGE THREE
Remodelled Snow Hill (Through) Moor Street (Terminal) West Moor Street (Through)

Curzon Street (Through) Moor Street (Terminal) East Moor Street (Terminal) East

Curzon Street (Terminal) Curzon Street (Through) Curzon Street (Through)

New Street (Through) Curzon Street (Terminal) Fazeley Street

New Street (Terminal) New Street (Terminal) Warwick Wharf

Wholly new (subsurface Through) Wholly new (subsurface Through)

Wholly new (subsurface Terminal) Wholly new (subsurface Terminal)

Wolverhampton Fazeley Street

Walsall Warwick Wharf

Birmingham International Proof House

Preferred Fazeley Street
Fazeley Street
Alternative? Warwick Wharf
Warwick Wharf

Proof House

Option not pursued

Option pursued

Figure 3.6a West Midlands stations sifting process – Stage One

3.6.9 As with the London stations, the long-listed options were assessed against the following high-level
feasibility criteria:
• Overall fit with the remit.
• Operational/engineering feasibility – an initial view on the ability to construct a station on the site
and the possible associated impacts.
• Demand – a non-modelled broad assessment of likely scale of demand.
• Cost – at the level of a basic order of magnitude.
• Other relevant factors, including obvious potential environmental constraints.

High Speed Rail for Britain – Report by High Speed 2 Ltd

3.6.10 Of the long-listed options, seven were removed in the initial sift, as indicated in blue in the
diagram above.
• Snow Hill options. Stations in the Snow Hill area of Birmingham, where a classic line railway
station already exists, were not pursued because we concluded they were not feasible. Gauge-
constrained tunnels at either end would require rebuilding, which might be impossible given the
shallow nature of the more southerly Snow Hill Tunnel and the existing infrastructure built above
the tunnels on the surface. The proximity to St Chad’s Cathedral was also considered to be a
possible limiting factor.
• New Street (Through). A through station at New Street was ruled out on the grounds that it
would prove incompatible with the retention of the existing junctions to the east and west of New
Street station, severely restricting regional rail access to the city centre. It was therefore deemed
operationally unacceptable.
• Wolverhampton, Walsall, Birmingham International and Heartlands. We ruled out potential
locations outside Birmingham city centre on the basis that they would lack sufficient demand and
connectivity to be viable as principal stations. They were referred for consideration as possible
interchange stations (for more information see section 3.7).

Determining the short listed options – Stage Two

Figure 3.6b Possible station locations in Birmingham

Chapter 3: Determining the Preferred Scheme

3.6.11 Figure 3.6b is provided to illustrate broadly the location in Birmingham of the various options under
consideration in the second-stage sifting process.

3.6.12 The remaining options were investigated and assessed at a further level of detail as part of the
second stage of option sifting. As with London station options, the criteria applied as part of the
second stage sifting were as follows:
• Costs – based on an initial evaluation of the high-level scope with a generic unit rate applied.
• Feasibility (wider impacts) – this covered engineering and construction feasibility, passenger
dispersal onto existing transport networks and the potential disruption to and displacement of
the existing network.
• Environmental, social and spatial considerations – using the simplified AoS framework.
• Demand – any relevant demand assessment, where thought to be material.

3.6.13 At the second stage sift, we took forward options at Moor Street, Curzon Street, Fazeley Street and
Warwick Wharf, as shown in Figure 3.6c.

Moor Street (Through) STAGE THREE
Moor Street (Terminal) West Moor Street (Through)
Moor Street (Terminal) East Moor Street (Terminal) East
Curzon Street (Through) Curzon Street (Through)
Curzon Street (Terminal) Fazeley Street
New Street (Terminal) Warwick Wharf
Wholly new (subsurface Through)

Wholly new (subsurface Terminal)

Fazeley Street

Warwick Wharf

Proof House

Preferred Fazeley Street

Alternative? Warwick Wharf

Option not pursued

Option pursued

Figure 3.6c West Midlands stations sifting process – Stage Two

High Speed Rail for Britain – Report by High Speed 2 Ltd

3.6.14 Five options were removed at this stage:

• Moor Street (Terminal) West. The option of a terminal station on the South West side of the
existing Moor Street station was not pursued further because of its relative performance against
its comparator option on the North East side, which was stronger in terms of constructability and
regeneration potential and had fewer environmental impacts.
• Curzon Street (Terminal). The option for developing an elevated station at Curzon Street was
considered against an elevated station at Fazeley Street. Both station options would be developed
on land within the ‘Eastside’ regeneration area, although the impacts of the more easterly Curzon
Street would be less disruptive. Curzon Street was considered inferior as the station concourse
would be significantly further from the heart of the city, and would offer worse connectivity with
the existing Moor Street and New Street stations.
• Wholly new subsurface station options. Options for constructing new subsurface stations in a
cavern underneath Birmingham City Centre were not pursued on the grounds that they would be
prohibitively expensive, given that viable alternatives existed which would not require subsurface
• Proof House. The option of a station on an east-west alignment in the area of Birmingham near
Proof House was ruled out on the grounds that it was significantly inferior to the nearby Warwick
Wharf option, especially in terms of heritage impacts, given its impacts on nationally listed
buildings (including Proof House itself) and their setting within the local Conservation Area.
• New Street (Terminal). New Street’s central location in the heart of the city, and excellent
onward rail links to the wider region make it ostensibly a very attractive prospect for high speed
rail services. We carried out a detailed feasibility study at New Street which led us to conclude
that an option at New Street should not be pursued further.

3.6.15 The remaining five options were analysed in greater detail. The case for or against any of the station
sites considered has been determined as much by the ease with which the line could serve them
as the merits of the site itself. As a hypothetical example, a cheap station site, easily accessible to
passengers but with a highly difficult, maybe largely tunnelled approach route, may yield benefits
which are all but eroded by the cost of reaching it. The analysis of potential stations must go hand-
in-hand with analysis of the possible routes to and from them.

3.6.16 Accordingly, the next section reports on the process undertaken to identify the best route options
for crossing the West Midlands, accessing Birmingham and ultimately rejoining the WCML, before
picking up the station sifting process once more to present a comprehensive picture of the overall
options for HS2 in the West Midlands.

Chapter 3: Determining the Preferred Scheme

New Street Station

New Street station currently operates at close to capacity, requiring all of its thirteen platforms,
including platform sharing, to provide for the full range of services on any typical day. The
neighbouring station at Moor Street is already being expanded to cater for planned development
of the West Midlands local rail network. New Street is bounded by tunnels at either end and city
infrastructure on either side making expansion to accommodate an additional high speed train
network impractical without displacing a significant proportion of existing services.
In order to provide for high speed services (which would approach New Street from the east) and
yet still maintain through operations for some classic services at the western end, a platform
formation similar to that depicted below would be required. Even this only gives three full length
high speed platforms to the north side, in place of existing platforms 1-3, sufficient only for
services to London. One of these would be of sub-standard width for unrestricted passenger
movement and all three would extend outside the existing station boundary to the northwest,
requiring demolition of buildings. Two further platforms of up to 341m, giving some scope for the
anticipated wider network, could be created by removing the existing platforms 4, 4C and 5.

Under this scenario, the overall capacity for classic services at New Street would be severely
reduced from today’s levels. In order solely to maintain existing service levels into the centre
of Birmingham (leaving aside the prospect of growth), an additional new station (of possibly
7 platforms) would be required elsewhere in the city centre.
Additionally, the significant engineering changes to New Street and its tunnelled approaches
would necessarily be very expensive. The tunnels to the east of New Street would need to be
lowered and widened to achieve the desired European gauge clearance. The station area and
approaches in each direction would require resignalling and remodelling to maintain access for
remaining classic services. Levels of disruption during construction would be very significant
over a number of years.
The total costs of converting New Street for high speed use, while also maintaining current capacity
for classic line services was estimated at around £1.6bn, exclusive of risk and optimism bias.

High Speed Rail for Britain – Report by High Speed 2 Ltd

Creation and sifting of the West Midlands approach routes

3.6.17 Figure 3.6d illustrates the range of routes plotted and investigated during the year. Mindful of our
remit to provide services to the north by reconnecting HS2 with the WCML, and the decision we took
to serve Birmingham city centre as a prerequisite, a range of options was generated, each falling
into one of the following three broad categories:
• Routes around Birmingham, to the East and to the West.
• From the routes around Birmingham, spurs into and out of Birmingham city centre.
• Routes directly through the city centre.

3.6.18 As with routes in and around London, in urban areas we started from a position that only existing
transport corridors or new tunnels should be considered as viable route alignments – rather than
large scale land clearance for an entirely new surface route.

Stafford Options not pursued beyond Stage Two
Options proceeding beyond Stage Two
Options refined for Stage Three





Solihull Coventry
Balsall Common Rugby
Figure 3.6d West Midlands approach routes considered
Lower Shuckbur
Worcester Stratford-Upon-Avon

Chapter 3: Determining the Preferred Scheme

3.6.19 The various options considered are shown in Figure 3.6d. Of these, many were not pursued beyond
this sifting stage (indicated in dark grey):
• Routes around Birmingham to the west. Routes to the west of Birmingham were not pursued
on the basis that they offered no clear advantages for accessing the city centre and presented
significant environmental and technical difficulties, together with longer anticipated journey
times, especially in connecting back on to the WCML north of Birmingham. Should the
Government in the future wish to extend the line beyond the West Midlands, this time penalty
would be built in to any future network.
• Routes through Birmingham on the western side. Two routes through the western area of
Birmingham were examined, using a mixture of tunnelled and surface alignments. Both were
pursued no further for the same reasons as above.
• Several routes through the centre of Birmingham. The analysis undertaken at this stage allowed
us to conduct several pairwise comparisons which in turn meant some options through the centre
of Birmingham could be excluded, for reasons of journey time or environmental impact, leaving the
single best performing route to move forward to the next stage.
• An entirely tunnelled route into Birmingham. No further work was carried out on this option,
primarily due to the considerable cost penalties when considered alongside other viable but less
costly alternatives.

3.6.20 Following this round of option sifting, the remaining options fell into essentially two categories.
For accessing the centre of Birmingham, three options remained all of which were on the surface
(illustrated in Figure 3.6e in dark green below). For rejoining the WCML, there were a further three
options (illustrated in shades of blue). One was to head north and rejoin the WCML through the
centre of Birmingham, largely in tunnel, and two options remained for skirting round the city to the
east, with a ‘delta’ junction providing access to the city centre.

Route through Birmingham, Easterly route around Birmingham

largely tunnelled. with ‘inner delta’ junction

Approach following the Water Orton corridor

Easterly route around Birmingham,

connecting to ‘outer delta’ junction
with the Water Orton corridor or a
delta junction with the WCML corridor


Approach following Solihull corridor Approach following Coventry corridor

Figure 3.6e West Midlands route options remaining after Stage Two

High Speed Rail for Britain – Report by High Speed 2 Ltd

3.6.21 At this stage all the options for accessing Birmingham could be made to work with one or more of
the remaining station options. Given the interdependence between stations and their approaches in
the West Midlands, they are considered together from this point forward.

Selecting the preferred and alternative options - Stage Three

3.6.22 From the shortlist, the selection of a preferred option, with alternatives, was guided by the following
• Construction and operational impacts.
• The Appraisal of Sustainability framework.
• Costs.
• Economic analysis (where relevant, for example including journey time benefits).

Moor Street (Through) STAGE THREE
Moor Street (Terminal) West Moor Street (Through)
Moor Street (Terminal) East Moor Street (Terminal) East
Curzon Street (Through) Curzon Street (Through)
Curzon Street (Terminal) Fazeley Street
New Street (Terminal) Warwick Wharf
Wholly new (subsurface Through)

Wholly new (subsurface Terminal)

Fazeley Street

Warwick Wharf

Proof House

Preferred Fazeley Street

Alternative? Warwick Wharf

Option not pursued

Option pursued

Figure 3.6f West Midlands station sifting process – Stage Three

3.6.23 As indicated in blue in Figure 3.6f, the following options were sifted out at this stage:

Chapter 3: Determining the Preferred Scheme

Through versus around Birmingham

3.6.24 A critical question underlying much of the West Midlands option sifting was whether or not
Birmingham should be served by a through station directly on the main HS2 line or by a spur off
the main line, which itself would pass around Birmingham on its way to reconnect with the WCML
further north.

3.6.25 We have been able to answer that question only after assessing the implications of each alternative
in terms of environmental and planning impact, cost and journey time (as a proxy for benefits to
transport users). The prospect of routing HS2 through Birmingham (and thereby constructing a
through station at either Moor Street or Curzon Street) was ruled out for the following reasons:
• As explained previously, a through station in Birmingham city centre
would require the construction of three open boxes of considerable
size. The station box itself would bear comparison with that built for
Stratford International station on HS1, illustrated in Figure 3.6g. The
townscape and land take implications of these three open boxes in the
middle of a city centre were thought to be unacceptable.
• While a through route may offer better journey times into the centre of
Birmingham, assessment of the options suggested no significant time-
saving to through-running services. Indeed, due to speed restrictions
through tunnels, options that take the line around Birmingham to the
east appeared to offer slightly faster like-for-like journey times. The
cost information available at this stage of the project, which although
not robust enough to be conclusive on its own, suggested a marginal
difference in favour of a route around Birmingham.

3.6.26 For these reasons a route through Birmingham city centre, and with it
the two options for through stations at Moor Street and Curzon Street,
were not pursued any further. Of the remaining options, the approach
to Birmingham through the Solihull corridor was compatible only with
a terminal station at Moor Street, and the Coventry corridor and Water
Orton approaches compatible with both the station options at Fazeley
Street and Warwick Wharf.

Moor Street terminal station and the Solihull corridor

3.6.27 The station and approach ‘package’ of Moor Street and the Solihull corridor was also pursued no
further at this stage, for the following reasons:
• The south east/north west alignment into the terminal station effectively rules out the prospect
of future high speed services north from Birmingham. High speed trains departing Moor Street
for Manchester, for example, would need to travel south down the spur in order to rejoin the main
HS2 line and travel northbound round the east of the city centre.

High Speed Rail for Britain – Report by High Speed 2 Ltd

• While the Solihull corridor was less costly, it was inferior to the Water Orton alternative -
and comparable with the WCML corridor – in terms of its environmental and social impacts,
particularly in terms of noise, vibration, air quality (due largely to its proximity to densely
residential areas) and waste generation.
• The proposed station at Moor Street performed poorly against the option at Fazeley Street in
terms of its impacts on the existing buildings and townscape. In these respects it was broadly
comparable with the Warwick Wharf option. There would also be disruptive effects on existing rail

Outer delta junction with the Water Orton corridor

3.6.28 Following the initial round of sifting, two options for connecting the Water Orton corridor to a main
route through the West Midlands remained, each by a ‘delta junction’ offering north and southbound
connections. At this stage of sifting a decision was made not to pursue the outer delta option, which
was considered inferior to the inner delta due to its broader sustainability impact and the fact that it
was incompatible with an interchange station near the NEC, which was being considered in parallel
(see section 3.7). The alternative route to rejoin the WCML was retained and, together with the
Coventry corridor access into Birmingham, forms an alternative way of passing through the West
Preferred route into and
around Birmingham
(Water Orton corridor)

Preferred station:
Fazeley Street

Alternative route into

Alternative station: and around Birmingham
Warwick Wharf (Coventry corridor)

Figure 3.6h West Midlands preferred and alternative route options

3.6.29 As a result of the short list sifting, we were left with a preferred package of options in the West
Midlands, with alternatives. These are described in the remainder of this section and summarised
in Figure 3.6h above. Either station option would be feasible with the preferred and alternative
routes. In the following pages the two stations are described as if served by the preferred route into

Chapter 3: Determining the Preferred Scheme

Preferred Bimingham Station – Fazeley Street

Design, construction and cost
3.6.30 Our preferred station site in Birmingham city centre is at Fazeley Street. The site lies immediately
to the north of the existing WCML into New Street station and is, at present, predominantly derelict.
The station would be an elevated structure, with a concourse at the western end in the city centre,
adjacent to the existing Moor Street station, with which the concourse could be connected. The
proposed platform layout is shown in Figure 3.6i.

HS2 Platforms

Concourse (Paid)

Concourse (Unpaid)


Figure 3.6i Proposed Fazeley Street station platform layout

3.6.31 The station, including the platforms and approach tracks, would all be constructed on new viaduct
(approximately 450m in length) adjacent to the existing brick viaducts. These viaducts vary in height
up to approximately 10m above current road level and in the region of 2m above the parapet of the
current WCML entrance to New Street. We expect that the station would be fully enclosed with noise
barriers incorporated along the northern perimeter wall.

High Speed Rail for Britain – Report by High Speed 2 Ltd

3.6.32 Importantly, Fazeley Street could be built with minimal disruption to the existing rail network and
with no displacement of classic rail services. Design will be critical to creating a landmark station
within Birmingham. Predominantly on viaduct, the station could be constructed from steel, concrete
and glass with the main platforms elevated on columns thereby maximising space for through-
access below the station and preventing severance of existing road links. This approach would also
permit an easier form of construction through the use of light weight modular systems combined
with traditional construction techniques.

3.6.33 We estimated the cost of constructing the Fazeley Street station to be £235m. This includes all
contractor costs but excludes location-specific construction risks, ancillary items, environmental
mitigation, land/TOC compensation, project costs and any route-wide or programme level risks
which are included in the overall scheme costs.

Passenger benefits and dispersal

3.6.34 The site is as close to the city centre as we have been able to find among viable options. Creating
easy access between a new high speed terminal and the existing New Street station is critically
important given the latter’s role as a rail hub for the wider city and West Midlands region.
Discussions with Centro (the West Midlands Integrated Transport Authority), Advantage West
Midlands and Birmingham City Council on the development of improved access between the two
stations have identified options for joining the concourses at New Street (post its development) and
Fazeley Street through the use of people movers and travelators.

3.6.35 In sustainability terms Fazeley Street was on balance considered the best performing option. The
adverse impacts largely concern townscape and heritage, but these are substantially less than those
associated with the alternative at Warwick Wharf. At present the site is mostly vacant, although the
proposed footprint would result in the demolition of three Grade II listed buildings and some modern
structures. There would also be a potential visual impact on the setting of a number of other listed
buildings, but these effects may be mitigated with revisions to the station footprint.

3.6.36 The Fazeley Street option would have a significant impact on planned development, which we have
discussed at length with members of the West Midlands working group. There would be a major
adverse impact on current strategic regeneration plans for the Eastside area, which overlaps the
proposed station site and incorporates proposals for a mixed use scheme of around 130,000m2,
including office, retail and leisure space, a Birmingham University development as well as a stretch
of open park.

3.6.37 While different elements of the Eastside scheme are at varying stages of the planning process, only
two of these elements have been constructed. Proposals for Fazeley Street would require demolition
of one of these – the Curzon Gate student accommodation development. However, this is not
considered to be a major long term impact on the community since the block is only for short-term
accommodation, albeit for over 700 residents.

Chapter 3: Determining the Preferred Scheme

3.6.38 A new station at Fazeley Street would nonetheless offer the opportunity for redevelopment in
Eastside, albeit over a different time-scale and of a different kind than currently planned. If
Fazeley Street station were to be pursued, the close integration of its design with a revised plan for
regeneration in the area would be an imperative. There would also be scope for development on top
of the proposed station structure.

3.6.39 The approach to Fazeley Street also crosses and shades a locally important canal, however this may
offer the opportunity to improve canal side habitats. Early assessment of noise indicates properties
near the station would not experience a highly noticeable increase in noise. Figure 3.6j illustrates
the station footprint.


Fazeley Street Station Footprint

HS2 Preferred Route

Listed Building Grade I

Listed Building Grade II*

Listed Building Grade II

Statutorily Listed Buildings




Locally Listed Buildings


Public Open Space

Private Open Space

Private Playing Field

Local Conservation Area

Grand Union Canal Conservation Area

Grand Union Canal

Flood Risk Zone 3

Flood Risk Zone 2

Individual Source Protection Zones

Figure 3.6j Proposed Fazeley Street station footprint

High Speed Rail for Britain – Report by High Speed 2 Ltd

Preferred West Midlands routes – the Water Orton corridor and inner
route through the West Midlands
Design, construction and cost
3.6.40 A map of the preferred route is provided in Figure 3.6k. From the Balsall Common area, the route
would continue northwards, crossing over the M42/M6 on an elevated structure; this would replace
the existing A452 trunk road which would require relocation to the north west of its current position.
A four track section would curve around Coleshill with two tracks peeling off to pass at grade to the
west of Water Orton and onto the existing four track corridor into Birmingham. The surface route,
allowing speeds of up to 200kph, would continue into Birmingham displacing two of the current
four tracks and passing under the M6 and A4040; at these locations significant modifications to the
existing highways would be required in order to clear the route for the GC gauge rolling stock. As the
route passes through the Heartlands area and Washwood Heath the alignment would be elevated to
allow the tracks to cross over the railway and canal and enter the throat of Fazeley Street station.

Figure 3.6k West Midlands preferred routes

Chapter 3: Determining the Preferred Scheme

3.6.41 From the point at which two tracks leave to enter Birmingham, the main line north would weave a
route through the M6, M42 and M6 Toll Road. This interaction between the railway and motorway
network would require a significant number of highway works. As far as practicable the route
would run alongside or over the trunk and motorway system on a number of viaducts. However,
as the track splits and approaches the existing Water Orton corridor the current M6 would require
re-alignment. Implementation of these works has been discussed, at a theoretical level, with
the Highways Agency and we believe that the majority of the work could be undertaken without
significant disruption to the transport system in this area.

3.6.42 As the line of route passes around Water Orton the alignment would take it over the existing M42/
M6 Toll on a viaduct. Though no major works are expected to the physical motorway network in this
vicinity the construction of the necessary supports and viaduct spans would create some disruption
to the existing transport network. The route would pass over the M42, north of Coleshill and use
viaducts over existing flood plains. A permanent diversion of the A4091 would be required. East of
Lichfield, the preferred scheme would be elevated on a viaduct to cross over the A38, the existing
railways (including the WCML) and the A5127. The viaduct would also go over the Enterprise
Industrial Park just to the south of the WCML. The preferred scheme would then run parallel to the
WCML, connecting with it north of Lichfield. A grade separated junction would be required in the
Elmhurst area to effect this connection.

3.6.43 This route would have few adverse effects on natural and cultural resources; the impacts would
be principally associated with the historic and water environments. The route would comprise
some 4km of viaduct along a route length of 7km, where areas have been identified as highest risk
of flooding. As with many sections of route within the overall scheme, the section of line through
the West Midlands would result in adverse impacts to the communities through which it passes,
particularly due to operational noise, vibration and demolitions. Overall, however, the approach is
preferable to an approach to Birmingham along the more densely populated western or southern
routes. Noise and vibration impacts can to some extent be mitigated and the required land take and
demolitions would be reviewed and possibly reduced through subsequent design steps.

Alternative Station – Warwick Wharf

3.6.44 The alternative site for a Birmingham station is in the Warwick Wharf area, to the south of the
WCML as illustrated in Figure 3.6l. Like Fazeley Street, the station would be an elevated structure
and, although on a different alignment, the concourse would be in a similar position within the
city centre, with similar access to the stations at Moor Street and New Street. We do not actively
recommend a station site at Warwick Wharf, but present it here as an alternative for the purposes
of future consultation

High Speed Rail for Britain – Report by High Speed 2 Ltd





Figure 3.6l Proposed Warwick Wharf station platform layout

Design, construction and cost

3.6.45 As with the proposed station at Fazeley Street, the station would be elevated on a viaduct with a
concourse area bridging the existing WCML and opening out onto Moor Street. The topography of
land in this area is significantly more challenging than at Fazeley Street, with a significant land fall
immediately to the south east of the station. This will mean that the station itself would be elevated
on viaduct some way above the current street level.

3.6.46 We estimated the cost of construction at £260m. This includes all contractor costs but excludes
location-specific construction risks, ancillary items, environmental mitigation, land/TOC
compensation, project costs and any route-wide or programme level risks which are included
in the overall scheme costs.

Passenger benefits and dispersal

3.6.47 A station at Warwick Wharf would have broadly the same passenger benefits as Fazeley Street, given
the similar location of its concourse within the city centre. The immediate approach into the station
is on a slightly tighter curve, which would restrict speeds and lengthen journey times slightly.

Chapter 3: Determining the Preferred Scheme

3.6.48 There would be a major impact on the local townscape and the built character of the local area,
since the station site falls inside the Warwick Bar Conservation Area – one of the last areas in
Birmingham of low density industrial heritage. A station on this site would significantly affect the
street pattern and built character of this area as well as that of the adjacent Digbeth, Deritend and
Bordesley High Streets (Digbeth/Deritend Conservation Area). It would directly impact a number of
historic industrial buildings and locally important landmarks. It would also have a visual impact on
the setting of a number of nationally listed buildings and create severance by isolating part of the
Conservation Area from the remainder. The aggregate impact would be hard to mitigate and for that
reason Warwick Wharf compares unfavourably to the Fazeley Street option. Figure 3.6m illustrates
the station footprint.


Warwick Wharf Station Footprint

Alternative Approach to Warwick Wharf

Listed Building Grade I

Listed Building Grade II*

Listed Building Grade II

Statutorily Listed Buildings




Locally Listed Buildings


Public Open Space

Private Open Space

Private Playing Field

Local Conservation Area

Grand Union Canal Conservation Area

Grand Union Canal

Flood Risk Zone 3

Flood Risk Zone 2

Individual Source Protection Zones

Figure 3.6m Proposed Warwick Wharf station footprint

High Speed Rail for Britain – Report by High Speed 2 Ltd

Alternative West Midlands routes – the WCML Coventry corridor and

outer route through the West Midlands
3.6.49 We have also considered an alternative route into Birmingham and through the West Midlands.
Again, we consider this route substantially inferior, but present it here (illustrated in blue, in Figure
3.6n) for the purposes of future consultation.

Figure 3.6n West Midlands alternative routes, shown alongside the preferred routes

Chapter 3: Determining the Preferred Scheme

Design, construction and cost

3.6.50 The alternative route would join the WCML Coventry corridor east of the existing International
Station and M42 motorway, with the tracks aligned within the existing rail corridor. The route would
run to the north of the existing Birmingham International Station. At this point additional land would
be required to accommodate the additional tracks and alignment to allow a 200kph line speed.
From Birmingham International the route follows the current corridor until Stechford where it
would rise above the junction and WCML, re-joining the tracks to the west of Stechford. As the route
approaches Soho Junction the line would be elevated above the existing tracks and turn into either
Fazeley Street or Warwick Wharf. This alternative option provides a similar approach to Birmingham.

3.6.51 To the east of Birmingham, the line would cross the M6 south of Coleshill. The line would curve
to avoid the village of Whitacre Heath, Shustoke Reservoirs and the SSSI of Whitacre Heath
Nature Reserve, with speeds restricted to 300kph. The route would rejoin the WCML north west of
Tamworth, avoiding the settlements of Middleton, Bangley and Mile Oak, as well as Drayton Manor
Park and Hopwas Hays Wood.

3.6.52 Accessing Birmingham via the Coventry corridor would restrict the value of northbound services
from Birmingham, either as part of the Day One service, or – more significantly – as part of a longer
term network of high speed lines. While such services could access the principal HS2 route north
from the Coventry corridor, they would initially have to travel south to do so, lengthening journey

3.6.53 Adopting the alternative route through the West Midlands would also limit the potential of an
additional station, which as we explain in the next chapter would benefit from being located as an
interchange with the existing Birmingham International station, airport and the National Exhibition
Centre. In order to make the curve onto the northbound principal line, the whole route alignment
would be pushed out to the east, further away from the airport and associated interchange
opportunities. There is no obvious site to place a Birmingham Interchange station on this route with
comparable connectivity. While it may be possible to site such a station on the actual corridor into
Birmingham, this would prevent northbound trains from London from calling at the interchange
which might, in the longer term, prove an attractive possibility.

3.6.54 The current Coventry corridor into Birmingham is two tracks, although historically sections of the
route from Birmingham International through to Stetchford had been three. The intention under
this option would be to widen the north side of the existing corridor using either existing rail land or
through local acquisition. The installation of additional tracks along side the WCML pair will create
a significant interface issue and we expect this to entail significantly more disruption to existing
services than the Water Orton route. This is partly because the corridor is much more heavily
used. A further factor is that there is considerably less space in which to construct, making more
substantial impacts on the WCML inevitable even after mitigation.

High Speed Rail for Britain – Report by High Speed 2 Ltd

3.6.55 The adoption of the alternative route into Birmingham along the Coventry corridor would result,
overall, in a worse performance against the sustainability objectives. For most issues there would
be no significant difference. However, for water resources, noise and community integrity the
alternative route would be inferior to the preferred scheme. Only for land resources would the
alternative be better, but it would only be marginally so. With the substitution of the West Midlands
alternative, an additional 295 properties would become isolated by transport infrastructure which is
a 170% increase over the preferred scheme.

Summary and key recommendations

3.6.56 We established that a principal station was required in Birmingham city centre and that it would
require six platforms to accommodate services to a range of destinations.

3.6.57 We recommend that the option at Fazeley Street is taken forward as the Birmingham city centre
station in the preferred scheme. A station at Warwick Wharf is presented as an alternative, but we
consider it to be inferior to the preferred option, particularly due to its impacts on local conservation
areas and its marginally longer journey times.

3.6.58 We also recommend that the station be accessed via the corridor at Water Orton, with a line of
route through the West Midlands rejoining the WCML at Lichfield. We have identified an alternative
route into Birmingham alongside the existing WCML, with an alternative line of route through the
West Midlands further to the east rejoining the WCML at Whittington. This alternative is considered
substantially inferior to the preferred option, largely due to its greater environmental and social
impacts, its incompatibility with an optimal interchange station and lengthening of journey times to
services north from Birmingham.

3.6.59 If these options were to be taken forward, we suggest that further work in the following areas should
be a priority:
• The further design of Fazeley Street should take place in collaboration with Birmingham City
Council, as promoters of the Eastside development. The proper integration of the station and
wider development would reduce the impact on current proposals and may offer a substantial
opportunity to stimulate further regeneration and land use changes.
• The optimisation of links to New Street station and the city centre more generally would also
be an important element in designing a successful high speed terminal in Birmingham. We
understand that Centro plan to undertake a study of links between Moor Street and New Street in
2010 and recommend that the potential high speed rail terminal sites are considered as part of
that work.
• A particular focus for further work on the route from the delta junction to the WCML – which
would cross a number of local roads – would be on developing a greater understanding of the
interaction between railway, highways and existing landowners.

Chapter 3: Determining the Preferred Scheme

3.7 Options for an interchange station in the West Midlands

3.7.1 In section 3.5 we explained our recommendation against including an intermediate station on
the route between the London and Birmingham conurbations. In short, while there may be some
demand for such a station, the generation of benefits would be an inefficient use of capacity, and
incur considerable time costs to through passengers from stopping trains which would otherwise be
travelling at top speed. This reasoning has led us to adopt a general model of high speed rail which
avoids intermediate stations – focusing instead on city-to-city journeys.

3.7.2 We know from international experience however that there can be a role for stations on the outskirts
of cities (for example the satellite station at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport) in addition to central
terminals. There are a number of reasons why such stations can be attractive:
• An interchange station can extend the benefits of high speed rail by broadening the overall
• The time and energy penalties of stopping a train tend to be less on the way into or out of the city
(where line speeds are typically lower) than at an intermediate station in the middle of the route,
where the highest speeds will be achieved.
• Journey times are slowed disproportionately in urban areas, because of the reduced speeds
demanded by tunnelling, environmental mitigation or tighter curves. For example on HS2, around
20% of the overall London to Birmingham journey time is consumed over the last 15% of the
line’s length. As a result the journey time savings that can be achieved from peripheral stations
can be quite pronounced.
• For the passenger market it serves, a satellite station avoids the need to travel into the centre
merely to catch the high speed train out.
• The location of such stations can often be more easily optimised to enable efficient interchange
between other transport modes.

3.7.3 So as well as considering an intermediate station between London and the West Midlands, we also
investigated the merits of an interchange station within the West Midlands.

Options considered
3.7.4 Given that an interchange station was required neither by our remit, nor for railway operational
reasons, we concluded that such a station would only be included in the preferred scheme if could
be shown to increase the scheme’s overall welfare. Accordingly, the process to determine the
optimal location for a Birmingham interchange station was led by demand. In deriving our options
several high level criteria were applied:
• The station should ideally be located so as to maximise demand for trips to London and
encourage additional benefits by attracting people from existing car journeys.

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• The site should provide good opportunities for interchange between other modes of public
transport and private cars – including space for generous provision of car parking.
• The area chosen should broaden the market for high speed rail by seeking to avoid too much of
an ‘overlap’ with the market for a city centre station.

3.7.5 Ten locations, identified as having potentially strong links to the strategic road network and close to
the initial lines of route, were subject to an initial review, as depicted in Figure 3.7a. Included among
these were several sites outside Birmingham city centre which had been ruled out as terminal
station options (see section 3.6).

10 Shenstone

East Sutton
Wolverhampton 4 9

Walsall/Bescot 1

5 Water Orton

Heartlands 2

3 6

(Widney Manor)

Earlswood 8

Figure 3.7a West Midlands Interchange options considered

Chapter 3: Determining the Preferred Scheme

3.7.6 The exercise of selecting the optimal interchange station was carried out in parallel with the sifting
of other options. As a result, some interchange options became superseded by decisions made
elsewhere about the line of route through the West Midlands. Where such issues arose, efforts were
made to verify that the scale of the potential benefits arising from the station did not contradict
these decisions.

3.7.7 After consultation with members of the West Midlands Working Group we took the decision not to
pursue the following interchange options:
• 1. Walsall/Bescot; 4. Wolverhampton; 9. East Sutton Coldfield; 10. Shenstone. Locations to
the north east and north west of Birmingham, while densely populated, offered relatively poor
demand prospects for an interchange station serving London. Today, these locations yield
between just 25-35% of the highway trips that originate from a catchment area near the existing
Birmingham International station. Options 1 & 4 also fell away with the decision not to continue
with routes to the west of the city, while options 9 & 10 offered poor connections southwards to
most of the east of Birmingham catchment.
• 2. Heartlands. An interchange station at Heartlands would not significantly increase the overall
market for HS2, overlapping instead with the city centre catchment area. In addition the increase
in traffic accessing the station in a built up area would put critical additional pressure on the
already congested road network.
• 8. Earlswood. This option to the south of Birmingham was withdrawn as decisions were taken on
the viability of HS2’s line of route and access into the city.

Selecting a preferred option

3.7.8 Following the initial review, four options remained for demand modelling, which together were
compliant with the shortlisted routes into Birmingham:
• 5. Water Orton – which could be located on a Water Orton/inner delta route, near the
convergence of the M42, M6 and M6 Toll. The location of this station on the delta junction and
amongst the junctions of several major motorways was expected to be very difficult to construct
and also very costly.
• 3. & 6. Birmingham International – two options located near Birmingham International Airport and
station, and the NEC, to be compatible with the two HS2 routes under consideration in that area.
For demand modelling purposes these options were treated as one.
• 7. Solihull – a site near the existing Widney Manor station which would be compatible with a line
of route accessing Birmingham via the Solihull corridor.

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3.7.9 Each station was modelled on an indicative Day One scenario for HS2 operations, which assumed a
certain service level and journey time. On this indicative basis, there was very little variation between
the three in terms of benefits generated, the range between the highest (Water Orton) delivering
approximately 2% more benefits than the lowest (Solihull). The benefits of a station at Birmingham
International were also thought to be underestimated given the potential to release greater
connectivity benefits with improved links to the airport and existing station. These links were not
modelled in this indicative scenario.

3.7.10 At this stage we were able to conclude that an option in the Solihull area should not be pursued,
given that its status as the lowest performing option in terms of benefits was congruent with the
parallel decision not to carry out further work on the Solihull corridor.

3.7.11 While at this stage the options were not fully designed and costed, we were also confident that the
additional cost of a station at Water Orton, given the difficulty of construction, would outweigh any
marginal increase in benefits the modelling had shown, which in any event we would expect to
disappear if an interchange station in the Birmingham International area was well connected to the
airport and classic rail station. Accordingly, a station option in the Birmingham International area
was identified as the best option to consider as part of the overall scheme.

Birmingham Interchange
3.7.12 Figure 3.7b shows the location and layout of the proposed Birmingham Interchange station below.
The station would be built on the preferred line of route approximately 2km from the existing
Birmingham International station and 1km from junction 6 of the M42. The line of route would be
four-tracked on the approach to the Interchange, opening out into six tracks at the station, with four
platform faces for the stopping tracks, and the two through lines running down the middle. From the
station, the four track alignment would continue until the beginning of the delta junction where the
outer lines would, via a grade separated junction, leave the main alignment to serve Birmingham.

3.7.13 A high capacity, high frequency airport-style people mover would be needed to create efficient
connections between the airport, NEC and classic rail station. The station site, as well as a possible
configuration for the people mover route, is indicated in Figure 3.7b.

Chapter 3: Determining the Preferred Scheme

Little Packington

Birmingham NEC

Proposed Birmingham

Birmingham International
Birmingham International Airport railway station Middle Bickenhill


Figure 3.7b Proposed West Midlands Interchange layout

3.7.14 In order to provide high capacity road access to the station and to accommodate increased traffic
caused by background growth and additional HS2-related journeys, substantial works would be
required to the highways in the area, in particular at Junction 6 of the M42. These aspects are
considered further in the Route Engineering Study Final Report. The proposal includes a 7,000
space car park just to the east of the station, to accommodate road access demand from the station
catchment area.

3.7.15 The cost of constructing the Birmingham Interchange station is forecast to be £465m. This includes
the cost of a rapid transit people mover connecting the station with the airport, NEC complex and
existing station. Provision for extensive highways alterations is also included, as are all contractor
costs. This cost excludes location-specific construction risks, ancillary items, environmental
mitigation, land / TOC compensation, project costs and any routewide or programme level risks
which are included in the overall scheme costs.

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3.7.16 The indicative train service specification for Day One operation on HS2 is described in section
3.1 and the HS2 Technical Appendix. It envisages that all HS2 services between London and
Birmingham would call at the interchange station. This notional specification also assumes none
of the classic-compatible services using the WCML north of Lichfield would call at the interchange
station (effectively mirroring the existing WCML fast services). However, with a wider network of
high speed lines, it may be desirable for long distance high speed trains to call at the interchange
station, providing connectivity with Birmingham.

3.7.17 When modelled as part of the preferred Day One scheme, we found that a station in the Birmingham
Interchange area would add around £970m in terms of benefits (in present value terms), and the
Benefit-Cost Ratio of the station is estimated at 2.9. A Birmingham Interchange station in this
location could be expected to account for close to half the 54,000 daily passengers to and from

3.7.18 The station and the track configuration either side has been designed to mitigate the capacity and
journey time impact on through trains. A Birmingham-bound train would leave the main line north,
decelerating into the Interchange station on one of two additional tracks either side of the main
lines. The four tracking alignment continues after the station until the delta junction at Water Orton
where the line peels off towards Birmingham. This means that the Birmingham-bound trains never
rejoin the main route north which, with an accelerating train rejoining the line, would reduce its
overall capacity and speed.

3.7.19 An interchange station at this location – inside one of the West Midlands Regional Spatial Strategy’s
Major Urban Areas – with effective links to the airport and classic railway station as well as the
NEC complex, would be well aligned with the regional development objectives of the West Midlands

3.7.20 The proposed station lies within the existing green belt, albeit close to the M42 motorway and
airport/NEC development. Besides landscape impacts, the principal sustainability consideration
is the potential pollution from increased traffic. Here the low population density means that any
physical health risks arising from deterioration in air quality would be negligible. The station is
forecast to generate an additional 1,700 car trips in the morning 3 hour peak in the region (over and
above the car trips which would otherwise have been made to the existing station at Birmingham
International), which would have an impact on the scheme’s overall carbon emissions, although this
is offset by the modal shift that the station would encourage.

Chapter 3: Determining the Preferred Scheme

Summary and key recommendations

3.7.21 We recommend that the Birmingham Interchange station is included in the preferred scheme for
HS2. It would serve a significant catchment area, handling around half of the HS2 West Midlands
passengers and in the longer term it could provide a Birmingham connection for high speed services
between London and cities further north.

3.7.22 The station also provides good connections with Birmingham International Airport, the NEC, and
the existing station at Birmingham International (which could itself receive an enhanced suburban
service through capacity released on the WCML).

3.7.23 If work is to be taken forward on the Birmingham Interchange station, we recommend that
consideration should be given to the development, jointly with the Highways Agency and local
authorities, of a strategy for highway works in the area, consistent with background traffic growth
and the plans for an interchange station.

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3.8 International rail connections

3.8.1 We were asked to review options for linking with HS1. This section sets out the different ways of
making the connection; it sets out the results of our demand analysis to show how many people
would be likely to use an international service and explains what additional space would be required
to transform a domestic station into one that offered international services. The conclusions of these
three strands frame the incremental costs and benefits of adding a connection to HS1.

Options for linking HS1 to HS2

3.8.2 We reviewed a number of possible ways of connecting a new high speed line with HS1.
• A new high speed connection. A dedicated tunnel from Old Oak Common to near the London
tunnel portal for HS1 in East London would allow high speed trains to join HS1. Vibration, re-
radiated noise and ground settlement risks would need to be addressed for the shallower
sections of tunnel and affected properties may be numerous.
• A new classic speed link to HS1. A new classic speed link could allow trains to join HS1 at
conventional speeds. This link could either be a single or a dual track. A short tunnel containing
one or two GC gauge tracks could be built from Old Oak Common to the WCML, emerging to
the south of Queen’s Park. A short section of the WCML would require upgrading to GC gauge,
including enlarging the relevant bores of the Primrose Hill tunnel. A new junction would be
required to link onto the North London Line which would need to be widened to GC gauge
too. The connection onto HS1 would be at Camden Road East Junction. This link would take
approximately 10 minutes. The limited operation requirements of HS2 services are highly unlikely
to cause any permanent effects upon property and resources. Changes to the local network and
services would be required. Both the Grade II* listed Primrose Hill Tunnel Portals and Camden
Roundhouse, as well as three Grade II listed buildings would be within 50m of the track – they
could have limited impacts. The Grade II Camden Road station would need to be modified but this
change should only affect the operation of the platforms.
• An improved interchange between Euston and St Pancras. It currently takes around 10 minutes
to walk between the concourse of our London station, Euston, and the HS1 station at St Pancras
International. It would be possible to develop a ‘people mover’ between Euston and St Pancras.
We have not developed a design nor assessed its suitability but envisage that a light rail service
would be able to offer a fast and frequent way of transferring people between Euston and St
Pancras International.

3.8.3 If a rail link was to be built, we recommend that it be dual track at conventional speed. We have
estimated the cost of this link at £810m. This includes all contractor costs but excludes location-
specific construction risks, ancillary items, environmental mitigation, land / TOC compensation,
project overheads and any route-wide or programme level risks which are included in the overall
scheme costs. (These would take the cost to over £1bn).

Chapter 3: Determining the Preferred Scheme

3.8.4 The single rail line link would cost less than the dual track but would not offer the same resilience
capability nor the same opportunity for future growth in demand along the line. We estimated the
cost of the high speed connection to be at least £3.5bn, albeit at a lesser level of detail. Figure 3.8a
illustrates the dual track conventional speed link. It would be very difficult to return to the Old
Oak Common site, once the Day One services were running, to build the tunnel element of the link
as it would effectively be in the centre of the live railway. Thus the tunnel – which accounts for a
significant element of the cost – would need to be built at the outset if it was to be built at all.


:,//(6'(1 HS2 to HS1 link


Old Oak Common

Proposed HS2
Route to Euston Euston


Figure 3.8a Possible rail connection with HS1

Passenger demand
3.8.5 International rail services running from HS2 to HS1 would be competing with short haul air services
to the Continent. Journey time is a key predictor of the likely rail mode share, as shown in Figure
3.8b. International experience suggests that if the journey time between cities could be brought
down to less than three hours then more than half of the air market would transfer to rail. It
currently takes 2 hours 15 minutes to reach Paris from St Pancras and approximately 2 hours to
Brussels. These times are well within the time that competes well against air and are reflected in
the significant share of the market that rail has captured.

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Rail share of Total Market




Rail market share


































Rail Journey Time (mins)

Figure 3.8b Relationship between rail market share and journey times

3.8.6 Using data from other countries, we have analysed high speed rail’s market share over a range
of different journey times. This work demonstrates a clear relationship between journey time
and market share as shown by the curve in Figure 3.8b. A Birmingham to Paris high speed rail
journey would be expected to attract around half of the existing market. Rail journeys from north of
Birmingham or to beyond Paris would attract a rapidly decreasing share of the market as journeys
would increasingly take over three hours.

Annual Air Passengers

2033 Paris CDG Amsterdam Brussels
(inbound & outbound)
Birmingham 439,000 432,000 284,000

Edinburgh 416,000 429,000 77,000

Glasgow 10,000 434,000 30,000

Heathrow 1,478,000 2,851,000 1,066,000

Manchester 880,000 589,000 308,000

Figure 3.8c Annual air passengers between certain UK and European cities, 2033

3.8.7 Figure 3.8c shows the forecast air passenger market from various UK airports to Paris, Amsterdam
and Brussels in 2033 based on data from DfT’s air passenger forecasts. This translates into 600
passengers being expected to fly between Birmingham and Paris in each direction every day.

Chapter 3: Determining the Preferred Scheme

3.8.8 To understand how HS2 might attract international passengers to transfer from air to rail potential we
tested a number of scenarios. For the first scenario, we investigated the impact of running fast non-
stop dedicated services from Birmingham straight to the continent. We estimate this kind of service
would attract 600-1,250 passengers to and from Paris and 450-950 passengers to and from Brussels
in each direction per day in 2033. Even if the existence of a high speed service generated significant
additional international travel, demand is unlikely to be enough to offer a reasonably frequent service.
In the long term, assuming the HS2 core route is operating at full capacity, trains travelling non-stop
to the continent would also reduce the number of domestic trains going to London, where the majority
of passengers want to go; and security requirements dictate that we could not mix domestic and
international passengers on the same train.

3.8.9 For the second scenario, we investigated the impact of starting some HS1 trains from Old Oak
Common rather than St. Pancras to Paris and Brussels. This would enable passengers from all
destinations that used HS2 on Day One, for example Manchester, Liverpool, Preston and Glasgow
to change at Old Oak Common onto a service to the continent. Old Oak Common would have the
convenience of an easy cross platform interchange, with similar time taken for check-in as a direct
service. We have estimated this as being equivalent to an additional 10 minutes of journey time
compared to a direct train. This would mean that there would be less demand from each city, but as
more places would have access to Old Oak Common the overall demand would be higher, attracting
1,400-3,150 passengers a day to and from Paris and 700-1,500 passengers to and from Brussels in
each direction per day. In this we may have understated demand from non-HS2 users, particularly
from West London and the Thames Valley, who might find Old Oak Common easier to access than
St Pancras. Such services could be expected to attract some of the market that would otherwise
have flown from Heathrow, as well as some who would otherwise have travelled from St. Pancras.

3.8.10 A different approach to allowing access between HS2 and HS1 would be for people to walk, or take
a bus from Euston to St Pancras to board a HS1 train. This would be far less convenient than the
two other scenarios with passengers incurring a much longer interchange time penalty to walk to
St Pancras, often with luggage. However it is likely that there would be more frequent HS1 services
to the continent from St. Pancras than from Old Oak Common, which would help compensate. We
have estimated the interchange at Euston to be equivalent to at least 40 minutes of journey time.
This scenario would attract 1,000-2,400 passengers from HS2 to and from Paris and 500-1,200 to
and from Brussels per day. A light-rail link or people mover from Euston to St Pancras would further
reduce the interchange penalty (to 20 minutes) and increase the demand closer to the levels of an
interchange at Old Oak Common.

3.8.11 The benefits of these options are limited due to the small number of passengers. With fast direct
international services from Birmingham, we estimate that HS2 would generate benefits of, at most,
£200-450m. This is unlikely to cover the capital costs (including risk and optimism bias) of a direct
link to HS1. Once operating costs are included the BCR is likely to fall significantly below 1. The
strongest case is likely to be a connection with a people mover at Euston, which could add around
£250-600m of benefits to all HS2 users at much lower cost.

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3.8.12 This analysis therefore suggests that:

• Running direct services to Paris or Brussels via a connection to HS1 would bring Birmingham
within three hours and attract a significant market share, but the market would not be big
enough to fill a 400 metre train a day in 2033. Direct services to destinations north of Birmingham
would attract a smaller market share but are competing in a slightly bigger market and might fill
another train per day.
• A station at Old Oak Common has the advantage of allowing international passengers to use
frequent domestic services from a wider range of cities to access HS2 trains and it does not
require extra train paths on HS2. Although an interchange at Old Oak Common is much easier
for passengers than a walk between Euston and St. Pancras, it still less attractive than a direct
service. The total demand from high speed lines for international services from Old Oak Common
would be small and unlikely to justify the expense of the HS1 link.
• Interchanging between Euston and St. Pancras is more difficult than a cross platform interchange
at Old Oak Common, although this is compensated for to some extent by the higher HS1 service
frequencies available from St. Pancras. A people mover between Euston and St. Pancras would
improve the ease of interchange between these stations. Under any scenario, however, the
number of international passengers on HS2 is likely to be fairly limited.

3.8.13 The business case for running international services on HS2 would be improved if HS2 was part of a
wider high speed network to other parts of the UK. However, in the absence of significant changes
in aviation policy (or a much more dramatic airline response than we would expect), demand is likely
to be less than double the demand for an Old Oak Common station on the basis of HS2 alone. This is
unlikely to justify the cost of investment in an international station north of London.

Station requirements
3.8.14 We investigated the additional requirements of offering international services from a station. As an
example, it would be possible to build an additional floor on top of Old Oak Common to provide for
security and border control facilities.

3.8.15 This station would then serve as the collecting point for passengers from all services using HS2
to access trains to the continent – as in scenario two above. A similar addition could be possible
at the Birmingham Interchange in the longer term network. Building this additional floor would
create significant disruption if done once the rail station was already in use. We would therefore
recommend that if a connection was envisaged in the future the station should be built to
accommodate international facilities from Day One. Therefore we recommend that a decision about
whether to build a rail link from HS1 to HS2 ought to be taken at the same time as the decision as to
whether to proceed with HS2 London to Birmingham.

Chapter 3: Determining the Preferred Scheme

Summary and key recommendations

3.8.16 The passenger market wishing to use a link between HS1 and HS2 would be relatively small.
However, we recognise the uncertainty in aviation policy in the long term and the difficulty in
forecasting the airlines’ reaction to a rail link, both of which could significantly change the future
size of the market.

3.8.17 If a direct rail link were to be provided between HS1 and HS2, we recommend that this should be
dual track railway run at conventional speed between Old Oak Common and HS1 at the Camden
Road East Junction. Allowing for risk, this would cost over £1bn.

3.8.18 We recommend that trains should start their journeys to the continent at Old Oak Common, having
picked up passengers from a number of domestic services from around the country. A decision
about a rail connection between HS1 and HS2, and whether Old Oak Common should be built as an
international station needs to be taken early in the process so that, if needed, the tunnel and station
could be built from Day One to avoid significant disruption in the future.

3.8.19 Regardless of whether a HS1 rail link is taken forward, we recommend that further thought be given
in particular to the costs and benefits of a people mover between Euston and St Pancras/King’s
Cross. This could also benefit those passengers using Euston who would wish to access the services
offered at King’s Cross or St Pancras, such as the East Coast Main Line, Piccadilly Line, Thameslink,
or Midland Main Line.

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3.9 Freight
3.9.1 This section discusses the potential use of HS2, either in its initial form or as possibly subsequently
extended, for freight services. It looks at how other European countries manage freight on their high
speed networks and describes the impact of the possible uses of freight on the design and operation
of HS2. It concludes with our recommendations for a freight policy.

Potential freight traffic on HS2

3.9.2 HS2 could theoretically be used to carry a number of different types of freight. These include:
• European or international containerised or swap body traffic conveying general merchandise (for
example, consumer electrical goods, automotive parts or perishable foodstuffs) travelling at a
notional maximum speed of between 120kph and 160kph.
• ‘Piggy-back’ trailer-on-train or ‘Rolling Road’ lorry-on-train traffic, travelling at a notional
maximum speed of 120kph.
• Other freight up to the current GB network limit of 25.5 tonne axle weight travelling at a notional
maximum speed of 100kph.
• High speed ‘air freight’ postal or small-packet traffic, travelling at full line speed in specially-
built high speed trains.

3.9.3 In France, currently only high speed trains conveying ‘air freight’ postal or small-packet traffic are
permitted on high speed lines. However the new high-speed line linking Perpignan (France) and
Barcelona (Spain) will be capable of conveying freight traffic. In Italy active provision has been made
for most types of freight where surplus capacity exists. However, the track access premium for this
facility has so far meant that no freight operator has found it economic to use it.

3.9.4 In Germany most freight traffic is permitted on all or parts of the initial Hannover – Wurzburg high
speed line, which was the first high speed line opened in Germany. A succession of freight trains
uses the line each evening after the end of high speed passenger services, timetabled to fit around
the maintenance activities. The Hannover – Wurzburg route did not incur significant additional
capital cost specifically for freight provision, as the geography of the area enabled the line to be kept
within gradient limits accessible to freight. At the time of building, few additional measures for noise
and vibration were required although there has been progressive addition of noise barriers in the
two decades since route opening. Freight traffic is also permitted on the Stuttgart – Mannheim and
Karlsruhe – Basel high speed sections, and is also being accommodated on future high speed lines
currently under construction. Freight traffic is excluded from the Frankfurt – Cologne and Ingolstadt
– Nuremberg lines. German advice is that maintenance costs through provision of freight running
are significantly higher through rail and track formation wear, but are covered by freight access
charges. High speed lines in Asia are not used by freight trains.

Chapter 3: Determining the Preferred Scheme

3.9.5 ‘Piggy-back’ trailer-on-train or ‘Rolling Road’ lorry-on-train transport is generally used where a
physical barrier to continuous road freight operation exists – for example on transalpine and Channel
Tunnel services. The payload of these trains is substantially lower than that of standard intermodal
(container or swapbody) trains, leading to between double and treble the transport costs per payload
tonne. Conveyance of entire vehicles by rail also poses a fire safety risk, particularly in long tunnels.

3.9.6 We were specifically asked to identify what the additional costs would be of ensuring that the
infrastructure used for HS2 would not rule out the ability for freight to use in the future – for
example by not making the gradient too steep. We have found that for the London to West Midlands
route those costs would be negligible.

A freight policy for HS2

3.9.7 Running lower speed freight trains on the line at the same time as high speed passenger services
would have a severe impact upon the route capacity – a single 120kph freight train travelling from
London to the WCML via HS2 would consume up to 15 high speed train paths. This would be both
unaffordable for the freight operators (in terms of pricing per train path) and unsupportable for the
passenger operators (in terms of disruption to regular-interval train services). As a consequence,
we do not regard the prospect of conventional freight trains using HS2 during the normal hours of
passenger operation as feasible.

3.9.8 The only freight traffic which could be considered during the normal hours of passenger train
operation would be ‘air freight’ postal or small-packet traffic travelling in non-passenger high speed
trains. No special provision would be needed for such trains, which have identical engineering and
operation specification to high speed passenger trains. Any decision to operate such traffic in the
future would be a commercial one. The only potential additional feature in the initial HS2 route could
be a junction layout to provide access to a handling terminal, possibly near Birmingham Airport or
Heathrow Airport. Crucially, though, there would be no further capacity loss (other than the use of
one train path) caused by the operation of such a high speed ‘air freight’ service.

3.9.9 All other freight using HS2 would need to be accommodated alongside essential overnight maintenance
activities, or mixed with late evening or early morning passenger services, as in Germany. The potential
for international freight would have to be considered in the light of operational and timetabling
constraints on the passage of freight through the Channel Tunnel and on HS1; as on HS2, it is very
difficult to create a viable timetable path for a freight train on HS1 during the hours of Eurostar and
Javelin passenger train operation, so freight services are practically limited to overnight operation only.
The maintenance regime of the Channel Tunnel is such that one tunnel section is closed overnight on
most nights, reducing the availability because of single-line operation on the remaining open tunnel
section. Taking into account the constraints in pathing freight through the Channel Tunnel and that
few of those paths are at times which would permit uninterrupted running onwards along HS1 to HS2,
we would see little prospect of usage by European gauge trains of HS2 from Day One. However, in the
longer term, with a possible extension of HS2 further north and depending on how track access charges
are set, a limited amount of European gauge perishable traffic could be justified.

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3.9.10 On this basis we concluded that the infrastructure design should not preclude the operation of
freight trains but neither should it include any freight-specific provisions. This meant that:
• The route, and civil engineering support structures, has been designed so as not to preclude
conventional freight services operating over HS2.
• We have not included any active or passive provision for freight specific junctions additional to the
connections required for passenger operation, maintenance and stabling and the connections to
the infrastructure maintenance depot.
• We have included no additional requirements required for safety in tunnels to permit future
conveyance of dangerous goods, in line with the policy adopted for HS1.
• We have included no additional mitigation for freight using the line at night.

3.9.11 More detail on the design requirements for freight can be found in the Project Specification.
We assessed noise and vibration, and mitigated through design and protection, on the basis of a
passenger-only railway for the anticipated operational hours with overnight, route only maintenance
outside those times. Any future specific proposal to operate freight services would therefore need
to include further assessment. This should include whether its impact could be contained within
environmental limits set through the HS2 design and approval process; or whether additional
measures would be required to be included as part of that proposal and subject to a separate
approval process.

Summary and key recommendations

3.9.12 For high speed freight (such as air mail in high-speed trains), no special provision would be needed.
Any decision to operate such traffic in the future would be a commercial one.

3.9.13 For other types of freight, running slower speed freight trains at the same time as passenger
services would severely impact on capacity. We recommend that the infrastructure design should
not preclude its use but no other provision should be made. This does not impact upon the
opportunity to use the released capacity on the WCML for freight, which is discussed in section 3.10.

Chapter 3: Determining the Preferred Scheme

3.10 Train service specification and use of released capacity

3.10.1 This section sets out key elements of the train service assumptions that we have used to plan and
model HS2’s future operation. It is split into three sections, reflecting the three distinct elements
included within the overall business case: the standard ‘captive’ high speed trains which would run
solely on the new high speed line between London and Birmingham; the specially designed classic-
compatible high speed trains which would run on HS2 and then beyond onto the classic network;
and the reconfigured conventional services on the classic line, made possible with the capacity
released by HS2.

3.10.2 The section also contains headline journey time information for services using HS2. More detailed
information about the analysis and assumptions which underpin these results can be found in the
HS2 Technical Appendix.

Status of the service specification

3.10.3 The service specification outlined here is indicative. It is a proposition that has been developed
primarily for demand modelling and business case development. It is not a specific proposed
timetable and has not, therefore, been subject to any degree of timetable validation.9 Whilst we
have been able to adapt and refine it to a degree in response to emerging patterns of demand,
there will clearly be further iterations as the project develops, not least so as to reflect changing
circumstances on the existing railway.

General assumptions
3.10.4 The service specification that follows is an initial view and clearly much may change between now the
earliest HS2 could open. It is based on the preferred HS2 scheme, the component parts of which have
been described earlier in this chapter, illustrated in Figure 3.10a with their interchange opportunities.


Birmingham International Airport London

NEC/ICC Crossrail Underground

Birmingham Old Oak Euston
Interchange Common
Fazeley Street

Figure 3.10a Potential HS2 interchange locations

9 Timetable validation is the process of ensuring that all trains in a geographical area are correctly planned and timed for the type of rolling stock that is being
used, and that there are no timetable conflicts at junctions or stations.

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3.10.5 The specification also adopts our assumptions on the overall Day One capacity of HS2, as described
in section 2.3: a provisional maximum line capacity of at least 10 trains per hour off peak, rising to
14 train paths in peak periods. At this stage, we have specified 11 of the 14 peak-hour train paths,
thereby retaining ‘headroom’ of three paths, which we would expect to be used to meet naturally
rising demand on whichever service most required it as seen at the time HS2 opens.

3.10.6 The specification has also been designed on the assumption that HS2 is likely to become the first
stage in a longer term network. This assumption has particular ramifications for the classic-
compatible services described later in this section.

3.10.7 All services using HS2 are scheduled to stop at Old Oak Common to maximise the interchange
opportunities with Crossrail and the GWML. For the same reason (and as described in section 3.3)
the modelling also assumes that Crossrail’s high-frequency service is extended to form part of the
interchange, all Heathrow Express services stop there too as would, in some scenarios, all Great
Western services as well. Calling at Old Oak Common offers greater choice for passengers to and
from central London areas and therefore would reduce the pressure on transport networks around

HS2 services between London and the West Midlands

3.10.8 Under the provisional specification the following ‘captive’ high speed services would operate on HS2
between London and Birmingham:
• 3 trains per hour (tph) in each direction, rising to 4tph in the peak direction during the morning
and evening three hour peak. In practice this may be extended and could be applied during other
high-demand periods – for example on a Sunday evening.
• Each service would be formed of standard European-gauge high speed trains, consisting of one
or two 200m sets, each with a capacity of up to 550 passengers, giving a maximum carrying
capacity of 1,100 passengers per train when operating in pairs.
• The journey time between Fazeley Street and the Birmingham Interchange station would be
9 minutes; between the Interchange and Old Oak Common 31 minutes, and between Old Oak
Common and Euston 5 minutes. With station dwell time, the total journey time between Fazeley
Street and Euston would be 49 minutes.
• We have assumed that passengers would not be able to use HS2 to make short journeys
between Euston and Old Oak Common, or between Fazeley Street and Birmingham Interchange.
Ultimately this may be dictated by pricing.

3.10.9 A diagram of the hourly London-Birmingham service is shown at Figure 3.10b, together with a sample
off-peak ‘timetabled’ hour. Southbound services would adopt the same pattern in reverse.

Chapter 3: Determining the Preferred Scheme

Birmingham Fazeley Street London - Birmingham Arr Dep

Birmingham Interchange
Euston — 10:00

Old Oak Common 10:07

Birmingham Interchange 10:38

Old Oak Common

London Euston Birmingham Fazeley St 10:49 —

Figure 3.10b Modelled London – Birmingham service pattern

3.10.10 All HS2 Euston to Birmingham services also call at Birmingham Interchange, to provide access
for passengers from the West Midlands wider area, particularly south and east of Birmingham.

Classic-compatible services using HS2

3.10.11 On the basis that demand for high speed services between London to Birmingham justifies the use
of three train paths an hour (four in the peak) there are up to seven remaining paths on HS2 for
other services (10 in the peak). In the long term with a wider network these would be taken up by
mainly captive high speed trains to destinations further north; on Day One, in the absence of such a
network, these paths can be used by specially designed classic-compatible trains.

3.10.12 In setting an objective to alleviate pressure on the WCML, and – by using the released capacity
– to support housing growth and regeneration in the Milton Keynes/South Midlands Growth
Area, our remit dictated an element of classic-compatible running back on to the WCML north
of Birmingham. This also gives the opportunity for reductions in journey time to major cities
on the WCML upon opening of HS2. We have adopted this as a core assumption in the project,
and designed HS2 with a connection back on the WCML to the north west of Lichfield. We also
reviewed the scope for classic-compatible running onto the MML and Chiltern Line.

Classic-compatible running onto the Midland Main Line

3.10.13 It would be possible to connect the northern end of HS2 to the Midland Main Line via an existing
cross country route to Derby. This would create the possibility of routing London – Derby –
Sheffield services via HS2. Initial work on this option suggested that journey time savings of
about 30 minutes could be made on today’s timetabled intercity routes. This is predicated on
an assumption that the Midland Main Line is electrified before HS2 begins operation, and that
electrification and modernisation of the Lichfield Trent Valley - Wichnor Junction - Derby line
could also be achieved.

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3.10.14 While we would not wish to rule out this option completely, we have not pursued it as part of the
preferred scheme for two reasons. Firstly if HS2 were be extended north via the East Midlands, this
would overtake the need for such a connection, making the route upgrading and electrification of the
link to Derby redundant and so reducing the potential return on such an investment. Secondly, while
the MML may well be electrified in the coming years, a putative connection to HS2 would be entirely
reliant on the timing of this and related electrification works proceeding.

Classic-compatible running onto the Chiltern Line

3.10.15 As a development of our intermediate station analysis, we also considered the possibility of running
trains off HS2 at a point near Bicester and onto the Chiltern line, potentially to serve Oxford. Despite
indications that there would be high commuting demand from Oxford (a reflection of the relatively
slow journey times today), we ruled this option out on the basis that (were it technically feasible) it
would leave a great deal of HS2’s capacity north of Bicester unused and would inhibit the growth of
a longer term network by using up paths on the southern half of HS2.

Classic-compatible running onto the WCML

3.10.16 Having confirmed that the remaining paths would be devoted to trains running onto the WCML,
the structuring of the sample service specification (and with it the recast WCML timetable) was
essentially guided by the need to balance the achievement of fast journey times with the adequate
provision of stops. The likely service pattern if HS2 were to be developed into a wider network was
a further consideration, on the assumption that a wider network would include an extension to the
North West. Given that under such a scenario we would expect the high speed network to be routed
to serve only major cities and their hinterland (and not every intermediate station on the classic
rail network) we have modelled a scenario in which the service pattern for the classic-compatible
service mirrors the potential high speed service of the future. Therefore only the calling points that
would be maintained or replicated on a wider network would be included in the Day One classic-
compatible specification. Other WCML stations served by fast classic rail trains today would continue
to be served by fast trains in the West Coast revised specification summarised in 3.10.22 below.

Chapter 3: Determining the Preferred Scheme

3.10.17 Under the provisional service specification the following classic-compatible high speed services
would operate on HS2 and the classic network between London and destinations further north.
All would be formed of 200m units, capable of carrying 550 passengers.
a. London – Manchester. 3 trains per hour. These would replace the existing fast Pendolino
services to Manchester, offering a journey time saving between Euston and Manchester
Piccadilly of up to 29 minutes on today’s timetable (with a new best time of 1hr 40mins). The
intermediate stations which are currently on the fast London – Manchester stopping patterns
and not served by these HS2 trains (Milton Keynes, Macclesfield and Stoke-on-Trent) would be
incorporated into reconfigured WCML fast classic specification. The Crewe stop is transferred
into one of the London – Liverpool services.
b. London – Liverpool. 2 trains per hour, both calling at Old Oak Common with one following the
route of the existing Pendolino service north of HS2 and the other routed via Warrington and the
line via St Helens Junction into Liverpool recently authorised for electrification. These would
replace the existing (hourly) fast direct Pendolino services between Euston and Lime Street,
offering a journey time saving of just under 20 minutes on today’s timetable (with a new time
of 1hr 50mins). Further modelling work would need to be undertaken to establish whether the
benefits of making additional calls at either of Liverpool South Parkway and St Helens Junction
outweighs the disbenefits arising from extended journey times.
c. London – Preston – Glasgow. 1 train per hour, with an additional hourly train from Preston to
London during the morning peak and from London to Preston in the afternoon peak. With a
combination of limited stops and acceleration over HS2 this service would offer a journey time
saving of some 30 minutes on today’s regular service (with a new time of 4hrs). These would be
complemented by fast classic line services for those intermediate stations which are currently
on London – Glasgow stopping patterns and not served by HS2 trains (Lancaster, Oxenholme
Lake District, Penrith, Carlisle), incorporated into a reconfigured WCML service. In modelling
these services we identified high levels of demand resulting in some severe crowding during the
peak. In reality there would be a number of ways in which to deal with this, which could include
a reconfiguration of the timetable or minor upgrades to the route. These options would require
further detailed analysis and planning but for simplicity we have modelled 400m-long trains on
this route.

3.10.18 Figure 3.10c depicts the proposed specification of the classic-compatible HS2 services, alongside
the captive services to Birmingham. This illustrates the services using HS2 in any given hour on Day
One. The services are grouped together by destination for ease of presentation but in practice would
be spread evenly throughout the hour.

High Speed Rail for Britain – Report by High Speed 2 Ltd

Running on HS2
Additional peak hour service
Running on classic line
Glasgow Central
HS2 station
Existing classic rail station

Liverpool Lime Street Wigan
Runcorn Manchester Piccadilly
Crewe Warrington Stockport
Stafford Wilmslow

Birmingham Fazeley Street

Birmingham Interchange

Old Oak Common

London Euston

Figure 3.10c Modelled HS2 service pattern

3.10.19 For our modelling purposes, none of the HS2 classic-compatible services are assumed to call
at the Birmingham Interchange station. It would be possible for some or all to do so en route
to destinations further north, albeit with a journey time penalty of around 5 minutes. This option
could be explored further in due course.

3.10.20 Whilst the HS2 classic-compatible trains have been specified, like the standard captive HS2 fleet,
to travel at speeds of up to 360 kph on HS2, they would not be able to exploit the maximum classic
line speeds on certain sections of the WCML north of Lichfield, as they would not be fitted with
tilting equipment. So, over certain WCML route sections, there would be some time lost against
today’s services. This has been assessed and allowed for in the modelled journey times with the
assumption that classic-compatible trains would run at full classic line speed where line geometry
and signalling systems permit. As the whole-route journey times demonstrate, for London journeys
the limited time lost is far outweighed by the savings achieved on HS2.

Chapter 3: Determining the Preferred Scheme

Reconfigured WCML services

3.10.21 By taking some of the non-stopping services off the WCML south of Lichfield, significant capacity is
released on this section of the route, which can be used for expansion of existing and new services.
This section of the report covers the reconfigured WCML service, including both remaining long
distance services and the potential for increased freight, commuter and suburban traffic.

Remaining WCML long distance services

3.10.22 For modelling purposes, we have devised an altered service pattern for long distance services which
would complement the classic-compatible HS2 services, and preserve fast classic trains for certain
intermediate stations. The opportunity has been taken to propose re-establishment of regular
connections from the north to the growth areas on the southern part of the WCML such as Milton
Keynes. Broadly speaking, these remaining services fall into five categories:
a. London – Birmingham – Wolverhampton (– Liverpool)
b. London – Crewe – Glasgow
c. London – Crewe
d. London – Stoke – Manchester
e. London – Chester – North Wales

3.10.23 Further stopping pattern and journey time information for these services can be found in the HS2
Technical Appendix – Train Service Assumptions.

WCML commuter/suburban services

3.10.24 The capacity released by HS2 presents opportunities for commuter/suburban services on the way
into Birmingham (along the WCML Coventry corridor) and into London. The service assumptions we
have modelled are contained in the HS2 Technical Appendix. In summary:
• Commuter capacity into London. The released capacity has allowed us to model a substantially
improved service for Milton Keynes, Northampton and Rugby, as well as additional services to
commuter towns closer to London. Under these assumptions, Milton Keynes would receive 7
non-stop services to London in the peak hour, with 5 further stopping services. This reflects the
substantial housing growth expected within the Milton Keynes/South Midlands Growth Area,
which we expect to generate increased demand for commuter access to London.
• Commuter capacity into Birmingham. Removal of some of the Euston services along the
Coventry corridor would give the opportunity to achieve a better separation of short-distance
local flows and inter-urban flows, providing a higher degree of service regularity, frequency and
improved journey times for both.
• Other opportunities. The service assumptions allow the diversion of a cross country service
via Coventry and Birmingham International, and more generally may free up paths for services
which run only briefly on the WCML as they cross from east to west. The enhanced service to
Birmingham International would also give locations on that corridor good rail connections to HS2
via the Interchange station.

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3.10.25 The WCML is Britain’s key trunk route for rail-borne freight, with over 50% of UK rail freight passing
on the WCML during some part of its journey. The release of additional capacity on the southern
section of the WCML would also cater for growth in the freight markets, particularly serving
the distribution centres and intermodal terminals of Central England. The proposed additional
passenger services on the WCML only make use of a proportion of the released capacity, so scope
remains for additional freight paths to be added, according to market demands. However the scope
for freight to benefit may be limited by the lack of capacity on the WCML north of Birmingham. If
HS2 were extended to the North West the additional capacity released on this section of the WCML
would likely generate a significant benefit to freight.

Summary and key recommendations

3.10.26 As designed, HS2 would offer journey times of 49 minutes between the centres of London and
Birmingham, and within that journey, a timing of 31 minutes between the Heathrow interchange
at Old Oak Common and the Birmingham Interchange near Birmingham International Airport.
HS2 would also provide an opportunity to achieve up to 30 minutes journey time saving on today’s
standard journey times between London and major destinations on the WCML north of Birmingham.

3.10.27 HS2 would also provide an opportunity to reconfigure services on the WCML, releasing paths
for additional short and long-distance services, including commuter trains into London and
Birmingham during the peak hours.

3.10.28 The specification described above comprises a set of assumptions for modelling purposes. There
would be scope to refine and enhance the planned service levels as part of future design work and
alongside the necessary timetable validation process. In particular further work will be required to
refine the timetable proposals in the light of any changes to the configuration of the proposed HS2
route and associated stations, which might have an effect on journey times.

Chapter 3: Determining the Preferred Scheme

3.11 Maintenance and stabling locations

3.11.1 This section explains our approach to identifying and assessing options for depots and other
equipment sites. Such decisions are best taken once a preferred line of route is confirmed.
The section describes the requirements of a rolling stock depot and an infrastructure depot and
explains how we chose credible sites to assess and cost.

Rolling stock depot

3.11.2 A rolling stock depot would be required to maintain the captive and classic-compatible train fleet. On
Day One of the HS2 route, we expect that only one maintenance depot would be required to maintain
all trains, although other stabling activities could be elsewhere. The depot would be used for rolling
stock inspection, repair, cleaning, light and heavy maintenance, re‑watering and the replenishment
of consumables.

3.11.3 Below are four factors that we believe would be key to assessing whether a site would be suitable. A
full description of the requirements can be found in the Rolling Stock Maintenance Strategy.
• L
 ocation. A depot should be within 10 minutes rail travelling time of the high speed route and
should take account of the wider network aspirations – for example by being in the middle of a
longer term network rather than at one end.
• S
 ite. Flat land of approximately 2000m by 500m would be required, with access to power and
services and ideally with space for expansion if the network extended beyond the West Midlands.
Any site would need to be in an area that was suitable to accommodate an industrial complex
with 24 hours working, seven days per week.
• A
 ccess to high speed routes, resources and supplies. We recommend that a direct connection
be provided from the high speed route to avoid capacity constraints arising from conflicting train
movements. We also recommend that a site should be close to an appropriately skilled and
available labour force that would be able to access the site ideally by public transport. The depot
would employ about 300 people. Good road access, to enable heavy good vehicles to visit the site
during the day or night, and good rail access would be required.
• S
 ustainability design aims. We recommend that a site is chosen in line with the sustainability
design aims.

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3.11.4 To fulfil these requirements, a depot in the West

Midlands would seem an obvious starting place.
It would be in the middle of the line of route if a
longer term network was taken forward and it would
be in an area that already has a appropriately skilled
and available workforce. In order to understand
the costs and likely impact of a depot we therefore
reviewed a number of sites around the West
Midlands. We concluded that a site in Washwood
Heath area, which includes what was Alstom’s
rolling stock manufacturing site, was a credible
option to assess. A proposed layout is provided at
Figure 3.11a. The depot would be adjacent to the
Water Orton approach and appears to offer sufficient
space with good road access. There would potentially
be noise and light issues for local residents as
the depot would be operating 24 hours a day with
the majority of work being undertaken over night.
Physical barriers would be required to mitigate local
disturbance from noise and light. We estimated
the cost for constructing the depot to be £200m
excluding specific location-specific construction
risks, ancillary items, environmental mitigation,
land and TOC compensation, project HS2 costs,
any routewide construction risks and any additional
programme level risk provision.

Figure 3.11a Possible layout of a potential

Washwood Heath depot

Chapter 3: Determining the Preferred Scheme

3.11.5 We assessed to a lesser degree a number of alternative sites. This high level review of occupied and
vacant sites in the West Midlands was carried out for areas in the proximity of Bordesley goods yard;
Landor/Lawley Street freight depot; Tyseley goods yard; and sites near Elmdon, Castle Bromwich
and Longbridge. Of these areas we were unable to identify a suitable site that was vacant and of
sufficient size and proximity to the high speed line of route. We also reviewed two green field sites
in the vicinity of Coleshill and Middleton. Both would be less attractive than Washwood Heath
or another industrial site. If the project is to be taken forward, further work will be needed with
external stakeholders in the West Midlands area to assess potential sites and define the preferred
and alternative sites in more detail in time for a strategic consultation.

Infrastructure maintenance depot

3.11.6 To maintain the proposed route a number of infrastructure maintenance depots, situated at key
points along the route would be required. The preferred location for the principal maintenance depot
would be alongside the core route, provisionally midway between London and the West Midlands.
The Infrastructure Maintenance Strategy includes high level requirements for each of these depots.
Like the rolling stock depot, we believe a similar set of four factors would be key to assessing
whether a site is suitable:
• Location. The site would need to be closely connected to the preferred line of route so that all
parts of the route could be maintained with minimum inconvenience to high speed rail users.
We would expect the depot to include reception lines connecting the route in different directions.
• Site. A flat site of at least 1000m x 500m would need to be available for use 24 hours a day, seven
days a week. This would be the centre for all maintenance and renewal activities, which would
include offices and workshop facilities, stabling for track plant, locomotives and maintenance
wagons and storage of engineering components used on the route.
• Access to classic rail freight routes, resources and supplies. The site would need to be
accessible for supplies delivered by rail, such as ballast, and therefore would require connections
to the classic line. Good road access and closeness to an appropriately skilled and resourced
labour market would be needed.
• Sustainability design aims. We recommend that a site is chosen in line with the sustainability
design aims.

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3.11.7 During our review of the lines of route, we noted that all the HS2 line of routes cross the Bletchley
to Oxford rail route. This could act as the connection to the classic line by which equipment and
materials could be brought to the HS2 line. If the project is to be taken forward, further work would
needed to assess potential sites in time for a strategic consultation.

3.11.8 Other intermediate depots would be required along the route, providing local storage and staff
facilities and remote access to the railway’s control system. It would be possible for the West
Midlands depot to be co-located with the rolling stock maintenance depot, thereby providing
additional stabling capability for on-track plant equipment.

Other equipment locations

3.11.9 The operation of a high speed line would require a number of other sundry equipment locations.
These would require smaller sites than the rolling stock depot and we included notional capital
costs in the business case for these elements, under the following broad categories:
• London terminal stabling.
• Control centre – housing signalling and control staff, communications and power.
• Air shafts and intervention shafts which are part of the tunnelled sections.
• Auto transformer feeder stations and approximately four connections to the National Grid using
existing connections linked by overhead or buried 25kV cables.

Summary and key recommendations

3.11.10 We identified that one rolling stock depot, servicing both captive and classic-compatible fleets,
would be needed for Day One, and that it should be located in the West Midlands. There would also
need to be a principal infrastructure maintenance depot between London and the West Midlands,
with the crossing of the Bletchley – Oxford line a possible location.

3.11.11 For the rolling stock depot, we recommend that Washwood Heath is taken forward for further work,
but also that further consideration is given to alternatives. We recognise that the identification and
subsequent assessment of the potential depot locations have not been to the same level as the
main components of the high speed route. We therefore recommend that further work is carried out
before a strategic consultation.

Chapter 3: Determining the Preferred Scheme

3.12 Summary of the preferred scheme

3.12.1 This section draws together and confirms our recommended individual components of the scheme,
as described earlier in Chapter 3, thereby summarising the whole HS2 proposal as it has been
appraised. This is illustrated in Figure 3.12a.

A link between HS2 and WCML near Lichfield to allow trains to serve cities
further north - such as Manchester, Liverpool, Preston and Glasgow.

The line enters Birmingham via the existing Water Orton rail corridor leading to
an entirely new station in the Eastside area, close to the city centre and
Fazeley Street
New Street Station.

Birmingham An interchange station be built near Birmingham International, connected to the

Interchange WCML train station, the NEC and the Airport via a rapid transit people mover.

The line of route should follow a widened Chiltern route corridor out of London.
From West Ruislip the route would pass over a long viaduct to reach the M25.
As it passes thought the Chilterns a number of mitigatory measures are proposed to
minimise its mpact. North of the Chilterns the route would be mainly open with
one tunnel near Cubbington. We recommended that the main line of route
would not include an intermediate station.

London Old Oak All trains stop at Old Oak Common to offer an interchange with Crossrail,
Common Heathrow Express and the GWML.

The main terminal station in London would be Euston. This station would be
London Euston expanded to combine existing classic services and HS2 services.

Figure 3.12a Preferred scheme summary

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3.12.2 Two increments to this package could be a direct link to Heathrow and a connection to HS1.
The merits of these increments were described in sections 3.3 and 3.8 respectively.

3.12.3 A people mover linking Euston to St Pancras and King’s Cross would improve the journey time
between the two stations and could be built as part of the Euston re-development. Figure 3.12b
maps the preferred scheme in green alongside the alternatives in blue and red.


















Alternative line of route


Summary of line of route options

Preferred alternative

Alternative routes

Preferred route

(Route 2.5)

(Route 4)

Whole scheme:

West Midlands:
Line of Route:

Figure 3.12b Summary of line of route options

Chapter 4 – Business Case
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4.1 Passenger Demand and Costs

4.1.1 We have assessed the business case for the preferred scheme and service specification as described
in Chapter 3. Section 4.1 describes the forecast passenger demand for the high speed railway. We
also set out the overall costs of building the infrastructure and the operating costs of running the
service pattern set out in Chapter 3. Section 4.2 describes our economic and sustainability appraisal
of the preferred scheme. Section 4.3 sets out the assessment of the potential value for money of the
scheme taking account of all of these impacts and section 4.4 tests how sensitive this conclusion is
to our assumptions – including the impact of running at classic speed.

Passenger demand
Existing and forecast demand
4.1.2 In 2008 there were approximately 45,000 long distance passengers per day using inter-city trains
on the southern section of the WCML, with an average train loading across the whole day of 51%.
According to standard industry forecasts, by 2033 long distance demand on the WCML is expected
to more than double. This growth is being driven in the main by people’s increasing propensity to
travel further and more frequently as they grow wealthier. Although the Pendolino trains currently
running on the WCML would have been lengthened to 11 cars, the average train loading would have
increased to around 80%. In the peaks the loadings would be much higher, creating some very
crowded conditions.

4.1.3 Figures 4.1a and 4.1b, which follow, show the number of long distance trips on the WCML in 2008
and the forecast trips in 2033 respectively. Figure 4.1c shows the forecast average daily load factor
on long distance services on the WCML in 2033. The 2033 figures are based on our reference case
assumptions about what would happen in the future without HS2.

Chapter 4: Business Case

*ODVJRZ Long distance daily trips on the

WCML in 2008











Figure 4.1a Long distance daily trips on the WCML in 2008

High Speed Rail for Britain – Report by High Speed 2 Ltd

*ODVJRZ Forecast of long distance daily
trips on the WCML on 2033












Figure 4.1b Forecast of long distance daily trips on the WCML in 2033

Chapter 4: Business Case

(GLQEXUJK Forecast of average daily load factors
*ODVJRZ on long distance WCML services 2033










(Volume over seats) 

More than 80%
60% to 80%
40% to 60%
20% to 40% /RQGRQ
0 to 20% &DUGLII

Figure 4.1c Forecast of average daily load factors on long distance WCML services in 2033

High Speed Rail for Britain – Report by High Speed 2 Ltd

Passenger demand with the introduction of HS2

4.1.4 With HS2 journeys between London and Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool and Glasgow would
be up to 30 minutes faster than current services. A new high speed line would bring a more frequent
and reliable service, a doubling in capacity and a reduction in crowding levels on many services
(particularly in the peak).

4.1.5 These improvements in travel time and experience would attract significant numbers of passengers
onto the high speed trains. Of these passengers, 57% would otherwise have travelled by classic rail
and would now enjoy the advantage of the high speed services. Faster and better journeys would
also attract new passengers to rail - those who would otherwise have made their journey by car
or air, and people making journeys they would not otherwise have made, as shown in Figure 4.1d.

Passengers using HS2

Switch from Classic rail 57%

New Trips 27%

Modal shift from air 8%

Modal shift from car 8%

Figure 4.1d Source of trips of passengers using HS2

4.1.6 However there is significant variation in this composition, with mode shift from air representing a
far greater proportion of trips over longer distances. From Scotland for example, almost one third
of trips using HS2 would switch from air, as rail journey times become more competitive with air

4.1.7 Figure 4.1e shows the change in long distance daily trips when HS2 is operational and Figure 4.1f
shows the forecast average load factors on long distance services on the WCML and HS2 in 2033.
North of Birmingham the demand for WCML and HS2 are combined – as both will use the same
tracks. Here we see significant increases in passenger flows along the WCML. There would also
be a significant net increase in long distance flows using the WCML and HS2 south of Birmingham.
Overall the number of passengers on this corridor would increase by around 61,000 (a 57%
increase). This is made up of a reduction of some 84,000 trips on the WCML into London and an
increase of 145,000 trips on HS2. The HS2 services would be well used with average load factors
above 60%.

4.1.8 People would travel on HS2 for a range of reasons. Faster journeys would attract more business
travel, with our modelling suggesting 10% more long distance business trips as a result of HS2.
The majority of passengers (70%) would be people travelling for other reasons, with leisure trips
likely to be particularly important.

Chapter 4: Business Case

Edinburgh Change in long distance daily trips after the
Glasgow introduction of HS2, in 2033








Liverpool Sheffield

67,473 Nottingham

-45,227 Peterborough


Change in volume (Day 1c vs. DM) Legend

More than 20,000
20,000 to 10,000 -84,326
10,000 to 3,000 Oxford
3,000 to -3,000
-3,000 to -10,000
-10,000 to -20,000 Cardiff
Cardiff Bristol
Less than -20,000 Reading

Figure 4.1e Change in long distance daily trips after the introduction of HS2, in 2033

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Edinburgh Forecast daily load factors on long
Glasgow distance services after the
43 introduction of HS2, in 2033







Liverpool Sheffield

45 77


53 Peterborough


Day 1c Crowding Legend
(Volume over seats) 30
More than 80%
60% to 80%
40% to 60%
20% to 40% London
0 to 20% Cardiff
Cardiff Bristol

Figure 4.1f Forecast daily load factors on long distance services after the introduction
of HS2, in 2033

Chapter 4: Business Case

Passenger origins and destinations

4.1.9 The two new Birmingham stations, serving broadly the same markets as those currently served by
Birmingham New Street and Birmingham International, would handle about 54,000 trips per day
in 2033, with more than half using Birmingham Fazeley Street. Figure 4.1g indicates where people
using the two stations are likely to come from within the West Midlands area. Green indicates the
areas from which the majority would go to Fazeley Street and blue indicates the areas that would
be more likely to use the Interchange Station. 80% of passengers using Birmingham Fazeley Street
would start or end their journey within Birmingham city.








Figure 4.1g Proportion of passengers choosing Birmingham Fazeley Street and Birmingham
Interchange by area
4.1.10 Birmingham Interchange station would provide an effective parkway location and serve Birmingham
International Airport and the NEC. As well as capturing rail trips from the existing Birmingham
International station, it would attract in 2033 an additional 4,000 park and ride trips from the south
eastern edge of Birmingham.

4.1.11 In 2033 the London stations would handle a total of 145,000 high speed rail passengers per day.
Our modelling suggests that about 95,000 people would use Euston and around 50,000 would use
Old Oak Common. Between half and two thirds of passengers using Old Oak Common would change
onto Crossrail to access Central London, with the rest using the station to go to Heathrow and
locations to the west of London. Figure 4.1h illustrates the proportion of people accessing Euston
and Old Oak Common from various zones in London. Green indicates the majority of people access
Euston, Blue that the majority use Old Oak Common.

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Figure 4.1h Proportion of passengers choosing Euston and Old Oak Common by area

4.1.12 Overall there would be an increase of just over 30,000 passengers using Euston station, as a result
of HS2. Around half of the passengers using Euston are likely to access it via London Underground.
HS2 would therefore cause an increase in demand on the tube network.

Capital Costs
4.1.13 In order to estimate the likely range of high speed construction costs we started with a process
using estimating procedures specific to each of the component elements of HS2 as identified in the
detailed route planning. For each route section, we costed the scope of work shown on the detailed
route plan and section drawings. We carried out a similar detailed process for each station. Our set
of estimating data was derived from several sources including analogous major transport and other
current construction projects. The HS2 Cost and Risk Model provides more details on our approach
to calculating costs and more detail about the results.

4.1.14 Section 3.12 illustrates the preferred scheme. The cost of this infrastructure (without a HS1 link,
a direct Heathrow connection or rolling stock) is estimated at between £15.8 and £17.4bn. This
includes construction risk and an additional £4.2bn to cover additional risks in line with the HM
Treasury Supplementary Green Book Guidance on optimism bias. Figure 4.1i shows the sub-system
components that make up the total scheme cost, indicated as a mean within the overall range.

Chapter 4: Business Case

Item £m Includes
Rail systems 349 Railway track, ballast, fencing, drainage, junctions

Control systems 200 Signalling Control and telecommunications

Traction Power systems 252 Overhead line equipment and power supply
Stations Euston, Old Oak, Birmingham Interchange and Fazeley
Earthworks 686 Earthworks and retaining walls

Structures 561 All structures (primarily viaducts)

Tunnels 1,466

Roads 143 Including major highways/motorway reconfiguration

Utilities 171

Additional items 420 People mover and rail reconstruction work

Contractor administration costs

938 Preliminaries, site supervision, testing, training, spares

Total Construction Cost 6,816 Excluding risk

Ancillary Items 215 Primarily additional environmental mitigation

Land costs/compensation Land acquisition/compensation plus administration of


Rolling stock depot 250 Main depot and London stabling

Project overheads 727 Client and project management costs

Design All design costs and topographical/ground investigation


Existing rail interface costs 175 Possession/isolation management and TOC Compensation

Statutory charges 200 Consultation and planning consent related costs

Construction risk Route section and route-wide construction risks from the
Quantified Risk Analysis

Additional scheme risk provision Provision for external risks in line with HM Treasury
Supplementary Green Book Guidance

Estimated Total Cost (Mean) 16,514 At Q3 2009 prices

Figure 4.1i Capital cost estimates for HS2 preferred scheme, excluding rolling stock
(2009 prices)
4.1.15 As might be expected, civil engineering costs, such as tunnels, structures and earthworks dominate
the infrastructure costs. In particular, although tunnels make up 10% of the total route length, they
contribute to some 25% of the base construction cost. The necessary use of tunnels to approach London
and for environmental mitigation purposes in the Chilterns AONB accounts for most of this figure.

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4.1.16 The scale and complexity of the construction of the two stations in London, particularly Euston,
account for the majority of the station costs. For Euston, given this would involve a fundamental
rebuild of the existing station, costs from the reconstruction of St Pancras were used as a guide.
Costs were assessed taking into account factors such as the depth below ground, the creation of
approach tracks and concourse levels and the degree of staging. For Old Oak Common, as an open
box station, the capital costs were estimated with Stratford International as a benchmark.

4.1.17 Structure and earthwork costs are a function of the distance of the line of route and the scale of the
viaducts, bridges and major earthworks required given the topography of the route. System costs,
including rail and control systems, make up a relatively small percentage of the overall costs. The
proportion is similar to other high speed line projects across Europe.

4.1.18 High-level peer review of our key construction rates has been undertaken. Civil rates for structures
and embankments are generally in line with norms used by the Highways Agency for comparable
work. Peer review of tunnel rates is much harder due to the range of individual factors affecting
tunnel costs; ultimately our tunnel rates have been benchmarked against emerging Crossrail
tunnelling rates.

4.1.19 Land costs have been assessed for the terminal stations and the preferred line of route. Our
advisors have estimated the land cost to be in the range of £0.9 - 1.05bn.

Approach to risk
4.1.20 We identified and undertook Quantitative Risk Assessment (QRA) of the construction related risks for
each route sub-section. The QRA reviewed the location-specific risks associated with the scope of
the preferred scheme. For example, key risks related to Euston include staging and interface issues.
For Old Oak Common they include complexity and restrictions due to the boxed station construction,
tunnelling, the extent of highways work and site-specific interfaces with other rail operators. We
then assessed and quantified construction risks that could impact at the route-wide level such as
achievement of anticipated tender rates, resource availability, ground conditions, buried services
and technical consultation and approval. The QRA outcomes were modelled using @RISK software
to generate cost risk data. An overall construction risk provision of £2,226m equivalent to 18% of
the infrastructure scheme cost has been included in the mean estimate. The range of cost has been
derived using the 5 - 95% probability values shown in the cumulative cost risk distribution.

4.1.21 As well as the construction risks, other factors relating to the delivery of such a major infrastructure
project have been considered. The HM Treasury approach, described in the Supplementary Green
Book Guidance for Non-Standard Civil Engineering Projects, identifies adjustment percentages for
capital cost ‘optimism bias’ that should be used in the absence of more robust evidence. The upper
adjustment value is 66%. The guidance shows the component elements of this adjustment. For each
element we considered whether mitigation has been considered in the work already undertaken in
developing the project to date. Key assumptions relating to this consideration are:

Chapter 4: Business Case

• The scope of work is fixed. It is assumed that a material change in scope would only be made
after evaluation of the incremental costs and benefits that it would bring to the HS2 business
case; since we are making no allowance for benefits, no provision has been made for additional
costs from material scope changes.
• Innovation is limited. All the technology assumed in the design intended for use from Day One
is already employed in Europe. In designing a TSI-compliant high speed railway, sub-systems
used in Europe would already have cross-acceptance for use on HS2 at our required levels of
functionality and reliability.

4.1.22 We concluded that an additional provision of 34% on top of the estimated QRA construction risk
figure should be included. The full assessment of component applicability is shown in HS2 Cost and
Risk Model.

Rolling stock
4.1.23 Rolling stock costs were estimated by applying the rolling stock numbers derived from the Day One
train service assumptions to rolling stock unit rates. The estimate is shown in Figure 4.1j below:

Rolling stock type £m Comments

HS captive fleet (16 sets) Includes risk provision of 18% (standard, off-the-shelf,
European designs; relatively low risk)

HS classic-compatible fleet (45 sets) Includes risk provision of 40% (higher risk reflecting
2,363 greater complexity and commercial viability of UK-specific
design and development)

Total 2,835 At 2009 prices

Figure 4.1j Rolling stock capital cost estimates (2009 prices)

Operating Costs
4.1.24 We divided the operating costs into four categories, as below:
• Infrastructure operations and maintenance. The costs we have used are a direct reflection of
HS1 costs. This is the most representative cost comparator but we recognised that it includes a
relatively large overhead due to the short length of HS1.
• Rolling stock. The more complex classic-compatible trains would be more expensive to maintain
than the standard captive fleet. Based on advice from rolling stock operators in Britain and
elsewhere in Europe we have estimated a maintenance cost of £2.80 per km for a captive train.
However, for the classic-compatible fleet we have allowed £3.50 per km. Traction power was
modelled with our Reference Train along the preferred route. For a 200m train, the model
calculated the energy consumption would be £2.80 per km and this is the figure we have used in
the overall costs.
• Traincrew. We estimated the total likely annual costs through an estimate of the number of
drivers and conductors required to operate the assumed Day One train service using current UK
longer distance operators’ typical working hours, practices and costs.

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• Station costs. We prepared staffing estimates for operational staff for each of the four different
station types identified in the preferred scheme. Specimen station utility and maintenance
costs have also been included. This does not include any non-operational commercial and retail

European comparisons
4.1.25 Various high level comparisons of the capital costs of constructing high speed lines around Europe
have been published with very large apparent variances in costs per kilometre. We have sought to
understand what the real variations have been and how they compare with the construction of HS1 and
our own estimates for HS2. We therefore commissioned a detailed benchmarking exercise of a range
of other European high-speed lines by BSL Management Consultants, a subsidiary of Lloyd’s Register
Group. BSL has extensive experience of international benchmarking of construction, operation and
maintenance costs for railway administrations and regulatory bodies. The aim of the work was to
break costs down to a level of detail which enabled realistic comparison between international costs
and emerging HS2 costs. BSL obtained data from each appropriate railway administration for six high-
speed lines, two in France, two in Germany and one in both Italy and Spain.

4.1.26 BSL took a four-step approach to analysis:

• Cost normalisation for inflation and currency conversion.
• Allocation of cost by project phase.
• Breakdown of cost within a phase.
• Derivation of unit rates where possible.

4.1.27 The work gave more detailed focus to the construction phase which typically accounted for 80%
of overall project costs. We have also compared the results of this analysis with data from the
construction of HS1.

4.1.28 It became evident that mainland European high speed line construction has generally avoided the
major construction scope and cost associated with the provision of major new terminal stations
and dedicated approaches through urban areas. The latter tend to require tunnels or otherwise
extensively engineered sections with major property costs. Unlike in the UK there has not been
significant rationalisation of railway facilities in cities and therefore the opportunity remained to
take over spare capacity in existing terminals and share capacity on existing tracks, albeit at classic
rail speeds. Additionally these facilities have been laid out for European gauge and length trains.
In the UK existing rail corridors into the major cities are already at or near capacity through the
continuing growth of classic rail services so such an approach, as seen with the construction of HS1,
is not possible and new dedicated high speed infrastructure through urban areas into newly created
terminals is required.

Chapter 4: Business Case

4.1.29 After taking into account UK-specific needs to create new terminals and urban approaches,
the comparison of European rates and rates derived for HS1 and HS2 shows UK unit rates for
construction typically up to double those being achieved in mainland Europe. During the HS2 cost
challenge process we sought to identify potential causes of this variation in order to assess the
opportunity to address them either in the development and construction of HS2 specifically or to
promote action more generally from which HS2 would benefit and bring our costs more in line with
those elsewhere in Europe. Potential causes of the variation which have been put forward were:
• The extent to which HS1 and HS2 have been considered as discrete projects as distinct from
being part of a rolling programme of construction which has given European railways and their
contractors continuity of work and hence the opportunity to develop stable skilled teams and
managements with efficient repeat work techniques using capital-intensive equipment.
• A more prescriptive approach to transposition of EU legislation into UK law compared with
a more enabling approach adopted in the countries studied. This appeared to have led to the
creation of a number of overhead technical, safety and commercial checking and acceptance
roles considered necessary in the UK environment which are not considered necessary
• The extent of additional supervision seen as necessary in the UK given the one-off nature of work
without the same developed skills of construction staff that are available on continuous work in
• Multiple layers of technical and commercial supervision due to more of a trend in the UK towards
multiple sub-contracting, each commercial layer adding overheads and profit.
• Through the complexity of contractual relationships, the dependency which has emerged in the
UK on large external programme management teams to achieve confidence in overall integration
and management of delivery risks.
• The potential, through the addition of optimism bias in the UK, to create self-fulfilling project
price inflation whilst allowing “still on budget” completion – and therefore the belief that the
optimism bias was justified.

4.1.30 There was no significant evidence of inherent material inefficiency of individual firms within the
construction industry, as evidenced by their success in competing for work elsewhere in Europe and

4.1.31 It has not been possible within the time available to carry out further work to assess and quantify
the degree to which each of these factors has affected the unit cost of construction of HS2 and
analogous infrastructure projects, or whether all the material factors have been put forward.

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Summary and key recommendations

4.1.32 On passenger demand, our work showed the importance of new trips as well as passengers
switching from classic rail, and, for journeys to and from Scotland, of modal shift from air.

4.1.33 Through the European cost comparison work, we identified a number of potential reasons why UK
construction unit costs appear greater than in the other countries studied.

4.1.34 We recommend that more work is undertaken to:

• Understand these issues fully.
• To propose specific actions by those delivering HS2, the UK construction industry or Government
to effect changes which may be necessary to realise the cost reduction opportunities by bringing
capital costs more into line with others in Europe.

Chapter 4: Business Case

4.2 Appraisal results

4.2.1 We focussed our analysis of the preferred scheme on its effect on the economy, carbon, safety
and health, quality of life and fairness, in general accordance with the DfT goals and challenges.
We carried out a number of tests to understand how sensitive these results are to our main
assumptions. We also compared the results of our preferred scheme with those of a new classic
line, running at conventional speed.

Assessment of impacts on transport users

4.2.2 A new high speed railway line would have a substantial up-front cost but would be operated, and
bring benefits, over many years. In order to compare costs and benefits occurring at different points
in time, our appraisal brings all future year values to a ‘Present Value’ (PV) in 2009. This is done by
discounting future year values with the Government’s discount rate of 3.5% for the first 30 years, and
3% per annum thereafter, reflecting the fact that benefits and costs today are valued more highly
than those in the future. In line with Government practice for this type of investment, our appraisal
has been carried out over 60 years. All costs and benefits are given at the level of prices prevailing in
2009 (‘2009 prices’).

4.2.3 Conventional transport appraisal considers the impact of an investment such as HS2 on the whole
experience of a journey including the time spent travelling, financial cost, reliability, crowding
and the length of time it takes to connect between different services. Time savings, crowding and
reliability improvements are valued using values of time (with higher values for business trips than
other trips). Conventional appraisal also values certain other impacts, such as accidents, carbon, air
quality and noise, for which there are established monetary values.

4.2.4 A high speed line would offer benefits from faster, more reliable, more frequent and, in many cases,
less crowded services. On this basis we estimate that HS2 would generate benefits of some £32bn
(PV) and increase net rail revenues by almost £15bn over the course of the 60 year appraisal period.
Of these benefits, the vast majority, (over 85%) are delivered through conventional transport user
benefits such as time savings, crowding relief and reliability. Around two thirds of the benefits
come from people using the classic-compatible services to and from places further north than

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4.2.5 Business passengers would gain the most in value from HS2, despite representing only a third of trips.
This largely reflects the high value that business users and their employers attach to having faster
journeys. But other users of HS2 would also gain significantly from improved journey times. Overall
each person using HS2 would benefit by an average of around £8 per trip.

4.2.6 We set out below more detail on three key areas; benefits by region, benefits by transport mode and
Wider Economic Impacts.

Regional benefits
4.2.7 HS2 would generate benefits for transport users across much of the UK. The three largest economic
centres in the country – London, Birmingham and Manchester – representing almost a quarter of
the UK’s employment, would benefit directly from the scheme. In particular connectivity between
these cities would be significantly improved. The benefits would not be limited to areas directly
served by HS2. Passengers from a wide catchment would be likely to access high speed services,
using both road and classic rail to access the high speed stations.

4.2.8 It is difficult to analyse exactly where the benefits of HS2 would accrue. Our modelling tells us
where trips start and finish, but that does not necessarily tell us where the benefits would fall. We
can identify business people travelling from Manchester for meetings in London. Whether it is the
Manchester business person who benefits, or the London based firm/client they are meeting is
harder to identify.

Regional User
Business Other
London 36% 36%

South East 6% 5%

West Midlands 18% 18%

North West 22% 22%

Scotland 8% 7%

Other 11% 11%

Figure 4.2a Proportion of HS2 benefits by origin of trip

4.2.9 Figure 4.2a above shows the benefits from long distance trips starting in different regions.
Trips starting in London and the South East to all parts of the country generate the largest share
of benefits. There are also significant benefits from trips starting in the West Midlands and the
North West.

Chapter 4: Business Case

Benefits by transport mode

4.2.10 As would be expected, the benefits would not be spread evenly across the transport modes as the
vast majority of benefits are experienced by the HS2 passengers themselves.
• HS2 Passengers. These gains are worth more than £20bn, and mainly driven by improved journey
times, with reliability and reduced crowding also generating significant benefits.
• Passengers on the Classic Line. Taking long distance journeys onto HS2 would free up capacity
on the WCML. This would reduce crowding substantially and greater frequency would be offered
on local and regional services where appropriate. Re-use of capacity by short distance services
would be expected to deliver benefits of around £2-4bn.
• Road Users. In 2033, around 11,000 long distance car trips per day would be likely to transfer to
HS2. This would lead to a reduction in congestion but the net impact of this is relatively small. For
example traffic flows on the southern section of the M1 would fall by around 2%. However across
all road users this adds up to some £2bn in benefits.

4.2.11 While the majority of transport users would benefit from the introduction of HS2, some passengers
could experience longer or less frequent services – particularly those on the GWML who would have
an extra stop at Old Oak Common or from some stations on the WCML. Also some services could
see increased crowding with more passengers using rail and Underground services to connect to
high speed services. These impacts and the disbenefits they generate are outweighed by the large
benefits to be gained by HS2.

Wider Economic Impacts of HS2

4.2.12 The benefits of HS2 considered so far have been mainly those traditionally estimated in transport
appraisal such as time savings, crowding and reliability. There is an increasing volume of evidence
that transport interventions can generate further benefits, mainly to the productivity of the economy.
The Wider Economic Impacts include the benefits from improved linkages between different firms
and between firms and their workers, which can lead to economies of scale and other efficiencies.
Further potential impacts may be realised if HS2 results in changes in the spatial pattern of
economic activity in the UK (see paragraph 4.2.19).

4.2.13 The first of these impacts is currently addressed in draft guidance from DfT. Figure 4.2b provides a
summary of both the traditional appraisal impacts and the additional Wider Economic Impacts, as
estimated using this draft guidance.

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Benefits (£m)

A) Conventional Appraisal
Time Savings (including crowding)
Business user savings £17,600
Commuting & Leisure user savings £11,100
Other Benefits
Other User Impacts (Accidents, Air Quality, Noise) less than £100
Total transport user benefits – conventional appraisal £28,700

B) Wider Economic Impacts

Labour Market Impacts
Increase in labour force participation £0
People working longer £0
Move to more productive jobs Not Included
Exchequer consequences of increased GDP £0
Agglomeration benefits £2,000
Increased competition £0
Imperfect competition £1,600
Total additional to conventional appraisal £3,600

C) Total (excluding financing,

social & environmental costs & benefits)
All in £m, appraised over 60 year time period, discounted to 2009 values, 2009 prices

Figure 4.2b HS2 benefits

(following DfT transport appraisal and Wider Economic Impact guidance)

4.2.14 Section A of the table summarises the results of the more conventional appraisal of transport user
benefits outlined in WebTAG. These have been described in more detail in the previous section.

4.2.15 Section B of Figure 4.2b outlines the additional benefits from Wider Economic Impacts, as calculated
using the draft guidance from DfT. These are:
• Labour Market impacts. These are mainly derived from benefits to commuters which may
encourage more people into the labour force, or encourage those who already have jobs to work
more. This will boost the level of productivity in the economy. A further possible impact – people
moving to more productive jobs – has not been explicitly calculated by HS2 as this requires
modelling of land use change.

Chapter 4: Business Case

• Agglomeration Benefits. These are the benefits of improved linkages between firms.
• Imperfect competition. This impact reflects that in a world of market imperfections, increases
in production (output) will lead to benefits since consumers value the extra goods and services
by more than the costs of production. This leads to further benefits not captured in conventional

4.2.16 Calculating Wider Economic Impacts is not clear cut for such a large infrastructure project as
HS2. Labour market impacts are minimal since HS2 is unlikely to benefit significant numbers of
commuters. The opportunity to move to more productive jobs may be more significant but we have
not been able to consider it systematically in the time available – although we note the potential of
land use change below. Increasing output of imperfectly competitive markets is estimated to deliver
£2bn, with improved linkages between firms (agglomeration) leading to a similar level of benefits.
Overall we estimate Wider Economic Impacts based on DfT’s draft guidance would add a further
£3.6bn (11%) to the benefits of HS2.

4.2.17 These estimates are subject to considerable uncertainty. The agglomeration impacts in particular
are based on a methodology that focuses on intra-regional relationships. So while there are
potentially significant benefits from improving linkages between firms, the size of those benefits
decays rapidly over longer distances. This means that in the case of HS2, whilst there would be a
significant strengthening of links between firms, there would be relatively small agglomeration
benefits. The estimation of Wider Economic Impacts is driven by decongestion benefits to local road
users, as well as the benefits of released capacity.

4.2.18 We have considered whether the guidance from DfT will cover all of the benefits of HS2 – which
is fundamentally an inter-regional project. Research undertaken by Daniel Graham on behalf of
HS2 suggests that the DfT methodology may well understate the agglomeration benefits of HS2,
which could extend over a wider distance than current guidance suggests. However even these are
expected to be small.

4.2.19 We have also considered the impacts of changes in spatial patterns of economic activity that might
result from HS2. These could include firms relocating to take advantage of the new high speed line. We
have not estimated this directly, rather we have looked at the international experience. It is clear that
in some cases there have been significant changes in spatial patterns, although it is not necessarily the
high speed station (on its own at least) which drives such changes. And what evidence exists suggests
this is largely relocation of existing firms rather than creation of new firms – which suggests the impact
on national productivity is likely to be limited.

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4.2.20 The evidence we have seen suggests that, overall, Wider Economic Impacts are likely to be a relatively
small part of the business case for HS2 at a national level (adding perhaps 10-15% to the benefits).
However at a local level the impacts could be much more significant. There is evidence from around
the world of high speed rail stations supporting the growth, regeneration and even relocation of urban
centres. Locating a high speed station at Old Oak Common, for example, could be a catalyst for the
development of other rail links and with them improved connectivity and regeneration. Such growth
would not flow automatically from the provision of a new station. For successful change to be delivered
there would need to be:
• Integration of the high speed network within the long term vision of the city being served. A new
service ought to be actively supported by other policies to improve the local economy.
• Integration with the local transport network.
• Strong local leadership to drive change and take account of local needs.

4.2.21 HS2 would also be one of the largest construction projects undertaken in the UK, with the potential
to create up to 10,000 construction jobs, and a further 2,000 permanent jobs through maintenance
and operation.

Impact on carbon emissions

4.2.22 Reducing greenhouse gas emissions and combating climate change is one of the four UK Government
priorities for sustainable development and a key goal of delivering a sustainable transport system.
This section analyses the carbon impact of HS2 and key design impact considerations.

4.2.23 UK carbon dioxide emissions are expected to decrease from 528 million tonnes in 2010 to 482 million
tonnes in 2020. Of this, transport emissions are expected to stay steady at around 139 million tonnes.

Carbon Impact
4.2.24 The impact of HS2 on carbon emissions is both complex and highly uncertain. There are effects
from the operation and use of HS2, and also from its construction (embedded carbon). The overall
impact will depend on the decisions and actions of a wide range of people beyond the control of HS2.
Key uncertainties that affect emissions from HS2 include:
• Response of airlines. As air passengers switch from air to high speed rail, airlines may respond
in many different ways. The effect on the number of flights is therefore uncertain.
• Grid intensity of electricity. As electricity is the primary energy source of HS2, the emissions
from HS2 trains will be entirely dependent on the amount of carbon released in generating
• Detailed planning and construction techniques. Carbon emissions could be reduced by
increased use of recycled materials in construction (e.g. steel), the development of new blends
of concrete that are less carbon intensive and use of existing techniques to optimise efficiency
of construction.

Chapter 4: Business Case

4.2.25 How these impacts feed through into changes in emissions for the UK as a whole is even more
uncertain. For example, if airlines respond to reduced demand by reducing the number of domestic
flights, they may re-use the landing slots at airports freed up with new – perhaps long haul – flights.
This will be particularly true where there are constraints on the capacity of airports. It will tend to
reduce carbons savings and could even mean an increase in carbon emissions. And Government
policies – particularly the use of cap and trade schemes – can affect the way HS2 emissions are
captured in the economy as a whole.

4.2.26 Despite the uncertainties, our assessment suggests that the direct impacts are likely to be within
the range from a small increase to a small reduction in emissions. We do not attempt to quantify the
second round effects.

Operational Carbon
4.2.27 HS2 would have both positive and negative effects on transport emissions. Increases would be due
mainly to the new high speed services, through the greater distance travelled and because faster
trains require slightly more energy. The re-use of capacity freed up on the WCML would increase rail
emissions slightly.

4.2.28 Against this there would be reductions in emissions through mode shift (both air and road) and as
a result of running fewer Pendolinos on the WCML (services that are replaced by HS2). Figure 4.2c
considers each of these impacts in turn.

Change in CO2 over 60 years (MtCO2)

HS2 Emissions +19.7 (0 to +26.1)

Other Rail Impacts -0.9 (-1.3 to +0.5)

Car Mode Shift -0.2 (-0.5 to 0)

Air Mode Shift -23.2 (-23.2 to 0)

Total -4.6 (-25.0 to + 26.6)

Figure 4.2c Impact on carbon emissions following the introduction of HS2

4.2.29 Two key uncertainties in operational carbon impacts relate to the emissions from HS2 trains and the
change in aviation emissions. Emissions from HS2 trains would be driven by assumptions about the
carbon intensity of electricity. Given the uncertainty of projections beyond 2025, our central case is
based on a conservative assumption that carbon intensity will not fall beyond 0.385kgCO2 per KWh –
towards the upper bound of forecasts for the opening year of HS2. Even at this level, HS2 emissions
would represent less than 0.25% of transport emissions.

High Speed Rail for Britain – Report by High Speed 2 Ltd

4.2.30 If the Government were successful in its commitment to reduce the carbon intensity of electricity
by 2050, to between 14% and 40% of today’s levels, HS2 emissions would be significantly lower.
Applying projections from the Committee on Climate Change in its first progress report on carbon
budgets would suggest HS2 emissions would be less than 3MtCO2 (million tonnes of carbon dioxide)
over 60 years.

4.2.31 The range shown in Figure 4.2c reflects differences in assumptions on the carbon intensity of
electricity, ranging from today’s values to zero (all renewable energy). Overall the emissions
from HS2 trains, along with other changes to the classic rail network, are likely to be positive but
relatively small. Even under the worst case assumptions, emissions would be just over 26MtCO2
over 60 years.

4.2.32 Whether the introduction of HS2 leads to an overall increase or decrease in emissions is almost
entirely dependent on the impact of changes in demand on aviation emissions. There is considerable
uncertainty around this, and actual changes in emissions will depend on how airlines respond
to reduced demand. For small changes in demand it is possible that airlines would not respond
at all. However, for larger reductions in demand, airline routes may become uneconomical, with
reductions in the number of flights. We assumed that flights are reduced pro rata with reductions
in air passengers – i.e. emissions per passenger remain constant on airlines. We estimate that HS2
would reduce domestic air passenger demand by up to 10%, and thus we estimate a 10% reduction
in domestic aviation emissions. This is equivalent to a saving of 0.4MtCO2 per year. The upper end of
the range in Figure 4.2c assumes no reduction in flights.

4.2.33 Overall this suggests that the impact of HS2 on carbon emissions will be between an increase in
emissions of 26.6MtCO2 and a reduction of 25MtCO2 over 60 years. The key drivers of this range
are the carbon intensity of electricity – which drives the size of emissions from HS2 trains – and the
response of airlines to reductions in aviation demand. Perhaps the most important point to note is
that this is equivalent to a range of -0.3% to +0.3% of UK transport emissions. So HS2 would not be
a major factor in managing carbon in the transport sector.

Embedded carbon
4.2.34 Embedded carbon represents the carbon emissions associated with construction operations such
as constructing the rail infrastructure and trains, as well as the embedded energy within the bulk
construction materials. Emissions from embedded carbon are largely due to the use of high energy
bulk materials such as steel and concrete, and high energy intensive construction practices such as
tunnel boring.

4.2.35 Given the preliminary stage of the design for the scheme, only the main bulk construction materials
have been estimated, considering the quantity of materials required for tunnels, at grade sections,
viaducts, track, stations and platforms. Total embedded carbon emissions for the preferred scheme
between London and the West Midlands are estimated at 1.2 MtCO2, within the range of +0.29 to
+2.12 MtCO2.

Chapter 4: Business Case

Climatic factors and adaptability

4.2.36 As far as possible, HS2 would be designed and built to take full account of any changes to climate
predicted over the scheme’s operational lifespan. In particular, where areas already likely to flood
now and increasingly so in the future could not be avoided, HS2 would be constructed on viaduct
– this type of mitigation has been incorporated as far as possible in design thus far. Additional
protection would be given to particularly vulnerable parts of the network such as tunnel entrances
and electricity supply locations.

Quality of life
4.2.37 Improving quality of life includes a range of environment-related objectives including reducing
exposure to noise; minimising the impact on the natural environment, heritage and landscape;
improving the experience of travel; and creating opportunities for social contact and leisure. Our
Appraisal of Sustainability also reviewed impacts on soil and land resources, waste generation and
resource use.

4.2.38 Noise impacts from HS2 would affect many people living along the route, with about 350 dwellings
predicted to experience high noise levels and a much larger number experiencing some increase,
were no mitigation put in place. Initial appraisal has determined the main locations where mitigation
in the form of noise barriers and other means would be necessary. Further design and modelling
would be needed to work out how these impacts could best be reduced. Similarly, an estimated
9,400 houses located over tunnel sections could experience vibration impacts. However, based on
experience with HS1, mitigation measures, once developed and appraised, would be expected to
remove the majority of these impacts.

Landscape and townscape

4.2.39 The main landscape impact of HS2 would occur in the Chiltern Hills. Considerable work has already
been undertaken to mitigate the potential adverse impacts to this nationally protected landscape.
Opportunities to reduce impacts further would be sought as design detail was taken forward; for
example by using natural screening, earthworks, false cuttings and landscape planting.

4.2.40 The HS2 line of route would generally avoid impacts on townscape. The most significant impact
would be at Euston where a relatively large area of land take and consequently large number of
demolitions would be required. This, together with the new station building, would intrude into
views from conservation areas and directly affect some locally important features, such as St
James Gardens and six Grade II listed buildings. The London Borough of Camden has set out a
vision for wider change in this area and further development of HS2 should be taken forward with
this very much in mind. Similarly, the development of Birmingham Fazeley Street station should be
coordinated with the Birmingham Eastside development.

High Speed Rail for Britain – Report by High Speed 2 Ltd

4.2.41 Further land take would also be required to provide for a new station to the west of Old Oak
Common. While the new surface route would run from there on the north side of the existing
Chiltern Line, reducing the need to widen the rail corridor, around 20 to 30 residential properties
would need to be demolished along the route to West Ruislip, in addition to around 23 at Old Oak
Common itself. There are also clusters of other properties which would potentially be affected
at locations on the line of route between London and the West Midlands, including at Aylesbury,
Stoneleigh and Lichfield.

4.2.42 A number of protected buildings and grounds lie near the preferred or alternative routes. Three
seem likely to be directly affected on the basis of current designs – Shardeloes near Amersham,
Hartwell House near Aylesbury and Stoneleigh Abbey near Kenilworth - although it might be
possible in subsequent stages of scheme design to reduce or avoid these impacts altogether.

Wildlife and biodiversity

4.2.43 Early route development has managed to avoid most potential impacts on designated habitats and
sites. No international sites would be adversely affected and impacts on nationally protected sites
would be restricted to a few locations close to Ufton Fields SSSI near Leamington Spa, and river
crossings at the Colne Valley in Denham near Uxbridge and the River Blythe, near Coleshill.

4.2.44 Impacts on local and regional sites would also be likely to include some loss of ancient woodland
in the Chilterns. However, considerable effort would be made to further reduce these effects and to
seek opportunities for enhancements through habitat creation and extension.

Water and flooding

4.2.45 Water resources include rivers, streams and lakes, as well as underground supplies. Much has been
done through design to date to avoid direct impacts, but they are still widespread between London
and the West Midlands, so considerable further work would be required to ensure that national
objectives for improving water quality would not be compromised. Where these impacts could be
highest, river diversions would have to be undertaken: for example for short sections of the River
Colne, the River Cole, the River Tame and the River Rea.

4.2.46 Equally, passage of the scheme over or through aquifers or areas with groundwater which is
susceptible to pollution would present major risks requiring mitigation. Again this is the case across
the Colne Valley where the majority of such groundwater occurs as well as between Brackley and
Kenilworth, near Coventry, where high quality aquifers are prevalent.

4.2.47 HS2 would also cross areas prone to flooding with the preferred route passing across 17km of
the highest risk flood areas. Scheme design would be critical here to ensuring that impacts are
effectively managed and avoided.

Chapter 4: Business Case

Soil and land resources

4.2.48 On the positive side, HS2 would support planned developments at Old Oak Common and Euston and
would result in a number of previously developed ‘brownfield’ sites, totalling some 250 hectares in
extent, being brought back to productive use. Although it would affect none of the most productive
Grade 1 farmland, it would cross some 23km of only slightly less productive Grade 2 farmland.

Waste generation
4.2.49 In terms of the waste generated by the scheme, particularly during its construction, almost 2 million
cubic metres of spoil would arise from tunnel excavation. This would be costly to dispose in landfill
and opportunities to re-use this material, either on other parts of the HS2 such as landscape or
noise bunds or for other uses offsite, would need to be sought.

Resource use
4.2.50 It is too early to give detailed consideration to the materials and resources that would be used in
constructing HS2. This is something that would be explored during ongoing design. By the time that
HS2 construction could commence, the availability of high sustainability materials in the market
could be very different from today.

Equality of opportunity
4.2.51 Promoting equality of opportunity includes improving accessibility, enhancing regeneration,
reducing regional imbalance and promoting community integrity.

4.2.52 HS2 would benefit communities and support regeneration initiatives at Euston, Old Oak Common
and central Birmingham. HS2 stations adjacent to areas of deprivation are also likely to provide
local employment opportunities. Wider benefits would arise to the extent that the major stations
at Euston and Birmingham Fazeley Street increased the overall attractiveness of the surrounding
area for investment and increased development. Perhaps the best regeneration opportunity could
come from a station at Old Oak Common where the interchange between HS2 and Crossrail, along
with the increased connectivity such a station could provide for neighbouring areas, could offer very
significant opportunities for the regeneration to which the London Borough of Hammersmith and
Fulham is committed.

4.2.53 The areas around the main HS2 stations would also, however, lead to the greatest number of
demolitions. The area around Euston would be most at risk with 5 blocks containing about 220 flats
in the Regents Park Estate potentially affected, and residents in a further 170 properties becoming
exposed to the environment of an operational railway. People living here are in a relatively deprived
part of the country, which is likely to make them and the communities they live in particularly
vulnerable to these impacts. However, there would be potential re-housing opportunities within the
site that would be one of a number of ways to accommodate those people affected. The way that the
existing communities are addressed as part of the wider plans for improvements to the area would
be critical to the success of the scheme.

High Speed Rail for Britain – Report by High Speed 2 Ltd

4.2.54 Other communities potentially affected by demolitions include those directly along the route
between Old Oak Common and West Ruislip and around the Hanger Lane road system in Ealing
where together over 40 residential properties might require demolition.

4.2.55 Additionally, in a few places the route of HS2 could increase the sense of isolation of residents where
properties would become ‘islanded’ by HS2 in combination with other roads and railways, although
physical access to these areas would be maintained. Locations potentially so affected include the
northern edge of Little Missenden, the southern edge of Wendover and an area south of Stoke

Safety, security and health

4.2.56 We focussed on the air quality, health and wellbeing impacts of the HS2 proposals. HS2 rolling stock
with electric traction would not be an issue in air quality terms. The issue arises in relation to access
to HS2 stations where increases in car traffic, in particular, might result in an increase in localised
air pollution. This is not expected to be significant if stations served by HS2 have good public
transport links.

4.2.57 At the margin, HS2 has the potential to affect health and well-being both positively and negatively.
The benefits would stem from reduced crowding on existing rail lines. On the negative side,
adverse effects could arise from other environmental impacts, such as noise or disturbance from
construction, where these were sufficiently serious to bring about indirect health effects on their
own or in combination. However, this would be likely to happen in very few cases.

Summary and key recommendations

4.2.58 HS2 would bring significant transport user benefits to all regions served both directly and indirectly
(through hybrid running). It would also produce benefits to users of the WCML as well as HS2
passengers. There would be wider economic benefits, not all of which it has been possible to

4.2.59 The impacts on carbon emission would, at worst amount to about 0.3% of overall transport

4.2.60 HS2 has the potential to assist regeneration, development and wider economic growth, particularly
around stations. However, there are potentially significant adverse landscape and townscape
impacts around those stations and through the Chiltern Hills, adverse impacts on water resources
and noise and land take issues for existing communities along the line of route.

4.2.61 We recommend, if HS2 is to be taken forward, that a priority for further design work should be to
seek to avoid and if that is not possible, to mitigate the key impacts.

Chapter 4: Business Case

4.3 The case for HS2: value for money

4.3.1 Chapter 4 has considered the substantial benefits as well as costs of HS2. In this section we draw
this together to consider the strength of the overall business case, and whether the benefits justify
the costs.

4.3.2 Figure 4.3a summarises all of the key impacts that can be quantified and valued in monetary
terms. The net transport benefits (3) would be worth close to £29bn. Benefits to business and other
transport users make up the bulk of this (£17.6bn and £11.1bn respectively), with small further
benefits from reductions in accidents, noise and air quality from lower road traffic. A further £3.6bn
could be added through Wider Economic Impacts (item 4). This means the total benefits of the
scheme are estimated to be £32.3bn.

Quantified Costs and Benefits of HS2

(PV 2009 discount year and prices)
Business Other

(1) Transport User Benefits £17.6bn £11.1bn

(2) Other Benefits (excl. Carbon) less than £0.1bn

(3) Net Transport Benefits (PVB) = (1) + (2) £28.7bn

(4) Wider Economic Impacts (WEIs) £3.6bn

(5) Net Benefits incl WEIs = (3) + (4) £32.3bn

(6) Capital Costs £17.8bn

(7) Operating Costs £7.6bn

(8) Total Costs = (6) + (7) £25.5bn

(9) Revenues £15bn

(10) Indirect Taxes -£1.5bn

(11) Net Costs to Government (PVC) = (8) – (9) – (10) £11.9bn

(12) NATA BCR = (3)/(11) 2.4

(13) BCR with WEIs = (5)/(9) 2.7

Figure 4.3a Quantified costs and benefits of HS2 (PV 2009 discount year and prices)

4.3.3 Against these benefits, the costs of HS2 are substantial. Over the 60 years of an appraisal, costs
would be around £25.5bn. The bulk of these are capital costs (£17.8bn). The remainder (about 30%
of costs) are the net impact on operating costs, covering both HS2 trains and the classic network.

High Speed Rail for Britain – Report by High Speed 2 Ltd

4.3.4 DfT considers the value for money of a scheme in terms of the value of benefits per pound of
Government spending. The cost of the scheme is not the same as Government spending since
increasing revenues on the rail network (worth £15bn) would partly offset the costs. Changes in
indirect tax revenue also need to be accounted for here. HS2 would reduce these revenues by £1.5bn
as a result of a reduction in the number of long distance car trips and treatment of VAT on rail fares.
The net cost to Government would be £11.9bn.

4.3.5 The Benefit Cost Ratio (BCR) is the net benefits divided by this net cost to Government. On this basis
the BCR of HS2 including Wider Economic Impacts would be 2.7. In other words for every £1 spent by
Government, the scheme would deliver £2.70 in benefits (for completeness we also report the BCR
excluding WEIs – which is 2.4). If we applied the range of construction costs outlined in paragraph
4.1.14, the BCR (including Wider Economic Impacts) would lie within the range of 2.5 to 2.9.

4.3.6 This BCR considers only impacts for which there is a strong evidence base to convert them into
monetary values. This includes financial costs and benefits and also impacts such as time savings and
improvements to reliability. There is, however, a wide range of impacts, including many environmental
impacts, that cannot be monetised and hence are not captured by the BCR. It is nonetheless important
that these are given due weight. DfT has developed an approach which attempts to use what evidence
exists to weigh the non-monetised impacts of a scheme against the BCR, and place the scheme into
one of five categories – Very High, High, Medium, Low and Poor Value for Money.

4.3.7 The most significant non-monetised costs are likely to be environmental, associated with the
landscape and biodiversity impacts associated with the scheme. These are likely to be large, in part
because of the scale of the scheme and therefore the amount of land affected, but also because the
line of route crosses the Chiltern Hills. These impacts have been mitigated by planning tunnelling
of the route in many places and by following transport corridors through much of the most sensitive
areas (37% of the preferred route through the Chilterns). But a significant cost would remain.
Noise impacts represent a further adverse impact. Other adverse impacts, for instance on water
resources, are likely to be small by comparison. There would, on the other hand, be some beneficial
impacts such as the prospect of regeneration around stations.

4.3.8 It is for DfT to advise on the balance of these costs and benefits. However, in our view, the non-
monetised impacts are unlikely to be large enough to change the conclusion that the scheme would
deliver High VfM.

Summary and key recommendations

4.3.9 HS2 has a strong business case and would deliver significant benefits to transport users across
much of the UK. Without considering non-monetised impacts, the scheme would clearly be High
VfM. To change this assessment the non-monetised impacts would have to be equivalent to a
disbenefit of over £8.5bn. In our view the non-monetised impacts are unlikely to be large enough
to change the conclusion that the scheme would deliver High VfM. In other words, the net impact
of the scheme would be to deliver benefits of at least £2 for every £1 of Government spending.

Chapter 4: Business Case

4.4 Testing our assumptions

4.4.1 The business case demonstrates that under our central assumptions HS2 would deliver strong
benefits and a good overall business case. We have, as far as possible, sought to apply conservative
assumptions in assessing the overall case for HS2. However the business case will inevitably be
sensitive to some of those assumptions. This section considers how the business case would change
under a series of alternative assumptions.

Changing the forecast level of demand for long distance rail trips
4.4.2 The results of our central case appraisal are based on a standard forecasting approach in the rail
industry, using the Passenger Demand Forecasting Handbook (PDFH). This forms the basis for our
projections of the market from which HS2 would draw. The level of demand is a key sensitivity for
the business case. Lower demand reduces the BCR by reducing both benefits and revenues (which
increases costs to Government). However there is some uncertainty around the projections of
demand using PDFH. In particular it assumes:
• Demand grows at a constant rate. There is a constant relationship with GDP – as people become
richer, so they travel more. There is no assumption on when market saturation (or a slow down in
the growth rates) may occur.
• Very long distance travel demand can grow at very fast rates.

4.4.3 We have been conservative in applying the standard forecast growth of background demand for rail
travel. First we have capped the sensitivity of demand to increases in GDP. We have also capped
forecast rail growth (assumed to be 3.3% a year) so that there is no growth beyond 2033.















Reduction in growth rate

Figure 4.4a Sensitivity of the BCR to variation in background demand growth rate

High Speed Rail for Britain – Report by High Speed 2 Ltd

4.4.4 Given the likely sensitivity of the business case to the level of rail demand, we have conducted
sensitivity tests on these assumptions. The first sensitivity test considers what would happen if we
were to reduce the rate of growth of demand – either through lower GDP growth or reducing the
sensitivity of demand to GDP increases.

4.4.5 Figure 4.4a shows how sensitive the business case is to the assumptions on the growth in
background demand for rail travel. If growth is 25% slower than currently projected (i.e. 2.7% per
annum instead of 3.6% per annum), the BCR for an opening year of 2026 (excluding Wider Economic
Impacts) would drop below 1.5.

4.4.6 As long as background demand growth continues, a lower rate of growth would raise questions
about when rather than if the scheme would be value for money. It might suggest the scheme should
open later than 2025, but there would still be a good business case at some point in the future.

4.4.7 What is more significant is whether there will ever be sufficient demand to justify HS2. Our central
case assumes demand will not grow beyond 2033, but we have looked at what would happen if
market saturation occurred at a lower level of demand. We have investigated this by applying the cap
at earlier years.






























Year of cap

Figure 4.4b Sensitivity of the BCR to variation in the year that growth levels are capped

4.4.8 Figure 4.4b shows what the BCR would be if growth in background demand were capped at
various years up to 2033. It shows that to achieve a BCR above 1.5, background growth in demand
must continue at current rates until at least 2027. This represents an increase of at least double
today’s levels.

Chapter 4: Business Case

4.4.9 Both these sensitivity tests demonstrate that the business case will be dependent on realising the
level of demand growth forecast in our central case. Overall a 10% reduction in demand on HS2
would reduce the BCR (excluding Wider Economic Impacts) to 2 and a reduction of just over 20%
would reduce it to below 1.5.

Changing the forecast level of demand on non-rail modes

4.4.10 Any number of impacts could lead to lower growth of air and road traffic. This would tend to reduce
the potential market from which HS2 could draw. However the impact is likely to be small due to the
composition of demand on HS2. Thus with 8% of HS2 passengers coming from road, a 10% reduction
in road demand would result in less than a 1% reduction in demand on HS2. A similar figure would
be true for air demand.

Changing the pricing on non-rail modes

4.4.11 Increasing the price of road travel (e.g. through road pricing) or air travel (e.g. through carbon
pricing) is likely to strengthen the case for high speed rail. However, as above, this is likely to be
a relatively marginal effect. For example a 10% increase in the price of fuel would correspond to
around a 3% fall in traffic, with a corresponding increase of less than 1% in the level of demand on

A third runway at Heathrow Airport

4.4.12 A third runway at Heathrow is included in our central case. If this were not constructed, there might
be additional demand for long distance rail trips as pricing and capacity constraints reduce the
number of domestic air trips. DfT forecasts suggest that without a third runway, total air demand
would fall by just under 7%. If domestic air demand saw the same reduction, and assuming all of
these trips transferred to HS2 (which could not be guaranteed), this would increase HS2 demand by
around 7%.

Different fare assumptions

4.4.13 We modelled our central case on the basis of the same fares for high speed rail and classic rail
users. We have also considered the scope for using premium fares on high speed services. The
impacts of premium fares are many and complex. It is unlikely that a simple percentage premium
could be applied across all routes. Instead there would need to be careful management of revenue
strategies – similar to those already seen on long distance services – to maximise use of capacity.

4.4.14 It is not possible at this stage of development to hypothesise the detailed nature of such a strategy.
However the work we have done indicates there is some scope for premium fares. More work is
needed in this area. However our preliminary conclusions are:
• The scope for premium fares is more pronounced in the business market than the more price
sensitive leisure market.

High Speed Rail for Britain – Report by High Speed 2 Ltd

• Small increases in fares may lead to a reduction in revenue, but larger increases may increase
net revenue. This is because the first passengers priced off will tend to be new traffic generated
by high speed rail (who drive new revenues). At higher fare levels passengers tend to switch to
classic rail and so some rail fare revenue is maintained.
• Competition is key. The availability of non-premium service alternatives would make a big
difference to the scope to generate additional revenues through premium fares.
• Pricing may be an effective tool to manage crowding problems. The demand model suggests
there is strong demand and some crowding on certain routes – particularly those to Scotland.
In the absence of a wider network (where more capacity could be provided), premium fares may
offer a tool to manage the crowding levels on these services.

4.4.15 All these conclusions point to the need for more detailed modelling of fares strategies, considering
the different potential markets service patterns and peak/off-peak pricing potential. Our initial work
has suggested that as much as 10% higher revenues might be achieved from premium fare policies.

Comparison with a classic line

4.4.16 We also examined, as an alternative, the case for a new line running at conventional speed. Our
appraisal of a classic line was high level and based on analytical constructs; we applied generalised
cost and journey time assumptions reflecting conventional speeds to our preferred route for the high
speed line. If Government wished to proceed with a conventional speed line instead of a high speed
line, much more work would be required on route options and design, including consideration of
intermediate stations.

Design and costs

4.4.17 We used the same analytical principles, for example the service levels and station stops, to assess
this alternative. The design criteria were also similar given we assumed that a new line would
be built fully compliant with the Technical Specifications for Interoperability, as is current UK
Government policy for all new lines. The main features to note are:
• Maximum line speed of 200kph (rather than 400kph).
• A typical gradient less than or equal to 2.5% and a maximum 3.5% for a passenger only service
(the same as for a high speed line). This assumes that by the time of implementation modern
trains would be able to perform to this level. Mixed use traffic would require shallower gradients
potentially increasing the amount of tunnelling or viaducts.
• The need for standard fencing rather than high grade security fencing.
• Tunnels would be of smaller diameter (7.25m rather than 9m) reflecting the lower speed of
classic trains.
• Less power would be required. However the specification of the system and likely number of
connections to the National Grid would probably be the same as for the high speed line.

Chapter 4: Business Case

• Station sizes would be the same as 400m trains would still need to be accommodated.
• Conventional speeds normally require lower mitigation for noise and vibration. There would
also be the potential for tighter radii curves which would avoid the need for tunnelling in a small
number of instances. We estimated that potentially up to 4km of tunnel could be avoided where
tunnelling would be undertaken on the high speed line in order to avoid SSSIs by curving the line
away from the sites. Generally an optimal classic rail alignment would not differ substantially
from a high speed alignment as the starting principles would still include the need to be straight
and short.

4.4.18 This revised design led us to conclude that the cost of constructing the scheme to conventional
speed only might save about 9% of the costs of the high speed line. Figure 4.4c shows the main
areas of cost difference. Given the cost of the classic-compatible trains would be much higher than
conventional speed trains, a further cost saving would be expected. We assumed that operating and
maintenance costs would be comparable. An overall cost saving of the order of £3bn would therefore
be possible with a classic line.

Item % Comments
Rail systems 80 Lower line speed, smaller track spacing, lower grade fencing

Power 80 Reduced power supply, but fixed height catenary still required

Control systems 100 Specification unchanged

Stations 100 Specification unchanged

Earthworks 100 Unchanged as high speed alignment specified

Structures 90 Potential for some slight reduction in specification

Tunnels 80 Smaller tunnel diameters for lower speeds on same HS2 alignment

Figure 4.4c Estimated cost of a classic line alternative, as a percentage of HS2 costs

Appraisal results
4.4.19 Travelling between London and Birmingham, following the same service pattern as the high speed
preferred package, would take an extra 15 minutes, based on standard maximum speeds on the UK
network and the acceleration performance of a standard reference train. This would halve the time
saving from a high speed train.

4.4.20 This would reduce the number of people travelling on the line by 20% causing overall benefits to fall
by 23% or £6.7bn. Revenues would fall by around 19%, or £2.9bn, which means that while construction,
operating and maintenance costs would fall by around £3.5bn (PV, 2009 prices), the net cost saving
(i.e. revenues minus cost) would be around £1bn (PV).

High Speed Rail for Britain – Report by High Speed 2 Ltd

4.4.21 So upgrading the line to high speed would have a relatively small net cost to Government, but
would generate significant benefits (time savings) to passengers on HS2. As a result the classic line
alternative would have a worse business case than HS2 and the incremental case for high speed is
very strong.

4.4.22 There would be little difference in terms of the sustainability performance of the new classic line in
comparison with HS2. The main differences would be that a new classic line would entail:
• Lower carbon emissions due to lower energy demands of slower speed trains.
• Greater flexibility to avoid sensitive features in more detailed scheme design owing to the smaller
curve radius of a slower speed line.
• Lower noise impacts due to the lower operational speeds of the trains (estimated to affect some
2,750 people compared with 4,000 or so for HS2 before mitigation).

4.4.23 The BCR of a new classic line (excluding Wider Economic Impacts) is estimated to be around 2. This
compares to an equivalent BCR of 2.4 for HS2 as a whole. We concluded that the high speed line
would have an additional cost of £3bn and would produce an extra £6.7bn worth of benefits and an
additional £2.9bn of revenues. The incremental case for high speed is therefore very strong.

Summary and key recommendations

4.4.24 Our work shows that the business case for HS2 is dependent on reaching the level of demand
growth forecast in our central case. If background demand was 25% lower than we have assumed,
the BCR would fall below 1.5. There is likely to be scope for premium fares, though not through a
simple application of a percentage premium across HS2 journeys.

4.4.25 Whilst the alternative approach of building a new conventional speed line shows a positive business
case, that case is significantly less than the case for HS2.

4.4.26 We recommend that more is done, in particular, on the scope for premium fares.

Chapter 5 – Implementation
High Speed Rail for Britain – Report by High Speed 2 Ltd

5.1 Delivery and funding

5.1.1 This section summarises our assessment of the options for the delivery and funding of HS2.
We began our work by considering the accumulated UK experience of delivering major projects
such as HS1 and the now extensive experience of building and operating high speed rail projects
internationally. We then undertook a series of workshops, as well as qualitative and quantitative
analysis, to assess the different options.

5.1.2 In October 2009, we presented our emerging conclusions to our ‘Delivery and Funding Challenge
Group’ to provide an independent perspective and expertise. The group, chaired by Sir Adrian
Montague (formerly Chair, British Energy and Friends Provident plc), included the following
investors, lenders, contractors and regulators, and their feedback has been considered throughout
this section:
• Michael Adams, President, Bechtel Civil, Bechtel Corporation
• Philippe Camu, Managing Director (Head of Europe), Goldman Sachs Infrastructure Partners,
Goldman Sachs International
• Ed Clark, Director, Infracapital, M&G Investments
• Cheryl Fisher, Chef de Division, Financements Structurés et Opérations de Partenariat Public-
Privé, Banque Européenne d’Investissement
• David Gray, formerly Managing Director, Networks, Ofgem
• Cressida Hogg, Managing Partner, Infrastructure, 3i Group plc
• Fred Maroudas, Director of Treasury, BAA plc
• Renaud de Matharel, Chief Executive Officer, Natixis EIL
• Stephen Paine, Managing Director & Global Head of Infrastructure Group, UBS Limited
• Anthony Rabin, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Balfour Beatty plc

Sir David Rowlands, Andy Friend and Mike Welton, as non-executive members of HS2’s Board, were
also part of the group.

Chapter 5: Implementation

5.1.3 Further detail on our approach is contained in the three supporting documents to this section, which
have been prepared by our financial advisers, Ernst and Young:
• International case studies on delivery and financing – report on international high speed rail
projects in, for example, France, Portugal, Spain and Taiwan, which are referenced throughout
this section.
• Delivery considerations and Financial considerations – reports on delivery and financing, which
support the conclusions of this section.

5.1.4 Our aim has been to ensure an effective model for the long term operations of HS2 (and a possible
high speed rail network), recognising that short-term funding or financing considerations should not
drive decisions on or constrain the flexibility of long term operating structures.

The role of the project sponsor

5.1.5 Given the size, complexity and duration of HS2, successful delivery will depend upon stability of the
long term vision and political support. Given the significant public sector funding requirement, this
stability must be provided by the public sector, as project sponsor. The project sponsor’s functions

During planning and development:

• Setting out the long term strategy for the delivery of HS2.
• Specifying the requirements, budget and timetable for the HS2 project delivery body,
and controlling any changes to these.

During construction:
• Monitoring the performance of the delivery body for HS2.
• Balancing value for money, affordability, whole life costs, functional specification and the impact
on the classic rail network.
• Acting as a single point of accountability for the delivery of the project.
• Being the ultimate bearer of risk.

And, during operations:

• Monitoring the performance of the HS2 operator and maintainer and/or managing the
relationship with the long term infrastructure owner.

High Speed Rail for Britain – Report by High Speed 2 Ltd

5.1.6 For both financing and governance, a key question for Government at an early stage will be whether
it is proposing HS2 as a stand-alone project or as the first phase in a high speed rail network, since
financing the construction of HS2 on a stand-alone basis so as to increase the project’s short-term
affordability could mean that evolution of the line into a network is more costly and complex than it
otherwise might be. If Government decides to pursue a longer term strategy for a high speed rail
network, the project sponsor would also have an important role in setting out that strategy and is
developing and specifying the next phases.

5.1.7 Government could fulfil the project sponsor role itself. However, we believe that these functions,
while being carried out within a wider policy and funding framework set by Government, would
be better undertaken by a body at arm’s length from central departments. Such a sponsor body
would, in our view, be better placed to focus on project delivery and provide the necessary long term
stability – similar to how the Olympic Delivery Authority and the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority
provide clear leadership for the delivery of their respective objectives. This issue of governance
would be particularly critical for Government if HS2 were to be the first phase in the development of
a high speed rail network.

Delivering HS2
5.1.8 The main options for delivering the HS2 infrastructure are traditional public sector procurement or
some form of Public Private Partnership (PPP). The choice depends in particular on the scope for
value for money risk transfer, the effectiveness of risk management, and, ultimately, whether the
approach ensures an effective model for long term operations.

5.1.9 PPPs are attractive if they increase affordability and value for money by using private finance
to spread the project’s costs to Government over time and to transfer risk to the private sector.
However, HS2 is simply too large to be financed as a single PPP and it would be unrealistic for the
private sector to accept such a scale of project risks. As a comparison, the total value of all PPP
contracts let in the UK in 2008 was £6.5bn (which is approximately a third of the capital cost of HS2).
It is for this reason that, for example, the Portuguese high speed rail network was split into PPP
contracts of approximately £2bn to £4bn for individual lines of between 100km and 300km.

5.1.10 This suggests that a single PPP is unlikely to cover construction amounting to more than 20% of
the capital costs of HS2 – and so five or six (or more) contracts would be needed. We therefore
considered the scope for disaggregating the HS2 infrastructure into its project components – on the
one hand, the core railway and, on the other, rolling stock and depots, and stations.

5.1.11 In practice the choice for delivering the core railway components is between multiple PPPs
(principally, “Design, Build, Finance and Maintain” (DBFM) or “Design Build Transfer” (DBT)) and
a more traditional public sector procurement approach. In contrast, the project’s train and station
components might be delivered through commercial structures utilising private finance that should
not have an impact on the flexibility of HS2’s operations over the long term and may have the
potential to improve the affordability of the project.

Chapter 5: Implementation

Multiple Public Private Partnerships

5.1.12 The five or six DBFM contracts that would be needed for HS2’s railway components might be
bundled together in different ways – for instance, by component type with several DBFMs for civil
engineering and structures (tunnels, viaducts, bridges, earthworks and drainage), one for the
railway systems (tracks, electrification, and heating, lighting and ventilation of tunnels), and one
for the control systems (signalling, control centre and communications). Alternatively, it might be
possible to have geographically-split DBFMs, although this would be less suitable for HS2 as it is a
single line. There are also other forms of ‘design and build’’ PPPs, such as ‘Design, Build, Transfer’.

5.1.13 However, whether component or geographically-based DBFMs or some other form of design and
build approach is adopted, in practice the delivery body would have difficulty managing the interface
and integration risk between the contracts, particularly as design control would be transferred and
the consistency of the design across the project would be reduced. The unattractiveness of this is
supported by the experience of the Dutch Hogesnelheidslijn Zuid (HSL-Z), where the complexity of
integrating the multiple PPPs used to finance the high speed rail line meant that train services did
not commence operations until two years later than planned.

5.1.14 The DBFMs would still require very substantial Government support because of both the length
of the construction period during which no revenues are being generated and the capacity of the
market to provide only a portion of the total financing required. Also, the private sector is unlikely
to accept many of the construction risks such as the interface with the classic rail network and
Government is ultimately exposed as funder of last resort. So, in practice, the opportunities for value
for money risk transfer under a DBFM for a high speed rail line may not be that much greater than
with public sector procurement. In the case of the TGV Bretagne – Pays de la Loire PPP, for example,
the French Government needed to guarantee 80% of the debt.

5.1.15 Above all, multiple DBFMs for the core railway would create multiple owners and maintainers of
HS2 in operation. We believe that it is vital to reduce such interface risk to ensure performance and
growth in the use of the infrastructure. For that reason, in our view, there should be a single HS2
owner (or “Infraco”) to control the operation and maintenance of HS2 or a wider network. Therefore,
we do not recommend a DBFM approach.

Public sector procurement

5.1.16 More traditional procurement of the construction of the railway components by a public sector
delivery body – while not providing the level of risk transfer that might, in theory at least, be
available with a PPP – may be done in a way that allows construction risks to be suitably managed.
For example, while the project delivery body might retain some or all design control to decrease
integration risk and to balance consideration of whole-life costs, a partial design approach could
allow the private sector contractors to innovate and compete on detailed design consistent with
HS2’s specification. Also, the construction contracts could have mechanisms to incentivise
construction performance such as fixed or target prices, and contractor equity to strengthen risk

High Speed Rail for Britain – Report by High Speed 2 Ltd

5.1.17 Experience with Crossrail, HS1 and, for example, T5 at Heathrow, also suggests that a strong
delivery function will be critical to the procurement. The delivery body should be separate from the
project sponsor body by the point at which detailed design and planning begins. This will enable it to
focus on its role of delivering the sponsor’s requirements whilst being in some control of design.

5.1.18 The delivery body will need to build organisational capability and capacity in delivering major
infrastructure – for example, skills in managing integration risk for multiple construction contracts,
and other risks that cannot be transferred. It might also engage a delivery partner to support its
project management and to draw on private sector expertise, experience and innovation that it may
not be able to retain itself. However, if there is to be a high speed rail network, then it might be
better value for money to build and sustain expertise and experience in the delivery body over the
longer term, which might sequentially deliver the next phases of the network.

Conclusions on delivery
5.1.19 So far as the core railway is concerned, in order to minimise interface risk in HS2 operations we
believe that there is a need for a single Infraco as part of the long term operating structure. We
also believe that it will be critical to the procurement for there to be a dedicated delivery body for
HS2. Public sector procurement can best provide for this by separating the different risks and
responsibilities in the project’s construction and operational periods. This will subsequently allow
Government the flexibility to decide on what structure should be put in place post-construction in a
way that multiple DBFMs would not. We therefore recommend a public sector procurement approach.

Rolling stock and depots

5.1.20 It should be possible to finance rolling stock and the train depots together, and separately from the
railway. Current practice is for these to be financed under leases – for example, the Thameslink
Rolling Stock Project is procuring approximately £1.5bn of rolling stock and approximately £0.5bn of
depots. Alternatively, the £5.9bn Intercity Express Programme is based on an availability payment-
based DBFM PPP. However, we recognise that factors such as the total costs and the market’s
willingness to accept technical and residual value risk on the bespoke classic-compatible high
speed trains are likely to affect the financing options available, and so, for the financial modelling,
we have not assumed that the capital costs of these project components can be spread over time.

Chapter 5: Implementation

5.1.21 As described in Chapter 3, Euston station is the most complex component of the HS2 project from
a construction perspective – involving the total rebuild of an existing station whilst classic train
services continue to operate from the station throughout the construction period. We believe that
a single body should have responsibility for procuring the rebuild in order to best manage the
risks involved. Government will need to decide whether that should be the HS2 delivery body or
the current owner of the station, Network Rail, as well as how that body is to balance the rebuild
with the continued operation of the classic rail network. It will be important to understand and, as
far possible, make contractual provision in franchises for dealing with the impacts on train service
operators on the classic rail network.

5.1.22 In contrast, some of HS2’s new-build stations (for example, Birmingham Interchange and Fazeley
Street) could be delivered by DBFM contracts, as they are relatively separate from the other project
components in terms of both construction and operations. While significant in themselves, they are
of a fairly modest scale and engineering complexity and consist of relatively simple civil engineering.
Such PPPs could be based on availability payments or user charges. These possibilities will need to
be considered further as the design of these stations develops and, again, we have not assumed in
the financial model that the capital costs of the stations can be spread over time.

5.1.23 Whilst it has not been a deciding factor in choosing stations, there would be significant opportunities
for redevelopment around HS2’s stations – in particular, the rebuilt Euston station, which might
catalyse regeneration of the surrounding area, the Old Oak Common station (given the local
authority’s aspirations), and the Fazeley Street station in Birmingham’s Eastside regeneration
area. The project delivery body or sponsor might therefore need a wider social and/or commercial
redevelopment function, as such opportunities should be integrated into the project design at
an early stage (as was the experience at St. Pancras station for HS1). A separate station delivery
body might be needed to engage with land and property owners, the local authority and other
stakeholders over the long term in order to maximise the social and commercial value that could be

High Speed Rail for Britain – Report by High Speed 2 Ltd

Delivery structure for construction

5.1.24 A diagram of the possible delivery structure for construction of our recommended approach, as
described above, is provided at Figure 5.1a.


Contracts transfer to government on completion Assets transfer to government on completion

sponsor body

Delivery body

Station and train components Railway components

Civils and
Stations DBFMs Depots and rolling Railway systems Control systems
and procurements stock DBFM procurement procurement

Figure 5.1a Proposed delivery structure for construction of HS2

Long term operations of HS2

5.1.25 Once construction is completed, we envisage that the infrastructure (and the contracts for any
disaggregated components) would transfer from the HS2 delivery body to the project sponsor/
Government. At this stage, possibly following a period of stable operation to generate a revenue
history, Government has the flexibility to determine the model for HS2’s operations over the long
term. Government could continue to own the infrastructure or it could “sell” it to the private sector.

Build for sale

5.1.26 There are two “build for sale” options for realising the value of HS2 by selling it to the private sector:
• Contract. Sell a long term contract for the operation and maintenance of HS2 to a concessionaire.
• Regulation. Sell the infrastructure to be operated and maintained as, for example, a regulated
asset base (RAB).

Chapter 5: Implementation

5.1.27 The value and timing of the sale will be determined by factors such as the amount of risk transfer
that is achievable on a value for money basis, the amount of Government support that is required
and, in particular, how the user charges are set. On the one hand, guaranteeing a level of user
charges or availability payments would increase the sale value. On the other, setting of user charges
by the market offers flexibility and avoids any ongoing Government subsidy, though the sale value
would be significantly lower than the project’s capital costs and Government would only recoup a
small proportion of its initial investment in HS2.

5.1.28 While private sector investors may prefer the certainty of a long term concession contract, they are
also more familiar with regulated assets rather than unique concessions. Features of a regulatory
regime, such as periodic reviews to ensure competitiveness of user charges by resetting them
regularly to account for cost inefficiencies and changes in circumstances, may also be desirable to
both Government and investors.

5.1.29 Overall, Government will want to understand what structure will best enable the successful delivery
of the long term operation of HS2 – for example, through incentivising performance and growth of
the infrastructure and maximising the attractiveness of the asset to the market. The sale options
will also be influenced by the prospective level of financial contribution to the next phases of a high
speed rail network – for example, by recycling the sale receipt or raising finance against a regulated
asset – should that be a consideration for Government.

Long term ownership of HS2

5.1.30 There is also the question of who the long term owner of the HS2 infrastructure might be, in
particular if the line is sold as a regulated asset. The relatively limited number of HS2’s interfaces
with the classic rail network (except for those at Euston station) and the different challenges for
the new high speed rail line (for example, the low future maintenance cost risk and the potential
for substantial future investment in a network) mean that it could have a separate infrastructure
owner, operator and maintainer from the classic rail network; or it could be owned and/or operated
by Network Rail. The HS2 Infraco could contract with other parties to undertake maintenance, but,
most importantly, it would be the single point of responsibility for the operations of the line.

HS2 train service operations

5.1.31 We have made no assumption of how train services would be operated (not least because we
cannot anticipate possible future changes to the railway over the next 15 to 20 years). However,
the experience with the original Channel Tunnel Rail Link and, for example, Taiwan High Speed
Rail has shown that there are significant risks around the private sector accepting revenue risk
for infrastructure. Instead, we believe that a proportion of revenue risk should be transferred to
the train service operator through fares (as with current franchises). Whether the principal train
services are procured by the project sponsor/Government or the HS2 Infraco will depend on this
balance of revenue risk between the train service operator and the infrastructure owner.

High Speed Rail for Britain – Report by High Speed 2 Ltd

5.1.32 The experience with HS1 and Crossrail indicates that a regulatory regime could be tailored to the
delivery structure of HS2, with differences in some of the specific regulatory functions (depending
on, in particular, the sale approach and how user charges will be set). If there is a strategy to
develop a longer term high speed rail network, the regulatory regime will need to be flexible so as to
allow the evolution of HS2 into a network.

5.1.33 We would expect the regulator of the classic rail network, the Office of Rail Regulation (ORR), to
continue to have a role in regulating the railway north of HS2’s connection with the WCML, and
allocating released capacity on the WCML south of Birmingham. In developing the train service
specification, Government may need to test how to protect the future capacity on the WCML for
HS2’s high speed train services north of Birmingham and for improved train service levels south of
Birmingham. Government will also wish to consider the potential impact of competitive response
from open access operators, as well as the scope for competitive choices between operators on
HS2 and the WCML. In this context, there is a question as to whether or not the regulatory regimes
should be separate for the two railways. These are questions that do not need to be answered at
this stage, but they would require further consideration as the high speed rail lines or lines are

Funding HS2
5.1.34 Most new high speed rail projects require significant amounts of Government funding to be
viable. That such a railway project is not self-funding should be unsurprising given the amount of
Government subsidy required to sustain the classic rail network and its train services (£4.2bn in
2009-10). This is confirmed by the financial modelling of the cash flows over 30 years for HS2, which
demonstrates that the net revenues generated are less than the total cost of the project, including
capital costs.

5.1.35 We have described earlier in this section why we do not think a PPP is an attractive proposition
for HS2. The more traditional public sector procurement, which we recommend, means that it is
inevitable that Government must cover the upfront capital cost of at least the railway components of
the project.

Chapter 5: Implementation

Development Construction Operations











Figure 5.1b Proposed profile of Government funding for HS2

5.1.36 Figure 5.1b shows the profile of Government’s funding for HS2 from 2011 – with upfront capital costs
during construction and a premium to Government during operations, net of the revenues that HS2
will abstract from the classic rail network.

5.1.37 Any HS2 premium could, in principle, contribute to the upfront capital cost of HS2. However, it would
be difficult to securitise this to finance construction without Government guarantees for the debt.
Instead, the premium might increase the value of a potential sale of HS2 or contribute to the next
phases of a network once HS2 is operational. It should be noted that the revenues are drawn from
our demand modelling and that there may be scope for increasing the revenues (and, consequently,
the operating premium) through, for example, the use of yield management techniques.

Scope for non-Government funding contributions

5.1.38 We have considered the scope for non-Government funding contributions to reduce the cost of HS2
to Government, particularly the upfront capital grant requirements.

5.1.39 Firstly, we have considered contributions from economic beneficiaries of the infrastructure – those
parties that will experience improved journey times, train service levels and connectivity – based
on the principle that those who benefit should contribute to infrastructure. This was the case for
Crossrail, which benefited distinct groups and areas; in contrast, the benefits from HS2 will be
more widely and more thinly spread. Therefore, they may be difficult to monetise and secure. Such
contributions might be sourced from:
• Non-user charges. For example, retailing and advertising at stations, utilities along the line of
route, and the sale of corporate sponsorship and naming rights of the line and/or stations.

High Speed Rail for Britain – Report by High Speed 2 Ltd

• Train fares. A ‘high speed rail’ levy on fares for all train journeys (high speed and classic rail)
could be applied, as railway users will be the principal beneficiaries; for example, a 1% levy might
raise £50m-£75m per year.
• Air passenger duty. An incremental levy would only make sense if HS2 was proposed to be the
first phase in a high speed rail network and, probably, if a levy was commensurately applied to
train fares.
• Supplementary business rates (SBRs). This would be difficult in the Greater London region as a
SBR is already allocated to Crossrail from 2010 for 30 years; application in the West Midlands is
theoretically possible, but, in practice, would be likely to require some comparable contribution
from London beneficiaries.
• Council tax. Council tax valuation bands will likely mask any incremental increases in rates; a
flat-rate ‘high speed rail’ levy, similar to that for the London 2012 Olympics, could be applied
across the West Midlands county and Greater London region.
• Redevelopment. Land and property owners, the local authority and other stakeholders could
contribute directly by pooling or leasing land and property at HS2 stations or contributing
to stations or ancillary investment to improve accessibility to stations, or indirectly via the
Community Infrastructure Levy – but any additional value will be generated over the long term.
• Other public sector funding. From, for example, local authorities or Regional Development
Agencies for components such as stations and ancillary investment to improve accessibility,
although this could be contingent on conditions imposed by the parties contributing (as has been
the case in France – the use of local Government funding for the TGV Sud Europe Atlantique had
conditions relating to local road investment).

5.1.40 Secondly, we have considered access to European funding sources. Recent European high speed
rail projects have been nearly 20% funded by EU grants – for instance, the Porto-Lisbon and
Lisbon-Madrid lines – but the majority of this is from the Cohesion Fund, for which the UK is not
eligible. The European Regional Development Fund could possibly apply to ancillary investment,
but its objectives and priorities are very unlikely to be aimed at the UK or projects such as HS2
in the future. Approximately £350m will be distributed from Trans-European Transport (TEN-T)
programme grants to high speed rail projects, which is a significant proportion of the available
funding, but only a tiny proportion of HS2’s costs. To access TEN-T programme grants, Government
would need to include HS2 and/or a high speed rail network as a priority axis on any successor
to the TEN-T programme by demonstrating the projects’ added value through reducing traffic
bottlenecks and optimising capacity on other priority axes such as the WCML, and contributing to
the continuity of the TEN-T and European high speed rail networks.

Chapter 5: Implementation

5.1.41 It is impossible to reach detailed conclusions at such an early stage of the development of the
project and given the uncertainties as to how non-Government funding contributions might be
secured – for example, the political support required for a train fare levy. We are, however, clear that
they will amount to only a small contribution towards the overall cost of HS2, up to a maximum of
about £1bn. And it may be very much less.

Summary and key recommendations

5.1.42 In this section of the report, we have assessed the options for the delivery and funding of HS2. We
concluded that:
• Consideration of the long term operations of HS2 (and a possible high speed rail network) should
determine delivery structures, including financing and governance.
• Long term stability for project delivery must be provided, in particular through the functions of an
arm’s-length body as project sponsor.
• Government must make an early decision on whether HS2 is intended to be a stand-alone high
speed rail line project or the first phase of a future high speed rail network – and, if the latter, the
project sponsor body should have a role in this.
• A single Infraco is needed to control the operation and maintenance of HS2 or a wider network.
• A dedicated delivery function is critical to the procurement.
• A traditional public sector procurement approach to delivering HS2 can best deliver the
separation of responsibility for delivery and operations that is needed to minimise risk.
• A single body should be in control of Euston station for the construction period.
• Wider social and/or commercial redevelopment opportunities around stations should be
integrated into the project design at an early stage.
• Government must cover the upfront capital cost of at least the railway components of the project.
• Government then has the flexibility to decide how HS2’s operations are to be delivered over the
long term, including exercising one of two principal “build for sale” options, which may also offer
the prospect of a financial contribution to the next phases of a high speed rail.

5.1.43 We also believe Government should give early consideration to:

• What model might be best for the long term operations of HS2 and who the long term owner of
the HS2 infrastructure might be.
• What regulatory regime there should be for HS2 (and a high speed rail network) and the WCML,
considering in particular how user charges will be set.
• What amount of non-Government funding contributions might be secured, in particular from
revenues, redevelopment and European sources.

High Speed Rail for Britain – Report by High Speed 2 Ltd

5.2 Implementation and timescales

5.2.1 This chapter sets out possible timescales for HS2 from now until opening and sets out any key
implications of how the project might be taken forward.

5.2.2 The main components of the timeline are:

• The need for effective public consultation and management of blight.
• The need to secure approval for building HS2 and to satisfy other legal requirements, either
through a hybrid bill or application to the Infrastructure Planning Commission, requiring further
design and Environmental Impact Assessment.
• Production of detailed engineering designs and construction drawings.
• The time needed to put in place the structures for the functions of the project sponsor and the
project delivery body and build their capability.
• Mobilisation – preparations for construction, including procurement, initial utilities diversions,
detailed planning permissions and land assembly and preparation of temporary works.
• The main construction period.
• Testing and commissioning the new infrastructure, rolling stock and operations.
• Opening the line and starting to operate passenger services.

5.2.3 Up to the start of construction, we have assumed the need for three investment approvals;
provisional approval at the time of the decision on the preferred route; conditional approval after
securing the necessary powers and at finalisation of the contracting strategy; and final approval
before starting construction. The rest of this chapter provides more details about the key areas and
ends with our considerations about what this means for the overall timetable and of the main risks
and opportunities.

5.2.4 Consultation with the public and interested stakeholders is a fundamental part in the development
and delivery of any major infrastructure project. The HS2 Consultation Strategy sets out our
high-level recommendations on how Government should take forward a public consultation. We
recommend a two stage approach to this. The first public consultation would be on the strategy
proposed to be followed by the Government. A key focus of this would be on the analysis and
assessment of the preferred London to West Midlands route and the options considered. A second
consultation would follow once a more detailed design of the preferred route had been completed
and would be associated with securing powers.

Chapter 5: Implementation

5.2.5 Generally, Government consultations last for a minimum 12 week period. Given the scale of this
project and the scope of proposed communication activity 6 months would be a more appropriate
timeframe for the first strategic consultation. This consultation would inform the decision on the
preferred route. The decision on the preferred route would also be the point at which the project
delivery body should be separated from the project sponsor so it can focus on the role of delivering
the sponsor’s requirements.

5.2.6 A second consultation would be required in due course on the detailed design of the preferred route
in advance of seeking the necessary powers. This consultation would include much greater detail
on engineering, planning, environmental assessment and mitigation planning. It would also allow
more robust costings to be produced, which would be essential for giving the necessary degree of
commitment to public funding before powers were sought.

5.2.7 We also recognise the specific requirements in the Planning Act for public consultation which would
need to be complied with if approval for HS2’s development was sought through the Infrastructure
Planning Commission.

5.2.8 Once further design work had been done on the route, it would be possible to determine which
existing properties – for instance residential, commercial or industrial ones – would need to be
purchased in order to build and operate the new rail line. At the same time, it would be possible to
identify those properties in the vicinity which would not need to be purchased but which could still
be affected by the construction and operation of the line (for example by noise or vibration), as well
as what mitigation measures (such as sound barriers) could be put in place to reduce these negative

5.2.9 The experience of other major transport schemes – such as HS1 – is that they can have the effect
of blighting property in the immediate vicinity, either making the property unsellable or reducing its
value. In the case of HS2 this blight would be likely to take two forms:
• Statutory blight relating to those properties that would need to be taken in order to build
or operate the line.
• Until any decision is taken on the exact route of the line, the main risk is of generalised blight.
In other words if a property owner tried to sell during this period, uncertainty as to whether
that property might be affected by HS2 might have the effect of deterring buyers or reducing
significantly the price they were prepared to pay. Generalised blight can also apply to properties
that do not need to be purchased to build or operate the line but which would be severely affected
by it (eg through noise). Generalised blight could be triggered as soon as route proposals are

High Speed Rail for Britain – Report by High Speed 2 Ltd

5.2.10 If the Government decides that it wishes to take forward the proposals in this report for a new high
speed line, and to consult on a preferred route for the line, there would inevitably be a risk that
some properties on or in the vicinity of the route would be affected by generalised blight. We note
that the Government announced on 14 December 2009 that it proposed to consult on an exceptional
hardship scheme which would allow those property owners whose properties are severely affected
by generalised blight, and who have a pressing need to sell, to apply for the promoters of HS2 to buy
their property.

5.2.11 We also recommend that, after a public consultation on the form of the exceptional hardship scheme
and a final decision is taken on the detailed arrangements, the scheme should operate until such
time as the Government makes a final decision – post strategic consultation - on whether to go
ahead with the new line and on exactly what route it should take.

5.2.12 If, following consultation, the Government decides to proceed with HS2, a follow up statutory
blight scheme would need to be put in place setting out the arrangements for the promoters of
HS2 to purchase those properties which were needed either to allow the line to be constructed
or for operating the line once it was opened, or which were near enough to the line to be made
uninhabitable. Our current assumption is that this scheme would need to apply from about the time
that the final route for the line was published.

5.2.13 In due course it would also be necessary to safeguard the route of HS2. Safeguarding is a legal
process which would allow the Secretary of State to require planning authorities (such as London
Boroughs) to notify certain other bodies (such as the HS2 promoter) before granting planning
permission for any development proposals which might affect the proposed HS2 route, for example
where developers are proposing to build over part of the route. This would allow those bodies to
recommend to a planning authority that it should either refuse permission for the development or
only grant it with conditions attached. We would expect the main safeguarding exercise to take place
once the Government has decided on the final route for the line, though the Government may wish to
consider whether certain parts of its preferred route should be safeguarded earlier.

5.2.14 Once a detailed route had been identified, it would still be necessary to seek legal powers to
allow construction to proceed. Amongst other things, these powers would be needed to enable
the promoter to purchase compulsorily the land required to build and operate the line, pay
compensation to people affected by the works, and amend existing legislation, where this was
necessary to construct the line.

5.2.15 There are two possible approaches to obtaining the necessary powers, firstly a hybrid bill in
Parliament, and secondly, an application to the Infrastructure Planning Commission. We note that
the Government announced on 14 December 2009 that if it decided to proceed with plans for HS2 a
hybrid bill would be prepared.

Chapter 5: Implementation

Hybrid bill
5.2.16 A hybrid bill is a set of proposals for changing existing laws, which needs to be debated and
approved by Parliament. Such bills follow a slightly different procedure from normal “public” bills,
in that they give organisations or individuals the chance either to oppose the bill in Parliament or to
look to amend it when it goes before a Select Committee in either the House of Commons or Lords.
In the past, the hybrid bill has been the usual way of obtaining powers to build major transport
infrastructure projects of national importance, where these would also affect the private interests
of a significant number of individuals.

5.2.17 There are several characteristics of hybrid bills which are relevant in deciding whether they are the
right route for obtaining powers for HS2:
• Although Parliament has only passed around a dozen hybrid bills over the last 25 years, they
have been used for several major transport projects, including the Channel Tunnel Rail Link
(HS1), Crossrail and the Dartford River Crossing. As such, the procedure is a familiar one, with a
relatively straightforward process, which would allow people and bodies who might be affected
by the proposals a proper opportunity to put their views across and have these taken into account
before Parliament decides whether to approve the bill.
• The process is a flexible one. The contents of a hybrid bill could be tailored to include all of the
various powers which would be needed to construct HS2, including obtaining overall planning
permission and amending existing legislation, such as that relating to rivers, trees and utility
(e.g. telecommunications) companies’ apparatus; and, any powers needed to put in place delivery
and regulatory structures or funding mechanisms.
• Whilst this route rightly allows objectors to any HS2 proposals the opportunity to put their case
across, once the Bill had become law there would be no risk of further legal challenge preventing
the scheme going ahead unless it could be proved that aspects of the proposals breached
European law.
• Hybrid bills are subject to more intensive scrutiny in Parliament than normal public bills, and so
consume more parliamentary time. As such, they would affect the time available in Parliament
for other legislation which the Government might also see as a priority.

Infrastructure Planning Commission

5.2.18 The Planning Act 2008 introduced a new route for obtaining powers for major infrastructure projects
of national importance - which could include for example, airports, power stations or reservoirs -
the Infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC).

5.2.19 The IPC, which started its work in October 2009, is a non-departmental public body. Where a
sponsor, such as a private developer or a Government department, wished to build new major
infrastructure they would be able to submit an application to the IPC to be given the necessary
powers. The sponsor would already need to have carried out widespread public consultation on the
scheme before submitting it to the IPC. Any body or person with an interest would also be able to
submit their views on individual proposals to the IPC.

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5.2.20 In order to set a framework within which the IPC could work, the Government intends issuing a
series of National Policy Statements (NPSs) setting out national policy relating to particular types
of national infrastructure – such as nuclear power and the strategic road and rail network. In
considering applications for powers to construct new infrastructure the IPC would have to take into
account their compatibility with the relevant NPS.

5.2.21 Where the IPC decided to approve an application, the scheme promoter would be granted a
development consent order, which would give it a range of powers needed to build HS2, including
planning permission and compulsory purchase powers.

5.2.22 The features of the IPC route which may be relevant to whether it is the best route for obtaining
powers for HS2 include:
• As the Planning Act set up the IPC specifically to consider major infrastructure projects, at first
sight it would seem appropriate for it to rule on any application to build a new high speed rail line.
• Leaving a decision on whether powers should be granted to build HS2 to the independent IPC
would mean that the case for the HS2 proposals could be considered on its own merits, rather
than it becoming subject to political pressures.
• Whilst the IPC would be able to grant HS2 overall development consent to go ahead, it would not
necessarily be able to make changes to any existing legislation which would be required to build
HS2. In particular, it would be inevitable that changes would be needed to general legislation
covering railways, for instance to the role of Network Rail and Office of Rail Regulation in relation
to a new high speed link. It seems unlikely that these changes could be made through the IPC
route, so a supplementary bill in Parliament would still be needed.

Environmental assessment
5.2.23 Whichever route is pursued, there would be advantage in having a NPS which sets out the policy for
high speed rail. For the IPC route this would be a requirement in any event. For the hybrid bill route,
such an NPS would provide the required consideration of the strategic alternatives. In both cases
the NPS would be subject to an Appraisal of Sustainability, which may also need to incorporate the
requirements of the Strategic Environmental Assessment Directive and its regulations.

5.2.24 Both the hybrid bill and IPC routes require an Environment Impact Assessment and Environmental
Statement. This would be a project level assessment for a precisely defined preferred route,
covering in less detail the main alternatives considered.

Chapter 5: Implementation

5.2.25 Based on the experience of recent bills – and subject to outside influences, such as the timing of
elections - the hybrid bill process could be expected to take approximately two to two-and-a-half
years from introduction of the bill into Parliament to it receiving Royal Assent. The IPC has only
recently been set up and has yet to rule on any applications. Given this, it is difficult to be certain
how long it would need to consider and decide upon what would be a very detailed and complicated
application. The indicative timetable which the Commission has published suggests that once the
IPC has accepted that the application has been submitted validly it would take around one year
for them to complete the assessment process and for the application to be approved or turned
down. That said, the IPC can extend this timescale, for instance where applications are particularly
complex, as inevitably they would be for HS2.

5.2.26 However, before an application can be submitted to the IPC, the promoter needs to have carried out
various pre-application tasks, including a widespread consultation with local communities affected
by the proposals and a series of other bodies. So, on balance, the timescales for both the hybrid bill
and IPC route could turn out to be broadly similar.

5.2.27 By the time of preparation for powers, a defined delivery body and sponsor should be in place
(in shadow form if their establishment requires legislation). After obtaining powers to build the
new line, whether via a hybrid Bill or the IPC, around two years would be needed before the main
construction work could begin, for instance to allow for detailed planning approvals, land assembly,
commencement of initial utilities diversions and temporary works, finalising the funding, letting
contracts and other steps to mobilise the project. Advanced planning for the major construction
works would need to start as soon as possible in order not to delay the overall timetable. This
mobilisation period could take longer depending on the complexity of the delivery arrangements, the
contracting strategy and finalising funding. During this stage the final investment approval would be
required before the main construction starts.

5.2.28 The procurement of the classic-compatible fleet would commence during the mobilisation stage,
allowing time for the fleet to be designed, approved, built, delivered and tested. The procurement of
the “off the shelf” fleet would start later, as the ‘design’ and ‘approval’ stages would need little time.
Rolling stock procurement would be linked to the depot construction programme. All infrastructure
and rolling stock testing would need to be completed by early 2025, allowing for a period of
operational training and shadow running before opening.

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5.2.29 We estimate that construction would last for around six and a half years. The largest element of the
programme in terms of value and overall duration would be Euston Station and its approaches. The
construction of this element would probably take the whole of the construction period and would
form the critical path for the whole programme. The other major site-specific work packages would
be (in no particular order, with indicative durations):
• Birmingham Fazeley Street station (4 years).
• Old Oak Common station (4.5 years).
• Rolling stock maintenance depot (3 years).
• Infrastructure maintenance depot (2 years).
• Birmingham delta junction (2 years).
• London tunnels (Old Oak to Euston) (4.5 years).
• HS2 to HS1 tunnel works (3 years) (if the rail link were to be taken forward).
• Chalfont and Amersham tunnels (5.5 years).
• Little Missenden tunnel (4 years).
• Ufton Wood tunnel (4 years).
• The construction and fitting out of an operational control centre (2.5 years).

5.2.30 The site-specific contracts would be phased to enable adjacent contracts to take place with a
minimum amount of disruption. They would be complemented by linear contracts to cover the
construction of sections of Line of Route linking the key sites. These linear contracts would cover:
• Civil works (earthworks, bridges, local road diversions etc).
• Trackwork.
• Electrification (power supply and overhead line equipment).
• Train Control Systems (signalling and telecommunications).

5.2.31 These linear contracts would be phased to link with key milestones in the site-specific contracts to
simplify construction and lower cost and programme risk.

5.2.32 It is anticipated that each of the major site-specific work packages would require major temporary
worksites to cover the actual construction period, plus periods before for mobilisation and site
preparation, and for fault rectification and general testing. In addition to the key worksites a large
number of much smaller ones of a more temporary nature would be required adjacent to the line of
route for plant and materials storage and for staff welfare facilities.

Chapter 5: Implementation

Testing and commissioning

5.2.33 During and then after construction there would be a period of testing and commissioning before
passenger services start. This period would be used to test all of the new infrastructure, rolling
stock and operations and confirm that the line is ready for passenger services. Safety testing and
recruitment and training of staff would be part of this process.

5.2.34 When sufficient testing has been carried out there could be some shadow running of services where
high speed services can start to operate in addition to the existing timetables for example, as seen
with the HS1 domestic services during 2009.

The timetable
5.2.35 Figure 5.2a shows a possible project plan for building our preferred scheme. The earliest possible
time that HS2 would open under this scenario is December 2025.

Activity 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023 2024 2025

Submit Report

Ministers Decision

Strategic Public Consultation

Preferred Route (Provisional

Investment Approval)

Development of Specification

Commence Approval Process

Approval Process Complete

(Conditional Investment Approval)

Detailed Design

Mobilisation etc

Final Investment Approval


Testing & Commissioning


Figure 5.2a Proposed project timeline for HS2 to opening

5.2.36 Figure 5.2b sets out the spread of costs across the project until opening, calculated using the
programme of works and capital costs described in Chapter 4, including construction risks and
purchase of rolling stock. The relevant infrastructure costs, split by components, have been spread
over the duration of the activity. For example, the earthworks have been spread over the five years
in which they will occur. In general, the rate of spend on infrastructure costs builds gradually during
preparatory works and then increases during the main phase of construction activity before reducing

High Speed Rail for Britain – Report by High Speed 2 Ltd

5.2.37 The overall cost profile of HS2 would also increase slowly during the design and approvals stage,
before increasing rapidly as construction starts and then reducing as construction is completed and
the testing and commissioning phase commences. The additional risk profile allowance has been
allocated pro rata to project spend. However, there are other ways of spreading the costs throughout
the duration of the project, for example, with a higher proportion applied during construction than
during preparation.








































Financial year

Figure 5.2b Proposed overall cost profile for HS2 from 2010 to opening

Risks and opportunities

5.2.38 This timetable carries considerable risk. If the public consultation identifies new route sections
that have not been previously assessed in detail, further design work and re-consultation would be
needed, which are likely to add to the timetable. Both the hybrid bill and IPC routes for obtaining
powers depend on obtaining Parliamentary time, which will depend on other legislative pressures.
Any changes to the scope of the project, at any stage but especially later in the process, would
require redesign and reassessment. Securing early and broad support and establishing structures
which insulate the project as far as possible from future changes would help to reduce these risks.

5.2.39 Funding is likely to be a significant source of risk with a project of this scale. Timely decisions on the
delivery and funding issues we have identified would be needed, including a decision on the most
appropriate delivery body, the long term owner of the infrastructure, the regulatory regime and most
importantly, the funding itself. Nevertheless, changes in economic circumstances and Government
policies and priorities inevitably raise considerable risks for the timing and certainty of public
funding, as well as any elements of private funding.

Chapter 5: Implementation

5.2.40 Our assumed construction timetable is around seven and a half years from start of works to opening,
compared with 9 years for HS1. Our timetable is achievable but could clearly be longer depending for
example on ground and weather conditions and given the challenges especially at Euston.

Summary and key recommendations

5.2.41 The various processes through to opening are likely to take a period of at least 16 years, of which
broadly half is for planning, and preparation, and half for construction and commissioning. The
earliest we consider the new line could open would be December 2025.

5.2.42 If the Government decides to proceed, we recommend that the next key stage is a strategic
consultation on the Government’s proposals. Generalised blight could be created as soon as
route proposals are published. We recommend that a hardship scheme is established, following a
consultation on its contents, and note that the Government has announced its intention to do this.

Chapter 6 – Developing a Longer Term Strategy
Chapter 6: Developing a Longer Term Strategy

6.1 Approach and findings

6.1.1 This chapter sets out our thinking on a potential longer term strategy for high speed rail, following
Government’s request for ‘advice on the potential development of a high speed line beyond the
West Midlands, at the level of broad corridors’.10 Beginning with the interpretation of our remit and
key findings, the chapter goes on to describe the work we have completed, and concludes with a
summary of the potential next actions.

6.1.2 Our work on the longer term strategy is strategic rather than the much more detailed work we
undertook for HS2. The latter has substantially informed our thinking on the longer term strategy,
for example on the estimated unit rates for construction, and we have also used the demand model
created for HS2 to test longer term networks. Nevertheless, the analysis we have undertaken on the
longer term strategy is not intended to be fully comprehensive in scope and depth, and it has not
been designed as a basis on which to make planning decisions of the same nature as those which
Government will take on HS2. Further work would be needed to develop longer term proposals in
more detail.

Scope and extent

6.1.3 That the basic alignment of a second high speed
line in the UK should be from London towards
the West Midlands is a widely held view. Some
have argued that any new line should go further
in the first instance, but the basic orientation 5.1m

is reasonably clear, given the obvious centres

of population which lie in this direction and the North
associated need to relieve pressure on the WCML. 2.5m

6.1.4 Beyond this, there is less certainty about whether Yorks &
North Humber
and where further high speed lines may be West 5.0m

justified in the future. We were asked specifically East

to look at the potential for high speed rail to West

serve three of the largest English conurbations
– Greater Manchester, West Yorkshire, and the London
North East – and Scotland. To these we also
added the East Midlands and South Yorkshire,
both of which potentially lie on an easterly line of
Source: ONS popluation estimates, 2005
route towards Yorkshire. They are major centres
of population, exhibiting significant passenger Figure 6.1a Population of applicable
English regions and Scotland
(Source: ONS population estimates, 2005)
10 Remit letter from Lord Adonis to Sir David Rowlands, www.hs2.org.uk

High Speed Rail for Britain – Report by High Speed 2 Ltd

flows to and from London on today’s conventional rail network. Together, the regions which support
these conurbations account for over 60% of the total English population, with Scotland adding a
further substantial market.

6.1.5 The remit focused on the potential extension of the core HS2 route to form a wider network, and as
such did not include links to other conurbations – in the South, South West and East of England or
South Wales – which would not form natural extensions of HS2 but rather require wholly separate
high speed lines out of London. So while these lay outside our scope this year, this is not to say that
they would not be justified.

6.1.6 In looking at these areas, our work on the longer term strategy has been motivated by three factors:
• The need to ‘future proof’ HS2. The design of HS2, even at this early stage, has the potential
to close off viable options for the future. This can only be avoided by establishing an idea of the
shape a future network might take and the capacity it might require.
• The need to identify where Government’s focus and resources might best be targeted next. If
Government wishes ultimately to construct an extended high speed line, or network of lines, it
will be prudent to do so incrementally. Our work on a longer term strategy aims to indicate the
next priorities for further work.
• The need to set HS2 in an overall context and vision of the future. We have aimed to set out a
possible vision for the future of high speed which will stimulate further debate, and around which
further consensus might be built.

6.1.7 Our conclusions on the longer term network add to the growing evidence base on the widespread
implementation of high speed rail, which during 2009 has already been bolstered by contributions
from Greengauge 21 and Network Rail in particular.

Chapter 6: Developing a Longer Term Strategy

Objectives for a longer term strategy

6.1.8 As we set out in Chapter 1, there is a range of objectives for high speed rail, although the emphasis
on certain objectives could shift for a wider network of lines running over longer distances. Whereas
providing additional capacity between London and the West Midlands is an important objective
for HS2, this may be less relevant in other areas of the country, where line capacity may not be so
constrained, or where other infrastructure projects are under way to relieve constraints. Conversely,
over longer distances the scale and impact of high speed rail’s journey time savings and associated
improvements in connectivity become more pronounced, thus creating the potential to stimulate
economies and facilitate a shift in travel from air to rail. Fundamentally however, we have assumed
the same objectives over the longer term as for HS2.

Basic approach
6.1.9 Figure 6.1b describes the approach we adopted in order to examine the potential development
of lines beyond the West Midlands, reflecting both the short time available for modelling and the
strategic level at which we have addressed the issues.

We have constructed three sample After applying cost estimates to those Having identified the best performing
national network configurations, three routes, calculating the journey among these configurations, we have
based on likely passenger flows, time savings and possible service undertaken further analysis to access
certain feasibility and engineering patterns, we have used demand the incremental case for certain
assumptions, and a high-level modelling and economic analysis to component sections of the network.
analysis of potential environmental judge the outline business case for
constraints. joining up the relevant conurbations in
different ways.

Figure 6.1b Longer term strategy process

Options considered
6.1.10 Our assessment of the potential case for a widespread network of high speed lines has been based
on three possible national network configurations, which are outlined below. All three build on the
preferred scheme for HS2 between London and the West Midlands. None has been fully optimised:
rather they have been developed instead to provide an understanding of the relative merits of
different basic approaches. On the strength of those tests we have also been able to conduct some
analysis of the incremental case of the likely next steps.

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An ‘Inverse A’ Configuration
6.1.11 The Inverse A configuration
Glasgow Edinburgh is an adaptation of networks
which have been examined in
other past studies. It is the most
comprehensive network able to be
supported by the capacity of HS2,
Newcastle relying as it does on one route
Lancashire north from London. We report on
Teeside Interchange
Interchange the possible need for a second line
from London later in this chapter.

6.1.12 The Inverse A aims to maximise

Liverpool Leeds benefits to the widest number of
Manchester people by offering direct London
South Yorkshire access to each of the conurbations
in our remit, as well as Merseyside
East Midlands (via the existing classic line), East
Interchange Midlands and South Yorkshire.
The transpennine link between
Manchester and Leeds would carry
only east-west flows, with services
Birmingham Birmingham Interchange
to and from London travelling
either side of the Pennines. This
HS2 configuration would also unlock
potential for a network of high
speed inter-regional services.
Heathrow Interchange London

Figure 6.1c Possible configuration – Inverse A

Inverse ‘A’ Configuration

Chapter 6: Developing a Longer Term Strategy

A ‘Reverse S’ Configuration
6.1.13 Similar network configurations
Glasgow Edinburgh have also formed the subject
of investigation in the past. The
network provides connections to
all the major conurbations detailed
in the remit, using a linear route
Newcastle which would minimise the total
amount of construction. Under
Teeside Interchange
this scenario, all trains north of
Manchester would need to cross
the Pennines. This would increase
Leeds journey times between London and
Leeds, Newcastle and Scotland,
compared to the alternative

6.1.14  I n Scotland a number different

permutations exist for serving
Edinburgh and/or Glasgow. In
each of the configurations, we
assume separate legs serving
Birmingham Birmingham Interchange
Edinburgh and Glasgow and have
not modelled the benefits of a link
HS2 between the cities.

Heathrow Interchange London

Figure 6.1d Possible configuration – Reverse S

Reverse ‘S’ Configuration

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A ‘Reverse E’ Configuration
6.1.15  T
 he Reverse E configuration
Glasgow Edinburgh builds upon HS2 to the east of the
Pennines. Unlike the Inverse A
and Reverse S configurations, this
network does not extend from the
northern limit of HS2, which would
Newcastle remain connected to the WCML.

Teeside Interchange 6.1.16 Because HS2 extends beyond

Birmingham, the best journey
times to Manchester and Liverpool
under this scenario could remain
Leeds those achieved with classic-
Manchester compatible HS2 trains, running on
South Yorkshire
Interchange the WCML. The purpose of the high
speed connections to Manchester
East Midlands and Liverpool in that instance
Interchange could be to enhance regional links
across the Pennines, but we have
not modelled this. Such a line could
Birmingham Birmingham Interchange also be used to achieve better
high speed journey times to the
North West but only with a more
HS2 central alignment of HS2 (towards
Leicester rather than Birmingham).
However, this would rule out a
Heathrow Interchange London
Heathrow connection, entail longer
journey times to Birmingham, and
Figure 6.1e Possible configuration – Reverse E compare poorly with journey times
to the North West in the Inverse
Reverse ‘E’ Configuration A. With a more central alignment
of HS2, the ‘Reverse E’ would
become more akin to the proposal
put forward by the 2M group of
London Councils (known as ‘High
Speed North’). As our remit was to
consider the development of HS2
beyond the West Midlands, we have
not investigated the 2M proposals
in detail.

Chapter 6: Developing a Longer Term Strategy

6.1.17 The following sections of this chapter describe our approach to modelling the different network
configurations, assumptions on service patterns and journey times, costs, environmental approach,
appraisal of demand and the strategic business case. The key conclusions that emerge are:
• There is a good case for going on to develop high speed lines beyond the West Midlands.
• The Inverse A network performs best; it provides the highest levels of demand and benefits,
because of its wide coverage, and the fact that it delivers better journey times.
• The Reverse E does not serve the North West well, delivering journey times no better than those
which would be delivered by HS2.
• Journey times north beyond Manchester with the Reverse S are significantly slower than with the
Inverse A or Reverse E.
• We therefore recommend that the longer term network has branches from the West Midlands to
both sides of the Pennines.
• In the first case these branches should be developed from the HS2 trunk. This would not preclude
provision of a second leg into London at a later date if further demand justifies what would be a
substantial additional cost.
• We have been able to design HS2 in such a way that options for the future remain open. However,
the choices made in the next stage will be more dependent on the Government’s long term
network aspirations.

Scheme modelling
Definition of networks
6.1.18 Sitting beneath the schematic diagrams above is a series of routes sketched within broad corridors.
We believe these are credible routes, but they have not been engineered, nor have they yet been
through any substantial process of optioneering. In order to avoid the risk of blighting wide areas
with what remain unrefined options, we have not included the mapped routes within the report.

6.1.19 Following the approach taken in the West Midlands with HS2, we have generally assumed spur
access into major city centres (for example at Manchester and Leeds), with junctions on the principal
route permitting connections both north and south. Importantly this would allow high speed benefits
to be shared by those making journeys between major cities outside London. The alternative
would be either to run through (or most likely under) city centres – a policy likely to encounter the
same difficulties as we identified in Birmingham – or to build city centre spurs which provide only
southbound access to the principal route for London trains, which would create a London-centric
network. Subsequent phases of planning and investigation would offer the opportunity to fully
assess the merits of these options at particular locations, and this should rightly be done on a case-
by-case basis.

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6.1.20 Our work to develop proposals for HS2 has pointed to a strong case for an additional West Midlands
station to the south east of Birmingham. We believe that similar stations are likely to be worth
investigating on the outskirts of several of the major cities included in the networks above. Such
stations can broaden the overall market for high speed rail, reduce city centre congestion and
provide connectivity with services which would otherwise bypass the city en route to a different
principal destination. For example, an interchange station south of Manchester could connect
with the airport and motorway network and provide a Manchester connection for Scotland-bound
services. We have not typically incorporated these stations in our demand modelling, to avoid
prejudging their existence and locations – which, as with the Birmingham Interchange, would need
to be subject to more specific analysis, as a part of the route optioneering process. The exception is
in West Yorkshire, where we modelled an interchange station to the east of Leeds in the Inverse A
and Reverse E, and to the west of Leeds in the Reverse S configurations.

6.1.21 We have also assumed a number of interchange ‘through’ stations in locations where a number
of towns and cities fall within a potential catchment area (for example in the East Midlands, South
Yorkshire, West Yorkshire, Teesside), and where there may not be scope for a city centre spur. The
demand modelling uses existing station proxies for these to reflect an assumption that any such
stations would be built with good connections to the surrounding transport infrastructure.

6.1.22 All three of the networks are based primarily on the construction of entirely new high speed lines
(although we have modelled Liverpool as a classic line connection to the North West high speed
line). In Chapter 2 we explained that the basic model for high speed rail should generally strive for
totally segregated new lines. This allows the highest service frequency of up to 400m long ‘captive’
high speed trains to operate at the highest speed, thereby unlocking the full capacity potential of the
new line. It would also allow the full reliability benefits of segregation to be realised.

6.1.23 However, we do not entirely rule out that in certain locations, even in the very long term, there
may be a case for running into urban centres on the classic line using classic-compatible high
speed trains, or indeed for running such trains on the classic line for longer sections of route.
Certainly, this would bring cost savings and might reduce the environmental impact of any new
line. Alternatively, some sections of the existing network could be rebuilt to full GC gauge and to
a higher line speed, connecting with the new high speed lines (following the German model of
“Neubaustrecke” and “Ausbaustrecke” – newly built lines and rebuilt lines).

6.1.24 Initially we have only tested networks with one trunk into London (i.e. HS2). Work on HS2 has
demonstrated the difficulty and expense of constructing a terminal in London. We believe we may
have found the only plausible station site in central London without very large-scale demolition and
potentially prohibitive cost. Therefore we have decided to model solely one-trunk networks at this
stage. If and when experience of actual demand growth suggests that capacity on HS2 could become
significantly overcrowded, further investigation of a second trunk would be needed.

Chapter 6: Developing a Longer Term Strategy

6.1.25 We anticipated that the technical specification of further lines beyond the West Midlands would
follow that developed for HS2, which are discussed in Chapter 2 and described in more detail in the
HS2 Technical Appendix. Some of these bear particular relevance and are worth restating here:
• Capacity. As the single trunk over which all London trains would run, the capacity of HS2
determines the capacity of the network. Over the longer term, we assumed an hourly line
capacity of 18 train paths. This relies on the realisation of certain anticipated improvements in
train control and braking systems, to allow shorter headways. This is in contrast to the Day One
operation of HS2, which would be limited in capacity to 14 paths per hour in peak periods only,
with up to 10 paths in use at other times.
• Line speed. We assumed future lines, as with HS2, would be built to a maximum line speed of
400kph, so as to be able to exploit further expected advances in train technology. However, we
have adopted the same assumed operational line speeds as HS2 for the purposes of journey time
calculations – i.e. a timetabled maximum speed of 330kph.
• Interoperability. We assumed full compliance with the EU’s Technical Specifications for
Interoperability, including such specific parameters as full GC Gauge throughout the network,
400m platforms at all stations and minimum track curvature.
• Rolling stock. Under conditions of a fully segregated longer term network all trains could,
ultimately, be off-the-shelf ‘captive’ high speed trains – of the type we envisage running between
London and Birmingham on Day One. These could run in either 200m or 400m formation,
according to demand. In practice, if a national network were built incrementally, there would
continue to be a ‘hybrid’ role for the classic-compatible fleet (which, if purchased for use on a Day
One HS2 lines, would continue to be operational long into the future).

Journey time and service pattern assumptions

6.1.26 We calculated journey times for routes on the three networks for modelling purposes, and based
these on assumed speed profiles and route distances. These are generally conservative estimates.
The benefits from journey time savings can be very substantial but we have avoided the temptation
to ‘assume the best’. In reality, initial optimum journey times will typically be restricted by a number
of factors, such as tunnelling prompted by specific environmental mitigation, line speed restrictions
to reduce noise impacts on the local population and by constrained speeds on urban route sections.

6.1.27 Certain headline journey times are indicated below for each of the networks. In order to model the
three networks we have also devised a notional service pattern for each. These are not optimised
but rather reflect an indicative service within the overall capacity of the line. They have not been
subjected to the same level of scrutiny as those developed for HS2.

High Speed Rail for Britain – Report by High Speed 2 Ltd

6.1.28 The journey times given below are for the single fastest modelled journey time between two
destinations. In some cases these include intermediate stops, and as a result do not necessarily
represent the fastest possible journey time that could be achieved. In designing service patterns
there will always be a delicate balance to be struck between on the one hand stopping trains to widen
accessibilty and improve connections, and on the other reducing the number of stops to achieve better
journey times. We do not purport to have found the optimal balance in this exercise. The notional
service patterns also assume that, of the services to any destination in any given hour, not all would
achieve these fastest times. For instance, every one in three trains may also stop en route at an
interchange station, lengthening the journey time to a degree.

Inverse A
Glasgow Edinburgh
London to: Key Cross Country services:
Birmingham 0:49 Birmingham to Manchester 0:40
Manchester 1:20 Birmingham to Leeds 1:05
Teeside Interchange Liverpool 1:36 Birmingham to Newcastle 1:50
Glasgow 2:40 Manchester to Glasgow/Edin 1:45
Liverpool Leeds Edinburgh 2:40 Manchester to Leeds 0:23
South Yorkshire
Interchange Newcastle 2:00 Liverpool to Manchester 0:25
East Midlands
Interchange Teesside 1:40
Leeds 1:20 Modelled service pattern:
Birmingham Birmingham Interchange
South Yorkshire 1:13 Modelled service patterns are based
East Midlands 0:53 on 3 trains per hour (tph) between
Heathrow Interchange London
London and Birmingham, Leeds
Manchester and Newcastle, with other
destinations mostly receiving a 2tph
Inverse ‘A’ Configuration service.

Chapter 6: Developing a Longer Term Strategy

Reverse S
Glasgow Edinburgh
London to: Key Cross Country services:
Birmingham 0:49* Birmingham to Manchester 0:40

Manchester 1:20* Birmingham to Leeds 1:07
Teeside Interchange Liverpool 1:50* Birmingham to Newcastle 1:50
Glasgow 3:17* Manchester to Edinburgh 2:48
Manchester Edinburgh 3:17* Manchester to Leeds 0:23
Newcastle** 2:07*
Teesside 1:54* Modelled service pattern:
Leeds 1:35* Modelled service patterns are based
Birmingham Birmingham Interchange
on 3 trains per hour (tph) between
HS2 *Liverpool would continue to London and Birmingham, Leeds with
receive the Day One HS2 service. other destinations mostly receiving
Heathrow Interchange London

**Journey times to destinations a 2tph service.

north of Leeds cannot be easily
Reverse ‘S’ Configuration
compared with those in the
Inverse A due to stopping pattern

Reverse E
Glasgow Edinburgh London to: Key Cross Country services:
Birmingham 0:49* Birmingham to Leeds 1:05
Manchester 1:40* Birmingham to Newcastle 1:35
Teeside Interchange Liverpool 1:50* South Yorkshire to Leeds 0:20
Glasgow 3:10* Manchester to Leeds 0:23

Edinburgh 3:10* Liverpool to Manchester 0:25
South Yorkshire
Interchange Newcastle 2:00*
East Midlands
Interchange Teesside 1:40* Modelled service pattern:
Leeds 1:20* Modelled service patterns are based
Birmingham Birmingham Interchange
South Yorkshire 1:13* on 3 trains per hour (tph) between
East Midlands 0:53* London and Birmingham, Leeds and
Heathrow Interchange London Manchester, with other destinations
*Under this scenario, the Day One mostly receiving a 2tph service.
journey times to Manchester and
Liverpool would not be bettered by
Reverse ‘E’ Configuration

running via the East Midlands, and

so we have assumed the Day One
service via HS2 and WCML would

High Speed Rail for Britain – Report by High Speed 2 Ltd

6.1.29 In order to be able to assess the relative business case for the three networks and for a longer term
network as a whole we have developed some broad infrastructure cost assumptions for the various
components of the network configurations. These are based on basic unit rates derived from our
work on HS2, and calculated using assumptions about the composition of certain route sections. To
assemble these costs we have used the following per-kilometre and station unit construction rates
(expressed here without any optimism bias):
• Flat terrain. We have assumed a unit rate per kilometre of approximately £11m over sections of
route which, at the level at we have studied them, appear to present relatively straightforward
engineering challenges. As with all the unit rates, this is derived from similar sections of route on
HS2, and therefore includes an allowance for road crossings etc, insofar as these feature in the
sampled HS2 sections.
• Undulating terrain. For more difficult sections of route, where the terrain is more difficult to
cross and would typically require the construction of additional structures (such as viaducts) and
earthworks we have assumed a unit rate of approximately £17.5m per route kilometre.
• Urban routes. For urban sections of route we have adopted a unit rate of approximately £23m per
route kilometre. This reflects the additional expense of laying high speed infrastructure through
urban areas, where typically there are more structures crossing the route, and limited space.
• Tunnels. Tunnelled route sections are ascribed a unit rate of approximately £80m per route
kilometre. This is based on a single bore, twin track tunnel designed for speeds of up to 320kph.
Such tunnels are employed on various sections of HS2’s route.
• Stations. We have assumed a range of rates per station, rising from £150m for a two platform
station on the main line of route, to £240m for a four platform terminal station.

6.1.30 To all infrastructure capital expenditure we have added an uplift of 66% to reflect optimism bias,
in line with Treasury Green Book guidance, which reflects the very early development stage of this

6.1.31 For rolling stock capital expenditure, and the unit rates for operations and maintenance we have
adopted the same cost assumptions as for HS2 (which are detailed in Chapter 4), and based our
calculations on the service patterns modelled.

Chapter 6: Developing a Longer Term Strategy

6.1.32 The indicative costs for the components of the three configurations are illustrated in Figure 6.1f,
expressed here in 2009 prices with the 66% optimism bias included. These are intended to give a
broad indication of the cost magnitude and are not intended as cost forecasts of engineered routes.
Two points are worth noting in particular:
• The most direct route between the North East and Scotland has been assumed with a dividing
point in Lanarkshire. This has been assumed in order to provide an equal service in terms of
journey times to Glasgow and Edinburgh. An alternative less direct route (avoiding more difficult
terrain) may result in longer journey times but lower costs.
• The costs for the components to both Manchester and Leeds include taking the line back to
the WCML and ECML respectively, so that classic-compatible services could continue to serve
other destinations, such as Liverpool, Glasgow and Newcastle in the interim (as under the HS2
Day One scenario).

North East to Scotland

North West to Scotland
Total length: 257km
Comprising stations at
Total length: 397km Glasgow, Edinburgh
and Lanarkshire
Comprising stations in (assumed for train dividing)
Lancashire, Glasgow,
Edinburgh and Lanarkshire
(assumed for train dividing)
Yorkshire to the North East
Total legth: 144km
Comprising stations at Newcastle
£3.8-4.6bn and Teeside interchange, as well
(depending on East/West as a West Yorkshire interchange
of Manchester)

Total legth: 54-69km

West Midlands to Yorkshire

West Midlands to North West
(depending on East/West Total length: 175km
of Manchester)
Comprising stations at Leeds,
Total length: 138-161km South Yorkshire interchange
and East Midlands interchange
Comprising stations at
Manchester and Manchester

Figure 6.1f Indicative costs for component route sections (2009 prices)

High Speed Rail for Britain – Report by High Speed 2 Ltd

6.1.33 These indicative costs have allowed us to determine overall capital cost assumptions for the three
configurations that we have modelled, and these are described below, together with the operational
costs. These costs include HS2. This is because the configurations have been modelled as a single
entity, and so in the indicative BCR analysis which follows their total benefits must be weighed
against total costs. We have not included land or project costs at this stage.

Notional costs for the three

networks, including HS2 Inverse A Reverse S Reverse E
(in 2009 prices)
Infrastructure capital costs £52.2bn £44.3bn £49bn

Rolling Stock capital costs £9.7bn £8.6bn £10.3bn

Operations and Maintenance £2bn p.a. £1.7bn p.a. £1.9bn p.a.

Figure 6.1g Indicative costs for the three configurations (2009 prices)

Environmental approach
6.1.34 While options remain as broad concepts, rather than specific route options, it is not possible to carry
out the equivalent environmental appraisal that we have undertaken for HS2. At this stage, we have
limited our investigation to potential impacts on nationally designated sites. The following points are
worth particular mention here:
• We have made a number of assumptions to include tunnelled route sections in places where
either urban or environmentally sensitive areas would be likely to preclude a surface alignment.
Clearly these assumptions would need to be challenged as more detailed route development
work progressed. The extent of tunnelling is liable to vary considerably from the estimates we
have included here.
• Many more nationally designated sites affect potential routes beyond Birmingham than has
been the case between London and the West Midlands. These include the National Parks of the
Yorkshire Dales, Peak District, Lake District and Northumberland, and the World Heritage Site at
Hadrian’s Wall. The need to avoid significant impacts to such sites creates significant uncertainty.
Such constraints may rule out whole corridors for high speed rail development or, perhaps more
likely, force changes to the scheme which inhibit its objectives or increase its cost.

Longer term demand

6.1.35 Forecasting the future of demand for transport is a difficult task and becomes harder the further out
to the horizon one projects. In the case of HS1 and the Channel Tunnel, expected patronage in the
first ten years of operation was overestimated by a factor of around three. With a possible opening
date for HS2 in 2025, the potential subsequent construction of a wider network of high speed lines
stretches far out into the future.

Chapter 6: Developing a Longer Term Strategy

6.1.36 We have modelled the three wider network options with the same cap in demand growth in 2033 as
assumed for our modelling of HS2. The modelling has been carried out at a strategic level which
precludes estimating detailed local effects, such as the accessibility of a new high speed station.
Existing city centre stations are therefore used as proxies. We have taken a relatively conservative
approach since:
• We assume no benefits from released capacity. This would require a level of detail in both train
planning and modelling that is not possible in the time available. Therefore we have assumed
classic rail services are unchanged.
• We have assumed 400m trains to all destinations on the network. In practice demand does not
warrant this level of capacity on some routes and an optimised service pattern may be able to
reduce costs without loss of benefits
• We do not include the benefits of reliability gains that we expect a dedicated high speed network
might deliver.
• We have included the benefits of HS2 in all of the networks. This means that the analysis is not
incremental to the HS2 business case, nor can it be compared to the HS2 business case (due to
differences in assumptions). We have undertaken some limited incremental analysis for Leeds
and Manchester in subsequent sections.

6.1.37 The forecast demand on all three network designs shows a considerable increase in demand for rail
trips. In particular trips to and from London from all of the regions would increase substantially,
reflecting the fact that regardless of the network configuration, there would be significant
improvements in journey times. The exception is the East Midlands which would not be served at all
by the Reverse S.

6.1.38 The most significant increase in demand is from Scotland reflecting greater scope for mode shift
from air. This represents almost half of the increase in rail demand as journey times on high speed
rail become competitive with the air market.

6.1.39 Unsurprisingly the inverse A provides the highest total demand, reflecting the wider coverage and
faster journey times (particularly to London). The forecast increase in demand with the Inverse A
is around 35% greater than the increase on the Reverse S. The Reverse E delivers the next biggest
increase, since journey times to key markets around the East Midlands and Leeds are the same on
both networks.

6.1.40 However it is worth noting that this network does not deliver any more benefits or demand for trips
between the North West and London above those of HS2. In this case trains using the Reverse E
network to access the North West would be no faster than classic-compatible trains using HS2 and
the WCML.

High Speed Rail for Britain – Report by High Speed 2 Ltd

6.1.41 The pattern of demand flows is reflected in the overall benefits accumulated by each network. Again
the Inverse A provides the greatest benefits. This is both in terms of time savings (reflecting the
wider accessibility to the network), as set out in Figure 6.1h, and in terms of the revenues that are
generated from the large number of passengers forecast.

Inverse A Reverse S Reverse E

Total Benefits
£103bn £73.9bn £87.3bn
£m, NPV, 2009 prices

Figure 6.1h Forecast total benefits for the three configurations

6.1.42 The Reverse E also delivers strong benefits, providing comparable journey times to the East
Midlands, Yorkshire and the North West. Where it differs from the Inverse A is in providing slower
journey times to Scotland, and to the North West (which could continue to be served by classic-
compatible trains via the WCML). This reduces the benefits by over 15% compared to the Inverse A.

6.1.43 The Reverse S delivers the lowest benefits, with slower journey times to London for all locations
north of Manchester, and no direct service to the East Midlands.

Strategic Business Case

6.1.44 The pattern of journey time savings is also reflected in the economic appraisal for the three
schemes. Given the caveats that follow, the indicative BCRs for the three configurations, given in
Figure 6.1i should be treated primarily as relative assessments rather than absolute figures – given
that with further optimisation and design optioneering, together with development of capital cost
estimates, the absolute values are subject to change. The calculations which underpin these results
are provided in the HS2 Demand and Appraisal Report.

Inverse A Reverse S Reverse E

Indicative BCR 2.3 1.8 1.9

Figure 6.1i Indicative BCR for the three configurations

6.1.45 We have not been able in the time available to do a full incremental analysis of the various elements
of a wider network, however of the three networks we have tested, the Inverse A performs the best
in the indicative BCR terms, which is largely a reflection of the fact that it offers more considerable
journey time savings to a larger overall market. Although both the Reverse E and Reverse S would
represent a lower cost, this cost saving is less than the loss of benefits due to slower journey times.

Chapter 6: Developing a Longer Term Strategy

6.1.46 The results also allow us to draw some particular conclusions:

• The strongest case is for fast, frequent journeys between the places with the greatest demand.
In particular fast and direct services to London are important.
• As a consequence there appears to be a case for considering routes both to the east and west of
the Pennines. In particular Leeds and Yorkshire gain significantly from direct links to London.
• The extremities of the network will require more complex analysis of the options available. It is
clear that a high speed network brings significant regional benefits. However a business case for
a new line is only likely to exist where the capacity is effectively utilised. This means there will be
a need for more intelligent use of infrastructure, potentially including classic-compatible trains
and upgraded classic lines.

6.1.47 There are a number of reasons why we would expect the absolute values to change upon the
completion of further more detailed work. For example, there is likely to be some substantial
variation in the costs (in either direction), once specific routes have been designed and assessed,
further environmental mitigation explored and land and project costs valued and incorporated.
However, we believe the indicative results given above should give confidence that there is a good
case for a wider network beyond HS2. It is reasonable to expect that the business case for the
networks could be substantially improved following a more detailed consideration of:
• The effects of optimising service patterns. The analysis above is based on sample service patterns
rather than an optimised specification. Stopping patterns and frequency can have a significant
effect on the business case. For example reducing the number of stops on a service increases
the journey time benefits to the ultimate destination but reduces frequencies at stations en route.
A similar trade-off applies in the decision of which destinations to serve at higher frequencies.
In modelling terms this optimisation involves an iterative process of adapting supply to demand,
in effect generating a greater ratio of benefits for every pound of operating expenditure.
• The potential impacts of recasting the classic network. As with HS2 in London and Birmingham,
further high speed lines offer the potential to release capacity on the existing network. This is
particularly the case with the Inverse A, which would release capacity on the WCML, MML and
the East Coast Main Line (ECML). By removing a number of long distance services, capacity can
be used to improve commuter access, which in many cities is under increasing strain, and which
would be likely to offer significant benefits. These benefits are not reflected in the analysis above,
which assumes the existing classic services continue to run in addition to high speed services. As
well as being able to tailor the provision of services to more effectively meet commuter demand,
some operational cost savings could be expected. This would provide a further enhancement to
the business case.
• Reliability impacts. In addition to faster journeys and higher capacity, higher speed networks
also offer benefits from improved reliability. The benefits estimated for a wider network above do
not include this aspect. As outlined in Chapter 4, reliability accounts for about 5-10% of the total
benefits generated by HS2. For a wider network, the changes to reliability could be expected to
exceed this.

High Speed Rail for Britain – Report by High Speed 2 Ltd

Incremental network components

6.1.48 Having concluded that a network configuration with branches to the east and west of the
Pennines performs best, we have looked at the strategic case for incremental components of this
configuration, focusing primarily at this stage on the likely next steps building on the base that HS2

6.1.49 These were analysed in a slightly different way from the three networks considered previously.
Specifically they were considered as increments on the HS2 service as specified in Chapter 3. This
means there were several differences, including:
• The frequencies reflected those set out in the HS2 service specification
• Reliability benefits were modelled and included in the assessment of benefits
• There was some re-use of released capacity on the WCML (although any additional benefits of
released capacity over and above those delivered by HS2 were not considered)

6.1.50 This means the data presented below is not directly comparable with the three networks outlined
above. However they are comparable to the results set out in Chapter 4.

HS2 to Manchester
6.1.51 In some ways the logical next step from HS2, which ends near Lichfield, would be to extend the line
to the North West and Manchester, increasing journey time benefits and releasing further capacity
on the WCML north of Birmingham – a valuable freight artery. An extension to Manchester could
bring further journey time savings of around 20 minutes over and above the savings delivered by HS2.
Classic-compatible trains rejoining the WCML in the North West could deliver additional savings of just
under 15 minutes to Liverpool, Preston and Glasgow. The extension would deliver significant additional
benefits at relatively low cost since HS2 would have already borne the cost of accessing London and
the additional operating costs would be limited given HS2 would already be serving Manchester using
classic-compatible trains.

6.1.52 Our high level assessment suggests that an extension to Manchester could deliver net benefits
worth around £8.1bn on top of those delivered by HS2. The substantial majority of these are due to
time savings to Manchester and Scotland. However there are also benefits from reduced crowding
since higher capacity 400m-long trains could now run as far as Manchester according to demand.
The longer high speed route would also provide additional reliability benefits to Manchester and
beyond. This could deliver a BCR of the order of 2.2 for extending HS2 to the North West.

Chapter 6: Developing a Longer Term Strategy

6.1.53 Our analysis of this incremental leg has pointed out the presence of difficult route choices in and
around Manchester however, which would need to be made in light of Government’s long term
aspiration. For example, easier access to the city centre may be achieved from the east. This would
also allow faster journey times between Manchester and Leeds across the Pennines, if the line
was extended in such a way. Such a route would however close off opportunities to other parts
of Lancashire and Merseyside, and from the east of Manchester a west coast line north towards
Scotland may be more difficult to achieve. In order to determine the best solution a similar process
to that which we have undertaken for London to the West Midlands would need to be carried out.
Such an exercise would need to be informed by the eventual aspirations for a network.

Summary of formal evidence and views from stakeholders from the

North West
During the course of the year we held talks with a number of stakeholders from the North West –
including through the more formal Northern Stakeholders group – briefing them on our approach
to the work in hand and hearing their views.

In particular we received evidence from the Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Executive
(GMPTE) and Manchester Airport Group (MAG), who commissioned work during the year on the
strategic economic arguments for HSR to the North West.

The GMPTE/MAG study sought to analyse the potential Wider Economic Impacts that would be
generated by a high speed line to the North West, identifying benefits beyond those reflected
in the standard transport project appraisal, including the positive impacts on productivity of
redistributing employment and influencing its sectoral mix, and also of expanding regional
employment. The study suggested that high speed rail to the North West could generate Gross
Value Added (GVA) benefits in the order of £970m per annum. The study also concluded that
Manchester, with the highest proportion of firms in the financial and business services sector
among the major northern cities (46%), ‘provides the critical economic mass that makes it the
best chance for accelerated growth outside London’. The study also noted the potential for the
Manchester Hub proposals to further increase the value of a high speed connection, and the
opportunity to support Manchester Airport as the UK’s major international airport outside the
South East including acceleration of Manchester’s ‘Airport City’ proposals.

High Speed Rail for Britain – Report by High Speed 2 Ltd

HS2 to Leeds via the East Midlands and South Yorkshire

6.1.54 We have also considered an extension to Leeds as an increment on the HS2 scheme design,
including a connection to the East Coast Main Line. The capital costs are relatively low, despite the
increased costs of stations, due to the likely easier topography along the line. This increment adds
new services in addition to those specified for HS2 – and therefore imposes significant additional
operational costs. Overall the present value costs of the Leeds extension are around 95% higher
than the Manchester extension.

6.1.55 However, the extension to Leeds opens entirely new markets to HS2 and would offer a step change
in journey times between London and cities such as Nottingham, Sheffield and Leeds. The line
would also link three of the largest flows of long distance trips outside of London – linking Yorkshire
and Humberside, East Midlands and West Midlands. The step change in journey times would result
in a significant increase in demand, driving very significant benefits – totalling as much as £30bn
in present value terms. This extension provides time savings comparable to those offered by HS2
to Birmingham, Manchester and Liverpool. The large demand response would also generate
substantial revenues. This suggests a strong strategic business case, where the net additional
revenues from the extension come close to covering both construction and operating costs.

Summary of formal evidence and views

from Leeds and Sheffield City Regions
In September 2009 the City Regions of Leeds and Sheffield jointly published a summary analysis
of the case for high speed rail to serve Yorkshire. This was based on more detailed reports
commissioned by South Yorkshire PTE and Metro (the West Yorkshire PTE) after the creation of
HS2L. These reports were submitted to HS2, and have been provided to Government alongside
our own report.

Overall, the studies concluded that high speed rail to Yorkshire could access a population of
around 4.4million and an economy with around 2 million jobs across the Leeds and Sheffield city
regions. The studies estimated that, in addition to the standard transport user benefits of around
£29bn (based on an updated figures from the 2003 SRA study), further productivity benefits of
a link to Yorkshire would be worth between £1.3bn and £3.1bn to the Leeds and Sheffield city
regions and London (in NPV over the 60 year appraisal period, calculated using the then guidance
on Wider Economics Benefits).

The report also noted the potential for a high speed rail network connecting Yorkshire, North
West , the North East, and East Midlands to create a stronger economic zone outside London,
and recommended that the creation of a more diverse and balanced UK economy should be
an objective for any new line. A central recommendation from the work was that HS2 should
be designed in such a way as to permit its extension to Yorkshire to the east of the Pennines.
A further recommendation was that a more easterly leg, via Cambridge or Peterborough should
also be assessed as an alternative.

Chapter 6: Developing a Longer Term Strategy

Summary of evidence and views

from the East Midlands Development Agency
In early December 2009, the East Midlands Development Agency provided HS2 Ltd with their
report ‘The Case for High Speed Rail to the Three Cities’ which considered the inclusion of Derby,
Leicester and Nottingham as part of a UK high speed rail network.

This report, commissioned from Arup, encourages the Government to consider high speed rail
as part of a coherent development strategy of the wider rail network over the next 20-30 years. It
advocates that high speed rail is a project to deliver national economic transformation, helping
improve the connectivity of the main urban centres in Britain with the key economic zone of
London, as well as strengthening links between city regions to create a stronger non-London
economic zone. This enables the development of a more diverse and better distributed UK

The wider rail strategy includes – in the short to medium term – further upgrades to the existing
Midland Main line, to enable journey times between the Three Cities and London to be more
comparable to equivalent distance rail trips on the East Coast Main Line, with a high speed rail
route being implemented in the longer term.

The journey time and wider economic impacts of both of these changes have been estimated
using current DfT transport appraisal guidance. The report suggests enhancements to the
Midland Main Line could deliver productivity benefits in the range of £0.5 - £0.7bn, of which half
of this value would be to the Three Cities area. Arup have also considered the range of route
scenarios developed by Greengauge 21 for their high speed route to the North East from London.
The estimated wider economic impacts of a station in the Three Cities area are forecast to be in
the range of £0.8 -1.04bn depending upon the location of the station and the connectivity between
the Three Cities.

Transpennine link between Manchester and Leeds
6.1.56 The demand between Manchester and Leeds is likely to be one of the highest non-London flows.
A high speed rail link could deliver significant time savings. However, the costs would be high, and if
a high speed branch had been built directly from the West Midlands to Leeds via the East Midlands,
the number of high speed trains using a transpennine link would be limited. Our analysis suggests
that the business case for a full high speed line between Manchester and Leeds is much less strong,
on an incremental basis, than the case for the branches from the West Midlands to Manchester
and Leeds. However the business case could be improved in a number of ways and we recommend
further work to investigate these, including the potential for:
• Mixed high speed and classic running – On the assumption that the capacity of the line would
be underused, it may be possible to divert other trains (e.g. cross-country trains) via this short
section of high speed line – providing benefits to a wider populations without affecting the
reliability of the core network.

High Speed Rail for Britain – Report by High Speed 2 Ltd

• Upgraded classic line – Given the environmental and financial costs likely to be imposed by an
entirely new line between Leeds and Manchester and the fact that the line is used by a lot of
people making shorter point-to-point journeys, there may be a case for increasing the speed and
capacity of the existing line, as the Northern Way has suggested.

Summary of evidence and views from the Northern Way

The Northern Way – the partnership led by the three northern Regional Development Agencies
– published a document called ‘Transforming Our Economy and Our Connectivity: High Speed
Rail for the North’. The document draws together and builds upon evidence produced by a range
of organisations, including Network Rail and Greengauge 21, and other analysis prepared on
Northern Way’s behalf.

The Northern Way produced 14 substantial conclusions about the need for high speed rail to the
North and the shape of the network, which are summarised below:
• High speed rail should be developed as a network, built on two north-south routes, connected
across the Pennines. The greatest economic benefit would be generated by bringing northern
cities closer together as part of a network, with regional connectivity as well as London links.
• In order to derive the maximum economic benefit the network should access city centres
• Links across the Pennines would drive economic growth, and may be best achieved with a
mixed-traffic line operating at speeds significantly higher than the existing trans-Pennine
• Evidence suggests that a route to Manchester should be the first stage of a national high speed
rail network.
• To prevent distorting business investment decisions, a route to the North’s cities to the east of
the Pennines should be developed in parallel with a route to Manchester.
• Investment strategies on the existing East Coast and Midland Main Lines, and trans-Pennine
routes are required in the interim as part of an overall national rail investment strategy.

In supporting a mixed use line across the Pennines, the report drew particular attention to the
importance of trans-Pennine connections in providing opportunities for businesses east of the
Pennines to access Manchester Airport for extending the increasingly overlapping labour markets
in the North, and also for the two-way flow of intermodal freight traffic from the North’s ports to
markets. The report acknowledges that this is likely to mean creating a route with operational
speeds lower than the North-South high-speed lines.

Serving the North East and Scotland
6.1.57 Under the conditions modelled with the Inverse A, we see strong benefits from Scotland suggesting
that high speed rail does change the nature of the market substantially. Our modelling suggests
that domestic air trips between Scotland and London would fall by more than 60%. Relative flows on
the model suggest that serving Scotland via the West Coast is preferable in terms of benefits due to
the further reduction in journey times by 30 minutes. For Newcastle, a similar story emerges – with
substantially greater benefits yielded by more direct access to London.

Chapter 6: Developing a Longer Term Strategy

Summary of evidence and views from Transport Scotland

Transport Scotland, the national transport agency of the Scottish Government also published in
October 2009 a strategic business case study which explored the case for the investment in a high
speed line to Scotland.

Acknowledging that Edinburgh and Glasgow city centres contribute up to 30% of Scottish output
and their city regions make up more than 70% of Scotland’s economy, the report explains
that supporting the development of these two cities is a key part of the Scottish Government’s
Economic Strategy. In particular the Scottish Government highlights the importance of linkages
to London and the south, as ‘they facilitate commerce and industry, and in particular the export of
financial and business services, which together make up more than 25% of Scotland’s exports to
the rest of the UK’. The report notes further that good rail links are twice as important to these
industries as to other sectors in the Scottish economy.

The study reviewed the potential welfare benefits of a high speed link and noted that ‘failure to
bring the high speed line to Scotland will disadvantage the Scottish economy, particularly the
tourist industry. A limited development of high speed lines in England will mean that cities in
England unfairly benefit compared to those in Scotland, as they attract more visitors, and make
Scotland appear the poor relation in the UK.’

It concluded that only by extending the high speed line to Scotland could a step change in journey
times to under 3 hours be achieved, thereby unlocking the full economic and modal shift benefits.
The study includes analysis of potential welfare benefits accruing to Scotland from reduced
journey times to London, estimating that a 2hr reduction in journey times would generate over
£1bn in benefits. These calculations were based on existing demand between only Glasgow,
Edinburgh and London, and so are likely to be underestimated, as they do not include background
growth in demand or generated trips. The report also concludes that a high speed line would
boost Scotland’s tourist market and has the potential to reduce the number of domestic flights
between Scotland and London. Using a strategic analytical framework Transport Scotland
estimated that approximately 156,000 tonnes of carbon could be saved each year (leaving aside
embedded carbon from construction) if high speed rail achieved a 91% modal share between
London and Scotland.

Transport Scotland considered certain possible broad route alignments. The report
acknowledged a preference for a line serving Glasgow and Edinburgh independently using a
line which splits north of the border to provide direct access to both cities. The alternative,
serving Glasgow via Edinburgh would limit the overall benefits to Scotland. Transport Scotland
also stated an initial preference for a network configuration that served Scotland via the west
coast, which it concluded would ‘[provide] the best opportunity to realise economic welfare and
environmental benefits while limiting cost’.

The full Strategic Business Case prepared by Transport Scotland can be found within the
stakeholder submissions which are published alongside this report.

High Speed Rail for Britain – Report by High Speed 2 Ltd

6.1.58 At the extremities of the network there will inevitably be a far lower requirement for train paths, such
that capacity would be substantially underused by high speed trains alone. Over such stretches of
route there would be scope for maximising the line’s ‘yield’ by interspersing non-stop high-speed
services with additional slower passenger or freight services. Alternatively, it would be possible to
determine a desired journey time to Edinburgh, Glasgow or Newcastle and then analyse the most cost
effective physical solution. This would potentially lead to an approach which has a mix of new route
sections and upgraded gauge-cleared sections, as happens in Germany and Switzerland. We have not
done material work on these approaches but recommend they are considered further in due course.

Summary of evidence and views from

North East stakeholders
The Association of North East Councils (ANEC) has been a strong advocate for high speed rail to the North
East and submitted a paper on the potential benefits, on behalf of all the region’s local authorities, which
was endorsed by the North East Chamber of Commerce and the Regional Development Agency, One North
East. ANEC state that the case for high speed rail to the North East starts from a fundamental view that ‘a
network of high speed lines [must link] all regions and major cities of the country, to enable all regions to
realise their full economic development potential and contribute to sustainable future growth for the UK.’

The submission from ANEC further highlighted that the North East has the fastest growth rates in the UK
and states that ‘capacity exists for the region to play a bigger role in UK growth, but efficient transport
connections are vital to seize this opportunity.’

ANEC suggest that a failure to connect the North East to a high speed network could weaken investment
in growth sectors in which it has a competitive advantage, such as low carbon technology, regenerative
medicine, design and digital technology. This would undermine the region’s aspiration to raise its Gross
Value Added (GVA) average to 90% of the national average, from 80% today.

As part of their submission ANEC also commented that a phased approach to the development of a high
speed network will ‘give an early economic advantage to those areas connected first’ and it was ‘critical
this does not send a signal to investors which will be difficult to turn back from. Encouraging development
along a single corridor would create lop-sided economic growth in the UK’.

ANEC point out that the Tyne and Wear and Tees Valley City Regions would add a population of over 2.5
million to the potential catchment area of an east coast high speed line. Together with 4.4 million in the
Leeds and Sheffield City Regions, ANEC state there is a strong case for joining up large urban centres
of population, and relieving capacity on the existing East Coast Main Line. ANEC conclude, following a
2008 study by Atkins, that a high speed connection to the North East is predicted to create a £3.1 billion
productivity boost to the region.

During the year we also met Nexus and the Tyne and Wear Integrated Transport Authority, who also
submitted evidence on the case for high speed rail to serve Tyne and Wear. This focused on the importance
of end-to-end journey times between the North East and London, and thereby on the need for a network
that served the North East directly, rather than with route via the West Midlands and North West. Nexus
also noted the potential to enhance intra-regional links with the released capacity.

Chapter 6: Developing a Longer Term Strategy

Implications of the longer term network for HS2

6.1.59 In many respects the West Midlands is the northern limit to which the first stage of a network
can be designed whilst still leaving open a range of options for the shape of an eventual network.
Developing proposals for access to Manchester or Leeds will inevitably trigger decisions about the
long term plans to serve destinations further north. Nevertheless the design of HS2 has the ability to
predetermine certain aspects of the eventual network, for example in the size of its stations, or the
way in which it serves Heathrow. This section draws together and explains the most significant of
these aspects in the HS2 design.

Four-tracking HS2
6.1.60 We have considered the possibility of laying four tracks along the HS2 alignment, thereby increasing
its long term capacity, to 30+ train paths per hour in each direction, rather than the maximum of
18 we assume for a two track railway. However, for the following reasons we have not pursued this
• The level of demand we have assumed – with growth continuing to 2033 and then levelling off
– does not appear to support such a substantial increase in capacity. That is not to say that the
demand may not materialise at some point after the next 25-30 years. However it does suggest
that HS2 would need initially to bear a substantial degree of additional cost and environmental
impact on the basis that the demand may materialise. We do not believe this to be a credible
• Were a second trunk into London to be justified, there are compelling reasons to believe that its
optimal alignment would not follow the same as that of HS2. Firstly, a more easterly leg would
enable high speed rail to address a broader market, and bring with it the possibility of further
improved journey times to destinations east of the Pennines. Secondly, we believe there is no
plausible site for the approximately 20-platform station that would be required to serve a four
track high speed railway operating at full capacity, and nor is there a surface alignment into
London that could support a four-track HS2. Were HS2 to be four-tracked to a point somewhere
outside London, the second pair of tracks would need to enter London entirely in tunnel and
terminate at a different station (although it is worth restating here that our analysis of the
possible sites in central London suggests there is no obvious location for a second high speed
terminal). A further reason for preferring a second route alignment is the added resilience it
would give to a national network.

6.1.61 In short, a decision to four-track HS2 would need to be made against the backdrop of considerable
uncertainty about future demand, and when other potentially superior options exist should the
demand materialise. For these reasons we have recommended as part of our proposals for HS2 that
it remain only a two-track railway. If demand materialises, a second leg could be built from the East
Midlands to London.

High Speed Rail for Britain – Report by High Speed 2 Ltd

Other implications
6.1.62 As we have explained in section 3.6, in Birmingham we have assumed a six platform station at
Fazeley Street to allow for the growth of cross country services in anticipation of a future network.
In the event that Government wished not to pursue options for a longer term network this design
would need to be reviewed. In London we believe that a ten platform station would be required
from Day One in order to provide operational resilience. The delta junction outside Birmingham on
HS2 has also been designed specifically to permit trains to leave HS2 and head east, and for cross
country high speed trains to head east from Birmingham without rejoining HS2. Its design could be
simplified in the event that Government chose not to pursue an eastern leg.

Summary and key recommendations

6.1.63 Given that our analysis of longer term options has been at a strategic level, we do not seek to
present here definitive conclusions on the precise configuration of a wider network of high speed
lines, nor on the particular ways in which regions should or should not be served. However, our
analysis has allowed us to draw a number of conclusions:
• There is a good case for going on to develop high speed lines beyond the West Midlands and,
of the networks we have looked at, a network with two branches either side of the Pennines
performs best.
• While there appears to be a good case for continuing HS2 on to the North West and Manchester,
there looks also to be a particularly strong case for a branch to Yorkshire and Leeds, via the East
Midlands. Both appear to be strong candidates for more detailed work as part of the next stage of
• Government needs to decide its aspirations for the longer term network before plans for the next
stage can be worked up in detail. We have been able to design HS2 in such a way that options for
the future remain open, but this will not be the case for route sections beyond Birmingham.
• The longer term network should initially be built out from the HS2 trunk. If there is further
demand in the longer term, a second leg could be provided from the East Midlands to London.

6.1.64 Bearing these conclusions in mind, we recommend that:

• Further analytical work should be carried out on the ultimate nature and scope of the network,
so that Government can state its aspirations in more detail. As part of this, Government may wish
in particular to commission further work to assess the value of classic line upgrades on less-
intensely used sections of route.
• This would enable detailed work to be undertaken on the branches from the West Midlands to
Manchester and Leeds, which we recommend are the priorities for the next stage of development
of a high speed network.


AONB Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
AoS Appraisal of Sustainability
AVE Alta Velocidad Española, the high speed train service in Spain
BAA BAA Airports Ltd, owners and operators of six UK airports, including London
BCR Benefit Cost Ratio
Captive ‘Captive’ is used to describe rolling stock which could only be used on HS2
infrastructure (or GC-gauge stretches of the classic network)
Classic rail The non-high speed railway
Classic-compatible Rolling stock which can operate on both new high-speed lines and the existing
classic network
Day One A term used to describe the conditions on HS2 on the first day of operation,
as distinct from HS2 as part of a wider network
DBFM Design Build Finance Maintain
DBT Design Build Transfer
DfT Department for Transport
ECML East Coast Main Line
ERTMS European Rail Traffic Management System
EU European Union
GC The standard structural gauge as specified by EU legislation
GDP Gross Domestic Product
GMPTE Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Executive
GVA Gross Value Added
GWML Great Western Main Line
HS1 High-speed railway line running from London through Kent to the Channel Tunnel
(formerly Channel Tunnel Rail Link (CTRL))
HS2 Proposed high speed railway line between London and the West Midlands
HS2 Ltd High Speed Two (HS2) Limited
HSL-Z Dutch Hogesnelheidslijn
HSR High Speed Rail

High Speed Rail for Britain – Report by High Speed 2 Ltd

ICC International Convention Centre, Birmingham

ICE Intercity-Express, a Siemens high speed train used in Germany and elsewhere
IPC Infrastructure Planning Commission
kph Kilometres per hour
LUL London Underground Ltd
MML Midland Main Line
mph Miles per hour
MtCO2 Million tonnes of Carbon Dioxide
NEC National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham
NLL North London Line
NPS National Policy Statement (introduced as part of the 2008 reform of the planning
NPV Net Present Value
ORR Office of Rail Regulation
PDFH Passenger Demand Forecasting Handbook
Pendolino A tilting train manufactured by Alstom, currently operating on the West Coast Main
PPP Public Private Partnership
PV Present Value
PVB Present Value of Benefits
PVC Present Value of Costs
QRA Quantified Risk Analysis
RAB Regulatory Asset Base
Reference Case A set of assumptions about the future, against which the impact of our proposals has
been compared
Reference Train A train, the performance characteristics of which been used to model the
HS2 service.
SAC Special Area of Conservation
SBRs Supplementary Business Rates
Structure gauge The minimum height and width requirements along a route
SSSI Site of Special Scientific Interest


T5 Terminal 5 of Heathrow Airport

T6 Potential Terminal 6 of Heathrow Airport
TEN-T Trans-European Transport Network
TfL Transport for London
TGV High speed trains in operation in France
TOC Train Operating Company
tph Trains per hour
TSIs Technical Specifications for Interoperability
VfM Value for Money
WCML West Coast Main Line
Webtag Web-based Transport Appraisal Guidance, as issued by DfT

High Speed Rail for Britain – Report by High Speed 2 Ltd

List of Supporting Documents

1. HS2 Record of Stakeholder Engagement
This document outlines HS2’s approach to engaging with key stakeholders throughout 2009.

2. HS2 Technical Appendix

This suite of documents contains the overarching HS2 technical specification, supported by a number of
other documents which provide additional detail on particular topic areas.
• Project Specification
• Day One Train Service Assumptions for Demand Modelling
• International Requirements
• Rolling Stock Strategy
• Rolling Stock Maintenance Strategy
• Infrastructure Maintenance Strategy

3. Appraisal of Sustainability Report

This report for HS2 by Booz-Temple describes how the proposals for HS2 support objectives for
sustainable development. It contains the findings of an appraisal of sustainability (AoS) that has helped
to define the preferred scheme and its various options.

4. Appraisal of Sustainability: Non Technical Summary

A summary of the HS2 Appraisal of Sustainability Report, prepared for HS2 by Booz-Temple.

5. HS2 Demand and Appraisal Report

A report by HS2 setting out the results of analysis from the demand and forecasting model and
the economic appraisal.

6. Route Engineering Study Final Report

This report for HS2 by Arup presents the findings of a route engineering and alignment study for
a potential new high-speed rail line from London to the West Midlands.

7. HS2 Cost and Risk Model

This document describes the costs of the HS2 project, the work carried out in reaching our cost
conclusions, and the approach to risk in the cost model.

8. International case studies on delivery and financing

A report for HS2 by Ernst and Young on the experience of delivery and financing of international high
speed rail projects.

9. Delivery Considerations
A report for HS2 by Ernst and Young on the delivery considerations for HS2.

List of Supporting Documents

10. Financial Considerations

A report for HS2 by Ernst and Young on the financial considerations for HS2, including the results of the
financial modelling.

11. HS2 Consultation Strategy

This document prepared by HS2 provides advice to Government on a proposed consultation strategy.

12. Stakeholder Submissions

A record of the submissions provided to HS2 by stakeholders during 2009.

13. List of Reference Documents