Latest Rail News

06.08.13

Hub and spoke model recommended for HS2

Network Rail has set out how HS2 could be integrated into the national rail network in a new report. ‘Better connections: options for the integration of High Speed 2’ considers three approaches the industry could take to maximise the benefits of the new line.

They are: doing the minimum to integrate; incrementally replacing long distance services replicated by HS2; or integrated connectivity, with all future rail services planned in a ‘hub and spoke’ model.

The report concluded the second and third options would offer the greatest benefits for the railway, with new services working in conjunction with HS2. It could improve inter-regional, commuter and freight services as well as improving services on the East Coast, Midland and West Coast lines.

Paul Plummer, Network Rail group strategy director, said: “HS2 provides an opportunity to fundamentally reshape our railway in a way that incremental improvements simply cannot deliver. It is a chance to stop playing catch-up on capacity and instead look at how the rail network could deliver a step-change improvement towards key national goals – economic growth, reduced carbon emissions and an improved quality of life for communities and individual passengers.

“This study is part of a wider programme that looks at how the high speed and existing lines might work together as a single network. We will continue to work with local authorities and other stakeholders to understand how we can make best use of HS2 and welcome feedback on this initial study in advance of more detailed assessments of the benefits.”

HS2 Ltd chief executive Alison Munro said: “We welcome this study and support its conclusions. By taking an integrated approach, HS2 will free up capacity across the rail network, connecting people to jobs and goods to markets.

“Up to 100 towns and cities across the UK could get better journeys , extending the benefits of HS2 way beyond the line itself. Projects like the Northern Hub will kick-start the process and bring significant near term advantages for rail users but only HS2 can deliver the step change in capacity the country needs for the longer term.”

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