The Sleeper's Blog


Looking back over HS1, 10 years on

While the HS2 project continues to gain ground and press ahead with major contracts despite recent staffing controversies, today sees its older, considerably smaller sibling turn 10 years old.

HS1, the line running between St Pancras International and the Channel Tunnel, was completed at a total cost of £7.3bn a full 16 years after its announcement in 1991.

A decade on and looking back at the project, it is possible to see the ways it has improved as a service since 2007.

The number of passengers using HS1 has doubled since launch, with services carrying over 20 million domestic and international passengers in 2016 alone. In addition, the line boasts an average delay per train of less than five seconds, and recorded passenger satisfaction on the domestic service at 93%.

HS1 also has a lot to teach its younger counterpart about the economic benefits that high-speed rail can bring to the country – if there’s still enough time to embed these lessons, that is.

Over 90% of leading businesses surveyed in the Kent region said the line had benefitted them in one way or another, and with projects like Leeds station and the Sollihull development framework counting on HS2, it seems a positive sign.

Another 80% said that the HS1 line had helped them grow their businesses and 89% said it made Kent a more attractive place to open a company.

Dyan Crowther, CEO of HS1 Ltd, said the project was a “catalyst for growth” in the region – something that HS2 bosses will hope can be transferred to the new high-speed project.

“We believe that high speed rail is essential to the nation’s future growth, improving connectivity and bringing people closer together than ever before,” Crowther added. “We are proud to be flying the flag for British high-speed rail and see HS1 as a model for the future.”

Top image: DfT

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Andrew Gwilt   16/11/2017 at 02:09

At least the former Eurostar terminal at London Waterloo will be reused from next year and to allow 10-Car trains to use the former Eurostar terminal platforms that will operate on the London Waterloo-Reading and Windsor & Eton Riverside routes. And to free up trains to use other platforms for other services that First MTR South Western Railway (formerly Stagecoach South West Trains) have promised to improve better services and to increase the amount of trains that will be serving London Waterloo from other cities such as Portsmouth, Southampton, Weymouth, Bournemouth, Basingstoke and suburban trains that operates on the Southwest London metro services as platforms 1-4 have been upgraded. Network Rail are still improving London Waterloo and the former Eurostar terminal should be completed and to reopen from next year.

Mark Hare   16/11/2017 at 14:05

No doubt this article will be completely ignored by the luddites who still believe HS2 is a waste of money / pointless / won't bring any economic benefits etc etc.

Icn   16/11/2017 at 22:41

The article is about HS1 and is not about HS2 and is certainly not anything to do with Waterloo station.

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