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HS2 works will shut lines for 183 weekends

Major HS2 phase 1 works that cannot be accommodated during normal working hours will see the closure of several lines for roughly 183 weekends, according to HS2 Ltd figures that have just come to light.

This will include 19 weekends at Euston station – which Network Rail recently admitted would require better planning than London Bridge – from 2015 to 2017, affecting the West Coast Main Line with full and partial closures and trains diverted elsewhere.

Old Oak Common will be closed during 33 weekends between 2021 and 2025, affecting both Crossrail and Great Western Main Line with reduced services and occasional full closure.

Other affected lines include Derby to Birmingham lines for 32 weekends, the West Coast Main Line due to 31 weekends of Handascre area congestion, the Chiltern Lines for 17 weeks, any future services on East West Railway for 47 weekends, and the Coventry to Leamington Line for four weekends.

In total, 87 passenger lines will close for two or three days in the weekend alongside 20 freight lines, while half of that amount will take up only one day.

But other factors such as engineering design revisions, more detailed construction planning, uncertainties over approval processes or unforeseen delays could affect these estimates.

Campaigners from HS2 Action Alliance reacted angrily to the figures, accusing HS2 Ltd of being “less than honest” with travellers. Spokesman Richard Houghton said: “It is planning a huge number of weekend closures, which will impact the travelling public. Combined with this, the arrogance continues. It is planning to issue £7bn of supplier contracts before the hybrid bill passes through parliament and now we discover it will start closing Euston before they have the legal go-ahead for the new line.”

HS2 Ltd did not deny the figures for upcoming disruption and David Meecham, their spokesman, told the Guardian: “There will be times when construction impacts on the current railway, but this will be carefully planned with Network Rail and the train operators. HS2 Ltd will do all it can to minimise disruption to passengers.

“Compensation to the train operators for any such disruption will be drawn from the existing budget for the HS2 project.”


Lesf   01/09/2015 at 22:28

Puts a different complexion on their claim that any other route would cause years of disruptions.

Mark   02/09/2015 at 05:35

So in order to build a better railway for Britain, What's the matter if some line is disturbed for a period of time?Only if HS2 comes in time and on budget.

Myles   02/09/2015 at 12:24

Lets start cutting red tape in this country and get on with building the infrastructure that should have been built 30 years ago. The UK needs to look forward or we will be left behind. Stop moaning and putting blockers in the way everyone get behind it and it will be built cheaper and faster!

Gb   02/09/2015 at 17:15

The quicker this HS2 scheme is dropped the better. Stop wasting money on something which hopefully will never happen. Far better to use our limited resources on targetted re-instatements of lines closed in the late 1960s to increase capacity, enhancing and developing existing infrastructure which we all know could use it. Our trains are fast enough but the system needs to reach more areas to provide better connectivity for every body not just those travelling between major cities - who already have that facility anyway.

Rayk   02/09/2015 at 22:29

The headline sounds aweful. Suitable for the gutter press. These weekends will be spread out over years and over multiple and widespread locations and will be managed and coordinated to minimise actual disruption. In all probability any disruption will be spread over considerably less than the total which are headline as if they were performed back to back.

JJ   04/09/2015 at 17:03

HS2 is waste of money which if it proceeds will cost some £60-80 billions. Our roads are in a desperate state and with our population growth will become a disaster. To spend this money of 3% of rail travel is irresponsible.

Geordie   04/09/2015 at 17:51

Is it true that HS2 will cost NINE times more per mile of track than the equivalent rail lines in (heavily unionised) France? Or is this just a wicked rumour spread by the anti-HS2 lobby?

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