On this week’s episode of RTM’s Track Talk, host Ailsa Cowen is joined by Gareth Dennis, a Railway engineer and writer. Gareth dissects the strong anti-devolution agenda affecting the industry, how our railways are a jack of all trades and master of none and how HS2 is a bit of light at the end of the tunnel.
Gareth discusses the 40% cut in Transport for the North’s operational budget. He says, “there’s no sensible reason to cut this money other than the fact the current Transport Minister has created his own what he calls Acceleration Unit’ to do the work that Transport for the North was supposed to be doing.”
He speaks enthusiastically about HS2 stating, “the main benefit of HS2 is not actually on HS2 it’s on the existing railway network.” He also discusses, “if the Eastern leg of HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail is dropped it would be a dismal abandonment, not just of the North but also the North East and the Midlands.”
In relation to the lack of William’s Review, he says, “we’re in the sci-fi fantasy future at the point where we need to get a grip and handle what transport really should look like.”
Looking towards the future he said that the biggest challenge right now is what happens after Covid. “The industry really needs to rally round and shout very loudly about how important it will be as part of Britain’s recovery.”