A better and cheaper London solution for HS2

Lord Berkeley

Lords Bradshaw and Berkeley believe that the high speed lines of this country should be part of an integrated rail network with many services operating beyond the limits of high speed lines, and with the most economic and convenient links to major cities should reflect the needs of the passenger for easy interchange as well as many through services as possible.

Certainly in Phase 1 but also in Phase 2, the main purpose of HS2 is to provide additional capacity on the already congested corridor London to West midlands, the North West and Yorkshire and Humberside.

The need to build expensive underground connections to city centre termini has not been fully thought through, either in London or Manchester, whereas the alternatives of new stations not connected to other transport links is also of concern. In all cases, the benefits of through services to destinations beyond and of good interchanges, even if this involves using classic lines for the last few miles, does need thinking through with alternative costings.

Here we offer an alternative for the London terminus – ‘Euston Cross’

Euston Cross description

Second article Modern Railways

Modern Railways Euston Cross

22 comments for “A better and cheaper London solution for HS2

  1. Gareth Howell
    17/10/2013 at 8:12 pm

    Most obliged to the noble lord for the pdfs provided, and delighted to learn firstly from an engineer and then a mathematician, their thoughts on complex subjects such as their lordships’ house are capable of dealing with, possibly in a superior and more detailed way,to that of the other place.

    I have done quite a bit of reading recently on the history of the early 19thC
    and its effects on population movements throughout the UK and the fact

    “When HS2 phase 2 opens in 2033 the first main lines will have been around for 2 centuries”.

    They had an extraordinary effect then as HS2 phase 2 will also have, and as the channel tunnel has had on X channel business. I am rather sorry that no transnational (trans-state?)train goes out of Waterloo any more, since I met a very lovely Parisian lady on the platform one sunday morning, and took the golden opportunity of a vacation in Paris which I would not otherwise have had!

    Modern transport systems take some keeping up with. I think I almost went to Exeter recently in an attempt to connect with the Motorway (up from Cornwall to the midlands past Worcester) not knowing of the phenomenal new motorway from Basingstoke/ Winchester to Birmingham, which reduces the Birmingham journey, from my home by car, to about an hour and three quarters at a quiet time. That is a complete and utter transformation from 15 years ago when it would have taken 3 hours.

    The train cartography put forward by the Lords Bradshaw and Berkeley will do the same for train journeys. 60 million people in a smallish space like this need flexible and highly versatile communications, for a modern and non-decadent railway system. “British Rail” seems to be a thing of the past, and decadent it was becoming.

  2. LordBlagger
    18/10/2013 at 11:58 am

    Certainly in Phase 1 but also in Phase 2, the main purpose of HS2 is to provide additional capacity on the already congested corridor London to West midlands, the North West and Yorkshire and Humberside.


    Complete myth.

    Periodically I take a 5:30 train on a Friday from London to Birmingham. If you’re premise is correct, its going to be jammed packed, standing room only. It’s not. 20-30% occupancy.

    Then there is the usual claptrap that its a choice of HS2 or nothing.

    1. HS2
    2. Something else
    3. Stop spending people’s pension money

    In reverse order.

    You owe 6,500 bn for pensions. Apart from Cameron’s solution which is to get as many people into the lords to trouser 300 a day, but cost 2,700 a day its not going to work.

    For the same money,you could have 500 DLR like likes in the UK. You can’t fit those in London. You could add on all the other cities in the UK, and provide them with similar. That helps vastly more people than the idle few who want to screw Cornwall so they can shave 5 mins of their commute.

    So its simple. HS2 pays for itself? So all the cost is loaded onto the ticket price. After all if it provides the benefits the customers will pay.

  3. maude elwes
    19/10/2013 at 7:39 am

    Railways in the UK cannot meet the needs of a modern functioning country. They first of all must be re-nationalized, along with the utilities. It is absurd to have endless private concerns jigging around all over the place in every cartel they can muster, whilst also taking money from the tax payer. It has created chaos throughout the entire network and we are seen by the world as a joke of days bygone.

    You want a modern thriving country, then think as they do on the continent. Fast, cheap, comfortable and practical. Freight should not be traveling on roads, it’s ridiculous when it could so easily be carted by the iron horse. Raise the level of employment from Lands End to John O’Groats it would. Killing several birds with one stone on the way.

    Private companies do not do it better than a national service, or more efficiently, as, to our chagrin, we have been well able to experience. Their costs fly higher than hot air balloons carrying nothing but ballast that has to be ditched in order to really gain pace.

    The endless march of the Global Capitalists is a great detriment to those who make the nation function in the real world. Time to give workers back what you stole.

  4. 19/10/2013 at 8:33 am

    Magtrac is an engineering alternative to HS2 that could double the capacity of the whole of the UK network at relatively low cost and without any new lines being built.
    Magtrac would bring prosperity to parts of the UK that HS2 fails to reach. It is explained at http://www.cheshire-innovation.com/Transport%20internet.htm

  5. LordBlagger
    21/10/2013 at 11:54 am

    And when we nationalise the railways, why not nationalise all the employees? The state can take all their assets, and own them. We can’t have people working to earn money.

    Get over it Maude, the argument is lost. The Nationalized railways had their go, and they lost billions. You could always put your pension up – all of it, and sign a waiver to say you won’t resort to public funds. Get enough people to do that and you can do what you want with them.

    You’ll end up going the same route. Bankruptcy.

    • maude elwes
      22/10/2013 at 8:38 am


      You are in a terrible mess…. Capitalism has failed. And failed to such an extent it has impoverished the country and its workers. It cannot be solvent again under this regime and its policies. So, if we want to continue as a civilised society, there is no alternative to nationalisation.

      The concentration of wealth you are imagining is nothing but a huge bubble of non ending debt. In fact it is simply ‘debtism’ which is not akin to Capitalism in its true form. Management control and strategic planning of the utilities, railways, transport and so on, is possible only if it is state owned. Our country and its infrastructure is fragmented. All you are suggesting is, the worker or people continue fund a faux wealthy in their scam of selling so called Capitalist dominance. Every working person is funding their own demise under this illiterate government and their charade of ‘privatisation.’ The country is running on empty. Capitalism is dead. Free trade ended with Globalisation.

      So stop wishing for something that doesn’t and cannot exist. Freedom is not being enslaved by a class who are using a worn out system of subservience in order to keep up an appearance of superiority, simply to maintain their extravagant lifestyle. For they fear greatly the loss of their exclusive props that keep them in the drama they present us with.

      How can you really look at what is taking place and not see we are being run by individuals without intelligence. Take this crazed idea of the Chinese and French taking over the building of nuclear Britain, paid for by trillions of so called ‘pounds’ of debt, serviced by the enslaved, under the auspices of their ‘free will.’ You cannot be serious!

      And the joke in all you write is that it is you who tells us your finger is on the heartbeat of borrowing and that rising debt must be paid for by the workers who will gain nothing from it. Why are you bemused this way? Get off the Eton spivs soap box and start batting for your country in the real sense. It is needing you.

      • LordBlagger
        22/10/2013 at 1:42 pm

        Capitalism hasn’t failed. The state has failed.

        How is the state going to pay its 8,000 bn debt?

        The annual increase is 850 bn a year.

        Taxes 600 bn – all of them.

        There is no capitalism in the state pension or civil service pension scheme. That’s 6,500 bn in total.

        There is no capitalism in the state borrowing. That’s 1,200 bn

        That’s socialism.

        Where’s the capitalism in taking money from people in that way?

        No capitalism at all

        Capitalism will happen however. The state won’t pay because it can’t pay. Statism not capitalism has bankrupted the UK.

        The end result is entirely as you and I predict. The poor will be destitute.

        Freedom is not being enslaved by a class who are using a worn out system of subservience in order to keep up an appearance of superiority, simply to maintain their extravagant lifestyle

        Correct. It’s the state Doh! Where’s capitalism? The state has taken the cash, not companies.

        Take this crazed idea of the Chinese and French taking over the building of nuclear Britain, paid for by trillions of so called ‘pounds’ of debt, serviced by the enslaved, under the auspices of their ‘free will.’

        So why’s this happening? Why can’t the UK population pay for it? Er, the debt, the state’s taken their money.

        • maude elwes
          24/10/2013 at 1:20 pm

          You are seriously backward, LB. The State didn’t bankrupt the economy. Capitalists did. Just as they did in the 1920’s-1930’s. And they do it because it makes vast amounts of personal wealth for the few at the top.

          What was foolish was government agreeing to go along with the prize scam of bailing out the players of the roulette wheel, under the auspices of, ‘it will be so much worse if you don’t do that.’ What a bunch of mugs they are. However, the collapse emanated in that wonderful home of the free, the USA. To which this government have now sold off our NHS. In order for them to, once again, use tax payers money to scam us, Madoff pyramid style. Keeping it well under wraps as they do so. The latest news telling us that, friend of the Blair creature, that US poodle par excellence, friend, Simon Stevens, has now taken over as head of the NHS. Who will be selling it on for their companies to service. No DM headline on that. No. Just pages of pretty baby pictures in an itchy Christening gown to keep us occupied. What a bunch of shysters we keep in our halls of power.

          That said, our Commons, Lords and government personnel are all in the shares and pay off game. To expect them to have principle for the country and its people at heart, is as ludicrous as expecting them to fast in atonement. They are not bright enough to comprehend what they spout, let alone sell a line we can swallow.

          Capitalism is a detriment to this country and the people of this continent. Corporate malfeasance is imbedded in our politics and structure so deeply we will never be free of it without serious alteration to its foundation.

          Railways, water, gas, electric, and all business related to the needs of the people must be returned to State ownership in the form of nationalisation. Privatisation always serves itself, never the public. And they have captive a audiences, as there is no real choice. They are all run by cartel.

          How to do it easily and by voter power, is, for the masses to move to one energy company, at that point the others will go out of business. The company left is then nationalised. Voila.

          And as far as the railway is concerned. Follow the German practice. Their railways are giants among the providers of transport. Their government owns the majority shares of a private-stock company AG. At that point their government, being the major share holder and arbiter, is in control.


          • LordBlagger
            28/10/2013 at 9:57 am

            You are seriously backward, LB. The State didn’t bankrupt the economy.


            Come on Maud. Puts some facts on the table to justify your views.

            It’s very easy.

            Lets just take one part of government, its pensions.

            I can tell you they have no assets in the civil service or state pension schemes. Zero. All easy to check.

            Now you tell me how much they owe?

            Then from that we can work out if its socialism or capitalism.

            Remember, capitalism isn’t involved in those schemes at all.

  6. Honoris Causa
    23/10/2013 at 8:33 am

    The concepts that LBerk and LBrad are dealing with are interesting, regarding the effect that new and faster systems of transport will have on the minds of man who uses them. Sitting on the train using an iPad which connects with the world, the world gets smaller and smaller, but the physical distance does too, because the connectivity of the world gets greater and greater. The possibility of building such rail networks in such a densely
    populated environment would be impossible, using the methods of the mid 19thC railways builders, (many of whom ended bancrupt). Today it is entirely feasible to plan the development of the system from the office and to know exactly what is going on at any given part of the development at any given time. that is LBerk’s job as a civil engineer.

    What may not be his job is the understanding of the effective use of the system once it is established, the capacities that LBlagger, in his own sweet way, raises question of. ‘First’ buses fore example, which I use, has methods all of its own,to determine profitablity on any particular route.
    They also run train services and the systems are the same. People who don’t use buses imagine that they run with no passengers all the time.
    sometimes they do, but when they are full to bursting, which from time to time they are, then they are doing so well, that it amply covers all the times that they run on empty. They, most certainly, after many years in the business have formulae for determining precisely how they are going to increase their passenger list and how to increase their profitability, by filling the bus when otherwise it would be empty. They cut their losses by cancelling the srvice on an already existing route.

    How does the civil engineer get together with the transport system operator to determine what level of usage the route will get, to justify such a capital outlay?

    We are finding now to the great pleasure of vast numbers of people that the routes of many of the old railways systems are now heavily used by passengers of another sort……… the cyclist!

    The NCR route 4 from Carmarthen(Caerfyrddin) to Swansea(Abertawe)
    must currently amply justify the builiding of the railway which once used to run on about 30 of the 55 miles route! Tens of thousands of families use it for extensive leisure cycling every year. The same applies to cycling on the edges of several thosuand miles of canal in thse islands, built 350 years before for the dartage of coal to inland areas. The combined use of,
    canal for haulage before the time of train and car, and that of cycling leisure
    make the investment from 350 years ago well worthwhile.

    Lord Blagger! In the words of Tebbitt “On Yer Bike” and in mine “Stop bellyaching about Peers wages! If you have got a grudge, Go Grab Some Yourself!”

    On the subject of the commissioning of SWT’s self service ticketing system, which has cost about £800m, one of the problems has been not just commissioning the ticket inspectors to use the newly commissioned system, but to commission the passengers(!) to use the system in the way that the SWT wants them to use it. Therein lies a problem, but I do now travel first class for not much more than I did second by choosing my time more carefully online than I could previously have done. their rolling stock is so much better than it was 15 years ago when I started using SWT that I don’t mind too much receiving their commission!

  7. LordBlagger
    23/10/2013 at 2:03 pm

    They also run train services and the systems are the same. People who don’t use buses imagine that they run with no passengers all the time.
    sometimes they do, but when they are full to bursting, which from time to time they are, then they are doing so well, that it amply covers all the times that they run on empty.


    So why is the London Brum route, Friday, 5:30 pm running at 30% capacity?

    Even the reverse, sunday 7:00 pm isn’t running at capacity, about 60%

    Conclusion, its not about capacity. It’s not about being profitable or not.

    It’s all about getting the taxpayer to spend a lot, and creaming off a percentage for yourself.

    “Stop bellyaching about Peers wages! If you have got a grudge, Go Grab Some Yourself!”

    By the time the plebs realize we’ve looted their pensions, we’ll be long gone.

    • Honoris Causa
      24/10/2013 at 11:33 am

      How is the state going to pay its 8,000 bn debt?
      Such things, in a first world, capitalist country, are backed up by nuclear power ie weaponry. It is unarguable. They are merely numbers governed by convention which may be broken, with the passing of time. We live on the rest of the world and to pay for it, by convention we import immigrants with it, who now contribute creatively to the economy far better than most Brits, especially those outside the big smoke, who rely on income supports for their existence.

      Regarding the £18m spent each year on Peers’ wages, this is surely not a particularly large figure, considering the number of peers? The comparable figure in the other place of wages seems to be, at £80,000 per member,
      about £65m. Just on wages for the two places, nearly a £100m per year.
      And then the maintenance of the Palace itself. How much……?

      Number crunching of money like that is an economist’s job, which can be enjoyable, but is in a different category of counting entirely!!

      As far as state enterprise itself is concerned, one named Gordon Brown (Rt Hon PC) got rather good at it during a 13 year tenure at Downing Street. Not a particularly clever skill compared with astrophysics but dedication was required!

      The first and second lord of the Treasury between 1997-2010 in part has been informed.

  8. Gareth Howell
    27/10/2013 at 6:43 pm


    I hope that link can be taken by the blog board; it is a very good one.

    I have been trying to think of a comparison other than the channel tunnel
    which might convince lord blagger, Maude elwes and others that drivell about expenses and so on , when a discussion is put up about a railway network due for completion in 2033, is really very foolish.

    Nobody would think of saying that the amazing new skylines of the world are anything less than the modern temples of worship of man,(without mentioning capitalism), and yet in the 19thC the temples of pilgrimage to the world were the local railways stations which represented all that was best about the steam engine. They are still there today and many are listed buildings, quite rightly so. they look outwards to the world, not inwards to the users of the station. They are buildings which are outside-in!

    The skyline, many depicted in the link above, is one of my own sources of fascination for the modern world.
    Transport systems are another, all the way back to the first canals, the one consequential cause for the foundation of the city of Birmingham(UK).
    Taken as a whole Transport systems of the world are as impressive as skylines, but more fragmented.

    In those skyline temples, lie unity of purpose, strength and worship!

    The Cathedral altar, at Salisbury cathedral, recognises explicitly, this superiority to the earlier cathedrals of worship, by having sewn a beautiful ‘skyline’ tapestry for its centre piece. Could it be anywhere else than London?(though there are many better, as you may see above)

    • maude elwes
      28/10/2013 at 12:35 pm

      @Gareth Howell:

      Strikes me you had a few too many in on making this post.

      Except the line you use exposes the thoughts of the ruling class to a T, ‘drivel about expenses.’ And you being as poor as a church mouse, so you tell us, would make one think cost would be paramount to you as so many are starving within our beautiful London skyline.

  9. maude elwes
    28/10/2013 at 1:13 pm


    You are constantly spouting your commitment to ‘democracy.’ And ‘democracy’ means ‘majority’ rule.

    As Labour have admitted, to their chagrin, that the ‘people’ knew long before they did that mass immigration was a mistake for the country, and that they should have listened rather than sign up to the idiocy of political correctness. Surely this means they should pay court to the citizens once again.

    A majority of people questioned want the railway to be re-nationalised. And they also want a re-nationalisation of the utilities.

    If Labour add this to their manifesto, with a time frame of within five years, for the 2015 election, along with cutting immigration to the bones, they will win a landslide victory.

    Come to that, any party that gives these promises will run home without any opposition. Maybe UKIP should adopt it.


    So, you should do your duty and concede to majority rule, Blagger. Democracy is a winner every time.

  10. Gareth Howell
    28/10/2013 at 2:19 pm

    “mass immigration was a mistake for the country” (Maude Elwes).

    I was reading the other day that a certain percentage of the world’s population is migrating at all times. It may have been tens of millions, whether from UK to Oz or from Africa to Europe, or Germany/Russia to USA, so Maude really has no case at all. Up at 2% somewhere I believe.

  11. Hansard Society
    Hansard Society
    29/10/2013 at 10:03 am

    This thread seems to have gone a little off the topic of the original post – transport infrastructure and specifically HS2. Please make sure that future posts are on the topic of the original blog post as the terms and conditions of posting on the site state. http://lordsoftheblog.net/terms-and-conditions/

  12. maude elwes
    31/10/2013 at 10:00 am

    Can anyone explain why the tax payer is contemplating paying a fast HS2 beautiful train and track for ‘private’ companies, who should be funding it themselves if they want a return? Why, is this situation akin to the banks, we must be foot the bill to the tune of billions for companies to update their assets, yet it is referred to as a private system? You see I suffer from confusion here.

    It all strikes me as so very clever to get the tax payer to lose their, pensions, welfare and social security rights, not to mention their social housing, so that they can ‘philanthropically’ fund a very expensive train set for extremely wealthy people. All done in order that these rich concerns can call themselves private transporters par excellence. Likewise for banks, to pretend they are private concerns but look for a despised socialist solution to bail them out when they brought the trouble on themselves by fraud.

    Can anyone clear my mind for me here?

    I thought that when you pay into a system that pretends to be taking your money to keep you afloat when the cards are down, that seller is accused of a trick called miss selling.

    I don’t think this comes under ‘off topic’ as it is very much on topic as it shows a pattern of financial misrepresentation and abuse of power.

  13. LordBlagger
    31/10/2013 at 3:53 pm


    Can anyone explain why the tax payer is contemplating paying a fast HS2 beautiful train and track for ‘private’ companies, who should be funding it themselves if they want a return?

    Very simple Maude. It doesn’t generate a return. It’s a white elephant. Capitalism won’t fund it because its going to make a whopping loss.

    So what better than to get the socialist numpties in parliament to fund it. Get the poor buggers to fund the project and carry the loss. Socialism gone mad.

    Remember it takes two. Those who ask, and those who give. The first lot won’t get anything if the second lot do their job.

    However, they won’t. They will dish out the pensions, leaving the debts, because they will get that lucrative job out of it.

    On the pensions, the penny has dropped. It’s socialism that’s the issue. The state taking your money, spending it on lots of projects like HS2, leaving you destitute.

    It’s a fraud. 2006 fraud act if you want to look it up.

    1. Are you exposed to risk of a loss? Yes.
    2. Have you suffered a loss? Yes – 2 years extra before retirement is a loss.
    3. Has the state reported its pension debts? Nope.

    • maude elwes
      01/11/2013 at 12:52 pm



      So, it is a nationalised concern, not private at all. As we, the tax payer are funding it under the guise of ‘privatisation.’

      In other words we are paying for the wealthy, like Branson et al, to pretend they are owners of railway transport, when the truth is, it is owned by us and they are simply feasting off it.

      Why are government appointees getting away with this and not being taken to court as fraudsters, fiddlers and con men? Because that is what they are. And the Branson crowd collude in it.

  14. LordBlagger
    01/11/2013 at 4:12 pm

    Not quite.

    Follow the money.

    As you and I agree, you have the corporates getting the government to hand over cash, subsidise the loans, guarantee them etc.

    Back to the question you won’t answer. Who is the idiot in this arrangement?

    1. The companies for asking?
    2. The government for saying yes?

    Then, on the wealthy bit, you’ve omitted one group on the scam.

    The traditional way of paying for the railways is tickets. Nice and simple. the people who benefit, are the ones who pay.

    Why shouldn’t the users pay via a ticket?

    Ah, I get it. If they had to pay the full cost, they wouldn’t use it. So again, you have the vested interests, in this case wealthy rail users demanding like the corporates that some else should pay, for their gain..

    PS. Still waiting for your estimate of what that nice socialist state has run up in pension debts.

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