23 Decemebr, 2015
To-day we have naming of parts
Just when you thought the world of high-speed rail could not get any more exciting we discover that the proposed east-west high-speed rail link planned for after HS2 will be called Northern Powerhouse Rail.
Transport Minister Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon has revealed this bombshell to a swooning public.
The giddy sequence came about in a written answer to Lib Dem’s Lord Scriven, former leader of Sheffield City Council, Lord Wimbledon used the name to refer to the government’s proposals for HS3.
Lord Scriven had asked about the timescale for the delivery of the HS3 scheme, and what budget would be allocated to it, to which the transport minister answered: “By March 2016, we will conduct an initial prioritisation of options to focus further work and inform the development of an appropriate timeline for implementation.
In order to avoid undue distress, the term Northern Powerhouse Rail will appear with (HS3) in brackets as an interim measure to avoid general hysteria breaking out.
Earlier, this term had appeared in the Transport for the North’s Autumn Report, but it was never specifically linked to HS3. The term was also used is HS2 chair Sir David Higgins’ report on Leeds station.
If this were not enough, we also learn that while most rail leaders are currently focused on HS2 – the government’s National Infrastructure Commission is already exploring options for NPR/HS3 and Crossrail 2.Gosh.
Infrastructure supremo, Lord Adonis said recently that these major infrastructure projects are likely to benefit from wider sources of funding including private sector investment, rather than simply receiving money from the Treasury. Given the universal lack of interest shown by the private sector in HS2….good luck with that one Lord A.
It is reassuring to know that the vast communication resources of the DfT and HS2 Ltd are being put to good use. High-speed rail in this country may lack many things, including a credible business case, but it does have names. And taxpayers can sleep more soundly as a result this Yuletide.