I READ with interest the article on why the former Great Central Route between Marylebone and Nottingham could not realistically be used as a low-cost alternative to HS2 (August issue).

One of the main criticisms of the GCR was that it did not really serve any sizeable centres of population south of Leicester – famously parodied as picking up milk churns rather than passengers – leading to its demise in the 1960s.

Things have changed today and rail travel is on the rise rather than in decline. For this reason HS2 planning must include intermediate stations between London and Birmingham. Experience from Japan has shown that ‘Bullet Train’ stations built
initially in the middle of nowhere
have led to the development of
new towns.

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The promoters of HS2 also argue that it is needed more for additional rail capacity than for high-speed travel, so the loss of time required for extra stops will be more than outweighed by attracting passengers away from other main lines with dedicated park-and-ride facilities.

Andrew Thompson
By email

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