Thursday, 11 March 2010

Welcome to high speed rail

At long last we seem to be getting movement on plans to build a high speed rail link between London, Birmingham and the major English cities of the North. This week I have spent many hours travelling these routes and simply cannot understand why it has taken so long to get to the planning stage. About 14 years ago I travelled on Japan's "bullet train" and know full well that the technology has been around for a long time.

Looking back at the past though reminds us how much transport has changed. The horse drawn "flyer" coaches between Birmingham and London used to take between three and four days. By narrowboat along the Grand Union still takes a hectic week, so I am told.

Reviewing at the proposals from a Midlands perspective I'm delighted to see that the high speed route will be based on the old Curzon Street station. This wonderful piece of Victorian architecture would make a fitting centre piece to the project. And getting rid of New Street would be a great bonus! I just hope that within the conurbation there is an adequate system of rapid access  (in my case a metro line along the Hagley Road)

Work is due to start in 2017, by which time I will be preparing for retirement or pushing up the daisies somewhere, but I wish bon voyage to the long distance commuters of the future.

No comments: