HS2 alternative 'would be a nightmare'

The managing director of Newtork Rail's network operations told the Today programme that any attempt to upgrade existing lines, rather than implement the HS2, would inevitably lead to "very heavy disruption" to services.

Spending £20 billion on upgrading the existing network isn't an alternative. The disruption that would be caused would be a nightmare. This report makes that absolutely clear.

It would only give us a third of the additional capacity which would mean that we would not be able to put more freight on the rail, we would not be able to put additional services into intermediate stations.

– Robin Gisby, Network Rail's managing director

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'14 years' rail plan disruption

An alternative to the HS2 would result in 14 years of weekend rail closures that would "cripple" the three main routes to the north, according to a Government commissioned report out today.