Improvements are needed

HS2
HS2
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I don’t understand why Doncaster needs to be so near to HS2.

Even with the newly proposed route it would still be some way from the route, so any advantages gained by the high speed route would be lost in the time taken to reach it from Doncaster.

Doncaster already has many trains to London which reach the capital in just over 90 minutes.

Instead of disrupting HS2 Doncaster should be fighting for far more achievable objectives to speed up the East Coast Main Line. Already Network Rail has constructed a flyover at Hitchin to reduce delay there and is currently planning a similar junction separation at Werrington, just north of Peterborough.

These will improve reliability for main line services by reducing delays caused by junction conflicts and equipment failures.

Further improvements are needed at Welwyn where the four main line tracks are reduced to two for only two miles. This is the Welwyn Bottleneck which has delayed ECML traffic for years.

Not only do ALL trains have to travel over the bottleneck but there is also a station in the middle of it at Welwyn North served by stopping trains every 30 minutes and more frequently at peak times.

Incidentally, the main line currently has four tracks for 56 of the 58 miles between Kings Cross and Huntingdon.

The only two miles not having four tracks is the Welwyn Bottleneck.

This work is of national importance due to the delays it causes.

Further improvements such as removing the flat crossing at Newark would remove another speed restriction which would increase journey times between Doncaster and London Kings Cross.

Moreover, these are not only more achievable but much cheaper and less disruptive than HS2 and would give Doncaster much faster centre-to-centre services.

Building a new through platform at Doncaster station (west of the current Platform 8) for Sheffield services to the coast, including a flyover junction north of Doncaster, would also reduce delays in Doncaster Station.

How many times have trains reached Doncaster then been waiting for a platform to clear?

This is one reason Network Rail constructed Platform 0 on the East (Frenchgate) side.

What everyone should be more concerned about is an article which appeared in the October edition of Railway Magazine.

In it Nigel Wilson, chief executive of Legal and General, is urging Theresa May to abandon plans to build HS2 in favour of reinstating a second main line to Brighton – to be known as BML2.

He is quoted as saying “You can have big projects, but they have got to be the right projects.”

Who says there is no North-South divide?

SW Ryszka

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