THERE is an uncanny resemblance between the proposed route of the High Speed 2 (HS2) railway and the first 1840 route between York and London via Normanton, Derby, Leicester and Rugby to Euston.

If or when HS2 is opened to Church Fenton, then via the existing line to York there is likely to be a fairly marginal reduction in journey time to London, assuming that there has been investment in the East Coast Main Line track and trains.

An improvement which could be made at relatively low cost compared to HS2 would be to extend the Selby/Selby coalfield diversion opened in 1983 from Temple Hirst to the north of Doncaster then east of Doncaster to a point near to Bawtry. This new route would avoid the bottle neck at Doncaster and provide an opportunity for a new station adjacent to Robin Hood Airport. The York to London journey time would reduce to below 100 minutes. Why is HS2 so important for the York to London railway service?

David Randon, Blue Slates Close, Wheldrake, York.


• GOOD news served in doses of extra jobs, etc, over 20 years until 2033 implied by the announcement of the goahead for the £33billion H2 train plan.

This is likely to be an optimistic estimate, simply because there will be many unfortunates who will have generous compensation payments when their properties are compulsory purchased to install the new line.

The 235mph rail service, excluding unexpected delays, will reduce a two-hour journey by 20 minutes. This will be to the rail terminus, some at a distance from city centres, hopefully not too much time will be wasted getting the final destination.

Futhermore, what heights will the price of tickets have reached by 2033?

John Beisly, Osprey Close, York.