York railway consultant proposes 'greener, cheaper' alternative to HS2

Colin Elliff (left) and Quentin Macdonald with their alternative HS2 rail plan at Shipton.

Colin Elliff (left) and Quentin Macdonald with their alternative HS2 rail plan at Shipton.

First published in News
Last updated
York Press: Photograph of the Author by , Chief reporter

A RAILWAY consultant from York has helped devise a radical alternative to HS2 which he claims would be cheaper and greener, and connect up many more cities.

Former City of York Councillor Quentin Macdonald and railway civil engineer Colin Elliff , of Harrogate, say their proposals, dubbed High Speed UK (HSUK), are not just a visionary concept but a fully mapped design at a scale of 1:25,000, with sufficient detail to prove it is buildable.

The pair claimed that it achieved all the goals set by politicians for the UK high speed rail initiative but with far greater new capacity and at least 11 times better connectivity, as it links up 15 key cities.

"This is what delivers real economic growth, and a greener transport system meeting the requirements of the 2008 Climate Change Act.," they said.

"HS2 achieves none of this and in addition causes significant damage to our unspoilt rural areas such as the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, which HSUK avoids."

Mr Macdonald, of Poppleton, a chartered electrical engineer with 52 years continuous experience in the railway industry, said the new high speed spine railway would run with four tracks from London to Leicester, with an option to extend them to just south of Sheffield.

He said that with its spurs, the system paralleled all the main line corridors including the trans-Pennine route and overall, the capacity of the network would be more than doubled.

The pair claimed HS2 had poor connectivity because it was a Y shaped network which simply connected a select group of cities to London and Birmingham rather than connecting 'everywhere to everywhere.'

"On the basis of the HSUK evidence, it is difficult to understand how any local or national politicians or business groups can possibly continue to support HS2."

They claimed the the Department for Transport’s advisors had steadfastly ignored the clear advantages of HSUK and persisted in briefing Ministers that HS2 was the ‘only game in town’ and that there was no alternative.

"History will not forgive any UK Secretary of State for Transport who promotes HS2 as his or her legacy when High Speed UK is available and is different, better and cheaper," they claimed.

Comments (8)

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10:01am Wed 21 May 14

dsom73 says...

But HS2 will have been designed by a politician's mate, so...
But HS2 will have been designed by a politician's mate, so... dsom73
  • Score: 10

10:06am Wed 21 May 14

Garrowby Turnoff says...

I hope they get someone to listen because at the moment its HS2 or nowt!
I hope they get someone to listen because at the moment its HS2 or nowt! Garrowby Turnoff
  • Score: 18

10:23am Wed 21 May 14

Ignatius Lumpopo says...

A map might have been helpful...
A map might have been helpful... Ignatius Lumpopo
  • Score: 22

11:14am Wed 21 May 14

Kiwi2 says...

I think this is the map for HSUK:
http://www.highspeed
uk.co.uk/hsuk%20sysm
ap.html
Looks really interesting. Could The Press follow this up and get our MPs' opinions (and maybe ask they why they aren't championing alternatives?)
I think this is the map for HSUK: http://www.highspeed uk.co.uk/hsuk%20sysm ap.html Looks really interesting. Could The Press follow this up and get our MPs' opinions (and maybe ask they why they aren't championing alternatives?) Kiwi2
  • Score: 20

4:06pm Wed 21 May 14

Kevin Turvey says...

except these two guys visions do not make certain construction companies with high power connections richer does it!

So naive!
HS2 is not for the benefit for the travelling public/ put out HS2 neighbour or taxpayer its a mission to drain the taxpayer to fund business!

Wake up and smell the coffee!
except these two guys visions do not make certain construction companies with high power connections richer does it! So naive! HS2 is not for the benefit for the travelling public/ put out HS2 neighbour or taxpayer its a mission to drain the taxpayer to fund business! Wake up and smell the coffee! Kevin Turvey
  • Score: 5

10:55am Thu 22 May 14

WixiBoy says...

they have a whole website about the issue:
http://www.highspeed
uk.co.uk
goes into much more detail about the project.
cynically believe that Kevin might be right though.
they have a whole website about the issue: http://www.highspeed uk.co.uk goes into much more detail about the project. cynically believe that Kevin might be right though. WixiBoy
  • Score: 0

10:57am Thu 22 May 14

WixiBoy says...

be careful with the previous link - Press site helpfully breaks it up and inserts a space between highspeed and uk
be careful with the previous link - Press site helpfully breaks it up and inserts a space between highspeed and uk WixiBoy
  • Score: 0

3:25pm Sat 24 May 14

long distance depressive says...

By the time HS2 is built (late and mega-over cost) normal people won't be able to afford to use it. That and the environmental damage means it should be scrapped ASAP. The amount of money being spoken about should be used to updating (including maybe some new track) the current system. Longer/lower platforms and demolishing a few bridges means we could use the continental style double deck trains on commuter routes for example.
By the time HS2 is built (late and mega-over cost) normal people won't be able to afford to use it. That and the environmental damage means it should be scrapped ASAP. The amount of money being spoken about should be used to updating (including maybe some new track) the current system. Longer/lower platforms and demolishing a few bridges means we could use the continental style double deck trains on commuter routes for example. long distance depressive
  • Score: 0

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