Learn the lessons from Crossrail, delegates warned

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Leaders of HS2 were warned to learn from the lessons that the Crossrail project had discovered at the Rail Logistics conference in Birmingham today.

Terry Morgan, chairman at Crossrail, detailed the progress of the project, stating that it was currently both on time and within the budget set.

Morgan pointed out that the HS2 project is at the same stage of debate that Crossrail was ten years ago, and he called on project leaders to “ensure that HS2 takes every opportunity to learn from similar projects and establish best practice where feasible as well as share knowledge and experience”.

The rail conference look at issues and challenges surrounding rail freight movement and the impact that HS2 may have on the Midlands region and beyond.

It is chaired by UKWA Chief executive Peter Ward, and speakers include HS2’s Peter Sollitt; DB Schenker Rail’s David Legge; TC Chew of Chew Transit Consultancy; West Midlands Integrated Transport Authority’s Toby Rackliff and Craig Rowbottom from Birmingham City Council.

HS2 link to open six years early

The high speed rail link connecting Crewe to Birmingham will open six years ahead of schedule in 2027, Chancellor George Osborne has said.

Once Phase 2a has opened in 2027, the reduced journey times delivered by HS2 phases 1 and 2a will be:

* Crewe to London will be cut by 35 minutes

* Manchester to London will be cut by 40 minutes

* Glasgow to London will save 48 minutes

Once complete, HS2 will mean journey times fall by an hour from London to Manchester, by 53 minutes from London to Glasgow and by 65 minutes from Birmingham Curzon Street to Leeds.

The chancellor confirmed the government’s commitment to the full ‘Y-shaped’ network servicing Manchester, Leeds and Sheffield. He set out £55.7 billion on in vestment for the HS2 programme in the 2015 Spending Review.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin has also published a Command Paper, High Speed Two: East and West – The next steps to Crewe and beyond, setting out his route decision on Phase 2a and providing a full update on the significant progress made on delivering HS2 to date and next steps.

* Former CBI director general John Cridland has been appointed as the first Chair of Transport for the North, a new body created to help transform transport connectivity across the Northern Powerhouse.


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