Getting the North Up to Speed:
On Liverpool, High Speed 2… and High Speed 1.5
Professor Ian Wray
University of Liverpool
18 June 2013
HS2 is great for Manchester…
Airport - Euston 59 minutes
Potential airport catchment growth
City centre - Euston 68 minutes
Three trains per hour - each with 1100 seats
We should all support this…
Disappointing for Liverpool …
in terms of journey times
…total hourly seats
…and catchment population per
available seat
• No high speed link
• Scheduling of services (Liverpool services
make multiple stops en route)
• 2 trains per hour with only 500 seats
• HSR could support regional economies –
though evidence can be ambivalent
• But regional polarisation can occur if one
larger place is better served
• French planners at pains to avoid in Pas de
1. Liverpool high speed spur
2. Closer connection to London Manchester
3. Upgrade to Crewe Liverpool route for ‘nearly
high speed’ running
4. Improve Liverpool’s wider connections
especially east- west to Manchester (the UK’s
second London?)
• Wholly new spur or closer links to HS2 route
impractical on cost and capacity ground
• Upgrading Crewe-Liverpool achievable
• And complementary HS1.5 seems low cost
and achievable
Towards HS 1.5…
• Electrification committed to Liverpool/
Manchester/Leeds/ York and thus Newcastle
• Some capacity enhancements committed via
‘Northern Hub’
• Why not an integrated transport and
regeneration corridor?
What’s missing?
Electric tilting trains
Branding and refurbished stations
More park and ride
Four tracking over Pennines and elsewhere
Re-signalling, better junctions, passing loops
A French style corridor contract
‘Low speed high speed rail’
Faster journey times
Faster access to Manchester Airport
Agglomeration economies
Rail related development
A new residential corridor, ideal for dual
income families
NOMA and HS1.5
Costs and funding
• Low capital outlay (especially re HS2)
• Tilting trains
• Minor infrastructure (no major structures and
no disturbance)
• Potential for planning gains via Community
Infrastructure Levy
• Potential for European funding
Can we tick the boxes?
‘Electric Spine’
More capacity and faster journey times
between key cities
Improved commuter travel into urban areas
Better links to ports and airports
Connecting the North
‘The North is not an easy place to get
around…the most efficient way of bringing
representatives together could be to travel to
London… Connectivity in the North is defined by
interdependence between northern cities and
London, and by barriers between northern cities
themselves. Removing these barriers could
make a key contribution to economic
Manchester University for the Northern Way, 2008
Can we afford it?
Can we afford it?
Who might lead?
Strategic planning and institutional
Some institutional options:
• Metro mayors?
• The private sector?
• A Northern Infrastructure Corporation?
• A wider role for Network Rail or for HS2?

Getting the North Up to Speed - Ian Wray