please empty your brain below

Balsall Heath? I lived there for years. Bought my first house there back in 1999 for the princely sum of £38k. Time flies.
Thank you for taking me along on that walk this morning and thanks for all the chuckles. 😂😂
It’s somewhere else ticked off the list of “don’t bother” places. 😉
As I understand it, the case for HS2 was a bit thin because the assumption was that business people never did any work on the train, so this justified the time savings created by the new line - obviously finishing at Old Oak Common adds icing to this nonsense.
Why couldn't High Speed HS2 be connected to Crossrail 1 (Elizabeth Line) and continue into Central London and beyond that way. No need to build a new line into Euston. Maybe no room for the extra services on Crossrail 1
The main need for the line was for capacity, not speed. But yes, I don't see how ending the line at Old Oak Common permanently makes any sense at all.
There is already a transport connection between Old Oak Common and the Euston area (actually St Pancras, so connecting with HS1), which pre-dates even the West Coast Main Line, having been completed in 1816. Why not run connecting services along that? You could call them "Water Chariots", after the similar service to connect Stratford station to the Olympics which was so succesful!
Derelict canals. Love the vibe. Awesome.
Has anyone produced the figures of what it is going to cost to break all the already-awarded contracts and not build the northern extension and the southern end?

And what has already been spent on planning consulting and engineering these bits?

It's not a simple decision 'we can save x', it needs to take account of what has already been spent or is irrecoverable.
Classic DG with the Harrow Road shopping list. I loved it.
Every time that wasteland west of Euston station is mentioned I am reminded of my favorite pub in London - "Bree Louise".
Thank you Rishi?
A clear case for Dangleway 2. The perfect way to complete a high speed journey from Birmingham
It's called Ladbroke Grove Sainsbury's not Kebsal Green
Ten years ago I was one of the team of DfT senior civil servants working on the HS2 project. My senior colleagues seemed determined to ignore everything DfT had ever learned about how to deliver big projects. I spoke up at the time, but it was made clear to me that nobody wanted to listen. Shortly after speaking up, I became an ex-DfT civil servant.

I have been anticipating today's mess ever since.

Thank you DG for trying to find some humour in this disaster. But I'm furious. And I will stay furious until I see some truth and accountability.
2 hours seems a bit long. Perhaps this journey can be sped up by providing a service of those awful tourist rickshaws. Remove them from Central London and license them to run the multiple step-free sections of this route. A win-win for everyone!
I would say; but would it really be so terrible to terminate the line altogether, saving billions, especially when there's already a perfectly adequate rail service in place!

How many new, faster connections do we need from Birmingham to London? They should have concentrated on The North to Birmingham connections instead.

Absolute destruction on a grand scale and complete waste of money - but I'm sure there are plenty of party donors and lobbyists who are feeling very pleased with themselves.
Looking at a couple of the above comments, a former top civil servant says it’s a complete failure of vision and delivery, and an uninformed member of the public says they don’t see why this expensive project is needed, and there’s the politics of it in a nutshell.
The advantage of terminating HS2 at Old Oak has always been that there are far better onward connections there than at Euston. There’s already the planned connection to the Elizabeth Line and potential links to the Overground and other lines, not forgetting the new water shuttle along the canal and motor rickshaw service along the tow path! They could have saved millions of pounds and thousands of demolished homes by ignoring Euston, though not connecting to HS1 to Europe was short-sighted.
I went to the Sainsburys in Ladbroke Grove once. The men's toilet was one of the most disgusting I have ever encountered.
You really should submit this for publication somewhere and get paid for your work. It made me laugh. Thank you. (not a senior civil servant!)
The ghost of “Balham, gateway to the south” lives on! Splendid.
To think back in 1910 there was a "City to City" direct train service from Broad Street to New Street. No need for a long walk or even an underground train to get to the terminus.
Derek - nail on head, sir. Thanks.

In an ideal world, politicians of all parties and regions would show some humility, accept that this project is in crisis, learn the lessons, and start building a consensus on the way forward.

No chance of that this side of the next general election, then.

Anyway, that's quite enough gloom from me today. I promise my next contribution to these comments will be a cheerful one!
HS2 looked doomed from the off, when the decision was taken to start construction primarily from the south, rather than at both ends simultaneously (as with the Channel Tunnel) and meet in the middle. Putting the northern sections into phases 2 or 3 always looked like a get-out clause allowing for their cancellation. If lines were already well underway now from Leeds or Manchester, it’d be much harder to truncate the project to a London-Birmingham (well, sort of) stub.

Probably the only beneficiaries from further delay or cancellation will be developers who’ll seize on the devastation of communities, pubs, Indian restaurants and Georgian architecture around Euston to build more of the faceless high-rises that already disfigure so much of Euston/Marylebone Road.
Northwards, I never understood why the route did not go direct from Manchester to Leeds, and the crazy proposed Toton station half way between Derby and Nottingham proved that this leg was just a line on a map.

Sadly, the route was rushed through Parliament and became protected, thereby preventing rational decision making subsequently. The TEN-T prescribed European directive overrode common sense.

My twopenneth worth is that there should not be a terminus at Euston, however tunnels should be bored south to Clapham Junction surfacing southwards on the Wimbledon, Woking line, and eastwards on the East Croydon, Gatwick line connecting a fair amount of the South East directly to Birmingham, if not the North.
Blue Witch, I recommend reading up on the ‘sunk cost fallacy’ - what you suggest is exactly what should never be done, as it risks throwing good money after bad. Concorde was the classic example but there are plenty more.
We had a good tradition in Britain of building schemes with good benefits for low cost.
The Victoria line was done on the cheap but has only required the two busiest stations to have a capacity upgrades in over 50 years.
The original Thameslink scheme cost very little.

Unfortunately we've stopped trying to the best scheme on a fixed budget. Are 200m HS2 trains more important than a shorter train that actually reaches Euston.
Channel tunnel: Projected cost £5.5Billion, outturn £9B, 64% over budget (equivalent to £10.1B today). Regrets?

Jubilee line extension: Projection £2.1B, outturn £3.5B, 67% over (equivalent to £3.3B today). Regrets?

HS1: Projection £5.25B, outturn £6.2B, a mere 18% over. Exemplary.

Crossrail: Projection £14.8B, outturn £18.8B, 27% (£4B, and 3 years) over. Regrets?

Large projects have a habit of exceeding budgets, especially with nefarious political tinkering, epidemics, wars, delays and a bit of exponential inflation thrown in. HS2 is a major infrastructure project for long-term national benefit, providing crucial capacity despite the short-term covid blip.

Had the dream team of Sunak and Hunt prevailed over the above we wouldn't have had any of it, but perhaps a few more heliports, and lots and lots of promises. Small minds for a little Britain.
The "sunk cost" fallacy is a good point, but Blue Witch has noted that simply stopping work is not a zero cost option. For example, you would have to pay off the construction companies and other partners for breach of contract, make the sites safe (and find new uses for them or restore them to nature) and so on. So there come a point where abandoning a part-completed project is more expensive than completing it.

Delaying is even worse, as you have to maintain the sites and retain the workforce (or recruit and train a new one when work resumes), and of course the revenue that would have been gained in the years between when it would have been open and when it will now open is gone for ever.
Good timing Sir. We are on a narrowboat travelling from Kings Cross to out west. KC to Old Oak Common is just 3 hours, the 4 locks slow the journey time. Might see if the DfT would be interested in me putting in a bid to run a water taxi service.
My most regular bit of pedantry is that the park you visited is called ‘The Regent’s Park’ not ‘Regent’s Park’.

‘The Regent’s Park’ is the official name, but of course usage by 99.999% of the population means ‘Regent’s Park’ is the de-facto name.

This must have been true when the Baker Street and Waterloo Railway opened the unground station without the official ‘The’ in its name.

I also mention this because the ‘The’ really changes the feel of the name. ‘Regent’s Park’ removes all the meaning from the word ‘regent’s’ - adding the ‘The’ might make some people think that the regent is a person and consider why this park is associated with a regent.

I wonder how many other places in London have (slightly) different official names.
In contrast with '4D' Gollner, I regret the increasing hesitation shown by my fellow-Londoners in using definite articles in, but only in, their natural positions. The address may be 100 Strand, but the restaurant is Simpsons in the Strand, and it grates to hear people swallow their thes in pursuit of pedantic accuracy. The Docklands Light Railway may be Docklands Light Railway to Companies House, but it is the DLR to its passengers. From Southeastern, the announcements say, you can change to Docklands Light Railway, but on TfL trains there is good service on the DLR. [I see men in white coats. The men in white coats. Yes, I'll come the quietly.]
Mike Roberts - I always think the same about the Bree Louise. A true loss.

TridentScan | Privacy Policy