A group of academics are claiming that speeds on HS2 will be unnecessarily high, adding significantly to the costs. They are calling for an independent assessment of 'less damaging' alternatives. A major cause of their concern is the potential maximum speed of 400km/h, which the group says could be reduced to 300km/h. HS2 Ltd said cost reductions were being examined, and that the head of the civil service Jeremy Heywood is conducting an investigation.
A new Class 700 Siemens-built train for Thameslink is carrying invited guests for the first time today (24 May) on a special showcasing trip from London Blackfriars to East Croydon. The new high capacity trains, built in the German Rhineland, have been arriving for several months and have made numerous commissioning trips from the new depot at Three Bridges. Today's event marks the formal unveiling of the trains in Britain, after test runs with guests on board in Germany. The trains are essentially Metro units, with plenty of standing space as well as wide doors. The layout, specified by the Department for Transport, is seen to be essential if the trains are to meet the requirement to maintain 2.5 minute headways through the Thameslink core section between Blackfriars and St Pancras.
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