Posted 29th July 2019 | 9 Comments

Johnson promises support for cross-Pennine rail link

PRIME Minister Boris Johnson has promised that he will revive the ‘HS3’ project to provide a new high speed rail link between Leeds and Manchester.

Speaking in Manchester at the weekend, he said the benefits of such a link would be ‘colossal’, and that it would ‘turbo-charge the economy’.

The Prime Minister had started a review of HS2 before he came to office, and he said the details of the Leeds-Manchester proposals would be published in the autumn following the HS2 review.

Plans for a cross-Pennine high speed rail link were first published by the coalition government in 2014, but the plans were not taken forward.

The DfT said in June that no decision on the northern link had been taken, but estimated its cost as up to £39 billion.

The HS2 budget is still officially £55.7 billion, but it has been reported that the cost could rise by another £30 billion.

Reader Comments:

Views expressed in submitted comments are that of the author, and not necessarily shared by Railnews.

  • A Munro, Glasgow

    In Network Rail studies the section of track that is the most congested is ...... Birmingham to London. So the very section of track HS2 is designed to provide relief from. So even if HS2 Phase 1 was scrapped, what are those who propose allowing the northern section of HS2 to be build suggesting the passengers on those trains do when they arrive in Birmingham from the north? Change onto already busy Virgin trains? So HS2 in the south needs to go ahead. HS3/NPR core from Manchester to Leeds will also save HS2 as costs can be shared from Manchester Airport and Manchester, plus the HS2 station in Manchester will hopefully be correctly aligned - it should have been a through station from the beginning. If savings are to be made on HS2, the Phase 2b eastern leg could get delayed or scrapped and the money transferred to HS3/NPR to finish the whole scheme more quickly.

  • Greg Tingey, London

    It's BOZO the clown - he's lying

  • jak jay, surrey

    Just as long that vanity project AKA HS2 is consigned to railway history
    a gigantic waste of money on a railway that goes from somewhere to nowhere.

    And as for having a pop at Bojo(nothing to do with Brexit,of course!) and 'sound bytes' maybe recall a few from Failing Grayling and his even more useless predecessor and what hope is there in having new lines built when the present shambles continues

  • Michael, Reading, Berks, EU

    The Yellow Buffoon has given his 'verbal' support to something and used the name... the kiss of deeaatthhhh! Anything he has ever said he is going to do infrastructure wise = total failure. A406 to A206 / Beckton to Thamesmead Bridge has never broken ground. Ditto Thames Estuary Airport...? Every DUDE project has ended up as a Dodo! lol

  • Chris Jones-Bridger, Buckley Flintshire

    So much for the sound bite.

    What about the unfinished business of completing the electrification of the existing routes that was promised and paused. Until the DfT, NR & the franchise holders can be held deliver the on previous commitments the northern networks will continue to suffer from a sub optimum under performing service.

    Time for some jam in the foreseeable future not the never never land of political opportunism.

  • Melvyn Windebank, Canvey Island, Essex

    The Woodhead route is history as with modern TBMs brand new tunnels through the Penines can be bored . It's just a question as to building them to HS1 continental gauge or even larger tunnels similar to the Channel Tunnel able to transport lorries beneath the Penines especially in winter .

    One has to ask whether the amount announced by Boris Johnson will fully fund this scheme if HS2 is not built ?

    What's been announced only covers Manchester to Leeds yet one of actions of former Transport Secretary Chris Grayling was to amend HS2 Stage 2b to include provisions for Junctions to extend HS2 to Liverpool and provide a route to London from Liverpool although only Junctions have been included at present.

    NPR doesn't have a financial case without HS2 and given London has been told it must provide 50% of cost of Crossrail 2 then surely Northern Powerhouse needs to provide funding for NPR !

  • david c smith, Bletchley

    Following the "horses for courses" theme, it's interesting to see that the big cities of the north vary widely in their mileage separations. Whilst Liverpool- Manchester and Manchester - Leeds may only be 30 to 40 miles, all three of them are 100 or more from Newcastle, and around 200 from Edinburgh and Glasgow. The prescriptions for each of these needs may prove difficult to please everyone and might even clash.

    Another present lack seems to be the abscence of direct trains linking centres in the Midlands (apart from Birmingham) with northern Britain. Living in Milton Keynes, I was pleased when Virgin decided to "route link" through New Street to give a through service between MK and Scotland. Northampton, Leicester, Nottingham also could do with at least one or two good through services to Northern centres.

    As far as infrasructure to help this happen would be concerned, the 30 to 40 mile runs would need a high frequency interval approach, whilst for the long runs speed is more important than frequency.

  • king arthur, Buckley

    Unless we're talking about reopening the Woodhead Line I'm not interested.

  • Jez Milton, Manchester

    Given that the plans for NPR/'HS3' dovetail with HS2, this is bad news for the anti-HS2 brigade. That said, with BoJo as PM, anything could still happen!