the train now ar­riv­ing at Plat­form three is... too long...


The Chronicle - - News - By JONATHAN WALKER Po­lit­i­cal Ed­i­tor jonathan.walker@reach­ Sir Terry Mor­gan be­low

PLAT­FORMS at New­cas­tle Cen­tral Sta­tion may need to be ex­tended to cope with 400-me­tre high speed rail trains.

HS2 Chair­man Sir Terry Mor­gan re­vealed work was tak­ing place to ex­am­ine whether plat­forms should be re­built be­fore trains start com­ing into the city in 2033.

The other op­tion is for trains to split in two at Dar­ling­ton be­fore con­tin­u­ing north, so that only half of each train comes in to New­cas­tle.

Sir Terry said: “What we need to be cer­tain of is that we en­able these very big trains, 400 me­tres long, to op­er­ate on the route through to York, Dar­ling­ton, New­cas­tle and be­yond.

“There is some work be­ing done to look at how we can ex­tend plat­forms at Ed­in­burgh and New­cas­tle to ac­com­mo­date the trains.

“The cur­rent plan is that we will split the 400m trains at Dar­ling­ton.

“But the pos­si­bil­ity of find­ing a way of not split­ting those trains is un­der ac­tive con­sid­er­a­tion.”

Sir Terry spoke to The Chron­i­cle as he vis­ited New­cas­tle to meet busi­nesses and lo­cal au­thor­ity rep­re­sen­ta­tives to dis­cuss the ben­e­fits of HS2.

New track will be built be­tween Lon­don, Birm­ing­ham, Manch­ester and Leeds. But HS2 man­agers say New­cas­tle will be a vi­tal part of the new net­work, even though HS2 trains will run on ex­ist­ing track north of Leeds.

Sir Terry said: “We have got a decade to make sure we get this right, and to make sure we don’t limit the op­por­tu­ni­ties that are go­ing to come with this brand new rail­way.

“We are well on now with phase one of the route, from Birm­ing­ham down into Lon­don, but the real gamechanger for HS2 is phase 2b, which is ba­si­cally from New­cas­tle down to Birm­ing­ham.

“The abil­ity to go from Birm­ing­ham to the North East is a fun­da­men­tal part of the busi­ness case for HS2.”

Work on phase 1 of HS2, be­tween Lon­don and Birm­ing­ham, is al­ready un­der way, and ser­vices are due to run from 2026.

Phase 2a, from Birm­ing­ham to Crewe, should be up and run­ning in 2027.

Phase 2b, to Manch­ester and to New­cas­tle, opens in 2033.

There are cur­rently no of­fi­cial plans to run trains north of New­cas­tle.

The en­tire net­work is cur­rently ex­pected to cost £55.7bn but that cost could in­crease in the fu­ture if it is ex­tended into Scot­land.

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