City station to get extra HS2 track from £300m fund for rail revolution
Money is in Hammond’s £300m fund
BUSINESS LEADERS have welcomed plans to add a spur to the proposed HS2 high-speed line around Leeds Station in a move which will significantly increase the range of services.
The Yorkshire Post has learned a proposed ‘hook’ allowing HS2 services to stop at the existing Leeds station platforms is among projects earmarked for the £300m rail pot announced for the North by the Government last week. Leeds Station is already due to undergo a major overhaul in readiness for the arrival of HS2 including new north-south platforms forming a T-junction with existing east-west platforms so passengers can transfer easily,
The additional piece of track will split from the HS2 line as it approaches from the south-east of the city and curve round to the west of the station, giving highspeed services access to the existing platforms.
It will allow for HS2 services to travel on to Manchester or the North-East and paves the way for integration with the proposed east-west high-speed rail service known as HS3 or Northern Powerhouse Rail. Paula Dillon, president of Leeds Chamber of Commerce, said the track would ensure Leeds is “at the heart of a high-speed rail network rather than at the end of the line”.
The HS2 line to Sheffield and Leeds is due to be completed by 2033.
NEW TRACK around Leeds Station to open up a wider range of high-speed rail services through the city will be one of the projects funded by £300m announced by Chancellor Philip Hammond,
The Yorkshire Post has learned. The money will help pay for an extra piece of track which will allow services arriving on the proposed HS2 high-speed line to stop at the existing platforms at Leeds station, paving the way for smooth onward services to Manchester and the North-East.
Under previous plans, highspeed trains were only due to stop at new platforms stretching south towards the river which will be built as part of a major overhaul of Leeds Station in the coming years.
Chancellor Philip Hammond last week announced the money to help future-proof the North’s rail network and ensure HS2 is compatible with Northern Powerhouse Rail – an emerging plan for an east-west high-speed rail service.
And The Yorkshire Post has now been told Transport Secretary Chris Grayling expects the extra track at Leeds will be one of the projects it will support.
Paula Dillon, president of Leeds Chamber of Commerce, said: “The commitment by Chancellor Philip Hammond to provide £300m to ensure passive provision for HS2 to connect with the proposed high-speed eastwest Northern Powerhouse Rail is extremely welcome.
“We have always maintained that HS2 must be built as part of a network rather than a standalone piece of infrastructure so it is really important that consideration and funding is made available.
She added: “In Leeds the ‘hook’ solution will ensure that an expanded Leeds Station will be at the heart of a high-speed rail network rather than at the end of the line.
“Our own analysis has shown that the ability for high-speed trains to pass through the enhanced station will put somewhere in the region of 10 million people within an hour’s commute of Leeds city centre, meaning companies in the city can draw from the largest possible talent base.”
The existing plans for HS2 will see the line snake into Leeds city centre from the south-east and deliver trains to new north-south platforms in line with Neville Street.
The additional piece of track will split from the HS2 line and take a curve to the west of the station and bring services into the existing east-west platforms.
It will allow for a much greater range of direct high-speed services.
The commitment to provide £300m is extremely welcome. Paula Dillon, president of Leeds Chamber of Commerce.
PAULA DILLON: ‘Track would ensure Leeds is at heart of HS2 network rather than end of line’.