City sta­tion to get ex­tra HS2 track from £300m fund for rail rev­o­lu­tion

Money is in Ham­mond’s £300m fund

Yorkshire Post - - FRONT PAGE - JAMES REED PO­LIT­I­CAL EDI­TOR ■ Email: james.reed@ypn.co.uk ■ Twit­ter: @JamesReedYP

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’.

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