There’s been a big chunk of government spin this week, on the proposals for High Speed 2 rail. I was an enthusiast for HS2 when it was first announced. I’m still an enthusiast for the London to Birmingham route — as long as it has only one or at most two stops on it, has the speed promised, and doesn’t go massively over budget (although budget overruns seem almost a certainty).

As for the follow-on construction of the Birmingham to Manchester section of HS2, that should be left until we know what the London — Birmingham costs are (inc. any technology and engineering work-arounds) and what running-times actually look like.

My main worry is that by the time every Council with enough Westminster pull has a station on the line north of Birmingham (Crewe and Stafford are the latest to get one announced), and by the time the eco-worriers have capped its speed, the whole London to Manchester trip will probably actually be slower than the current West Coast Main Line.