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Saturday, July 31, 2021

High speed rail conference to be held in July

All sides of the high-speed rail debate will be meeting at a conference in July at Bletchley Park.

Professor Andrew McNaughton, Chief Engineer of HS2 Ltd, and Lizzy Williams – leading campaigner against HS2 and founder of STOPHS2 are amongst the guest speakers at ‘High Speed Rail – How the vision can best be achieved,’ organised by the pressure group Railfuture.

The conference will be chaired by the leading writer and broadcaster on transport issues, Christian Wolmar.

Event organiser Ian McDonald said:

“High speed rail is this year’s hot topic, and there’s a lot to talk about: Britain’s railways are straining with increasing demand, so how can the existing network cope in the future?

“What’s the case for a high-speed railway to the north? Is the government’s HS2 proposal the right one? What are the alternatives?

“We’re hoping to find a meeting of minds rather than the same old pro and anti arguments which we all know about. This the first time that the Chief Engineer of HS2 Ltd and Lizzy Williams of STOPHS2 will be on the same platform. It should be interesting”

The list of speakers includes:

  • Professor Andrew McNaughton – Chief Engineer of HS2 Ltd.
  • Graham Nalty – Railfuture, Network Development Committee.
  • Lizzy Williams – leading campaigner against HS2/Founder of STOPHS2.

Railfuture also expects to be publishing its own final submission on the HS2 consultation at this conference, and a spokesman will present its case and explain it fully.

Other guest speakers from the Campaign for Better Transport and Passenger Transport Networks will also present their respective positions.

It will be held at Bletchley Park on Saturday 9 July 2011. More information can be found here.


  1. While I’m a high-speed rail supporter, I fail to understand why capacity issues can’t largely be solved by longer trains.  10x23m = 230m, 6x23m = 138m.   Surely most or all platforms could be extended to 230m on high demand lines and to 138m on lower demand lines for a fraction of the cost of new lines.  Many platforms are already quite long, so a concerted standardised programme of lengthening can’t be too expensive.  If the demand is there, then surely it makes sense to build new vehicles so that trains can be longer to fill the platforms?  And surely it’s not asking very much to move from a service frequency of 1 per hour to one per 30 mins if minimum headways are only 5 or 10 minutes?


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