Alex Massie

Railway Dreams

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Place your bets, please, if you think this is actually likely to happen:

The fastest, most frequent train service in the world could run between London and the North within 12 years, according to the chairman of the government-owned company planning the high-speed link.

Double-deck trains travelling at 225mph (360km/h) and carrying up to 800 passengers would depart every four minutes, cutting the journey time from London to Birmingham to 30 minutes and from London to Manchester to just over an hour. I mean, it would be grand if it did but given this country's record on large scale infrastructure projects this seems a highly improbable venture. After all, in this part of the world it's taking the best part of 15 years to reopen the Waverley line from Edinburgh to the Borders. That's 15 years for no more than 40 miles of track...

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

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