With planning underway for HS3, this seminar discussed the future of rail projects in the UK.
It followed the government’s announcement on the preferred route for HS2 Phase 2b, running from Crewe to Manchester, and from West Midlands to Leeds to complete the ‘Y network’. The conference took place in the context of the National Infrastructure Commission’s interim report on an East West Rail and the Oxford-Cambridge Expressway and calling for planning on housing, employment and infrastructure.
Delegates also assessed the implications of the report on HS2 by the National Audit Office, particularly regarding its concerns on meeting projected timescales.
Policymakers considered the future for investment and the direction of policy on devolution following the EU referendum, further sessions discussed recommendations in the Shaw report on the future of Network Rail which looked at railway electrification, organisational and regulatory structures, and routes in the North of England, as well as new funding options in light of growth in freight and passenger demand, and workforce skills and diversity issues.
The agenda also included discussion on Crossrail, due to be delivered late in 2018, and key lessons to be learnt for future projects such as HS3 or Crossrail 2.