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Project : Domestic and international high speed rail

Article date 21 July 2011
Revised 30 September 2016

This article may be of historical interest only and is referenced in the following article Introduction to an HS2 HS1 link via east west rail.

HS2 HS1 link via east west rail : section west of West Coast Main Line

Aylesbury Interchange (AI) does not require any specific alignment for a HS2 to HS1 connection. However, in this article, we are considering a possible HS2 to HS1 connection on an east west alignment. More specifically, the scope of this article is the section of such a link line to the west of the West Coast Main Line (WCML) and also possible usage of a portion of the WCML itself.

Aylesbury Interchange (AI), if located between Princes Risborough and Aylesbury, is illustrated below.

Aylesbury Interchange between Princes Risborough and Aylesbury

Aylesbury Interchange (AI), if located to the north west of Aylesbury, is illustrated below.

Aylesbury Interchange to the north west of Aylesbury

There are two possible routes for a link line. The faster of these two runs on a straight alignment more or less on an east west orientation, continuing as an east-west line on the east of the WCML to connect onto the Midland Main Line to St Pancras. If HS2 is aligned as currently planned, the first portion of this line, to the west of the WCML, would almost certainly be within the Chilterns area. The line might include a connection on to the WCML to Watford Junction and London Euston.

The second, less direct, possibility is to connect on to the WCML and use a portion of the WCML, followed by a connection onto an east-west line on the east of the WCML as above. This would not require an east-west line through the Chilterns. However it does suffer the potential drawback of violating the Short Hop Principle (article TBA), (that is, of limiting the capacity on a lengthy railway line for the convenience of services that wish to use solely a brief portion of the line). Services would require paths (space/time slots) on the WCML.


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