HS2: What’s the Big Deal?

As a second tier supplier to the Rail sector we are obviously biased when it comes to HS2. There is no doubting that circa £40 billion of investment in our rail infrastructure will boost the economy by creating and sustaining a great many businesses like ours and of course keeping our skilled tradesmen and women gainfully employed.Much has been said in the press about the ‘massive’ cost of the High Speed 2 rail link between London and ‘The North’ but it may help to put this expense into perspective, not least of all by drawing a direct comparison with the current CP5 budget of circa £21 billion that has just been approved for Network Rail to invest in a range of general improvements across the UK rail network.Perhaps when we consider the costs of other major UK infrastructure projects we might begin to appreciate that HS2, whilst being a very substantial investment for the public purse, doesn’t seem like such a big deal with some perspective?HS2 £42bn (circa 330 miles) = £127m per mileChannel Tunnel £9bn (circa 30 miles) = £300m per mile (with no intermediate stations)HS1 £10bn (circa 67 miles) = £150m per mile (with 3 intermediate stations)Road Network Maintenance £2bn per yearIt is expected that the UK Gross Domestic Product across the span of the construction of HS2 will be in the region of £30,000 billion with the cost of HS2 accounting for just 0.15% of GDP.