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High Speed 2 Railway Line

Question for Department for Transport

UIN 203172, tabled on 30 June 2014

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the potential of (a) Elon Musk's hyperloop trains and (b) Bombardier's double-deck trains as an alternative to High Speed 2 in increasing capacity on the railways.

Answered on

7 July 2014

The Government believes that high speed rail offers the most suitable approach to promoting economic growth and providing the long-term transport capacity our country needs. It utilises proven technologies, while untested systems such as Hyperloop risk delay to delivery, which would mean a delay to much needed capacity increases between London and Birmingham, and cost overruns.

We have considered a wide range of alternative options to a high speed railway including the use of alternative modes, a conventional speed line and upgrades to the existing rail network. Alternatives, such as the use of double deck trains on the West Coast Main Line, do not release capacity for commuter and freight services, fail to offer a robust solution to the problem of poor performance and would significantly disrupt services as upgrade work is carried out to rebuild the tunnels, bridges and other railway infrastructure that would be needed to accommodate these trains.