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Transport / Mass transit

What would HS2 actually look like? This video shows you

Normally, when we’re talking about infrastructure that doesn’t exist yet, it’s difficult to envision what it’ll be like. People will happily pore over maps of metro lines that aren’t likely to open until 10 years after they’ve moved away; but that’s about as far as the simulation gets.

This video of the proposed High Speed 2 route, though, goes rather further. Titled “HS2 fly-through of tte Phase One route between Birmingham and London”, it does, well, what it says on the tin.

It doesn’t enable you to see what it’d be like to actually travel from London to Birmingham in less than an hour (which is fine, really; we’ve all been on trains, haven’t we?). But it does show you exactly what the route, if built, will look like.

Here’s the line, and some of the engineering surrounding it, passing through the south Northamptonshire countryside:

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Click to expand. Image: Arup.

The video is the work of Arup, an engineering consultancy with an obnoxious habit of promoting entirely implausible transport schemes in a desperate bid for press coverage. On this occasion, the firm has stuck to promoting a plan that might actually happen, and the results are pretty interesting.

So the video enables you to see what the new Curzon Street station will do to the Birmingham skyline:

Click to expand. Image: Arup.

Here’s “Birmingham Interchange”, for the airport, National Exhibition Centre, and (eventually) trains to points north:

Click to expand. Image: Arup.

This is the Old Oak Common development in west London:

Click to expand. Image: Arup.

And here we are pulling into Euston:

Click to expand. Image: Arup.

Should you be the sort of person who likes watching eerily silent 32 minute videos of railways that won’t open for another 10 years – and who among us isn’t? – then you can see the whole thing on YouTube. Knock yourselves out.

This article is from the CityMetric archive: some formatting and images may not be present.