The £100BN Railway Dividing a Nation

čas přidán 9. 08. 2022
Is Europe’s largest infrastructure project worth it?
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Presenter - Fred Mills
Producers - Adam Savage and Fred Mills
Camera and Video Editing - Thomas Canton
Additional Editing - Aaron Wood
Motion Graphics - Vince North
Executive Producers - Fred Mills, Jaden Urbi and James Durkin
Associate Producers - Liam Marsh and Tim Gibson
Production Management - Victoria Gunn
Travel and Logistics - Caroline Mills

Special thanks to HS2, Mark Thurston, Stephen Glaister and Henri Murison.

Learn more about HS2 -

Additional footage and images courtesy of HS2 Limited, Alisdare Hickson/CC BY-SA 2.0, Ardfern/CC BY-SA 4.0, BBC London, California High Speed Rail Authority, Channel 4, Conservatives, Consorzio Venezia Nuova, Crossrail, DB Projekt Stuttgart-Ulm GmbH, djim/Chartridge Photographic/CC BY 2.0, 5 News, Georgia Power Company, Google, ITV News, Iwan Baan, JessicaGirvan, John Winder/CC BY-SA 2.0, Karen Bruce/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0, Labour Party, london road/CC BY 2.0, Loredana Sangiuliano, metrogogo/CC BY-SA 2.0, Michael Warner, Mott MacDonald, Olesia_Ru, Paul Adrian Emery, Peter S/CC BY-SA 2.0, Roger Marks/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0,, Sky News, Sunday Times and The Times, Tapani Karjanlahti/TVO, The Telegraph and UK Parliament.

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  • As someone who rides the Shinkansen weekly between Sendai and Tokyo, it makes two cities almost 400km apart feel like they're practically next door. The journey time is about 1 hour 20 mins (5-6 hours by car) and the smooth ride spent gliding across the countryside is an absolute joy. I never particularly enjoyed riding trains until I ended up in Japan. The Shinkansen were seen as a monumental waste of money before they were operational and then they quickly became the pride of the nation. Superb video though - this is the first time I've seen the pros and cons of HS2 explained clearly!

    • Wow it feels a lil soothing, that train companies in the UK face equal problems with civil action grps like in Germany. I often got the feeling, they d notoriously reject anything as long as they can. They even d go against an iceman on the plattform if u d publicly announce it in the city hall. but everybody wants enjoy better mobility (mental)

    • I so wish we had a fast link between Melbourne and Sydney...

    • Hello there

    • But how could people afford the ticket ?

    • Us Welsh are having to pay £5billion to something that doesn't even benefit our nation, so yes it is a waste of money. It's also a waste of money for the English taxpayers too, when instead the existing lines could just be upgraded where they need to be. Only one that will benefit from HS2 are the richest English people living in the Midlands. The average person will not benefit at all especially tickets are expected to cost far more than current fares for HS2 trains.

  • The existing rail networks are incredibly and sometimes prohibitively expensive compared to much of the rest of Europe. The UK government have a a habit of using taxpayer money to build infrastructure, then selling to private investors who use it to extort the population.

    • New is cheaper than old. It's like manufacturing. This country is renowned for using 100 year old machinery. The problem with that is your business gets less and less competitive and then goes bust. This is new technology so one would expect throughput to be greater and we expect less delays due to maintenance because everything is new and calculated to work by modern computers. Are you aware that standard trains wont even fit down our BR tracks? The bridges are too small, so we have to pay extra money for non-standard carriages (a case of throwing good money after bad). There becomes a point where what you have is junk and should be thrown away. In Germany's case we did them a favour by blowing up all their ageing industry and look how well they did post war.

    • It’s the neo-liberal model

    • The money gained from those sales should go directly to the people than.

    • Euro tunnel being a prime example🙏

  • I remember when the Channel Tunnel was being built in the early 90s there was widespread scorn of it as being a huge waste of money, although there was also a common misconception that it was taxpayer's money (the project was actually one of the largest privately-funded projects in history).

    • Yes, and the shareholders lost their shirts.

    • @T H Live under a highway, then.

    • @Edward James why worse? Surely an EV taking someone directly to where they want to go, door to door is better than people taking their car to the station, then wait for a long as they aren't on strike. HS2 is like only by train nerds, people working on it and those fortunate enough to live nowhere near to it..

  • I live near Leeds. We were promised HS2. Then at some point a Metro system was proposed to connect all of West Yorkshire down in to South Yorkshire at Meadowhall shopping centre as a replacement. The current "benefit" we have been promised is now that Northern rail has been re-nationalised we will have a reliable train service with none 1980s Pacer trains. The new stock isn't a million miles better (30 years late), neither is the service sadly (the staff do what they can for the most part). We've also been given a mayor who offers cheaper bus fares, on certain days. On old, unreliable, failing busses. HS2 is just something else Northerners are expected to pay for without any benefit within our lifetime, if ever, and just be thankful that other parts of the country are benefiting from it and growing on our backs. The whole northern powerhouse marketing slogan is a bit of a joke when you look at investment in the country as a whole. HS2 is just one example of how the North is just an after thought. Leveling up only works if you work from the weakest to the strongest, not always strongest outwards, at least in my humble opinion.

    • if you think the north has it bad think of Scotland, Wales and NI, the railway doesnt even come within our borders but we still have to pay for it

    • @MR Bones North East England has no hope of receiving any high speed rail. In fact, HS3 plans suggests high speed trains extending to Glasgow along the west. North East England is incredibly poorly connected with no dual carriageway to Scotland or the west, even though it’s one of the largest metropolitan areas in the country. Now Northern Ireland would never get an undersea channel as it would not be worth the spend… about time the UK just handed it back and let the island become reunified.

    • If you think it's bad for people in the north of England have a think what it's like for Scotland or northern Ireland who also have to pay and are guaranteed to receive nothing in return at any point, at least in the north you have a hope of having it extended somewhere near you.

    • HS2 should have had phase one starting in Yorkshire or Manchester/Liverpool.

    • Jump on the 36 bus from Leeds to Harrogate and Ripon it's only £2 for a single and there are individual seats upstairs that are luxurious leather. The Coastliner is only £2 too.

  • People often do not comprehend that massive infrastructure projects will most probably last for centuries and therefore benefits must be looked at over many decades and centuries. Note the tunnel under the Thames River.

    • It will benefit the next generation. People now worry their tax money to invest lolo

    • @yarpen26 Well said.

    • If they are going to stop now, it would be all for nothing. But with the ongoing debt crisis, it's still not easy and there's still a long way to go. However, because of that mentioned factor, the option to just halt the project altogether is starting to make more sense.

    • True; case in point, the Panama Canal faced staggering obstacles in its construction, not to mention the perpetual costs overruns needed to build it, but the entire world quite literally benefits from this shortcut between two oceans. The same could be said about the Hoover Dam as well.

  • I'm really excited by HS2. I know it has its problems, and I understand concerns about the cost (although I think if we had more consistent planning we'd have less of the stop/start so less cost risk). But I wanted to say your graphics in this are just lovely - well done!

  • It’s worth remembering that the first Shinkansen in Japan faced very similar opposition. Few wanted it, and very few thought it would have a significant positive impact.

    • @Ecclesiastes 2:24 America has a problem with to many roads, the cities can't afford to repave them! And every store needs lots of parking lots that also needs repaving and takes up alot of space!

    • ​@Ecclesiastes 2:24 taxes aren't assigned spending. All taxes go to all spending projects, roads can be cheaper, because tunnels are avoided, HS2 is so expensive because of the tunnelling. Building a high speed line to Birmingham should be the equivalent of the Tokyo Osaka line in Japan, meaning it would be viable

    • @Jeremy Kennon You're correct on the second part, but but the hyperloop is not really a modern solution. Trains and bicycles, on the other hand, have always been sensible modes of transit. They deserve more credit for just how simple and efficient they are. It's like they say: the less moving parts, the better. Why do we need a futuristic solution, when the real "high-tech" involves efficiency and engineering.

    • @Ecclesiastes 2:24 despite stagnation Japan is way better than UK's and human development is sti hight despite their debts and we can't say the same with Britain especially with the current inflation

  • Spain has suffered the same internal division, but it really helps to connect cities and distant parts of the country together. Now private HS train companies are starting to compete on the high speed tracks lowering the prices for customers.

    • @Iñaki F. Gazteain my opinon both things would be desirable, High Speed and regional trains. Something similar to FEVE but updated. As you point out, there was in the past a wider train grid in rural areas but people abandoned them when they could afford a car. I have seen lately a proposal for a train from north to southern Spain servicing smaller cities, (vía de la plata) from Asturias to Huelva. I think that would fit in your idea.

    • @Pinón Y Telva It´s ok if low-cost companies are using and paying for the infrastructure; still, I guess people living in rural areas would benefit more with good regional and freight lines. There is a social demand in many regions about improving regular lines and even reopening abandoned/closed ones.

    • @Iñaki F. Gaztea so? And Japan has a very populated lineal distribution of its cities. Its surface is 2/3 of Spain's surface and its population is 2,6 times Spanish population. Spains cities are scattered in all four corners of the country. The private companies find their operation in Spain lucrative nonetheless. What is your point? Are you worried about the companies not having enough profits? (That is nice, but they themselves do not seem to worry) I for one worry about people having fast, efficient and environmental friendly means of tranportation linking people all over Spain with each other regardless of where they live.

    • Still most customers of hsr in Japan are people commuting from work to home. Middle stops are heavily populated areas

  • I’ve been waiting for the B1 M to do a full program on HS2 and I’m not disappointed this was great thank you

  • The big issue is incrementalism or lack thereof, they should have designed as an outline a full high speed rail network, then built th easiest bit with an acceptable cost benefit ratio. They could have them made all the mistakes on that more cheaply while also building useful stuff away from London.

    • @Dave Cooper I am talking about 2018, not long ago. The situation may have changed.

    • @pagheca 😂 I read your first paragraph… pathetic. I think in the long term HS2 will be a success IF completed in a reasonable time.

    • I have seen reports that the Sprinters had been phased out. Are the reports inaccurate ?

    • My wife was traveling Cardiff to Manchester once a week. The train was a Diesel bus on wheel. Not joking, they really have it there. Dirty, noisy, slow. PATHETIC! I like HS2 but without completely reshuffling the whole system I really can't see the poimt of spending 100 B£ to enrich a few companies.

  • Stuttgart 21 renews the railway track plan around Stuttgart entirely to get rid of the terminus station and have a pass through central station instead, but it is not a high speed line. However, it is a masterpiece of engineering and there is a brand new high speed line between Ulm and Wendlingen near Stuttgart where it meets the new Stuttgart 21-tracks. This line has to be seen in an European context because it is part of a high speed connection between western and eastern Europe. Train drivers receive their Streckenkunde-Training in these days, so they get to know the new tracks, signalling and other provisions made for safe traveling.

  • My regular train ticket to go to London 50 miles away is £32.90. Even more if you just turn up to the station without a pre booked ticket bought a day or two earlier. I can't imagine what it would be on HS2. The only way we could see lots of high speed rail in the UK is if the government nationalizes the entire rail system, but they won't and I'm not 100% convinced Labour would be able to pull it off either.

    • @Allwin 0908 without. I'm too old for the youngster rail cards, and the other "network rail card" you can't use at peak times mon-fri. You can only use it after 10am which is no good for work.

    • @Silver Stacker is that with or without a railcard?

    • Megaprojects are a bonanza for contractors, but a boondoggle for the taxpayers

    • The price needs to be less than driving a car full of people down to a town near London and catching the tube in!

    • @Silver Stacker 😲

  • The high speed train between my city, Barcelona and the capital, Madrid has singlehandedly killed the air routes between thia cities. High speed rail is a marvel.

    • But who on earth is going to take a flight from London to Birmingham or Manchester. It only takes 2-3h by train. You would have to link London to Edinburgh or Glasgow as they are basically the only major domestic flight routes on the island of GB.

    • Your very lucky to have a forward looking Government that embrace's progress we have one that it still stuck in the steam age & is very biased towards the rest of our country !

    • @Maxwell Wagoner-Watts 300kph, that's quick for sure haha

    • I just did this route with my family from Madrid. We bought tickets in advance and it only cost us 50€ per person one way. Great experience, quick and comfortable trains.

    • @Ecclesiastes 2:24 Your description is remarkably simplistic.

  • Some of the construction gone into this project is amazing and i can say ive been a part of this project

  • You channel is making the jump from a craft channel to something really professional. The piece to camera sections work extremely well, and a real departure from normal CS-tv fare. They link with the fact you are not just golly-goshing a big new project but thinking critically about the cost benefit ratio

  • The flipside of speedy connectivity is that Birmingham (and other places) become a London suburb. Winchester is a perfect example. Just over an hour away on morning and evening direct trains, people on London salaries price out locals on local salaries. Locals can now work in London, but they are just playing catch-up.

    • yeah just like how the channel tunnel just made france a london suburb

  • One issue will be ticket price, looking it up its suggested a London to Manchester ticket will cost UpTo £180-240. That's just insane. Worse case it's £50 petrol for the same car journey. Hopefully hs2 will decongest the roads a little for everyone. I've been on shinkansen and loved it, but it's a v occasional treat at best.

    • They want to get people out of their cars and onto other forms of transport, yet they are providing zero incentive for people to do such a thing. All they are doing is shafting all the people who have no choice but to use public transport, as well as making sure they and their mates are making a packet from fleecing the public out of as much money as they possibly can.

  • Superb film. Capturing all the arguments and clearly explaining what's at stake in it's construction. A great watch.

  • the biggest failure of HS2 imo is starting it in London and working north, rather than starting in the north and working south. it would have had a lot higher approval rating if it promised to better connect the north first

    • @Richard Eakin Absolutely. I'm sick of being delayed due to "local stopping train in the way". The Victorians knew that only having 2 lines between cities was stupid and ramped them all up to quad.. We could have undone the devastation and bottlenecking caused by "efficiency" since the 1960's . Also we could have reinstated lost lines. An hour from Wigan to Leigh on the bus... used to be 14 minutes by train in 1970.

    • @Nate Hill CA HSR is fine dude. Most complaints are just nonsense

    • @Nate Hill villages? What villages are those?

    • @Nate Hill Anti-CAHSR forces: “This is bullshit. We’re going to sue to stop this.” [Progress is halted as years of lawsuits and appeals work their way through the courts but ultimately fail] Anti-CAHSR forces: “See, didn’t we tell you this was bullshit? They’re so far behind schedule.”

    • Very good point

  • I worked on the Mercury Energy tunnel in Auckland, after the 1997 power outage that stopped the city dead,they decided to take the power lines deep underground. All volcanic rock to cut through,9 kilometres long,was finished in 2000,after 6 months of the usual council haggling,2.5 years later,it was opened. Loved working on that project.

    • Been in that tunnel when transpower upgraded the North Auckland to northland link, good times

  • Has the factor of what ones sees on the ride as in the scenic parts been taken into consideration that'd make the journey more pleasant?

  • I would like to be discussing delays and controversies of a train project like this in my country, but unfortunately the Brazilian government has cancelled the railroad project that would link São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.

  • Wow 👌 what a production you've produced 👏 thank you for the amount of work research you've done.

  • Watching this has me wanting to read through Sir Terry Pratchett's Raising Steam about bringing rail to the Discworld. In my mind England is as much linked to Discworld as it is Monty Python. I've put off Raising Steam thus far as it's one of the final books written by the late master and it's comforting prolonging the feeling that there's still more to read.

  • Well done on a well produced piece of content. The quality of your work, like the HS2 budget, is ever-increasing!

    • When are 4K videos coming ?. I can’t wait to be even more immersed with your awesome content

  • I think the challenge is more the willingness to cut of the north. Having come from London originally and lived in Leeds for five years including 4 years commuting back and forth for work/uni, its evidentially clear that travel in the north isn't up to scratch. The new system that removes the leg to the Yorkshire essentially makes the entire HS2 network pointless. Trains won't travel from Leeds to Birmingham, swap to HS2 network and than down to London for the sake of 20 minutes saved time without an extortionate price jump on ticket fares. And what we are given as investment to public transport is hundreds of millions of pounds thrown into bike lanes and the existing bus system which is completely unreliable and time inefficient. West Yorkshire doesn't even have good transport links to Leeds Bradford Airport and every year the links just get worse in quality but dramatically increase in price. For something sold as linking the north and south, it is essentially a quick train between London and Birmingham that essentially moves workers into Birmingham, and lets high execs of large firms to commute between the 2 biggest economic hubs, at the cost of the entire UK

  • By comparison, the ancient tracks from Boston to Washington will never get more than tiny touch-ups. The tunnel in central Baltimore might have to fail, requiring emergency replacement. Perhaps the same with Hudson River tubes.

  • An excellent and balanced video! Explains the nuances well.

    • In fact it's the nuances that led me to share and hit the bell 🔔 icon - so many videos 📹 flagrantly neglecting nuances out here. Sensational.

  • Herein the U.S.I watched with amusement when Amtrak built the northeast corridor. It runs from Boston to D.C. and uses Alstom power units. Those are capable of 200mph. To reach that requires a signaling upgrade.

  • I regularly travel from Stafford (between Crewe and Birmingham on the west coast mainline) and the fastest none stop train takes 1h10 which is great but so often we are delayed because of slow local trains being in front or freight trains (the other week a broken down freight train delayed me by over an hour) and thus new HS2 will prevent this. I’m excited to be able to know I will get to London and back in a quicker time and with little chance of delay. Also being a full time wheelchair user, having the new Euston station having an accessible underground station (currently it’s a 10-15 minute roll over to st Pancras/ kings cross) will be massive for the many many disabled people whose trains go into euston and euston is breaking at the seams too so new platforms will make a massive difference. I think this will end up being an eventual success, hopefully burying all the hate and bad publicity.

  • Infrastructure projects that span multiple governments are to be applauded. In todays world of popularism and short term pressure from social media the pressure never to start projects like this will be large. Listening to these voices is how stagnation happens.

    • @Josomez WRONG!!! You are not talking about "one or two years" but one or two decades and THAT is totally unacceptable! The West coast line improvements proved that and there were no benefits at all. I should know1 I use the railways to see my sister down south and many a time I have flown instead which is an awful experience!

    • @Tonydjjokerit At this point a year or two of delays is worth it when it comes to fixing a rotting railway. Even then, hs2 will not compensate for any rebuilding of the uks existing infrastructure because of its limited reach, not just because of destination but also the price tag.

    • @Josomez You're forgetting something! If existing railways are improved, it may take delays, on the UK's main railways, that means a decade of delays! Is that acceptable to the public? I say definitely not!

    • @Alex C Erm................what are people who live in the North, the East of England, the South West and South East going to travel in, uncovered wagons like in the old days pulled by a freight diesel engine?

    • Then you would either have no infrastructure projects or more extended governmental periods.

  • I love these vids. Produced so well, and so in depth. He's a bit of a dish too. Could watch him all day long 😉

  • It would have been interesting to have brought in research on Mega Project management, as for instance done at University of Oxford

  • Building public transport the right way will cost a lot in the short term. But, because it will be around a very long time, it will be cheaper in the long term. Building half the rail that was intended will safe some money now but will decrease the profit in the future.

  • Since when the Gotthard base tunnel opened, travelling to Zurich, about 2h30m driving time, is much better by train requiring about two hours and dropping you right in the centre of town. Taking a train to the airport takes 20 minutes more. It cost a ton of money but the capacity has increased as also freight goes through the tunnel.

  • Great video the Freddy and b1m, a simple explanation for this problem. The only way really affordable is by switching source of energy ASAP for net zero carbon and our energy security.That's why in the UK infrastructure across the North sea to a mixed renewable hydrogen economy means affordability in hs2 a certainty. This being even better than post ww2 affordability after having peaked in affordable hydrocarbons before the great financial crisis 2008!

  • Wow, this was absolutely fantastic. Genuine journalism, with an extremely high production value and a real effort to show all sides of the issue. This channel keeps getting better and better and I'm thankful to be along for the ride.

    • Very balanced. Asked the right questions without being unnecessarily confrontational or sycophantic. It allowed the person answering the question to give us their views. I live in Canada, a country with a slow outdated rail system, where the private car is often seen as the only possible means of transportation.

    • its nto a great video it misses out Phase 1a which now covers birmingham to crewe

  • Can you please do a video on why it costs so much to build rail and roads? It feels like the cost of these projects should go down a lot as we build more and more and get better at it but the evidence shows the opposite: the cost has increased heavily in most countries.

    • And also why we seem to be so bad at _predicting_ the costs (and time required).

  • This was so well done! Good luck United Kingdom, I wish you well from Texas!

  • What an amazing documentary-style video, loving it!

  • Maybe one day we’ll find ourselves watching a video about how successful HS2 actually is, and think back to a video we watched… 20 years ago.

    • If we are alive when its's completed. the current finishing date has already been delayed to 2041 and its only had the green light for 3 and a half years.

    • mong

    • You mean a bit like we take the M1 & M6 for granted now?

  • The biggest things with HS2 are that it needs to be faster, and the fares need to be so low you barely think about it. Fuel prices might be going up, but as soon as it’s more than just on person making the trip, driving becomes FAR cheaper than current train costs. I want to be able to go from London to Manchester in 30 mins and for it to cost £10

    • ​@Jonathan Weeks 400 miles an hour

    • @l l where did you get 800 miles an hour from?

    • 30 minutes are you crazy? How do you expect a train to reach speeds of 800 miles per hour?

  • Wow, this video was incredible on so many levels. Insanely detailed, giving tons of insight into a super interesting project; the editing is incredible and the info graphics are superb. Fantastic job B1M team, this was just an amazing video!

    • One thing I know for sure, when it is £100 billion now by the time it finishes it will be £200 billion. Too many layers trying to cream off public money. Plus by the time it is all completed, if it does, it will be outdated.

    • The graphics team deserves a lot of applause for this presentation.

  • I think this Project will be "The Taj mahal of UK". The Taj mahal, is not just one of the 7 wonders of the world, but it was a job creator for architects, artisans, craftsmen, traders, and other construction laborers for 17yrs long years. that's how great cities are built.

  • It's amazing to see videos by the B1M, that have a quality equal to anything you see on mainstream television. I say this because I'm sure this has cost a fraction of the amount it would have done if it had been made, for example, by the BBC.

  • As another example, take the new airport in berlin - it is three times over budget and took 9 years longer to build than originally planned.

  • Absolutely first class video guys. So well researched, brilliantly produced, very informative, extremely well 'balanced', and such a good overview of a project that this country should, rightly, (and eventually will) be hugely proud of. Your documentaries are next level. Thank You.

  • Currently working on HS2, the amount of wasted time and resources is incredible. There’s always a saying based in construction..‘you always know when it’s a public project’. Companies are treating it like a blank cheque knowing that public money in essence won’t run out, they are far too long in the tooth to cancel the project now, so it has to choice to continue.

    • @Black Brit then they go on strike every two minutes and hold the job to ransom, can't win.

    • @Black BritIndeed, well said.

    • Yet public projects are one of the only ways to get genuinely transformative infrastructure. Even with private financing there's usually a clause or two making the government bear the ultimate risk. Private companies simply do not want to take big risks like that. Perhaps the answer is reduce the number of private contractors and build up a fully public set of enterprises that can make infrastructure without the incentive to bleed public coffers for profit.

    • Literally chilling at C23 😂😂

    • Get us a job mate, 360 operator and work hard. Looking for a job where I do fuck all and rip off the public funding 😄🤑. I’ve seen lots of advertised jobs for HS2 and it seems to be really decent pay, so clearly these contractors must be giving quotes that you’d faint at lol

  • I’ve been on the Shinkansen in Japan and travelled in china on their high speed rail for a month without any need for domestic flights. It really is fantastic

    • @Richard Wills-Woodward Baloney, you don't know what you are talking! Within of 2019, the length of railways in China totaled 139,000 km (86,371 mi), including 59% double tracked (83,000 km) and 71.9% electrified (100,000 km), and 35,000 kilometres (21,748 miles) of high-speed rail (HSR) network. By 2021 China's HSR exceeds 41,000 km in length. In addition China has been building highways at an amazing high speed. Since 1988, when the country's first expressway - the Shanghai-Jiading Expressway was completed, China has built over 160,000 kilometers in expressways, which is the most of any country in the world. The reason behind this efficiency is China's economic model.

    • Indeed but the rest of the Chinese network is non-existent. High speed only. I have been flying back and forth for 15 years (no fan of Chinese government of course) and outside the high speed network, the transport is appalling.

    • Yes and both had demostrations against those projects when building them I remember. But it has shown that the governments decisions are usually in the correct direction.

  • Very interesting, thanks - I have resubscribed! The difficulty wih HS2 (apart from the obvious) is that it doesn't really do much for the north (and little or nothing for the far north and Scotland). A cynic might argue that all it does is extend the 'south' to Birmingham, thus 'just' widening the area of that well-off part, without really making much difference at all to the rest of the Midlands, and certainly not 'levelling up' anywhere north of Birmingham. The cost and disruption of HS2 may be argued to be worth it, but only if it truly benefited places like Manchester and Leeds. With that benefit now gone, and the double-whammy of the Norther Rail improvements also shelved, it's hard to justisfy the little stump of HS2 that will actually be built - especially with no link with HS1 (personally, I still can't get my head round that particular bit of stupidity). We should have bitten the bullet and done the whole thing - properly - or not bothered with it at all. And just imagine how much impact spending that amount of money on improving the existing rail infrastructure would have had! (It's such an enormous amount of money that it's effetively impossible to imagine - a London and the SE level of train services across the North, and change left over!)

    • HS2 has no relevance in Scotland because it’s a different country.

  • I ride the Shinkansen between Kobe and Tokyo regularly. HS2 is definitely worth it as an idea, however as someone who grew up in London, it is a travesty if it does not link to Scotland, Leeds, and that Northern Powerhouse rail was downgraded. I really wish that Labour will address this when they get into power although I think they will have too much to do given Brexit and Bojo and Trussterf*ck's horrific governmental decisions of the last 6 years.

  • Great video but the major benefit was skimmed over, than being freeing up capacity across the midlands & into wales not just on London to Birmingham line.

  • Exceptional content! Thanks for sharing 👍

  • Though I do agree they should have started in the North. I think the costs of finishing in London in say 7 years would be more expensive that way. No matter how much it costs to build HS2 now, it would only get more expensive as time goes on.

  • It's very interesting that countries where rail transport had its starting point, like the UK, Germany or the US, have so many problems with big rail projects nowadays. I mean California High Speed Rail, Stuttgart 21, is pretty obvious that something has to change in planning and building such infrastructure.

    • @Machin Truc the main issue in CA are people in America not understanding HSR, constantly media pressure calling it a failure (no one talks about the failure and set backs of Highways like I-69 that are also over budget & time consuming) Also contracting, constantly contracting new people. So you lose education & experience that they’ve had through 1 phase and also have to jump through so many more hoops

    • @Bazteki yes, I've driven the 101. Actually it's entire length, was a fun series of trips. But I've also driven in Europe where entire countries are covered in mountains and they seem to do rail OK. Much better than us! I don't think mountains are really a problem, there are such things as tunnels. And, as you point out there's already a prepared grade along the entire route.

    • @ShibaSurfing but.. mountains?? I They built it through the Central Valley because it’s the only flat part of the state. I can’t imagine the cost of building it along the coast, or even “direct” between LA and SF. I’m gonna assume you’ve either never actually driven the coast (or 101 for that matter) or that you’re trolling. I mean yeah the drive down the coast is beautiful, but considering it takes almost twice as long as the already 6 hour trip down I-5… ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    • @Oberst leutnant And unsafe.

  • Amazing commentary. Bravo for putting this together. Congrats on the well deserved recent award

  • I'd love to see an independent enquiry on how many politicians benifit financial from such an endeavor, ie shares in the companies that get awarded contracts.

  • When it was first brought up I was in agreement and really apart from some concerns I still back it, but it needs to be speeded up. It needs to go to Newcastle and Carlisle. The speed needs sorting out the whole thing, trains need to be over 200mph.

  • Fantastic, informative video! Glad this appeared in my recommended! 👏👏

  • Well done Fred, professional, balanced and technical. My opinion as a tax paying, northern, non train user is trust the experts to design and build the railway as originally planned as there won’t be another built for another 130 years.

    • "Trust the experts"? You're being facetious, right? Surely you can't be serious? Look at the mess they've made of it already! (Vastly over budget, all deadlines missed, sections cancelled, financial mismanagement, the list is endless).

    • Leeds, why there, tax payer vote for weirdo politics !

  • This video was so damn good that I almost forgot I was watching on CS-tv. This is at the same level of quality as a BBC or Discovery Channel documentary. Your narration is on the same level as Sir David Attenborough. Keep up the amazing content production, can't wait for the next one bruv! As for high-speed rail, south of the DMZ has a wonderful system and we hope for that system to expand once we reunify

    • I had the same feeling. At first I thought that's long for 30min CS-tv video but wow, what a program!

    • I see you commenting everywhere. Same with the John Xina (Cena) guy 🤣

    • @Kim Jong-un Kevin says hello

  • Sometimes I'm even amazed there doesn't seem to be any steam trains in full and major operation in Britain today.

  • If every perviouse generation of people would decline their current infrastructure projects, it would be so bad for us now. This project is great for the longevity for infrastructure.

  • This is pretty informative ! But hs2 will not leave Birmingham. If they were that interested they would have started in the north!!

  • 8:40 what will help massively is to make cities like London a lot less car-centric. Compared to the US London is decently friendly to other methods of travel, but compared to for example the Netherlands, London and the entirety of the UK is leaps away from making infrastructure every *but* car-centric.

  • Imagine how much train fares are going to be!

  • One thing to keep in mind is the Shinkansen line. It went absurdly over budget and suffered from years of delay, but no one remembers that now, now everyone only remembers that Shinkansen helped pave the way for Japan to become one of the most prosperous countries in the world

    • @Mark Jones no, the “direct” route would go through mountainous region making it way more expensive, more time consuming to build and quite dangerous

    • @TheAdskidids1 Japan's economy is still great. Not growing much as really, it doesn't need to.

    • @MrStevenjv It won't go from LA to SF in 2.5 hours. They chose the wrong route (Highway 99) and I've seen no finalized path to downtown LA. Putting it down Highway 5 was the far better route.

    • It also illustrates that one of the major reasons for cost overrun is a lack of experience. When you're doing something for the first time, you have a lot of learning to do.

    • Is a project like this ever "on budget"?

  • Moving forward is expensive and hard in the short term, while doing nothing is cheap and easy. But falling behind in the long run is the most expensive and difficult choice of all.

  • I am proud of the engineering skill we have available to us in this country. We also have several thousand Food Banks?

  • I really want HS2 to work I want it to connect many cities because all those shops, the maintenance, cleaners, Electricians, engineers, builders, security the ticket officer the drivers everywhere will need people to keep those stations and buildings going the amount of jobs it will created when it’s finished will be massive it’s what the country needs it’s costing loads yes however the amount that it will generate is far greater for many years, It’s worth the struggle now for the massive pay off later, It will make so many cities bigger bolder bringing the future to the public making a brighter better future it is worth the wait.

  • thing is though that going from Birmingham to London will still take a similar amount of time once you factor in the tube and other transport so actually cutting the intercity train time has such a negligible difference. Until we see HS2 connect the north east and west there will be no real impact except that all of our train fares will probably go up and we will see a major loss in Birmingham city centre as more people head to London to shop and go out.

    • @Asad Uddin i think you're struggling with the concept of return fairs, people will live in Birmingham but go to London. The risk is that people will live in Birmingham but use London as their main area of work/ pleasure. As a Birmingham resident this train service doesn't benefit Birmingham residents instead it just turns it into another commuter town which is dead and soulless like some American suburb. Not to mention it will increase house prices as London Yuppies move in. I'm sure you're trolling me but still can't help but answer as if you are being serious.

    • It is not about speed, it is about capacity. But if you're building something new there is no point in limiting it to 75mph.

  • Britain & Germany should think about connecting HS2 to Stuttgart 21 and the (relatively) new Berlin-Brandenburg airport.^^

  • Being in California... I appreciate the light you shed on how difficult these projects are complete. But the difficulties and complexities is what makes these projects true symbols of what humanity is capable of.

    • @PaulaXism Paula, I get it - you won't find it that useful, I will. That's why we have a vote. Vote in a party that doesn't want HS2 if it's that important to you?

    • @arbitermatt Fair enough, it's your prerogative to leave it at that, and probably a good idea to not argue over the internet. But I also think it's a cop-out blaming disruption - suspended lines are used exactly because of their limited impact on existing built-up environments Heck they're used when density is too high and is an attractive, less-costly option than going under ground: it's really two posts leaving a minimized footprint, the pudding is all overhead in the air.

    • @whyno713 Because it would disrupt a lot of existing infrastructure. I'll leave it here, I'm pro HS2 and am looking forward to it being implemented.

    • @arbitermatt Sorry, but efficiency doesn't happen in a vacuum: costs and trade-offs have to be taken into account. And tell me again - well, you never did - why can't hanging rail be implemented? There's already existing existing infrastructure to capitalize on, from electric lines to stations, and cutting edge technology like electromagnetism can be revolutionized on a large scale, one of the true benefits of public projects. My objection is not over HSR per se, but are there other better ways to solve the problems we face?

  • The costs and delays are even worse than the Berlin Airport. I thought it is impossible to surpass that

    • Frankfurt by the way is just building its complete new terminal 3. Similar in size. Without any problems, in time, in budget. And nobody even takes a note of it 😁

  • The money involved is staggering. I'm an a electrical engineer and I've had lots of contract companies in the last few months enquiring about my availability to go and work on hs2 in london. For personal reasons i cant work away from home at the moment but i will be in the future, the hourly rates on offer are nearly double that of usual contract work.

  • At 00:18. Some of the fastest trains on earth. I thought they were only going to do a top speed of 140 MPH (224 Kph).

  • It would be great to have a video like this one about Tren Maya, which is being built in the Yucatán Peninsula to bring economic growth in an almost century long neglected area, yet it hasn’t been built free of controversies.

  • A railway designed to bring a country further closer together actually drives it apart. Brilliant.

    • Have you seen the "Simpsons" episode featuring the monorail?

  • As a civil engineer currently working on one of the HS2 stations, I appreciate B1M producing such a detailed, factual and balanced explanation of the project. Hopefully this allows individuals to form their own opinion on it; good or bad.

    • @Ian J Sharpen up!

    • @John Burns How?

    • UK is currently £2.1 trillion in debt and increasing by the day. And no clear plan on how to reduce it.

  • Why is it that big projects that are basically known to be done over decades never seem to incorporate the inflation in their bills? But it's also "funny" how people are opposing something, costing the project money, then complain the project should be stopped because it's overrun budget. Same with Stuttgart21 in Germany. They are protesting against removal of trees, costs thousands to clear the protests, then they complain the project got more expensive.

    • Project budgets always do take inflation into account, though politicans tend to quote "constant dollars" because that makes lower numbers. But all the contracts, etc will be calculated in current (ie inflated) dollars. The causes of budget blowouts are elsewhere. There are two rules about large complex projects: Rule 1) They always cost more than you expected Rule 2) Rule 1 stays true even if your expectations took Rule 1 into account.

  • Great video! The biggest problem in the World is that humans tend to act against all kind of changes in the world and in their lives. Why keep everything the same? Ofcourse some changes are very debateful, but huge and important things like infrastructure, MUST go on no matter what! When the first trains went into service whole world was against it, now everybody uses it as normal. There was a first for electricity in houses, there was a first in phone-lines, there was a first in coax cable-TV, and even now there's a first in optical fibre network for internet and TV. Always people were against the infrastructure, and always people start to use it as normal. For high speed rail is no any difference. And when the HS2 runs for 10 years all environmental surroundings looks like normal and it's just a train passing by. Look at the high speed lines in France and Germany, it's just totally normal, have only huge benefits for the people, and the environment didn't get hurt. The Earth always heals itself. For this project I only question why it's not meant to go all the way up to Scottland in the first place. The longer the distance the more worth it's all the effort! I really can't wait to see a high speed rail from the Channel Tunnel all the way up to Glasgow.

  • The real question is when it is complete how much will a ticket cost.

    • My guess is it will be another M6 Toll. Prohibitively expensive for private users, and as a consequence, relatively under utilised. The world of business travel has also changed dramatically since 2020. I used to drive all over the UK for work, typically spending 2-3 days of every working week ‘on the road’. In the first 9 months of this financial year, I’ve left my home office four times.

    • Too much for we regular folk, that's for sure. Even standard rail tickets are absurdly expensive, given that the UK rail network post-privatisation is run as a profit-making business not as an essential national service. Prices will bear no relation to the cost of the infrastructure because that will doubtless be underwritten by the government, i.e. by we taxpayers. The rail operating company will be guaranteed a profit by us too, so all that's left will be to fleece the poor mugs who choose to use the service.

    • Indeed. We may well end up with even mass transport basically being a two tier system - one travel time for the rich and one for the rest of us (sure, First Class passengers already have nicer seats etc. but we all still arrive at the same time).

    • It's like the express service to Gatwick. Popular with business travelers who get to expense it but most regular folks don't mind saving a tenner just to spend an extra 20mims on a train.

    • @Danzo G Even with AI as drivers you still need a human to monitor the AI just in case.

  • I love high speed rail but I went and studied in Hull (about 200 miles north of London). I had friends from "Up north" who took 5 or 6 hours on train to get home that was really only half that distance it took me 3 hours included travel to and from station. It took me one train. They had to bounce between multiple. All roads may lead to Rome but all railways lead to London. I'd rather see between links between Northern Cities, or people in Wales be able to travel North to South without having to go via England, than save 30 minutes to go from London. It will lead to more London growth and less anywhere else.

    • What was the cost of a return journey?

  • So exciting is this project that construction is going on 24/7 over the Christmas period at the London Euston end. I have it as background noise as I write. :(

  • the level of details in the production of this video is mind blowing, sweet animations, transitions and overall image quality. and yet, the content is even more impressive, congrats to the B1M team for this amazing documentary!

    • The motorway network is fine enough. In fact, it's the last real massive infrastructure project that we actually managed to do.

  • WOW! It sounds like a worthwhile project, however, the huge amount of money needed to bring it to fruition simply staggers the imagination, or at least mine.

  • They are building it up the road from me and the level of inactivity is shocking. It took them 2 years to put in a 5m traffic island and the road surface is already failing. I work in quarries and it was pretty amazing to hear they didn't test the ground before proceeding. Commercial quarries would not be approved if this hadn't been done. Also, from what I have seen of their ground preparations, they will have subsidence/ ground slippage problems in the future.

    • Subsidence and ground slip are the last thing you would want in high speed railway foundation.

  • 31:05 - you have put a small short clip of what I presume to be Stonehenge. Stonehenge is down in the west of England and therefore wouldn't be touched by HS2. But it gives the biggest headache for the west of England during the summer, bank holidays, and Christmas due to the a303 passing right by and the bottleneck it creates. Now one can only assume that those tunnel boring machines will be sent to that region to get on with a tunnel to stop the rubbernecking and then get some progress down into the southwest. The government's in the past of the UK have said that there would be an infrastructure project for that area that included a tunnel to bypass that monument and therefore cut journey times. During the summer journey times could be cut by over 1hr from solstice park to the a36 junction by a single tunnel. Carbon emissions would be greatly reduced from the reduction of roundabouts that need to be navigated, and the stop start nature of traffic passing the stones. It's not just the north of the UK that suffers. The west and southwest has a massive deficit compared to London. Journey times are shocking, and the cost on the train is staggering. From Heathrow to Taunton, via Paddington you're looking at £74 for one way!!! And the train was late leaving. The journey time wasn't bad.... Just the amount of slowing down due to other trains using the line.

  • An extremely well editied and researched video , I have no experience in this feild, but in 2035 we'll be talking about and 250 billion final cost.

  • I guess the bigger question is how will all this get powered?

  • Wait, how can there only be 34 football pitches of damaged space on a project this size? Sounds like some crazy high environmental standards.

    • @TalesOfWar cutting down trees that are hundreds of years old is terrible. We won't get those back.

    • It is essentially not true. Just the right of way is way more area though forests.

    • Greenwashing

    • @Rupert to be fair, railway safety has improved since privatisation. There are now fewer accidents and deaths per year. Of course railway safety had been improving even before the railways were privatised, but the rate of improvement increased. That said, safety aside, the system is a total shambles. Privatisation is not the answer to everything.

    • @TalesOfWar Mature trees store more carbon than new ones. And when they are cut down it will release all the carbon they have stored up over hundreds of years. So replacing mature trees with new ones will increase carbon emissions, not reduce them.

  • As the population of the world grows so does London. London has always been buckling under the gravity that comes with being a worldwide city that pulls greater than any other part of the country. Once it starts it never ends. Projects like this are necessary to spread the burden and the benefit. Its hard to believe that years from now anyone will understand that people had doubts and questioned it. Many people always fear change. There were people in the build up to the 2nd WW that questioned the need, but I am not sure people question it now.

  • Lets be honest progress is not easy but we all must face it and do it and with an eye on the future we have to do it and we have to invest and realize projects like these to save the enviroment and so on.

  • Good job we have amazing work ethic in this country 👏 👍 👌

  • I still think strengthening local & regional lines would have been a lot helpful. I do understand maany would choose to live in the places through which HS2 would pass instead of London and thereby decongesting London. A bit 51-49 for me against HS2. And oddly many comments are about Shikansen.

  • Firstly - two personal things about HS2 - 1/ I love BIG PROJECTS 2/ the Chiltern Tunnel has been bored directly under the family homestead. From the very first thoughts HS2 cut down entire forests just to supply their beautiful paperwork! Normally, when you get a notification under the Planning laws - it arrives on a standard bit of council bog roll and that's it; however; HS2 seem to want to out do the Russian artillery - great wodges of their stuff has cascaded through my letterbox, as it has done to everyone anywhere near the route. There are letters, glossaries explaining their words, processes, method statements and wonderful brochures and copious maps included every flipping time - I've stacked up mine in a pile and it now amounts to more than two reams of photocopy from OfficeWorld. Not that any of it is actually photocopy - it's all printed - they're all a work of art and I suspect a small army of such artisans are gainfully employed designing the next lot as I write! Though now retired, I've been in construction virtually all my life ( my dad was a General Foreman so I spent time on sites in the 1950's ) I ended up running medium sized projects ( my dad didn't live long enough to see me make Site Agent - one leg up from him!) most of them difficult or in trouble. I've been invited and visited the Chiltern Viaduct but I'm sure - jealous of the much better access they afforded to young Fred here - I expect the approaching 3 mill views and subscribers helped with that! I don't think there's much differenced between people the world over - or for that matter since humans have been able to think - where there are people, there's politics. Whatever someone proposes there will be folk who oppose it and social media has heightened the arguments rather than settle them. Contrary to the views put forward by politicians, I think the main reason for HS2 was a desire to stimulate construction - of SOMETHING and once this idea gained momentum - it ended up as a railway. All the reasons FOR one were quickly made to cancel out any against, at least enough to wind up the clockwork. We've not built a high speed railway till now because our cities and towns aren't very far apart - and most importantly - there's so much stuff already in the way! Politicians haven't much clue about anything - if you ask one for the time he'll ask you what time you want it to and then start an enquiry. This is how Parliament has backed stupid plans before and will again. Folk that really know how things are done just sit back until the wind has settled and join in the bunfight. That's why the original estimate was £37billion - all the special circumstances were kept out of the figures deliberately - they always are. That's why site managers like me have Variation Books - they detail costs not in the Contract - there are Architects that know me as Mr Triplicate and my favourite quote as "sign here please." Very good video though, very polished ( pss.. give me a call if get another tunnel invite!)

    • Very eloquently and thoughtfully put. I enjoyed reading your comment

  • This is the first time in my life that I’ve decided to put a comment on a video despite the fact that I’ve been following this channel for a long time. As a Project Manager I must admit that this project and the video are both a masterpiece. Hats off to you guys.

  • It's a fascinating project with very interesting questions, most of which will only be answerable once it's fully operational. Certainly in the short term there are work force benefits to providing a project which employs highly skilled staff, but also longer term providing that experience, upskilling and retaining that resource in the UK for the future. Secondly upgrading existing railways, most of which have been severely underfunded for a number of years would be prohibitively expensive in it's own right whilst they're needed to be fully operational, which has to be weighed against the cost of HS2. On the flip side there are real questions to be asked where this will leave the North in 40yrs time, London is and will always big a big draw in terms of employment and life style, I can imagine Birmingham will absorb some of that once it's commutable... The big issue I have with some of the questions is that they seem to be devoid of any real substance, claims that it will scar the landscape don't take into account the reality of these area's already having significant rail and road networks, similarly I'm sure no-one will mention the biodiversity effects once it's built given it's legally obliged to increase net biodiversity. The only real question I think is relevant is how will it contribute to the North/South divide and inequalities in general, but lets face it Northerners may not use it as frequently as Southerners but there is still value to the North, it's just not quite as proportional.

  • What is most surprising is the fact that the UK doesn't have an actual HS network like in pretty much most developed contries.

    • Hence the phrase ‘higher speed 2’

  • Back in the 1960s a steam train would get to Birmingham from London in 2 hours. If we are going to have airport style security measures how much quicker will the journey be?

    • And we had two main lines, Paddington to Snow Hill (ex GWR) and Euston to New Street (ex LMS) The main factor is a massively increased population and total changes in Employment with the loss of Manufacturing Industry