UK High Speed Rail Too Costly, Says Report

The Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), a conservative think-tank in the United Kingdom – like the Cato Institute here in the United States – has issued a new report that claims the planned high speed rail, dubbed “High Speed 2” (HS2), would be more costly to the the public than what’s been projected by proponents of the system.

Earlier this year, we reported that the rail’s route was altered from the original plan by an new coalition government. Still, the overall idea of HS2 is to connect London, and by extension – the rest of Europe, to northern cities in England like Leeds and Manchester.

High Speed Rail

image via Shutterstock

The IEA claims that the HS2 project, which has a projected huge increase in demand for ridership over the next twenty years, would actually take 30 years to hit its stated goals in terms of public use. As well, the institute says several stretches of the proposed track are unnecessarily expensive at the expense of taxpayer’s dollars.

Opposition to the movement may have some fiscally responsible points, especially in terms of stations and routes that might need to be changed to be more cost-effective, however, as countries around the world have come to embrace high speed rail as a suitable form of transportation for an ever growing population, it would seem shortsighted to stop plans of the HS2 project all together.

Aaron Colter is a freelance writer and marketing consultant in Portland, Oregon. A graduate of Purdue University, he has worked for the NCAA, Dark Horse Comics, Willamette Week, AOL, The Huffington Post, Top Shelf Productions, DigitalTrends, theMIX agency, SuicideGirls, EarthTechling, d'Errico Studios and others. He is also the co-founder of, a free record label, recording studio, and distribution service for independent musicians.


  • Reply August 8, 2011


    Many of the countries around the world that have embraced high speed rail are now in financial difficaulties and soe have stopped more being built, or stopped running them due to lack of passengers.So are we to blindly carry on and do the same?Surely we have more sense,I sincerly hope so.

  • Reply August 8, 2011

    Alex Lester

    Well if you have a country without air and vehicle transportation systems then high speed rail is a good idea.u00a0 Just as a country without a phone system would not use wires to each house in this day when wireless is better.

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