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Preferred Route for High Speed 2

posted 13 Mar 2010, 03:36 by Unknown user   [ updated 28 Mar 2010, 14:08 ]
Earlier this week the Department for Transport issued a press release detailing their preferred route for High Speed 2 - the proposed High Speed Rail line from London to Birmingham (and later further north). The route has long since been slated to transverse the Chilterns, and broadly three routes had been suggested
  1. Following the Chiltern Rail line through High Wycombe
  2. Following the Misbourne Valley
  3. Following the West Coast Main line through Berkhampstead
The statement from the government now states that their preferred route is following the Misbourne Valley, and although the impact to the Chilterns is being minimised by the rail line being tunnelled  - at some considerable depth in most circumstances - if this proposed route is accepted as the actual route there will be considerable impact on the local area during the construction phase - suggested to be from 2017 to 2025. 

The tunnel will be 9m wide, and all the spoils from the construction process will have to exit from either one end of the tunnel (Colne valley) or just past Amersham. As we have seen with the M25 works compound there will be a need for the construction workers to have somewhere to live during the works. There will also be escape routes from the tunnel that will need to be constructed that break out to the surface at various points along the line of the tunnel.

Although Chorleywood is not directly impacted by these proposals, the Residents Assocaiton we will need to work with the local authorities and other Stakeholders like the Chilterns Conservation Board.

We also need to consider the impact of the wider scheme on the area. Towns like Wendover will not be protected by the benefit of tunnel when the line escapes the Chiltern hills and descends on a viaduct on the side of Coombe Hill down onto the Vale of Aylesbury, and the line continues north past Quianton and Waddeston generally following the path of the former Great Central Railway. 

As many commentators have stated, the Chilterns and areas to the North get all the environmental impact, but none of the benefits (because it is a high speed line, there will not be any intermediate stations). Although there is cross party support for the need to build a HS2 line, some are questioning the folly of it not connecting with Heathrow Airport.

The following documents from the DfT website describe the proposed route, and give detailed maps of the proposed route (You need a recent version of Adobe Reader to open these documents, and unless you have a very big screen, use the zoom function on your Adobe Reader to look at the detail of the maps). Note the vertical profile at the bottom of the map that shows the elevation of the rail line - either above or below ground.

Map05 (1Mb) - shows the route across the Colne Valley and M25 (predominately on a Viaduct, up to 10m high)
Map06 (1Mb) - shows the route being tunnelled past Chalfont St Peter and Chalfont St Giles
Map07 (1Mb) - shows the route being tunnelled past Amersham
Overview (6Mb) - overall route from London to Birmingham and key for other maps
Index Page - all documents listing the preferred route

What are your views on HS2? Contact the Residents Association at and let us know your thoughts.

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