UK high-speed train at a standstill

 

Britain's planned high-speed train from London to Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds is stalled on the tracks, with delays stretching out perhaps two decades and cost estimates going sky-high. Some have even suggested it is time to cancel the project.

The transport secretary acknowledged last week that a report from the company charged with planning and construction says that the first-phase opening, currently set for an already-delayed 2026 date can't be met, and that completion to the northern cities might take until 2040. As well, the cost estimate, in 2015 dollars, has jumped from around £50 billion to £72-78 billion.

The line has its opponents, in any case, from those who doubt it's worth the cost to environmentalists concerned about its impact, which includes a route cutting through one of the UK's few remaining ancient forests.

Perhaps this will turn out to be Britain's equivalent of Berlin's infamous new airport project, now nearly ten years overdue, way above cost and with no end in sight.

The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

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