Nevertheless, enough is known about the influence of railway infrastructure on land value to help decide whether HS2 is a worthwhile project. The high speed line needs to be evaluated on this basis against other possible schemes. The most obvious would be a conventional 125 mph railway on a similar Great Western/Great Central alignment, but another alternative would be a 125mph railway designed to take double-stack high-cube container trains and 3.5 metre wide passenger trains such as Bombardier’s Gröna Tåget, which has 25% more capacity in a given length of train.
There is also a need to decide whether HS2 is value-for-money in comparison to an alternative bundle of schemes, which would include the East-West route, together with a select package of small to medium sized projects and electrification infilling, spread across the country.
We still need a genuine and informed debate. "We need to keep up" is a poor response to "not in my back yard".