1. I’d also be interested to hear how it was worked out. Did they for example, think of a number, double it, subtract a few Frigates and hey presto, Scotlands share. Or was it not as logical as that.

    It’s such fun being part of Bend Over for Britain isn’t it?


  2. We’re paying for it because westmidden wants it. It’ll have no benefit to Scotland nor the English north, only spivs from the city and wealthy investors, mostly members of thgthge Tory party, will benefit.


    1. I remember reading a long tome ago that some studies had shown that Scotland, particularly the East Coast, would be harmed by it, presumably on the basis that it will make access to the North of England a lot quicker and easier, and some of the investment that might have gone on the East Coast line, up to Edinburgh, Fife, Dundee and Aberdeen, would not be likely to go to Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester.

      Get back in your box, Scotland and stop expecting to be treated like part of the UK family. We only said that when we thought you were going to leave and embarrass us in front of our posh and powerful friends, the Americans..

      Liked by 2 people

      1. It’s all part of that strange Scottish tradition where you pay to get fucked instead of the other way round. Scuse the French.

        We so desperately need to get out of this, its painfull.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Tris

    We all know we get ripped off, that we pay for English infrastructure projects, and too many deny it or bury their heads in the sand. Wings covered this a couple of years ago in all it’s glory and the article makes me as angry today as it did then http://wingsoverscotland.com/the-pooling-and-the-sharing/ worth another read to keep the anger levels up and to remind oursleves why YES is the only way ahead for Scotland.

    They take us for a ride at every opportunity and we thank them for it. How they must laugh at Scotland when the posh get together, they must have a great old time talking about how spineless and clueless we are as a so called country, we should be ashamed.



  4. It’s called pooling and sharing Tris. They pull our money to Westminster and share the bill for their infrastructure – which is of course national. Unlike our infrastructure which is Scottish and paid for by English taxpayers. Or so the BBC and MSM would have you believe.


    1. I knew I could depend on you to explain it to me, PP.

      I suppose that will go for the sewers, parliament, Buck House, and Heathrow too.

      What a privilege it is to be stood on by America’s poodles.


  5. I seem to recall a High (ish) speed train being parked at Glasgow Central in an era when we were promised Glasgow to Paris in some ludicrously (from a 2016 perspective) short time. It would be a direct link. I think we sold those trains on to the Canadians or summat. ‘Course they were parked, no infrastructure then or now.

    I really ought to check whether even Manchester or Birmingham will have direct links to the continent, because your map doesn’t seem to show it. Frankly I doubt it, it may be in the 2150AD plan, but I doubt it.


    1. Thatcher promised that with the “chunnel” people would be able to a train from Scotland to Paris. Premusably she imagined that after a particularly heavy night on the sauce with Dennis!


  6. Although it is somewhat over priced in common with all UK infrastructure projects it is sound.

    The prime purpose is to increase capacity on the West Coast Main Line not necessarily to reduce journey times though Edinburgh/Glasgow to London journey times will be substantially reduced.


    1. It would have been ‘sound’ had the construction started in, say, Truro, Anglesey and Wick. There is nothing ‘sound’ about it.

      Just another SE England project sold to the rest of the UK on the basis that the SE is more important than any other region of the UK.


      1. Capacity freed up on the WCML south of Crewe will become available for greatly increased Inter-modal services.

        Ask Scottish Logistics companies like Malcolm Logistics and major Scottish exporters like the Scotch Whisky Industry whether that would be a good thing or a bad thing.

        “Classic compatible” High Speed Trains using the HS2 south of Crewe will cut around 45mins off London to Glasgow/Edinburgh journey times, comparatively modest infrastructure work north of Crewe could cut another 15-30 mins.


      2. The precise nature of Scotland’s financial contribution can be debated of course, however this does not invalidate the project.

        If Scotland were independent this project would still benefit Scotland, however we would be able to more robustly negotiate any contribution.


        1. I’m not sure that if we were independent we should give a penny to it. I’m sure that Switzerland doesn’t pay for french railways that in some small way may affect their economy. Nor indeed would England be paying for any railways in Scotland that might, or might not impact on their economies.

          Even as part of the UK, don;t we all have our own rail budgets?


      3. Bad example trispw. Germany, France and Italy are heavily involved in major Rail Infrastructure Projects in Switzerland that speed up trans Alpine transits, particularly for Intermodal and traffic but also for passenger traffic.

        The WCML is the major artery for Scottish Exports to reach our main export Ports of Southampton, Felixstowe etc as the Scottish ports have essentially been allowed to rot.

        Therefore the WCML between Crewe and Watford Junction is as relevant to the Scottish Economy as the section between Carstairs Junction and Carlisle.


        1. OK, these are for trains that join massive economies. This is a train that goes from the English capital to it’s major towns int eh midlands and north.

          There are economists who suggest that Scotland will actually lose out as access to Sheffield and Manchester becomes easier.

          Even if Scotland were to benefit, why would Scotland pay. Would we then have to pay for their motorways which stop short of the border, or the sewer system in Carlisle?


      4. Scotland may not be a “massive economy” but it depends on access to the major container ports of Southampton and Felixstowe for it’s exports (and imports) and any improvement to the Rail Infrastructure on that corridor benefits Scotland.

        I’ve never had much faith in Economists!

        Lets extend the logic – why should people in Inverness pay for improvements to the A9/M9 south of Pitlochry – what possible use would that be to them in getting their goods or indeed themselves to Edinburgh for instance?


        1. I believe we should have our own container ports. Sending stuff to the south of England, is a nonsense, surely.

          But you’re right. Put 10 economists in a room and they will give you ten explanations.

          I’d just sooner see OUR money spent on rail infrastructure for US. I’m sure the English or Welsh taxpayer didn’t contribute to the new railways we’ve been building. And why should they.

          I certainly wonder if the people of Northern Ireland feel that they should contribute to England’s railways. I wonder if they are obliged to pay for the railways in Eire?


      5. Yes we have limited feeder services from Greenock and Grangemouth, however the range of worldwide services available from the English south and east coast ports means that the bulk of our export container traffic heads there.

        The neglect of our ports is indeed a sad story – up to the 1960s there were direct cargo liner services from Glasgow to most regions of the world.


        1. I think we need to do something about that with the money. Not build English railways for them. It would make our idiotic GERS figures look a bit more realistic too.


  7. are wales and northern ireland being forced to pool and share for the english project sorry would not like to be accused of being anti-english uk project if so how much?
    and since we are forced to pay up sorry pool and share is there any way we can get the line extended to say edinburgh/aberdeen?


    1. If we really wanted to, perhaps a channel crossing between mainland Britain and Northern (or Southern) Ireland should have a higher priority than this nonsense. I take J Galt’s comment at face value. There are alternatives, particularily for freight that would take that traffic off the WCML. It would require a degree of investement, but it would advantage Scotland and we can’t have that now, can we?

      You ask:

      “and since we are forced to pay up sorry pool and share is there any way we can get the line extended to say edinburgh/aberdeen?”

      Probably not in the foreseeable future.


    2. Someone said that the idea was to do that in time Billy. But ‘in time’ meant somewhere in the 2060s, and who knows if we will even be using trains by that time.


  8. It is, perhaps, interesting that Birmingham needs to interchange in London to get to Paris, at least currently:

    1. Birmingham to London Euston – 1h22mins
    2. London Euston to St Pancras International (stop over) – 58mins
    3. St Pancras International to Paris Gare du Nord – 2h16mins

    Until we tunnel under London, or find a viable alternative they have us by the throat.


    1. Looking at that set of timings Douglas I would be seriously suggesting to anyone traveling from Birmingham to/from Paris to fly it is far quicker and more convenient I reckon.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The growth of the Budget Airlines destroyed the economics of the proposed services between Scotland and the North of England to Paris/Brussels.

        There is no need to “Tunnel under London”, the connection already exists, it would merely have to be upgraded, however the economics havn’t changed.


  9. Since Westminster is bankrupt,again,where are they getting the money from?
    They better hope that their new boss in Washington doesn’t start to get nasty with the Chinese or they will be in deep trouble.
    No trains and no power to run them with.


    1. Maybe the Chinese are paying for it, bringiton?

      With some £17,ooo,000,000,000 of debt, I don;t suppose another £100,000,000,000 will make much difference.

      But, yeah, it does seem that the Chinese kinda have them by the throat!


  10. Aha the good old HS2 and HS3 together plan.

    I love every time this vanity project is discussed they bring up the “it will make travel between London and Birmingham 20 minutes faster” line. To those who are stuck in the BBC/SKY/MSM always tell the TRUTH alternate universe this sounds fantastic. However … there is just an itsy bitsy teeny weeny little hitch to this “claim.”

    From what I understand about this amazing new rail line, that will be built on budget and on time by Westminster … now THAT really will be a first, passengers will arrive in London 20 minutes faster from Birmingham than if they take the “conventional” rail services. Unfortunately no one has informed the ill informed public just how much time they will lose as a result of de-training in Leeds/Manchester/Birmingham etc and transferring to the super dooper new train set. Remember folks the super dooper trains will NOT be stopping at the conventional rail stations … oh no … that would be too much like common sense. The super dooper train set will have a whole load of new stations. These stations are to be built on the OUTSKIRTS of towns and cities along the route.

    Now I have not been dan suff for a few years now but I don’t expect things have eased, traffic wise, if anything it will have got worse. I therefore believe that in order to transfer from conventional trains to the super dooper train set it will take passengers in the order of 1 hour plus. I am not the greatest mathematician but even I can work out, sort of, that with a transfer time of over 1 hour then the claim of being 20 minutes faster from Birmingham becomes the latest in a never long line of jokes from Westminster … in my view you understand. LOL


    1. Oh Arbroath. How could you burst their wee bubble like that?

      True though. The last time I went to Paris on the train, the situation had improved. Because the Scottish train went into King’s Cross, and the Paris train went out of St Pancras, which is just next door. So, apart from getting stuck in the crowds and trampled on a bit, it didn;t take too long. The time before, back in 2004, I had to get from Kings Cross to Waterloo, at rush hour, with a suitcase. It was utterly awful, and despite leaving a fair bit of time, I only just made it.

      I’d not like to have to negotiate traffic in Leeds, Manchester or Birmingham, if I had a train to catch

      It is also rumoured that travel on these high-speed trains (incidentally, anyone who’s been to the continent will know that trains like these have been crisscrossing the mainland for 30 years) will be very expensive, and really only businesspeople on expenses will be able to afford it.


      1. I have to admit that it gets easier every time you do it Tris. After all Westminster is the place that just keeps giving … right? LOL


    2. Er I’ll think you’ll find that is nonsense – the HS2 stations in Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds are all in the centre connected to the existing main stations, Sheffield is still being debated however a city centre location is likely to win out.


  11. Arbroath1320 @ 9:58,

    I am unconvinced that Westminster see’s Birmingham as anything other than a commuter zone. Certainly no-one from Birmingham should have an easy trip to Europe without tasting the delights of our capital city in the interim. I suppose, given the South East’s love of commuting a mere return trip of 2hours 44 minutes, at goodness knows what cost, will at least turn Birmingham (near the new station at least) into more commuter land. Hurrah! Watch house prices rise!


    1. You are right Douglas. Westminster thinks the whole country is commuter belt country. Sadly for Westminster those who live in this “commuter belt” have different ideas about what is and what is not commuter belt country.

      In fairness I watched a programme quite a few years ago about commuting to London and it included some guy who commuted to London from HULL every day! I thought he was insane then and I still think he is insane but hey ho!


      1. I worked in London 40 odd years ago. A colleague where I worked traveled in and out to Bristol daily. Like you, I thought it was insane then and now.

        To be fair, there was no such known thing in the galaxy as a ‘carbon footprint’ back then, so he’s excused for that but not for his otherwise sad choice.

        In quite like trains, but not that much!


        1. It’s has been prohibitively expensive to live in London for so long. People have to get up at 4 am to travel to work and don;t get home till 8 at night. What a way to live.


      1. Early adopters, perhaps?

        How’s this for a commuter belt?

        We have Arbroath1320’s Hull, your Birmingham and my Bristol.

        The whole of England is becoming a gyre.

        But, still and all, Londinium will be it’s centre.

        Animals song:


      2. I admit to liking trains as well Douglas but having spent a year commuting across London by tube then overland train from South Woodford to Langley, around two hours each way, I will never willingly use them again to travel to/from work. When you add in the daily rush hour crush-a-thon then I’m glad I’m out of that particular loop.

        Liked by 2 people

  12. Arbroath1320,

    I used to take the Northern Line. Frankly the crush was ridiculous in rush hour. I doubt I was ever closer to a woman before I was in a relationship. And she and I would look up and pretend it wasn’t happening. But the sadists that were London Transport thought that was all ticket y boo, but it wasn’t. People are entitled to distance, both the lady and me.

    Meat packers…..


    1. Aye good old London Underground certainly loved to “pack ’em in” as they say Douglas. The Central Line, the one I used from South Woodford to Ealing where I caught the over ground train to Langley, was regularly a sardine special. At least going home at night ensured I got a seat as the tube started at Ealing, traveling to Ealing in the morning … well that was another story altogether.


      1. I’ve been on metros/subways/undergrounds in many cities (most recently in Budapest…what a joy…) and London is the oldest (Budapest the second oldest). The underground in London is the most dilapidated of all of them. No money spent on keeping it together.


  13. Choosing to drive from Canterbury to Glasgow and missing the M11 turn off the M25 counter clockwise, I was onto the M1 and then M6 to Birmingham. The smart motorway signs said 40 mph, and actual speed was stop start with a maximum of 20 mph. Once the congestion eased a bit the smart signs suggested that we could use the hard shoulder to ease congestion without penalty… 2 hours too late. The Hs2/3 trains will cost a fortune, but they will leave the motorways relatively free for commercial and heavy goods, thereby benefitting the South-East and London.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The whole infrastructure in England and Scotland (and probably Wales and NI) is falling to pieces, becasue we’ve not spent any money on it. (Well, you can’t when you are the world’s deputy policeman.)

      As you say, for those who can afford it, this train will be an improvement. Pity it won;t go anywhere near our country, or Wales, or Northern Ireland though, because we will have to go without things to help pay for it. maybe the Chinese will pay for it all though.


      1. Okay lets extend the logic and close the WCML south of Crewe or the M6 south of Preston – because it doesn’t go “anywhere near our country”.

        What would that do for our connectability to our neighbours and our markets?


  14. Please don’t give the anti-Scotland activists and politicians another tool to ridicule us – we are not considered to be contributing a full population-based share of the expenditure on HS2.

    See GERS 2007-2008 which established this principle:

    Box 6.1 – Railways Expenditure

    In 2006-07 there was a change to the administrative arrangements concerning transport expenditure for Scotland. The Railways Act 2005 transferred the responsibility for specifying and funding rail infrastructure in Scotland to Scottish Ministers from 1 April 2006. This was accompanied by a budget transfer from the Department for Transport (DfT) in respect of funding Network Rail. The increased outturn expenditures for 2006-07 and 2007-08 capture the costs of such functions transferred from DfT, primarily the operation, maintenance and renewal of the rail infrastructure network in Scotland.

    In PESA 2009, this is recorded as a Scottish Government capital expenditure. Prior to 2006-07, Scotland received an allocation of the UK expenditure, estimated by DfT, based on ticket sales. From a review of PESA, this methodology is considered to be inappropriate as this produces a discontinuity in the observed series. Given the substantial use of rail in the South of England, this methodology led to Scotland being allocated a smaller share of such expenditure than should have been the case.

    One option considered, was to correct this anomaly by using the ratio of Scottish to UK expenditure on rail in 2006-07 and 2007-08 to apportion UK expenditure in previous years. However, there was significant investment in rail in 2006-07 and 2007-08 and the Scotland/ UK ratio for these years may not be reflective of the long term relationship between rail expenditure for Scotland and the UK.

    Therefore, in GERS railways expenditure, alongside expenditure on roads, is apportioned to Scotland on an ‘in’ basis. This means that expenditure ‘in’ Scotland on railways is apportioned to Scottish public sector expenditure while, where possible, a zero share is allocated to Scotland for all expenditure on rail across the rest of the UK. This required a number of modifications to the underlying PESA data, documented in Appendix B.

    While the figures for 2006-07 and 2007-08 reflect this revised methodology, officials in the Scottish Government are continuing to work with colleagues in HM Treasury and in the DfT to develop a methodology to backdate expenditure on railways for Scotland for earlier years.


  15. Commuter trains and subway systems are all overcrowded at rush hours. Try even getting onto one in Tokyo of a morning.

    In the UK after the war the taxes were very high, the governing system was sort of socialist, and the country was as good as bankrupt. A lot of the postwar reconstruction was poorly executed. A fair comparison with other countries is very difficult. Germany and Japan got off with not paying reparations, and were permitted to export from behind trade walls for some years. The UK paid back its debt to America. Those two also benefited by not playing at world powers, with all the military expenditure that costs.

    Once the oil flowed and the opportunity arose to reconstruct the country we were into a low tax quasi free market system. All our heavy industry was destroyed and the money was diverted into the pockets of rich people. London has some lovely modern architecture.

    So here we are, with lots of the richest people in the world, low taxes, crap under-invested infrastructure, and needing to import railway engines. We who invented them. We who covered the planet in railways.

    Once we are independent, it will be nothing to do with us any more what they spend in rUK. So roll on the day….


    1. Yeah, true. It would be fair to say though, that Britain also got Marshal Plan aid. And spent vast amounts, even the brilliant government of Mr Atlee, trying to develop its own bomb, because the USA wouldn’t share military secrets with a socialist government with ties to the Soviet Union.

      The Marshall aid to the UK is litle talked about, and I had been told that we got none. But in fact in one of Niall Ferguson’s books he explains we got more than anyone else.

      Perhaps NOT playing at being a world power would have suited us better. It’s not that, in honesty, we were any damned good at it.


      1. The UK used it’s Marshall Aid money to establish the NHS and the Welfare State – Jerusalem on Tick.

        Other countries used their aid to modernise their Industry and Infrastructure so they could pay for a Welfare State later on a sounder basis.


      2. No but it was mostly spent on the welfare state – virtually none of it was invested in industry or infrastructure.

        You can argue whether that was right or wrong but not over the facts – the historian Correlli Barnett is the expert on this – google him.


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