There is currently a high speed rail network (HS2) being proposed in the United Kingdom. The high speed rail network would have the main station in London with other stations in the English Midlands, North West England and West Yorkshire. A Scottish HS2 extension has been proposed as well. The first phase between London and Birmingham has been approved and construction is set to begin in 2017. The biggest question is will the HS2 lead to a prolonged debt? A project of this size is no small undertaking and will cost a lot of money. The original cost of the project was estimated to be £33 billion.
Experts are now warning the cost of the HS2 could easily top £80 billion. The HS2 would reduce travel times between the major cities in the United Kingdom but is the reduced travel time worth the price? Will consumers be willing to pay higher ticket prices to cover the extra costs? Will demand for rail travel increase in order to cover the costs of the HS2? There are many unknown factors at this time. The cost of the HS2 is overwhelming. Travelers seem satisfied with current rail speeds with many business people using the extra travel time as office time. There is little evidence that there would be an increase in demand for the HS2. Additional bus links and railways have to be built in order to connect to the HS2 itself. This way it would be more accessible for everyone to use.
The success hinges on many factors and the outcome seems uncertain. Meanwhile the costs to build such a network gradually increase further and further. Will it be a prolonged debt? It is difficult to say. However, it will lead to increased debt and it is uncertain if the debt taken on will be worth it.