Monday, 28 January 2013


The British government have announced that HS2 will produce tens of thousands of jobs in the UK economy. On their Number10gov twitter account, the tweet reads: is a ‘catalyst that will help secure economic prosperity & support tens of thousands of jobs’ says PM

HS2 is also the postal code for rural Lewis, an open goal in this context.
Well, it’s good to finally see some recognition of the contribution made by the men and women of the rural parts of this island. Whilst not negating the similarly worthy contributions from the folk of Stornoway (HS1), it is particularly rewarding, after so many years, decades and centuries of neglect from Westminster, wilful or otherwise.
We can now look forward to the construction of some proper infrastructure, with HS2 being the high speed rail link, running from Butt of Lewis station in the grounds of the lighthouse down the west coast machair, or parallel to the A857, to Barvas Junction, where a low-speed spur runs over the moors to Stornoway. HS2 continues southwest to Carloway, where a subsea tunnel will take the line to Miavaig and Timsgarry Central. After rounding the bay, the line is expected to pass through Mangersta Outer, Islivig and Brenish. Another tunnel will take the trains under the outflows of Lochs Hamnaway and Tealasbhagh to Huisinish, from where HS2 will run down the fifteen miles to Tarbert Central.
HS1 meanwhile will also start at the Butt of Lewis, and speed south along the east coast of the island to North Tolsta. Hugging the line of the main road into town, the line will cross the Cockle Ebb from Tong to Steinish, and enter the town of Stornoway along the line of the Sandwick Canal. Stornoway Central will be located on the seafront, outside the ferry terminal. In order to mitigate the inclines that are met upon leaving Stornoway in a southerly direction, the line will retrace its course as far as Tong, then veer off to the west and south, gradually gaining height through Laxdale. HS1 will then run fairly straight across the moors towards North Lochs and South Lochs, crossing Lochs Leurbost and Erisort by bridge. Finally issuing along the shores of Loch Seaforth, the line will then make for the Harris Hills. The Clisham range will be tunnelled under, meeting the HS2 at Ardhasaig Junction before making for Tarbert Central.

Ach well, we can but dream…

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