Northern Crossrail

I’ve forgotten who it was that suggested it, but yesterday I heard an idea which I think is worth repeating here. Now that, strikes aside, Crossrail is up and running, perhaps it’s time to move the country’s focus north and start work on a new railway between Liverpool, Manchester and Leeds. The new line would run overground between the cities, but go underground, Elisabeth Line-like, when it reaches the cities themselves. This way, trade between the three northern powerhouses would be boosted, and they could potentially start functioning like one large financial district.

I think this is an excellent idea. It’s becoming more and more obvious that colossal amounts of money are being spent on London’s redevelopment, but the rest of the country is just being forgotten about. Perhaps because it’s a famous world city and cultural hub, London gets all the attention to the detriment of anywhere else. Maybe beginning work on a new Northern Crossrail, the focus might shift north a bit, and parts of the country which have been relatively forgotten about compared to London might begin to boom.

To that end, I would like to add something to this idea: It has been a while since I wrote anything on here about the Olympics, but I’m still interested in it as the world’s biggest sporting and cultural event. If Liverpool, Manchester and Leeds become linked by a high-speed, high-capacity railway, why don’t they launch a joint Olympic bid, perhaps for the 2036 games? While I’m not completely sure how it would work logistically, it seems to me that it would be an awesome way to celebrate the new northern powerhouse. London got so much attention ten years ago in 2012; just think how much of the world’s attention and and esteem the three great northern cities could get, with athletes, spectators and media commentators whizzing between them on a brand new railway.

These are just ideas, of course: whether they actually have any legs or not is anybody’s guess. Having been born in Cheshire though, I’d love to see my old home area get the attention I now see London receiving. Whenever I ride on the tube or DLR, I wonder what things are like outside of the metropolis, especially for guys like me. Now that London has it’s fabulous new Elisabeth Line, it’s time for the so-called ‘levelling up’ to really begin.

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