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The trick with electrification is that it lowers the requirements for a next generation intercity train to replace the current HSTs - which are probably the best trains the UK has ever had.
HST2 has been in the planning stage for something like three years now, and the original spec called for an impractical do-everything hybrid. Electrification more or less kills any need for HST2, which is bound to be a saving, not to mention a relief.
Current HSTs will be cascaded to the remaining non-electrified lines and there are rumours they'll still be in service ten or twenty years from now. Any generic mid-spec intercity electric set will work on the new lines.
The one downside is that electrification will be an upgrade to conventional lines running at conventional speeds. Direct high speed Euro-links to Birmingham, Bristol, Manchester and Wales would be a useful long-term investment, but aren't part of this project.
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