There is no scenery so beautiful is is not enhanced by a train running through it. If the Victorians had equivalents of the silly people from the Chilterns Society, we would never have the amazing beauty of the Settle to Carlisle railway.
The biggest problem about the government’s plans for high speed rail are that they are far too limited. Rail is by far the most resource efficient way of moving large quantities of people, and above all freight, around the country, and is much less disturbing to the environment than the equivalent motorway capacity. An updated and expanded rail network is an absolute necessity for the UK.
Unfortunately not only are the government’s high speed plans very limited, they doubtless will involve a model whereby the taxpayer pays for the construction, the fares are sky high, the taxpayer pays an operating subsidy and yet there is “profit” for a “private” operator and its financiers, who purchase our politicians.