It is utterly ridiculous to say that the HS2 line to Victoria Station would require the raising of the Wicker Viaduct, the widening of the high-speed viaduct and demolition of the Royal Victoria Hotel.
The Wicker viaduct accommodated four tracks with ease.
Admittedly the track spacing was to British loading gauge and if more width is required for the HS2 track spacing then the two freight lines to Stocksbridge could be reduced to a single track.
The hotel’s modern extension on the original site of Victoria Station might have to be demolished but the historical building could remain.
Victoria Station comprised four through platforms, with a bay platform at the east end (platform 1), a corresponding parcels bay at the west end and two freight lines on the north side, which should provide more than adequate space for the two necessary HS2 platforms and other passenger facilities.
There would also be room for an additional platform to serve the passenger trains to Stocksbridge proposed by the Don Valley Railway group.
With tracks at the existing level, rather than elevated, this would also have less negative effect on the Royal Victoria Hotel’s environment.
The high speed lines could then use an elevated fly-over, beyond the Wicker Arches, to reach the proposed tunnel under Shirecliffe.