A rail clip sits on a concrete mount on the track in a tunnel near Whitechapel station during an event to celebrate the completion of the permanent track on the Elizabeth line in London, U.K., on Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017. Crossrail, which will be known as the Elizabeth Line once it’s up and running, hasn’t yet set fares, but transit agency Transport for London has indicated they will be significantly less than Heathrow Express with a charging structure more akin to the Tube. Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg
A rail stamp near Whitechapel station, east London, marks the completion of the Elizabeth line © Bloomberg

In answer to John Tippler ( Letters, December 17): I am sure Mark Peaker ( Letters, December 14) was talking of Brunel in a more general sense. We need that sense of urgency that Brunel would be proud of in the context of infrastructure such as Crossrail.

In fact Brunel would have been proud of the manner of the conversion of his broad gauge to Stephenson’s standard gauge. The conversion was literally overnight on the Paddington to Penzance line. Note that, government.

Infrastructure is the missing piece of the jigsaw to offset Brexit. A rapid implantation of Crossrail and expansion of all three main London airports (not just Heathrow) is the necessary medicine to persuade financial companies not just to remain in London but to expand operations. High Speed 2 also needs more urgency to make more room for the transport of rail freight on existing lines.

In fact, HS2 needs to be extended into Scotland and into Belfast via a fixed link. The challenges of Brexit and sustaining the United Kingdom interlap. Infrastructure is key.

John Barstow
Fittleworth, W Sussex, UK

Letters in response to this letter:

A modest suggestion for the Thames Clipper route / From Ole K Roed, Howald, Luxembourg

A fixed link to Ulster would boost the province / From Nicholas Malins-Smith, Cambridge, UK

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