So that's it, HS2 will happen. It all seemed so easy.
Of course in the real world what we need is massive investment in new railways and tramways in the UK, bringing a sustainable and modern transport system into every corner of the UK, far surpassing the rather sparse network bequeathed by the Victorians and dimished even further by the misguided idiot Beeching.
But we have to work in the world we have, not the one we want, so we're stuck with this expensive if essential piece of infrastructure, the cost of which would have rebuilt sixteen S&Ds - and brought modern transport to people that needed it, not those that already have it!
As for SD2 as it's now becoming known? Well the fact that governments are now seeing rail as the default future transport system can only be a good thing. In truth of course this has been a process that's been happening for some time, from the building of the Channel Tunnel. The 'road lobby' is now a distant memory, and HS2 will also do its bit to bring the early end of air travel, despite the rather daft idea that HS2 will link to Heathrow - as if it will still be operating in 2026, when HS2 is due to begin services.
And what about its effect on SD2? I suspect that once HS2 is finished other parts of the UK will be clamouring for a high speed link and I suspect a priority will be London to Bristol to Cardiff/Plymouth, which suggests an SD2 link at Bristol (via the Radstock-Pensford-Bristol line, part of our remit). Imagine - Shepton to Paris in 3 and a half hours! Of course the Bath line will be no less important - at least 95% of travellers on SD2 will be local passengers.
So HS2 is going to cause a lot of controversy. You can't blame residents for fighting it if they can't actually use the trains. Perhaps bundling it with a package of conventional rail reopenings, particularly in the area through which it will run, will sweeten the pill somewhat?
It's clear that our economy will be a purely rail-based one within a few decades. HS2 is a step in that process. But it needs to be presented as a small part in a much bigger plan, the roll back of Beeching, the building of thousands of miles of new railways and tramways, the linking of industries, farms etc to the network, the creation of super-efficient, fully sustainable locomotives and, most of all, the complete reorientating of our industry and commerce to not merely be sustainable but to continue to develop into the post oil age.