Updated: Nov 23, 2021
The nation's favourite tank engine, Thomas, has steamed into the HS2 controversy, slamming the proposed super railway scheme "a cash-guzzling preposterous government white elephant."
'Toot-toot,' said an incandescent Thomas. 'This shambles is possibly the stupidest thing I have ever heard of. The government can deny it all they like, but if you ask me, it reeks of another Grayling cock-up. I thought Boris had binned him.'
Meanwhile, model railway enthusiast and scary loner Nigel Protheroe is offering to create a gigantic model railway showpiece in HS2's place.
Wearing a pre-Beeching 1960s Stationmaster's hat, Mr Protheroe said: 'I can set up a quite spectacular layout for no more than twenty thousand pounds in mum's garden, which, believe me, will be just as much a practical benefit to our nation as HS2.
'Look, in the highly unlikely event that I should ever wish to get from London to Birmingham half an hour sooner, then all I would do is catch a train departing thirty minutes earlier. It really is that simple.'