High Speed 2 was supposed to be the future of British transport, a modern, gleaming train line that would shoot passengers from the North down to London, where they could continue on to the Continent with a swiftness that would boggle the mind.

Nevertheless, HS2 has been bedeviled by setbacks. A memorial service had to be held for the 60,000 human bodies that were exhumed along the line. Ominous medieval markings were found along the route in Buckinghamshire, apparently designed to protect the area from evil spirits. The track had to painstakingly weave itself up the country to avoid any buildings of exceptional historical importance.