Absolutely. I drive trains around on it all day, I don’t think people in the south have any clue how far behind the north has been left. It’s not just infrastructure either. We have a couple of drivers who used to work around London 20 years ago, and they’re saying the new trains we have just got are basically the equivalent of what they were driving back then.Whether or not HS2 is built the rail system in the north definitely needs much more investment.
The Midland Mainline electrification (London-Sheffield) was supposed to be completed this year, until it was put on hold and I think as far as it got was Kettering (obviously the work started in the South). Now the supposed date is 2033 when (if) HS2 links to Sheffield.
Going North from Sheffield station there is one line in and one line out. Until basic things like that are sorted then there will never be an on-time railway.