What is HS2?
29th July 2018
High Speed 2 is a plan for a new railway line between London, the West Midlands, Leed and Manchester. It is estimated that each train will be 400m long with as many as 1,100 seats per train.
Its called “High Speed” due to the trains operating at speeds of up to 250 mph which would be faster than any current operating speed in the whole of Europe! The trains will run as often as 14 times per hour in each direction.
The Department for Transport says there will be almost 15,000 seats an hour on trains between London, Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds. That is 3 times the current capacity right now.
In November 2016, the government confirmed their will be a second phase. This will connect the train line from Crewe to Manchester and the West Midlands to Leeds.
A new HS2 station will be built next to Manchester Piccadilly, with a spur to take HS2 to another new station at Manchester Airport.
And in July 2017, the government said the line’s north-eastern route, to Leeds, will run east of Sheffield, with some trains going into the city via a new link and existing lines.
The Department for Transport said eventually HS2 route will connect Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, Sheffield and the East Midlands in a Y-shaped network, with all of them being linked to London.
What are the costs of HS2?
The cost of HS2 (over £42 billion for the track and £8 billion for the rolling stock) means it is arguably the most expensive single project ever attempted by a British government!
The returns for this unprecedented level of expenditure are meagre- few jobs, more economic activity in London at the expense of the rest of the country and irreversible environmental damage. HS2AA is not alone in opposing the scheme-a broad coalition from across the political divide has emerged to oppose these proposals since they were first announced in 2010.
HS2 Route & Phases
Phase 1 will connect London to the West Midlands. The new line would have four stations-Euston, Old Oak Common in West London (for interchange to Heathrow), Birmingham Airport and Birmingham Curzon Street. The Government’s plans predict the line being operational by 2026.
This initial phase would also include a connection with the existing West Coast Main Line in Staffordshire. This would allow specially constructed ‘classic compatible’ trains to travel to northern England and Scotland and use the new high speed line for the London to Birmingham segment of their journey.
Phase 2 would see new high speed rail lines extended from the West Midlands onto Leeds and Manchester. Depending on the outcome of the current review by Sir Howard Davies into airport capacity in the South East, Phase 2 may also include a direct connection built to Heathrow. This stage is expected to be operational by 2033.
Please see map of routes for details.
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