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Sunday, May 19, 2024

HS2: Second phase route announced

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The government has revealed the preferred route for the second phase of Britain’s high-speed rail project between Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds.

The 211-mile Y route of HS2 will include new stations in Manchester city centre, Manchester Airport, Leeds city centre, Sheffield Meadowhall and in the East Midlands between Nottingham and Derby in Toton.

Last January, Ministers announced HS2’s 140-mile southern phase one route between London and Birmingham, which starts construction in four years and opens to passengers in 13 years.

The routes announced today, running from Birmingham to Manchester and Leeds, will open six years after that.

hs2 london euston station interior - low res
HS2 image of upgraded Euston station. Photo: HS2.

New high-speed services will almost halve journey times, with a train from London Euston to Manchester city centre taking just one hour and eight minutes.

Prime Minister David Cameron said: “Linking communities and businesses across the country and shrinking the distances between our greatest cities, high-speed rail is an engine for growth that will help to drive regional regeneration and invigorate our regional economies. It is vital that we get on board the high-speed revolution.

“We are in a global race and this government’s decision to make high speed rail a reality is another example of the action we taking to equip Britain to compete and thrive in that race.

“High-speed rail is a catalyst that will help to secure economic prosperity across Britain, re-balance our economy and support tens of thousands of jobs.

Phase two will connect Crewe directly and will be integrated with the existing network at Liverpool, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Newcastle, York, Preston, Warrington, Lancaster, Carlisle, Durham and Darlington.

HS2 will connect to Heathrow Airport via an 11-minute Crossrail link at the new Old Oak Common station.

Subject to the findings of the Airports Commission report on maintaining the UK’s international hub connectivity, HS2 could also be extended to serve Heathrow directly.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “The Olympics showed us that Britain has the confidence to seize opportunities today in order to secure our success tomorrow and HS2 is no different.

“It is about an investment in infrastructure that will deliver a priceless dividend: 351 miles of new railways helping people to jobs and goods to market.”

Preferred route maps


  1. The politicians have decided, through their agency HS2 Ltd., on the alignments from Birmingham to Manchester and Leeds.

    It will take a good look to absorb all the minutia. At first glance though thanks to the vandalic sweeps of some ignorant planner´s pen beautiful Cheshire is going to be unnecessarily and irrevocably ruined.

    If you are travelling on the Leeds section you will need your GPS device to be able to find the station at Toton. At least the good people of that district will get their 15 mins. of fame.

    Have no doubt that now the politicians will work to make the HS2 project work. If that means restricting traffic through Stoke on intercity trains then they will do that. If it means that East Midland trains might offer a competitive service on the MML then forget it. The operator will be forced to programme stopping services on the classic lines from Leicester to Leeds.

    The project is turning into a self serving end in itself. It seems that our vainglorious politicians have become prisoners of their parties,civil servants and consultants. They have not got the message. The object of investing in infrastructure is to facilitate the transfer of traffic from road to rail.They will put more passengers on the trains at the expense of many more highly polluting cars on the roads just to reach the stations.

    Fast trains – yes. This white elephant – no.

  2. According to the plans revealed, journey times from Preston to London will be somewhat shorter than those proposed for services from Liverpool. I hope therefore, the DfT will also look at the possibility of upgrading the WCML north of Crewe to allow, say, 125mph running to Liverpool. Complete quadrupling as far as Weaver Junction together with total resignalling through to Lime Street could help reduce the proposed journey time of 1hr 36mins to Liverpool to around 1hr 20mins.


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