10 JANUARY 2011
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UK Transport Secretary Philip Hammond confirmed just before Christmas that the Government’s proposed high-speed rail network will include a direct link to Heathrow and to the European high-speed rail network but at a later date than the initial route to Birmingham.
The completed 'Y'-shaped network would bring the West Midlands within about half an hour of London and would allow journey times of around 80 minutes from Leeds and Manchester to the capital. Connections onto existing tracks would also be included, allowing direct high-speed train services to be operated to cities including Edinburgh, Glasgow, Liverpool and Newcastle. A direct link to Britain's existing high-speed line, High-Speed 1 – which runs from London St Pancras to the Channel Tunnel – would allow travel from cities along the new high-speed line to the continent.
Various action groups opposing segments of the line are said the be planning to fight the whole project. www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/rail/pi/highspeedrail
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