16 JANUARY 2012
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Britain will have a national high-speed rail network providing vital new capacity and faster journeys across the country from 2026, Transport Secretary Justine Greening has announced.
Called HS2 (High Speed Two) it will be a Y-shaped operation with stations in London, Birmingham, Leeds, Manchester, Sheffield and the East Midlands linked by high-speed trains conveying up to 26,000 people each hour at speeds of up to 250mph.
These ‘super trains’ will also connect with the existing West Coast and East Coast main lines to serve passengers beyond the HS2 network in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Newcastle, Durham, York, Darlington, Liverpool, Preston, Wigan and Lancaster.
HS2 will be built in two phases. The first will see construction of a new 140-mile line between London and Birmingham by 2026. The second phase will see lines built from Birmingham to Leeds and Manchester by 2033. A formal consultation on second phase routes will begin in early 2014 with a final route chosen by the end of 2014.
The first phase of HS2 will include a connection to Europe via the Channel Tunnel. On completion the network will include a direct link to Heathrow. www.hs2.org.uk
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