The Government is proposing to provide additional rail capacity across the UK through a new High Speed Rail Network. The HS2 route is planned initially to link London to Birmingham, then on to Manchester and Leeds forming what is known as the Y-Network. Eventually, high speed trains could run to Newcastle, Glasgow and Edinburgh.
The planned route begins at a rebuilt London Euston station and Heathrow Express in West London. Additional proposals are being considered for a connection to the High Speed One line to domestic locations south and east of London, the Channel Tunnel and Europe, and potentially a direct HS2 link from the West Midlands to Heathrow Airport, which could go ahead as part of future phases of HS2.
The expected route continues through several counties to reach a new Birmingham Interchange station next to Birmingham Airport and the National Exhibition Centre (NEC). The route then splits into two; one branch heads west into Birmingham to a new station next to Moor Street station (probably in Curzon Street) while the other links directly to the existing West Coast Main Line to the North.
What are the benefits of HS2?
There are predicted to be significant national and local economic benefits by spreading the distribution of wealth. When the HS2 network is fully operational, regions could see additional employment opportunities, average GVA increases per worker, and increases in economic output.
Additional benefits include:
Access to a larger pool of employees for businesses, improving productivity and reducing business costs
Increased connections to a wider range of other businesses and markets
Access to more job opportunities in more locations for people living in regeneration areas
Reduced congestion on local and national roads
Better connections between people and jobs.
Phase 2: Birmingham to Manchester and Leeds
Phase Two of HS2 completes a "Y" shaped network from Birmingham to Manchester and Leeds, with new stations as follows:
Toton in the East Midlands (to serve Derby/Nottingham);
Leeds city centre;
Manchester Airport; and
Manchester city centre.
The dedicated high speed line continues to just south of Wigan, Greater Manchester, then services (including those to and from Birmingham) would run on the existing line northwards.