High Speed 2 (HS2) is proposed high-speed railways that will link connect the cities of London, Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds. The project has been developed by High Speed Two Ltd, a company that was established by the UK Department for Transport in 2009.
The proposals are set to provide a faster way to travel throughout the UK with trains achieving speeds of up to 250mph and reducing journey times between London and Manchester by approximately an hour.
The route is planned to be built-in two phases. HS2 phase 1 will see a new high-speed connection between London and Birmingham, with construction set to begin in 2017. HS2 phase 2, which is not set to be operational until 2033, would then see the route split into two spurs, one continuing to Manchester Airport and Manchester Piccadilly and the other to Leeds via East Midlands and Sheffield Meadowhall.
The estimated cost of building this railway line is £33 billion. This does not include the cost of the new trains which are estimated at a further £8 billion, or operating costs. All figures are quoted in today’s terms, the cost of which will be much greater when considering the effects of inflation.
The British Government believe that the implementation of the HS2 will narrow the North/South divide, reduce our carbon footprint by encouraging rail transport over road/air, be a cost-effective, environmentally friendly & profitable organisation.