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Proposed high-speed rail network between London and Birmingham

This morning, transport secretary Lord Adonis announced the proposals for an initial 335 mile Y-shaped rail network that would see journey times between London and Birmingham slashed to around 30 minutes, with trips between the capital and Leeds, Sheffield and Manchester taking 75 minutes or less. He said the estimated cost of the network would be £30 billion.

Adonis published plans for the route from London to Birmingham, which he said was the first step in building the new high-speed network. Under the plans, the new line would run from a rebuilt Euston station via the A413 corridor to a new Birmingham station at Fazeley/Curzon Street in Birmingham’s Eastside regeneration area.

After Birmingham the line would split, with one line heading up to Manchester and another through to the East Midlands, Sheffield and Leeds. But the line would not continue beyond Leeds to Newcastle or Scotland under the proposals. Instead, Adonis said connections to existing tracks would be included to allow high speed services to operate to cities further north. But he said further consideration would be given to extending the network subsequently to Newcastle, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Liverpool.

Adonis said further work would be carried out to assess options for a connection to the wider European high-speed rail network, through either a rapid transport system linking Euston and St Pancras or a direct rail link to the Channel Tunnel Rail Link line, or both. He added that another interchange could be built to the south-east of Birmingham, offering direct links to Birmingham Airport, the National Exhibition Centre and the M6 and M42.

Adonis said the Government would launch a formal public consultation on the London-Birmingham route in Autumn 2010 and High Speed 2, the company established to develop plans for the network, would begin planning on route options from Birmingham to Manchester and to Leeds, to be completed in summer 2011.

Construction is not due to start until after the completion of London’s East-West Crossrail line in 2017.

Source: Regeneration and Renewal

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