1. ITV Report

All you need to know about HS2

Find out how long journeys will take and how much HS2 should cost to build here. Photo: ITV News Central

When will work start on it and when can we expect the first train?

Construction for Phase 1, between London and Birmingham, will begin in 2017. Construction on Phase 2, the extension north of Birmingham, will start in approximately the 2020s.

Phase 1 should open in 2026, Phase 2 in 2032/33.

How much will it cost?

It is estimated to cost £33.1bn in total. Phase 1 is thought to cost £16.3bn while Phase 2 is expected to cost £18.2bn including the Heathrow section.

The Government says the project will generate benefits of £47bn and revenues of up to £34bn in over 60 years.

What will tickets cost?

The Department for Transport (DfT) has not yet released planned ticket prices, but has said that prices will be set "in order that the new rail services can be accessed by all".

How will it take Britain out of its economic slump?

The Government says HS2 will rebalance the economy and improve fortunes in the Midlands and the North. Officials claim it will create more than 100,000 jobs and will spread 'wealth and prosperity' around the country.

What will be the journey times?

  • The journey from Manchester to Birmingham is expected to take 41 minutes.
  • Birmingham to Leeds will take 57 minutes.

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