Network Rail has called the government's announcement of the HS2 extension a "game-changer" for Britain's railway network. Chief executive David Higgins said:
– David Higgins, chief executive, network rail
Unprecedented growth in the last ten years has seen passenger journeys grow by 50 per cent to almost 1.5bn a year and that number is set to continue to grow. More people use the railways today than at any time since the Second World War, on a network half the size it was then ...
This is a rare chance to stop playing catch-up on capacity.
He added that Network Rail was already planning to ensure that HS2 would integrate with the existing network with as little disruption as possible.
The chief executive of Manchester Airport owner MAG, Charlie Cornish, has welcomed the news that the HS2 route will stop off at the airport.
"Along with the city centre station, it will provide an additional boost to the economy of the region.”
Chancellor George Osborne said HS2 will be an "engine for growth" in the North and Midlands, and will create tens of thousands of jobs.
He acknowledged that communities along its route would face a "very difficult" disruption to their lives, but said the economic benefits were "pretty compelling". He told BBC Breakfast:
– Chancellor George Osborne
I think it is the engine for growth in the North and the Midlands of this country. I think it is going to create tens of thousands of jobs in Manchester and across our great cities.
In the end, as a country, you have got to make those long-term choices. If our predecessors hadn't decided to build the railways in the Victorian times or the motorways in the middle part of the 20th century, then we wouldn't have those things today.
The Chancellor George Osborne has visited a train wheel maker in Trafford Park following the announcement on HS2 rail link.
He visited Lucchini UK, a Manchester-based manufacturers, which makes train wheels and other specialist items for the railway industry.
The Government is due to announce two new stations in the North West as part of the controversial High Speed Rail line linking London with Birmingham and the North.
One of the stations is expected to be built at Manchester Airport with another built somewhere in the centre of the City.
It is also anticipated that Crewe in Cheshire will be a stop off point for the link, also known as HS2.
The Government says the line will seamlessly integrate with the West Coast Main line once the trains have passed north through Birmingham.