A Tory MP planning to vote against the government on HS2 today tells me there are 60 of his colleagues who would like to do the same.
Patrick McLoughlin will continue the Government's fightback over the high-speed rail project by unveiling - yet another - business case.
A previously unreleased research has shown that the High Speed 2 rail project is predicted to have a negative economic impact on some towns.
China's leadership said the country may invest in the controversial HS2 rail project and a new generation of nuclear power stations in the UK.
Speaking after talks with David Cameron on the first day of the Prime Minister's visit to China, Premier Li Keqiang said the two sides had agreed to "push for breakthroughs" on nuclear power and high-speed rail.
Mr Li said, "The Chinese side is willing to not only participate but also purchase equities and stocks in UK nuclear power projects, and the UK side is open to this idea."
Speaking ahead of his visit last week, Mr Cameron said, "In terms of HS2, I very much welcome Chinese investment into British infrastructure".
Shadow transport secretary Mary Creagh has said that Labour supports the HS2 plan as it will address the need for more rail capacity across the country.
She said: "Labour supports HS2 because we must address the capacity problems that mean thousands of commuters face cramped, miserable journeys into Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds and London.
"However, three years of Government delays and mismanagement has caused costs to balloon. Incompetent ministers have only just launched the consultation on phase 2 of the route, despite the fact that it was being worked on when Labour were in government."
The HS2 Hybrid Bill that is to go before Parliament will give details on how the first phase of the high speed rail project should progress.
The High Speed Rail (London - West Midlands) Bill will provide government powers to allow the construction and operation of the railway.
It will outline powers to:
- build and maintain the first phase of HS2 and its associated works, including secure planning permission for the works;
- compulsorily acquire interests in the land required;
- affect or change rights of way, including the stopping-up or diversion of highways and waterways (permanently or temporarily);
- modify infrastructure belonging to statutory undertakers (e.g. utility companies);
- carry out protective works to buildings and third-party infrastructure.
The publication of the Bill for phase one of the HS2 plan marks a significant milestone in the high speed rail project. Once Royal Assent has been achieved, it is expected that construction of the line from London to Birmingham will begin in 2016/2017 allowing the line to open in 2026.
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said the HS2 scheme was the 'most ambitious' infrastructure plan since the building of the M25 motorway around London.
– Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin
HS2 is the most ambitious and important infrastructure project in the UK since we built the M25 30 years ago, and in 30 more it will be just as integral a part of the nation's prosperity.
The Bill will give us the powers we need to get the railway built and start delivering the extra room on our railways that this country so desperately needs. It will also start the process of rebalancing the economy and bringing our great cities closer together.
That is why the Bill is so important - it marks the move from aspiration to delivery. Now is the time to be bold and ensure HS2 becomes a reality.
The future of Britain's high speed rail network enters a key phase of its development when a HS2 hybrid Bill goes before Parliament later today.
As part of the process, opponents of the £50 billion HS2 scheme will have the chance to petition Parliament and have their case heard by a committee of MPs.
The Government has also published an "environmental statement" for the London-Birmingham phase one of the scheme.
David Cameron says he aims to get "every penny for value for money" from the investment in the controversial HS2 rail project.
Speaking at the annual CBI conference, Mr Cameron insisted the scheme would "unite the country and drive economic growth".
The Prime Minister said the leader of the HS2 scheme, Sir David Higgins, would "drive every extra bit of cost out of the project" so it comes in under the estimated £50 billion budget that has been set.
The Prime Minister went on to claim that critics of the project were "putting the country's future at risk" and called for a "concerted consensus" across business and politics to get behind the project.
Boris Johnson has expressed frustration at the drawing out of the HS2 project timescale.
The Mayor of London wrote in The Telegraph that China built its own high-speed rail in just two years.
Meanwhile, he said, Labour are delaying the project further by "shamelessly courting the sceptic vote".
A Labour government would set up an independent infrastructure commission to end delays in major infrastructure projects such as HS2, according to Ed Balls.
The shadow chancellor is expected to tell today's Confederation of British Industry conference that an infrastructure commission would "end dither and delay in infrastructure planning and build the consensus on infrastructure that we need to invest for the long-term".
Ed Balls will express his commitment to HS2 today, but will reiterate that Labour's support for the project is "not at any cost".
He is expected to tell the annual Confederation of British Industry conference today: "Labour supports HS2 and the idea of a new North-South rail link because of capacity constraints on the existing rail network. But our support for it is not at any cost.
"The Labour Party cannot - and will not - give the government a blank cheque."
He is expected to say: "Britain is in a global race for jobs and wealth. Our infrastructure is decades out of date and we urgently need to invest and build.
The Prime Minister has tasked the new boss of HS2 with cutting costs, amid criticism from Labour that the project has a "black cheque".
The Prime Minister accused delayers of "betraying" those in the north who are most likely to benefit from the high-speed rail project.
"Those who want to delay or obstruct HS2 show a lack of vision. They are playing politics with Britain's prosperity. They are betraying everyone north of Watford. And they want to condemn Britain to the slow lane.
"We can either tell our grandchildren we made big, long-term decisions to build a better country... Or we can tell them we dithered for decades while the world raced ahead.