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:
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.