What do we know about HS2 up to now?
HS2 stands for High Speed 2.
It is a planned railway line through the middle of the country, starting in London and heading to the north.
The trains will be much faster than the ones we have now, able to reach up to 250 mph.
They’ll run on new, dedicated tracks, and there could be up to 14 trains per hour in each direction.
HS2 trains will be able to reach up to 250 mph.
There could be up to 14 trains an hour in each direction.
It’s High Speed Two because there’s already a high speed line in the UK - linking London to the Channel Tunnel. The first high speed rail system was the bullet train in Japan.
Labour first introduced the idea of HS2 in 2009 and in January 2012 it was announced that HS2 would go ahead, and that it would be divided into two phases.
Part 1 runs from Birmingham to London.
The Department for Transport says the project will cut the travel time from one hour 21 minutes to 52 minutes.
Trains were due to start running along the route in 2026, but that’s recently been delayed to between 2028-2031.
At Birmingham, the line will split in half, with one half going to Leeds through the East Midlands and the other half to Manchester, in the shape of a Y.
Some details of this second part of the project still need to be approved by Parliament, but the latest estimate for that route being finished is 2035-2040.
The track will be 345 miles long, and the estimated cost to date has been £88bn, with suggestions now it could rise even more.
The track will be 345 miles long.
There are reports today of it rising to as much as £106bn in the Financial Times today
There have been lots of legal challenges to the project by those against the plans.
Concern about the effect on wildlife and the environment, as the line will go through lots of countryside
People are being forced to sell their homes to make way for it
Some landscapes will change forever
Worry about noise from the trains
Disruption during building work
The overall cost
The current system could be updated instead
Reducing the number of people using the ordinary railway, creating more space
Taking people off the roads
Joining up the country, which will boost the economy
Creating jobs as it’s built
Reducing journey times
Ticket prices to travel on HS2 haven’t yet been announced.