Changes to the proposed HS2 route have been announced to connect the line with Northern Powerhouse Rail.
Plans published by the Department for Transport would allow for a potential new route between Manchester and Liverpool to also be used for services between London and Liverpool.
It involves creating two junctions at High Legh, Cheshire, linking the HS2 line with NPR, which is a proposed scheme to improve rail connections between some of the North's largest cities.
This would allow NPR trains to use the HS2 line into Manchester, and HS2 trains to use the NPR line into Liverpool.
The plans are among 11 proposed "refinements" to the route for Phase 2b of HS2, which have been put to a 13-week public consultation.