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High speed rail: a catalyst for high speed Britain

The benefits of high speed rail in Britain, including the advantages for passengers and the British economy.

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For the latest on HS2 Phase Two, see HS2 Phase 2a and HS2 Phase 2b.

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High speed rail a catalyst for high speed Britain

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The construction of a network of high speed rail links is the biggest single infrastructure investment of our lifetime and will generate a return on investment that will continue paying back for generations to come.

The world is getting faster and our competitors are investing in modern transport systems that help businesses by bringing cities closer together.

More and more people in Britain want to travel by train. The government is already investing £9.4 billion in improving our current rail network over 2014-19. And we know that investment in the railways brings cities closer together and helps the UK thrive. But unless we invest and plan for the capacity demands of the future, our rail network risks becoming out of date, damaging business efficiency, reducing opportunities and making day-to-day travel more difficult. We intend to put this right.

High speed rail 2 (HS2) will link eight of Britain’s ten biggest cities, bringing the major cities within 20 minutes of each other and two-thirds of people in the north to within two hours of London.

It will dramatically increase the amount of capacity, with twice as many seats from London to Birmingham. It will open space on the existing network for more freight and commuter traffic. And it will offer an alternative to congested roads and airports.

The result will be a flourishing train service and a more prosperous Britain.

HS2 phase two initial preferred route

HS2 phase two consultation

HS2 Ltd advice to government on phase two of HS2

Delivery partner reports to government on phase two of HS2

Background to HS2

Published 28 January 2013