Policy paper

HS2 Phase Two: investing in Britain’s future

The government’s initial preferences for the high speed rail route to Leeds, Manchester and beyond for Phase Two of the HS2 project.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

This publication was withdrawn on

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



This document sets out the government’s initial preferences for phase two of HS2, extending the route north of Birmingham to Manchester and Leeds.

HS2 is a once in-a-generation opportunity to transform Britain’s connectivity, capacity and competitiveness. It will be a national asset, slashing journey times and improving services between our cities and regions. It will also free up substantial space on the existing railway. The publication of this document is a vital milestone in the delivery of the project.

Part I of this document sets out more of the background to the HS2 project. It describes in greater detail the role that high speed rail has to play in meeting the future transport and economic needs of this country.

Part 2 moves on to discuss the detail of the government’s initial preferred route, station and depot options for phase two. It looks at the western and eastern sections in turn, summarising each of the initial preferred route and station options. It also includes more details on how high speed trains would be able to continue to destinations such as Liverpool, Runcorn, Wigan, Durham, Newcastle, Glasgow and Edinburgh through connections with the existing rail network. It then explains the government’s position on Heathrow.

Part 3 covers the next steps for the project. The government has an extensive programme of collaboration and partnership working with key stakeholders to take the initial options presented in this document forward.

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