The government has revealed the preferred route for the second phase of Britain’s high-speed rail project between Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds.
The 211-mile Y route of HS2 will include new stations in Manchester city centre, Manchester Airport, Leeds city centre, Sheffield Meadowhall and in the East Midlands between Nottingham and Derby in Toton.
Last January, Ministers announced HS2’s 140-mile southern phase one route between London and Birmingham, which starts construction in four years and opens to passengers in 13 years.
The routes announced today, running from Birmingham to Manchester and Leeds, will open six years after that.
New high-speed services will almost halve journey times, with a train from London Euston to Manchester city centre taking just one hour and eight minutes.
Prime Minister David Cameron said: “Linking communities and businesses across the country and shrinking the distances between our greatest cities, high-speed rail is an engine for growth that will help to drive regional regeneration and invigorate our regional economies. It is vital that we get on board the high-speed revolution.
“We are in a global race and this government’s decision to make high speed rail a reality is another example of the action we taking to equip Britain to compete and thrive in that race.
“High-speed rail is a catalyst that will help to secure economic prosperity across Britain, re-balance our economy and support tens of thousands of jobs.
Phase two will connect Crewe directly and will be integrated with the existing network at Liverpool, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Newcastle, York, Preston, Warrington, Lancaster, Carlisle, Durham and Darlington.
HS2 will connect to Heathrow Airport via an 11-minute Crossrail link at the new Old Oak Common station.
Subject to the findings of the Airports Commission report on maintaining the UK’s international hub connectivity, HS2 could also be extended to serve Heathrow directly.
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “The Olympics showed us that Britain has the confidence to seize opportunities today in order to secure our success tomorrow and HS2 is no different.
“It is about an investment in infrastructure that will deliver a priceless dividend: 351 miles of new railways helping people to jobs and goods to market.”