HS2 Railway Updates
28 January 2013: the Government has now confirmed the outline details of Phase 2 of the HS2 railway and the locations of the stations to serve northern conurbations in England – as shown below. The HS2 cost is estimated at £34.5bn – up from £32bn, with the increased costs resulting from:
- the addition of a station at Manchester airport;
- a project alignment change – to access Crewe from the line;
- increased costs to lessen impact on communities/environment;
- the proposed £1.4bn spur to Heathrow (on hold pending review).
Phase I of HS2 (London to Birmingham) is estimated at £16.3bn, with phase II (Birmingham to Manchester and Leeds) at £18.2bn – bringing the total cost to £34.5bn. Capital and operating costs (£59bn over a 67-year lifecycle) less revenue stream (£33bn), could mean an eventual £26bn cost to the taxpayer.
The path for the Y-shaped northern phase, from Birmingham to Manchester and Leeds, has been defined in outline and can be extensively examined. The overall route is shown on two route maps: ‘West Midlands to Leeds’ and ‘West Midlands to Manchester’. In addition, each map shows how the route has been split into route sections, giving the reference number for each section.
A decision, on extending the high-speed link to Heathrow, has been deferred until 2015.
27 January 2013: the anticipated statement from Govt. regarding stage 2 of HS2 is expected tomorrow. A key focus will be by those Northern cities awaiting the announcement on the high-speed rail route and stations, as the Transport Secretary is to outline a proposed path for the Y-shaped phase beyond Birmingham – to Manchester and Leeds. This will result in a £33bn investement for the HS2 project, as a whole. A fiercely contested decision, about building a high-speed link to Heathrow and originally destined to be part of the phase two announcement, could be deferred.
10 January 2013: The High Speed 2 (HS2) railway project remains a firm commitment and is progressing – 12 months on from the government’s decision to proceed with the next phase of high-speed rail travel in the UK.
The DfT provides information on the project and also has a specific Web site (HS2 Ltd) for the High Speed Rail Network and commercial interest groups are joining the discussion, e.g. HS2 North West, with its own WordPress presence, seeks to ensure that the full HS2 Y network to the North is constructed, in order to deliver economic benefits and jobs to the region. As part of a wider communication strategy, HS2 Ltd is making information available/inviting comment via a number of sources, including social media sites Facebook and Twitter.