Today will see the government announce plans to build HS2 between London and Birmingham. Whilst details will be trickling out all day, it is expected that the route will include: loads of tunnels to protect areas of the countryside that would otherwise be adversely affected; link to HS1; links to Heathrow; allow train speeds of up to 255 mph/360 kmh; new, extended tunnels, and the odd viaduct; phase 1 to be completed by 2026.
Phase 2, from Birmingham to Manchester, Leeds and the North East, will start consultation in 2014, with a decision to be made on the route made later that year.
I am not going to get in to the politics of this; however, the sooner they start building this the better, and phase 2 should also begin work sooner rather than later. I also believe that Glasgow – Edinburgh – Newcastle high speed should be considered since this should also bring immediate construction and infrastructure jobs to the North. Hopefully the new tunnels won’t have the same wobble effect on the trains running through them as HS1 has on the Hitachi trains running along it.