HS2 twice over for Birmingham

The Independent reports on Network Rail's imminent annoucement on plans for five new High Speed Rail Lines, Plans for huge rail expansion unveiled. Amazingly this follows Rail Minister Tom Harris' suggestion that High Speed's damage to the environment ruled it out as a government option; HSL - Hopelessly Silly Trains?

Exciting times await if we see a committment to High Speed and Birmingham looks set to benefit hugely with two prospective lines shadowing the West Coast Main Line and the Chiltern Line. This follows Greengauge 21, the lobbying group for HSL, costing the benefits of HSL to the West Midlands at £2.2 billion.

Plans for huge rail expansion unveiled

By Jane Merrick, Political Editor
Sunday, 22 June 2008

Plans for the largest railway construction project in more than a century will be unveiled tomorrow.

Network Rail is planning five new high-speed main lines by 2025 to provide desperately needed extra capacity on Britain's busiest routes. The firm will commission a feasibility study for new tracks and a major expansion of the use of high-speed trains.

The lines will run parallel to the West Coast mainline to Birmingham, Manchester and Glasgow, the East Coast line to Edinburgh, the Great Western to Bristol, the Midland mainline to Sheffield and the Chiltern route to Birmingham.

The past decade has seen passenger numbers increase by about 40 per cent, with more people using the service than at any time since 1946. Numbers are expected to swell by a further 30 per cent in the next 10 years, and by 2025 capacity on the current network will be full.

A spokesman for Network Rail said: "There is a huge case to be made for an expansion of the network.



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