The U.K. is now even closer to having a high speed rail line that connects the farthest corners of the English countryside. The first phase of the High Speed Two line, which will link London and Birmingham, has been approved.
The new Y-shaped rail network will ultimately connect Leeds, Manchester, London, Birmingham and a port that uses the Channel Tunnel to cross over to mainland Europe. The network will also include a direct route to Heathrow Airport and link to existing rail lines.
The trains on the line will run at speeds up to 250 miles per hour, making the trip from Birmingham to London in just 49 minutes compared to the 84 minutes it takes today. Other popular routes will be cut in half as well. The government expects 9 million car commutes and 4.5 million plane commutes to be replaced by train commutes every year when the rail line is completed.
The first phase will start construction soon and could be running by 2026. The second phase, which will reach Manchester and Leeds, could start construction as soon as 2014 and be running by 2033.
written by Robert, June 14, 2012
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