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Phase One: London to West Midlands

Services on Phase One of HS2 will begin in 2026. Learn about its route, undertakings and assurances, construction and our community websites.

Phase One of HS2 will see a new high speed line constructed from Euston to north of Birmingham, where it will re-join the existing West Coast Main Line. From 2026 tens of thousands of passengers will be using high speed trains every day between London and Birmingham. Services will travel onwards to places like Manchester, Glasgow, Liverpool, Preston and Wigan.


When does construction begin?

Whilst a range of preparatory works are ongoing, the main construction works are scheduled to begin in 2019.

Getting permission to build HS2 Phase One

In November 2013, the government deposited a hybrid Bill with Parliament titled ‘High Speed Rail (London to West Midlands) Bill’. The Bill grants the powers to construct Phase One of the HS2 network. On 23 February 2017 Royal Assent was granted for Phase One of HS2.

The bill, essentially the planning application for HS2, received overwhelming support from MPs. In the Bill’s third reading in the Commons MPs voted 399 to 42 in favour. In the Lords, the figures were 386 to 26 in support of the Bill passing.

You can view the Phase One hybrid bill documents on the GOV.UK website or view the entire timeline.

Fly-through of the Phase One route (we recommend playing on x2 speed).

Undertakings and Assurances

HS2 maintains a register of undertakings and assurances. It records all the individual undertakings and assurances given to petitioners and to Parliament in a single document. This is to help ensure that the ‘nominated undertaker’ (any person appointed to construct HS2), the Secretary of State for Transport, or any other organisation exercising the powers provided by the Act complies with them throughout the project’s lifecycle.

The register includes:

  • all undertakings between petitioners and the Secretary of State for Transport
  • undertakings given in the High Speed Rail (London to West Midlands) Bill Parliamentary process
  • assurances given to petitioners in letters from HS2 Ltd, the Department for Transport or HS2 Parliamentary Agents (Winckworth Sherwood and Eversheds) on behalf of the Secretary of State for Transport; and
  • assurances given in the HS2 information papers.

The register is maintained on the HS2 section of GOV.UK.

HS2 Phase One register of undertakings and assurances

Enabling works and contractors

The £900m enabling works contracts cover the whole of Phase One, from London to Birmingham and the connection to the West Coast Mainline at Handsacre, with work beginning in spring 2017.

The following joint ventures (JV) have been appointed:

  • Area South – CS JV (Costain Group Plc, Skanska Construction UK Limited)
  • Area Central -Fusion JV (Morgan Sindall Construction & Infrastructure Ltd, BAM Nuttall Limited, Ferrovial Agroman (UK) Limited)
  • Area North – LM JV (Laing O’Rourke Construction Limited, J. Murphy & Sons Limited)

As well as archaeology, site clearance and establishing site compounds, the contractors will also deliver a range of activities including utility diversions, ecology surveys, demolition, ground remediation, watercourse activities, highways realignments, monitoring and instrumentation, structural reinforcements and drainage work.

Area boundaries for Phase One
Phase One area boundaries

Planning Forum

The forum provides the opportunity for local authorities, the nominated undertaker and representatives from government departments to cooperate and carry out work for Phase One of the project.

Invitees to the forum include officers from qualifying local authorities, HS2 and the Department for Transport. Meetings are chaired by an independent Chair.

Details about the forum, its sub-groups and its minutes, back to 2013, can be found on GOV.UK

Our community websites

The planning and construction of HS2 is a huge operation – it is currently the largest infrastructure project in Europe.

Visit our community websites to find out more about what the proposals are for the route as it travels through communities, how it is being constructed and what we are doing to make this less disruptive. The sites host: local area plans, local engagement plans, contractor liaison plans and local event information.

More sites are being prepared to serve other areas. All community sites can be found on the HS2 community site hub .