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What is HS2

HS2 will transform travel and opportunity - levelling-up the country

HS2 is a new high speed railway linking up London, the Midlands and the North, serving eight of Britain’s 10 largest cities.

HS2 Phase One will open between 2029 and 2033 and run from London to Birmingham over 134 miles, through 31 miles of tunnels and over 10 miles of viaducts delivering quicker journeys on more trains with more seats.

Phase Two will extend the route to Manchester and Leeds, by adding 209 miles, through 15 miles of tunnels, and on 28 miles of viaduct.

Once operational, HS2 will serve over 25 stations connecting around 30 million people. HS2 will significantly improve connectivity in the North and Midlands and will also integrate the existing network serving stations into Scotland, creating 500,000 extra jobs and 90,000 homes around HS2 stations.

There are three main benefits of HS2:

  • Connectivity – better transport links between our cities and regions is bringing more investment to the Midlands and North, helping to level up the country
  • Capacity – taking inter-city trains off the existing rail network will free up more space for commuter and freight services, helping to relieve overcrowding and take lorries off the road.
  • Carbon – HS2 will be the low carbon option for long distance travel, emitting 17 times less carbon than the equivalent domestic flight and 7 times less carbon than the equivalent car journey.

Click on the boxes below to find out more about how HS2 benefits the country.

Find out the facts about HS2

Stations served by HS2

HS2 will directly serve: Birmingham Curzon Street, Carlisle, Chesterfield, Crewe, Darlington, Durham, East Midlands Hub (Toton), Edinburgh, Glasgow, Interchange (Solihull), Lancaster, Leeds, Liverpool, Lockerbie, London Euston, Macclesfield, Manchester Airport, Manchester Piccadilly, Newcastle, Old Oak Common, Oxenholme, Penrith, Preston, Runcorn, Sheffield Midland, Stafford, Stoke, Warrington, Wigan and York. Explore these stations and use the HS2 journey planner to discover how journeys times will be transformed.

HS2 reduces overcrowding and carbon emissions

HS2 will improve your journey, even if you don’t use our trains or live along the route. By shifting long-distance services onto the brand-new railway, HS2 will release space on existing routes. That creates space for additional local, cross-country, commuter and freight services across the country. This will create more services and seats for rail users. It also takes hundreds of thousands of cars and lorries off our roads every year. In turn, reducing carbon emissions and improving air quality.

Find our more about how HS2 helps reduce overcrowding.

HS2 boosts jobs, homes and growth

Manchester office block skyline

HS2 is more than a railway. It is the most important economic regeneration project in Britain for decades. We are joining up Britain to help build a more united country. So, every region of the UK can reach its economic potential, creating jobs and opportunities for millions of people. It will improve living standards, increase productivity and help Britain compete on the global stage. Local economic plans based around HS2 show almost 500,000 jobs and nearly 90,000 new homes. Visit our station pages to learn more about the benefits to the cities and regions they serve.

HS2 supports thousands of jobs

demolition site next to Hampstead Road

HS2 is at an advanced stage. Parliament has approved the construction of Phase One and work is well underway. There are over 250 active work sites between London and Birmingham. Our aspiration is to be a good neighbour every single day, by respecting the people and communities we impact and being sensitive to their needs. The project is supporting 10,000 jobs around the country, including many apprentices. Around 2,000 businesses have already delivered works for HS2, 70% of which are SMEs and 99% are based in the UK.

The Bill for Phase 2a, which extends the line to Crewe, is receiving support from all the major parties. The route of Phase 2b, which takes the line to Leeds and Manchester, is going through its final design and environmental impact stage.

HS2 is bringing Britain closer togther

CGI of the front, outside view of Curzon Street with trees and landscaping.

By making it faster and easier to travel, HS2 will succeed in bringing Britain’s towns and cities closer together by effectively shrinking the distance and time taken to travel between them. HS2 is also an integral part of the plans for Northern Powerhouse Rail and Midlands Engine Rail to spread the economic benefits of improved transport across the country.

Find out more about how HS2 is bringing Britain closer together.