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The high-speed rail network planned for the northeast of England is officially canceled

The high-speed rail network planned for the northeast of England is officially canceled
photo: Archives/High speed train
25 / 11 / 2021

The transport secretary, Grant Shapps announced the sad news to the House of Commons this morning. The eastern leg, connecting Nottingham, Sheffield, and Leeds with the East Coast Main Line, won´t be developed. HS2, as the project is commonly referred to, will operate from London to Birmingham, with branches to Manchester and a link to the West Coast Main Line at Crewe or Wigan.

There has been a predictable storm of protest at the news within today’s publication of the UK government’s Integrated Rail Plan. The headlines have been stolen from that document by the news that the plug has been pulled on the high-speed connections to the East Midlands and Yorkshire. Critics say this will put back the cause of rail development by more than a decade. Critics of the scheme, though, have hailed the news as a huge victory.

Rage has been the overwhelming emotion coming from the community leaders in the north of England. Allied with the abolition of the broadly north-south part of the HS2 network, plans for a dedicated high-speed line running east-west, connecting Leeds, Manchester, and Liverpool, have also been canceled. The change of plans does not affect the building process of the line between London and Birmingham, currently Europe’s biggest single civic engineering project, and under the management of HS2 Limited, the company set up to deliver the project.

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