Baskar Sundaram
Baskar Sundaram
The Government has published the Integrated Rail Plan with plans for HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR).  These are linked below.
The new plans use a mixture of new-build high-speed lines and upgraded conventional lines.
The plans include:
  • HS2 completed from Crewe to Manchester, with new stations at Manchester Airport and Manchester Piccadilly.
  • A new high-speed line between Birmingham and East Midlands Parkway. Trains will continue to central Nottingham, Derby and Sheffield on an upgraded and electrified Midland Main Line.
  • Delivering NPR through a new high-speed line between Warrington, Manchester and Marsden in Yorkshire as in the first of the options originally put forward by Transport for the North in 2019. 
  • A study to look at the best way to take HS2 trains to Leeds, including capacity at Leeds Station.
  • The upgrading or electrification of three existing lines.
  • The freeing up of money to improve local services and integrate them properly with HS2 and NPR, including a new mass transit system for Leeds and West Yorkshire.
The proposed HS2 line to Leeds will not go ahead.
The Transport Secretary told Parliament that the £96 billion programme would transform services in the North and the Midlands; would benefit eight out of ten of the busiest rail corridors across the Midlands and North; and would deliver faster journeys and increased capacity up to ten years sooner than previously planned.
Mr Shapps said the original HS2 plan was about ten years old and that a “rethink was needed”.  It had been designed in isolation from the rest of the transport network and should instead work alongside local and regional services.  Mr Shapps said the Integrated Rail Plan was designed to deliver sooner and to strengthen regional rail, and connect towns with main railway networks.
Labour strongly criticised the new plans.
Yesterday the Government announced a £360 million investment to transform rail ticketing across the country, with contactless pay-as-you-go ticketing rolled out across the commuter networks of the Midlands and North over the next three years.

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