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New High-Speed Line to Connect London and Scotland?

August 26, 2009 By: Jena Tesse Fox

Network Rail is proposing a new $55.5 billion high-speed railway line between Scotland and London by 2030.

The new High Speed 2 line aims to cut journey times between London and Glasgow to just two hours and 16 minutes. It would also serve Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool and Edinburgh, and trains would operate at 200 mph.

The line would become the country’s second high-speed rail link after the line used by Eurostar that runs from London St Pancras to the Channel Tunnel. However High Speed 2 still needs approval from the government, which is conducting its own rail network review.

Rail passengers would also be able to get to Manchester in 83 minutes, from 128 minutes now. London and Birmingham times would be cut to 45 minutes, from a best time of 82 minutes currently.

Network Rail said the new line would require more than 1,500 miles of rail, as well as 138 bridges over roads and current railway lines.

Network Rail says the new line is required to ease the pressure on Britain’s railways. It says passenger numbers have rocketed by 40 percent over the past decade, and that by 2024, many existing lines will be at full capacity.

The firm said that the line would account for 43.7 million journeys per year by 2030, which would result in 3.8 million fewer vehicle journeys and fewer carbon dioxide emissions.


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