Three-hour Scotland to London rail link planned
HS2 expansion to Scotland plans unveiled
Work to deliver a 3-hour train service from Scotland to London will begin next year, ministers have revealed.
In a report jointly commissioned by the Scottish and UK governments, various options including upgrades or new routes to deliver the 3-hour journey time will be considered from 2017, with implementation from 2019.
It was previously thought the high speed rail infrastructure project would not link to Scotland.
The scheme would cost in the region of £17bn - £19bn, according to the HS2 Ltd’s Broad options for upgraded and high speed railways to the North of England and Scotland report, released today at a reception in Edinburgh.
Scottish government Infrastructure Secretary Keith Brown said: "We can’t afford not to build high speed rail. Doing nothing is not an option. The main routes between Scotland and England are at capacity and the necessary improvements to address the capacity constraints on these existing routes would be substantial.
"High speed rail is as much about new rail capacity as it is about speed.
"There is a real danger that Scotland’s rail connectivity will be strangled without that additional capacity built into the system. This plan gives us the opportunity to future proof at the same time."
UK government HS2 Minister Robert Goodwill said:
"This report looks at ways we can build on these improvements and I thank HS2 Ltd for this work. Together with the Scottish Government, we will be asking Network Rail to identify any options with a strong business case, for consideration for inclusion in future plans."
Phase One of the HS2 project is expected to be completed by 2026, while services on the full Phase Two route are set to commence by the end of 2033.
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