High Speed Two

The benefits for the country

By helping to bridge the north-south divide it will build a country that works together. The new railway will free up space on congested rail lines. This will relieve overcrowding and improve reliability for millions of people using Britain’s railways.

It will help deliver a more productive economy, better able to compete on the global stage. By making it faster and easier to travel for work and leisure, HS2 will increase trade, boost tourism and regenerate towns and cities. Hundreds and thousands of jobs will be supported by Local Authorities’ development plans to capitalise on HS2.

The route

  • 345 miles of new high-speed track will connect the city centers of London, Birmingham, Manchester, and Leeds.
  • HS2 trains will cross over onto the existing railway to also serve further towns and cities in the north of England and Scotland.

Explore the route and stations to be served.


The train service

  • HS2 is expected to carry over 300,000 passengers a day – around 100 million a year, when fully operational.
  • Up to 48 HS2 trains will run on the rail network every hour.
  • Over 25 stations will be served directly.
  • Intercity journey times will be cut. For example, the journey between London and Manchester will be cut in half to just over an hour.

Find out how HS2 will improve journeys.


Key Dates

Construction is starting on Phase One which will link London and Birmingham by 2026. Phase Two will run from the West Midlands to Manchester in the west and Leeds in the east completing the network by 2033.

View timelines for the phases.

  • HS2 is delighted to take part in the Big Rail Diversity Challenge. We believe attracting more women into rail, and engineering generally, is crucial in addressing the skills gap issues currently affecting the sector. HS2 strives to be an exemplar of EDI practice and is pleased to have the opportunity to highlight the import issue of diversity in rail through this fantastic event. We wish all the teams entering the best of luck.