The Government’s ambition is for a north-south high-speed rail line from London. As a first stage, the Government believe that there is a strong case for a new line between London and the West Midlands serving a Heathrow international interchange station. Direct high-speed services could make use of the new line and the conventional rail network to serve destinations in the north of England and Scotland, cutting journey times and increasing capacity.
The company, High Speed Two, has been created to advise Ministers on a credible, detailed plan for a new line to the West Midlands, and beyond with specific route options, by the end of 2009. Until this advice is available, it is not possible to determine when high-speed rail services could come into operation.