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High Speed Trains

Volume 489: debated on Tuesday 17 March 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what changes to transport infrastructure will be required to accommodate the new high speed railway tracks by 2013. [Official Report, 25 March 2009, Vol. 490, c. 3MC.] (263878)

“Britain’s Transport Infrastructure: High Speed Two”, published on 15 January and available on the Department for Transport’s website and the Libraries of the House, sets out what we expect High Speed Two to deliver.

The remit of the company is to consider and to provide advice to the Government on the costs and benefits of:

(a) A proposed route between London and the west midlands with any options as appropriate;

(b) Options for a “Heathrow International” interchange station on the Great Western main line with an interchange also with Crossrail;

(c) Options for access to central London and the other cities served;

(d) Options for linking with HS1 and the existing rail network, including the potential for services to continental Europe;

(e) Financing and construction proposals.

In response to a letter dated 13 February from Sir David Rowlands, Chairman of High Speed Two, my noble Friend the Minister responsible for rail wrote to the company on 10 March setting out in more detail what the Government expect by the end of the year. Both letters have been placed in the Libraries of the House.