Information published on 16 March 2010 in the UIC electronic newsletter "UIC eNews" Nr 177.

UK: The British government says it plans to start building a high-speed rail link from London to Scotland in 2017, with an estimated cost of 30 billion pounds ($45 billion)

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The plans announced by Transport Secretary Andrew Adonis envision trains running at up to 250 mph (400 kph) on the 335-mile (540-kilometer) link. The first part of the line, costing up to 17.5 billion pounds (about $26 billion), would run from London to Birmingham, the nation’s second-largest city.

The announcement comes just weeks ahead of a national election, probably in May. The opposition Conservative Party said that it didn’t necessarily accept the proposed route, but endorsed the idea of high-speed trains and said it would start construction two years earlier.