U.K. Transport Secretary Philip Hammond on Monday outlined plans for the next £11 billion ($17.42 billion) phase of a planned high-speed rail line linking London to the north of England, saying it will transform the way Britain works. Speaking at the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham, Mr. Hammond said the preferred option for the rail line was for two separate corridors—the so called “Y-shaped” option.
“We have committed to a high-speed rail network that will change the social and economic geography of Britain,” Mr. Hammond said. “Connecting our great population centers and our international gateways; transforming the way Britain works as profoundly as the coming of the original railways did in the mid-19th century.” The two new rail lines, construction of which will begin in 2015, will provide services between Birmingham and Manchester and between Birmingham and Leeds. The government had been looking at the so-called single line “S-shaped” option, but after consulting with engineers decided the Y-shaped option was more cost effective.
(Source: UK Dpt. for Transport)