Government looking at new rail route between Liverpool and Manchester

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The government has announced it is looking at a new rail route between Manchester and Liverpool.

The government has launched a consultation on the long awaited second phase of the high-speed rail link between London and the north of the UK.

The £56bn network will run between between London, Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester.

A number of changes are being introduced which would open up the way for better rail links across the North.

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling announced the latest round of consultations.

He said: “We are asking for views on a set of proposed refinements to the HS2 phase 2 route from Crewe to Manchester and West Midlands to Leeds.

“The proposed changes to the HS2 route are intended to make it more efficient, cost effective and to minimise disruption for residents and impacts on the environment.

“Today’s consultation marks the first step towards fully integrating HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail, which improve connectivity across the north and is a key element of the Government’s Northern Powerhouse Strategy.

“This consultation includes proposals for infrastructure that would one day allow Northern Powerhouse Rail trains to use the HS2 route and vice versa.

“We are also looking at plans to allow two future junctions that could see the HS2 line into Manchester also be used as part of NPR.

“These proposals have been developed in partnership with Transport for the North and, in the future, would allow for a potential new route between Manchester and Liverpool which could also be used for services between London and Liverpool.”

CBI North West regional director Damian Waters said: “The new consultation, announced today in Parliament, is a massive opportunity for The North and one we must grasp with both hands.

“Linking up HS2 and the Northern Powerhouse will unlock a series of connections knitting together Manchester, Liverpool and London to a high quality transport network fit for the 21st century.

“Behind these maps and documents is the chance to create hundreds of thousands of jobs and bring new opportunities to our communities.

“The stark reality is that no other scheme or investment can deliver the jobs, growth or regeneration benefits of HS2.

“If we are to regenerate our local economies, we must move forward with both HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail.”

Meanwhile, engineering giant Alstom has unveiled its proposed design for HS2.

The new train is designed to meet all of HS2 requirements for a world class, modern and flexible train which is as comfortable on the conventional network as it is on the new HS2 infrastructure.

Nick Crossfield, from Alstom UK, said: “Alstom’s vision is to make HS2 trains a timeless design classic, with a passenger experience that is as smooth, calm and spacious as it is high-speed.

“Alstom is excited to unveil this proposed train for HS2, which is the most important economic regeneration project in Britain for decades.

“It will knit together the great cities of the midlands and the north as never before, and turbo-charge our regional economies.”