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HS2 to redefine UK transport with average delays no more than 30 seconds, firm says

Transport bosses say the construction of HS2 provides the UK with an “opportunity once again to lead the world” in the rail sector and claim the high-speed network will be as punctual as bullet trains in Japan.

The statement has been made in the latest report launched by HS2 Ltd which demonstrates how the railway network is already delivering massive benefits to the UK. It states how around 6,000 jobs are already supported by the project with many of those within the 2,000 businesses that have delivered work ranging from conducting the largest ground investigation programme in British history to the planting of over seven million trees and shrubs.

HS2’s chair Sir David Higgins claims once the network is established then “services will be unrecognisable to today’s commuters” as the organisation targets an average delay of just 30 seconds once open to passengers.

A major part of the report is highlighting the parallels  between Japan’s Tōkaidō Shinkansen train and HS2. Trains in the UK on the network will be able to travel at maximum speeds of 360km/h across 350 miles of track with passengers from the capital set to be able to Birmingham in just 45 minutes, Manchester in one hour and seven minutes and Glasgow in three hours and 40 minutes.

The report states: "Our ambition is for HS2 to achieve world-class levels of reliability, on a par with Japan's Shinkansen high speed rail network. HS2 will be a railway that can be depended on seven days a week."

Commenting on the future of the network, HS2 chair, Higgins, said: “Britain invented the modern railway and it is right that, because of HS2, we have the opportunity once again to lead the world in this important sector. As we move towards construction, we are already seeing thousands of people around the country working to bring Britain’s new railway to reality. We’re in the middle of the largest programme of early works that the UK has ever seen, leading to major construction next year; supporting jobs and businesses around the UK and building the skills base we need to export around the world.”

The report was launched at an event in Leeds today to an audience of over 100 business and civic leaders from across the country. Those in attendance heard how trains will call at over 25 stations from London to Scotland, serving around 30 million people in regions representing over half of the UK economy.

Phase 1 of the major project is planned to open between London and Birmingham in December 2026 while Phase 2 will open in two stages with Phase 2a from the West Midlands to Crewe beginning in 2027, followed by Phase 2b from Crewe to Manchester, and Birmingham to Leeds, in 2033.

Wiggins added: “HS2 services will be unrecognisable to today’s commuters. A service that is dependable, if you’re travelling for work, attending a meeting, or seeing family and friends, the standard set by HS2 will be world class, with the stress of tickets, delays and other frustrations designed out of the system. HS2 will be judged, in the end, if it can be considered a railway for everyone.”