Facts, figures and journey times

HS2 is not just a faster railway, but a reliable, high-capacity people-mover that will serve eight of our ten largest cities and provide high-speed services between cities which are not currently well connected. It will be built, designed and run as a railway for everyone in Britain.

It will transform people’s journeys; it will take the strain from existing rail and road routes; and it will be quick, simple and comfortable to use. HS2 is forecast to carry up to 5.4 million passengers every year who might otherwise have travelled by air, as well as potentially seeing up to 9.8 million passengers transfer from the national road network. More freight trains using the space freed up on the existing rail network will reduce lorry traffic on the motorways and help improve air quality. And it will provide opportunities for development on under-used brownfield sites.

It will be designed with the best in British design and innovation in mind and an independent Design Panel will shape the style of its structures and stations.

On this page you can find out about:


Costs and benefits

Journey times

Links to further information

When open, it is predicted that HS2 will underpin the delivery of 400,000 jobs
Source: The Core Cities Group

Creating jobs

The operational scheme for Phase Two is expected to provide 1,400 permanent jobs in operation and maintenance and up to 10,000 jobs during construction. In addition, Phase Two would be expected to support a further 48,700-70,300 jobs.

It will also support the creation of between 5,200 and 7,600 homes.

Western leg

Station-supported employment: Manchester Piccadilly 29,700-42,900 jobs; Manchester Airport 300-700

Station-supported housing: 3,100-4,100 (Manchester Piccadilly)

Eastern leg

Station-supported employment: East Midlands Hub 1,500-1,600 jobs; Sheffield Meadowhall 4,000-5,400; Leeds New Lane 13,200-19,700

Station-supported housing: East Midlands Hub 150-800; Sheffield Meadowhall 250-300; Leeds New Lane 1,700-2,400

For every £1 invested, the wider economic benefits of HS2 will return £2
Source: HS2 Ltd economic case

Costs and benefits

The cost of the Government’s proposed route, station and depot options for Phase Two is currently estimated to be £21.2 billion[1] (in 2011 prices), as recently set out in the Government’s Spending Round 2013. This estimate includes an allowance of £8.7 billion for risk and contingency, which reflects the early stage of the project and the variety of factors that can affect projected costs, which are summarised below. The cost estimate is a prudent planning assumption and we would expect the final cost for Phase Two to be below the estimated funding level.

The Government is committed to managing the cost of HS2 and to securing maximum value for money. The latest available estimates suggest that HS2 will return around £2 worth of benefit for every £1 invested. In looking at the likely impacts on their economies, several of the cities to be served by Phase Two have estimated benefits substantially greater than this.

As with all major projects, the Government will continue to keep the value for money of HS2 under review. As a next step, an update of the economic case for HS2 will be published later in 2013.

Principal stations – journey times

These tables show the projected journey times from London and Birmingham to proposed HS2 stations and beyond.

Eight of Britain’s largest cities will be better connected, with a total of 18 served either by HS2 itself or by onward-running services from HS2 stations

[1] Without the Heathrow spur

Key journey times to/from London
Destination Current Journey Time (Mins) HS2 Journey Time (Mins) Intermediate Stations
Birmingham Curzon Street 84 49 Old Oak Common/Birmingham Interchange
Birmingham Interchange 73 38 Old Oak Common
East Midlands Hub n/a 51 Old Oak Common
Nottingham Midland (via East Midlands Hub) 104 68 Old Oak Common
Derby Midland (via East Midlands Hub) 91 71 Old Oak Common
Sheffield Meadowhall n/a 69 Old Oak Common, Birmingham Interchange
Sheffield Midland (via Sheffield Meadowhall) 125 79 Old Oak Common, Birmingham Interchange
Leeds New Lane 132 82 Old Oak Common, East Midlands Hub
York 113 83 Old Oak Common
Newcastle 172 138 Old Oak Common, York
Manchester Piccadilly 128 68 Old Oak Common
Manchester Airport 144 59 Old Oak Common
Crewe 90 55 Old Oak Common
Preston 128 84 Old Oak Common, Birmingham Interchange
Liverpool 128 96 Old Oak Common, Crewe, Runcorn
Glasgow 248 218 Old Oak Common, Carstairs
Edinburgh 263 218 Old Oak Common, Carstairs


Two-thirds of the population of Northern England will be within two hours of London
Source: The Core Cities Group

Key journey times to/from Birmingham Curzon Street
Destination Current journey time (mins) HS2 journey time (mins) Intermediate stations
East Midlands Hub n/a 19  
Nottingham Midland (via East Midlands Hub) 73 36  
Sheffield Meadowhall n/a 38 East Midlands Hub
Sheffield Midland (via Sheffield Meadowhall) 71 48 East Midlands Hub
Leeds New Lane 118 57 East Midlands Hub, Sheffield Meadowhall
York 130 63 East Midlands Hub, Sheffield Meadowhall
Newcastle 194 127 East Midlands Hub, Sheffield Meadowhall, York, Darlington, Durham
Manchester Piccadilly 88 41 Manchester Airport
Manchester Airport 104 32  
Preston 91 53 Wigan North Western
Edinburgh 241 194 Wigan North Western, Preston, Oxenholme, Carlisle, Lockerbie
Glasgow 237 202 Wigan North Western, Preston, Lancaster, Penrith, Carlisle, Lockerbie
Key journey times to/from Heathrow Terminal 5 (via Old Oak Common)
Destination Current journey time (mins) HS2 journey time (mins) Intermediate stations
Birmingham Interchange 133 53  
Manchester Piccadilly 188 88 Birmingham Interchange
Manchester Airport 204 74 Birmingham Interchange, Manchester Airport
East Midlands Hub n/a 70 Birmingham Interchange
Sheffield Meadowhall n/a 89 Birmingham Interchange, East Midlands Hub
Leeds New Lane 192 108 Birmingham Interchange, East Midlands Hub, Sheffield Meadowhall

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Further reading

For full network facts and figures, including environmental effects and the effects of regeneration around the stations, please visit our Facts & Figures section.

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