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HS2 Phase 2b: West Midlands to Leeds

The UK Government has published its Integrated Rail Plan for the North and Midlands, which sets out plans to deliver HS2 Phase 2b, Northern Powerhouse Rail, Midlands Rail Hub and other rail programmes better and more effectively.

The Government’s Integrated Rail Plan sets out the following plans:

  • Subject to consultation, a stretch of new high-speed line will be built from the West Midlands to the East Midlands, based largely on the existing safeguarded route, connecting to the existing railway line near East Midlands Parkway Station (close to East Midlands Airport).
  • The Government will accelerate transport improvements at Toton, such as a station for local/regional services, with delivery subject to significant private sector investment – on a 50:50 match-funded basis with the taxpayer – coming forward at the site and developer contributions.
  • Complete electrification of the Midland Mainline, which will allow HS2 trains to serve Nottingham, Derby and Sheffield.
  • Taking forward a package of upgrades to the East Coast Mainline (ECML), delivering faster and more reliable services to Leeds, York, Newcastle and other places on the ECML.
  • The Government is also undertaking further work to look at the most effective way to run HS2 trains to Leeds, including assessing capacity at Leeds station.

The Government will continue to work on the implementation of the Integrated Rail Plan and anticipate providing further information as soon as this is available.

In the meantime, the government has asked HS2 Ltd to pause work on the West Midlands to Leeds section of HS2 Phase 2b. We recognise that this causes uncertainty and our community engagement teams remain in place to support you.


In order to ensure that land needed for HS2 is protected from conflicting development, safeguarding has been updated for Phase 2b.

Pending conclusion of the further work outlined in the Integrated Rail Plan, the Government does not intend to lift safeguarding on the previously proposed HS2 route at this time. Safeguarding Directions are kept under review and updated periodically to reflect the latest route design, and keeping the current provisions in place this will ensure that affected residential property owners retain access to the various support schemes.