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Adonis to announce high speed rail plans today

Transport secretary Lord Adonis will this morning release details of the government’s plans for a new north-south high speed railway in the form of a White Paper.

The paper will accompany publication of a report which will detail options for a new line from London to Birmingham as well as outlining further possible options for a route to the north and beyond to Scotland. The report was presented to Adonis by government company High Speed 2 (HS2) last December.

Among the most hotly anticipated of the findings will be how the government intends to create a network that will connect to Heathrow airport as well as proposals for a London hub.

Meanwhile, Network Rail reiterated its support ahead of the announcement but urged the government to ensure funding for a new high speed scheme would not take away from investing in existing rail infrastructure.

“There is now a broad political consensus that Britain must have a high speed rail future. High speed is a vital part of a modern, dynamic economy,” said Network Rail chief executive Iain Coucher. “It is the low-carbon, sustainable transport of the future.”

“We will now analyse the White Paper in detail to see how its proposals would expand the network. The railway is a system and we will work with government to understand how high speed lines can be developed to make the best use of capacity of the entire network.”

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