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Greengauge 21 backs High Speed Two

A high-speed rail link between London and the Midlands could cost as little as £7.1bn according to a new report from pressure group Greengauge 21.
Led by former Strategic Rail Authority boss Jim Steer, Greengauge 21 said that a 300km/h High Speed 2 service from St Pancras to Birmingham, with spurs to Heathrow Airport and the West Coast Main Line towards Manchester, would cost £11bn.But a slimmed-down version linking London and Birmingham without the spurs would cost only £7.1bn. The journey could take as little as 45 minutes.Greengauge 21 claims the scheme could render many flights between Manchester and London, Paris or Brussels, obsolete.According to the report, there is enough capacity along existing transport corridors to accommodate the proposed railway, that could be built to shoulder Alstom's double-decker trains, as used on the French TGV network.Last month the Tories suggested that a high-speed link between London and Birmingham could break-even in year 17 of a 40-year concession (NCE 24 May).

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