Recently plans have been submitted to a Government-backed review that envisages running HS2 services through a tunnel under Manchester before crossing The Pennines to Bradford, Leeds, York and Newcastle.
It would in effect combine the plans for HS2 with the proposed Northern Powerhouse Rail Project which will link Liverpool with Leeds.
It is not so long ago that the Prime Minister commissioned his review of both projects as part of “High-Speed North” Scheme that is being led by the National Infrastructure Commission. Plans were submitted to the review earlier this week, urging the Government to integrate both lines.
The proposal drawn up with Engineering Consultants involves scrapping the plans to terminate HS2 trains at Manchester Piccadilly Station. Instead, it would become a through station with trains running on from the South to the North-East towards Bradford and Leeds and a possibility that a new station could be built close to Junction 20 of the M62 to serve Rochdale and Oldham, regenerating these towns.
With the current driver to build the Country out of the Covid-19 crisis, Tony Rimmer, Director of Rostons, feels this is more likely.
Image credit: El Pollock / First TransPennine Express Class 185, 185131, platform 4, Manchester Victoria railway station / CC BY-SA 2.0