HS2 is a new high-speed railway line under development, which will run between London and Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds, the route is also referred to as the Y network since it is roughly in the shape of the letter Y.
The HS2 network will reduce Birmingham to London journey times from 1 hr 21 min to 49 min. Manchester to London journeys would take from 2hr 8 min to only 1 hr 8 min, Birmingham to Leeds will take 57 mins down from 2 hr.
HS2 Ltd has been designed to accommodate future speeds of up to 250mph. In practice, services would operate at variable speeds- often lower than 225 mph- along sections of the route, particularly when approaching stations and urban areas. This has been taken into account when calculating journey times.
When the speed exceeds 250mph, given the distance taken to accelerate a train, speeds in excess of 250 mph would only be possible for relatively short amounts of time, and therefore the potential for further journey time reduction would be small. Accelerating to and running at these speeds would require more energy consumption, meaning higher carbon emissions and operating costs for low commercial benefit.
The maximum service frequency currently specified for phase one services when London to West Midlands infrastructure is brought into used is 11 tph in the peak and 10tph off-peak. A technical limit for phase one maximum line capacity has also been set at 14tph. This lower level of capacity utilisation provides a reliability buffer recognising that most of the services operating at this stage would be running on from the regular network. The spare time not allocated to running trains throughout a typical hour provides recovery margins for trains should they be presented late from the classic network.
HS2 is applying the best in worldwide design and construction techniques, and the UK will achieve new standards in infrastructure delivery, resilient operations and passenger experience.
The question still remains as to how high the fares will be!
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