UK Joins the High-Speed Rail Club -- HS2 Approved for 2026 Departure

By Gary Cutlack on at

The mega-controversial HS2 high-speed rail network had been approved. Although "network" is perhaps going a little too far -- a new Y-shaped line between London, Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds will start construction in 2016.

The proposed plans have been slightly amended, with an additional eight miles of supposedly "green" tunnel added to the proposals, to make the slicing through miles of English countryside a little more palatable for some Conservative MPs and their constituents.

Opponents are already appearing on the news channels claiming there's still no firm business case for the line, which will cost the country an estimated £32bn to build -- but we can't wait to travel at speeds of around 225mph when the London/Birmingham stretch opens in 2026 regardless.

Not that we've ever really needed to get to Birmingham in that much of a hurry. [BBC]