HS2 train

HS2 timeline: Key moments in the high speed rail project

After the announcement that the government will launch a review into HS2 to examine costs and benefits of the high speed rail project, The Railway Hub takes a look back at the key moments in our HS2 timeline.

January 2009

Then Transport Secretary, Geoff Hoon announces an investigation into a potential high speed railway between London and the West Midlands, and further north. HS2 Ltd is formed to consider the case for the project.

March 2010

The Government publishes conclusions of the investigation in a white paper, and identify the preferred route as between London and the West Midlands.

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January 2012

Justine Greening, Transport Secretary under the coalition government, announces the HS2 will go ahead.

It will be built in two phases, the first will see a new line constructed between London and Birmingham, before an extension to Leeds and Manchester.

November 2016

Conservative government announce their preferred route for Phase 2, from Crewe to Manchester and Birmingham to Leeds.

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February 2017

The hybrid bill, effectively planning permission, receives Royal Assent after more than three years of parliamentary scrutiny.

July 2017

The winners of £6.6 billion worth of contracts announced, involving construction of tunnels, bridges, viaducts.

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling confirms the route between the North West, East Midlands and Yorkshire.

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November 2017

Five bids are shortlisted for a £2.75 billion contract to design and build HS2 trains.

HS2 train decision delay
HS2 timeline: Key moments in the high speed rail project. Photo: Siemens/PA

February 2018

The Department for Transport says enabling work has begun in preparation for building the railway.

December 2018

Sir Terry Morgan is forced to resign from his positions as chairman of HS2 Ltd and Crossrail Ltd.

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January 2019

The project’s first tower cranes are assembled at London Euston.

May 2019

HS2 Ltd says 9,000 jobs around the UK are now supported by the project, with work ongoing across 250 sites.

July 2019

Transport Minister Baroness Vere says £7.4 billion has already been spent on HS2, with a large chunk of the money going towards land and property purchases.

August 2019

Boris Johnson’s government announces a review into the scheme.

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About the Author

Sam Hewitt