High Speed 2 (HS2) is a planned high-speed railway proposed to London Euston from the English Midlands. The project is being developed by High Speed Two Ltd, a company limited by guarantee established by the UK government. The line is to be built in two phases with the section between London and Birmingham being the first phase. The route would take the form of a 'Y', with a trunk between London Euston and Birmingham Curzon Street. The route would then split into two spurs, one continuing to Manchester Piccadilly via Crewe and Manchester Airport and the other to Leeds via East Midlands and Sheffield. I twill consist of 400m-long (1,300ft) trains, with up to 1,100 seats per train. They would operate at speeds of up to 400 km/hr - faster than any current operating speed in Europe and would travel up to 14 times per hour in each direction.
More than 70 groups oppose HS2. One, StopHS2, argues that Englands north and Midlands will lose out to London, rather than benefit, and that projections do not take into account competition from conventional rail. Others object on the grounds that it will cut through picturesque countryside and affect areas of high natural value. Eighteen councils along the route against the scheme, known as the 51m group, say taxpayers cannot afford the line and that it will increase greenhouse gas emissions. They argue that trains operating at such high speeds are not any less polluting than planes, and can even be more so. A 400 km/hr train uses twice the fuel as a 200km/hr train argue the opponents.
As the works are not planned to start until 2016, there is time to stop the project.