HS2: Dreams of high speed rail into Sheffield city centre still alive

Sheffield and Leeds council chiefs are hopeful that the cities will still benefit from a high speed railway.
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Hopes that HS2 trains will stop in Sheffield city centre are still alive.

The government has published ‘terms of reference’ for a study into how to build HS2 East - from the East Midlands to Leeds, via Sheffield. The move has been welcomed by campaigners, including the leaders and chief executives of Sheffield and Leeds councils.

HS2 into Sheffield could still happen.HS2 into Sheffield could still happen.
HS2 into Sheffield could still happen.
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It comes 18 months after the Department for Transport pulled the plug on the project, which had been in the pipeline for more than a decade.

Now it has published 'terms of reference' for a study that will ‘consider the most effective way to run HS2 trains to Leeds’. It has not said when the study will start, only that it will be undertaken by Network Rail with support from HS2 Limited and is expected to take two years to complete’.

Sheffield Council leader, Tom Hunt and Leeds Council leader James Lewis, along with Sheffield Council chief executive, Kate Josephs and her Leeds counterpart, Tom Riordan, said in a statement: “Delivering high-speed rail between Sheffield and Leeds is a once-in-a-generation opportunity for our two cities and regions to realise their growth potential, and this must not be missed.  We hope and expect that this study will be completed with the utmost urgency.”

Sheffield Midland Railway Station  was earmarked for an HS2 stop that could still happen.Sheffield Midland Railway Station  was earmarked for an HS2 stop that could still happen.
Sheffield Midland Railway Station was earmarked for an HS2 stop that could still happen.

Last week, Coun Lewis said: “It is frustrating that it has taken 18 months to get to this point.

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“Even worse, this is nothing compared to the 13 years of inaction by this government since they first promised to get high speed rail to Leeds in 2010 and released the detailed route in 2013."

He added: “Each year of delay is another year wasted and another year further away from creating the additional rail capacity for growing local services, plus regional and national rail links that Leeds desperately needs to support our growing economy.”

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