High-speed rail project cost rises by 10 billion pounds

Wed Jun 26, 2013 9:24pm BST

Existing rail tracks carve through fields near to the planned location of the new HS2 high speed rail link as it passes by the village of Ashley, northern England January 28, 2013. REUTERS/Phil Noble

Existing rail tracks carve through fields near to the planned location of the new HS2 high speed rail link as it passes by the village of Ashley, northern England January 28, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Phil Noble

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(Reuters) - The budget for the High Speed 2 (HS2) rail project has increased by almost 10 billion pounds because of the addition of a tunnel to plans, transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin said on Wednesday.

McLoughlin told MPs that the new projected cost of the rail line linking London to the Midlands in central England had risen to 42.6 billion pounds from the original estimate of 33 billion pounds and included a contingency fund.

Britain's Department for Transport (DfT) said the first phase of the project would now cost 21.4 billion pounds with the second phase coming in at 21.2 billion pounds. This includes a 12.7 billion pounds "contingency fund" across the project.

The new budget includes a tunnel under the M6 motorway near Birmingham, the DfT said.

The first phase of the project, between London and Birmingham in central England, will start in 2017 and finish in 2026. The second phase, linking Manchester and Leeds in the north west of England is due to be completed by 2033.

However, McLoughlin said the final cost could of the project could be lower than the new estimate.

(Reporting by Rhys Jones in London; Editing by Marguerita Choy)

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Comments (2)
Raymond.Vermont wrote:
Surely would have been better to have spent the borrowings upon the road networks, existing track and air facilities?

Jun 26, 2013 9:39pm BST  --  Report as abuse
Raymond.Vermont wrote:
At what point does the economic worth of such a project, balance out with the economic costs of said project?

This is sounding more like a gravy-train of a project, than a sensible one now!

Jun 26, 2013 11:04pm BST  --  Report as abuse
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