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Birmingham - London, 'New rail link under consideration'

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This sounds good! I just hope they connect it through London - Stratford International and not London - St. Pancras to make through trains Birmingham - Paris possible.
Double-decker trains, to cut journeys between London and Birmingham to 45 minutes, are being considered.

A link is suggested with Eurostar, bypassing central London

The Department for Transport is looking at plans for a new 190mph (305km/h) link from near the new Channel Tunnel terminus in London to the Midlands. Costing £15bn, the link would enable Midlands travellers to reach Paris in three hours, bypassing central London.

The BBC's Midlands Transport Correspondent, Peter Plisner, said raising the money would not be easy. He said the initial cost would inevitably escalate to billions of pounds more.

Heathrow tunnel

He added: "After initial disappointment when Eurostar was launched that Midlanders could not go direct to the continent on the train, this plan could finally allow this to happen."

The line would have the opportunity to extend at each end - to Heathrow, via a five-mile tunnel, and to Manchester.

The plan was first envisaged by Greengauge 21, a group of rail industry leaders, and is being looked at in Whitehall. It is estimated the new line would take at least 15 years to complete.

A spokesperson for the Department for Transport confirmed the scheme was among those being considered but added that £8bn was being spent on the west coast main line upgrade, which would be completed next year. "That will set the standard on that line to 2020," he said.

"We are not ruling out any projects at present, but we will be making a major announcement about the future of railway services next month," he said. "Until then we cannot comment any further."

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/west_midlands/6766803.stm
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Maglev is not exactly an option when extending an existing line!
Stratford International might be used the way it was intended to after all, then. I do hope this goes through.
We'll need Crossrail first, though, because Stratford could never handle all these extra passengers if it's not constructed. And I hope that at least some trains would go into a central London terminal!
Wouldn't that Maglev price be grossly underestimated? How could a much longer line possibly be that much cheaper, relatively? While in the Netherlands, for example, there were plans for a new line between Groningen and Amsterdam, and the conventional high speed line was estimated as much, much cheaper than the Maglev option there.
And i'm afraid you're not going to convince me that £15 billion is the right price to pay to connect one part of the country to Europe when we could spend a little bit more and build a whole faster line to Glasgow serving most of the major cities along route. But we'll leave it at that.
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