HS2 will not link to Eurostar confirms minister

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An HS2 link to Eurostar would have connected the north of England to Europe

The HS2 rail route will not be linked to the Eurostar's line, confirmed Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin.

It follows a report by HS2 chairman Sir David Higgins last week which said a link from the planned HS2 terminus at Euston to neighbouring St Pancras where Eurostar leaves would be too expensive.

It rules out the prospect of direct trains from northern England to Europe.

Work on the HS2 high-speed line from London to Birmingham and to Manchester and Leeds has not yet begun.

Mr McLoughlin said a link to the Eurostar service which runs on HS1 from St Pancras through the Channel Tunnel would "require too many compromises".

It would have cost an estimated £700m. The cost of the total project is currently estimated at £42.6bn.

He added: "I therefore intend to remove the link from the hybrid bill."

Mr McLouglin said that Sir David's idea, also presented in his report last week, of speeding up construction of HS2 to Crewe was a welcome one and would be "looked at in detail, as would the idea of an extensive upgrade of Euston station".

Earlier this month, Mr McLoughlin admitted that legislation needed to build the high-speed rail project would not become law before the next general election in 2015.

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