People living in cottages built for railway workers have said they were devastated to learn their homes may have to be demolished to make way for the high speed railway.
Residents of Trent Cottages in Long Eaton, built in the 1860s, believe the HS2 route will pass through their land.
They said they were shocked and had not heard anything from the government before Monday's route announcement.
The Department for Transport said anyone affected will be compensated.
'Extremes of distress'
The HS2 route will link London with Birmingham, where it will split to head north to Leeds and Manchester.
It will pass through the East Midlands, stopping at Toton, in Nottinghamshire, but Trent Cottages in Long Eaton, Derbyshire, about two miles away, may have to be flattened to make room for the track.
Collette Robinson said: "I am devastated. My husband and I moved here 13 years ago.
"This was our first house we bought together and we thought it was our forever home."
Neighbour Roger Lymn said: "We've gone to the extremes of distress really. Crying and just disbelief that people who have lived here and have been so happy are now actually threatened by the prospect of this plan."
Meanwhile Maureen Lakey said she learnt the news from a BBC researcher. She said: "I just felt like the carpet had been pulled from under me."
All of the neighbours described the street as a "real community".
Patrick McLoughlin, Secretary of State for Transport, said a consultation was being run on an "exceptional hardship scheme" to help those affected.