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Full steam ahead as government backs HS2 extension plans to Stoke-on-Trent

HS2 train

Transport secretary Chris Grayling has announced that a high-speed rail service (HS2) to Stoke-on-Trent has been backed by the government.

As part of the plans more people would have access to high-speed, long-distance train services from Crewe as the junctions would be redesigned, and platforms would be extended

The move follows the HS2 Crewe Hub consultation.

The government’s plans for HS2 Phase 2a from the West Midlands to Crewe would be modified to include:

  • Extension of Platform 5 at Crewe to 400 metres, to allow for the splitting and joining of HS2 services, which also opens opportunities to serve Stoke-on-Trent with HS2.

  • A more efficient design for the proposed platform on the Manchester independent lines, incorporating a transfer deck to the main station.

  • A change to the design of the southern connection from HS2 so that HS2 joins and takes over the central 2 lines on the existing network.

Grayling intends to ask franchise operator West Coast Partnership to include a high-speed service to Stoke-on-Trent in its market development and service plans.

He said: “We have listened to people’s views on the Crewe Hub consultation, ensuring that the town’s proud history as an epicentre of rail journeys is set to continue, as it plays a vital role in delivering Britain’s future railway.

“HS2 will be the backbone of our national rail network, increasing capacity on our congested rail network with thousands more seats on commuter services, improving vital connections between some of our country’s biggest cities and generating jobs, skills and economic growth.”

A HS2 junction north of Crewe will be considered (as part of Phase 2b). This could allow five to seven HS2 trains an hour to call at Crewe and improve connectivity on the lines from Crewe to Shrewsbury, Chester and Stoke-on-Trent.

The full response to the HS2 Crewe Hub consultation can be found on the Department for Transport website

Image credit | HS2 LTD