Where could you travel using HS2?

HS2 will provide the opportunity to start journeys south from Yorkshire from Leeds, Sheffield or York, but the only end destination cities will be either London or Birmingham.

From the very few stations on the HS2 line, linking services are expected to be created to allow other places, some currently served by direct trains, to be reached a little more quickly by changing from HS2 to a local service to complete the journey.

Upon joining new HS2 tracks, the journey from Yorkshire to London will have stops only at East Midlands Hub, Birmingham Interchange and Old Oak Common before reaching London Euston:

Because journeys from Sheffield will use trains which run over existing lines and call at Chesterfield in Derbyshire, travel times south from Leeds and Sheffield are roughly the same to Toton, but take 6 minutes longer than Leeds from Sheffield to Euston. Journeys from York also start off along existing tracks and will generally take around 8 minutes longer than the Leeds time.

East Midlands Hub will be about 27 minutes from either Leeds or Sheffield or around 35 minutes from York. Once the new HS2 East Midlands Hub station, to be built at Toton, has local lines linked up to it, it should offer a local train ride of around 14 minutes to Nottingham in one direction or a similar time to Derby in the other. If there was a minimal 5 minute change it would mean a 46-minute trip from Leeds to Derby compared with the fastest journeys of around 70 minutes now. It may not impress Sheffield passengers though as they can already travel directly from Sheffield to Derby in 27 minutes or to Nottingham in 48 minutes. East Midlands Hub should not be confused with East Midlands Airport which would be about 9 miles and a near 30-minute bus ride away nor with the existing East Midlands Parkway station, which is nearer the airport, but still a 10-minute taxi ride away from it.

Birmingham Interchange will be 46 minutes from Leeds. The new HS2 station is planned about 9 miles east-south-east of Birmingham city centre at the opposite side of the M42 motorway to the National Exhibition Centre, beyond which is Birmingham International station and beyond that Birmingham Airport. HS2 plan that a driverless Automated People Mover is created to link these to the HS2 station. The Interchange to Airport journey would be a further 6 minutes. The NEC and Birmingham Airport are not currently easy to reach from Yorkshire, generally requiring a change at Birmingham New Street to reach Birmingham International. So over half-an-hour could be saved on journeys here from Sheffield and well over an hour from Leeds or York.

Old Oak Common is a new hub station about 6 miles before London Euston which will allow a choice of using one of the newest of London's growing multitude of travel options, the £17.8bn Crossrail project, which will be known as the Elizabeth Line when it opens. The line will offer the best route for connecting from HS2 to Heathrow airport with the connecting journey taking about 20 to 25 minutes. Crossrail in the opposite direction would be an option for travelling to parts of central London and the Docklands.

London Euston is the final destination of HS2. Work has already started on extending the long-established London terminal from the north-west to add 11 new platforms. Journeys from Leeds would take 1hr 21min compared with the present 1hr 59min fastest train to King's Cross. From Sheffield the journey is 1hr 27min and the fastest journeys from York 1hr 24min.

The HS2 routes would potentially also allow trains to operate from Yorkshire to Birmingham Curzon Street in central Birmingham calling only at the East Midlands Hub.

Birmingham Curzon Street is a new terminus station partly on the site of Birmingham's earliest station about a quarter of a mile from Birmingham Moor Street station and half a mile from Birmingham New Street station. While you would be able to get to Birmingham from Leeds or Sheffield in 49 minutes, the new HS2 building is a terminus station. So, if you are travelling onwards from Birmingham, it may not be as convenient to transfer stations as using the present direct train which takes as little as 63 minutes to get from Sheffield to Birmingham New Street. From Leeds and York, however, it currently takes more than 50 minutes longer than from Sheffield. Many trains from Yorkshire do, however, at present continue onwards through Birmingham New Street towards South West England without needing a change.

The HS2 Effect is a transport study presented for general guidance using time estimates based on current rail routes and their best journey times and times proposed for future HS2 services. Revisions in these estimates may occur from time to time as a result of changed train timetables or altered projections of the HS2 developer.

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