Latest Rail News


HS2 Bill expected to pass final reading in House of Commons today

HS2 is set to come a significant step closer today after the HS2 Bill has its third reading, allowing it to pass through the House of Commons.

The High Speed Rail (London – West Midlands) Bill will be put before parliament today after Prime Minister’s Questions.

The Independent reported last week that Labour is expected to whip MPs into supporting the Bill, meaning it will almost certainly pass without opposition.

Writing for The Times Red Box, Lilian Greenwood, the shadow transport secretary, said: “Faster journey times will transform Britain’s transport connectivity, but the urgent need for extra capacity on our creaking Victorian railways has always been the core argument for investing in a new rail line.

“After more than three years I’ll be glad to see HS2 Phase One complete its Commons’ stages – because the extra capacity it will deliver can’t come soon enough.”

Leaders of ten core city councils wrote to MPs on Monday to support the Bill.

The Scottish and English governments announced on Monday that they expect work on HS2 to begin next year, ultimately allowing journeys from London to Scotland in less than four hours.

Ahead of the debate, environmental campaign group Enough’s Enough wrote to MPs, saying: “HS2 is ridiculously expensive, unfit for purpose and enormously destructive.

“Please vote against HS2 and pursue a truly connected, less expensive and destructive solution to the UK's rail needs.”

The Bill has been subject to extensive debate and review in the House of Commons, including by the High Speed Rail Committee, whose final report included a number of recommendations to improve the service, including a longer Chilterns bored tunnel, greater noise protection for Wendover, better construction arrangements in Hillingdon, and a re-modelled maintenance depot at Washwood Heath.

Debate on Bills at the third reading stage is short and MPs are not allowed to propose amendments. The Bill will then pass to the House of Lords for the next stage before it becomes law.

A new report from the public administration and constitutional affairs committee today accused HS2 of 'defensive communication and misinformation' in its dealings with the public.


There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment


Rail industry Focus

  • 02/11/2019Monica Barbosa: Women In Rail

    Director of business development and communications at Xrail, Monica Barbosa, thinks women are missing out on exciting opportunities because the lack of gender diversity in the rail industry.
  • 01/11/2019The dangers of fatigues

    Working long hours, poor health, too little sleep, a demanding job and more can all make us tired and affect our mental and physical performance – and when we’re fatigued we make more...
View all News


The challenge of completing Crossrail

05/07/2019The challenge of completing Crossrail

With a new plan now in place to deliver Crossrail, Hedley Ayres, National Audit Office manager, major projects and programmes, takes a look at ho... more >
Preparing the industry to deliver trains for the future

04/07/2019Preparing the industry to deliver trains for the future

The move to decarbonise the rail network involves shifting to cleaner modes of traction by 2050. David Clarke, technical director at the Railway ... more >

'the sleepers' blog

NPR, TRU & Fleetwood Mac

18/10/2019NPR, TRU & Fleetwood Mac

Switch up your playlist with the first #WeAreRTM podcast, gain exclusive insight into the leaders running the rail industry their opinions on recent headlines, visions for the future and meet the personalities behind the job titles. It's no... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >


Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

24/06/2019Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

Andrew Haines, the Chief Executive of Network Rail, has told the Today programme on Radio 4's BBC’s flagship news programme that he would not rule out his organisation issuing future r... more >
Malcolm Holmes, executive director of West Midlands Rail Executive, announced as TCR Midlands speaker in Birmingham

24/06/2019Malcolm Holmes, executive director of West Midlands Rail Executive, announced as TCR Midlands speaker in Birmingham

Ahead of his appearance, Malcolm Holmes spoke with Rail Technology Magazine about what key leaders in the industry were doing to improve rail in the Midlands. He said: “It’s very... more >