More HS2 services planned for Manchester  

The Government has unveiled fresh proposals for the High Speed Two rail link to boost Northern Powerhouse Rail connections, including additional platforms at Piccadilly station and at Manchester Airport.

Four platforms were originally planned for Manchester Piccadilly but this could become six, under the latest designs. Similarly, the number of platforms at Manchester Airport could be increased to four, from two originally.

An extra northbound HS2 service from Crewe is also mooted in the Department for Transport’s latest HS2 consultation published on Wednesday, on Phase 2b of the route. The Crewe proposal would see it serve as a major hub on the HS2 network.

The consultation follows recommendations from the Whitehall-commissioned Oakervee Review, on how to deliver HS2 in smaller sections and also how to integrate it with North of England transport initiatives intended to improve connections and boost the region’s economy, such as Northern Powerhouse Rail.

HS2 Minister Andrew Stephenson said: “HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail are an integral part of this country’s future rail network, vital for improving connections between our biggest cities and regions, boosting jobs and kickstarting economic growth as we build back better.

“This consultation will ensure passengers and business have their say in delivering a rail network that meets their needs, providing better journeys across the Midlands and the North as quickly as possible.”

Legislation for Phase 2a, the segment of the line from Birmingham to Crewe, is being considered by parliament at present. The consultation for Phase 2b closes on 11 December and legislation covering the Crewe to Manchester route will then be developed.

Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership last month asked the Government for support in developing a commercial hub – possibly an enterprise zone – around the Crewe North HS2 station, as part of a wider funding submission.

The LEP claims that development of Crewe North and surrounding infrastructure would represent a £200m investment in the region.

Clare Hayward, chair of the LEP, said: “HS2 represents a once-in-a-generation opportunity for Crewe and is a transformative infrastructure programme that supports levelling-up across the region as a whole.

“As part of our [funding] submission ahead of the Government’s Comprehensive Spending Review, we set out proposals for a High-Speed Growth Corridor around the HS2 hub at Crewe.

“It will deliver high value jobs, housing and infrastructure in Crewe, Winsford and parts of Warrington as well as making a significant contribution to wider economic growth across the sub-region.

“Clarity and certainty around of the Crewe North Connection plus Government support for the High-Speed Growth Corridor will provide a bright future for Crewe”

Meanwhile, Tim Wood, Northern Powerhouse rail director at lobby group Transport for the North, said: “HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail, delivered together in full, would tackle head-on the productivity gap between the North and the South, and provide the modern, fit-for-purpose railway the North so badly needs.”

“Together, the two projects will form the backbone of a futureproof rail network for our region. But we must ensure that this investment allows for benefits to be shared equally across the North. Northern Powerhouse Rail relies on parts of HS2 infrastructure being built to run its trains too.

“Therefore, it is vital the Government’s Integrated Rail Plan commits to bringing forward plans for the HS2 eastern leg connecting the Midlands with Yorkshire, including Sheffield and Leeds, and getting spades in the ground in the North as soon as possible.”

HS2 Map Govt October 2020



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Manchester is a global destination of great importance and the extra platforms proposed indicates this. Meanwhile other NW cities can’t even get the line to go there…

By Liverpool Lacks Romance

Piccadilly should be a through station with services running through towards Leeds. What other country builds a cul-de-sac stations which limits the ability for futureproofing? Reversing at Piccadilly to reverse back out is such a waste. Typical British fudge.

By Underground

Will anyone be using Manchester airport by the time this gets built its currently 90% down in passengers so we are led to believe?

By Wot no planes.

Yeah but – you’ll never have a city skyline on water – or something like that, anyway….

By Liverpoolhaswatertho

LLR we will all be long gone before it ever happens so don’t know what you’re giddy about. We need NPR much more, and much quicker.

By WarringtonGreg

I’m sure there will be a pony and trap link to Liverpool.


People actually still think this will get past Birmingham, the costs were already mounting pre-covid, after all the gov money spent this year it’s even less so. Just some fancy renders to keep you in toe.


@WarringtonGreg, we need NPR equally, but not more. Remember, the main advantage of HS2 is not the speed increase to LDN, but relieving congestion by removing express trains off the main lines so that the local and regional services can be more efficient. To do this properly, we need to do the same with building NPR. We need both North South and East West express lines cleared. Doing one and not the other is like rewiring only one wire in your house when the wiring is shot.

@Underground, absolutely agree. This is a scaled down version which will do the job to a point, but with costs cut because we are not London. The Liverpool MCR Leeds section should be passthrough at MCR without any question. That however would require investments that you find in other countries, not the UK. But then, in those other countries, you don’t get such an outcry against investing in infrastructure like you do in the UK.


We need more roads and cheaper petrol, not this nonsense


If you think this will get past Birmingham then your a fool.

By Anonymous

won’t happen dont need Mystic Meg for this prediction.

By Anonymous

Progress progress progress citizens.

By Darren born bred Salford.

Bridgwater canal was built 1761 to get coal and other stuff from Worsley in Salford to Manchester quicker and cheaper and it worked.The canal from Worsley to Manchester cost £168,000(27million in today’s money) and took under 2years to complete.. The Manchester ship canal was built in 1893 and cost about £15 million (2billion in today’s money) and took 6 years to build and was used to get cargo ships from Liverpool to Salford docks… At the moment it takes about 2hours from Piccadilly to London and The HS2 will get people to from Piccadilly to London in 1hour
This will cost billions, billions, billions, billions billions billions of money and by the time it’s done in about 25 years, I will have a walking stick and be completely grey.

By Darren born bred.

This could turn into a parochials tea party.

By Tony

White elephant now that everybody has discovered zoom.

Who wants to travel to that London?

By Brian

Liverpool missed out again.

By R. Whitworth

Liverpool is being understood by its leaders. Our west coast Port is the gateway to global trade and our city is an undertaker national asset. Link northwards through Warrington from Crewe for maximum GVA added value and to fully capitalise on this investment.

By The Crows Nest

Dear Mr PDM I think you have a good point there. High-speed intercity rail does not solve the transportation problem, but cars do. All cars will soon be electric, silent and emission free. And you still need to get to and from rail stations. Maybe more motorways or expressways ARE the answer to transportation needs — and not one or two rail lines which only link the centers of very big towns. Think!

By James Yates

One of the biggest problems with getting from Leeds to Manchester is it stops too much. Can we not have non-stop trains between the two rather than trains stopping at Stalybridge, Dewsbury etc. It wouldn’t take so long . Those areas can be served by the current services. Trains in this country never reach full pelt because they are stopping every ten minutes. In 2020 a non-stop train between Manchester and London should be the norm.

By Elephant

The country is on a melt down financially this some form of joke!

By Anonymous

@Elephant, actually you bring up a good point. Also needed (and part of this plan) is NPR (Northern Powerhouse Rail, otherwise known as Crossrail 3). Although sadly, it doesn’t look like they will do the complete version which would be from Liverpool Manchester Leeds. But this is the one that answers your question. It won’t be direct as there are other important towns in the way (It may stop either in Huddersfield or Bradford depending on the route). But it will be much faster and should have some sort of connection with HS2. This will leave the existing lines as a slower, local service, but with potential for higher frequencies and reliability as the express trains are taken off the line


Manchester – Leeds will be of huge significance, a counter balance to London.

By Dan

Dont worry Darren BB, by the time its built fewer will be going into Manchester from the subburbs, let alone going to London; and we should have Star Trek technology by then too,…….beam me up Scottie. They can put the teletransporter on the spare platform.

By Anonymous

@James Yates

How do cars solve transportation problems? Surely they are creating them because the roads are too congested? Junctions only have so much capacity. If we can’t widen junctions because there is no space, then having more roads would be pointless because all the traffic would bottleneck.

And even if we managed to find the space to build more roads and junctions outside of the city centre (which we wouldn’t), you would have absolutely no chance once you get past the ring road.

And even if we managed to do that, what happens in 50 or so years once the roads reach full capacity again due to the wider population increase and there’s absolutely no space because everywhere is already full of tarmac. It won’t matter how green or quiet your car is because there’s no space.

Rather than telling people to think, why don’t you provide a suggestion? We’ve had a car focused society since the motor industry began so I’m sure you’ve managed to conjure a few ideas up over the years?

And how do trains not help? Every single person who is on a train is a person who isn’t driving. If we had less public transport, the roads would be even more congested.

Surely the smartest and most sustainable way forward is to find alternatives to car travel such as mass public transport or getting people who live nearby to walk and cycle if they can?

By Anonymous

This will create a parochial gathering in large numbers.

By Ben

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