Britain Approves High-Speed Rail Network

Posted January 10th, 2012 at 8:45 am (UTC-5)
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Britain's government has approved construction of a controversial high-speed rail network aimed at cutting in half the travel time between the country's two largest cities.

The 150-kilometer long rail line is projected to shorten the travel time between London and Birmingham to 49 minutes.

The government says the $50 billion project will generate about $70 billion in benefits to the economy over a 60-year period. But opponents, including residents along the rail line, argue it will harm Britain's picturesque countryside.

The first phase of the rail network is scheduled to be completed by 2026, with a future extension to more northern cities.