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British government unveils plan for high-speed rail line linking London and northern England

Britain has announced details of new high-speed rail lines linking London to northern England with trains traveling up to 225 miles an hour (360 kph).

The government says the High Speed 2 project will be the first new railway built north of London for more than a century, and will be an economic and environmental boon. But opponents claims it will ruin tracts of picturesque countryside.

The first 140-mile (225-kilometer) stretch of the line, announced last year, will link London to Birmingham, England's second-largest city.

The Y-shaped section announced Monday will extend to the northern cities of Manchester and Leeds.

Officials say the 32.7 billion pounds ($51 billion) project will create at least 100,000 jobs and cut journey times almost in half.

It is due to be completed by 2032.

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