Train operators have welcomed the decision by transport secretary Justine Greening, to approve plans to invest £32bn in what is set to become the world’s fastest conventional railway – High Speed 2.

Train operators have hailed the government’s decision to approve plans for High Speed 2, the 250mph north-south railway line.

“HS2 is a vote of confidence in the railways and recognition of the vital role the industry has to play in supporting jobs and driving sustainable economic growth,” commented Michael Roberts, chief executive of the Association of Train Operating Companies.

“By deploying the best of British design and engineering in the construction of the high speed line in Kent we struck the right balance between national and local interest – we can do the same again with HS2.”

A spokesman for transport group Stagecoach said: “Investing in high speed rail is the right choice for jobs, business and connecting our country”.

Prior to the announcement, a report by Atkins for Network Rail concluded that the main strategic alternatives to HS2 are unable to generate the capacity and connectivity boost that a new high speed rail line could deliver.

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