With promised speeds of 250mph, the HS2 high-speed train line from London to Birmingham will be one of the world's fastest passenger trains. From April, the government will plough over ?ú4 billion a year into this single railway, for the next ten years: equivalent to two-thirds of state spending on the entire national rail network. But how much demand is there for a multi-billion-pound high-speed line connecting London to Birmingham, and then Manchester and Leeds, when the capital is already connected to these cities? As the construction of HS2 begins in earnest, Dispatches hears from those calling for HS2 to be cancelled and from northern commuters furious that it will siphon off cash needed to improve the state of their local rail services. The boss of HS2 defends the project but political insiders tell Dispatches that the HS2 line may stop in the Midlands, ignoring the north altogether.