Where the new route will run....
The first Staffordshire is Streethay, near Lichfield;
The line heads north-west on a 14-metre high embankment, crossing the Trent and Mersey canal on a bridge. It passes through Handsacre, Kings Bromley and over the Trent on a viaduct;
HS2 sweeps into Stafford Borough through countryside north of Rugeley, crossing the A51 and rail line at Great Haywood on a bridge before going through Tixall – north of the Shugborough grounds;
It runs to the south of Pasturefields Salt March conservation area and through the village of Hopton in a 'green tunnel';
Trains speed through villages including Marston, Yarlet – where it crosses the A34 – Pirehill and Aston-by-Stone;
The line runs parallel to the M6 to the west of Stone, near Walton, before crossing the motorway and cutting through the east of Swynnerton;
Trains carve through the countryside before running beneath the A53 to the southwest of Newcastle;
After passing under the A53 the route enters a valley-style cutting leading to a tunnel through hillside at Whitmore Heath;
The line emerges from the tunnel and heads towards the West Coast Main Line, crossing it at Madeley, and running to the west of the village in a second tunnel;
Nearing Crewe, the route is elevated on an embankment as it continues to follow the West Coast Main Line;
It widens to multiple tracks before dipping to pass under the A500 and enter the south of Crewe;
A junction allows HS2 trains to split from the line and join the current rail network at Crewe. A maintenance depot is also based to the west of the route;
The HS2 route continues, entering a deep cutting and a two-and-a-half mile tunnel which passes underneath Crewe and emerges on the northern outskirts of the town, near Parkers Road;
High speed trains continue north to Manchester with stations at Manchester Airport and Manchester central.