Paths of high-speed rail lines to Manchester and Leeds are due to be announced together with £6.6bn of construction contracts

The controversial HS2 high-speed railway will take another step forward on Monday with the awarding of major construction contracts and the confirmation of the route north of Birmingham through Yorkshire.

Contracts worth about £6.6bn and supporting 16,000 jobs will be announced for civil engineering projects in the first phase of HS2, between London and Birmingham, including tunnels and bridges along the line.

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