HS2 Rail Link: Government Facing Rebellion
Rebels are expected to oppose plans for the £50bn HS2 scheme in the debate on the Hybrid Bill in the house of Commons.
The second reading of the HS2 Hybrid Bill will see MPs discuss the principle of the high speed rail bill and take a vote.
But there will be many more legal, political and environmental hurdles before a final decision is made on whether the £50bn link will be built.
Construction of the 250mph London-West Midland stage could begin around 2017 and be opened by 2026. The second phase to Manchester and Leeds may be completed by 2032.
Michael Fabricant, a Conservative MP and former Government whip who has tabled a motion against the scheme, told Sky News up to 100 of his colleagues have "really serious doubts" about HS2.
He added that if Labour opposed the scheme any potential Tory revolt against HS2 would be much bigger.
"It'd be double the amount of rebellion that we've got now. People are saying, 'Well, if it's going to go through anyway, why use up our stocks with the whips?'," he said.
The former Cabinet minister Cheryl Gillan has also moved a rebel motion and as many as 40 Tory MPs are expected to vote against HS2.
She believes the case for the benefits of the scheme have not been compelling and a think-tank report from the Institute of Economic Affairs on Monday casts doubts on the Government's case it will transform the economy in the north of England.
However, the bill is expected to pass because of support from Labour MPs.
David Cameron said he expected a big Commons majority in favour of the Bill.
He said: "I think it is right for Britain to get on board the high-speed rail revolution and I expect the House of Commons to endorse it in a big vote tonight."
The huge project has split opinion across the UK.
The Institute of Directors have called it a "grand folly", and say a recent survey suggests that businesses are simply not convinced by the economic case for HS2.
The Confederation of British Industry believe it offers an opportunity to regenerate local economies, provide jobs and boost growth.
Greenpeace support the project in principle, saying it has enormous potential to reduce carbon emissions by getting people away from short-haul flights.
The Woodland Trust says it should not be built at the expense of Britain's natural heritage. They claim it will destroy at least 40 ancient woods, with a similar number put at significant risk.
In Birmingham it is planned to link an HS2 hub to one of the biggest urban regeneration schemes in Britain.
It will be focused around a new city centre station at Curzon Street with the promise of 14,000 new jobs, 2,000 new homes and a boost to the city's economy of £1.3 billion a year.
Birmingham businessman David Smeeton says: "This would be a game-changer for Birmingham - just what it needs for growth, investment and regeneration."
But HS2 Action Alliance, which opposes the scheme, claim more than 70% of the forecast new jobs linked to regeneration in stage one will be based in London.
The protest group also maintains that capacity arguments do not stack up.
"Even the most aggressive forecasts for future demand can be met by improving existing lines," it says.
Compensation packages have recently been announced. Under the proposals the state would buy properties within 60m (197ft) of the line at full market value plus 10%.
Those up to 120m (394ft) away, who prefer not to move, would be eligible for 10% of the home's value.