A consortium aiming to build high-speed magnetic levitation rail - or maglev - routes across the UK will today announce that it has for the first time secured public sector funding to help develop its plans. Financial Times

Alan James of UK Ultraspeed will tell a conference in Milan that the consortium had received funding from the Merseyside Partnership, a regional development organisation, to develop its plans for a high-speed link between Liverpool and Manchester.

UK Ultraspeed, whose owners include Siemens, the German engineering giant which developed much of the company’s technology, argues high-speed trains floating above tracks by magnetic force would be the best way to introduce high-speed rail to the UK.