Plans for a new high-speed rail link between London and Birmingham will be fast-tracked despite opposition, the Transport Secretary has insisted.
Patrick McLoughlin says "grief and hassle" from campaigners will not stop the Government from pressing ahead with the HS2 project.
The new Transport Secretary says he will work with Labour to achieve a cross-party consensus on legislation for the next Queen's Speech.
This should then be carried through Parliament before the next general election, set for 2015.
Mr McLoughlin said he would "love" the project to be completed in five years but admitted it would probably take longer.
His comments, to The Independent newspaper, come as the Department of Transport is under fire for the collapse of the West Coast Main Line franchise deal.
He said: "The easiest thing for any government to do on a project the size of HS2 is to say we are not doing it. All we get is grief. All we get is hassle.
"But one of the things that Government have got to try and do is look to the long term future. Whichever route we are going to put it on we are going to upset people."
Mr McLoughlin said he had been assured when he took over the transport brief that the rail link had the support of Prime Minister David Cameron and Chancellor George Osborne.
"The Chancellor is committed to it, the Chancellor is determined it goes to the North," he said.
Speaking at the Tory party conference earlier this week, he said he ultimately wanted the train line to stretch as far as Scotland.
The Transport Secretary is expected to publish a route for the next stage of the project - its extension to Manchester - in the coming months.
Conservative backbenchers, whose constituencies lie along the initial proposed route, have been among opponents to the scheme.