High Speed Two (HS2) is set to begin construction on the ‘interchange’ station to serve Midlands, close to Birmingham International station, the NEC and Birmingham Airport.

HS2 said that the preparatory work is almost completed and major structures are now being put in place at the interchange station site. Covering an area of 150 hectares, the station site is located within a triangle of land formed by the M42, A45 and A452.

Currently, modular bridges are being built over M42 and A446 and road network is being remodelled in the area to provide access to the new station while easing access to and from Birmingham Business Park.

At present, 200 people are working at the site, from HS2’s early works contractor LM, (a joint venture between Laing O’Rourke and Murphy). The number is expected to increase to 250 in the coming months as the construction of new bridges and access roads speed up.

LM project director Simon Russell said: “Much of our early works programme has now been completed on the site by the LM team, including habitat creation, archaeological investigations, site clearance, and utilities diversions.

“We are now pressing ahead with the project’s first permanent works near the A452, A45 and M42, including a bridge over the M42. Our modular bridge construction strategy showcases innovative British infrastructure engineering at its best – major components manufactured offsite and assembled onsite, where they’re needed – ensuring quality, efficiency, and hugely reducing local impacts.”

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Major regeneration plans at the site are being led by the Urban Growth Company, creating nearly 70,000 new and existing jobs, 5000 new homes and 650,000m² of commercial space while generating an additional ₤6.2bn annually.

HS2 also stated that at the new interchange station, the focus will also be on sustainability during the construction and operation. Solar panels have been set up at the site generate energy for powering site offices and is claimed that at least 90% of the construction waste, demolition waste and excavated material is being reused.

The new station is also expected to be a net-zero carbon during operation, as latest environmentally friendly design and sustainable technologies such as rainwater harvesting and sustainable power generation from over 2,000m² of solar panels will be implemented.

The design will also focus on open space and landscaping, with new tree planting and a landscaped pond to encourage biodiversity.

HS2 also aims to reduce congestion, over-crowding and offer environmentally friendly-form of transport for long-distance travellers, by freeing up space on existing lines, for new local train services, passengers and freight.

Nearly five trains per hour are expected to pass through the new interchange station in both directions, with nearly 175,000 seats per day, making it one of the best-connected transport interchanges in the UK.

An automated people mover will also be installed linking the NEC, Birmingham International Station and Birmingham Airport to carry up to 2,100 passengers per hour in each direction. The 2.3km route could have a link every three minutes.


Image: Rendering of the automated people mover connecting the NEC, Birmingham International Station and Birmingham Airport.