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5,324 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Some Links: Transport Matters Report (email)_tcm12-2232.pdf
http://www.businesstourismpartnersh...ransport Infrastructure - Statement FINAL.pdf us/New Lines Programme/5886_NewLineStudy_synopsis.pdf March/25_Mar_2009_Arup_moves_High_Speed_Rail_debate_forward.aspx May/26_May_2009-Arup_wins_High_Speed_2.aspx
http://centro.journalistpresslounge...5/cnt/1/ref/main/type/News Releases/ses/1.cfm news release 11.03.pdf

Unlocking the Network
Arup's proposal of Birmingham Grand Central Station
(1st March 2006)

A Vision

Birmingham is the UK’s second city. It is at the heart of the Country and currently sits at the hub of the Country’s road and rail transport network.

Our vision for Birmingham is that of a city that capitalises on that strategic advantage and on its unrivalled geographic position. It is a vision for transport in 2015 and beyond, one that maintains the City as a major European business and cultural centre.

Our legacy will affect the city far into the future. Investment now will be a key to the success of Birmingham into the 22nd Century.

Birmingham is not alone in this vision. Manchester and other major UK cities increasingly challenge its position and are investing in their own environment to secure their future. In Birmingham’s case the investment is happening, but it may not be rapid and focussed enough to keep up with its rivals.

As a recent market analysis by Catherine Riley of the Times noted, “For Birmingham truly to come alive and reclaim the title of Britain’s second city it needs to look to its own people, its inner ability and ambition. Manchester is a recognised leader in areas such as style and trends and sporting excellence: Birmingham now needs to make progress in these areas truly to compete, or the greatest piece of construction in the region will be seen as the M6 Toll, whisking investment between London and Manchester.” (The Times, July 8, 2005)

We believe that in order for Birmingham to capitalise on its location it must have a major new railway station capable of serving the city’s need for additional capacity into the next century. It goes beyond the currently planned project to rejuvenate Birmingham New Street Station; recognising the need for, but also the unavoidable limitations of, that project.

The Transport Challenge

The city of Birmingham is currently at a crossroads: either it stays at the hub of the national rail network, or it risks being marginalised. It is imperative that Birmingham address this challenge in the near future.

Between 1995/6 and 2004/5 rail passenger journeys in the West Midlands have increased by about 44%, and at Birmingham New Street Station passenger numbers have increased by about 53%. in the next ten years they are expected to rise a further 28%. Due to its proximity to London, Birmingham depends on good rail links. Air travel is not an alternative for such a short distance.

Regional travel has grown particularly strongly and is currently running at an annualised rate of about 6%. This is important for Birmingham as it seeks to maintain its position as the most accessible city outside the Capital. Fast and frequent services are essential so that it remains attractive for travellers from other UK provincial cities.

Birmingham recognises that a transport policy that relies on growth in private car usage is not sustainable — Birmingham and its surrounding counties need a solution that offers opportunities for new routes and which enhances crosscity and inter-city route provision. They need a solution that opens up the possibility of providing new capacity as demand rises and as new areas of the city and the region develop.

The challenge is to develop an integrated transport system — joined-up journeys (train / bus / tram / taxi / foot) to get people out of cars. It needs the system to be flexible to respond to the transport and development demands of the next century and beyond.

Transport Solutions


The currently planned upgrade of New Street Station will provide much needed improvement to the City’s Gateway. While delivering the project will be challenging and possibly disruptive, it should provide:

  • Enhanced passenger facilities
  • Increased passenger capacity
  • Improved aesthetics

It is a good start, but this solution only works for the short term because:

  • It offers no increase in the number of platforms – a constraint on the number of trains that it can accommodate (it is already near capacity at peak times)
  • It offers no change to the congested rail approaches to the existing station, limiting capacity and lengthening journey times
  • There can be no change to the current curved platforms — which slow down the operations of the station and hinder disabled access

A potential next step — the provision of longer trains — increases the capacity of each train, but doesn’t increase the number of services or relieve congestion around the station. Little else can be done to improve New Street and, consequently, today’s challenges will re-emerge and grow worse within a few years.


The current long-term plan appears to hinge on a deep tunnel to provide cross-city routes. This would provide additional capacity, but its cost and feasibility may make it unaffordable or impossible.

Our plan is for a new and visionary Gateway to Birmingham — Birmingham Grand Central — which looks beyond the current upgrading plans and provides flexible future capacity and connections, safeguarding the City’s transport opportunities for decades to come.

It will:
  • Provide the opportunity for additional services and routes both within the city and inter-city in the future — this means more trains to key destinations and more through trains.
  • Provide for a single station concourse incorporating Moor Street Station
  • Provide significant additional station capacity.
  • Safeguard additional long-term rail capacity.
  • Be an integrated transport hub, providing a modern, high-quality and efficient/intermodal transfer facility for trains, metro, buses, taxis, cars and pedestrians.
  • Provide a magnificent Gateway to Birmingham — appropriate to its stature in a modern Europe; light, airy, efficient, safe and convenient.
  • Act as a catalyst to the planned development of the City’s East Side — it facilitates excellent connectivity across the railway corridor.
  • Provide the opportunity for Birmingham to accommodate a potential High‑Speed Line.
  • Release valuable land at New Street.

Birmingham Grand Central Station can substantially be constructed to the side of the existing rail lines, limiting disruption to the existing rail network and all train services to a minimum.

Improvements to New Street would be limited to those required in the short-term, and those needed in its future role as a secondary station for Birmingham.

To plan for Grand Central Station now would unlock the future transport demands of the region and provide the flexibility to respond to the needs of the next century.

High Speed Two - A Greengauge 21 Proposition
(18th June 2007)


Decision time on the future of our national transport systems is fast approaching. Rapid demand growth on rail (up 10% year-on-year despite unpopular fares rises) is continuing into 2007. We have growing congestion on our roads and at airports and a growing realisation that transport cannot be excluded from the measures needed to tackle global warming. It all makes this summer’s expected White Paper on longer term rail strategy hugely important.

In January 2006, Greengauge 21 published its Manifesto for high-speed rail in Britain, seeking to prompt a serious debate. The publication of the Eddington Transport Report in December 2006 led many to conclude that this long-awaited report was dismissive of high-speed rail. But, as Sir Rod made clear to the Transport Select Committee in April 2007, this was not the case.

Sir Rod Eddington is dismissive of the new technology system MAGLEV, but he is clear that high-speed rail using the proven technology that has been deployed across Europe and in Asia does have a role to play in Britain. Indeed, in answering the Select Committee’s questions, he was even clear on the route that should be adopted and suggested that planning work on it should start now.

Over the last 18 months, something of a consensus has emerged, at least on the most likely candidate for High Speed Two. This would be a North West Corridor route connecting central London (and High Speed One) with Birmingham and the North West. Greengauge 21 believes that it is very important that the route is developed in such a way that it can also serve Heathrow Airport. With Open Skies now agreed, Heathrow’s role as the leading international gateway in Britain will be reinforced: the country as a whole needs fast links to it. Heathrow’s value can be enhanced by having high-speed rail fulfil the role currently provided by wasteful, environmentally damaging short-haul flights, from the near-continent as well as from the northern half of Britain.

So, how can this be achieved – and what might it cost? What wider benefits might it bring? And when is it needed, given that the policy thrust of greatest concern to Ministers is likely to be the need for transport capacity to help grow the economy sustainably?

None of the detailed studies needed to give final and definitive answers to these questions have yet been carried out. But it is possible to show what High Speed Two might look like and what it might cost now. This is the purpose of this report from Greengauge 21: to illustrate the option in front of us on high-speed rail.

Two points need to be flagged at the outset.

Whatever is shown here will be certain to change at least in detail as studies get under way and consultation is carried out with all interested parties. This is an illustration of just one way which High Speed Two might be crafted. It may not turn out to be the best once detailed analyses are carried out. But the purpose in offering it now is not to attempt to pre-empt decision-making on plans and alignments, but to answer the strategic questions on its potential costs and value.

The second point is this. Britain needs a clearly joined-up transport strategy that is responsive to its growth expectations, to our changing view on environmental matters and a strategy that addresses matters of social policy too. Greengauge 21 sees a need for a small network of high-speed lines so that carbon emissions from the transport sector can be minimised even in a growing economy. In the longer term, that means providing north-south capacity by high-speed rail to both the western and eastern sides of the country and ensuring that all of the English regions, and Wales and Scotland, benefit from it. Nevertheless, the focus here is on the next step: High Speed Two.

What would High Speed Two look like?

The successful development of a second high-speed line in Britain rests on having clarity of objectives. We believe that, following the Eddington Transport Study, it is clear that investment should be prioritised to support the growth of the economy in the most sustainable way through providing effective links within and between the successful and expanding city regions, and between them and the key international gateways.

The specific objectives of high-speed rail in Britain can therefore be identified as being:

  • provide additional capacity for travel between the UK’s city regions;
  • provide effective links between the city regions and the international gateways;
  • to improve the long term sustainability of the UK transport system;
  • to facilitate sustainable development of all the UK’s regions.


8,540 Posts
When I looked at the pic in the second link I thought it was Brindleyplace at first . I then realised it was a London station .

5,324 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
High-speed to Birmingham - but terminating where?
Posted: Saturday 1st August 2009 From Railnews by Alan Marshall

AT last, we have some political progress on an electrification programme with the announcement (hastily made on the day Gordon Brown chaired a Cabinet meeting in Cardiff) that the Great Western route will be electrified to Reading, Newbury, Oxford, Bristol, Cardiff and Swansea.

And, for good measure, Liverpool-Manchester electrification, via Newton-le-Willows, was thrown in, too. Many, however, including the Department for Transport in its announcement, overlooked the significance of this route-for this was the line built over Chat Moss where railway history began.

Powered by George Stephenson's Rocket, Liverpool-Manchester was the original intercity line and pioneered the railway revolution Britain bequeathed to the rest of the world.

And it was this line that provided the springboard for the Grand Junction Railway, opened in 1837 from Warrington through Crewe, Stafford and Wolverhampton to Birmingham, where it was joined a year later by Robert Stephenson's London and Birmingham Railway-the first main line to reach London.

Later, the three lines merged to form the London and North Western Railway-today's West Coast Main Line. During the late 19th Century the LNWR became known as the 'Premier Line' and grew into the largest joint stock company in the world, an equivalent of Microsoft today.

Nowadays, many in the national media refer to the East Coast Main Line as Britain's premier route. But this ignores the fact that the West Coast line joins together more major population and commercial centres than any other-London, Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester, Glasgow ... not to mention a host of other significant towns and cities, such as Milton Keynes, Coventry, Wolverhampton, Preston and Carlisle.

Back in the 19th Century, the Grand Junction and London and Birmingham Railways shared a common terminus in Birmingham at Curzon Street, with its classical façade replicating the majestic Doric Arch in front of the original Euston station.

In the early 20th Century, Curzon Street was replaced by a new station, not far away, that also accommodated Midland Railway trains on the Derby-Bristol route. For a while this new station was called Birmingham Grand Central, but its name was later changed to that of a nearby thoroughfare-New Street.

However, Curzon Street remained part of railway operations, finally becoming the site of a parcels and postal distribution depot.

But when the Royal Mail abandoned using trains about ten years ago the site was cleared and taken over by Birmingham City Council, which had grand designs for developing the city's Eastside (but not with a railway station-although the original station building remained as a Grade-II listed structure).

Not far away, at its HQ in Solihull, the transport engineering company Arup, which had proposed and then designed the Channel Tunnel Rail Link-Britain's first, and so far only, high speed line-suggested (together with Murray Rayner, designer of Birmingham's Bull Ring shopping centre) that the Curzon Street site would be ideal for a new station to replace the cramped and congested New Street station, whose concrete and subterranean 1960s' design was increasingly viewed as unattractive, unwelcoming and unsuitable for increasing numbers of passengers and trains.

Arup and Rayner suggested a new station-which would comprise up to 17 platforms (compared with New Street's 12) all long enough to accommodate full-length Eurostar trains-could be linked with Moor Street station on the Chiltern Line by a common entrance near to the Bull Ring and Birmingham's High Street.

They proposed the new station should be called Birmingham Grand Central.

Sadly (in my view) Birmingham City Council-which had other ideas for relieving New Street station with deep tunnels for North East-South West services, later replaced by the current Gateway scheme that neither lengthens nor increases the number of platforms-never supported the concept, envisaging instead a commercial and residential redevelopment, and a 'linear park' around Cuzon Street. Last year the council reportedly sold the site for £10 million.

At the same time, the idea of a new high speed line to the north-High Speed Two (HS2)-was gaining momentum ... despite the then Transport Minister, Tom Harris, claiming (spuriously) that high speed rail was not 'green,' a notion that was quickly dismissed by Eurostar's Richard Brown in a stinging letter to The Times.

Then came a Government reshuffle, which side-lined Tom Harris, while Lord Andrew Adonis-who knows a thing or two about trains and railways-took his place. Very quickly, Adonis put high speed rail back on the agenda-at the top, in fact-together with electrification.

Earlier this year, Lord Adonis set up a series of companies that might develop new high speed lines in Britain. But the initial emphasis is on HS2-from London to the North, with a first stage to the West Midlands.

Normally, when such proposals are made, the NIMBY army is on the march, finding every reason under the sun why a project should not proceed. However, in Birmingham and the West Midlands the opposite reaction has now occurred-with everyone falling over themselves to have the new line going to their location.

For example, Birmingham International Airport and the National Exhibition Centre have proposed an 'International Hub'-while many commercial interests and Birmingham City Council want high speed trains to terminate in the city centre (even though the line needs to continue northward).

Recent Government decisions signify that railways clearly have a long term future.

But these must be properly planned for. And the problem for Birmingham is that without a suitable terminal, which the city seems to have denied by its short-sighted rejection of the Grand Central plan, I find it hard to see how high speed trains might end up in our second city.

New pledge to Birmingham on high-speed rail project
Aug 10 2009 by Paul Dale, Birmingham Post

High speed trains from London to Glasgow are likely to stop in Birmingham city centre, the man behind the multi-billion pound project has forecast.

Sir David Rowland, chairman of the High Speed Two project, distanced himself from claims that the 220mph services would not be able travel into central Birmingham because New Street and the city’s other stations are already operating to capacity.

In an interview given to a national newspaper, Sir David said he found it difficult to envisage high speed trains bypassing Birmingham.

He said: “All of the advice from those that already have high speed networks is you go to city centres. It is difficult to see in terms of flows from central London to central Birmingham why people would find it attractive to be dropped off at a non-city centre solution.”

His comments appear to contradict the view of Transport Secretary, Lord Adonis, who has warned on several occasions that a lack of capacity at New Street and the cost of building an alternative station for high speed services may mean that the new trains do not come into the centre of Birmingham.

Sir David’s view is crucial because he is advising the Government on the best route for High Speed Two, which is expected to run from central London to Heathrow, on through the West Midlands to Manchester, Leeds, Newcastle, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

One of the options he is likely to be considering, backed by the city council, is building a high speed terminus at Moor Street Station.

His comments gave fresh impetus to the campaign for two high speed stations in the West Midlands – one at Birmingham International, for the airport and the NEC, and one in Birmingham city centre.

John Morris, head of corporate affairs at Birmingham International Airport, said there was no question of choosing only one of the two stations.

Mr Morris said the government had to recognise the economic advantages of having stations at the airport/NEC and in the city centre.

He urged politicians to get behind the airport’s plans for a Birmingham International Hub, connecting high speed rail services with local trains, buses and coaches.

The potential of travelling by rail between the airport and central London in less than 50 minutes would help drive expansion of the M42 corridor, pouring millions of pounds of additional investment into the West Midlands, he forecast.

Mr Morris added: “The M42 corridor is a major economic driver. No-one is suggesting that the high speed service does not call at Heathrow, and what’s good for London is good for Birmingham.”

5,324 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·


Birmingham Airport's PR boss John Morris has taken the remarkable step of writing to "stakeholders", asking them to back a hi-speed rail link to the West Midlands. Morris hopes, of course, that the government's mooted fast route will stop at the NEC (which serves BIA) rather than Birmingham city centre, which puts him on a collision course with the City Council.

Dear Stakeholder,

Hopefully, you have picked up some of the recent media interest in the proposed Midlands’ High Speed Rail Links to London and the Continent.

The provision of High-Speed Rail will have an impact upon our region for generations to come, and it is imperative that everyone inputs to the process.

You might think it odd that an Airport supports what is often portrayed as a competitive transport mode; however we take the view that all transportation modes are complimentary, although some are more appropriate to journeys than others. For example, Birmingham to London is best done by rail, whilst the only sensible way to get to Dubai is by Air.

Although there are excellent reasons for also having a station in the centre of Birmingham as well, I am writing to gain your support for a station at the Airport/NEC, to serve the wider West Midlands, and to form part of an integrated transport hub and European/Global Gateway. As I write, there is no guarantee that this will happen, and there is a danger that regional benefits could be lost.

Of course, as a biased Midlander, it would be easy for me to ask why what is good for Greater London (the proposed Heathrow station) cannot be mirrored for the wider West Midlands (the aBirmingham International Hub); however there are compelling reasons why The Birmingham International Hub should be supported.

The Birmingham International Hub - located at or very close to Birmingham International Airport and the National Exhibition Centre would provide additional connectivity to those locations, and link with an existing transport hub. We propose that the hub be delivered so that new direct rail services from across the region could link with High Speed Rail as well as international flights.

The Birmingham International Hub would also ‘plug in’ to the M42 corridor – acknowledged by the Regional Development Agency as a major economic driver of the region. It would also provide a route to additional aviation capacity in the event that the third runway at Heathrow did not go ahead (Birmingham Airport has significant spare capacity and thus is a valuable resource to be exploited).

The Birmingham International Hub would compliment connectivity provided in central Birmingham. For instance, North Warwickshire and Coventry would be economic beneficiaries, as well as those in the many towns located around and near the Midlands ‘Motorway Box’/A38/M6 Toll Corridors, for whom travel to Birmingham City Centre might not be an optimal solution.

Without a ‘Birmingham International Hub’, there is a risk of long-term economic decline across one of the most successful parts of the Midlands – but it does not end there. There is also a risk of unintended consequences. Our Airport Master Plan to 2030 envisages the creation of thousands of jobs – both at the Airport and in the wider region.

The same situation applies at the adjacent National Exhibition Centre. A High-speed line that avoided the Airport/NEC could ‘siphon off’ job opportunities from the region to the South East, and also exacerbate the volume of needless journeys ‘out of region’ to Heathrow.

This is not an either/or argument. The ‘Birmingham International Hub’ would not preclude a route into central Birmingham; indeed provision was made for additional lines alongside the London to Birmingham railway as long ago as the 1930s.

All of this needs a proper, wider regional economic assessment. We have suggested that the Regional Development Agency, Advantage West Midlands, is in a prime position to carry out this work, but it is not clear to what extent a study will rely on information submitted as opposed to that actively sought. We do know that AWM will welcome any submissions or representations that you may have (as will High Speed 2 – the Government Company set up to drive High-Speed Rail forward). It is vital that, if you have any supporting information, you make this available to those organisations as soon as possible.

You might also be interested to learn that Solihull Chamber of Commerce is holding an event to discuss High Speed Rail at Birmingham Business Park, at 1730 on 8th September. If you would like to attend, or need more information, please contact Solihull Chamber on 0121 784 7381.

Time is running out

It is my understanding that a preferred route could be referred to HS2, as early as September. Certainly, HS2 has to report to Government by 31st December. Only last week, Lord Adonis suggested that the route could be constructed within 10 years, so the Planning and Consultation period will have to be slick.

Once a preferred route has been announced, there will probably be a formal consultation; however it is essential that the Birmingham International Hub be part of the approved route as it seems unlikely that this could be changed at a later date.

Who to write to

If you are able to support the concept of the Birmingham International Hub, and if you can also state the benefits to you or your organisation (or the wider region) then please write to:

Alison Munro
Chief Executive
High Speed 2 Limited
55 Victoria

Mark Pearce
Advantage West Midlands
3 Priestley Wharf
Holt Street,
Aston Science Park
B7 4BN

With a copy to me, please.

Thanks for taking the time and trouble to read this note.

Yours sincerely

John Morris

Head of Corporate Affairs

993 Posts
New Lines Programme

We are publishing this at a time when more passengers are choosing to travel by rail than at any time for sixty years. The railway is safer than it has ever been, and punctuality is at its highest since records began
Network Rail, as the operator of Britain’s rail infrastructure, has undertaken a study to examine the strategic case for New Lines and help shape the future of our railways.

The key aim of the New Line project is to meet future demands for additional rail capacity from passengers and freight users. A new line will provide additional capacity in two ways:

  • Through the provision of capacity on the new line itself; and
  • Through the associated release of capacity on the classic rail network.

The New Lines Programme has demonstrated that there is good value for money case for New Lines, which would meet the national objectives through

  • Providing the necessary future additional passenger capacity on the national rail network through the development of a value for money new line intervention;
  • Relieving future passenger and freight capacity constraints and improve connectivity on the classic rail network;
  • Supporting national economic competitiveness and growth by improving connectivity between key economic markets;
  • Supporting the government’s targets for reducing transport emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, by encouraging modal shift from air and road to rail; and
  • Promoting greater equality of opportunity by improving accessibility to key markets through the significant reduction of journey times between them.

The strategic business case document and other supporting analysis can be found below. Responses can be sent to: [email protected] or to New Lines Programme, Route Planning, Kings Place, 90 York Way, London, N1 9AG.

The following link includes the funky movie which was played on the local news this week.

Also Network Rail have reported the proposed High Speed Rail line will need a new station in Birmingham and not run into New Street Station.

I kind of liked the idea of an under-ground station beneath New Street Station.

Brummie Angeleno
15,185 Posts
I love the quote from Network Rail saying they haven't a clue where the Birmingham Central station for HS2 would be!!!! The whole New St saga would be a complete mess if capacity isn't addressed for the next generation of train travel.

993 Posts
Rail chiefs call for new Birmingham station for high speed service

Aug 27 2009 By Jonathan Walker

RAIL bosses today said Birmingham would need a major new city centre rail station to cope with high speed services which will revolutionise the region’s transport network.

Commuters would enjoy four services an hour between Birmingham and London at speeds of 200mph, under ambitious plans drawn up by the body responsible for overseeing the national rail network.

There would also be two services an hour from the city centre north to Manchester, Preston and Glasgow, and the new £34 billion line would allow a major expansion of local services because the West Coast Main Line, used by Virgin Trains to run Pendolino services to the capital, would no longer be dominated by trains running to and from London.

A 132-page report by Network Rail suggests that towns and cities such as Sandwell, Dudley, Nuneaton, Wolverhampton and Shrewsbury would benefit from new services linking them with destinations across Britain.

Examples include a possible new direct route from Shrewsbury to Blackpool, and services from the Black Country to Crewe.

But Birmingham would need a large new city centre station to cope with thousands of passengers using high speed services, said Network Rail.

Chief executive Iain Coucher said New Street did not have the capacity to cope with high speed services, despite the £550 million redevelopment which is due to be completed in 2015.

He said: “Birmingham would need a new station. New Street wouldn’t be able to cope with any new trains.

“We don’t know where that would be.”

The High Speed Two inquiry set up by the Government to examine how a new rail line could be built was considering the options, he said.

Coun Paul Tilsley, deputy leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “The proposed high speed rail link is great news and a vote of confidence for Birmingham.”

That's Dr to you
4,214 Posts
This is a farcical situtation. Why are they not talking to each other?!?!
As always, why do things the easy way.

This is getting very silly now, and can see it breaking down to a petty war of words between BCC and BHX.

IMO it needs to stop in the city centre, this is far more valuable to Birmingham as a whole, there is already a link to the airport via New st, what needs to happen is that it is easy to get between a new high speed terminal and New St, an underground travelator would do this, maybe even an express train like at Heathrow T5 and other airports which is used to connect terminal areas might be the answer, but whether either is feasible is another question.

5,324 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Birmingham needs new station to cope with high-speed link
Aug 27 2009 By Jonathan Walker

Birmingham needs a major new city centre rail station to cope with high speed services which will revolutionise the region’s transport network, according to Network Rail.

Commuters would enjoy four services an hour between Birmingham and London at speeds of 200mph, under ambitious plans drawn up by the body responsible for overseeing the national rail network.

There would also be two services an hour from the city centre north to Manchester, Preston and Glasgow.

And the new £34 billion line would allow a major expansion of local services - because the West Coast Main Line, used by Virgin Trains to run Pendolino services to the capital, would no longer be dominated by trains running to and from London.

A 132-page report by Network Rail suggests that towns and cities such as Sandwell, Dudley, Nuneaton, Wolverhampton and Shrewsbury would benefit from new services linking them with destinations across Britain.

Examples include a possible new direct route from Shrewsbury to Blackpool, and services from the Black Country to Crewe.

But Birmingham would need a large new city centre station to cope with thousands of passengers using high speed services, said Network Rail.

Chief executive Iain Coucher said New Street did not have the capacity to cope with high speed services, despite the £550 million redevelopment which is due to be completed in 2015.

He said: “Birmingham would need a new station. New Street wouldn’t be able to cope with any new trains.

“We don’t know where that would be.”

The High Speed Two inquiry set up by the Government to examine how a new rail line could be built was considering the options, he said.

The Network Rail study suggests that a new station could be built “at, or near, New Street, Snow Hill or Moor Street”.

Both the Government and the Conservative opposition have committed themselves to building a high speed rail line, but Network Rail’s detailed report gives the clearest indication so far of how new train services might operate in practice.

Its findings follow years of sometimes bad-tempered debate about rail services in the city, with critics accusing Birmingham City Council of focusing all its energy on winning funding for the refurbishment of News Street and ignoring the need for a new station.

They are a setback for Birmingham International Airport’s campaign to ensure it is included on the proposed high speed line. Network Rail’s study proposes high speed trains should stop only in Birmingham city centre, while conventional rail services to Birmingham International, the rail station which serves the airport, will be increased.

Birmingham Airport spokesman John Morris said: “It is incredibly disappointing that they don’t mention the airport and the National Exhibition Centre as economic drivers for the region, or mention the need for high speed rail to serve them.”

Paul Tilsley, deputy leader of Birmingham City Council, welcomed the report. He said: “The proposed high speed rail link is great news and a vote of confidence for Birmingham; it will be a tremendous spur for businesses and our future.”

The study was also backed by business leaders. Bridget Blow, president of Birmingham Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said rail was fundamental to the economic success of Birmingham and the West Midlands.

She said: “The development of a high speed transport network with Birmingham at its crux has the potential to transform our regional economy, driving commerce and productivity forward.”

But campaigners Friends of the Earth said the Government must prove that new rail services would help the environment.

West Midlands spokesman Chris Crean said: “The environmental impact of building new rail lines must be properly assessed to minimise the impact on the countryside and local people - and demonstrate it will lead to an overall cut in carbon emissions from transport”.

High-speed rail plan questioned
BBC News, 14:08 GMT, Thursday, 27 August 2009 15:08 UK

More West Midlands towns and cities should share in the benefits of high-speed trains, a transport leader says.

Network Rail has proposed a £34bn ($55bn) line from Scotland to London by 2030 and wants the section from London to Birmingham to be completed by 2020.

But Paul Kehoe, chief executive of Birmingham airport, said high-speed trains should also serve places like Worcester, Wolverhampton and Walsall.

Network Rail said high-speed rail has to connect "big cities".

'More frequent'

If a high-speed line is built, journey times between Birmingham and London would be cut to 46 minutes.

Its proposed line, on which trains could travel at 200mph, would serve Manchester, Liverpool and Preston as well as Birmingham.

Some favour a station in Birmingham city centre, while others say it should go through Birmingham International station to link with the airport and NEC.

Mr Kehoe said the Network Rail report showed "little joined-up thinking" and the plan "does not appear to take the West Midlands seriously".

He said: "High-Speed Rail must serve not just Birmingham Airport and the National Exhibition Centre, but provide an 'out of city' station for those in the rest of the region that do not live in city centres.

"Or does Network Rail seriously suggest that people from Worcester, Wolverhampton and Walsall all pile into Birmingham city centre, adding to the challenges of the A38 and city-centre parking?"

Network Rail said the proposal "looks at destinations where extra capacity is most needed in the near future".

A spokesman said: "For high-speed rail to work it has to connect big cities - simple as that.

"We are integrating transport. Birmingham airport is already well connected with Birmingham International railway station nearby.

"We are looking at city centre stations - that's not saying it will definitely be New Street."

West Midlands transport authority Centro said the plans would increase capacity regionally and nationally by freeing up existing lines "to allow for better and more frequent local services".

The government has said assessments of the costs and environmental issues involved needed to be carried out before it could approve any plans.

It is currently conducting its own rail network review.

Network Rail reports: us/New Lines Programme/5886_NewLineStudy_synopsis.pdf us/New Lines Programme/5883_Strategic Business Case.pdf

Change is Here!
4,082 Posts
^^:bash: How will it be "high speed" if it has to stop everywhere?

HSR should link the core cities and thats it. Hub & Spokes.... Hub & Spokes.

6,639 Posts
Why can't it do both? Super fast trains which stop at only a few stations with very fast trains which stop at a few more.

The major problem with the current High Speed strategy as proposed by Network Rail is that assumes that the route will consist of only 2 tracks instead of 4. Adding more tracks would cost more in the short run but the Cost Benefits of wider access and more routes would be higher and it would allow for the East Midlands / East of England to plug in at a later date.

Concerto Grosso
7,865 Posts
^^:bash: How will it be "high speed" if it has to stop everywhere?

HSR should link the core cities and thats it. Hub & Spokes.... Hub & Spokes.
Having a high speed train that is accessed by slow rail links or buses is somewhat pointless. The benefits will be negligable for folk who have to travel down "spokes" and then change trains [Which is a hassle]. It may be OK for someone coming down from somewhere in Greater Manchester where the Manchester->London journey is longer, but when you already reach London from some parts of the West Midlands in just over an hour, there is no point going into Brum to catch a fast train that will probably cost more to use.

8 Posts
This Network Rail Report of a study started in June 2008 and makes the
business case for a High Speed Network although it is based on using the
main four track West Coast Line with a spur coming off for Birmingham

The report does not outline the route in detail or answer the question of
where the line will go to in Birmingham although it does speak of 8 new
stations – with 400m platforms being built so it seems to suggest that a
a single new Birmingham station will be required (See Map)

This may well differ from the report due from the Government Transport
Ministry and the detailed route report expected in December from the
Government owned High Speed Two Ltd

It could well be that the High Speed Network would not be built and run by
Network Rail but by High Speed Two Ltd with PFI partners

As for Paul Kehoe comments about the train stopping at the Airport
he does clearly not understand that for the new line to be high speed
it has to be limited stopping

The trains will run at 90mph for the first 5 miles after leaving a stop
then at 125mph for 5 to 20 miles before racking up to 200mph when
in open country

Trains will do the reverse when slowing down and approaching the next
stop and will also have to drop down to 90mph when passing through
any junction or open station even when non stopping

Trains will take a long time to slow down smoothly from 200mph the
more stops and junctions the route has the slower all trains will go
and the number that can be run per hour

Each stop adds at least 10 minutes to the journey time and if you add
Milton Keynes that will make the journey about the same at at present
but that must be what Paul Kehoe and the Airport is hoping for

The NR plans allow for only eight stops at present on the route (See Map
above) and he has failed to notice there is no plans to stop at Manchester
Airport all through it is likely that London Airport will be added by either
a spur off the line or even will go via London Airport from Birmingham
(See Plans above)

If you read the report there is much yet to be decided including which of
the five exit routes out of London it will take and which London station
it will go to in London

The best being St Pancras that will allow easy interchange with the
High Speed One to the Channel Tunnel

Depend on the finial route it still may be that some trains at least will
still still stop at Birmingham International if its on the spar

What is for sure it will need a New Railway Station in Birmingham City Centre

A Mini Grand Central is now the cards on land near Moor Street at
Eastside for at least four if not six extra long platforms (400 meters)
and that no current station could hope to accommodate

The empty land at Eastside next to Moor Street would be the ideal
location that may have to be purchased by the government on a CPO
order although the soon to be vacant Wholesale Market site can not
be ruled out (See Quote from Report Below)

Major City Termini

3.36 At each of the major city destinations it was assumed that the New
Line terminus would be located at, or within walking distance, of one or
more of the classic line principal stations.

For example in Manchester the terminus was assumed to be at, or near,
Piccadilly, Oxford Road or Victoria. In Birmingham the terminus was
assumed to be at, or near, New Street, Snow Hill or Moor Street.

Link To All Network Rail Reports

Rail chiefs call for new Birmingham station for high speed service

881 Posts
The Network Rail thing is just them trying to make sure the infrastructure built would make it sensible for Network Rail to take over maintenance and a lucrative contract... it's hot air and does not take in the airports for international connections as that could open up the need for competition.

Regarding train capacity and speed, if the City centre is to get HS2, it seems sensible although expensive for several deep tunnels to be built under the city centre (like an underground) to not only serve HS2 but increase capacity and keep Brum as the proper centre of the rail network (not just by name).

If the latter happens, does the New Street Redevelopment, have this planned in i.e. capacity for access to deeper platforms (or is this further Network Rail & BCC short-sightedness).

To expand on the deep tunnels (at the expense of Grand Central as New Street is being redeveloped) having several (4-8) deep North-SouthEast tunnels and a couple (2-4) of East-West tunnels to new street, would actually increase capacity of the station to what it needs for the forseable future
-It can start off as two 'L-curved' deep tunnels serving HS2 (from the airport going to ManX)
-The tunneling machines/team could then be used to continue tunneling and slowly increase capacity of NSS so there will be more routes via Brum or re-routed
-But the cost would be expense of building Grand Central Station, so no new station but a city centre location
-An alternative station could also be Snow Hill, instead of New Street

5,324 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
High-speed trains may still stop at Birmingham Airport and NEC

High-speed trains may still stop at Birmingham Airport and NEC
Aug 31 2009 by Paul Dale, Birmingham Post

The man appointed by the Government to investigate high-speed rail has made it clear that a new route from London to Scotland could still stop at Birmingham International Airport and the NEC, even though the option has been rejected by Network Rail.

Sir David Rowlands said he was continuing to look closely at the possibility of a 200mph service serving a parkway station close to Birmingham International as well as stopping in Birmingham city centre en-route to Manchester and the North-west.

His comments came in a letter to Birmingham International Airport chief executive Paul Kehoe following publication of a Network Rail report putting the case for a £41 billion high-speed rail line from London to Glasgow.

In an outspoken attack, Mr Kehoe claimed Network Rail’s proposals would largely benefit Manchester, the north of England and Scotland, while leaving the West Midlands out in the cold.

Mr Kehoe said failure to plan for a station at the airport indicated a lack of joined-up thinking and would not provide an integrated transport system.

Network Rail’s proposals did not appear to take the West Midlands seriously, he said.

Mr Kehoe added: “If we are not careful, much of the Midland traffic which uses Birmingham International will be saddled with a tired alternative – the Pendolino service – and it will be quicker to reach Edinburgh from London than it will to reach much of the West Midlands region.

“The Network Rail report should serve as a wake-up call for the region. It must be challenged and business must make its views known to High Speed 2, the company actually charged with looking at a route from London to the West Midlands.

“It is just as well that Network Rail does not have the final say in any high-speed proposals. Indeed, its monopoly over such infrastructure projects has been called into question by the Shadow transport secretary, Theresa Villiers.

“Whilst I welcome any report that supports high-speed rail, this minority report shows little joined-up thinking, does not appear to integrate transport modes as is current government policy, and by not being specific it harks back to the broad brush approach that got British Rail into so much trouble when it blighted Kent in the 1980s with the Channel Tunnel rail link.

“We believe in an integrated transport system, and high-speed rail must serve not just Birmingham Airport and the National Exhibition Centre, but provide an out of city station for those in the rest of the region that do not live in city centres.

“Or does Network Rail seriously suggest that people from Worcester, Wolverhampton and Walsall all pile into Birmingham city centre, adding to the challenges of the A38 and city centre parking?”

14,981 Posts
No need for Birmingham to Heathrow high-speed train, says Virgin boss
Collins claims the planned link by High Speed Two could just as well be supplied by a less costly, indirect spur to the airport, which will allow a journey time of just 80 minutes

Dan Milmo, Monday 31 August 2009 16.45 BST

A new high-speed rail network should bypass millions of airline passengers at Heathrow because there is not enough demand to sustain a 250mph link to Britain's largest airport, according to a senior industry figure.

The chief executive of Virgin Trains, Tony Collins, said the 67 million people who use Heathrow each year could get to Birmingham in one hour ten minutes if the west coast main line was joined by a spur to the airport – rather than a direct route.

Collins is on a government panel charged with scrutinising plans drawn up by High Speed Two, the government-backed company that will submit a high-speed route proposal by the end of the year.

The Virgin Trains boss said including Heathrow in the first stage of the route was unnecessary because adapting the west coast line with a 10-mile spur from Willesden Junction in north-west London is an easier and cheaper option.

Such a scheme would use some existing lines and cost less than £1bn – against an estimated £7bn outlay for a new London-to-Birmingham line.

"The drive behind high-speed at the moment is linking Heathrow and Birmingham. You can achieve a lot of that with the west coast already," he said. Asked if a line should be built from Heathrow to Birmingham, Collins said running a link through the Chiltern hills in Buckinghamshire would create excellent views – for the few passengers using the service.

"If the plan is to run it from Heathrow to Birmingham then I would say probably not because they would have to run it through the Chilterns which would be very scenic but there would not be many passengers," he said.

The transport secretary, Lord Adonis, is keen to run the first leg of the network to Birmingham via Heathrow. However, Collins's doubts have also been echoed by Network Rail, owner of the British rail system, which said in a recent study that putting Heathrow on the main line to Birmingham "does not make good financial sense." Instead, Network Rail advocated a spur line to Heathrow that will link up to the main high-speed route.Collins said a high-speed network should be built alongside the M1, through the middle of England, with branches to Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester. "If they run it up the M1 they will start to link all the regional economies together. Through the middle of the country makes more sense."

Sir David Rowlands, chairman of High Speed Two, has also scheduled a discussion about high-speed links to northern England with the Northern Way economic group.

Virgin Trains believes that building a link from Heathrow to the west coast line could be factored into the next franchise contract, which begins in 2012, and could be carried out by a train operator. The company already operates three trains an hour from London to Manchester and a fourth train, from Heathrow, would see 1,800 seats per hour travelling between the capital and England's second city.

A Department for Transport spokesperson said the government will hold a public consultation on High Speed Two's proposals. "Should the government decide to proceed with the line, there would be a full public consultation in 2010."

Brummie Angeleno
15,185 Posts
The Chiltern line could be spurred off and follow the M25 from Beaconsfield to call at Heathrow so the need for HS2 should just focus on London to Brum.

4,717 Posts
Wouldn't the best idea be to get the backbone built. Then future spurs can be added?

So Central London to Central Birmingham to Central Manchester. Brum benefits because the line has to go right past the airport... but that's got to be the sensible option.
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