Alternative plans for High Speed 2 (HS2) stations in the Birmingham area are being discussed among senior project team members, NCE understands.
Birmingham will get two HS2 stations under current proposals - the Birmingham Interchange station on the main route of the line close to the National Exhibition Centre and airport; and a city centre station at Curzon Street accessed via a tunnelled spur, off of the main line.
NCE understands that discussions about whether a metro railway would better connect the city centre to HS2 and provide better connectivity to the
existing rail network are also underway.
The metro could replace the Curzon Street HS2 station. Such a move would not necessarily yield significant savings, as a tunnel from the city centre to the Birmingham Interchange east of the city would still be needed.
But it is felt that a metro could better connect HS2 to Curzon Street, New Street, and other parts of the West Midlands such as Wolverhampton.
A metro station could also be built at Birmingham airport. Current plans connect the airport to Birmingham Interchange via a people mover.
Project promoter HS2 Ltd said it had not changed its proposals for Birmingham and that a new HS2 station at Curzon St was still very much part of its planning.
The news emerged as new HS2 Ltd chairman David Higgins released the findings of his review into the scheme’s ambitions, cost-effectiveness and its ability to deliver connectivity in the North.
One of Higgins’ driving principles for changes to the scope of the project is the need for better connections with the rest of the rail network.