Latest Rail News

07.07.17

Plans for Birmingham HS2 Curzon Street station given green light

Plans to redevelop the historic Birmingham Curzon station into a visitor centre to for passengers using the new HS2 terminal have been approved by the council.

Birmingham City Council’s planning committee passed the redevelopment plans, which were submitted in May, this week.

Built in 1838, the station was closed in 1966 and the site has been disused for over a decade, but under the plans it will be given a new lease of life as it will sit next to the new HS2 terminal in the city.

The grade 1 listed building will also house Historic England on the second floor and Birmingham City University on its first floor when the plans are delivered.

“The arrival of HS2 is driving growth and regeneration right across the Midlands and it’s fitting that we are playing a leading role in restoring the oldest railway terminus in the world whilst simultaneously revolutionising rail travel for future generations on the very same spot,” said Mike Lyons, HS2’s programme director.

“Redeveloping the former Curzon Street station building was never part of HS2’s remit, but we committed to working with Historic England, Birmingham City University and Birmingham City Council to try and make it happen.”

Birmingham City Council leader John Clancy added that the redevelopment of Curzon Street station will link Birmingham’s illustrious past with its bright future.

“This iconic building was once a focal point for the UK rail network and now it will be at the very heart of HS2,” said Cllr Clancy, adding that the arrival of HS2 would bring so much more to Birmingham than just fast trains to and from London.

“This is a once in a generation opportunity to continue Birmingham’s transformation and the rebirth of Curzon Street station will embody that transformation,” he continued.

Veryan Heal, Historic England’s planning director, added that Curzon Street station was at the cutting edge of railway technology in the 1830s and it will be playing a cutting edge role again – at the centre of a new railway fit for the 21st century.

Top Image: Tony Hisgett

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Comments

Lutz   07/07/2017 at 14:42

That's all very well, but is having the HS2 terminal separate from New Street Station in the interest of rail users?

Chrism   07/07/2017 at 15:13

Since the entire footprint of the New St station and tracks could not hope to accommodate 400m long trains, that is not a sensible question - New Street was never an option. The important question is: why is there no urgent consideration being given by West Midlands planners to building platforms on the existing railway lines at Curzon Street - to create a very convenient heavy rail interchange? There is enough space for this to happen. To my mind this is the only serious failing of the entire HS2 project. It is essential that passengers from Wolverhampton, Walsall, Coventry etc. can join a HS2 train making one simple change. Good to know that the original Curzon St station will have a continuing role and will be protected for future generations to appreciate.

James Miller   09/07/2017 at 22:07

I do think that we can do better with the station designs for HS2. For instance, I do wonder if a deep level station under an existing one might be possible, to give connection to existing local rail and tram networks. This must be possible, if the geology is like London, which is a tunneller's paradise, but what about other cities.

Gabriel Oaks   10/07/2017 at 11:53

Curzon Street is fine if Birmingham is your final destination. However, it does not afford a convenient onward rail connections. Like Euston station "will passengers seeking onward travel via HS1 /Thameslink (etc) please catch the bus to King's Cross"....

Adrian Norman   10/07/2017 at 16:30

When changing between Gare du Nord and Gare d'Est you follow the line on the pavement.

J. Oker   11/07/2017 at 08:41

"When changing between Gare du Nord and Gare d'Est you follow the line on the pavement". Still inconvenient. I change at Lille (where possible).........

John Grant   11/07/2017 at 19:48

With a small amount of tunnelling they could have one end of the 400m platforms near enough to New Street, the middle under Moor Street, and the back close to Curzon Street.

Graham Nalty   11/07/2017 at 21:44

There simply is not the political will to do the job properly. If 400m trains will not fit into New Street, why stock with 400 m trains. It is not as though there will be an hourly direct HS2 service from New Street to Gare di Nord, wonderful though that might not be. With the present arrangements, half the West Midlands will lose out from benefitting from HS2 and Wolverhampton to London could well be quicker in a Pendolino to new Street and non stop via the WCML than via HS2 and changing. Chrism makes the sensible compromise solution of through platforms between Moor Street and Curzon Street. These could easily be built to 400m so HS2 trains could stop and run through New Street without stopping there and would work provided all services using New Street were extended to the new platforms. But building a terminus station for high speed trains at the countries most important central interchange does seem rather lacking in common sense. And making it a long walk from connecting services at New Street shows a complete disregard for the passengers.

Gabriel Oaks   12/07/2017 at 12:03

Birmingham city centre is on a hill. I'd therefore like to know why consideration wasn't given towards simply looping off HS2 with a pair of subterranean platforms with several entrances (including New Street)? Rather than be a terminus Birmingham could become an intermediate stop between London and the north.

Nonsuchmike   14/07/2017 at 21:22

Yes, extra platforms @ Moor street would be great if there were services to justify the expense of (re) development. Are they going to build six platforms @ Curzon Street? The plans I saw only showed four. Perhaps a genuine compromise would be three terminal platforms at grade and three subterranean with connections to New Street and Moor Street. And maybe Snow Hill by travellator and shopping mall - ette. You gotta speculate to accumulate - whether by private enterprise alone, state monopoly or joint venture between many parties as would seem to be the current case.

Nonsuchmike   14/07/2017 at 21:49

Yes, extra platforms @ Moor street would be great if there were services to justify the expense of (re) development. Are they going to build six platforms @ Curzon Street? The plans I saw only showed four. Perhaps a genuine compromise would be three terminal platforms at grade and three subterranean with connections to New Street and Moor Street. And maybe Snow Hill by travellator and shopping mall - ette. You gotta speculate to accumulate - whether by private enterprise alone, state monopoly or joint venture between many parties as would seem to be the current case.

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