Latest Rail News


Solihull councils release £1.2bn Hub development framework to capitalise on HS2

Councils in Solihull have released a framework outlining infrastructure plans to build on the upcoming HS2 interchange that is set to be built in the area.

The ‘Hub’ development would attempt to fulfil the full economic potential of HS2 with connections to the National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham Business Park and Birmingham Airport.

The £1.2bn framework builds on the Hub Growth and Infrastructure Plan (HGIP), first published in March 2017 and updated in October 2017 by the Urban Growth Company (UGC), an organisation centred on delivering advantages from future projects.

Plans include a commercial expansion around Birmingham International train station accommodating offices, hotels, retail and leisure facilities. This will be centred around a main plaza in front of the station which would create space for major development.

In addition, there are proposed sprint and metro services which would be built across Birmingham, linking the various areas of the hub to Birmingham International station and the new HS2 interchange.

The framework lists five ‘place-making’ principles which the UGC expect to be characteristic of future developments. They include improving accessibility, building sustainable communities, connecting green space and creating natured waterways, and using land innovatively to create a ‘sense of place’.

UGC chairman, Nick Brown, commented: “This framework plan establishes a clear vision to deliver sustained growth across The Hub.

“Not only will this plan guide key stakeholders as they prepare their future development proposals, it will also explore the strategic and site-specific infrastructure requirements, as well as the viability and deliverability of development in the context of local market trends.

“We are especially pleased that place-making principles are at the heart of this vision to create an iconic, yet sustainable, new destination to rival any in the world.”

Currently, the plans for this area are still being discussed by authorities, but the UGC has agreed that major infrastructure work will have to be undertaken if the Hub project is to realise its aims.

The news comes this week as HS2 announced the five companies shortlisted to build the new £2.75bn fleet.

Alstom, Bombardier, Hitachi Rail Europe, Spanish manufacturer Patentes Talgo S.L.U and Siemens PLC will all be in the running for contracts to design, build and maintain at least 54 trains coming into service from 2026.

Top image: Monkey Business Images

Have you got a story to tell? Would you like to become an RTM columnist? If so, click here 


Andrew Gwilt   04/11/2017 at 10:37

Birmingham International station could be redeveloped with new extra platforms to be built for HS2, Virgin Trains West Coast and West Midlands Trains. Plus the future expansion of the Line 2 Midland Metro tram that is to extend to Birmingham Airport and Coventry City Centre.

Graham Nalty   04/11/2017 at 21:00

Good point, Andrew. It does seem very silly for anyone wishing to change trains between HS2 and the classic lines at Birmingham International to have to waster time travelling between the two stations. It minimises any benefit from the speed of HS2.

Andrew Gwilt   05/11/2017 at 10:09

Indeed. That’s why having a large redeveloped railway station that can have both HS2 and National Rail lines, airport transit and trams all in one that Birmingham International station will be a large interchange station on the outskirts of Birmingham City Centre that also serves Birmingham International Airport, Birmingham National Exhibition Centre (NEC), Birmingham Business Park and the local surroundings areas that is near to Birmingham International station, NEC and Birmingham Airport. Also a Park & Ride could also provide direct links to nearby areas aswell M6, M42 and M6 Toll motorways.

Andrew Gwilt   05/11/2017 at 10:11

And yes I did get carried away to those who are wondering or confused.

Add your comment

Rail industry Focus

View all News


The challenge of completing Crossrail

05/07/2019The challenge of completing Crossrail

With a new plan now in place to deliver Crossrail, Hedley Ayres, National Audit Office manager, major projects and programmes, takes a look at ho... more >
Preparing the industry to deliver trains for the future

04/07/2019Preparing the industry to deliver trains for the future

The move to decarbonise the rail network involves shifting to cleaner modes of traction by 2050. David Clarke, technical director at the Railway ... more >

'the sleepers' blog

On the right track, Sulzer is awarded RISAS accreditation for Nottingham Service Centre

29/06/2020On the right track, Sulzer is awarded RISAS accreditation for Nottingham Service Centre

Following an independent audit, Sulzer’s Nottingham Service Centre has been accepted as part of the rail industry supplier approval scheme (RISAS). The accreditation reinforces the high-quality standards that are maintained by Sulzer’s... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >


Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

24/06/2019Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

Andrew Haines, the Chief Executive of Network Rail, has told the Today programme on Radio 4's BBC’s flagship news programme that he would not rule out his organisation issuing future r... more >
Advancing the rail industry with management degree apprenticeships

08/05/2019Advancing the rail industry with management degree apprenticeships

In answering the pressing questions of how current and future generations of managers can provide solutions to high-profile infrastructure projects across the UK, Pearson Business School, part of... more >