A week after diggers moved into Birmingham sites to start preparation work for HS2, the first images of what Birmingham and Solihull HS2 stations could look like have been released.
The pictures give commuters a first glimpse at what to expect at Curzon Street in the city centre and the interchange station in Solihull as plans get set to be displayed in Birmingham Library.
Curzon Street is due to open with seven high speed platforms in 2026 and is set to be the first new intercity station built in Britain since the 19th century. The new station will not only be for high speed rail passengers, it will be a brand new public space in the city centre. It will also have pedestrian, cycle, taxi and bus connections to the city and wider West Midlands.
While Birmingham Interchange will be part of a new public transport hub serving Solihull, Birmingham Airport and the NEC campus and is tied in with wider development of land close to the airport which will include residential and commercial property.
Andy Street, mayor of the West Midlands, hailed the significant milestone of the released images and believes the stations will be “catalysts for regeneration, creating jobs and opportunities for local people and economic benefits for Birmingham and the Midlands”.
Works are said to be well underway on 60 sites across the route from London to Birmingham, with over 7,000 jobs supported by the programme across the country.
The artist impressions mark the start of a series of public consultation events across Birmingham and Solihull during October which will allow the public to ask questions and give feedback on the proposals.
Rail bosses say the high-speed railway overall will benefit a whole generation of engineers, designers, architects and geologists, with 30,000 jobs expected to be supported in total at peak construction.
HS2 chief executive Mark Thurston said: "Preparatory work for the stations is well under way, with a variety of enabling works including the construction of access roads and archaeological investigations. As part of our plans to deliver a 'green corridor' across the whole route, we're also creating new ecological habitats, community and amenity spaces to help integrate the new line and our stations into the surrounding landscape and environment. All of this activity is already creating job opportunities not just in the region, but across the whole country."
In February, it was announced that WSP would be working with Grimshaw Architects on Curzon Street designs while Arup would lead the Interchange project.