HS2 forced to raise spending on Birmingham station by £100m

The cost of a key HS2 station in Birmingham has ballooned by GBP100m before builders have even submitted bids to win the lucrative tender. The Birmingham Interchange Station, the penultimate stop on the new high-speed link before Birmingham, was originally expected to cost GBP270m[1]. However, HS2 says it will now cost GBP370m.

The Midlands rail station is expected to open in 2026 and is being dubbed by engineers one of the world’s most sustainable railway stations. It will boast driverless trains that ferry more than 2,000 people an hour to Birmingham Airport, the National Exhibition Centre, and the nearby international rail station. Services will run along a 2.3km route every three minutes across a new viaduct that is up to 12 metres above the ground.

A contract tender note, issued by HS2 says that the winning builder will be responsible for designing, building, and maintaining the new station. HS2 minister Andrew Stephen said: “HS2’s Interchange Station will be one of the best-connected places in the UK, bringing together rail, road and air transport links and today’s milestone takes us one step closer to delivering a new, modern, zero-carbon station. “This investment in the West Midlands will support 1,000 jobs, create new jobs and businesses, and regenerate the region as we build back better.”

Last month Grant Shapps, Transport Secretary, said HS2, estimated to cost GBP98bn, will be built in full. This would mean that the controversial eastern spur to Leeds, seen by some as a “sacrificial lamb”[2] of the project, would get the green light.

Hs2 Projected spending[3]

He said: “We are going to complete HS2 and include HS2 on the eastern leg to Leeds.  “The only question that we have is how to better integrate that with plans which have developed a very long way since HS2 was first dreamt up all those decades ago.

That particularly pertains to the northern powerhouse rail.”

The comments come after Sir John Armitt, the Government’s infrastructure adviser, said it would be better to invest in regional railways before deciding whether to give the GBP33bn HS2 eastern leg the go-ahead.

References

  1. ^ originally expected to cost GBP270m (www.telegraph.co.uk)
  2. ^ seen by some as a “sacrificial lamb” (www.telegraph.co.uk)
  3. ^ Hs2 Projected spending (cf-particle-html.eip.telegraph.co.uk)