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Aerial view of HS2 Interchange station, artist's impression
Aerial view of HS2 Interchange station, artist's impression

Interchange station – current works

The new HS2 Interchange Station will be part of a new public transport interchange serving Solihull and the West Midlands, with links to local roads and the UK motorway network, making it one of the best-connected places in the UK.

The new HS2 station, to be built near Solihull and the NEC in the West Midlands, has become the first railway station globally to achieve the BREEAM ‘Outstanding’ certification – a measure of sustainability for new and refurbished buildings – putting it in the top 1% of buildings in the UK for eco-friendly credentials. 

The station has been designed to maximise views over the surrounding Arden landscape, providing a pleasant passenger experience. We have designed the roof to maximise natural daylight and capture rainwater for recycling, which will reduce the demand for electricity and water. 

Interchange will be a major gateway station for the region and will connect passengers to the city centres of Birmingham, Leeds, Liverpool and Manchester. When fully operational, passengers will be able to reach Manchester in just 37 minutes and London Euston in just 38 minutes. 

You can find out more information about the station on our Interchange station page. 

External main view of HS2 Interchange Station, artist's impression
External main view of HS2 Interchange Station, artist's impression

Station construction

Preparatory work has almost been completed and major new structures have been put in place on the site of the station. The site, covering an area of 150 hectares, is located within a triangle of land formed by the M42, A45 and A452.

Work carried out to date has included the construction of modular bridges over the M42 and A446, and remodelling of the road network in the area to facilitate access to the new station, as well as easing access to and from Birmingham Business Park.

Around 200 people, including graduates and apprentices, are already working on the site, from HS2’s Early Works contractor LM, a joint venture between Laing O’Rourke and Murphy. This is set to increase to 250 people over the coming months as the construction of new bridges and access roads ramps up.

Improved access for pedestrians and cyclists 

Since the initial designs were shared in 2018, we have worked hard to make the station as easy to use and accessible as possible. The separation of the road bridge and pedestrian bridge means there is now a dedicated pedestrian access into the station from the east of the railway. 

This has resulted in: 

  • An improved user experience, as passengers are no longer walking alongside a busy road but over a bridge with views of newly planted areas alongside the railway; 
  • Shorter travel distances from the drop and go and short stay car park to the station; and 
  • Additional, convenient and secure cycle parking located east of the station. 

Around 150 cycle parking spaces will be provided, with room for additional cycle racks should demand increase in the future. Cycle access to the station will be provided from the north, west and south-east through a mixture of dedicated routes and shared space footpaths. 

Solar panels and roof lights on the top of HS2 Interchange station, artist's impression
Solar panels and roof lights on the top of HS2 Interchange station, artist's impressio

Sustainable design

We aim to build the most sustainable high speed railway of its kind in the world. 

We have designed Interchange Station to be net zero carbon with respect to energy consumption. Sustainable design features include: 

  • Station building designed to maximise natural daylight and ventilation; 
  • Sustainable drainage for the car parks; and 
  • Around 2,000m2 of solar panels to generate electricity and over 200 charging points for electric vehicles. 

The new HS2 station, to be built near Solihull and the NEC in the West Midlands, has become the first railway station globally to achieve the BREEAM ‘Outstanding’ certification – a measure of sustainability for new and refurbished buildings – putting it in the top 1% of buildings in the UK for eco-friendly credentials. 

This landmark award recognises the station’s eco-friendly features, including maximising natural daylight and ventilation, a station roof design which can capture and reuse rainwater, and features to enable net zero carbon emissions from day-to-day energy consumption. 

BREEAM is the Building Research Establishment’s Environmental Assessment Method. It sets the standard for best practice in sustainable design and has become the de facto measure used to describe the sustainability performance of buildings. The Interim Certificate, awarded at the design stage to Interchange Station confirms an ‘Outstanding’ rating, putting it in the top 1% of buildings in the UK and the first for any railway station in the world. 

The station’s design includes minimising demand for carbon through the use of natural ventilation and daylighting. Energy efficient technology will be incorporated, such as air source heat pumps and LED lighting. In addition, the station and Automated People Mover maintenance facility have over 2,000m2 of solar panels generating zero carbon electricity. 

Directing rainwater from the main station building via a network of underground pipes into a rainwater harvesting tank will assist in providing part of the building’s water requirements. The estimated volume of the rainwater harvesting tank is 150m3 which will reduce the mains water demand for the station. The landscaping features sustainable drainage systems to reduce the burden on surface water drainage whilst naturally irrigating planted areas, and there will be new natural habitats created around the station, leaving a legacy of biodiversity and an enhancement of native species.   

There will be 222 electric vehicle charging points in the car parking, and cycle storage for 176 bicycles with further room for expansion as demand dictates. There will also be dedicated pedestrian access into the station from the east of the railway, along with cycle access to the new station from the north, west and south-east through a mixture of dedicated routes. 

External lake view of HS2 Interchange Station, artist's impression
External lake view of HS2 Interchange Station, artist's impression

Landscape

The strategy for the site has been developed to reflect the surrounding Arden landscape character. Trees and hedgerows will be retained where possible, and tree planting is proposed to provide screening along the edge of the site. 

A drainage pond will be located next to the station. The pond will be landscaped to encourage biodiversity and will be visible from both the People Mover stop and Interchange Station concourse. 

During the design process, we have carefully considered how we can minimise impact on the natural environment, including the Hollywell Brook and protected wildlife species. 

Additionally, we have moved the People Mover maintenance facility to a location near the M42 since the plans were originally developed, reducing the length of the viaduct and minimising environmental impacts. 

HS2 Interchange station - Working with Strategic Partners
HS2 Interchange station - Working with Strategic Partners

Working with Strategic Partners 

We are working with the Urban Growth Company (UGC) to consider additional design elements which will support wider growth at the UK Central Hub. 

The UGC is an organisation set up by Solihull Council to co-ordinate existing growth plans and lead infrastructure investment and development, with support from local, regional and central government. 

The UGC has predicted thousands of new jobs, 650,000 square metres of new commercial space and up to 5,000 new homes across the wider area known as The Hub, generating £6.2bn GVA per year. 

We have been working with the UGC to: 

  • Adjust the alignment of the People Mover to fully integrate with the proposed redevelopment of Birmingham International Railway Station; 
  • Allow for utilities such as gas and electricity to cross the HS2 railway. This will enable potential future development of the Arden Cross site; and 
  • Design alternative proposals which utilise surrounding land for commercial development to create a new, sustainable, mixed-use destination. 

Solihull and HS2

HS2 will bring many economic benefits to the Borough of Solihull