The Birmingham Crossrail

I have written about a proposed Birmingham Crossrail before but it is time to revisit for 3 reasons:

  1. HS2 is now moving into delivery phase and local and regional connectivity is vitally important
  2. The Northern Cities are making the case for major investment and we need to see the same in the West Midlands
  3. Jonn Elledge (of CityMetric) wrote about this subject and so this is a nudge to him to write about it some more (see him @JonnElledge on twitter)

So here we go, some basic drawing on a map screenshots…

Firstly, the city centre core – new underground tunnels connecting from all 4 points of the compass:

  • from the North, after Duddeston heading into the city, diving under ground and into a new low level station at Curzon Street for the HS2 station and Midland Metro interchange
  • from the East, after Adderley Park heading into the city, diving under ground and connecting with the Northern spur into Curzon Street
  • from the South, after University heading into the city, diving under ground into a new low level station at Five Ways for the Midland Metro and providing better access either side of the ring road towards both Edgbaston and Broad Street/Brindleyplace
  • from the West, a new low level station at Ladywood serving that inner city quarter and Arena Birmingham

Screen Shot 2018-08-06 at 21.40.54

The southern and western spurs connect and head into a new low level station at New Street.  A new underground tunnel then connects New Street and Curzon Street, creating the Central Birmingham Rail Hub.

Now from a wider strategic planning perspective:

  • the Western spur could also stay in tunnel beyond Ladywood to serve new stations at Icknield Port Loop and Cape Hill – areas of significant interest for regeneration and in need of improved connectivity and catalyst to boost economic activity and investment.
  • the other 3 city fringe stations – Duddeston, Adderley Park and Five Ways – could also act as the catalysts for significant investment into those quarters to boost them given their good locations and potential to provide good quality housing that is well-served by public transport.

Screen Shot 2018-08-06 at 21.41.02

From a rail network perspective, as previously written, this opens up 3 Crossrail (or RER) -type lines:

  • the current Cross City from Lichfield to Bromsgrove/Redditch, running north/south
  • a new Cross City from Wolverhampton to Birmingham Interchange for HS2, running west/east, with a new spur from Birmingham International round to the HS2 Interchange station and serving the UK Central development
  • a Rugeley (fast) into Birmingham and then back round to Walsall (slow) loop service and vice versa

Strategic objectives:

  • space for significant additional train capacity through central Birmingham
  • unlocking major sites for development with much improved connectivity
  • simplified route network with standardised service patterns
  • much improved connectivity into HS2
  • improved central Birmingham rail hub concept
  • opportunity to grow the city centre out to the city fringe stations


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