Plans submitted for £2bn Midlands rail upgrade

Aaron Morby 4 weeks ago

The Government is being asked to back a £2bn package of improvements to transform east-west connections on the Midlands’ rail network.

One station concept includes two new platforms at Moor Street and bridge link to Curzon Street HS2 hub

The proposals, known as the Midlands Rail Hub, would see 15 pieces of new and improved infrastructure in the region.

Its centrepiece would by a £950m plan to improve links to an expanded Moor Street station with a pedestrian link to the proposed HS2 Curzon Street station.

The plan would enable 24 extra passenger trains every hour on the regional network and shift 4,320 lorries’ worth of freight from the road to the railway every day.

Subnational transport body Midlands Connect, which submitted the plan in partnership with Network Rail, said key projects could be completed in phases between 2024 and 2033.

The proposals to supercharge the economy by bringing the East and West Midlands closer together has backing from 47 partner organisations including West Midlands Combined Authority, local authorities, LEPs, chambers of commerce, HS2 and Birmingham and East Midlands airports.

Proposed investment projects

Bordesley Chords (2026-2033): Two new viaducts to link services from the South West and East Midlands in to Birmingham Moor Street station and link to HS2 at Curzon Street (Cost £900-£950m)

Moor Street station – two more platforms and a footbridge linking to Hs2 Curzon Street station

Nuneaton Dive under, flyover or reversal (2026-2033): Reinstatement of a dive under or construction of a flyover of the West Coast Main Line at Nuneaton to enable direct services between Coventry, Leicester and Nottingham (Cost of dive under/fly over £100-120m)

Leicester Corridor (by 2026): a series of incremental improvements allowing faster new and existing services from Birmingham to Leicester (estimated cost £150-200m)

Sir John Peace, Chair of Midlands Connect, said: “The Midlands Rail Hub is a cost-effective, evidence-led plan to upgrade our Victorian infrastructure to meet the demands of the future.

“This investment must happen alongside delivering HS2 in its entirety, from the West Midlands to the East Midlands and on to the north of England.

“The next Prime Minister of this country must not ignore the Midlands, the10m people who live here, or our £220bn annual contribution to the UK economy. Now is the time for the government to prove to the Midlands it’s listening to us.”

West Midlands Mayor Andy Street said: “At around £2bn, the Midlands Rail Hub is genuinely a bargain when you consider some of the projects that have already happened in London.

“The Secretary of State for Transport must persuade the Treasury to support this project to boost the region’s connectivity and with it, the region’s economy”.

Following the submission of the Midlands Rail Hub strategic outline business case to the Department for Transport, Midlands Connect has requested an additional £25m in funding to bring the project to “Outline Business Case” stage.

This will involve specific scheme development and sequencing, a full overview of benefits, project designs, and a full risk assessment.

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