HS2 Ltd is the company set up by the UK Secretary of State for Transport to consider the case for new high-speed rail services between London and Scotland. HS2 Ltd appointed Arup for route engineering studies for a possible new high-speed railway line between London and the West Midlands.
The study looked at route alignment options and solutions for the new line. The route is expected to be a 400kph high-speed line which would be designed to international standards.
The scope included investigating over 2,000km of route alignments in around 30 corridors, approximately 25 station location options in inner London, outer London and Birmingham, over ten options for connecting to Heathrow Airport and around ten options for connecting to High Speed 1.
In addition, there has been an assessment of the broad options for extending the line to cities to the north of Birmingham. Arup undertook journey time modelling to provide data for the operational assessments and business case.
HS2 formally reported to the UK Government on the first stage, London to Birmingham, at the end of 2009.
Arup has been a strong advocate of high speed rail, even before our first involvement in the Channel Tunnel Rail Link in the 1980s. High-speed offers a sustainable, progressive means of managing the economic and environmental cost of road and air travel, as well as offering fast connectivity and a positive passenger experience.
Robert Care, Chair of Arup’s UK-MEA business said: “Arup is proud to have been engaged by HS2 Ltd to help them and the Secretary of State for Transport to develop different options for extending the high speed rail network across the UK. The Department for Transport has now selected a London-West Midlands route for public consultation which would reduce journey times and increase capacity between London, the Midlands and North and we fully support the Government's decision."
In January 2009, the UK Government announced that a new company, HS2 Ltd, would look at a possible new high speed railway line between London and the West Midlands.
Arup was commissioned by HS2 Ltd in support of meeting their objectives – delivering a final report and recommendation to Government at the end of 2009.
The remit was to develop proposals and to reach a decision on a preferred route for a new railway line taking into account environmental, social and economic assessments.
The report also provided advice to ministers on the potential development of a high-speed line beyond the West Midlands at the level of broad corridors – considering in particular the potential to extend to Greater Manchester, West Yorkshire, the North East and Scotland.
The project was initially about connecting London and the West Midlands with options for passenger interchange with Crossrail, the Great Western Main Line (GWML) and Heathrow Airport. Options for a terminus station, or stations, serving London and suggestions of means for linking to High Speed 1 and the existing rail network were also considered.
HS2 Ltd provided a confidential report to ministers at the end of 2009 that could used as the basis for public consultation should they decide to take this project forward.
Arup project timeline:
2001 - "High Speed Routes to the North" study, for Strategic Rail Authority
2009 - Route options studies for London to West Midlands, for HS" Ltd.
2010 - Route option studies to the north-east (Phase 2)
2012 - Preliminary design for Hybrid Bill submission, including: engineering design for Euston, engineering design for West Midlands, environmental overseeing consultant for the whole route, environmental impact assessment for West Midlands
2013 - Sound Demonstration services (SoundLab), for Phase 2