Old station to become UK’s HS2 network
ONE of the oldest pieces of railway architecture in the world is to form a key part of Britain’s 21st century HS2 high speed link, it was announced Monday.
Birmingham’s Curzon Street Railway Station, opened in 1838, is to be preserved and transformed as part of a new HS2 station that will link Britain’s biggest provincial city with London.
Announcing the project, Ian Ward, leader of Birmingham City Council, said, “This is an important milestone in the transformation of this amazing old building and the new Curzon Street Station will be one of the real showpieces of the entire HS2 network.”
HS2 ltd. said work is due to start on the major revamp overseen by a conservation specialist and will see the Grade I listed building integrated into HS2’s plans for the new Curzon Street Station.
The building, one of the world’s oldest surviving pieces of monumental railway architecture, was intended to be the boardroom and general offices of the London and Birmingham Railway but was extended to incorporate a hotel by 1841.
It subsequently closed in 1965, having suffered extensive damage during the Birmingham Blitz in World War II, and surviving two applications for its demolition in the 1970s.
Project manager Nicola Henderson-Reid said, “HS2’s Curzon Street Station will be the first brand new intercity terminus station built in Britain since the 19th century, and will play a vital role in our regional economy while preserving this important piece of Birmingham’s history.”
HS2 is Britain’s biggest ever rail project, with work on phase one already underway. There are plans to extend the link to northern England, but the project has been heavily criticized over escalating costs, put last month at around 140 billion US dollars.