Birmingham New Street rail passengers face summer of discontent as HS2 work closes lines for ten days

The information board at New Street station
-Credit: (Image: Birmingham Live)


Passengers face a ten-day travel nightmare with longer travel times in and out of Birmingham New Street - while some trains will stop several miles away - next month. The disruption is to allow work on HS2 in the Duddeston area.

Major alterations to journeys will begin on August 17 and run until August 26 as part of "long-term improvements" to the network, including preparations for the controversial high-speed Birmingham to London route. Affected routes include services between Birmingham New Street across the UK.

National Rail said "every effort" had been made to reduce the impact on journeys but the scale means the railway "must be closed to trains over the ten days". Passengers were urged to check their journey in advance.

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Affected services include those between:

  • Birmingham New Street and Leicester, Peterborough, Cambridge and Stansted Airport

  • Cardiff Central and Birmingham New Street to Nottingham

  • Scotland, the North East to Birmingham New Street and the South West

Patrick Cawley, director of ‘On Network Works’ for Network Rail and HS2, said: “Work to prepare for HS2 is progressing well in Birmingham and I'd like to thank passengers for their patience while we carry out this next phase of work to move tracks and a railway signal at Duddeston in August.

“If you're planning to travel while the railway is closed, please check your journey in advance with CrossCountry or by using the National Rail Enquiries website or app.” Workers will relocate a railway signal and move a section of track across a new bridge at Duddeston Mill Road, built by HS2 and its contractor Balfour Beatty VINCI.

The changes will allow HS2 to construct a new viaduct which will carry high speed trains over the existing railway and into Birmingham Curzon Street station in the future. Between Birmingham New Street and Coleshill Parkway stations Network Rail engineers will also be replacing 450 metres of track and two 'crossovers' - which are sections of track enabling trains to move from one track to another.

A third crossover is being moved to help improve the flow of trains through the area, said National Rail. The company said the "vital upgrades" would make "journeys smoother and more reliable" for passengers and freight services.

Georgia Ehrmann, CrossCountry’s regional director for the West Midlands and North West, said: “I want to thank passengers in advance for their patience while our industry partners carry out this vital work to prepare for the arrival of HS2.

“We’d ask passengers planning to travel to Water Orton and Coleshill Parkway, or through the Birmingham area between August 16 and 27 to check before travelling and leave more time than usual for their journey.”

CrossCountry’s long distance trains will be diverted around the work but it will mean longer journey times. And the train operator’s regional services, linking the East Midlands and Anglia with Birmingham, will start and finish at Coleshill Parkway.

Replacement buses will operate between Coleshill Parkway, Water Orton and Birmingham New Street stations. Improvement work will also be taking place over the weekends of August 10 to 11 and August 31 to 1 September 1 affecting CrossCountry journeys.

Coleshill Parkway station car park will be closed between Saturday, August 17 and Tuesday, August 27. Drivers will need to remove all vehicles by the end of Friday, August 16.

Passengers who need extra help while travelling are advised to contact CrossCountry’s Passenger Assist team by calling 0800 030 9224 or emailing assistance@crosscountrytrains.co.uk. People should check www.nationalrail.co.uk before travelling and can find further information on CrossCountry’s dedicated webpage.