Interchange Station design


Interchange Station design

The new HS2 Interchange Station will be part of a new public transport interchange serving Solihull and the West Midlands, with links to local roads and the UK motorway network, making it one of the best-connected places in the UK.

The new HS2 station, to be built near Solihull and the NEC in the West Midlands, has become the first railway station globally to achieve the BREEAM ‘Outstanding’ certification – a measure of sustainability for new and refurbished buildings – putting it in the top 1% of buildings in the UK for eco-friendly credentials.

Interchange will be a major gateway station for the region and will connect passengers to the city centres of Birmingham, Leeds, Liverpool and Manchester. When fully operational, passengers will be able to reach Manchester in just 37 minutes and London Euston in just 38 minutes.

About the station

Interchange Station will sit within a unique setting. The location of the station is currently rural, and is very close to a built up area including the NEC and Birmingham Airport.

The station has been designed to maximise views over the surrounding Arden landscape, providing a pleasant passenger experience. We have designed the roof to maximise natural daylight and capture rainwater for recycling, which will reduce the demand for electricity and water.

Key facts
  • Up to 5 trains per hour in each direction;
  • Two 415 metre long platforms;
  • Four platform sides for trains to stop at; and
  • New People Mover system carrying up to 2,100 passengers per hour in each direction.
  • Key journey times

    Interchange to:

  • East Midlands Hub – 17 minutes
  • Manchester – HS2 time 37 minutes, current time 106 minutes
  • London – HS2 time 38 minutes, current time 70 minutes
  • Leeds – HS2 time 46 minutes, current time 148 minutes
  • Edinburgh – HS2 time 186 minutes, current time 255 minutes
  • Glasgow – HS2 time 186 minutes, current time 256 minutes
  • Improved access for pedestrians and cyclists

    Since the initial designs were shared in 2018, we have worked hard to make the station as easy to use and accessible as possible. The separation of the road bridge and pedestrian bridge means there is now a dedicated pedestrian access into the station from the east of the railway.

    This has resulted in:

  • An improved user experience , as passengers are no longer walking alongside a busy road but over a bridge with views of newly planted areas alongside the railway;
  • Shorter travel distances from the drop and go and short stay car park to the station; and
  • Additional, convenient and secure cycle parking located east of the station.
  • Around 150 cycle parking spaces will be provided, with room for additional cycle racks should demand increase in the future. Cycle access to the station will be provided from the north, west and south-east through a mixture of dedicated routes and shared space footpaths.

    New People Mover

    A new People Mover system will serve the station, providing fast and frequent connections between Interchange Station and the National Exhibition Centre (NEC), Birmingham International Railway Station and Birmingham Airport, which offers direct access to over 150 international destinations and a further 490 global connections.

    People Movers are reliable, efficient and environmentally friendly modes of transport that are ideal for complex, built up areas. They are automated, driverless transport systems, and a similar system is already in use at Birmingham Airport. With vehicles departing each stop approximately every 3 minutes, the People Mover will carry up to 2,100 passengers per hour in each direction. This will reduce the amount of traffic on the roads between the key destinations it serves.

    Accessibility and Inclusive Design

    We place people at the heart of the design process. Interchange Station and the People Mover have been designed to be used safely, independently, easily and with dignity by everyone.

    Step-free access will be provided along the entire HS2 route, including for those passengers travelling through Interchange Station and on the People Mover.

    In 2018 we asked for your views on how to ensure we provide accessible and inclusive passenger experience at Interchange Station. To provide this, the design of Interchange Station will include:

  • Accessible parking bays located close to the station entrance;
  • Cycle parking designed to enable access for disabled cyclists and the storage of adapted cycles;
  • High quality, accessible toilets, and facilities to meet a variety of needs including a multi-faith room;
  • Clear and concise wayfinding, providing options for all needs and requirements; and
  • Ample and appropriately located seating for passengers with reduced mobility.
  • Sustainable design

    We aim to build the most sustainable high speed railway of its kind in the world.

    We have designed Interchange Station to be net zero carbon with respect to energy consumption. Sustainable design features include:

  • Station building designed to maximise natural daylight and ventilation;
  • Sustainable drainage for the car parks; and
  • Around 2,000m2 of solar panels to generate electricity and over 200 charging points for electric vehicles.
  • The new HS2 station, to be built near Solihull and the NEC in the West Midlands, has become the first railway station globally to achieve the BREEAM ‘Outstanding’ certification – a measure of sustainability for new and refurbished buildings – putting it in the top 1% of buildings in the UK for eco-friendly credentials.

    This landmark award recognises the station’s eco-friendly features, including maximising natural daylight and ventilation, a station roof design which can capture and reuse rainwater, and features to enable net zero carbon emissions from day-to-day energy consumption.

    BREEAM is the Building Research Establishment’s Environmental Assessment Method. It sets the standard for best practice in sustainable design and has become the de facto measure used to describe the sustainability performance of buildings. The Interim Certificate, awarded at the design stage to Interchange Station confirms an ‘Outstanding’ rating, putting it in the top 1% of buildings in the UK and the first for any railway station in the world.

    The station’s design includes minimising demand for carbon through the use of natural ventilation and daylighting. Energy efficient technology will be incorporated, such as air source heat pumps and LED lighting. In addition, the station and Automated People Mover maintenance facility have over 2,000m2 of solar panels generating zero carbon electricity.

    Directing rainwater from the main station building via a network of underground pipes into a rainwater harvesting tank will assist in providing part of the building’s water requirements. The estimated volume of the rainwater harvesting tank is 150m3 which will reduce the mains water demand for the station. The landscaping features sustainable drainage systems to reduce the burden on surface water drainage whilst naturally irrigating planted areas, and there will be new natural habitats created around the station, leaving a legacy of biodiversity and an enhancement of native species.  

    There will be 222 electric vehicle charging points in the car parking, and cycle storage for 176 bicycles with further room for expansion as demand dictates. There will also be dedicated pedestrian access into the station from the east of the railway, along with cycle access to the new station from the north, west and south-east through a mixture of dedicated routes.


    The strategy for the site has been developed to reflect the surrounding Arden landscape character. Trees and hedgerows will be retained where possible, and tree planting is proposed to provide screening along the edge of the site.

    A drainage pond will be located next to the station. The pond will be landscaped to encourage biodiversity and will be visible from both the People Mover stop and Interchange Station concourse.

    Minimising environmental impacts

    During the design process, we have carefully considered how we can minimise impact on the natural environment, including the Hollywell Brook and protected wildlife species.

    Additionally, we have moved the People Mover maintenance facility to a location near the M42 since the plans were originally developed, reducing the length of the viaduct and minimising environmental impacts.

    Working with Strategic Partners

    We are working with the Urban Growth Company (UGC) to consider additional design elements which will support wider growth at the UK Central Hub.

    The UGC is an organisation set up by Solihull Council to co-ordinate existing growth plans and lead infrastructure investment and development, with support from local, regional and central government.

    The UGC has predicted thousands of new jobs, 650,000 square metres of new commercial space and up to 5,000 new homes across the wider area known as The Hub, generating £6.2bn GVA per year.

    We have been working with the UGC to:

  • Adjust the alignment of the People Mover to fully integrate with the proposed redevelopment of Birmingham International Railway Station;
  • Allow for utilities such as gas and electricity to cross the HS2 railway. This will enable potential future development of the Arden Cross site; and
  • Design alternative proposals which utilise surrounding land for commercial development to create a new, sustainable, mixed-use destination.
  • Find out more about the Urban Growth Company at www.ugcsolihull.uk .

    Useful links

    You can view or download our information boards and station design leaflet for more information about the station and how we've involved local communities, stakeholders and the public in the development of the design.

  • Interchange station design leaflet, January 2020
  • HS2 Interchange Station Design Engagement Information Boards, January 2020
  • Interchange station page on hs2.org.uk
  • If you have any questions or comments, please contact HS2enquiries@hs2.org.uk or call 08081 434 434 and refer to "HS2 in Solihull".

    Additional materials

    This engagement phase has finished

    Some people making comments