With backing from Solihull council, HS2 was drawn up plans for a people mover system with capacity for 2,100 passengers per hour in each direction, taking just six minutes to shuttle between HS2 Solihull and Birmingham Airport.
HS2 has been working with the Urban Growth Company (UGC), set up by Solihull Council in 2016, to include extra design elements that might spur wider economic development in the area. This includes modifying the alignment of the people mover as part of a redevelopment at Birmingham International Station to create a new, multi-modal transport exchange.
The 20-metre long elevated cars – the viaduct will be 12 metres off the ground at its highest point – will depart from each stop approximately every three minutes. They will pick up passengers from Interchange Station, and then travel 2.3km across an elevated viaduct stopping at Birmingham International Railway Station, the National Exhibition Centre, before reaching Birmingham Airport.
HS2 chief executive Mark Thurston said: “HS2 is about connecting the country, and the people mover is another example of how we will do that. This entire area in the West Midlands, and the wider regions across the UK, will be able to capitalise on the connectivity that Birmingham Interchange Station brings and the people mover is an integral part of this.
“The high speed connection into Interchange Station opens up the UK central hub, the NEC, Birmingham International station and Birmingham Airport to new business and leisure customers who might not have chosen this area previously. With the airport being only six minutes from the station, it means better options for air travellers, and makes it more accessible to even more of the UK.”