HS2 Ltd said that the new high speed railway will arrive at Birmingham using a new tunnel running under the M6 viaduct at Bromford. This decision follows a public consultation under the route’s design refinement programme.
In London the line will run in a 9km tunnel under Ealing and Northolt in a move that will shave 15 months off the build timetable and considerably reduce disruption to residents and traffic. The new London tunnel will link to an already-planned tunnelled section of the route running to and from West Ruislip. This will make a 14km tunnel in total – the longest on the whole 140mile (225km) first phase of the line between London and the West Midlands and longer than those currently being built for Crossrail.
The original proposal for Birmingham, which followed the existing Derby and Birmingham railway line before running for about 1km under the M6 Bromford viaduct, required moving the River Tame south, building flood defences and relocating National Grid power lines and pylons.
After doing more detailed design work on the initial route it became clear that it would involve major remodelling of a busy junction between Bromford Lane and the A47 Heartlands Parkway and the re-alignment of part of Chester Road, both important north-south highways in east Birmingham. Tunnelling will also save school playing fields, public open space and community facilities including Firs and Bromford Community Centre, HS2 Ltd said.