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Top architects vie for HS2 station design work

24 July 2017

HS2 vision for Euston station southern entrance (www.gov.uk)

Several high-profile architects are among the bidders for four new HS2 stations.

Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, Foster + Partners and Grimshaw are among those battling it out for the station packages.

The four stations are Euston Station, Old Oak Common Station in west London, Birmingham Curzon Street Station and Birmingham Interchange.

For the £98m Euston station and £70m Old Oak Common, Arup has teamed up with Grimshaw. For the two northern stations the consultant has instead teamed with WilkinsonEyre.

Meanwhile, plans to electrify three rail lines across the UK have been scrapped by the government.

The Great Western line between Cardiff and Swansea, the London-Sheffield Midland Mainline north of Kettering, and the Oxenholme to Windermere line in the Lake District will no longer be electrified, the Department for Transport announced last week.

It was hoped that the railway network would become faster, greener and cleaner by electrifying the lines. Network Rail’s electrification works around the country, most notably on the Great Western mainline from London to Swansea, which started in 2014, were described as a vital upgrade that would bring cleaner, faster and more reliable services for passengers.

However, the government claimed last week that passengers would benefit from “modern bi-mode trains” instead, and would no longer have to put up with “disruptive electrification works” and “intrusive wires and masts”.

The decision to scrap electrification of the line has prompted anger among public sector stakeholders. 

A statement from the Welsh Government said the news was “disturbing” and amounted to “years of broken promises”.

Swansea Council leader Rob Stewart said: “We are angry. We feel we’ve been betrayed by the UK government.

“We’ve had meeting after meeting with ministers about the electrification of the line to Swansea and they told us it would happen.”

Shadow rail minister Rachael Maskell has called it “a slap in the face”.

In an open letter to transport minister Chris Grayling, Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham said the north had “put up with second-class transport for too long”.

He said the possible changes “would represent a major broken promise... and the derailment of the Northern Powerhouse”.

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