Birmingham is to get a major new railway station to serve high speed rail services which could transform the region’s economy.
The new station on the city’s Eastside will provide a huge boost to plans to regenerate the neglected area east of the city centre.
It will be located near the historic site of Curzon Street Station, which was once Birmingham’s main station but currently stands empty and derelict.
MPs are also launching a campaign to ensure the new station is built swiftly – and carries the traditional Curzon Street name.
Birmingham City Council said the new station could be funded partly by borrowing which would be set against the projected increase in business rates from economic growth resulting from the new rail services.
Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Transport Secretary Lord Adonis will announce the proposals as they publish the findings of an inquiry into high speed rail which began last January. Birmingham International Airport has also been successful in its campaign to ensure it is included in the plans, and the report will include proposals for a station to serve the airport and the NEC.
Conservatives also support high speed rail proposals, but have said they will not necessarily be bound by the findings of the inquiry because they want to press ahead immediately with a full national network.
Under the Government’s plans, services will run initially from London to Birmingham and will later be expanded to head north.
The network is expected eventually to split into a Y-shaped network, where one section would head from the Midlands to Leeds while the other would go to Manchester and the north-west.
Work on a new line could begin by 2018 – after the construction of a new rail network within London, called Crossrail, has been completed. This will free up construction and engineering staff to begin the new project. The rest of the network is unlikely to be completed before 2030.
Transport Secretary Lord Adonis is expected to announce that 1,100-seater high speed trains will arrive and depart from a new London station, with the route of the line likely to pass through the picturesque Chiltern Hills to Birmingham..
But the city will require a new station to cope with high speed lines, because New Street, Birmingham’s main station, will not be able to cope with new services despite a £550 million revamp.