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Grimshaw lands Crewe HS2 commission

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Grimshaw Architects has been appointed to come up with early-stage feasibility study for a hub station at Crewe connecting existing rail services with the north-western spur of HS2

The AJ has learned that the practice has been enlisted by contractor Mott Macdonald, which is working for infrastructure operator Network Rail, to draft proposals for the interchange.

In December last year the Department for Transport announced that it was considering bringing forward the construction of the HS2 rail route and hub to Crewe by six years. Under the proposals, services to Crewe would commence in 2027 rather than 2033.

Ministers said a final decision, based on further detailed work on costs and funding, would be made this autumn.

Grimshaw has already produced concept designs for redeveloping London’s Euston Station to incorporate new platforms to handle high-speed services to Birmingham as part of the first phase of HS2. HS2 Ltd is leading on the commissioning of that project, and the other HS2 stations up to Birmingham. Network Rail is leading on the commissioning for Crewe.

Network Rail said its contractor Mott Macdonald had appointed Grimshaw to carry out a feasibility study on the Crewe hub, which would see it produce drawings to ’develop the broader concept’ in conjunction with local authority Cheshire East Council. It said the appointment was made under the second stage of its Governance for Railway Investment Projects process.

A Network Rail spokesman said HS2’s arrival at Crewe would offer significant benefits for passengers on the existing rail network through better connectivity and new journey options.

’We are currently looking to examine and develop options for a hub station at Crewe which supports regional as well as HS2 services,’ he said.

In 2013, Farrells produced a hub masterplan for Cheshire East that proposed bringing together HS2, conventional national services and local services all on the same level. The vision also included creating accommodation for hi-tech industries, with the potential for 20,000 jobs and 5,000 homes.

In 2014, consultants working for the council reported that there was a strong economic case for relocating the town’s existing 19th-century station south of its current location to maximise the potential for regeneration and additional parking from a new hub.

One of the government’s reasons for bringing forward the timescale for HS2’s arrival at Crewe was to ‘generate significant opportunities’ not only for the town but also for the surrounding sub-region.

Comment

Rachel Bailey, leader of Cheshire East Council
‘The council is working closely with Network Rail and HS2 Limited on the concept of a hub station for HS2 at Crewe. I would like to stress that we are not expecting a decision on this until the autumn but we endorse the preparatory work being undertaken by Network Rail, Department for Transport and HS2 in exploring design options.’

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Readers' comments (2)

  • Presumably part of 'the strong economic case' for relocation the existing station is the real estate value of the site, and demolishing Crewe station is surely no great historic or architectural loss - unlike the flattening of the Euston Arch fifty years ago.

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  • The strong economic case is based on dodgy stats about people from other areas using the station and mostly arriving by car and paying large amounts to park. It was also supported by a suggested massive expansion in supporting regional trains but failed to say how that would be funded. Network Rail tried to move to the same site in 2008 but were blocked by the ORR, it's the same plan with HS2 bolted onto it yet HS2 Ltd are still working to their plan of using the original station. Even worse, Michael Jones the Cheshire East Council leader who spearheaded the 2013/14 events has recently been forced to resign and is under polcie investigation over various contracts (Google his name + Cheshire + Fitness).
    Grimshaws should ask whether they need their name linking to this project.

    Crewe Town Council is opposed to the plan (but supports HS2) but are kept out of discussions. The people of Crewe have not been consulted and rely on a local media that only deals in press releases.

    Meanwhile speculators from London are buying up residential property within walking distance of the existing station without realising that this project will put them 3 miles from the trains.

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