HS2 Unveils Designs for Automated People Mover

On July 16 2019 HS2 revealed the designs for its new automated people mover (APM). The 20 metre long driverless people mover will link Birmingham interchange station with a number of new stops. HS2 will present further designs to the public at a number of events throughout July of this year.

APM maintenance facility
Vehicular operating system maintenance facility © HS2

HS2 APM Service Route

The APM will provide commuters with faster and more frequent services to Birmingham Airport. The high-speed service from HS2’s new Interchange Station in Solihull will take 6 minutes. Additionally, the service will also run through Birmingham International Railway Station, and the National Exhibition Centre (NEC). Once the people mover is fully up and running it will carry around 2,100 passengers per hour in each direction. The APM will depart from each stop approximately every 3 minutes.

HS2’s Interchange Station will be a key gateway for Solihull and the West Midlands.

Mark Thurston, CEO of HS2 Ltd, 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 6 minutes from the station, it means better options for air travellers, and makes it more accessible to even more of the UK.

HS2 APM Infrastructure

The service route is 2.3 kilometres long across an elevated viaduct which is 12 metres tall at its highest point. The 3 stops will be fully accessible and designed using colour to provide clear navigation for passengers. The stops will also be equipped with passenger information display systems and audio announcements with live journey updates.

HS2 APM stop
APM stop at Birmingham Interchange Station © HS2

HS2 and Urban Growth Company (UGC) in Solihull worked together to include extra design elements. These further design elements will allow wider growth plans at the UK Central Hub. This includes adjusting the course of the APM as part of a major redevelopment at Birmingham International Station. The redevelopment will support new multi-modal transport exchange.

Jonathan Bretherton, Managing Director of the Urban Growth Company, said:

The APM will be a vital and exciting link, connecting HS2 and the Arden Cross site to the NEC and Birmingham Airport, making the whole area easily navigable for those choosing to live, work or play here. Our work to coordinate the views of local stakeholders will continue to ensure that the final APM design fully supports the economic growth we are predicting here.

In particular, our planned redevelopment of Birmingham International Station to accommodate a realigned APM, will make sure the Interchange Station is fully connected to the local and regional transport network.

HS2 Future Plans

HS2 have not yet decided the exact system which will be used to operate the APM. However, HS2 will maintain the systems in a specialised maintenance facility. The facility will be located along the viaduct on the eastern side of the M42 crossing.

HS2 is currently working to finalise the scheme design of the driverless people mover. The design showings will take place at a series of events in partnership with the UGC in Autumn 2019. Consequently, HS2 will submit an application to Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council seeking approval of matters related to design of the People Mover as required within the HS2 Act.

The full list of upcoming events are:

  • 16 July, 11am – 3pm at Melbicks Garden Centre
  • 18 July, 4pm – 7pm at Birmingham International Station (Air Rail Link concourse area)
  • 19 July, 11am – 4pm at National Conference Centre

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