HS2 viaduct approved with plans to create ‘iconic’ artwork

HS2 has received planning approval for a 150-metre section of viaduct, carrying trains into the Curzon Street Station in Birmingham.

A 25-metre-high truss is also set to create a new icon for the city, developed by British artist Liz West named ‘Out of the Blue’.

Birmingham City Council approved the Curzon No.2 viaduct, known as Bellingham bridge and asked for detailed proposals for the art strategy for the truss to create a separate Schedule 17 submission.

The bridge will carry three parallel high speed rail tracks over the existing east-west rail line and as trains reach closer to Curzon Street, the tracks will split further to serve the seven platforms being built at the station.

HS2’s design director, Kay Hughes says the firm took an “ambitious approach to create an iconic structure for the city” with West and its architects developing a “distinctive light installation which will provide a fitting addition to the Birmingham skyline”.

Senior project manager for HS2, David King, who is working with HS2’s contractor Balfour Beatty VINCI on the construction of this section of the railway, said: “Our job now is to start construction of the bridge on the ground before launching it into its final position over the existing Victorian brick rail viaduct at around 17 metres above the ground.

“This is an exciting construction method, which we believe will be among the longest bridge launches of its type ever delivered in the UK.”

HS2 trains will cross the truss bridge to leave the city towards HS2’s Washwood Heath Depot. This site, located northeast of Birmingham City Centre, will maintain, service, and store HS2 trains when not in use, generating more than 500 long-term jobs for local people.