Enabling sensitive + strategic urban growth
High Speed 2 stations have to accommodate 400m long trains and at Manchester a very large number of car parking spaces. The key challenge is to incorporate these requirements in a way that has a positive impact on the context, an enabler for growth rather than a barrier or a void.
For the two stations at Manchester this presented contrasting challenges. At Manchester Piccadilly the station is within the city, adjacent to and parallel with the existing station. One end connects to the city centre, but its long edge faces land that has been historically disconnected by existing railway viaducts and level changes. The HS2 station provides a crucial opportunity to tie this back into the city and support regeneration by bringing activity and creating new links. At Manchester Airport the station is within a rural setting, close to the airport but within the green belt.
Design for future connectivity
At Manchester Piccadilly Station we worked closely with the consulting engineers to make subtle shifts of platform location and alignment. This radically improved constructability and future-proofed for connectivity and the fully integrated station desired by Manchester City Council. We achieved this without a material increase in the size of the operational station boundary.
At Manchester Airport Station we reconfigured the car parking, forecourt, access from highways, and the station itself to fit within the strip of residual land between the M56 and the HS2 alignments. This made best use of otherwise redundant land and reduced the physical and visual impact on surrounding communities and landscape. At the same time we future-proofed for connectivity enhancements – into the highway network and rapid transit connections to the airport itself.