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A warm welcome for HS2 coming to Manchester

by Iain Roberts on 28 January, 2013

The Government has announced that the High Speed 2 (HS2) train service will come to Manchester, with a station at Manchester Airport and Piccadilly.

We warmly welcome this development.  While journalists tend to throw around journey times (which will get shorter) the real issue is capacity.  The existing West Coast Main Line train route will fill up in the next twenty years to a point where it simply won’t be possible to add more trains or carriages.  Something will need to be done and HS2 is the best solution.  It will also bring jobs and growth to our area.

HS2 Route

The new Manchester Airport Station will be next to the M56 motorway, between junctions 5 and 6. From there the line goes into a tunnel under Wythenshawe, Northenden, Withington, Fallowfield, Rusholme and Longsight then above ground from Ardwick to Manchester Piccadilly where it emerges into the new station.

Map showing full route from Manchester Airport to Piccadilly

Detailed maps:

Manchester Airport Station by the M56 J5/6

Tunnel under Wythenshawe

Tunnel under Northenden, Withington golf course, running more or less underneath Palatine Road

Tunnel follows line of Wilmslow Road into Fallowfield, then cuts across under University campus

Tunnel swings across under Rusholme and Longsight to come in line with existing railway line

HS2 Line from Ardwick into Piccadilly (this is above ground, map shows wider corridor)

Line above ground from Ardwick into Piccadilly – detailed map


27 Responses

  1. Garry says:

    Lets hooe the finally make use of the old Mayfield station site which is a wasted space right at he side of piccadilly.

  2. Robert Taggart says:

    NO2 HS2

  3. DR C says:

    Robert Taggart – here, here, here – and this from two northern anoraks !

  4. A healey says:

    With all due respect to the anoraks,when hs2 is complete what are your chances of being can’t stop progress it’s more than welcome

  5. Durotrigan says:

    Do you not think that this investment would be better spent on upgrading regional rail networks and reopening some of the old lines closed by Beeching, such as the Skipton-Colne link and Portishead to Bristol line? This scheme smacks of gigantomania and, like so much of our investment, is distinctively London-centric. It does not appear that a realistic cost-benefit analysis of this scheme has been conducted, and far from being environmentally friendly, will result in yet more loss of our rapidly diminishing rural landscape.

    Will you not reconsider your support for this project? It would seem that its promise of ‘regeneration’ and growth for our provincial cities is largely illusory, particularly when considering that the Nottingham and Sheffield stations will be at a very far remove from their respective city centres.

  6. Andy H says:

    Can anyone actually tell me how deep the tunnel under my HOUSE in Northenden will be?
    From the maps ive seen it looks like its really is directly under my house. I suppose the vibrations will cause structural damage and anyway who would want to by a house directly over a huge tunnel. Im in shock.

  7. Iain Roberts says:

    Andy – I guess you could look to Liverpool and London where thousands of people have train tunnels under their houses already and you’d never know they were there. I’ve never heard of house prices in London being affected by someone being over one of the underground lines, so I’d be very surprised if you hit that problem.

  8. Andy H says:

    London is fine we all know about the Tube. But during the work to build this and then years of running it before we know if its causing structural damage would mean my house is unsalable until then. thats maybe 20+ years away. Would you buy a house knowing the tunnel was going directly under your home? thought not…

    Its a typical case of not in my backyard. Those not affected its great…try knowing your house value for at least 20 years is basically zero or hugely devalued. Dont suppose you would be happy either.

  9. Iain Roberts says:

    Hi Andy,

    Can’t think why I’d be concerned about a tunnel being constructed deep below my house – especially given how much of our area is already riddled with tunnels. Suggest it’s worth doing some research on this one – you may find it’s just not a problem.

  10. Andy H says:

    Ill have my house valued then when its clear ist having an impact i shall apply to the government to buy it. I should imagine the hardship (drop in value) needs to be understood even if its a tunnel. I would guess right now its dropping due the uncertainty that will exist for years.

    Its nothing to do with already existing tunnels its the impact on the value of homes over the proposed HUGE tunnels which leads to buyer uncertainty and lower value of the property. Is that too much for someone to understand that simple issue?

  11. Iain Roberts says:

    No problem understanding the issue – the question is the simple factual one of whether you’re right. Was there similar blight in London ahead of the recent Crossrail project, for example?

  12. Andy H says:

    Im not sure you can compare apples for apples like that. Property in london is at a premium. Property in Northenden is not London – if it was i would imagine i would not have the same concerns. Frankly you are arguing a point that makes little sense. We do not live in london. We do not have the same premium property prices as london. I must say your apparent desire to quash my concerns with quoting London is a little worrying. If you really think Northenden in anywhere similar to London then perhaps you have spent too much time down there and less time listening to the concerns of real manchester poeple.

  13. Iain Roberts says:

    Hi Andy,

    You need to investigate this for yourself, of course. You’ve posted comments here and I’ve given you my thoughts.

    I can assure you that there are many parts of London very similar to Northenden, though you’re a bit wide of the mark if you think I’m spending any time at all in London!

    However, if comparing London suburbs with Northenden doesn’t take your fancy, I might suggest you take a look at Liverpool.

  14. Dorothy says:

    “The tunnel under South Manchester will be about 30 metres below the surface. Other options for the route into central Manchester looked at but rejected included: a route to the east of Knutsford near the end of the second runway at Mobberley; a route from Warburton past Partington and Carrington as far as Stretford, with a tunnel from there under Chorlton-cum-Hardy and Fallowfield to the proposed portal at Ardwick; and a tunneled route parallel to the M602 as far as a new station in the Salford area.” There is unoccupied and vacant land at Sharston Industrial and this route should be considered in the planning as it will minimise blighting effects on residential properties in Northenden.

  15. Andy says:

    Agreed Dorothy

    The sharston industrial area would make much more sense. Huge swathes of that area are empty factory sites or the like. I can only imagine whoever planned the route never came to view the area.

  16. Garry says:

    Seriously this is a good thing for manchester. The tunnels will be much deeper than the foundation of your house if 30 meters is correct that’s yhe hight of fifteen doors. If they can build a new tunnel under the huge buildings in London and not damage them then your little house is perfectly fine. It will not effect house prices any more than being in Northenden already does. As for the Anoraks rebuilding branch lines is all well and good but when the west coast main line is full to capacity in a few years then what? Build another line along side it? More damage would be done that way. Maybe we could put all the freight on the roads so the rails are free for passengers? I dont think you’d like that either. The answer is simple build a new line reliving the old. More freight can use the existing victorian network getting it off the roads. The money used for HS2 was never money for other rail projects. In fact the electrification of the Manchester to Liverpool line is going ahead as I type. If a local line is to be improved or opened again it will not come from central government in the form of a huge cheque. Private firms and councils will have to do it just as Chiltern are.

  17. Estelle Weiner says:

    I have mixed feelings about HS2 and remain to be convinced that I (probably not me but my children!) need to get around even quicker than now. How will it affect London Manchester flights for example? What will the train fares be like? Fares at present mean that even with the current price of petrol and a thirsty car, it’s still cheaper for two of us to go from Cheadle to Bournemouth return by car than by train even if using our Senior railcards! Only benefit of the latter is less stress, though the comfort of the seats on the trains leaves much to be desired (I did it last summer as then it was only one person travelling).
    As for blight – it’s a mixed blessing. As a retired conveyancer, I recall houses in Sale years ago being blighted by the metro plans, but now, being near a metro station is actually considered a benefit. Times change and the attitude to using local public transport also changed over the years.
    And if you live in Cheadle, for umpteen years Local searches and mortgage applications have mentioned the fact that it’s under the flight path but that’s made no difference to the house prices.

  18. Alan Gent says:

    People tout the benefit as greater access to the North, but unless government effects business – or government offices- moving north, all that will happen is that people will find it easier to commute to London- and the north / south divide will grow ever wider.
    Also the cost of the tunnel under south Manchester must be astronomical, when the train will not be running at high speed, so why not just use a surface line?

  19. David Johnson says:

    Am I the only one to question the economics? The country is in huge debt and to reduce expenditure our NHS, Police. Social Services, Leisure Facilities have been decimated. Now £32bn are to be added to the debt – sourced from overseas plus the massive year on year interest. All for an uncertain return 20 years in the future!!!!
    Is there any reliable (non-political) evaluation to be found or must we all be starry eyed over unsubstantiated promises as our taxes increase and our quality of life plummets now?

  20. Shelley says:

    This plan is a very bad one and I dont agree with it at ! I live in Northenden and I do not want a tunnel under my house. We already have rail links , Air travel , Road , so why spend all thay money for and extra 41 mins ! you will take business from other forms of transport and can not guarantee that people will want to use the HS2 or need it I think you will be running on empty seats with all that money invested where it could be used else where that is more important. Whoever makes these decisions is going to make England more in Trouble and not help at all.

  21. Andy says:

    Your comments are truly idiotic. Your put downs to those living in Northenden are derisory. My “little house” is my house so it means a lot to me and my family.
    Your post speaks loads for the arrogance of those unaffected by this whole HS2 tunnel madness. I could go on but frankly its not worth the effort speaking to pond life who’s brain cells have long since moved onto pastures new.

    I’m sure this post will be removed from such a pro HS2 site who only want to hear the ‘positive’ tory spin on the whole sorry project.

  22. Dan says:


    Despite your grammatical errors and spelling mistakes I have still managed to deduce that your comments are arrogant, condescending and rude. If you are unable to understand the concerns of residents living above the proposed tunnel I suggest you keep your thoughts to yourself.

  23. Emma Burrows says:

    At long last!
    A journey to London in an hour – brilliant – its EXACTLY what we need as a region and a City to bring more employment and prospects to the North West.

    Only worry?
    That once the southerners have all realised how great it is to live up here, they will move up in droves!
    It’ll be like Essex in Cheshire! 🙂

    To those people worrying about the tunnels underneath their houses – I grew up underneath the District Line and I never knew a thing until my dad told me the trains ran directly underneath our home. I hadn’t even guessed – it never occurred to me at all because it simply didnt affect us at all. Promise you – i understand your concerns – but everything you are worrying about is really not going to happen. Also, the Underground (most of it) was constructed in the Victorian era. Engineering has come a loooonnnng old way since then – you really are worrying about things that just wont happen.

  24. Philip Brown says:

    As a resident who lives near Piccadilly rather than in your area I wanted to mention that the site of the proposed new station is madness. Rather than redevelop the old Mayfield station to the south of Piccadilly, which has sat there crumbling and abandoned for decades, the proposal is to put it on the north side – the area earmarked includes a recently refurbished office block, a recently extended and refurbed multi storey car park, and worst of all blocks of apartments including the one I live in.

    While I may be guilty of nimbyism, and I actually support HS2 and think it’s long overdue, this proposed siting of the new station causes much much more disruption than it needs to.

    Residents in this area moved in when the only other ‘residents’ were prositutes and drug dealers. The council wanted to promote city centre living and mixed use developments and we were early investors in the area, living in it through it’s gradual transformation. We have had to put up with large building works in the area on a number of occasions, and residents did so as they were ultimately contributing to the success of the area. And we are repaid for this commitment to our area by having our homes demolished needlessly.

    Demolishing all of the proposed buildings will add tens of millions to the budget for HS2 and blight the area that residents have gradually improved over the last decade. We hope we have your support to push for the siting of the new station on the south side of Piccadilly instead.

  25. Elaine L says:

    I don’t live in your area but in West London where we are affected by this no sense project. Our properties are already dropping price and surely there is absolutely no sense when the country is in dou le sip recession that the govt is trying to run a £90B project to have this thing to complete by 20 years later which they should just spend a few billion to upgrade already existing network now if they grisly have brains to invest with quick returns. I sure can feel the frustration and worries of Andy and the likes. Gerry guy is naive and arrogant just like the public school boys sitting in the cabinet.

  26. Trish hurst says:

    I was going to buy a house in northenden but am having second thoughts,my dad was a civil engineer and told me not to buy it, as earth can take a few years to settle ,insurances will go up on tmhis land and it is not fair when it speaks about market value ,but probably means at the time of work which will be less than today.the only thing this will benifit is the people in london insuring all the money and wealth people have goes straight to london.but even more quickly

  27. Chris says:

    If you’re concerned, read this report on the matter…

    “Historically, some rail tunnels have been a source of annoyance from noise and vibration. In more recent years, these problems have been addressed and techniques to calculate the noise and vibration have been developed. Measurements have confirmed that these effects can be calculated with reasonable accuracy. The predictions are based on:
    • existing knowledge of vibrations caused by trains travelling at a range of speeds;
    • knowledge of the performance of buildings, depending on their construction type and height;
    • measurement of the ground properties for each section of tunnel; and
    • performance of different track types.
    Not only are modern tracks constructed more accurately than previously, but monitoring regimes ensure that the rails and wheels are maintained to a higher standard. This ensures that the track produces less vibration than earlier railways.
    A range of track forms can be employed to reduce the vibration passed from the rail to the tunnel structure. The track system will be designed and specified to reduce potential adverse impacts caused by ground-borne vibration within the requirements for a safe, reliable and maintainable railway.
    Impacts of Tunnels in the UK, September 2013”

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