Network Rail is working with HS2 on adapting Crewe station for HS2 services, reports
American travel writer Bill Bryson notoriously described Crewe as ‘the armpit of Cheshire’. But things are looking up for the old railway town: the Government has brought forward the time when HS2 can offer Crewe a shot in the arm, accelerating the Crewe leg of the project with the creation of HS2 Phase 2a covering the high-speed line from the West Midlands to Crewe. A Hybrid bill for Phase 2a has passed through Parliament, receiving Royal Assent on 11 February 2021.
Network Rail and HS2 are now deep in the planning stage about just how HS2 will be delivered at Crewe itself. The bare bones are clear: the Phase 2a line from Fradley in the West Midlands will join Network Rail metals in the Madeley area and HS2 trains will use the historic station in Crewe (Network Rail’s 2008 proposal to build a new inter-city station on brownfield railway land to the south of the town, with a local shuttle to the town centre station, having been dropped).