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HS2 slams claim that line ‘won’t work’ without Crossrail 2

HS2 Ltd has this week hit back at claims that the planned high-speed line will “not work properly” without the proposed Crossrail 2 route.

Euston is one of London’s most crowded stations, already handling more than double its estimated 20 million passengers a year capacity – and a report in the Financial Times over the weekend suggested that this was an issue for some at HS2 Ltd.

Unidentified senior sources at the company were quoted as saying that the high-speed project was “dependant on Crossrail 2 for the train line to work properly at Euston” and to ease pressure on the already busy station. 

But a statement sent to RTM by HS2 Ltd has reassured passengers that Euston will still be capable of accommodating for the extra passengers, even without the immediate extra capacity created by Crossrail 2.

“HS2 will help rebalance Britain’s economy by connecting eight out of our 10 biggest cities, increasing rail capacity on the current system and reducing journey times, while also creating thousands of jobs,” a spokesperson for HS2 told us.

“The arrival of HS2 will transform Euston station, provide much-needed extra capacity and unlock the full potential of the site to support thousands of new jobs and homes.

“We are confident that Euston will be able to handle the extra passengers that HS2 services will deliver and we are working with TfL to plan a major revamp of the existing Underground station.

“HS2 further supports the ongoing improvement to transport capacity and connectivity around the whole country.”

Over the summer, there was heated debate between transport leaders across the country over where future funding was best allocated in England, and whether Crossrail 2 was the right project for the government to focus on in the future.

Transport secretary Chris Grayling caused uproar by putting his backing behind Crossrail 2 just days after cutting three major electrification projects that would have been beneficial for northern links.

Previously, think tank IPPR North and local politicians have called on the government to provide better funding for transport across the north, a message that has also been endorsed by rail minister Paul Maynard.

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Josephine Bacon   26/09/2017 at 12:23

Don't these people ever use the underground?Euston is connected to the Victoria line and both branches of the Northern Line and is also easy to access by bus. Crossrail 2 won't make an iota of difference.

Samir   26/09/2017 at 12:42

HS2 and Crossrail 2 both suck more people into London, destroying rural economies and small towns. The new projects might need each other but how north London will cope with the disruption for the rebuild from Camden to Bloomsbury is still not known. actually shifting out the debris will force massive road closures and the extension to Euston looks like a drug induced dream rather than a reality. Can Euston cope with another thousand people every 30 minutes on HS2 (double for the other leg)? No, not only the tube and buses but the entire infrastructure is close to breaking, London can barely get enough food in to feed itself and get the waste out for the overcrowding it already has

Sonning Cutting   26/09/2017 at 13:53

The detractors of HS2 will use any specious argument they can - as they do with Brexit - to undermine confidence in much needed changes. Suspect this is fake news. Let the Engineers and Financiers get on with the job - HS2 & Croossrail 2 and keep the politicians and doomsayers out of it!

Andrew P. Jones   26/09/2017 at 14:13

HS2 will work much better with the Northern HS3, Crossrail 2 is pretty irrelevant to its success. An interchange with East-West-Rail should also make HS2 even better. Regards Andrew P. Jones

John Jefkins   26/09/2017 at 14:29

Putting Euston's new platforms between Euston & St Pancras on an HS1 link works better as it would link platforms to Crossrail ZERO - Thameslink - and Kings X tube to thus spread passenger load and save need of any Euston tube upgrade, keep passengers bound for East London, Kent, Essex or Europe on board through trains to HS1 and halve Euston & train purchase costs - to save £4 billion. We need to apply the same logic as Crossrail to HS1 and HS2 - ie run trains ACROSS London instead of turning back 2 sets of trains at 2 terminii that each need twice the platforms of just ONE through station.   

John Jefkins   26/09/2017 at 14:40

Through platforms on an HS2-HS2 link (1 level under Phoenix Rd) could be the upper floor of an eventual Crossrail 2 Euston/St Pancras station. I have presented drawings to Richard Brown of Network Rail / ex Eurostar showing in section how 2 HS2 tracks could reach HS1 avoiding tube lines, the Fleet river and the Thameslink box.   I accept there is an unequal market between HS1 and HS2, but the cross London traffic is still big enough to warrant a HS1 link which would more than HALVE the need of new terminal platforms at Euston. Through platforms would thus be CHEAPER than as many Euston platforms. Shared HS1/HS2 trains would also save train purchase costs, depot costs and staffing costs. Right now Eurostar trains for example sit idle at St Pancras for an average of over 100 minutes - ie long enough to reach Birmingham (taking on domestic passengers at these through platforms), have a 40 min turnaround time and carry domestic passengers back to London).   Eurostar already carries "domestic" passengers from Brussels to Lille in a separated part of international trains going to London.  It could copy the same ideas from Birmingham & exploit platforms either side of the train to swop domestic for international passengers within only 7 minutes. Some of the planned hybrid HS2 trains could also replace Javelin trains on HS1 - meaning passengers change at Stratford or continue to Kent instead of burdening city centre platforms.

John Jefkins   26/09/2017 at 14:44

So, whilst Crossrail 2 may well be needed by 2040 for other London travel needs, the FIRST STEP is to link HS1 & HS2 (and possibly also link HS2 to Heathrow so that trains from Heathrow can reach HS1 to Essex, Kent and Paris too). This OTHER type of CROSSRAIL staring us in the face - ie that of HS1-HS2 - ACROSS London links would  - save HS2 land & construction costs at Euston by more than halving the need of new terminal platforms - save billions on train purchase costs (by sharing trains, depots and staff between HS1 and HS2). - save TFL tube upgrade costs at Euston (with platforms bridging across to Kings X & Thameslink to share the load and by keeping East London, Kent and Essex passengers on board trains running across to Stratford and Kent). Through HS1-HS2 platforms would be the upper floor of the same Crossrail 2 station that would be eventually needed.  They could save around £4 billion in reduced Euston station costs, reduced train purchase costs and wipe out any need of a £750 million Euston tube station upgrade (TFL is paying that now for the Victoria tube upgrade).

John Jefkins   26/09/2017 at 15:09

Crossrail 2 may well be needed for quite separate reasons, but THROUGH platforms on an HS1 link bridging the gap between Euston & St Pancras would be an cheaper and easier way to (a) spread passengers to Kings X tube station (b) spread passengers to Thameslink (ie Crossrail zero) - as one platform end would be 30 metres from Thameslink (c) keep everybody bound for East London, Essex, Kent or Europe on board THROUGH trains that continue through London and onto HS1. (d) make a Heathrow spur viable to take Eurostar from Heathrow via a central London stop and extend HS1 trains from Kent (or even perhaps Colchester) to Heathrow. Let's not limit the Crossrail idea to metros. It works for HS2-HS1 style intercity & international trains too. Why spend billions building a new HS2 "terminal" when everybody else is spending billions converting old terminii platforms into new THROUGH platforms (eg London Bridge, Stuttgart 21, Vienna, Zurich, Malmo etc).

Dire-Pace-On   26/09/2017 at 15:45

See no point in progressing Crossrail 2 if its going to lack toilets, they are using all the objections possible against having them. As for Network Rail they want sacking. On weekend of 16/17 September the lines between Reading & Maidenhead, and elsewhere on the GWR were due to go live - they did not because somebody in NR forgot to book 5 inspectors so weekend a complete waste of time, the power still not on and somehow another weekend of disruption is expected before Christmas because the right paperwork was not done.

Michael King   26/09/2017 at 16:13

If I were going to Farringdon, Docklands , Liverpool Street, Bank, Clapham junction, Gatwick, ...indeed many places I'd step off at Old Oak. When Boris -shudder - Johnson called the idea of Old Oak as a terminus , The Ryan Air Option, he had overlooked that St Martins used to be in the fields. I suspect Old Oak Crossrsil 1 might save Euston from some of the overcrowding envisaged.

Daniel Neysschens   26/09/2017 at 16:46

As far as I know, it is of vital importance that the foundation of anything you do is priority. Therefore the running rail is the priority and should have been checked prior to erecting the steel work and ole, to see if the tracks could accommodate the high speed required from it. If not,changes should have been brought to the rail prior to any ole being erected. Priority is the accommodation of the high speed of the running of the train on the teach , ex curves, points, crossings etc

Malcolm Tunley MIRSE   26/09/2017 at 18:46

Euston Station will not be as efficient as it could be because railtrack only allowed "simple points" to be in their design specification. That has meant trains are held up to half a mile out of the station waiting an empty platform before they can disembark passengers incurring at least 5mins delay. Slips and double slip points would allow trains to be closer to the platforms, reducing transit times into the platforms. Point systems are now required by Network Rail to be simple single leads in the mistaken belief that simplification would reduce point failures. Without studying dead (unoccupied platform times) this erroneous notion will not be corrected. A study of 'unoccupied platform times' at major stations will ensure track layouts to once again employ slip, double slips and switch diamond points to be utilised and thereby speed up entry and exit from blocked off platforms at this and other major termini.

John Jefkins   26/09/2017 at 23:55

@Michael King, Old Oak's problem could be similar to Stratford where most of the fast trains won't want to delay passengers by making a 2nd London stop there. (Eurostar totally ignores Stratford). Journeys to South London or Gatwick are very slow from OOC compared with Thameslink's 24 trains per hour to Farringdon or Gatwick or an HS2 connection to Heathrow T5 linking to Heathrow trains to Waterloo. Through HS2 trains to HS1 Stratford would also be a far faster link to Docklands, Kent or Essex too. Through platforms built between Euston & St Pancras on an HS1 link (and above a future Crossrail 2 box) would also mean we don't need as many platforms at Old Oak Common - to save costs there too. Putting one end of those platforms next to Thameslink & Kings X tube makes more sense.

Chrism   27/09/2017 at 02:50

Oh dear! This comments section has become a fantasist's day dream, total over-indulgence with a future seen through rose tinted specs. None of it of course will ever happen, HS2 trains will terminate in conventional platforms at Euston. Parliament has approved the plans, nothing different will be built as it was allowed for by the hybrid bill. As for HS2 passenger numbers at Euston, they will be small in total compared to the general rise in commuting on the tube. At least Crossrail 1 will give HS2 passengers another option at Old Oak.

Andrew Gwilt   27/09/2017 at 06:35

HS2 will still happen. Get on with it and stop moaning about other problems that could jeopardise the construction of HS2. Goodness sake.

Andrew JG   27/09/2017 at 07:12

So where will the new Crossrail 2 station is is likely to be built when Crossrail 2 gets underway. Also why not build a pedestrian underground passageway that will link up with Euston Square tube station which would be much quicker and quieter. Than walking to Euston station via Euston Road if it’s raining or snowing.

John Jefkins   27/09/2017 at 09:15

Network Rail & HS2 Ltd have confirmed that a future HS1 link remains a possibility they have themselves drawn up options that are similar to those I illustrate above. And its route does logically run above the proposed Crossrail 2 Euston station box. Of course parliament needed a simple solution to vote on - to get "OUTLINE planning permission". That does not prevent design improvement or the addition of an HS1 link in time for phase 2. We will still need SOME terminal platforms to cope with an eventual HS2 market that will be bigger than the HS1 market. Ideally those could have been the freed up HS1 platforms at St Pancras, but I accept that we are too late for that. Those extra HS2 trains will instead terminate at Euston. But I am suggesting that phase 2 HS2 Euston platforms should be swopped for THROUGH platforms built above the Crossrail 2 box - meaning a cheaper Euston rebuild, tube rebuild, fewer new trains (and a smaller Old Oak Common).

John Jefkins   27/09/2017 at 09:28

I agree we need to "get on with HS2 phase 1". I agree that HS2 is not reliant on Crossrail 2 - which is needed for quite separate reasons. The questions are for phase 2 - ie (a) do we really need a £1billion tube rebuild (b) how do people reach Thameslink + St Pancras (c) SDG identified a 30m pass/yr cross London market that a HS1-HS2 link could satisfy (and a Crossrail metro doesn't) Through platforms on an HS1 link built above a 2030s Crossrail 2 station box make sense as just 4 platforms would (1) save building/free up twice as many terminal platforms (2) spread passengers to Kings X & Thameslink to save a £1b Euston tube station rebuild (3) save the need of £2b of train purchase/depot construction and staffing costs - by shared use of HS2 & HS1 trains. (4) halve the need of Old Oak Common platform costs. (5) keep those 30million cross London passengers on board cross-london HS2-HS1 trains instead of making them use 2 city centre platforms & stations to change trains in central London. Let's extend the logic of Crossrail to HS2 and HS1.

Jak Jaye   27/09/2017 at 09:32

The more lines are built,the longer trains become just results in more people not the same using them,just look at the rancid TL 700s already wedged in the rush hour as were the 319s As one of the previous letters has pointed out Euston is already well provided with bus and tube links+the site like all main line termini is in a very small and cramped area so not much room for expansion unless the Government is thinking along the lines of the Victorians and demolishing vast swathes of surrounding property. And as for the 'thousands' of jobs who will get them,not many Brits thats for sure! the major problem is too many people using London's overcrowded network the bullet must be bitten where people are discouraged from traveling especially at weekends by higher off peak fares ,most trains in and out of the capitol are wedged already.

AJG89   27/09/2017 at 10:30

Well London Euston could be renamed as London Euston International because of HS2 will start and terminal from once it’s all completed. Along with new longer trains for HS2.

Huguenot   27/09/2017 at 11:52

As I understand it, integration of Euston and Euston Square Underground stations is part of the HS2 development, so that will help. All HS2 trains will call at Old Oak Common, so if passengers can be encouraged to change there for Crossrail 1 that will help too. But we really do need a sub-surface pedestrian link (with travelator, due to the distance) between Euston and Kings Cross/St Pancras. One way to free up platforms at Euston would be to get Overground out of the station by diverting the Watford DC service to, say, Highbury & Islingon via Primrose Hill, where the station could be re-opened for interchange with the Northern Line at Chalk Farm. Overground passengers for the West End can change at Queens Park for the Bakerloo Line.

John Jefkins   27/09/2017 at 15:45

Its not true that "all trains will call at Old Oak Common". Operators like Eurostar refused to use Stratford. To cut journey times operators won't want to use OOC either. And we really cannot TINKER with 30 million through passengers a year wanting to reach East London, Kent, Essex or Europe from HS2 by suggesting they all use a travelator between HS2 and HS1..... Not good enough. We need a R A I L L I N K with platforms over crossrail 2. People should be able to stay on board most trains or swop across that THROUGH platform from fast to slow HS1 trains. Many people are travelling BEYOND London to beyond the end of a Crossrail metro too - to the Medway Towns, Maidstone, Colchester or Chelmsford - or just wanting to use Crossrail ZERO - ie Thameslink - to Cambridge or Gatwick or Brighton or Horsham. Euston and Old Oak Common fail to serve those markets. Euston/St Pancras Cross platforms would end metres from Thameslink (and an already expanded Kings X tube) - to thus save needing to spend a billion upgrading Euston tube. Through trains would keep people on board to Stratford (for Crossrail 1, DLR, Docklands and Essex connections), Kent and Europe too - that 30m pass/yr market identified by SDG and Greengauge 21.

Nick   27/09/2017 at 18:44

Euston Cross has been debated for years. At an IMechE/IET presentation about HS2, we were told that EC is a non-starter, due to the siting of the British Library. To go underneath would be so deep that Evacuation Timing requirements could never be met. Another reason for its dislike is the lack of passport control, although that could be done at Ebbsfleet as a terminus.

Andrew JG   27/09/2017 at 21:01

If only there was underground foot tunnel link that it would allow commuters from Euston to walk beneath Euston Road towards Euston Square tube station to get on the Circle, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan lines without having to walk to Euston Square via Euston Road. In which could of saved you 2-3 minutes walking time as Euston mainline station and Euston Square station are 300metres walking distance from each other. Plus with stairs/escalators and lifts aswell added if the underground pedestrian foot link was built which would also be disabled friendly between Euston mainline and Euston Square stations in Central London.

John Jefkins   28/09/2017 at 09:38

This is not Euston X. This avoids the British Library & Francis Crick - cut & cover down Phoenix Rd with platforms 10m under Euston's platforms to Ossulston St, track ascending & curving under Midland Rd, Pancras Rd & St Pancras Lock - to thus cross over the Thameslink box. One platform end is close to Thameslink, St Pancras & the vast new Kings X tube station. People would either stay on board through trains, walk forward to Thameslink / Kings X, back to Euston, down to Crossrail 2 or across the same platform for a stopping train down HS1. Through platforms can take more than twice as many trains as any terminal platform - meaning less of them are needed - to save costs. With through trains there are savings on having two sets of trains, depots and drivers and we can turn trains around in a variety of places - all cheaper than central London. Eurostars now sit idle at St Pancras long enough to reach Birmingham & back with a 40min turnaround. They could retain resilience whilst taking domestic passengers from Birmingham to London. HS2 hybrids could cross London onto HS1 Javelin routes. Platforms on an HS1-HS2 link are a no brainer. We need to safeguard them NOW for phase 1 & plan the Crossrail 2 station box with them in mind for HS2 phase 2.

John Jefkins   28/09/2017 at 09:56

Passport control would be handled at St Pancras or other joining stations in exactly the same way as now (ie at stations before you join trains). Separation of domestic & international passengers on board would also be handled just as Eurostar does now from Brussels to Lille (domestic passengers use a separate route to the platform to carriages at one end of the train. Two security guards act as a locked door between them and the international part of the train. At Birmingham/Manchester domestic bags would need to be scanned for any train bound for the Channel Tunnel (just as Spain does for domestic AVE trains). At St Pancras X, platforms either side of the train would allow domestic passengers to leave, 6 staff to each walk through 2 carriages (in 1 minute) to check they'd gone (& closing doors) before opening doors on the other side of the train for passport checked international passengers to join - ie within about 7 minutes. For resilience the odd domestic only shuttle could swop for a late international (or turn back in 20mins instead of 40mins).

John Jefkins   28/09/2017 at 10:16

The above solution thus copes with Channel Tunnel Act rules (I worked on the project). There would be bag & body arch checks at Birmingham & Manchester for people joining any train bound for the Channel Tunnel. At St Pancras x that means security staff only need to check that every PERSON has left - which they can do with a quick walk down the carriage & by opening loo doors before closing that exit door and sending a "clear" signal to control to give permission to start international loading. International passengers would be ready queued up by their doors to speed up loading - and those same security staff could help load bags/buggies to speed up boarding. In this way there could be 4 Eurostars and 4 domestic only trains/hr running from HS2 onto HS1. Any Eurostar viable from London is viable extended to Manchester as it would carry domestic passengers and swop them for international at London.

John Jefkins   28/09/2017 at 10:43

So although DOMESTIC markets are still the main cross London markets (as identified by SDG/Greenguage) and they get even more interesting if HS1 trains could also reach Heathrow (Mawhinney's report on the Heathrow spur was restricted to HS2 rather than HS1 markets), the Eurostar stuff is the revolutionary bit. With a St Pancras Cross swop (as described above), Eurostar north of London (and to Heathrow) suddenly becomes viable. The international market north of London for trains to Paris, Amsterdam, Dusseldorf, Lyon or Brussels may be only a quarter of the London market, but if they share the front quarter of EVERY Eurostar extended to Manchester, things change. Passport control at Manchester is more viable dealing with a smaller regular flow and every train can be flexibly filled with a mixture of mainly domestic and some international. The only change is bag scanning for everybody on the 3 or 4 trains/hr heading for Europe - but aren't we likely to need that anyway?

Chrism   29/09/2017 at 03:36

John Jefkins, you really do need to receive a huge reality check before you swamp the comments sections with more utter fantasy. Fact 1) HS2 will be full up with domestic train services from 2033. There will be no space left for any international trains, even if Brexit hadn't made that untenable. Fact 2) There is no longer a plan to link with HS1. Fact 3) Despite your claims, all 18 TPH will HAVE to call at Old Oak. The reason should be very obvious. Fact 4) The huge majority of passengers on HS2 will not be wanting to carry on to Stratford or Kent Fact 5) Extending the line under Kings Cross would be a waste of many £billions and would endanger station users. Fact 6) Build contracts have been signed and HS2 phase 1 will be built exactly as the hybrid bill legislation allows for. That means nothing additional. Please try to understand that, the essential route and infrastructure is very much a done deal. All your 'ideas' are meaningless, please take them elsewhere. Are you by any chance yet another re-incarnation of John Burns? He also struggled to accept what HS2 is and isn't....

Chrism   29/09/2017 at 03:48

Nick   27/09/2017 at 18:44 wrote: "Euston Cross has been debated for years. At an IMechE/IET presentation about HS2, we were told that EC is a non-starter, due to the siting of the British Library. To go underneath would be so deep that Evacuation Timing requirements could never be met". Absolutely right. Not to mention the fact that somehow creating this huge underground cavern would cost many billions and made a significant part of London (Somerstown)uninhabitable for years due to the risk of collapse. It also had potential to endanger the various buried tube lines in the area. Finally the proposers had no realistic idea how to link it to HS1! They didn't seem to grasp the vertical distances involved. The two so-called 'engineers' who came up with the 'Euston Cross' idea seemed blissfully ignorant of all these very real and difficult issues. Either that or they were willing to just ignore the issues to gain publicity and support from the Camden residents who were given false hope.

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