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Peers put forward suggestions on London end of HS2

A new report detailing proposals for the London end of the HS2 scheme has been released by Lords Bradshaw and Berkeley.

The two peers have, in their document, put forward suggestions that all HS2, as well as residual WCML intercity and regional trains, could terminate in the existing platforms at Euston. This would be achieved by allowing up to eight local WCML trains to be diverted onto Crossrail at Old Oak Common.

The key to this is, according to the peers, to move the WCML tracks within the existing formation around the Queen’s Park area and bring the HS2 tunnels to the surface on the line of the WCML fast lines and then make use of the existing approaches to Euston for all the trains.

It was stated that this would mean no permanent land take around Euston (except southwards to the bus station) and save between £1-2 bn on the project cost.

In a letter to HS2 chairman Sir David Higgins, the two peers said: “We have had a number of discussions with people at HS2, DfT, TfL and apart from our expert Jonathan Roberts, we have had help from WSP on engineering and operations issues.

“We can now confidently state that, provided that the line of the two HS2 tunnels from Old Oak Common eastwards is moved north to exit on the WCML formation around Queens Park Station with the WCML tracks slewed, that all HS2 trains, along with residual and replacement WCML intercity trains, and local and regional commuter services can be accommodated on the existing platforms at Euston station.”

For Phase 1 of the project, it was assumed that HS2 trains will be built to UK W6 gauge and will be less that 400m long to fit into the existing platforms. “The only other work necessary would be to enhance the gauge of the Primrose Hill DC lines tunnels to W12,” the peers added.

For Phase 2, with 400m trains, some Euston station platforms would need lengthening southwards, and for better passenger movement, a deck over the platforms would provide access to trains to several points along the platforms as well as space for other service and retail opportunities. 

In the letter to Mr Higgins, Lords Bradshaw and Berkeley added: “We do urge you in your planned statement on HS2 on 17 March, to include the option of moving the tunnel route northwards to under Queens Park Station, and abandon both the HS2-1 link and permanent land take requirements in Camden apart from south of Euston station.”

Prior to this latest announcement, the peers who proposed an alternative London terminus for HS2 – the ‘Euston Cross’ plan –welcomed the decision to abandon plans to demolish and rebuild Euston.

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