The Anonymous Widower

Should London Euston’s High Speed Two Station Have Ten Or Eleven Platforms?

This article on Ian Visits is entitled Call For A Rethink Of HS2’s Euston Station Plans.

These two paragraphs describe the current plan for Euston station.

The current plans for the HS2 station at Euston will see it delivered in two phases, with six platforms opened first to carry HS2 trains on the first stage of the railway up to the West Midlands. The second phase of the Euston station would open later, with an additional 5 platforms to manage demand when HS2 is extended to Crewe, Manchester and Leeds.

Phase one was scheduled for completion in 2026, and phase two in 2033.

This paragraph describes the latest idea from the Department for Transport.

However, the Oakervee review from last year called for a redesign of the station scaling back the station and increasing the amount of oversite development to fund it. Earlier this year it was revealed that the Department for Transport has instructed HS2 to refine the development to build it in one phase, but with just 10 platforms instead of 11 platforms.

There are now two camps arguing as to whether the station should be built with ten or eleven platforms.

I used to write project management software for four decades.

I have seen and heard of many arguments like these where money, time and resources push the design of a project one way or another.

My feeling is that Oakervee is right to recommend increasing the amount of oversite development to fund the station, as there are a lot of knockers of High Speed Two, who object to the amount of money being spent.

But this might mean that the station should be built in one phase, so that the oversite development can proceed at pace on the whole site, rather than just half at a time. I wasn’t involved in the planning of Canary Wharf, but it did seem to go up faster than other developments. And it was a large site!

So perhaps building the station in one phase will get it finished earlier in a better financial state.

But the downside of that, is the station will have ten platforms instead of eleven. But it will have ten platforms from the day it opens!

I would object to the reduction in the number of platforms, if it made High Speed Two more difficult to operate.But I do tend to believe those who say that High Speed Two can manage with ten platforms, as signalling, train design and operation is improving fast.

As an example, I think the next generation of high speed trains will be able to be turned faster in a terminal station.

The test of this statement will come in a few months, when I take a ride to Edinburgh on the new East Coast Trains service, which seems to be proposing to run to a tight timetable. This says to me, that they have found ways of running more efficiently!


I will let others choose the number of platforms at Euston, but I reserve the right to criticise their decision.

Although, I do believe that it could be better to build the station in one phase to maximise the oversite development and optimise the cash flow to pay for the project, both during the building and in the operation.

I would also hope to see some radical ideas for the uses of the oversite development. But I suspect, it will be more of the same.

August 21, 2021 - Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , ,


  1. Euston needs to be 11.

    Yes the plan can work with 10 but there is no contingency, limited recovery ability etc. and will be an almighty disaster with lots of “we told you so” if it goes ahead with 10.

    Just look at the Manchester Oxford Road calamity – too tight a timetable that works on paper but no in practice.

    Comment by chilterntrev | August 21, 2021 | Reply

    • I would agree about Oxford Road.

      But in other posts this evening, I feel I’ve shown that High Speed Two can get through.

      Comment by AnonW | August 21, 2021 | Reply

  2. Airlines have mastered the turnaround pretty effectively by getting passengers on and off through one or two doors at best then clean it refuel it and resupply it so about time trains caught up. Should they ever get to 18TPH that will still leave just over 30mins turnaround. Given the billions its costing it will be uber reliable!

    Comment by Nicholas Lewis | August 21, 2021 | Reply

    • I also think, that the cleaning team will get on at Old Oak Common to speed up the turnround. Some LNER and Avanti services do something similar now.

      Comment by AnonW | August 21, 2021 | Reply

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