The Anonymous Widower

HS2 Downsizes Euston Station To Save Costs

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Construction Enquirer.

The High Speed Two station at Euston will now have only ten platforms and it will be built in a single construction phase.

These are my thoughts.

Oversite Development

When completed, there will be a lot of development over the top of the new Euston station.

One way or another, this could be a nice little earner for High Speed Two,

  • It will be one of the most convenient addresses in London.
  • The development could be housing, offices or some innovative commercial property.
  • There might even be a large indoor sports or concert arena like the O2.

But whatever gets developed on top of the station, the developer would surely prefer to be handed as large a site as possible in 2026 all in one go.

And the earlier it is handed over, the earlier High Speed Two gets paid.

I do wonder, if a large international property and entertainment group of the highest quality has made the government an offer that is far too good to refuse to build a world class venue on top of the station.

  • It would be a very well-connected by public transport and most visitors could come by public transport.
  • Surely, if a massive attraction was on top of the station, High Speed Two and all the railways would benefit from the rail ticket revenue.
  • The Manchester Arena is over the top of Manchester Victoria station. So why not a Euston Arena?

Euston station, is a site where High Speed Two and developers must be ultra-bold to maximise the return for everyone, including those sceptics, who believe High Speed Two is a waste of money.

The View From Ian

There is an excellent post on Ian Visits which is entitled HS2 to Cut London Euston Station To Ten Platforms.

Some of the following thoughts have been suggested by reading Ian’s post.

Euston Station Must Be Able To Handle Eighteen Trains Per Hour

The main tracks of High Speed Two are being designed to handle eighteen trains per hour (tph) or a train every three minutes and twenty seconds.

The current plan is that when Phase 2 is complete, the High Speed platforms at Euston station will handle seventeen tph, which will leave one path spare for sorting out problems.

With ten High Speed platforms, that would mean that in a busy hour, each platform would handle two tph or a train every thirty minutes.

With the improvements in signalling and track and train design, I would expect that turning trains in Euston at that frequency is possible.

I suspect that High Speed Two and Network Rail have done extensive Monte-Carlo simulations to prove that ten High Speed platforms can handle the required eighteen tph.

Greater Integration Between High Speed Two And Network Rail

In Ian’s post he says this.

In the meantime, HS2 and Network Rail are working on how they can have a greater integration between HS2 and the associated upgrades of the Network Rail side of the station.

Consider.

  • The Network Rail station should  be able to handle a single 200 metre long Classic-Compatible train at the present time.
  • Under current plans four services into the High Speed platforms at Euston station will be single 200 metre long Classic-Compatible trains.
  • I wonder if it would be possible to add a crossover to allow High Speed Two  trains from the North to enter the Network Rail platforms alongside the High Speed Two platforms.
  • If the track layout were possible, this could effectively give High Speed Two ten High Speed platforms and one or even two emergency ones, if required in the Network Rail station.

This Google Map shows Euston station.

Note.

  1. The large square building is the current Euston station.
  2. The building site on the Western side of the station is the High Speed extension, where there will be ten platforms.
  3. Euston station can take 265 metre long Class 390 trains.
  4. Platform 1 on the East side of Euston station can take the 355 metre long Caledonian Sleeper.

There certainly would appear to be possibilities to link the two sides of the station to improve operational flexibility.

I wonder if something could be done in Birmingham to improve connectivity.

In Birmingham Airport Connectivity, I said this

But look at this map clipped from the High Speed Two web site.

Note.

  1. The blue dot shows the location of Curzon Street station.
    The West Coast Main Line running into New Street station, is just to the South of Curzon Street station.
    New Street station can be picked out to the West of Curzon Street station.

This Google Map shows a close-up of the current Curzon Street station site.

The same pattern of rail lines going past the Curzon Street site into New Street station can be picked out.

Surely, a connection could be made to allow trains from a couple of platforms in Curzon Street station to terminate trains from the West Coast Main Line.

Possible services could include.

  • London Euston and Birmingham Curzon Street via Watford Junction, Milton Keynes, Rugby and Coventry
  • Cardiff and Birmingham Curzon Street via Bristol Parkway, Swindon, Oxford and Milton Keynes.
  • Cambridge and Birmingham Curzon Street via Bristol Parkway, Bedford and Milton Keynes.

There are a lot of possibilities to give High Speed Two much bigger coverage.

 

 

October 26, 2021 - Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , ,

5 Comments »

  1. Stephenson’s statement in the Commons is at https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/hs2-6-monthly-report-to-parliament-october-2021

    The speech mentions OOC being the interim terminus, and also states that 2a to Crewe should be finished a year after the initial stage in 2029-33. As Euston completion is not until 2031-6, this seems to indicate that trains might be running to Crewe before Euston.

    Comment by Peter Robins | October 26, 2021 | Reply

  2. I thought that the idea of a single-stage build of Euston station was to bring the completion date forward.

    Comment by AnonW | October 26, 2021 | Reply

    • I think it’s more to prevent any further delays 🙂

      Comment by Peter Robins | October 26, 2021 | Reply

  3. I prefer a guaranteed 10 platform station at Euston today than relying on a future government which could cut investment leaving only 8/9 platforms!

    Given two platforms existing platforms were taken out of service to be used by construction freight trains then given the current station will have less long distance trains then hopefully a way of using existing platforms for at least single train HS2 will be possible.

    The cut in platforms from 11 to 10 has caused many complaints but the question arises as to whether passive provision of west to east through platforms at Euston from OOC has been made to act as a way of linking HS2 to HS1 with possible joint Euston/ St Pancras Station on northern end of stations.

    Comment by Melvyn | October 26, 2021 | Reply

  4. The challenge will be turning the trains around in just over 30mins Eurostar are more like 90mins. The proposition is supposed to be more full service airline than ryanair cut and run so they will have to throw a lot of cleaners at it as well as being smart at unloading and reloading catering. Possible then and as a new operator they can set things up from scratch.

    Comment by Nicholas Lewis | October 26, 2021 | Reply


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