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

A Big Advantage Of Only Ten Platforms For High Speed Two At Euston Station

Many of us have been involved in the start-up and handover of a new project, even it is just buying a new house to live in from a builder.

All projects have one thing in common. Something will go wrong, even if it is just the lock on the toilet door.

Harold Macmillan expressed it memorably as “Events, Dear Boy! Events!”

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.

The eleven platform station project will involve.

  • Two-phase construction
  • Five platforms by 2026
  • Eleven platforms by 2033

On the other hand, the ten platform station project will involve.

  • Single-phase construction
  • Ten platforms on opening.
  • More oversite development.

Note.

  1. There will be eleven trains per hour (tph) in Phase 1 of High Speed Two from London Euston.
  2. , Trains will serve Birmingham, Carlisle, Lancaster, Liverpool, Macclesfield, Manchester. Preston, Stafford, Stoke-on-Trent and Scotland.
  3. Full-size trains will be able to run to Birmingham Curzon Street and Crewe, but not to the two Manchester stations, as the trains don’t fit the infrastructure.

I suspect that Speed Two Classic-Compatible Trains will be running to Manchester.

The Big Advantage Of A Two-Phase Project With Ten Platforms

In the two-phase project with eleven platforms to rebuild Euston station, there will be five platforms, when the station opens, but in the single-phase project with ten platforms, there will be ten platforms.

If there are ten platforms, the station must be easier to operate, especially during the tricky phase of opening the new station.

With ten platforms, there will be more space to sort out those unexpected events!

August 22, 2021 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , | 7 Comments

How Many High Speed Two Trains Will Be Able To Terminate In Euston Station?

This is one of those questions for which you get a different answer depending on what conditions you put on the question.

But there are some physical constraints that have been built into the design.

High Speed Two Tracks And Signalling Are Designed For Eighteen Trains Per Hour

It seems to be an accepted fact, that High Speed Two tracks and signalling will be able to handle 18 trains per hour (tph) or a train every three minutes and twenty seconds.

If this applies to all High Speed Two routes it is certainly a big increase in capacity of the UK rail network.

Seventeen Trains Per Hour In Euston Station

Does it also mean that Euston station must be able to handle 18 tph? Not necessarily, as High Speed Two will only need to handle 17 tph, because they will be keeping one path for recovering the service, after perhaps a train breaks down.

  • If the station has eleven platforms, that means each platform must handle 1.5 tph or in practice two tph or a train every thirty minutes.
  • If the station has ten platforms, that means each platform must handle 1.7 tph or in practice two tph or a train every thirty minutes.

Ten platforms appear to make little  difference in normal operation But when things go wrong, it is more likely, there will be another platform to park a late train.

Turning Trains In Thirty Minutes At Euston Station

One train every thirty minutes means that operating procedures and staff training must be such that trains can be turned within this time.

If trains could be turned faster, then this would enable services to be recovered after a delay.

Twenty-Four Trains Per Hour In Euston Station

If say at some time in the future, signalling improves and 24 tph on High Speed Two is possible with perhaps Automatic Train Operation, this would mean that if there were ten platforms each would have to handle 2.4 tph, or in practice three tph or a train every twenty minutes.

A frequency of 24 tph won’t happen in my lifetime, but I do believe it is possible on High Speed Two  with ten platforms at Euston station.

Thirty Trains Per Hour In Euston Station

Thirty tph may be practical on Metros today and could be possible on High Speed Two in the far future, but in practice, that would only be four tph or a train every fifteen minutes.

The Initial Full Timetable Is Seventeen Trains Per Hour

Currently, this is planned to be the case and the trains to and from London Euston are planned to be as follows.

  • Train 1 – London Euston and Birmingham Curzon Street – 400 metre Full-Size
  • Train 2 – London Euston and Birmingham Curzon Street – 400 metre Full-Size
  • Train 3 – London Euston and Birmingham Curzon Street – 400 metre Full-Size
  • Train 4 – London Euston and Lancaster – Classic Compatible
  • Train 4 – London Euston and Liverpool – Classic Compatible
  • Train 5 – London Euston and Liverpool – Classic Compatible
  • Train 6 – London Euston and Macclesfield – Classic Compatible
  • Train 7 – London Euston and Manchester – 400 metre Full-Size
  • Train 8 – London Euston and Manchester – 400 metre Full-Size
  • Train 9 – London Euston and Manchester – 400 metre Full-Size
  • Train 10 – London Euston and Edinburgh – Classic Compatible
  • Train 10 – London Euston and Glasgow – Classic Compatible
  • Train 11 – London Euston and Edinburgh – Classic Compatible
  • Train 11 – London Euston and Glasgow – Classic Compatible
  • Train 12 – London Euston and Sheffield – Classic Compatible
  • Train 12 – London Euston and Leeds – Classic Compatible
  • Train 13 – London Euston and Leeds – 400 metre Full-Size
  • Train 14 – London Euston and Leeds – 400 metre Full-Size
  • Train 15 – London Euston and Sheffield – Classic Compatible
  • Train 15 – London Euston and York – Classic Compatible
  • Train 16 – London Euston and Newcastle – Classic Compatible
  • Train 17 – London Euston and Newcastle – Classic Compatible

Note.

  1. I have assumed 400 metre Full-Size trains will be a pair of 200 metre trains.
  2. Trains 4, 10, 11, 12 and 15 are pairs of 200 metre long Classic-Compatible trains, that  split and join at Crewe. Carlisle, Carlisle and East Midlands Hub respectively.
  3. Trains 5, 6, 16 and 17 are single 200 metre long Classic-Compatible trains.

This graphic shows the services.

Note.

  1. Trains to the left of the vertical black line are Phase 1 and those to the right are Phase 2.
  2. Full-Size trains are shown in blue.
  3. Classic-Compatible trains are shown in yellow.
  4. The dotted circles are where trains split and join.
  5. In the red boxes routes alternate every hour.

In an hour, the following trains will leave London Euston.

  • 8 – 400 metre Full-Size trains, each of which consist of a pair of 200 metre trains.
  • 5 – Pairs of 200 metre long Classic-Compatible trains.
  • 4 – Single 200 metre long Classic-Compatible trains.

Note.

  1. Adding up the 200 metre trains gives a total of thirty trains.
  2. If all paths were handling a pair of 200 metre trains, the total would be thirty-four trains.

As I showed in Could High Speed Two Serve Holyhead?, these four trains can be used to serve extra destinations by appropriate splitting and joining.

So in answer to the question in the title of this post, the answer is thirty-four 200 metre trains.

  • Each path can carry one pair of 200 metre trains per hour.
  • The number of paths is determined by the 18 tph that each leg can handle, reduced by one for a path for recovery.

I am assuming each platform can handle two tph.

But thirty or forty years in the future, this figure with more advanced trains and signalling could be a lot higher.

Does Euston Station Need Ten Or Eleven Platforms?

Mathematically, the following is possible.

  • Ten platforms can handle thirty tph, if trains can be turned in fifteen minutes.
  • Ten platforms can handle twenty-four tph, if trains can be turned in twenty minutes.
  • Ten platforms can handle seventeen tph, if trains can be turned in thirty minutes.

The only need for the eleventh platform, is for when things go seriously wrong.

 

 

 

August 21, 2021 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , | Leave a comment

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!

Conclusion

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 | , , , , , , | 4 Comments