Old Oak Common – an HS2 Station!

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Fascinating.  It has been announced that bidders for the design and construction of this new station – along with Euston – were announced on 6th February.

Many of us remember this site as the motive power depot on the old Great Western Railway, and Western Region of BR.  Never considered it as a station, but now included in the HS2 list of stations between London and Birmingham – or Phase 1 – and as well as allowing passengers to transfer from the new line to Birmingham to local services, it will provide a connection to HS1.   Hmm – wonder if the new e320 Eurotunnel trains will be able to provide services through to other parts of the UK.

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Old Oak Common Depot’s open day in 2017 featured a ‘Legends of the Great Western’ line up to show the changes in motive power over the depot’s 111 years.  Photo (c) Geof Sheppard

The location is an interesting one for many reasons, and is the closest that the existing west of England main line, and west coast main lines come together, but will it just become another Crewe, or Clapham Junction I wonder.  Back in 2014, connectivity between HS1 and the West Coast Main Line (WCML) was the subject of a study to develop that connection as part of the EU TEN-T core network programme.

Developing TEN-TIt was cancelled in 2015.

So the latest connectivity plans seem to be dependent on HS2 construction – and as this timescale seems to be ever increasing, will an improved international rail freight and passenger connection to GWR, Crossrail, Heathrow Express and HS1 be achieved?

Old Oak Common on HS2-HS1

At the top of the picture is the WCML, so it would not perhaps be unreasonable to have provided that link without HS2.   A question does remain from this map of the proposals for Old Oak Common – what happens to freight traffic coming off HS1?  Where does it connect to the rest of the UK?

It will of course arrive onto WCML metals via the ‘Y’ junction at Camden Road Station, then on through Primrose Hill tunnels.

Amazingly, the new HS2 route to Old Oak Common and connection to HS1, is almost exactly what was proposed 4 years ago, and then cancelled.  Whilst the HS2 development may prove useful in 20 years time, perhaps the connection to the WCML for freight traffic will be needed sooner.

We await the next West Coast upgrade with interest.

-oOo-

 

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