Construction begins on HS2’s West London superhub
Image credit: hs2
Construction is beginning today on HS2’s west London ‘superhub’ station, Old Oak Common.
The station, which will be approximately half a kilometre south of Willesden Junction, is expected to see over 250,000 passengers using it on a daily basis.
Plans are also afoot to transform the wider area around the station, a former railway and industrial site, which is projected to involve the construction of thousands of new homes.
Transport secretary Grant Shapps will visit the site today to mark the start of construction, which will begin with a 1.8km-long underground diaphragm wall around what will become the station’s ‘underground box’, where six HS2 platforms will sit to accommodate trains serving the Midlands and the North.
Piling rigs will also install 160 reinforced concrete columns inside the wall to help form the box and support the structure.
Giving the green light for work to begin, Shapps said: “The start of permanent works at the largest train station ever built in the UK in one go, Old Oak Common, marks yet more progress in delivering HS2, the high-speed, high-capacity and low-carbon railway that will form the backbone of our national transport network.
“This ‘super-hub’ station shows our Plan for Jobs in action - kickstarting major regeneration, creating 2,300 jobs and 250 apprenticeships in construction – and underlines this Government’s determination to Build Back Better.”
Once complete, Old Oak Common station will house 14 new platforms, six of which are HS2 platforms offering high- speed services to the North and Midlands, four Crossrail, or Elizabeth Line, platforms, and four conventional rail platforms, which will be served by trains to Wales and south-west England.
Following the first phase of construction to create the box, work on the eight overground platforms will begin. Over 1600 concrete piles will be installed into the ground on which the station superstructure and overground platforms will sit.
Once complete, the station will boast a roof covering the area of over three football pitches which is made of a lightweight structure designed to minimise the use of materials and allow as much natural light as possible, to reduce the carbon impact of the station. The roof will also be covered in solar panels that will generate a supply of renewable energy for the station.
HS2 CEO Mark Thurston said: “The start of permanent works at Old Oak Common station, our first station under construction, is a significant step for Phase One of HS2, as we deliver world-leading engineering to create what will arguably be one of the best-connected railway super-hubs in the UK.
“Over 2,300 jobs will be supported to build the new station; part of the 22,000 jobs being created to build the new high-speed railway between London and the West Midlands, and emphasising the key role HS2 is playing in Britain’s economic recovery after the pandemic.”
The Financial Times reported yesterday that the cost of HS2 had risen, yet again, by £1.7bn in the past year as the pandemic piled further pressure on the project.
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