Crossrail tunnelling drives

Link to Crossrail web site

"There will be a total of 42km of bored tunnels located below the busy streets of London. The tunnels will weave their way between existing underground lines, sewers, utility tunnels and building foundations from station to station, at depths of up to 40m.

"In the second quarter of 2012, the first two tunnel boring machines (TBMs) will start out on their journey from Royal Oak, towards the west of Farringdon station.

"This will be followed later in the year by the launch of two further tunnel boring machines in Docklands, that will head under central London towards the east of Farringdon. Further shorter tunnel drives will take place in the Royal Docks and east London.

"Teams of dedicated construction workers will be working 24 hours a day to complete the tunnels for Europe's largest civil engineering project ,with thousands of others employed to upgrade the existing rail network, and build major new stations along the central section of the route.

"Tunnel portals will be constructed at Royal Oak, Pudding Mill Lane, North Woolwich, Victoria Dock, and Plumstead."


Wed. 8 Feb: Park Royal Partnership: "Transform your business out of the recession"

Link to Park Royal Partnership

"Working together, we have designed a series of interesting FREE seminars during the Spring of 2012. They will provide insights into how you can transform your business, in preparation for growth in the year ahead.

"Come along, and kick-start your business for 2012."

Seminar 1
'Transform your business out of the recession'
Wednesday 8th February, 2012: 6:30pm – 8:30pm 
Crown House: North Circular Road, Park Royal, London NW10 7PN

Hammersmith & Fulham: "Flame of the Past, Flame of the Future"

"A London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham video was made to commemorate the centenary of the Franco-British Exhibition, and the 1908 Olympic Games. In 1908 the Olympic Games came to London for the first time, and more importantly, to Shepherds Bush, where the great White City was being built for the Franco-British Exhibition.

"Using archive film and photos, the video charts the history between 1908 and 2008. Including exclusive interviews with Dame Mary Glen Haig, whose father competed as a fencer in the 1908 Games and was herself a fencer in the Games between 1948 and 1960; and Jo Hutchison who is a fencing hopeful for the 2012 Games.

"Find out what the flip flap was, and why Dorando Pietri became such an infamous name in the marathon."


HS2 is recruiting...

Link to HS2 web site

"Since the Government’s decision to go ahead with HS2, HS2 Ltd is the organisation that is developing and promoting the project.  We will now start the engineering, design and environmental work in preparation for the hybrid Bill for the London to West Midlands route.  The Bill will authorise the Government to build and operate phase 1 of the project. We are also continuing our work on proposals for the line of route from Birmingham to Leeds and Manchester.

"HS2 Ltd is a company wholly owned by the Department for Transport.

"We are currently recruiting specialists... find out more about our current vacancies."


Selected remarks from HS2 report

Link to document

"This is HS2 Ltd’s advice to Government, which examines, following consultation, the route selection process we adopted, leading to identification of the consultation route for the first phase of HS2 between London and the West Midlands.

"Following further examination, we consider there is no reason to change our recommended stations as the consultation proposal of four stations, and their locations, would deliver the best balance between capacity of the line and benefits to passengers. In particular, we confirm the opportunity for enhanced connectivity in London created by a station at Old Oak Common, which would be chosen by about a third of HS2 passengers, thereby aiding passenger dispersal, and the case for a central London terminus at Euston."

"There could be a case for providing a direct link for suburban trains between the West Coast Main Line (WCML) and Crossrail, although we consider that this should not alter the designs for Euston, and that if it were to be pursued it should be built after phase one of HS2."

[Transport for London favours using the Dudding Hill Freight Line instead, to reach the WCML.]


Metro: "London to Birmingham high-speed rail link: A £33bn waste of money, or not?"

Link to the Metro

"The government has given itself until 2033 to have its much-vaunted high-speed rail network linking London, Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds up and running. The first phase, between London and Birmingham, is expected to be built by 2026.

Transport secretary Justine Greening promised a ‘railway revolution in Britain’, saying the 225mph link would sustain 1million jobs, benefit the economy by £47billion, and cut journey times between London and Birmingham by almost 40 minutes.

The plan has divided MPs, economists and campaign groups. Its supporters see it as an opportunity to boost Britain’s infrastructure, and to bring us up to speed with our foreign rivals.

Protesters say the £32.7billion project is a waste of money that will destroy wildlife across a 160km (100-mile) stretch of countryside, in its first phase."


Blue Pullman: Paddington, Old Oak Common, North Acton, Perivale, Greenford, Ruislip, ...

Unfortunately, the film of Perivale ended up on the cutting room floor. Timings in this 1962 film seem to be: 
  • 0 min 52 sec: Westbourne Park station (the last main line platforms were removed in the 1990s)
  • 1 min 05 sec: Old Oak Common (branching right towards Ruislip, off the main line to Reading and Bristol) 
  • 1 min 11 sec: North Acton (Central Line) station
  • 1 min 23 sec: Greenford station.
Work out the rest for yourself!

The train driver, Ernest Morris, died with his fireman in the Dorridge train crash the following year, in August 1963.

Old Oak Common yard, looking west, also 1962
(Picture: Ben Brooksbank) 

The Independent: "The Battle of Boris Island"

Link to The Independent

"The Battle for Boris Island, which spilled out into the open last week, illustrates how government policy is being driven by what one source described as a 'dangerous axis' of the London Mayor and the PM's strategy chief.

"One Whitehall source said: 
"There is the Quad [Mr Cameron, Mr Osborne, Nick Clegg and Danny Alexander], and then there are Steve and Boris. You couldn't call it a Sextet because you could never get everyone playing the same tune."

Evening Standard: "We need HS2 tunnel too, say residents"

Link to Evening Standard

"Hundreds of residents in a 'forgotten' part of London are demanding ministers lengthen the high-speed rail tunnel through their community.

"When Transport Secretary Justine Greening approved plans for the £32 billion HS2 link this month, she announced a 2.7-mile tunnel through Ruislip, in a concession to protesters who say their lives will be blighted by noise and disruption. 

"But their neighbours in Perivale and Greenford say they still face the prospect of 225mph trains thundering past their homes on the London-to-Birmingham route, as well as years of building work before its completion in 2026."


Daily Mail: "Boris Island lift-off: New move to back airport in Thames Estuary"

Link to Daily Mail

"An airport in the Thames Estuary has moved a step closer, with the Government set to include the plans in a consultation. The scheme is expected to cost between £40billion and £70billion.

"Mr Johnson has also praised separate designs by architect Lord Foster, for a £50billion airport on a sparse strip of land on the Isle of Grain in Kent, which juts out into the estuary. But it is the plan for an airport built on an artificial island that is to be part of the consultation."


Evening Standard: "Cameron's backing makes Boris Island airport 'irresistible'"

Link to Evening Standard

"Plans to build the world's biggest airport in the Thames Estuary took a significant step forward today, as David Cameron prepared to announce a formal consultation on the project.

"Mayor Boris Johnson, who originally proposed the scheme, today hailed moves for a new hub airport as 'irresistible', and said it would solve the South-East's aviation crisis, create jobs and boost the economy."


Implementing the London Plan - have your say

Link to document
The Mayor is currently consulting on the Implementation Plan for the London Plan (until 29 February.) 

"In spite of committed improvements set out in the TfL Business Plan (to 2014/15) and HLOS to 2014, crowding will remain on certain LU and NR lines and on certain radial corridors into London (Figures 1 and 2, below). Vehicle delay on the road network, particularly in Inner London and Outer London town centres, is also forecast to increase (Figure 3).

This has the potential to constrain growth and hinder delivery of the London Plan."

 "... 3.28 Table 6.1 of the London Plan gives an indicative list of transport schemes that are needed to deliver growth forecasts whilst meeting the Mayor’s wider environmental, safety, quality of life and accessibility objectives."

"... 3.29 The indicative list of schemes includes those that have funding committed in the TfL Business Plan and NR HLOS. These schemes include Crossrail and Thameslink upgrade (both due for completion 2018-19) and the LU line upgrades. These form the bulk of the Mayor's Transport Strategy (MTS) ‘reference case’ and will provide a substantial increase in rail capacity that is essential to accommodate short to medium term growth in London.

3.30 Additional investment over and above committed schemes will be required. Key schemes in the medium-longer term include delivering a new north east to south west rail link, also known as Crossrail 2, along an alignment similar to the safeguarded Chelsea-Hackney line route, four tracking of the Lee Valley mainline, further train capacity increases on key NR routes, development of key Strategic Interchanges, extensions to the Bakerloo and Northern lines, potential extensions to the DLR and Tramlink networks, enhanced river crossings in east London..."

"... 3.34 The 2010 Spending Review settlement for TfL and Network Rail allows for completion of essential short to medium term schemes such as Crossrail, Tube upgrades and Thameslink upgrade. This level of investment is approximately £4.8 billion per year to 2018. The proposed package of schemes beyond this will require continuing annual investment of around £ 3.5bn to £ 4.5bn in the period to 2031.

3.35 The next spending review is due in 2014. The settlement should allow for the confirmation of the TfL Business Plan to 2020 and the NR HLOS for Control Period 5 2014 to 2019. TfL is undertaking analysis of the priority schemes for delivery between 2015 to 2020 and is seeking involvement in discussions surrounding HLOS and train operating company franchise re-letting to ensure that outcomes support the MTS."

Evening Standard: "Boris pledges to fight for more concessions over high-speed rail"

Link to Evening Standard

"Boris Johnson has attacked the Government over the high-speed rail project, saying the plan as it stands is 'not right' for London.

"The Mayor expressed his concerns about the impact the £32 billion HS2 line will have on west London. Transport Secretary Justine Greening gave the go-ahead to the scheme last week, after pledging three miles of extra tunnelling in London to appease protesters."


Sir Terry Farrell and the Old Oak Common USP

"The London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham has commissioned Farrells to explore the potential for urban regeneration and growth around the proposed Crossrail and High Speed 2 rail interchange at Park Royal and Old Oak Common.

[Click top-right of this web site to view a video about the development from LBH&F.]

"Of the scale of Stratford or Canary Wharf, Farrells vision for over 500 hectares of West London (including Old Oak Common, the Park Royal Business Park, White City and Kensal) is focussed on the unparalleled level of accessibility of the potential ‘super hub’ interchange which would:
  • link High Speed 2 connectivity from the north to the Great Western and West Coast Main Lines, Crossrail, West and North London Lines, Bakerloo and Central Underground lines, Heathrow Express, A40 and North Circular Road, and 
  • properly link four of the nation’s major airports to the high-speed rail network for the first time. Heathrow would be just 11 minutes away, with three other airports (Luton, Stansted and City Airport) within 30 minutes travel time.
"Given this truly transformational level of accessibility, Farrells study concludes that there is the clear potential for a new place in London, with the ‘super hub’ interchange becoming a powerful economic driver for growth and regeneration.

"Working in conjunction with respected economists Colin Buchanan and CBRE, Farrells’ regeneration vision for 'Park Royal City' could generate an estimated 12,000 homes, 115,000 jobs, a new waterside park along the Grand Union Canal and a new rapid transit system, built on an unrivalled convergence of transport routes in west London."


Harrow/Brent Observer, and Brent & Kilburn Times (2)

Link to 'Brent and Kilburn Times':
"Residents in Kensal Triangle and Queen’s Park
dealt a bitter blow over HS2 green light"


Evening Standard: London HS2 mega-hub at Old Oak Common 'will be world-class'

Link to web site
"One of the capital's leading architects claimed today that a west London 'mega-hub' for high-speed rail will rival the world's greatest stations.

"Sir Terry Farrell said his proposed Old Oak Common interchange, near Wormwood Scrubs, will be able to compete with stations such as St Pancras and China's huge Beijing South in China - which he also designed.

"Hammersmith and Fulham council has recruited the architect to design the Park Royal City project, which will include the Old Oak interchange. Sir Terry's vision also features shops, flats overlooking a canal and a monorail to nearby business centres."

Link to Evening Standard
"Euston calling with HS2"

"For sure, the disruption at Euston to traffic and trade caused by HS2 will be immense, but nothing close to the scale of the horrors 180 years ago.

"First to go as Euston spreads westward will be the grim Network Rail concrete boxes, the Ibis and Cottage hotels, and (sadly) the dear old Bree Louise pub.

"With ten new dedicated HS2 platforms for the new generation of 400m long, 1,100-seater, 225mph monster trains - some supposedly double-decker - piecemeal expansion is impossible, and instead Euston will be transformed into a 24-platform mega-station."


Evening Standard: "High speed train tunnel in London"

Link to Evening Standard

"Nearly three miles of extra tunnelling under London and thousands of new jobs were pledged to buy off protesters, as the High Speed Rail line to Birmingham finally got the go-ahead today.

Backers say 20,000 jobs will be created at the major new Old Oak Common interchange near Wormwood Scrubs, saying it would do for west London regeneration what the Olympics is doing in the east.

"Mark Loveday, Hammersmith & Fulham's cabinet member for strategy, said:
"HS2 is the fastest way to deliver much need new homes, jobs and opportunities in one of London's poorest areas. It will unleash the creation of a new business hub bigger than Canary Wharf, bringing thousands of affordable homes and jobs to London."


The Independent: "Full steam ahead for high-speed rail"

Link to The Independent

"A £32bn high-speed rail link between London and Birmingham that would cut through some of Britain's most prized countryside and infuriate Conservative MPs is set to be approved by the Transport Secretary.

"Justine Greening's decision comes after a study of the alternatives concluded they would fail to reduce overcrowding on trains and would condemn passengers to years of engineering work and delays."


Evening Standard: "High speed rail link backed by business leaders"

Link to Evening Standard

"Business leaders, union bosses and economists are urging the Government to press ahead with plans for a high-speed rail line between London and Birmingham.

"In letters to the Financial Times, Daily Telegraph and the Guardian, they said the proposed HS2 would boost growth and create jobs.

"The final decision on whether to go ahead with the controversial rail link has been postponed until this month."


BBC: "Crossrail project: Digging to start on London tunnels"

Link to BBC web site

"They look like a movie prop from 'Journey to the Centre of the Earth' but the Tunnel Boring Machines (TBMs) unveiled in Germany are the real thing. Each one weighs 1,000 tonnes and is longer than a football pitch. 

"In March, the first of eight of these giant machines will start burrowing under central London to carve out the tunnels for Crossrail, Europe's biggest civil engineering project."
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