Old Oak Common: Crossrail and London Overground routes, moving the GWML up-relief viaduct, and widening the Acton Wells bridge

(Click to enlarge)

"Masterplan revealed for Old Oak Park." (View without having to go near the grubby PR outfit London Communications Agency)

Link to A As Architecture

"Land owners Cargiant have appointed a world-class project team for the masterplan of Old Oak Park – the largest site in Old Oak Common. The appointments follow London & Regional Properties becoming the development partner of Cargiant.

"Global engineering and design consultancy Arup and renowned architects PLP are amongst the team to unlock the vision for Old Oak Common. Cargiant is uniquely placed to build on the growing momentum behind the Mayor’s vision for Old Oak Common as a thriving new part of London."

[Reposted] Old Oak Common railways, and Acton Wells Junction images and speculation

(Old Oak Common, looking west, 1938)

(Planned Crossrail depot, looking south)

(Railway companies in 1903)

(Current railway lines [freight line loop is very faint])

(Acton Wells Junction, 2013: picture: loose_grip_99)

(Acton Wells Junction, looking north, 1988)

Acton Wells Junction:
TfL options A and C have a 2-platform station (blue);
TFl option B has a 4-platform station (orange and blue).
All options have a long subway/walkway, from Victoria Road (off to left)
via the station, to Old Oak Common Lane and the HS2 station (to the right).

Also shows speculation:
Possible platforms on the Dudding Hill Line are in purple,
on a new alignment moved away from Midland Terrace homes,
plus four-tracking to allow Option B to reach Acton Main Line station,
instead of terminating in the orange platforms.
A possible staff depot and car park in Midland Terrace is in green above.


Building: "WSP lands key role on Old Oak 'super hub'"

"WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff has been appointed by Network Rail to deliver engineering consultancy and infrastructure planning services at Old Oak Common, the joint ‘super hub’ station for Crossrail and HS2 in west London.

WSP will undertake an early phase study into realigning the existing tracks at the Old Oak Common depot to create space for a new station, which will handle around 250,000 passengers a day.

The study is part of a plan to improve interchange between HS2, Crossrail and the Great Western Main line, as well as Heathrow Express and other local public transport.

The engineering consultant was appointed in 2012 to develop a design for high speed and conventional railway systems along the HS2 route from London to Birmingham, including interface works at Old Oak Common.

Darren Reed, WSP’s head of rail, said:
"This project has national significance as it involves HS2, Crossrail, the main Western rail artery and the express service to the UK’s largest airport.

The complexity of this project requires excellence in designing, planning and engineering, and we are looking forward to delivering the benefits of our combined railway, station, and civil engineering expertise."

Monday 22 June: Old Oak & Park Royal Walking Tour. (Don't all rush.)

Link to web site

London Festival of Archiecture // City Hall Regeneration Team // Walking Tour

Date: Monday 22nd June 2.30pm-4.30pm

Meeting Point: Willesden Junction Station

Meeting Time: 2.30pm depart
"This walking tour will uncover the industrial activities of Park Royal and how Park Royal will benefit from the UK's largest regeneration project in neighbouring Old Oak Common.

"The Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation (OPDC) launched on 1 April 2015 to use a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of investment in High Speed 2 (HS2) and Crossrail at Old Oak Common to develop an exemplar community in north-west London. Development in this area could see up to 24,000 homes and more than 50,000 jobs arriving in Old Oak, whilst safeguarding and developing Park Royal as a strategic industrial location and attracting long-term investment to the area.

"The tour will be led by GLA Regeneration, supported by OPDC."


London Communications Agency: Old Oak Park: Car dealership’s giant site ‘can be new Little Venice’

Link to Evening Standard

"The world's largest second-hand car dealership is to be turned into a “new Little Venice” with three-quarters-of-a-mile of canalside caf├ęs, restaurants and parks under a £5 billion plan announced today.

"The ambitious vision was revealed by Cargiant, which occupies a 46-acre site between the Grand Union Canal and Willesden Junction station.

"It is by far the biggest stretch of land in the hands of a single private owner in Britain's largest regeneration zone.

"The scruffy windswept site would be renamed Old Oak Park and turned into a new town with 9,000 homes, a high street, public squares, schools, health centres, offices and a new Overground station called Hythe Road, as well as the canal frontage."

"In addition, regarding the event on Saturday 20 June at the Thames Harriers Clubhouse at the Linford Christie Stadium, the developer and key members of their development team, will provide a presentation to Grand Union Alliance members, friends and contacts (in a separate room at 11am), a question and answer session and refreshments (as requested at the last GUA meeting)."

Link to 'Old Oak Park' web site.

Department for Transport: "Update to legislation brings HS2 one step closer to construction"

"The government has tabled over 120 changes to the HS2 hybrid Bill following discussions with communities along the route.
  • government tables more than 120 amendments to the HS2 hybrid Bill
  • changes put forward after discussions with communities along the London to Birmingham route
  • construction on track to begin in 2017
"High Speed 2, the high speed railway connecting London with Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester has taken another step towards construction today (17 June 2015), as Parliament announced a debate on updated plans for building it.

"A motion has been laid in Parliament instructing the HS2 Select Committee to consider more than 120 changes the government wishes to make to the HS2 hybrid Bill. These amendments are the direct result of discussions between HS2 Ltd and communities along the London-Birmingham route. Their petitions have been through the bill’s Select Committee process and the resulting changes to HS2’s design will ensure that the railway is built in the best way possible. 

"Transport Minister Robert Goodwill said:
"This motion is a major step forward both in terms of getting HS2 through Parliament and getting this vital railway built. The changes to the bill show the government is listening to communities along the HS2 route. By working together, we can ensure this vital railway is designed in the right way, so we have spades in the ground in 2017 as planned."
"HS2 is a vital part of the government’s long term economic plan. It will have a transformational effect, supporting growth in the north by improving connectivity, freeing up space on our crowded rail network, promoting regeneration, boosting local skills, generating tens of thousands of jobs and helping secure the UK’s future prosperity.

"Among the amendments to be put to the Select Committee are:
  • changes to the HS2 route near Lichfield, which mean the railway will now pass under the A38, the West Coast Main Line and the South Staffordshire line rather than run over them on viaducts - this will avoid the need for two crossings over the Trent and Mersey Canal, which had previously been of concern to local stakeholders, including the Canal and Rivers Trust
  • altering the proposals for the relocation of the existing Heathrow Express depot at Old Oak Common to Langley near Slough, instead of the North Pole East depot site currently proposed in the bill
  • the construction of sidings to the west of the Old Oak Common station, which could facilitate a future connection between Crossrail and the West Coast Main Line, if needed
"Many petitioners made a case for small-scale changes to the bill. Also included in the amendments is the construction of a bypass for Chipping Warden in Northamptonshire, which will be of particular benefit to parents and pupils of the Chipping Warden Primary School on the A361 Byfield Road.

"The motion will be debated in Parliament. The amendments will then be deposited and anyone affected by the changes will be able to petition against them. A consultation period will also start so that members of the public can have their say. The Select Committee will meanwhile continue to hear petitions from people along other parts of the Phase One route. 

"The hybrid Bill remains on track to achieve Royal Assent by the end of 2016."

High speed rail media enquiries


China Daily Europe: "Creating climate change solutions through entrepreneurship"

Link to web site

"In Europe many young people have become risk averse, happy to work under a big corporate structure. Climate-KIC was set up to change this attitude, encouraging young people to create new climate change solutions through entrepreneurship," says Richard Templer, director of Climate-KIC UK and a professor at Imperial College.

"... One major area of potential knowledge exchange is the experience of creating an entire new area devoted to climate change answers. London is also building one such area, known as Old Oak and Park Royal, in West London.

"The Mayor of London Boris Johnson recently outlined proposals to transform Old Oak and Park Royal into a thriving new district with up to 24,000 new homes and more than 55,000 jobs.

" 'We will have a clean-tech and low carbon hub, to develop clean technology and light engineering industries, so in this sense we will have a lot of knowledge exchange with Lingang [city in China],' Templer says."

Colnbrook Views: "Consultation begins on move of Heathrow Express depot to Langley"

Link to web site

"A consultation is set to begin next week on whether a new rail depot should be built adjacent to Langley station. The depot would replace a Heathrow Express depot displaced by a new station being built for HS2 and Crossrail at Old Oak Common.

"Unlike other developments, however, the application will not be dealt with by the normal planning process as it is covered within provisions of the HS2 legislation. Residents can object to the plans via the consultation but ultimately MPs will adjudicate over the result.

"HS2 proposed that both should be relocated to an existing unused depot – ’North Pole’ – with First Great Western taking the western part and Heathrow Express the eastern part. The currently unoccupied site used to be the London Eurostar depot between 1994 and 2007."


Drone's eye view of Crossrail's completed rail tunnels

4 Jun 2015
"The Prime Minister and Mayor of London Boris Johnson celebrated the completion of Crossrail’s tunnels by going 40 metres below the capital to thank the men and women who are constructing the new £14.8 billion east-west railway.

"Crossrail tunnelling began in the summer of 2012 and ended at Farringdon with the break through of tunnelling machine Victoria. Eight 1,000 tonne tunnelling machines have bored 26 miles or 42 km of new 6.2m diameter rail tunnels under London.

"Construction is also advancing on the ten new Crossrail stations and on works above ground west of Paddington and east of Stratford. Over 10,000 people are currently working on Crossrail, including over 450 apprentices.

"With the arrival of Crossrail in 2018, Farringdon will become one of the UK’s busiest rail hubs with direct connections to London Underground and upgraded and expanded Thameslink services. This brand new interchange will transform the way passengers travel through London and the South East, providing more capacity and direct connections to three of London’s five airports and international rail services at St Pancras. Passengers will also benefit from quicker connections and will be able to travel to Tottenham Court Road in three minutes, Heathrow in just over 30 minutes and Canary Wharf in nine minutes."

Until Thurs 16 July: St Quintin and Woodlands Draft Neighbourhood Plan

Link to web site

"The St Quintin and Woodlands Neighbourhood Forum and Area were officially designated on 2 July 2013. Since then the Forum, with help and advice from the Kensington & Chelsea Council, has developed a draft Neighbourhood Plan for the Neighbourhood Area. The Forum has conducted workshops during this process and held an eight week consultation on an earlier draft of the plan from December 1 2014 to January 25 2015.

"The Draft St Quintin and Woodlands Neighbourhood Plan was formally submitted by the Forum to the Council on 17 May 2015.

"The Council is now conducting a further six week formal consultation on the Submission Draft Neighbourhood Plan from Thursday 4 June to Thursday 16 July.

"This version of the plan contains two new policies (4b and 4c) which have not been consulted upon by the Forum and the wording of some policies has changed since the previous consultation conducted by the Forum.

"All the comments received in response to this consultation will be passed to an independent examiner. The examiner’s job is to decide if the Draft Neighbourhood Plan meets the basic conditions required for a Neighbourhood Plan, which are that it:
  • meets EU obligations
  • has regard to national planning guidance
  • is in general conformity with the strategic policies of the Council’s Development Plan
  • contributes to sustainable development
  • is compatible with human rights requirements
"The examiner can accept the plan as it is written, make changes, or reject the plan because it does not meet the basic conditions. In the event that there are objections to some of the policies in the Draft Plan it is likely that the examiner will decide to hold a public hearing to consider certain issues. In view of this the examination will not be held until September, after the summer holiday period.

"If the plan passes the examination, a referendum will be held. Anyone on the electoral roll within the Neighbourhood Area will be eligible to vote."


Governing.com: "How Well Can a City Predict Its Future 20 Years Out?"

"In 1994, Seattle won praise from urbanist thinkers nationwide with its 20-year plan for population and economic growth"

Link to web site

"Twenty years ago, Seattle was America’s epicenter of urban planning. Its mayor, Norm Rice, had sponsored and guided into law a long-range blueprint that laid out in copious detail what the city was projected to look like in the faraway year of 2014.

"According to Seattle's Comprehensive Plan, as the document was officially known, the city would emerge from a period of slow growth and increase its population significantly in the ensuing two decades. It would use its planning tools to direct the new growth into 39 'urban villages' scattered across the city. These communities would gradually evolve into urbanist showplaces: compact enclaves organized around walkable streets, neighborhood commerce, reliable public transportation and abundant green space. Elements of the plan seemed to come straight out of the writings of Jane Jacobs, the author of the influential 1961 book The Death and Life of Great American Cities.

"... In 2013, newly elected Mayor Ed Murray did something mayors typically forget to do. He asked what the consequences of the once-famous urban plan had been. And he hired Peter Steinbrueck, a longtime city council member who had opened up a private urban consulting firm, to launch a study to find out. Steinbrueck’s team spent a year on what it called the Seattle Sustainable Neighborhoods Assessment Project, studying 10 of the urban villages in minute detail and gathering more general information about the city itself. Earlier this year, it produced a 170-page report."

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