The Guardian: "London property goes through the roof again"

"From 'poor doors' to 'sky pools', it's clear that property developers in the capital are having a laugh when it comes to social housing"

Link to web site

"Like stages of grief, the London housing market has come through denial and bargaining and has moved into the sixth stage: 'Armando Iannucci sketch'. The new £15bn housing project in Battersea, where flats start at £602,000, has planning permission for a 25-metre swimming pool that literally looks down on the rest of London. The 'sky pool' will be suspended between two tower blocks 10 storeys high, and will have a transparent floor, and will be the most expensive metaphor since that skyscraper melted a parked-up Jag.

"Something has changed in the housing crisis. The goalposts have not moved so much as exploded in small bombs of glitter. There's no point now in pointing out the disparities and the unfairnesses. The gap between us and them is so wide that the people paying cash unseen for new builds are in a different time zone, a gap so deep that it makes the Manchester sinkhole look like a pockmark.

"Instead of crying, the time has come to laugh. To light long fags on the embers of our burning cities and clink tea mugs, chuckling at the madness and obscenity we see from our window. To sit on the top deck of the bus and to look over first to the east, where Hackney council has been considering an order that would allow police to issue on-the-spot fines for rough sleepers, and then to the west and see a horizon, forming in spikes and towers, of apartment blocks being built solely from foie gras and glass."


"We are Brent Citizens Against the Planning Corruption of the London Borough of Barnet! We have been charged with a holy quest!"

Briefing on New Rail Services in Brent

This briefing gives details of:

  • the proposed "Crossrail-to-the-West-Coast-Main-Line" service through Wembley Central station
  • a new London Overground service across Brent to Hendon Thameslink station
  • possible light-rail / tram services.

When rail services are proposed, they have to be paid for. Brent has the Wembley Opportunity Area, but the main sources of possible subsidy come from:

  • Brent Cross Cricklewood (in Barnet) and
  • Old Oak Common (now controlled by the "Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation").


This is a £4.5-billion development, with a very long border with Brent, along the A5 Edgware Road.

There was a 1996 car-based scheme to expand the out-of-town shopping centre: HERE

John Prescott and the High Court both rejected this, and in 2002 Barnet instructed the shopping centre developers, including Hammerson, to devise a bigger "Brent Cross Cricklewood Masterplan".

This was just "top-down planning", and Barnet has never bothered with anything more democratic.

In 2005 Barnet produced "Supplementary Planning Guidance" for the London Plan, but it merely confirmed what was in the masterplan.

It predicted over 29,000 extra cars per day in the Brent Cross area!

Comments were submitted to reopen the Dudding Hill Freight Line that runs across Brent (from Acton, via Harlesden, Neasden and Gladstone Park). But these attempts were thrown out, because "the railway wasn't in Barnet".

A Brent Cross Cricklewood planning application was submitted in 2008.

Campaigners proposed a "North and West London Light Railway" with phase one at Brent Cross, instead of all the extra cars: Three pages in PDF file HERE (be patient for it to download)

LB of Brent also produced a map of possible light-rail across Brent and to Wembley, Green dashed lines HERE

Hammerson wrote to the transport campaigners that it would only "investigate light-rail" if they signed an undertaking not to oppose the planning application! This was refused.

Barnet passed the application through committee in November 2009, although only after a Barnet officer lied that Brent did not object to the plan. (A robust exchange of letters followed.)

Barnet announced there would be an "A5 Corridor Study" - of various transport studies across Barnet, Brent and Camden - to placate opposition. This seems to have been downgraded by Barnet, into a minor planning condition, by a year later when formal consent was given.

The Brent Cross plan was "refreshed" in 2014, dropping most of the Section 106 promises.

Note that it still includes a 300,000 tonne-per-year waste incinerator next to Dollis Hill, and a 5-storey building on the only green space in Cricklewood's town centre, next to B&Q.

Only the chief whip of Barnet Tories spoke at the 2014 meeting. He said Brent Cross shopping centre was looking "tired". Everything else was still in the same planning application, including Cricklewood Lane over a mile away.

Brent Cross continues as a car-based development, just as in 1996.

LB of Brent is objecting to the latest version of the "A5 Corridor Study".

LB of Barnet only models Brent's road junctions if they are "not quite at saturation level" (that is, below 90%). Above that, the extra congestion - at already clogged junctions - is apparently not Barnet's concern, even though the junctions will get Brent Cross traffic.


The High Speed Two and Crossrail station at Old Oak Common is a game-changer.

It is very near the route of the original light-rail proposal, but offers two new rail services across Brent - a branch of Crossrail to the West Coast Main Line (stopping at Wembley Central and Harrow & Wealdstone) and a new London Overground service on the Dudding Hill Line (to Brent Cross and Hendon or Mill Hill Broadway).

Transport for London plans are shown HERE and HERE

A "Harlesden Town Team" map of the area (take plenty of time to study it!) is shown HERE


There are various routes across Park Royal that this might take.

One possibility (the cheapest) is to follow the Dudding Hill Line as far as Harlesden, probably with extra parallel tracks, and then turn towards Wembley.

Other possibilities allow an extra Crossrail station within Park Royal, maybe near Central Middlesex Hospital.

There could be as many as eight Crossrail trains an hour stopping at Wembley Central,

In fact any smaller number and possibly NO trains would stop. This is because the platforms there are very narrow, and it is not feasible for staff to open the platform each time a fast through-train has gone by.

For safety, either all stop or none stop.

This plan has been downgraded recently, because Euston station will now be redeveloped in three phases, and there is less need to divert trains a different way. However, the benefits of Crossrail to Brent are clear - and need lobbying!


Of course, the North London Line already runs across Brent, but the new service would be further out, and act as a "North Circular Road bypass".

Trains might run from Hounslow, on another new service.

They would stop at Old Oak Common at a new station, to interchange with the North London Line, HS2 and Crossrail, then use the Dudding Hill Line towards Hendon Thameslink station.

This is likely to be a four-trains-per-hour service.

The studies so far show a good economic case for this new Brent route. The line would need to be electrified, and freight trains would also benefit. Again, lobbying will help!


To be realistic, the above schemes - Crossrail and London Overground - are the main targets to aim for.

Nevertheless, car-based Brent Cross (and Colindale) still needs a tram system, and a separate system has been suggested at Old Oak Common, towards Kensal Canalside and Westbourne Park.

There is also the possibility of personal rapid transit pods, as in use at Heathrow Airport, shown HERE

However, no-one has introduced such a system across a wide area, and it might cost general users too much - perhaps like Boris's ill-fated dangleway across the Thames in east London.

So then:
Lobby for Brent's new Crossrail and London Overground services.
Despise the Brent Cross congestion (by opposing LB of Barnet's scheme).
Hope for better planning at Old Oak Common.


[Reposted] Until 14 April 2015: "Draft Old Oak and Park Royal Opportunity Area Planning Framework"

Old Oak and Park Royal Opportunity Area Planning Framework (2015)

The Mayor of London is consulting on the Draft Old Oak and Park Royal Opportunity Area Planning Framework which will be Supplementary Planning Guidance to the London Plan. The draft framework has been produced by the Greater London Authority with contributions from Transport for London and the London Boroughs of Brent, Ealing and Hammersmith & Fulham.

It sets out an ambitious vision and planning guidance to capitalise on future transport improvements to deliver transformative change at Old Oak, regeneration of Park Royal and continue the protection of Wormwood Scrubs.

The draft Opportunity Area Planning Framework and its supporting documents are available on the below hyperlinks:
Draft Old Oak and Park Royal Opportunity Area Planning Framework.pdf
The document has also been split into individual contents sections:
1. Contents and introduction.pdf
2 Vision and Objectives.pdf
3 Land use strategy.pdf
4 Design strategy.pdf
5a Old Oak strategy.pdf
5b Old Oak places Part 1.pdf
5b Old Oak places Part 2.pdf
5b Old Oak places Part 3.pdf
6 Park Royal strategy.pdf
7 Wormwood Scrubs strategy.pdf
8 Transport strategy.pdf
9 Environment strategy.pdf
10 Delivery strategy.pdf
Appendix 1: Old Oak Update [no link offered]
Appendix 2: HS2 Petition Items [no link offered]
Appendix 3: Contextual Analysis [no link offered]
Supporting document: OOPR OAPF draft IIA Report.pdf
Supporting Document: OOPR OAPF HRA Screening Report.pdf
Supporting Document: OOPR OAPF SEA Screening Report.pdf
Supporting Document: Park Royal Atlas
Supporting Document: OOC Transport Study.pdf

Public drop-in sessions will be taking place on the below days to enable local people to discuss proposals and provide their views.
  • Tuesday 10 March, 3:30pm to 8pm – All Souls Church, Harlesden, NW10 4UJ
  • Wednesday 11 March, 8:30am to 10:30am – Holiday Inn Express, North Acton, W3 6UP
  • Saturday 14 March – 10am to 3pm – Linford Christie Outdoor Sports Centre, Artillery Way, W12 0DF
You can provide your comments either via email to oldoakparkroyal@london.gov.uk, or in writing to:
Boris Johnson, Mayor of London,
(Draft Old Oak & Park Royal OAPF),
Greater London Authority,
Post Point 18, City Hall,
Queens Walk,
London SE1 2AA.
Paper copies also available upon request by contacting either of the addresses above. Paper copies of the OAPF are also available to view during normal office hours at the following locations:
  • Harlesden Library, NW10 8SE
  • Old Oak Community Centre, Braybook Street, W12 0AP
  • City Hall, Queens Walk, London, SE1 2AA
The consultation will close at 5pm on 14 April 2015.

Vision for Old Oak (2013)

In 2013, the Mayor, Transport for London (TfL), plus the London Boroughs of Hammersmith & Fulham, Brent and Ealing consulted on the Vision for Old Oak - which sought views on a 30 year vision for development around the planned Old Oak Common station.  The document and consultation responses have been used to inform the Old Oak and Park Royal Opportunity Area Planning Framework (2015). You can view the Vision and consultation responses here:
Old Oak Consultation Leaflet
Old Oak - part 1
Old Oak - part 2

Park Royal Opportunity Area Planning Framework (2011)

The Park Royal Opportunity Area Planning Framework was adopted by the Mayor in 2011. The document will eventually be superseded by the Old Oak and Park Royal Opportunity Area Planning Framework (2015), upon its adoption later this year. It is available here:
Park Royal Planning Framework Chapters 1-9 PDF (9MB)
Park Royal Planning Framework Chapters 10-12 PDF (10MB)
Park Royal Planning Framework text only RTF (500KB)


Existing planning guidance: London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham: 2011 Core Strategy

Park Royal Opportunity Area

7.147 The long term vision for this area is to transform it with substantial mixed use regeneration made possible principally by the projected HS2 rail line and Crossrail.  This could provide thousands of homes, jobs and supporting facilities in a high quality environment focused on the Grand Union Canal and securing future growth for London in a very sustainable way.

Strategic Policy - Park Royal

Park Royal Opportunity Area

  Indicative additional homes
  Indicative new jobs

The council will promote Old Oak Common Sidings and the former North Pole Eurostar depot as a location for a major rail interchange between the proposed High Speed 2 line, Crossrail, the Great Western line and West and North London lines. Subject to the Government confirming that there should be such an interchange, the Council will bring forward and consult on a revised policy and planning framework for major mixed use regeneration of the whole area.
Until such a decision is made by the Government and pending a revised policy for the whole area:  

  1. The whole area is designated as an employment zone/Strategic Industrial Location for a range of purposes (especially industrial, distribution, office based, research and development, recycling and the management of waste).

  2. Old Oak Common Sidings is safeguarded for Crossrail purposes including a new depot and is within the designated SIL. In the longer term the Council is promoting the Old Oak Common Sidings for mixed use development, including significant residential development and support for passenger rail services as part of a potential HS2 rail interchange and/or Crossrail station. The council recognises the need to deliver the programmed Crossrail works as secured by the Crossrail Safeguarding directions, including the construction of a train depot on the site. The council will continue to press for a Crossrail interchange station in the area, irrespective of whether HS2 proceeds or not.

  3. North Pole Depot in Hammersmith & Fulham should be retained for strategic rail uses, in particular to support enhanced rail passenger services.

  4. The EMR and Powerday sites are designated and safeguarded for waste and recycling purposes, and the Council will encourage use of the canal and greater use of rail for waste purposes.

  5. The Council will encourage the location of bio-tech industries related to the biomedical research centre at Hammersmith Hospital.

  6. Development should protect and enhance heritage assets and the canal-side.

7.148 This area in the north of the borough (to the north of Wormwood Scrubs and Little Wormwood Scrubs) is in a variety of industrial uses, car sales, waste management and railway uses.  Major employers in the area are Cargiant, a major car retailer with associated workshops, and Powerday and EMR, two major waste management businesses. The remaining businesses are small enterprises occupying units in a number of small industrial estates. The regeneration area has the largest remaining concentration of industrial type premises in the borough and is included in the Park Royal Opportunity Area and is identified in the London Plan as a Strategic Industrial Location. In January 2011, the Mayor of London adopted a Planning Framework for the Park Royal Opportunity Area which has as one of its objectives "to protect and maintain Park Royal as the largest industrial employment location in London, supporting the clusters of food/drink, distribution/logistics and TV/film through facilities and services to support growth”. In Hythe Road, the opportunity to make links with Hammersmith Hospital bio-medical research should be taken to build on the national importance of that local facility.

7.149 The Grand Union Canal is a nature conservation area of metropolitan importance and the area adjoins important areas of open space.

7.150 In order to regenerate this area of underused and vacant land to the south of Willesden Junction in accordance with sustainability principles, the council will seek improved access to the area. At present, the nearest proposed station on Crossrail would be Paddington and Acton mainline. There would be considerable benefit from a station that would interchange with the West London Line. This would improve accessibility in inner West London, as well as within the borough, and help support regeneration.

7.151 In March 2010 the Government announced its intention to provide an interchange station between the planned High Speed Rail line (HS2) from London to the north and midlands, the Great Western main line and Crossrail. The council supports location of a new high speed rail hub station with links to a new Crossrail Station and the West London Line at Oak Common Sidings. In December 2010 the Government announced its intention to consult on its proposed HS2 route in 2011; this route includes a hub station at Old Oak Common.

7.152 The London Plan states that boroughs should protect and facilitate the maximum use of existing waste sites. Waste apportionment figures for the management of 348,000 tonnes of waste in H&F by 2031 will be fully met in the Old Oak Common area through maximising the potential of existing sites, namely EMR and Powerday. These sites are currently used mainly for the recycling of commercial and industrial waste (particularly metal) and for construction waste. Powerday in particular has the potential to deal with a wide variety of waste streams and to expand their capacity to include a higher proportion of municipal and commercial and industrial waste streams.

7.153 Improvements to road access to the waste sites will be sought, but the council will continue to promote further expansion in the use of rail and canal for the movement of waste and processed material. The expansion of waste management activities will not have a significant adverse impact on other uses in the area. The canal is also an important feature in the townscape and facility for leisure and recreation. This should be enhanced through canalside development.

7.154 The regeneration of this area is likely to be longer term than the other regeneration areas because of the scale of the infrastructure needed to enable significant development. However, the potential for additional housing in this area could be over 1,600 dwellings and over 5,000 jobs.

7.155 The Old Oak Common and Hythe Road Area falls within the MOD's safeguarding zone surrounding RAF Northolt and has related height constraints of 91.4 metres.

Strategic Sites

Strategic Site - PR 1

Old Oak Common

Owner: Network Rail, Crossrail

The council will pursue the regeneration of this site for a mixture of uses. It will work with partners to provide a High Speed 2 (HS2) rail hub station with links to a new Crossrail Station and the West London Line.

Any redevelopment will be expected to make the best possible use of the sites canalside location and respect the heritage assets of the area.

7.156 This site is 32.5 hectares of railway sidings and a small amount of residential bordered by the Grand Union Canal to the north and Great Western main line into Paddington to south. Willesden Junction station is 5-10 minutes walk (Rail to Euston/Watford Junction; North London Line, West London Line, Bakerloo). The site currently has poor road access. Transport for London has identified this site as a Site with Potential for Rail Freight Development, and their draft London Freight Strategy Development Control toolkit says the council should safeguard such sites for rail freight uses. However, much of the site is now owned by Crossrail for depot purposes.

7.157 The site is owned by Network Rail and Crossrail, First Great Western and Heathrow Express. The whole site is safeguarded for Crossrail. The intention is to provide 14 new Crossrail stabling sidings and a further siding incorporating a train-washing plant. This will require some remodelling of existing trackwork to accommodate the needs of other existing users within the depot. The site to be used for the sidings will also be used temporarily as a tunnel construction and fit out depot. After completion of the tunnelling works the remaining sidings and staff facilities will be constructed.

7.158 The council considers that the long term rail use of the site should be reviewed, especially in the light of the proposals for the HS2 line, to assess the extent to which rail operators need to be located here or land could be released for development. The scope for relocating these uses to the former North Pole Eurostar depot should be considered (see below). Even if railway use is maintained, sidings and depots could be decked over to provide the opportunity for substantial development, but that will require considerable improvements in public transport accessibility. However, the development potential should provide a business case for such improvements, including a Crossrail station.

7.159 This improvement to transport will enable a major new development of residential, employment uses and supporting activities and an opportunity to develop bio-medical industries and research hub linked to Hammersmith Hospital.

Strategic Site - PR 2

North Pole Depot

Owner: British Rail Residuary Body

The North Pole Depot should be used to assist in the provision of enhanced local passenger rail services and for the possible relocation of rail operations from other locations (e.g. Old Oak Common Sidings or the TfL Lillie Bridge Depot). Passenger service use could be in connection with provision of a Crossrail station, the High Speed 2 rail line (possibly as a station site) or local services. The part of the site adjacent to Wormwood Scrubs should be considered as a possible route for enhanced road access (via a bridge) to the Old Oak Common Sidings site. These possibilities should be explored together with proposals for the Kensal Canalside Opportunity Area before any other proposals are considered.

7.160 British Railways Board Residuary (BRBR) has been asked by the Secretary of State for Transport to produce recommendations for the site’s future now that the depot has been vacated by Eurostar. The site is 1.8 miles long and extends from RBKC to Ealing. It is within the Park Royal Strategic Industrial Location (SIL) and comprises 50 acres of railway track and servicing sheds and buildings and has access from Mitre Way, Old Oak Common Lane (Ealing) and Barlby Road (RBKC). The site is strategically important for rail use and this should be the primary use.  It is acknowledged that the nature of the depot and its location next to the Great Western fast tracks limits its use although this provides an opportunity for design of an HS2 interchange station.  However, it should not change to non rail uses without a full assessment of the way in which it could contribute to enhancing passenger services or releasing railway land elsewhere that has greater potential for development. If no rail use comes forward for all or part of the Depot there will be the opportunity for alternative uses.

7.161 The site would provide an opportunity to improve road access to the Old Oak Common Sidings site if a bridge over the mainline GWR tracks was constructed.

7.162 RBKC already has aspirations for their part of the site and have identified it within the RBKC Core Strategy. The adjoining area in RBKC is identified as a new Opportunity Area known as Kensal Canalside in the London Plan. Future uses for the H & F part of the North Pole Depot site to the east of Scrubs Lane will need to be assessed having regard to proposals in the adjoining borough and any future  review of the SIL if HS2 does not proceed. There will need to be joint working to establish the best way forward for the eastern part of the site, which should be considered in conjunction with Mitre Way Industrial Estate.

Influencing the planning framework for Old Oak Common and Park Royal (and perhaps explaining LB of Barnet's corrupt Brent Cross Cricklewood planning consent to their lordships)

Link to web site

"The House of Lords Select Committee on National Policy for the Built Environment has published its Call for Evidence. Interested parties are invited to submit written evidence to the Committee by 6 October 2015."

"The new House of Lords Committee on National Policy for the Built Environment has today issued its call for written evidence, setting out the scope of its inquiry and asking for evidence submissions.

"Issues around housing and the built environment are a pressing concern in England with parts of the country facing acute housing shortages and an affordability crisis, while the legacy of poorly planned and designed developments can blight communities.

"The Committee will seek to establish what steps can be taken to ensure better planning and design and whether we have the right balance between national policy and local accountability for planning decisions. It will also examine the pressing national need for appropriate homes for a changing population, bearing in mind that decisions taken today will have continuing effects in the years to come.

Chairman's comment

"Commenting Baroness O’Cathain, Chairman of the Committee, said:
"We live, travel and work in the built environment and it affects us all in numerous ways, from our health and happiness to the strength of our communities and the prevalence of crime and anti-social behaviour. It is increasingly clear that the design and quality of our places, and therefore our lives, could be improved.

"We need to plan our built environment to meet future demographic, environmental, economic and social challenges. Design and architecture, public and green spaces, the sustainability and resilience of buildings and the provision of vital infrastructure are all essential parts of this process. To achieve this, we need the right priorities, policies and incentives from national Government and the sufficient skills and resources for local government to deliver on an ambitious vision for the future. In this country we have a wonderful heritage of excellent housing in lovely settings; we must ensure that future generations can be proud of the legacy resulting from the decisions and actions of this generation.

"The supply of housing is a long-standing problem; delivery has neither kept up with public need nor politicians' targets. We need to look at new ways of tackling the obstacles that have prevented progress being made and we need an appropriate planning regime to ensure a balance between giving local residents a voice and meeting our urgent needs.

"Improving our built environment is likely to be a key area for Government policy over the next decade and our inquiry gives people the chance to make their voice heard. When it comes to the built environment, all of us have views on the places we live, and I would therefore encourage as many people as possible to send us written evidence before our deadline on 6 October."
"The call for written evidence contains thirteen questions that the Committee wish to receive responses to."


London and Continental Railways: Owner of the ex-Eurostar North Pole Depot

"LCR is a UK Government-owned company. It has specific expertise in managing and developing property assets within a railway context, and in particular property assets associated with major infrastructure projects.

"In 1996 LCR won the contract to build and operate the high speed Channel Tunnel Rail Link (HS1) and to own and operate the UK arm of the Eurostar International train service. LCR delivered the award winning High Speed 1 (HS1) railway, including the rebirth of St Pancras International and new international stations at Stratford and Ebbsfleet. In 2010, LCR sold HS1 with its 30 year concession for the track and stations to a consortium comprising Borealis Infrastructure and the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan for £2.1 billion.

"Today, having divested of HS1, LCR’s primary focus is in the area of property development and land regeneration. LCR is a joint venture partner in two major regeneration programmes at King’s Cross, in partnership with Argent and DHL, and The International Quarter, Stratford City in partnership with Lend Lease. The King’s Cross and Stratford schemes together represent over 100 acres of development on strategically important brown field land and on completion will deliver two thriving new office districts, up to 2,350 homes and billions of pounds of investment to the capital.

"On 30 September 2013, LCR took over properties held and managed by the BRB (Residuary) Ltd (BRBR) prior to it being wound up. BRBR was created in 2001 to manage the majority of the remaining properties, rights and liabilities of the British Railways Board.

"LCR is a limited liability company that is wholly owned by the Department for Transport (DfT)."

HS2 Growth Partnership
"The new High Speed 2 line will connect London with the Northern Powerhouse and provide the opportunity to rebalance the economy by stimulating growth and regeneration in the Midlands and the North. Phase 1 will connect London and the Midlands, with new stations at Old Oak Common, Birmingham Interchange (serving Birmingham Airport and the NEC), and Birmingham Curzon Street in the City Centre. Phase 2 will serve the East Midlands, and the North, with stations at Manchester, Leeds and Sheffield.

"LCR has signed a Collaboration Agreement with High Speed 2 Ltd to establish the HS2 Growth Partnership to work with local authorities to bring forward development, in line with their local HS2 Growth Strategies. LCR offers development expertise to secure the right deals with developers and investors, and works with HS2 Ltd to ensure that station design fits with the local vision. Collaboration Agreements are also in place with the Homes and Community Agency and the Regeneration Investment Organisation, and with local authorities along the route, including the Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation, Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council, Birmingham City Council, Cheshire East Council and Manchester City Council."

Aerial view of proposed scheme at Old Oak Common Station
(HS2 Environmental Statement, Nov 2013)

Birmingham Interchange Station visualisation
(HS2 Environmental Statement, Nov 2013)

Visualisation of proposed Curzon Street Station, Birmingham
(HS2 Environmental Statement, Nov 2013)

North Pole Depot
"The Secretary of State for Transport owns the former Eurostar depot at North Pole, which is managed by LCR.

"North Pole depot was the London depot for Eurostar from 1994 until 2007. The depot site is adjacent to the Great Western Main Line between Ealing Broadway and London Paddington, on both sides of the West London Line, with which it has a connection. The depot became redundant in November 2007 when the London terminus of Eurostar services moved from Waterloo International Station to St Pancras International Station and maintenance moved to a new site at Temple Mills, near Stratford International.

"The Company is directed by the Department for Transport (DfT) to keep the facility safe and secure and to co-operate with proposals for the future use and development. The bulk of the depot is to be used by Agility Trains in connection with the Intercity Express Programme (IEP) to procure new trains to replace the Intercity 125 fleet on the East Coast Main Line and Great Western Main Line, as well as replacing other trainsets on long distance services from London. LCR is examining residential and commercial uses for the remainder of the site as well as exploring interim use opportunities."


The Londonist: "Ghost Train - Paddington to West Ruislip"

Jun 11, 2015

"Known as a 'Parliamentary train' this service runs along The New North Main Line, that connects the Great Western mainline to the Chiltern Railways network. The train runs once a day to London Paddington and back, to maintain drivers' knowledge and prevent the section of track from closing."


Municipal Dreams: "The Old Oak Estate, Hammersmith, ‘that line of beauty which Hogarth said was in a curve’"

Link to web site

"Imagine a Hampstead Garden Suburb built for working people. Better still, if you're in London, take the Tube and get off at Acton East and visit the Old Oak Estate where you’ll find just such an estate.
"We've looked at the work of the LCC’s Architects' Department Housing of the Working Classes branch before – at the Millbank Estate, at Totterdown Fields, and at the White Hart Lane Estate. These are all fine arts and crafts-inspired estates but to Susan Beattie, Old Oak stands as 'the culminating achievement of the Council's venture into garden suburb planning before the first world war' – a work of 'splendid maturity'.

"Rising costs of land and labour were forcing the LCC to look to what were then the London fringes. In 1905, the Council purchased 54 acres in Hammersmith from the Ecclesiastical Commissioners at a cost of £29,858. Eight acres were sold on to the Great Western Railway for its Ealing-Shepherd's Bush branch line which still bisects the Estate. The open space of Wormwood Scrubs lies to the north-east."


Response of HS2 Ltd. to proposal to terminate HS2 at Old Oak Common (with some trains continuing on the WCML into Euston)

The key points are:
  • Even if the journey time and other passenger disbenefits could be justified, there are no viable options locating the main London terminus at Old Oak Common with some trains continuing to Euston;
  • The proposal for a link to Euston via the West Coast Main Line has major disadvantages compared with the Promoter’s Euston tunnel, and it would be more expensive;
  • A main terminus at Old Oak Common would not be consistent with the transport strategy in the London Plan, and would substantially compromise the regeneration proposals for the surrounding area.

"This paper summarises the Promoter’s analysis of a HS2 Euston Action Group (HEAG) proposal to locate the main HS2 terminus at Old Oak Common with a link to Euston for a few HS2 trains. The link would be from Old Oak Common to the West Coast Main Line (WCML) in the vicinity of Queens Park.

"The transport and train operation conclusions of this paper are:
  • Terminating all HS2 trains at Old Oak Common would reduce the HS2 overall patronage and the revenue by over 10% and the economic benefits of the Phase by 15%. Patronage between London and the West Midlands would be reduced by over 20%;

  • Compared with the Proposed Scheme for a terminus at Euston and an interchange at Old Oak Common the two terminus proposal would increase journey times for HS2 passengers to many parts of central, north and south London;

  • When Phase 2 of HS2 is implemented, there would be insufficient capacity on Crossrail to accommodate HS2 The proposal to run only a few classic compatible trains to Euston would not be capable of supporting a viable train service specification, nor justify the cost of the Euston tunnel. A 5-6 platform HS2 station at Euston would incur most of the property demolition, adverse environmental effect and cost of the Proposed Scheme, but result in a much reduced HS2 train service to Euston. There are therefore no viable two terminus options.

"The Promoter remains of the view that the HEAG proposal to locate the main HS2 terminus at Old Oak Common would be contrary to the principle established at Second Reading that the London terminus should be located at Euston. Nor would there be any purpose in further consideration of the HEAG option or any two terminus solution as none would be capable of supporting a credible operational specification, or demonstrate sufficient passenger benefits to justify the cost.

Link to report (PDF)


HS2 Ltd.'s Old Oak Common Lane, 2026: No cycle paths; GWML up-relief-line flyover next to Wells House Road bedroom windows

Old Oak Common Lane in 2015:
Looking south under the Great Western Main Line

The HS2 Ltd. 2026 plan:
Three Crossrail sidings pass underneath the flyover
(and the road has no segregated cycle paths!)
Shown here:
An empty Crossrail train enters fully into the sidings to the right
(assuming there is no connection yet to the West Coast Main Line
and the Wycombe Line)

The alternative 2026 plan:
The flyover is moved south
 Shown here:
Front train from High Wycombe, moving to the left.
Back train to Tring, moving to the right
(on the only track now under the relocated flyover)

The alternative flyover location
Involves swopping over the two northernmost Crossrail platforms

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