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)

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