HS2 Ltd says services will not start from Old Oak Common, despite Transport Minister Robert Goodwill suggesting that they could do so for “several years” while London Euston is redeveloped.
Goodwill was quoted in the Telegraph on September 19 as saying: “We are considering whether to open the service to Old Oak Common a few months early and push back the completion of Euston for a few years.”
However, HS2’s plans to redevelop Euston in two stages - six new platforms and concourse to support Phase 1 of the route from London to Birmingham by 2026, followed by another five platforms for the Phase 2 extension to Manchester and Leeds by 2033 - remain as stated (RAIL 783).
HS2 spokesman Ben Ruse told RAIL: “The Government’s plan remains to open Phase 1 from Euston to Birmingham in 2026. If possible, we will open earlier than that, but that will depend on progress with the Hybrid Bill and preparatory works. There is no intention to delay the opening of Euston station as the terminus for HS2. In fact, as the Bill before the House sets out, the intention remains to open all of HS2 Phase 1 in one go.”
Goodwill suggested that changing from HS2 to Crossrail at Old Oak Common would save passengers time compared with using conventional services to Euston, but RAIL understands that should services terminate at Old Oak Common, there would be serious repercussions for Crossrail.
With up to 1,000 passengers per train switching from HS2 trains to Crossrail at Old Oak Common, Crossrail trains could be full to capacity before entering central London - the area where the commuter route’s extra capacity is needed most.
HS2 submitted detailed plans for the redevelopment of Euston in September. At the time, Secretary of State for Transport Patrick McLoughlin described them as “a vital piece of infrastructure that will benefit the whole nation”.