Growing pains …

Euston Station, part 2

In my blog Problems with the neighbours (posted 6 Jul 2012) I mentioned that the plan to rebuild Euston Station to allow it to accommodate the London terminus of HS2 involves a significant increase in the footprint occupied by the building and tracks. In this blog I will explain why this enlargement is proposed by HS2 Ltd.

The problem is one of the number of tracks and the length of platforms accommodated by the current station. There are currently eighteen platforms, ranging in length from 165 to 460 metres. The expanded station is required to provide ten platforms of 415 metres length for HS2 services, four platforms of 415 metres for use by both HS2 and trains on the existing railway network, and 10 platforms with lengths of 320 metres and 280 metres for existing services only.

If, as currently proposed by HS2 Ltd, this larger number of, on average, longer platforms are laid out all on the same level the area occupied will be increased. This not only affects the platform area, but also the station throat (the arrangement of tracks that feeds into the platforms). The extent of the expansion of the footprint is shown in blue in the extract from a HS2 Ltd drawing that is reproduced below.

Extended footprint of the new Euston Station (Source: HS2 Ltd)

The extension is approximately 70 metres to the south and 40 metres to the west. The southern extension will occupy the area which is currently the open air forecourt of Euston Station. The casualties here will be the three office towers and the bus station, so from a purely aesthetic standpoint it’s not all bad news. However, hidden under the splurge of blue that marks the western extension are homes, hotels, restaurants and shops. I believe that this “collateral damage” will be described in the Environmental Statement as “community effects” and “negative socio-economic effects”; whatever you call them the impacts on the immediate area and community will be totally devastating.

The western boundary of the current station building is marked by Melton Street, which becomes Cardington Street as you walk towards the throat of Euston Station. The photograph below is taken in Cardington Street, looking towards Melton Street (and Euston Road). On the left you can see the outer wall of Euston Station. The buildings on the other side of the road – the Ibis Hotel is in the foreground – will be consumed for about a block westwards. I will look in more detail at what will be lost in this neighbourhood in the two blogs which will follow the next.

Cardington Street looking towards Euston Road

So are there any alternatives to this destruction? Yes indeed, a variety have been proposed by friends and foes of HS2 alike and I will review these in my next blog.

Acknowledgement: The Ordinance Survey mapping upon which the proposed footprint of the new Euston Station is overlaid has been reproduced in accordance with the principles of fair dealing as set out in the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.  On this basis, this mapping is:

Reproduced by permission of Ordnance Survey on behalf of HMSO.

© Crown Copyright. All rights reserved.

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