High Speed Rail Network Plans Unveiled

Old Oak 'super station' to Heathrow would take 11 minutes


Old Oak Common 'Super Station' in Park Royal
Map of the proposed interchange at Old Oak Common

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It has been announced that a new High Speed Rail route from London to Birmingham and beyond would have its main interchange at Old Oak in Park Royal. 

The line will be able to accommodate trains that travel at up to 250 mph. The preferred route will run out through north-west London, going around the south-west of Aylesbury, to the west of Buckingham and the east of Brackley and Banbury, before passing between Leamington Spa and Coventry and to east Birmingham.

A later Y-shaped extension to the north of England would have one branch travelling to Sheffield and Leeds and the other to Liverpool and Manchester.

The implication of the announcement is that Old Oak would also have a Crossrail station.

Transport Secretary, Lord Adonis said the first 120 miles between London and the West Midlands would cost between £15.8bn and £17.4bn. It is envisaged that the network would be expanded to link up with the north of the country at an eventually cost of £30bn.

Speaking in response to the Government Statement on the preferred route for the line, the MP for Ealing, Acton and Shepherd's Bush, Andy Slaughter said: "Old Oak is the logical place to put the London Interchange for High Speed 2, allowing access to Heathrow, Crossrail and the Great Western Railway." 

Mr Slaughter said the prospect of a multi-platform national rail centre was great news for his constituents and the whole of London and the UK, but that the construction and development of High Speed Rail should not disrupt the lives of people living in West London or the delicate ecology around Wormwood Scrubs. 

The High Speed Route (HS2) will speed commuters from London, via Birmingham and Manchester, to Glasgow in just over two hours. The Government expects the first section, between London and Birmingham, to be completed by 2020.

An HS2 station at Old Oak Common would link Heathrow with rest of the country and act as a major catalyst to regenerate the area, according to reports. Journey times from the Old Oak hub to Heathrow could be just 11 minutes.

A consultation is to take place on the proposed route with the earliest date for the start of construction currently estimated to be 2017. The plan may prove controversial due to the impact on green belt land. Patrick Begg, of the National Trust, said the proposed route could cause "serious and significant impacts on the landscape" of the Chilterns.

March 11, 2010