HS2 Ltd starts the permanent works of the Old Oak Common station, the west London ‘superhub’. During a visit to the ten-hectare site, the British Transport Secretary Grant Shapps gave go-ahead for start of permanent works covering the construction of a 1.8 km long underground diaphragm wall around what will become the station’s ‘underground box’, where six HS2 platforms will be constructed to accommodate trains serving the Midlands and the North.
Pilling rigs will also install 160 reinforced concrete columns inside the wall to help form the box and support the structure.
“The start of permanent works at the largest train station ever built in the UK in one go, Old Oak Common, marks yet more progress in delivering HS2, the high-speed, high-capacity and low carbon railway that will form the backbone of our national transport network,”Grant Shapps said.
Following the first phase of construction to create the 750,000m3 box, work on the eight overground platforms will begin. Over 1600 concrete piles will be installed into the ground on which the station superstructure and overground platforms will sit.
Station’s lightweight roof structure has been designed to minimize the use of materials and allow as much natural light in which reduces the carbon impact of the station. The environmental credentials of the station will be boosted by solar panels covering the roof, generating a supply of renewable energy for the station. The station design development has been led by WSP with architectural support from WilkinsonEyre.
“The start of permanent works at Old Oak Common station, our first station under construction, is a significant step for Phase One of HS2, as we deliver world-leading engineering to create what will arguably be one of the best-connected railway super-hubs in the UK,” HS2 CEO, Mark Thurston said.
HS2’s station construction partner, Balfour Beatty Vinci Systra joint venture (BBVS) are leading the construction work on the ten-hectare west London site.
Once complete, the Old Oak Common station will offer increased connectivity, with fourteen new platforms of which six HS2 platforms offering high speed services to the North and Midlands, four Crossrail (Elizabeth Line) platforms, and four conventional rail platforms, which will be served by trains to Wales and the South West.
With over 250,000 passengers using the station every day, Old Oak Common will become one of the country’s most vital transport hubs and a catalyst for economic regeneration for the area and the rest of the UK. Plans to transform the wider area around the station, a former railway and industrial site, are being led by the Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation (OPDC) and they project that tens of thousands of new jobs and homes will be created around the new HS2 station.
Over 2,300 jobs will be supported on the site at peak construction, and over 250 apprenticeships will be created. There is also a commitment to recruiting local candidates of all ages and backgrounds for the project.
Part of the HS2 stations’ construction, in May, the company responsible for the development, construction and operation of the new high-speed line, has announced the winner of the contract to build the Birmingham Curzon Street station.