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HS2 time savings ‘lost without Crossrail 2'

All new HS2 tracks at Euston built lower than the existing tracks allowing the concourse to remain at ground level and easy access through the station.

Time saved by passengers arriving at Euston on High Speed 2 (HS2) phase 2 will be lost unless the government builds Crossrail 2, London mayor Sadiq Khan has warned.

City Hall has published a Transport for London (TfL) model which shows that failure to build Crossrail 2 will cause 17 underground stations to “buckle” under the strain of overcrowding. In addition, the modelling shows that looking ahead, the passengers arriving at Euston on HS2 phase 2 could lose the time saved on their journeys as they will have to queue to board onward trains.

The modelling shows that when HS2 Phase 1 opens in 2026, the total demand for Euston and Euston Square Underground stations will nearly double to more than 85,000 people during the morning rush hour.

Euston will undergo a major upgrade and work is planned for Euston Square, by 2030 when the second phase of HS2 comes into operation. But the TfL modelling says the high speed line will bring in an additional 20,000 rail passengers during the morning rush hour. Of these around two thirds are expected to continue their journeys via the Underground. Designs for Euston station have attracted concerns because work on the HS2 section is expected to take place at a different time to the rest of the station’s redevelopment.

Crossrail 2 would reduce overcrowding by up to 30%, according to the TfL model. Extra capacity from the Elizabeth line – Crossrail 1 – is not expected to be enough to cope with anticipated demand.

Kahn warned that without Crossrail 2, there will be daily closures at key stations and time savings from HS2 will be lost as a result of onward delays at Euston.

“Crossrail 2 is crucial. It’s crucial to meeting our ambitious targets for new affordable homes. It’s crucial to unlocking future economic growth in the aftermath of the EU referendum. It’s crucial to ensure that Euston station keeps running smoothly when HS2 opens, and it’s crucial if we are to prevent Waterloo, Victoria and many other stations from rush hour meltdown,” said Khan.

The call for Crossrail 2 comes in the run up to crucial government decisions about Network Rail funding ahead of its next five year spending programme. Transport secretary Chris Grayling is expected to make a decision on further government support for Crossrail 2 in the coming weeks.

Readers' comments (2)

  • If the time savings which partly justify HS2 will be lost; the economic case looks even more dire. How about saving the overhead electrification & using hybrid trains like GWR at Bath? Better still use OLE but with the same design speed as HS1 which gives the capacity we were all told was the main reason for the line in the first place.

    HS2 are playing a game of "I want a train as fast as the French"; but with our money.

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  • HS2 should be subject to a public enquiry. They are making critical decisions in the North, such as abandoning the connection to Sheffield, based on spurious time and cost savings. The business case to Leeds just doesn't stand scrutiny, compared to a Kent javelin style hybrid along an improved electrified Midland Main line, which Government is abandoning by degrees. It will take longer to walk to the barrier at Euston than the journey time savings used to support the business case. Nice try London to use HS2 poor project justification to grab an even bigger piece of the infrastructure pie.

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