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No plans for Crossrail/High Speed 2 interchange - for now

Crossrail chief executive Andrew Wolstenholme admitted last week there are still no plans to link the east west commuter line with High Speed 2 (HS2).

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Wolstenholme: Need for innovation

Wolstenholme told the NCE Prime Minister’s Better Public Buildings summit said that dispersing passengers from HS2 remained a “great challenge”, particularly when the Y-section north of Birmingham opens. But he said Crossrail had no plans to build an HS2 interchange at Old Oak Common in West London.

“A station at Old Oak Common is not part of the Crossrail scheme currently being constructed. Crossrail remains ready to oversee the delivery of an additional station if Crossrail’s sponsors decided to proceed,” he said.

“Do they [HS2 passengers] get off at Old Oak Common or Euston? It’s a great problem,” he added.

Plans for a station at Old Oak Common were proposed by former Conservative transport secretary Lord Mawhinney in 2010 but were rejected by then transport secretary Phillip Hammond. (NCE 4 August 2010).

Wolstenholme added that he “fully expected” to have a Crossrail station at Woolwich when the service begins in 2018 even though there is still no agreement to fund the station box fit out.

Spending on the project has reached £120M a month with 30% - £3.9bn - of the funding already spent.

Given the large amount of spending in the Crossrail supply chain Wolstenholme stressed the need for innovation.

“We should be pulling ideas up the supply chain, and not passing problems back down,” he said.

He added that there was a need to take on innovative ideas from contractors at all levels of the project.

Wolstenholme said he was also concentrating on turning the project into a service when it is completed in 2018.

“My main challenge is to make this into an operating railway. It is not too early to look at the right to left [east to west] opening sequence,” he added.

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