Plans for HS2’s station at Euston to be built in two stages and to have 11 platforms have been changed by the government to a slightly smaller station with ten platforms, to be built in one single phase.

The decision to cut Euston station down to ten platforms was revealed in the six-monthly report released by HS2 minister Andrew Stephenson earlier today.

HS2 concept image – not finalised design

The original plan had been to build the HS2 Euston station in two phases, with phase one was scheduled for completion in 2026, and phase two in 2033. The decision to switch to a single phase for the delivery of the station is to reduce the cost and time taken to build the station, but due to how it impacts on the existing Euston station, they can only deliver ten platforms instead of the original 11 that were planned.

There has been considerable pressure to retain the full 11 platforms, as the extra platform offers a buffer to help recover services in case of problems. However, HS2 argues that its latest review of timetabling for the new line indicates that it wouldn’t need the extra platform after all, while still meeting the planned 17 trains per hour at Euston when the line is fully operational.

If that extra platform can safely be removed, then the cost and time savings of building the station on one single stage would be worth it, but it’s entirely dependent on there being absolute certainty that the extra platform definitely won’t be needed.

In the meantime, HS2 and Network Rail are working on how they can have a greater integration between HS2 and the associated upgrades of the Network Rail side of the station.

At the moment, the site is in the enabling work’s stage, clearing the site for construction work, moving buried utilities and building the retaining walls that are needed to let them dig down to the level that the HS2 platforms will be based at, along with the considerably larger London Underground station that’s needed.

As Euston station is likely to be completed after HS2 railway is ready, funding has been released to lift Old Oak Common station from 3 to 6 trains per hour whilst it acts as the temporary London terminus.

Phase 1 of the HS2 line, which is between London and Birmingham remains on target to come into service between 2029-33 following a post-covid review of the construction sites to re-sequence them to deliver a schedule that reflects an increasingly mature understanding of the years of works ahead.

There is a risk though of some minor delays in the southern section of the line-of-route and tunnels leading into Old Oak Common from outer London, and HS2 is working on how to control that risk.

Phase 2a, which extends the line from Birmingham to Crewe is now expected to come into service between 2030-34. On Phase 2b, which takes it up to Manchester, preparations are underway for a hybrid Bill for the Western Leg to be deposited in Parliament in early 2022.

Plans for the eastern spur to Leeds are still being debated.


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  1. Melvyn says:

    Given the choice of having 10 platforms built now compared to original plans which split building into two stages of I believe 5 now and 6 later then I prefer 10 now given danger of future government spending cuts leading to only a total of say 9 platforms instead of 11 !

    HS2 classic compatible trains will be 200 metres long that’s shorter than current Pendolinos so it might be possible to link an existing platform to HS2 and use platforms which will see fewer long distance trains to accommodate single length HS2 classic compatible trains.

    While the change in stages of HS2 will mean the extension beyond Birmingham will become available sooner after stage 1 completion allowing longer distance trains to switch to HS2 earlier leading to fewer London to Birmingham Curzon Street Station shuttle trains !

    Much is being made about the eastern leg with claims of full cancellation but as today’s report mentioned it is part of plans to integrate with Northern Powerhouse Rail so let’s await the final details first !

    • Ryan says:

      Is there any past precedent for Euston receiving 9 of a thing rather than 11? ;D

    • James Miller says:

      I do wonder, if we might see some integration between HS2 and the West Coast Main Line. I’ve thought for some time, that HS2 Classic Compatible trains would work well on the ECML and the WCML. So could we see LNER buying HS2 Classic Compatible trains if they needed more trains.

      But suppose a HS2 Classic Compatible trains ran from Euston to Scotland via Watford Junction, Milton Keynes, Coventry, Birmingham Curzon Street. I think services from the WCML could get into Curzon Street, where they would reverse to go North.

  2. ChrisC says:

    Any idea of the costs

    1. of the existing plans

    2. of the new plans

    3. redesiging the plans

    I really do think this will come back and bite HS2 on the rear end in future years when they could really have used the now lost platform

  3. strawbrick says:

    My understanding is that whilst Classic Compatible HS2 trains will run faster on HS2 lines, they will run slower on existing lines (eg Euston to Birmingham and beyond) than Pendolinos because they do not tilt.

    If on the other-hand it is a viable option why not just six track the existing lines and save a fortune!

    • ianVisits says:

      Six-tracking the existing lines would mean demolishing tens of thousands of homes, back gardens and warehouses.

      I do not think that would be popular, and unlikely to be cheaper.

  4. Heather Parry says:

    Seventeen trains per hour on HS2 between Birmingham and London in addition to those run by Chiltern Trains, Avanti and London Midland? Who on earth is going to be travelling on these trains, especially as there will be no stop between Brum and Old Oak Common. This is insane!

    • ianVisits says:

      Many of the existing services will be repurposed for regional and commuter traffic, which is after all the main aim of HS2, to increase capacity on the railway so that it can cope with commuter demand and improve regional services. As Euston station is already back to passenger numbers that are higher than the station was designed for, and leisure travel is back to around 80% of pre-pandemic levels, it’s easy to see that when HS2 opens in a decade, the surge of regional/commuter capacity of offers will be vitally needed.

  5. Heather Parry says:

    That’s exactly what London Midland already does, unless a passenger wants to save money by using their services rather than paying more for Avanti. What will be the relative cost of saving 15 minutes by travelling on HS2, do you suppose?

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