The Camden Highline, a project to open up a path along a railway linking  Camden to Kings Cross has opened a competition for a design studio to carry out the work.

Camden Highline visualisation

Occupying 1.1km of disused railway viaduct that runs alongside the mainline tracks, they are working on opening up what would be a 15-minute elevated walk from Camden Gardens to a location just to the north of the redeveloped land behind King’s Cross station.

The chosen design team will be tasked with making a piece of vacant infrastructure accessible to the public. Apart from making the railway viaducts safe and pleasant to walk long, there are the end point buildings that will get people from street to the high walk.

It’s expected that when the Camden Highline opens, it could attract 1.3 million new visitors annually.

Rough route map – overlay on Google Maps

 

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6 comments on “Design competition for the Camden Highline
  1. Dave says:

    From the article and links I see that a lot of work has now gone into the design of this project recently and I admire that.
    Although I question why the need to emulate New York, albeit whose own HighLine has been somewhat a victim of its own success, but that city certainly has a lack of quiet community open spaces, whereas London is full of them.
    I emphasize the quiet, as I have my doubts to it’s projected use (1.3 million annually) because – elephant in the room – it’s right next to a very busy railway line! Probably with freight, on average there’s a train passing nearly every two minutes.
    If it should ever go ahead (and I also ask who will fund it in these covid times) that after an initial boost on opening, within a short time I feel most people will not linger. It would be a very useful link for local walking/cycling and access to Camden market, but I doubt that in the long term it will attract large numbers of visitors.
    As much as I like to see abandoned infrastructure repurposed, personally I feel this is not the right project. And that a simpler, very much cheaper high access route might work.

  2. Andrew Jarman says:

    Given how busy the NLL is theres a good case to reinstate the closed line to increase rail capacity and bypass the station whilst trains fill and empty at Camden Rd station.

  3. Beulah Levine says:

    For sure it will be used and treasured.

  4. Chris Barker says:

    I echo Andrew’s points. If you want a quiet route from Camden Town to King’s Cross there is an existing route via the canal towpath, and that ends in the heart of King’s Cross and not on the fringe as the High Line would do. It also doesn’t require a flight of stairs (with no disabled access?) to get to it. It should also be said that growing traffic on the North London Line is likely to lead to a need for the extra space for more tracks so it might be difficult to get Network Rail to relinquish the space.

  5. Marc says:

    How this idea has got as far as it has is a triumph of idealism over the hard fact that this will not be a quiet and relaxing oasis, it’s not needed as we have the canal which trumps this route on all most every level and the reality is it would be much better being brought back in to use to increase capacity on the NLL on one of its busiest stretches. I love the high line in NYC and the promenade plantée in Paris which both reimagined disused railway infrastructure but please invest in making the canal connection better, ‘reimagine the agar-camley link or if you want a ‘London Highline’ support the Peckham coal line but not this poorly conceived concept and inappropriate use of a piece of railway which we need in the future

  6. David Thomas says:

    Most of this can be done cheaply. The empty trackbed remains. Metal bridges over streets remain, minus decking, but with walkways added for staff, so they can be replaced by a wider path. The eastern end is where there is an existing north-south cycleway, and a slope (no need for steps) could give access here. It should be easy to put in access from the east-bound platform at Camden Road station. TfL are committed to making all stations step-free, which in this location presumably means lifts, which could cater for any cyclist not keen on lugging a bike up and down stairs. That leaves the problem of keeping fare- paying passengers and walk users separate, but surely that can be overcome?
    The scheme as proposed runs to just west of Camden Road station to terminate on the viaduct with new access provided from road level. That access would be relatively expensive and I’d suggest it is treated as a ‘phase 2’,to be added only if usage of the rest of the route indicates a demand. I note some comments suggest the demand may not exist.

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