Today, (19th May) the planning application for HS2’s west-London super hub, Old Oak Common, was approved by the Old Oak Common and Park Royal Development Corporation. This gives the go-ahead for what will be the largest brand-new railway station ever built in the UK with a total of 14 platforms comprising a mix of six high speed and eight conventional service platforms. The high speed platforms will be constructed inside a 850m long station box, which has the a volume to contain 6,300 Routemaster buses.
The new station will incorporate some striking design features, such as an impressive sequence of interlocking curved roof forms, designed to enhance the open environment of the station and provide natural ventilation, minimising energy consumption. The arch forms also reduce the need for columns to support the roof, providing open sight lines, allowing clearer views compared to older, more traditional stations.
The station design development has been led by engineering professional services consultancy WSP with architectural support from WilkinsonEyre.
When operational the station will be used by up to an estimated 250,000 passengers each day, making it set to become one of the busiest railway stations in the country and (potentially) second only to London Waterloo. It’s eight conventional platforms will provide seamless connectivity with the Elizabeth Line (Crossrail), Heathrow Express and trains to Wales and the West of England. This will also relieve pressure on Paddington station and the London Underground network such as the Circle and Hammersmith and City Lines as well as allowing faster Cross-London journeys.
The station design has been future-proofed with a sufficiently sized concourse and platform space to accommodate passenger growth to 2041 and beyond. Interchange with other modes of transport will be accommodated by provision of a dedicated bus and taxi facility, dedicated drop-off and pickup areas, pedestrian and cycle links, and upgraded highway infrastructure.
New public spaces are also being created as part of the design including a new public square directly outside the station that will include seating and cycle parking and may also be used as a setting for public artwork.
The station is designed to meet a ‘BREEAM excellent’ standard which is an industry recognised standard for buildings that reduce energy usage and materials waste, and minimise impact on the natural environment.
The station is being built by a joint venture of Balfour Beatty, Vinci and Systra (BBVS) who were awarded the contract to build the new HS2 station in September 2019 and are set to begin work on site next month.
The Old Oak Common area has historically been an important railway site as it was the location of the Great Western Railway’s locomotive and carriage stabling depot and workshops. Now, with the arrival of HS2 it’s set to leap into the future as a crucial transport interchange.