Euston demolition plans dropped
Controversial plans to demolish and rebuild London’s Euston train station for High Speed 2 (HS2) have been abandoned
The government announced plans to completely redevelop the 1960s terminus when it approved the £32.7 billion railway project last year.
The project would have seen the train station expand by up to 16 metres westward to become the service’s new London terminal.
Project backer HS2 has now abandoned demolition in favour of an alternative vision retaining the terminal.
Under the plans, the existing platforms 1 to 15 will be reconfigured at their current level and 11 new platforms will be constructed for high-speed trains.
According to the Camden New Journal, the enormous rebuild was dropped after HS2 officials underestimated the project’s cost by £500 million.
The demolition scheme would have surpassed HS2’s original budget for the Euston terminus by 40 per cent – the journal claimed.
HS2 chief executive Alison Munro said: ‘In response to community concerns about the potential disruption caused by the redevelopment of Euston station, and following more work done by our engineers to find the best way to deliver best value for taxpayers, we have identified an option that delivers great opportunities for the area while minimising the potential effects on local communities in Camden and on passengers.’
Munro said the new scheme included potential for over-station development including residential, commercial and public space.
She added: ‘Economic work done as part of Camden Council’s plan for the area has demonstrated that there is a case for major redevelopment with the potential for commercial investment, and we want to look at these opportunities with Camden.
‘Whatever option is adopted, Euston would be the gateway to the Midlands and north of England with improved facilities for passengers and better connections with the Underground.’
Robert Hradsky, secretary of the Euston Arch Trust
This more pragmatic approach is not entirely surprising. Interestingly, it puts even greater emphasis on the need to improve the public realm at Euston. Whatever form the station takes, there will have to be radical improvements to its surroundings in order to integrate the different routes and provide a proper welcome to visitors. A rebuilt Euston Arch has this enormous potential to tie everything together. It will also provide a magnificent, symbolic transition into the new railway age.
High Speed 2 is citing the influence of the Euston Area Plan undertaken by Camden, TfL and the GLA, which considers the wider context of Euston. One of the key themes of the consultation so far has been the desire to rebuild the Euston Arch. Everyone we talk to agrees it is a brilliant idea and they want the Arch to be at the heart of everything when new investment starts flowing into Euston.
The revised proposal includes:
- Potential opportunities for over-station development - with the possibility of being used for future homes, open space and businesses.
- The capacity needed for high speed and conventional trains
- New platforms and facilities for the high-speed trains
- New, improved facilities for all passengers in a redeveloped, integrated station with a new, combined concourse and façade
- Better connections with the Underground, including a new Underground ticket hall
- A sub-surface pedestrian link between Euston and Euston Square Tube
- East-west pedestrian routes across the station, helping to link communities on either side of the station