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'Let's go really big': Chancellor signals another Euston rethink

Chancellor George Osborne has hinted that controversial plans to demolish and rebuild London’s Euston train station for High Speed 2 (HS2) could be back on

Last year it was reported an enormous £500 million project to flatten the 1960s terminus to make way for a huge new scheme designed by Arup and Grimshaw had been dropped due to its burgeoning budget.

Project backer HS2 said it was instead looking at an alternative vision to retain the terminal - a move which would also minimise the ‘potential disruption caused by the redevelopment’.

However on Friday during a visit to Aedas’ under construction, high-speed rail terminal at Kowloon, Hong Kong, Osborne said he was open to a major reworking of Euston.

He told The Evening Standard. said: ‘I’m thinking that maybe we should go for a really big re-development of Euston.’

Work on the first phase of construction on the rail link, which would run between Euston and Birmingham, is due to begin in 2017 and open in 2026.

Aedas' Kowloon high-speed terminal

Aedas’ Kowloon high-speed terminal

Previous story (AJ 19.04.13)

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.’

Previous story (AJ 12.03.12)

Arup and Grimshaw land HS2 Euston revamp job

Arup with Grimshaw has been appointed to work on the redevelopment of Euston train station which will become a new London terminus for High Speed 2 (HS2) rail services

Under the £10 million contract, Arup will work up preliminary designs for Euston station’s transformation which form part of a hybrid bill planned to be deposited with parliament by the end of next year.

The £32.7 billion High Speed 2 (HS2) railway project, given the go-ahead by government in January, would see Euston train station expand by up to 16 metres westward to become the service’s new London terminal.

Arup has been tasked with creating a ‘high quality, user-friendly’ terminus and a new London underground ticket office.

HS2 chief executive Alison Munroe said the Arup-led team was chosen for its ‘innovative approaches towards engineering, architectural design and construction logistics’. 

She said: ‘Rebuilding Euston will inevitably cause significant disruption but we are committed to working closely with the London Borough of Camden and the GLA with the intention of agreeing a joint strategy for the Euston area and providing new social housing to replace any that is compulsorily purchased. This will also include engagement with local people, businesses and community representatives.’

The Euston redevelopment project could force the demolition of many buildings including two large commercial structures earmarked for mixed-use redevelopment by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris (AHMM) for Derwent

Map showing enlarged Euston Station for HS2

Map showing enlarged Euston Station for HS2

Readers' comments (3)

  • Darren Jones

    What would be really refreshing is if someone said "Lets go really high quality" or "Lets go for really inspirational design" rather than just "really big"

    Unsuitable or offensive?

  • Whatever the outcome, it'll be a monument to philistinism if reconstruction of the Euston Arch isn't an integral element in the work.

    Unsuitable or offensive?

  • What would be really interesting is if by some miracle the better part of a billion pounds were to be spent on a single project not directly connected to London.

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