Anyone Got Six Acres of Central London Spare for HS2?

By jamesup Last edited 100 months ago
Anyone Got Six Acres of Central London Spare for HS2?

1231-london central-11.jpg A huge new 'London Central' station for High Speed 2 is reportedly going to be announced in the Government's Rail Programme. Yes, we also have no idea where they plan to put it...

The proposed station would have eight platforms and be able to handle 16 trains per hour. At a rough estimate that'd be some 400m long by 64m wide — not including the WHSmiths or the bagel stand. The report in the Telegraph and the buzz on architecture forum SkyscraperCity is that it could be a redevelopment of Euston (not really new, that) but there are also comments that another location could be chosen. It could be put on the Kings Cross Railways Lands (now being turned into designer apartments, so seems unlikely); another option would be to obliterate Somers Town, no doubt unpopular with residents (and they have a film to rally their cause).

The line will apparently take a brave route in through the NIMBY territories of the Chilterns, so a north-westerly terminal would seem logical, but space along the Circle line (traditional termination point for inter-city rail) is very limited. We had a look at the area on Google Maps and we're struggling to see more than a handful of the 35 locations apparently considered — there's just not that many places to put a 400m-long railway station in central London. There is always underground, but building underground stations is the civil engineering equivalent of leaving your card behind the bar at a work party. Unfortunately our forebears built a magnificent Library on the most logical site, convinced as they were that in the 21st Century there would be helicopters for all. The practical options are going to involve a trade-off between cost and what you can demolish with the minimum of fuss. We look forward to seeing their conclusion in March.

Wherever it goes, the most urgent thing is to put a stop to this 'London Central' nonsense. This is not Amsterdam: British train stations should have lovely, preferably hard to pronounce or easily confused, names. 'First Class Single to London Elizabeth', perhaps? Maybe 'London Stephenson' or 'London Brunel' would be fitting? Although, in this age of austerity, perhaps we'll flog of the name to the highest bidder... Let us know your ideas in the comments.

Last Updated 01 January 2010