Secretary of State for Transport for Transport Grant Shapps has visited HS2’s ten-hectare construction site for its ‘superhub’ station at Old Oak Common in west London to meet the team working on the biggest newly-built railway station in the UK.
At the peak of construction, which is being undertaken by construction partner Balfour Beatty VINCI Systra joint venture (BBVS), over 2,300 jobs will be supported on the site and more than 250 apprenticeships will be created. Work is commencing with the construction of a 1.8km long underground diaphragm wall around what will become the station’s ‘underground box’, where six HS2 platforms will sit to accommodate trains serving the Midlands and the North.
Piling rigs will also install 160 reinforced concrete columns inside the wall to help form the box and support the structure.
Having witnessed the work taking place, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “The start of permanent works at the largest train station ever built in the UK in one go, Old Oak Common, marks yet more progress in delivering HS2, the high-speed, high-capacity and low carbon railway that will form the backbone of our national transport network.
“This ‘super-hub’ station shows our Plan for Jobs in action – kickstarting major regeneration, creating 2,300 jobs and 250 apprenticeships in construction – and underlines this Government’s determination to Build Back Better.”
Once complete, HS2’s Old Oak Common station will offer impressive connectivity, with fourteen new platforms; six HS2 platforms offering high speed services to the North and Midlands, four Crossrail (Elizabeth line) platforms and four conventional rail platforms, which will be served by trains to Wales and the South West.
Following the first phase of construction to create the 750,000-cuboic-metre box, work on the eight overground platforms will begin. Over 1,600 concrete piles will be installed into the ground on which the station superstructure and overground platforms will sit.
Bringing the station together will be the station’s immense, yet lightweight, roof, which has been designed to minimize the use of materials and allow as much natural light in, reducing the carbon impact of the station.
The environmental credentials of the station will be boosted by solar panels which will cover the roof, generating a supply of renewable energy for the station. The station design development has been led by engineering professional services consultancy WSP with architectural support from WilkinsonEyre.
HS2 CEO, Mark Thurston, commented: “The start of permanent works at Old Oak Common station, our first station under construction, is a significant step for Phase One of HS2, as we deliver world-leading engineering to create what will arguably be one of the best-connected railway super-hubs in the UK.
“Over 2,300 jobs will be supported to build the new station; part of the 22,000 jobs being created to build the new high-speed railway between London and the West Midlands and emphasising the key role HS2 is playing in Britain’s economic recovery after the pandemic.”