Old Oak Common Possible For Major Rail Hub

'High Speed 2' could stop in north of the borough

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Hammersmith and Fulham Council say they are lobbying for a major new railway hub to be built in the north of the borough.

A study commissioned by the Council has been submitted to the Chairman of High Speed 2 (HS2) – the company tasked with looking into the options for a new high speed rail service between London and Scotland - arguing that Old Oak Common should be a major interchange on the line.

The study argues that Old Oak Common is best placed to meet the Government’s objectives for High Speed 2 because: the site intersects the Great Western Mainline and the West and North London Lines, because a west London hub would reduce the strain on central London stations such as Euston and Paddington, because the area could be the site of a future Crossrail station, and because the interchange could be built with minimum impact on the existing rail network.

The Council say residents in the north of Hammersmith and Fulham, the south of Brent and the eastern part of Ealing would all be major beneficiaries if a 'super station' were to be built on the site.

“The site is perfectly placed to connect the rest of the country with Heathrow and could also bring thousands of new jobs and homes to a deprived part of the capital that spans three London boroughs,” said Council Leader, Cllr Stephen Greenhalgh.

“The regeneration of Old Oak Common that will flow from building a high speed rail station in the area could be as important for the future of west London as the Olympics has been for east London. Old Oak could experience a once-in-a-lifetime renaissance if the recommendations in this report are followed,” he said.

However, local people expressed serious concerns last year when it emerged that the Council wanted to build a substantial new development to the north of Wormwood Scrubs. Nature-lovers in particular were concerned about the possible impact on the nearby nature reserve of thousands of new homes, shops and businesses.

The Government expects the first section of the new high speed rail link, between London and Birmingham, to be completed by 2020 and when finished, the service should take passengers from London to Glasgow in just over two hours. It is still not clear precisely what route the new line will take but one plan envisages it connecting to London via a Heathrow hub station on the Great Western Line. This would allow connections between Heathrow Airport, the new north-south high speed line, Great Western rail services and Crossrail.

It is also not clear how much the new line will cost: HS1, which runs between St. Pancras and the Channel Tunnel, was the country's first high speed rail link and cost £5.8bn to build.

HS2 is due to report to the Government with its findings at the end of this year.

6 December 2009