The Telegraph is suggesting that design work on the HS2 Euston Terminus has stopped, its no surprise te demolition work required is huge and the air rights development is too expensive.
Time then to look at airights development and station design in the whole area in an integrated way.
The potential altwernative plan comes from Lord Bradshaw and Lord Berkeley, chairman of the Rail Freight Group – its called ‘Euston Cross‘.
Build two rather than three single track tunnels from Old Oak Common, via Queens Park station, then under Regents Park to a new east-west deep station (Euston Cross) under the Northern ends of Euston, St Pancras and Kings Cross stations.
These two tunnels can then continue to join HS1 tunnels between Stratford and St Pancras.
Link the two tunnels at Queens Park to the WCML lines, to allow HS2 UK-gauge trains to enter the existing Euston station. Euston Cross would enable domestic HS2 services to be accommodated at Euston with less tunnelling and without a massive expansion of the station footprint, so reducing the capital cost. Further capital cost reductions could be achieved if advance provision for Crossrail 2 were to be included in the Euston Cross design.
The Euston Cross would have at least two pairs of two platforms (more if separate ones are needed for any through international trains calling), and would link the three main line surface stations and Underground ones.
A combined Euston Cross station complex for all Midlands, Northern and Scottish intercity and high speed railways, with extensive passenger transfer capability.
Achieved by east-west deep-level HS2 tunnel with platforms, extending between Euston, St Pancras and Kings Cross, replacing additional Euston terminal capacity, and located under the northern part of those termini. Fewer platforms needed with through train operations.
HS2 trains would also use the existing (adapted) Euston terminus, as many are direct replacements of the existing West Coast Main Line (WCML) intercity services. Capacity is freed up at Euston terminus, eg by diversion of existing suburban trains to Crossrail.
Key wins are:
• Greater national and London/Home Counties economic capacity: avoids most economic negatives caused by land take in the Euston area.
• Largely cost-neutral: omits many current HS2 proposed works including high-risk elements, substitutes others.
• Capability of phased development: eases financial pressures on national economy.
• Environmentally much stronger compared to current HS2 proposals: Less residential and business disturbance and land take throughout Euston and Camden.
• No harmful impact on existing North London Line: safeguards passenger and freight operations.
• Avoids the current poor value for money HS2-HS1 scheme: with its low capacity and inability to be used by domestic services.
• Maximises international connectivity: direct passenger links between Euston and St Pancras.
• Option to reduce Old Oak interchange costs and complexity: potential to omit international platforms and include them within Euston Cross, if separate platforms are still necessary.
• A surface access solution for many airport hub and expansion schemes: supports projects currently being considered by the Davies Commission.
• Capacity for through domestic, as well as international, trains: between HS2/WCML and East London/Kent/East Anglia.
• Through trains achieve stronger economic benefits east of Central London: within the East & SE London, East Anglia and Kent priority growth areas.
• Future-proofed cross-London east-west rail capacity beyond Crossrail.
Other passenger benefits:
• A national intercity passenger hub for Central London, serving all Midlands, North, Central and North Wales, and Scottish destinations
• Full integration of northern main line intercity and high speed routes with minimal disturbance to passengers’ familiarity with stations (Euston Cross would be accessible from all three existing termini)
• Relief of interchange pressure at Euston as HS2 load is distributed also across St Pancras and Kings Cross
• Direct Crossrail-WCML services for London and Home Counties commuters
• Direct London & Home Counties regional services, eg Milton Keynes-Kent.
Also much more airrights development would be practicl as you would not have to develop all of Eston at once. The previous Euston Square proposals could be revived.
More dramatically iot coyuld be linked to a massive regeneration project through realising airrights development above the new east west superstation. The run down Clarendon Gardens and Somers Towns Areas could be redeveloped along an east west boulevard of open spaces (some Green Bridges over the rail and high rise buildings linking Regents Park to The Regents Canal. It would be the 2st Century equivalent of John Nash’s plan for Regents Street. There would be sufficient value in the scheme to easily replace the social housing on the site, especially given the increase in density.