Transport Secretary gives the go-ahead for start of permanent works on HS2’s west London ‘super-hub’ station
23 June 2021
Today in partnership with HS2 Ltd, Balfour Beatty VINCI SYSTRA will commence permanent works on the west London ‘superhub’ station - Old Oak Common. The Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP visited the ten-hectare site to meet the team working there and give the thumbs up for work to begin on the biggest newly-built railway station in the UK.
Over 2,300 jobs will be supported on the site at peak construction, and over 250 apprenticeships will be created. There is also a commitment to recruiting local candidates of all ages and backgrounds for the project.
The Transport Secretary’s green light means that work will commence 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. Pilling rigs will also install 160 reinforced concrete columns inside the wall to help form the box and support the structure.
Giving the green light for work to begin, 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 unrivalled connectivity, with fourteen new platforms; six HS2 platforms offering high speed services to the North and Midlands, four Crossrail – or 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 750,000m3 box, work on the eight overground platforms will begin. Over 1600 concrete piles will be installed into the ground on which the station superstructure and overground platforms will sit.
Nigel Russell, Project Director, Balfour Beatty VINCI SYSTRA said: “This incredible milestone is testament to the dedication of our team, who have worked tirelessly to make this moment happen. With many more years of work to do, we are proud to be delivering one of Britain’s largest, connected and sustainable railway stations whilst simultaneously stimulating the local economy.
“Through our work, we are providing numerous employment opportunities for local people, as well as offering 250 apprentices the opportunity to start their career on the UK’s most exciting engineering project.”
Bringing the station together will be the station’s immense roof, covering the area of over three football pitches. The lightweight roof structure has been designed to minimize the use of materials and allow as much natural light in which reduces the carbon impact of the station. The environmental credentials of the station will be boosted by solar panels covering 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, welcoming the Transport Secretary on site said: “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.”
The Balfour Beatty VINCI SYSTRA joint venture is leading the construction work on the ten-hectare west London site. The station’s size and scale means it will boast some incredible stats and features including:
- 73,000 tonnes of steel
- 13,000 square metres of glass
- 2,720 square metres of solar panels on the roof
- 53 lifts and 44 escalators
- 550 cycle spaces
- 10,000 energy efficient LED light bulbs
With over 250,000 passengers using the station every day, Old Oak Common will become one of the country’s most vital transport hubs and a catalyst for economic regeneration for the area and the rest of the UK. Plans to transform the wider area around the station, a former railway and industrial site, are being led by the Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation (OPDC) and they project that tens of thousands of new jobs and homes will be created around the new HS2 station.
Image: Construction of HS2’s Old Oak Common station will soon be underway as work to install the first permanent structure starts later today
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Notes to editors:
- Balfour Beatty (www.balfourbeatty.com) is a leading international infrastructure group with 26,000 employees driving the delivery of powerful new solutions, shaping thinking, creating skylines and inspiring a new generation of talent to be the change-makers of tomorrow.
- We finance, develop, build, maintain and operate the increasingly complex and critical infrastructure that supports national economies and deliver projects at the heart of local communities.
- Over the last 111 years we have created iconic buildings and infrastructure all over the world including: the £1.5 billion A14 improvement scheme - Britain’s biggest road project; Hong Kong’s HK$5.5 billion world-class harbour theatre project for the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority; and the 12.5 mile $429 million North Metro Commuter Rail line in Colorado, US.
- Balfour Beatty’s Major Projects business deliver large-scale, innovative and complex infrastructure projects which keep the UK moving and the economy thriving. Employing over 2,000 people, the business operates within three principal markets; Transportation; Energy and Power and Major Infrastructure.
- To maximise our offering on major infrastructure projects, we collaborate with the world’s leading international companies in joint ventures such as VINCI, Skanska and Mott MacDonald to complement our construction offering on mega-infrastructure projects.
- Our current portfolio of major projects includes two design and build contracts for High Speed 2 in a joint venture with VINCI and London’s new major super-sewer through central London, in a joint venture with BAM Nuttall and Morgan Sindall.
- In addition, Balfour Beatty is currently delivering the four-year Hinkley Point C nuclear power station tunnelling and marine works package on behalf of EDF Energy which in a first for the UK and created at Balfour Beatty’s innovative manufacturing facility in Avonmouth, is utilising pre-fabricated nuclear-grade concrete segments to ensure significant efficiency savings.
- Iconic projects of the past include Heathrow Airport Terminal 2 departure lounges, the transformation of the iconic former London Olympic Stadium into a multi-purpose sporting venue and in a joint venture with VINCI the South West of England’s first Smart Motorway to improve journey safety and traffic capacity on the M4 and M5.