Possible HS2 Euston station de-scoping

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jfowkes

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From the agenda of a TFL board meeting to be held 3rd Feburary (link), a quote from page

We continue to provide input into the DfT led study on proposals for Euston following publication of the Oakervee Review in 2020. The DfT has recently instructed HS2 to proceed with further design development for one of the options, which provides a solution based around 10 HS2 platforms, a single stage build and increased oversite development.
(emphasis mine)

This would be a reduction from the original 11 platforms planned.
This is only something the DfT is proposing/investigating, not an actual set-in-stone thing that is happening.

Lots of discussion on twitter here: https://twitter.com/GarethDennis/status/1354329833568874498

One platform doesn't sound like much of a reduction, but I guess if you're designed the station for maximum utilisation of platforms, it can have a big knock-on effect.
 
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GRALISTAIR

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Also as that Twitter feed points out - it may look politically "good" in that the cut would come in "London" but it as actually the destination that will suffer in guess where - North and Midlands. Not a north south rant I swear, but it happens to be a factor imho.
 

jfowkes

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One thing I've just sort-of realised is that if the only source is this TfL board meeting agenda, is it possible that it's just a mistake in the number? Someone accidentally typed 10 instead of 11?
 

quantinghome

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One thing I've just sort-of realised is that if the only source is this TfL board meeting agenda, is it possible that it's just a mistake in the number? Someone accidentally typed 10 instead of 11?
Sadly not - the issue has been extensively discussed in the railway press. It's madness really - a 9% reduction in capacity, losing billions in benefits to save a relatively small amount.
 

Bald Rick

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It's madness really - a 9% reduction in capacity, losing billions in benefits to save a relatively small amount.

A 9% loss in platforms doesn’t = a 9% loss in capacity.

10 platforms for 18 trains an hour, is still a decent amount, particularly for what is expected to be a very reliable railway. And that if we ever see 18 - I suspect 14 or 16 will be the most.
 

Class 170101

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A 9% loss in platforms doesn’t = a 9% loss in capacity.

10 platforms for 18 trains an hour, is still a decent amount, particularly for what is expected to be a very reliable railway. And that if we ever see 18 - I suspect 14 or 16 will be the most.

Have to agree on this 10 platforms for 18tph. Even a loss of another Platform at Euston would equal two trains every 60 minutes using each platform. The main risk to reliability will be coming from the classic lines.
 

Halifaxlad

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I remember reading not so long ago that an additional platform was proposed purely for resilience.

I would be surprised if it was actually proposed as I can't imagine cutting one platform would save very much, also its not worth the PR as any hint of anything but HS2 as proposed is being used to claim its being cut back.
 

Bald Rick

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I remember reading not so long ago that an additional platform was proposed purely for resilience.

I would be surprised if it was actually proposed as I can't imagine cutting one platform would save very much, also its not worth the PR as any hint of anything but HS2 as proposed is being used to claim its being cut back.

If, as the TfL board paper suggests, Dropping one platform enables building the whole new station in one go, rather than in two separate phases, then the saving could well be considerable. Add in the ‘increased oversite development’ - again possibly enabled by having less station underneath to work around, and the change in net value could be several hundred million.
 

The Planner

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Reading between the lines here, I would be willing to bet that they aren't convinced that the residual quantum of service they are considering on the classic side can be delivered without nicking a platform back. Good to see the buzzwords oversite development back, that is where the money is.
 

AverageTD

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Provided the 18tph plan is met, which it still can be done with the platform reduction, I see no problem with it. It's if the platform reduction reduces the planned frequency that I'll be annoyed. Afaik, there's been no frequency reduction yet so there really shouldn't any fuss.
 

Class 170101

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Reading between the lines here, I would be willing to bet that they aren't convinced that the residual quantum of service they are considering on the classic side can be delivered without nicking a platform back. Good to see the buzzwords oversite development back, that is where the money is.
I just hope the oversite development doesn't create another Euston (current) or Birmingham New Street Stations - both are dumps to be honest.
 

Andrew1395

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Reading between the lines here, I would be willing to bet that they aren't convinced that the residual quantum of service they are considering on the classic side can be delivered without nicking a platform back. Good to see the buzzwords oversite development back, that is where the money is.
They need to get rid of London Overground to help make the classic side of the station work. The number of schemes for development above Euston go back 60 years. The plan for offices thwarted in the early 60s and later realised at the front with the three black towers and podium. Now leaves the large parcels deck area ready for a scheme. At one point in the 1990s they even considered it as a location for a new UCH hospital. Hotel and flats would be in the mix. Maybe a grand scheme a brand new LSE? But Euston has a history as a graveyard for grand schemes.
 

Bletchleyite

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They need to get rid of London Overground to help make the classic side of the station work.

No, they really don't. It's popular and well-used. There's a "crayonista" view to trying to get rid of it, but the passengers don't want it sending to Stratford or somewhere similarly less useful.

Only way it would be sensible to dump LO would be if the Bakerloo was extended all the way to Watford and increased in frequency to compensate (it's a service to Central London the passengers want, I suspect they'd not overly care if that was the Bakerloo instead of Euston, but they would care if they were being sent to some Godforesaken East London shopping centre instead).

As for it being like New St, it won't be as there are no DMUs going in it. A high concrete roof emphasized by uplighting looks cool.
 

Bald Rick

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But Euston has a history as a graveyard for grand schemes.

For the specific reason that it is smack on the protected sightline from Primrose Hill to St Paul’s. Any tall buildings have to be very carefully positioned, and will be limited in height.
 

Recessio

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Binning the overground would also beg the question of what to do with South Hampstead and Kilburn High Road, its a non-starter.

Provided the platform removal doesnt reduce the frequency (when 18tph was already dubious), doesnt seem too big a deal?
 

SynthD

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Lack of resilience is still an issue. It could have some minor issue on day one of 18tph and be unable to recover without cancellations. If they don’t come out with some more detail along the lines of Baldrick’s guesses then they’ve traded a few positive headlines now for likely many negative headlines in the future. It could affect hs3, npr, whatever else is being planned then.
 

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How would this affect the overall projected spend? It seems to me that this is to ensure the Euston work is kept within budget and does not therefore result in pausing or delaying other elements of HS2. I think the biggest risk to HS2 phase 2b (both east and west) is overrun at the London end.

Does anyone have any educated assumptions or educated guesses on how much could be saved by:
  1. building the station in one go?
  2. only building the eastern branch as far as East Midlands Parkway?
 

edwin_m

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Binning the overground would also beg the question of what to do with South Hampstead and Kilburn High Road, its a non-starter.

Provided the platform removal doesnt reduce the frequency (when 18tph was already dubious), doesnt seem too big a deal?
Both are within five minutes walk of Bakerloo stations.
 

Ianno87

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Lack of resilience is still an issue. It could have some minor issue on day one of 18tph and be unable to recover without cancellations. If they don’t come out with some more detail along the lines of Baldrick’s guesses then they’ve traded a few positive headlines now for likely many negative headlines in the future. It could affect hs3, npr, whatever else is being planned then.

Lots of intensively used railways have this challenge - hardly insurmountable.

Under what scenarios would a situation be absolutely fine on 11 platforms but with significant cancellations with 10 platforms? If it was to be a bad day with 10 platforms, chances are it would still be a bad day with 11.

I'd imagine that losing one platform takes out a bit of recovery opportunity, yes. But an average of less than 2 trains per platform per hour still isn't particularly intensive use either.
 

Purple Orange

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Lots of intensively used railways have this challenge - hardly insurmountable.

Under what scenarios would a situation be absolutely fine on 11 platforms but with significant cancellations with 10 platforms? If it was to be a bad day with 10 platforms, chances are it would still be a bad day with 11.

I'd imagine that losing one platform takes out a bit of recovery opportunity, yes. But an average of less than 2 trains per platform per hour still isn't particularly intensive use either.

Your point makes a lot of sense. However for context, if what could be considered intensive usage and what would be optimal?

At 1.7 tph per platform, that is far less than the 2.5 tph expected to call at Manchester Piccadilly’s HS2 bay platforms (although upto 10 of the 15 tph will be ‘through’ services).
 

quantinghome

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Lots of intensively used railways have this challenge - hardly insurmountable.

Under what scenarios would a situation be absolutely fine on 11 platforms but with significant cancellations with 10 platforms? If it was to be a bad day with 10 platforms, chances are it would still be a bad day with 11.

I'd imagine that losing one platform takes out a bit of recovery opportunity, yes. But an average of less than 2 trains per platform per hour still isn't particularly intensive use either.
I'm hearing that the 11th platform is there to accommodate trains arriving more than 10 minutes late. I'm guessing that in turn relies on overall assumptions about turnaround time for trains at Euston.
 

Bletchleyite

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I'm hearing that the 11th platform is there to accommodate trains arriving more than 10 minutes late. I'm guessing that in turn relies on overall assumptions about turnaround time for trains at Euston.

Could the need for this perhaps be avoided by terminating such trains at OOC instead?

But really, how often should that be happening? With all that speed to play with, timetables should be realistic, not cramming in the last bit of performance possible (cf: 30 minutes Euston-MKC, which is late more often than not in my experience).
 

Ianno87

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Your point makes a lot of sense. However for context, if what could be considered intensive usage and what would be optimal?

At 1.7 tph per platform, that is far less than the 2.5 tph expected to call at Manchester Piccadilly’s HS2 bay platforms (although upto 10 of the 15 tph will be ‘through’ services).

I guess you can't just consider the platforms in isolation; HS2's advantage is that every train basically does the same thing south of Birmingham Interchange; it almost doesn't matter if trains run out of order as there's no "getting stuck behind the stopper". The platforms just need to be able to process arrivals and departures at the same rate that the plain line can handle, with a bit of capability "up the sleeve" (e.g. 3 minutes headways give, in theory, 20tph capability or more, not all of which is used).

I'm hearing that the 11th platform is there to accommodate trains arriving more than 10 minutes late. I'm guessing that in turn relies on overall assumptions about turnaround time for trains at Euston.
Could the need for this perhaps be avoided by terminating such trains at OOC instead?

But really, how often should that be happening? With all that speed to play with, timetables should be realistic, not cramming in the last bit of performance possible (cf: 30 minutes Euston-MKC, which is late more often than not in my experience).

1) I agree with @Bletchleyite. With HS2 being to some degree isolated from the rest of the Network, the first objective ought to be to minimise trains being more than 10 minutes late in the first place! Clearly more practical on some routes than others. And then buffer built into how HS2 is planned. If it's like other high speed lines, it'll have around a 5-10% uplift between technical running times and the planned running times.

2) If a train is a little more than 10 minutes late; say up to 15, perhaps just accept that the consequence is a late start back from Euston, and a bit of delay to the next few trains waiting platforms that then recovers.

3) For anything more significant, you'd use Old Oak Common (which you might do anyway even if you had an 11th platform to get a right time start back)
 

quantinghome

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The issue will be the Scotland trains which travel for long distances over the classic network before getting to HS2 so could import a fair amount of delay. Newcastle and Liverpool have some risk as well, but lower as they don't go as far from the end points of HS2.

The alternative would be to 'do a Switzerland' and add a lot of padding into the timetable of HS2 trains on the classic network.
 

Bletchleyite

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The issue will be the Scotland trains which travel for long distances over the classic network before getting to HS2 so could import a fair amount of delay. Newcastle and Liverpool have some risk as well, but lower as they don't go as far from the end points of HS2.

The alternative would be to 'do a Switzerland' and add a lot of padding into the timetable of HS2 trains on the classic network.

You will be unsurprised to learn that this is my favoured option (generally, not just for HS2).
 

BayPaul

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It would be great if a saving here helped HS2 to come in slightly under budget, it would give a lot more credibility to mega projects in the future. It does seem like the 11th platform was to a certain extent gold plating, and if construction can all happen in a single phase, that sounds like a good saving, both in cost and also possibly in time.
 

edwin_m

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You will be unsurprised to learn that this is my favoured option (generally, not just for HS2).
A lot of padding may leave a train "waiting for time" or running slowly because it would otherwise be early. This could delay other late-running trains stuck behind it.
 

quantinghome

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It would be great if a saving here helped HS2 to come in slightly under budget, it would give a lot more credibility to mega projects in the future. It does seem like the 11th platform was to a certain extent gold plating, and if construction can all happen in a single phase, that sounds like a good saving, both in cost and also possibly in time.
I think there is gold plating on the project but I would have preferred to see things like the design speed brought down to reduce infrastructure costs rather than chop platforms. There is no need to design for a future 400kph running speed, but it's baked into the design now so the savings can't be made.
 

Horizon22

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Could the need for this perhaps be avoided by terminating such trains at OOC instead?

But really, how often should that be happening? With all that speed to play with, timetables should be realistic, not cramming in the last bit of performance possible (cf: 30 minutes Euston-MKC, which is late more often than not in my experience).

As its a new line, you'd expect resilience to be built in for the start, but not be excessive. 10 platforms seems perfectly feasible for around the 18tph mark, and I'm sure some service recovery as required at somewhere like OOC will be an option. And I'm sure the timetable would be suitably "padded" or built in with performance issues in mind, particularly where it meets classic lines.
 

Ianno87

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A lot of padding may leave a train "waiting for time" or running slowly because it would otherwise be early. This could delay other late-running trains stuck behind it.

Yes, there is a delicate balance between a bit of tactical recovery, and pumping in so much it actually creates a performance problem.

I think there is gold plating on the project but I would have preferred to see things like the design speed brought down to reduce infrastructure costs rather than chop platforms. There is no need to design for a future 400kph running speed, but it's baked into the design now so the savings can't be made.

AIUI, the 400km/h is pretty much only preserved in the straightness of the alignment (the thing that's most difficult to change ever again) and not much else. Which, if anything, helps cost by making the alignment straighter (thus shorter and less construction). So the amount of actual extra cost it is driving is probably not very much.
 
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