HS2 and East West Rail

Rail (UK) - - Feature Network -

It’s just north of Quain­ton where HS2 and East West Rail are bound closer than ever be­fore. Once it’s swept through the Buck­ing­hamshire Rail­way Cen­tre’s car park, HS2 fol­lows the route of the Great Cen­tral Rail­way’s Lon­don Ex­ten­sion for ap­prox­i­mately 15 miles as far as West­bury (just to the south of Brack­ley), where it is planned to di­verge on a new align­ment through Northamp­ton­shire.

What that means is that nearly eight miles of EWR work has been au­tho­rised un­der the High Speed Rail (Lon­don-Birm­ing­ham) Act 2017, and work must fit into HS2’s de­liv­ery timetable.

Speak­ing to RAIL a year ago ( RAIL 834), East West Rail Al­liance Di­rec­tor Do­minic Bald­win said: “With HS2 we share a foot­print and cor­ri­dor. We did an en­gi­neer­ing study and iden­ti­fied that there were lots of ef­fi­cien­cies to be had by build­ing within the same cor­ri­dor.

“On the back of that, we iden­ti­fied that our sched­ule would need to be ac­cel­er­ated to be within the HS2 block­ades of that part of our route next year. If it wasn’t, then the de­liv­ery of this project would prob­a­bly have been de­ferred back to Con­trol Pe­riod 7 [2024-29]. Fur­ther­more, it would cost both projects a lot more money, as it’s far more ef­fi­cient to do both works at once. Both par­ties agreed, and it was sub­se­quently agreed to find ad­di­tional fund­ing out of cur­rent com­mit­ments.

“The is­sue we have is that we have sig­nif­i­cant de­pen­den­cies on each other where HS2 in­ter­sects with our rail­way. They have an obli­ga­tion to do the civils work, and we the rail­way sys­tems on our bit. It’s a very clean han­dover and de­sign, and con­struc­tion re­spon­si­bil­ity is all very clearly doc­u­mented and all signed off by the DfT.”

With HS2 and EWR pass­ing through Calvert, what will hap­pen to the famed ‘bin liner’ trains?

The trains will con­tinue to run, but they will no longer park and shunt on the re­mains on the Lon­don Ex­ten­sion. New sid­ings will be built north of the un­load­ing fa­cil­i­ties near the re­mains of Calvert sta­tion. Shunt­ing op­er­a­tions will be con­tained within this new yard, in or­der to min­imise dis­rup­tion to EWR.

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