With redesigns for Euston station now being in their fourth, incomplete, iteration, the saga regarding HS2 plans for the London terminus had already descended well beyond farce, when a fortnight ago the ‘fungal toenail’ design was released, along with the news that a nine-year construction timetable had become a sixteen year one.
Stop HS2 specifically criticised the idea the timescale was sixteen years, as this did not include most of construction phase ‘B2’, which would involve unspecified work on the surviving Network Rail parts of the station. However, it’s now worse than that, as the Government are suggesting that the rest of the HS2 track might well be ready to run trains before Euston can take them.
Despite the published timetable being clear that both the building of HS2 Phase 1 and the Phase 1 part of Euston should finish in time for trains to run in 2026 (or 2033 for both Phase 2s), Robert Goodwill, the HS2 minister, has told the Sunday Telegraph:
“We are considering whether to open the service to Old Oak Common a few months early, and push back the completion of Euston for a few years. By changing to Crossrail at Old Oak Common you will be able to reach [parts of] the West End three minutes quicker than going to Euston and getting the Tube.”
So true to form from HS2 Ltd, less than a month after coming up with a new timetable, they are effectively admitting it is impossible. Basically, after years of being completely unable to come up with a workable solution for bringing HS2 into Euston, HS2 Ltd have handed in a desperately inadequate plan, simply for the sake of having something to show to the committee of MPs currently examining the route, because if they hadn’t the Parliamentary timetable would get even further behind than it is now.