Everyone Wants a Station…

This is a guest article by Richard Lloyd

They said: “Everyone wants a station, no-one wants the line”

So far, HS2 has 4 stations, and every one of them is in the wrong place.

Euston – the line should have started at St Pancras – the Channel Tunnel line was re-routed from Waterloo across to the north side of London in order to facilitate routes to the North.

Old Oak Common – in the middle of nowhere, there is no need for a line to the North to go to the West of London at all – and even if a link to Heathrow is wanted, this is a hugely inconvenient and expensive way of doing it.

Bickenhill – also in the middle of nowhere, chosen because of the potential to unlock greenbelt land for development, and also with inconvenient and expensive links to the NEC, Birmingham Airport, and the existing Birmingham International Station (which is so far from the route, it’s not on HS2 Ltd maps).

Curzon Street – this terminus has no connections to Wales, Wolverhampton or the Birmingham suburbs, all requiring a 400 metre walk up the platform and the use of some unspecified supersonic travelator to New Street station before descending two flights of escalators into a hole in the ground where the same old platforms and tunnels will survive the £600M re-build of everything above.


This is a prime example of what happens when grandiose projects are cooked up in secret. Had the plans been developed in public, it’s quite possible something far more useful, realistic, cheaper, and acceptable would have been proposed.

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17 comments to “Everyone Wants a Station…”
  1. old oak common is at the intersection of the north and west london lines which run to the busiest station in the country which is clapham junction and is also an extension off the west coast main line. so it is in a good catchment area and it is an interchange to allow you to transfer trains to get to your final destination. it is not a destination in its own right.

    as hs2 is designed to increase line capacity it would be pointless for it to terminate at new street which is at capacity already and very overcrowded. so you need to have a new terminal close to new street and the city centre which is what is proposed ! i believe that the midlands metro tram will be extended to the new terminal. it is also even closer to snow hill and moor street stations where chiltern line trains connect.

    the interchange station (the clue is in the name) would allow drivers to come off the m6, m6 toll, m42, m40 and leave their cars to catch the train to london or the north. it also serves an airport and the nec.

    euston like kings cross, st pancras and marylebone etc were built in what was countryside because at the time nobody wanted trains directly in to the centre of london on environmental of not in my b……….. grounds (sounds familiar doesnt it) so as a result the terminals were all located on the periphery of london on farmland.

    in my opinion we would be better connecting hs1 with hs2 via a dedicated direct two line extension so that travellers could be distributed at old oak then stratford then onto ebbsfleet and ashford (or onto france of course) and trying to have the remaining services terminated ast pancras but this may not be possible. this would mean that the euston redevelopment could be cheaper and less intrusive. the link could also be used for direct cardiff – london – norwich electric trains for example and also be an express relief for the central crossrail section.

  2. I struggle with the objectivity of someone who actually works for some public body that gets vast funding (£100m+) with absolutely no accountability or results. I think memo’s have been sent around wasteful public transport bodies to basically troll around the internet.

    Some people clearly have shameless self-interest creating rationalisations for them……….

    My view is Hyrdogen all the way. A network of these stations is essential. I want to see FCX Clarity cars in use. Adding to our electricity demands given we need £110 billion to sustain current needs is just laughable. When these other countries made HSR, the case was solid. Today……its anything but.

    • the only problem with hydrogen is that you need huge amounts of energy, usually electricity, to separate the hydrogen and oxygen from the water. production of hydrogen could be done in conjuction with solar power but that would more likely be in other countries so we would have to import it but at least it would be clean !

      the fcx clarity is a brilliant car and shows that fuel cell cars do not have the so-called range anxiety of electric cars althought they are of course electric cars also. i am not sure on the efficiency of process that uses electricity to create hydrogen to then turn it back into electricity however ! but combustion engines are likely somewhat less efficient.

      • We have massive peaks and troughs in our electricity usage in this country, but the majority of low carbon power generators either have different peaks (the sun doesn’t shine brighter nor the wind blow harder at the cup final half time) or is a steady baseline generation such as with nuclear power. We need technologies that gives us power on demand, which means power storage, and that can’t all be done by pumping water up mountains in the middle of the night. Hydrogen technology isn’t all that efficient, but coupled with nuclear power stations it would be practical and low-carbon, and an infrastructure, such as pumps in motorway service stations could start to be set up within months. It’s far more practical for distance travel than the current crop of battery powered cars.

        Even so, hydrogen cars are no substitute for trains. The personal car is a luxury item for most of us and always will be. So this doesn’t answer the question of whether HS2 is right or wrong for the country. Perhaps there is a good argument for not laying new track from Euston to Old Oak Common, only getting up to speed after that, I don’t know. I came to this site amongst others to find out.

  3. You can see the stations (red boxes) on the Google map that I made,
    What ever the distance, and however long it takes people to walk from A to B, it is still and inconvenience, I for one would rather add 20mins to my journey then take the walk, especially is I had heavy luggage with me.

    I don’t know why HS2 Ltd has decided to stick a station at Old Oak Common.
    Perhaps by placing a station near Wormwood Scrubs, they wish to show the HS2 isn’t just a fast train for fat cats.

    • The more stations HS2 has along it’s route, the more it is slowed down, like-wise, the more bends and turns the route makes to avoid sensitive areas such as housing and woodland, the more it is slowed down.
      Thus it is no longer a High Speed Railway.

      This is why the technology is inflexible, and why Britain has done well not to follow Europe in building these..
      It is not true High Speed if so much has to be compromised to achieve them, and what will be compromised is the environment, people’s homes, businesses, and lives.

      • Look at Crossrail – proposed station at old oak common, thus a connection to Hs2. All the location stations for Hs2 have been made to allow connection to the existing network. Therefore Luke you will not have to walk anywhere.

  4. Morris:

    It is difficult to follow your grammer but if you mean New Street Station rather than New Station then you should time walking from Curzon Street to New Street Station.

    It takes approx 15 to 20 mins depending on the individual, maybe longer if you have mobility issues.

    So it would seem your map reading is at fault.

    The reference to the supersonic travelator is obviously a joke, just like HS2. LOL.

    • ivan- no the joke is this website or stophs2. Curzon street to New street staion 15 to 20 mins thats very slow. Do you take the back steets or just walk slow. I do it most days in about 5 to 7mins and thats walking slow, as i park my car there. With the travelator this willbe a lot faster. My map reading is not a fault.

      • The distance is 0.8 miles.

        11 mins to walk this would be classed as fast, 15 mins would be medium pace and 20 mins would be slow.

        I know for a fact that the above is true. Anyone who wishes to work it out can look at a map!

        If you can cover this in 7 mins at a slow pace then your comment is disingenuous to say the least.

        I really do not believe you know Birmingham at all.

        No need to reply as there as it is now obvious to everyone what a fibber you are. You should check for vacancies with HS2 Ltd.

        • Im was born in birmingham, so please dont tell me i dont know my city, again it only take 7min to get from New street to my car which is parked on new canel street most days.If you know b`ham, you would know that front of the porposed station would be on New canel streel. Curzon street is the road runnnings a longside the track, from the museums to the old castle cement works – which is now flats. So please dont say i dont know my city. If you like, you could meet and walk with me and watch me walk to my car in 7mins .

    • The name Curzon street station comes from the fact that the site for the proposed station covers an area largely disused which runs along side Curzon Street in central Birmingham.

      The actual entrance to the HS2 station will however open onto Moor Street adjacent to Moor Street rail station and directly opposite the Bullring.

  5. Last time I checked New Station does have connection to all these stations you are talking about. So therefore the new station at Curzon Street or again cant you see this. Have you checked on a map the location of Curzon street, I guess Not. 400m is like going from Terminal 1 to Terminal 5 at Heathrow airport, to walk that short distance or even with a travelator should only take a few minutes. So where did you get the unspecified supersonic travelator from. Also Curzon street is directly next to Moor Street station which is one of the main station to the suburbs. So a guess again you cant read a map.

    Bickenhill – also in the middle of nowhere – does the M6,M40 and M42 mean anything to you. I would not say that bickenhill is in the midland of no where. Again look at a map.

    Old oak common directly next to a cross rail station is that now where. Hope fully more stations will be build – I know stoke on Trent are trying to get one build.

    • Bickenhill may well be near some motorways although not necessarily the junctions, it still is, as far as anything else of any use, the middle of nowhere. Just out of curiosity, why would someone travelling by train to Bickenhill have any interest in the motorways? unless of course HS2 will have Channel Tunnel-like carriages for vehicles?

      Also, do you really believe that the trip from Curzon Street to New Street can be done by travelator? have you been to either area recently? clearly not. Curzon Street is directly next to Moor Street on a 1:50,000 map but not in the real world.

      • Symes – do you drive or just walk, then a staion by the m6 and m42 i think would be very usfull. As most people drive to a station, then there is a think called a carpark. Do you know what that is. Yes a taravelotor could connect the station. I do use the station a lot, do you?

        • Not sure where to start with that lot.

          Travel along the M6 from West of the West Mids or South of Coventry to catch an overpriced train, possibly using a car park (yes I have heard of them ****) and paying for the opportunity. Currently I think it’s £8 a day to use the B’ham International car park (see I used those words again), it doesn’t really stack up financially or time-wise for a quicker trip to London does it?

          I don’t walk or drive to the station because I have little or no use for trains, for which I consider myself very lucky. I also use spellcheck every now and then…

          • You are very lucky then if you don`t use a train most people have too in running a business, me for one. The carpark is essential for any station, just look at any map and you will see, however, you have to pay for this benefit. The cost you stated of £8 is correct but this is reduced if you have a season ticket, again this is normal what is your point, if you have one.

            You say that the trains are overprices, again you can either to drive and suck in traffic or get the train. Like most business men in the UK I get the train. This is a down to me and its sounds like you drive and therefore have no common sense. Do you prefer to get suck in traffic, I don’t but that just me.

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