Season’s Greetings from HS2: Demolition Derby, not Santa’s Sleigh

In an unfortunate foretaste of what people can expect from the construction of HS2, demolition work will be taking place on Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

The Camden New Journal reports that

Network Rail has sent letters out to its “line-side neighbours” in Delancey Street, Park Village East and Mornington Crescent announcing cargo shed demolition works between 7am and 7pm on December 25 and 26.

…The letters said the works are being carried out “on behalf of HS2” and that “disturbance is unavoidable”.

In a letter from Sarah McArdle, Network Rail’s community relations manager, residents have been told

“We need to undertake this preparatory work in order to allow for the demolition of the west-side carriage shed. The existing building currently supports vital overhead line equipment, which allows electric trains to operate in and out of the existing Euston station.”

“…Overhead line equipment needs to be relocated and modified with some alterations to the existing tracks to enable the continued safe operation of the railway…. Unfortunately the type of equipment and machinery we have to use does mean some disturbance is un-avoidable.

Camden New Journal quote one local resident, Colin Swift as saying

“I can’t believe someone, somewhere didn’t think ‘hey, HS2 is obviously such a big thing for everyone in Camden, why don’t we give them a break on Christmas Day?’”

The Journal goes on to say
Christmas Day HS2 works is the latest outrage from the Government-funded company in charge of the £63billion project mistakenly sent out demolition letters to the wrong housing block on the Regent’s Park estate last month.

HS2 opening hours

HS2 staff definitely not to be disturbed

Preparatory HS2 works around Euston, Camden Town and Mornington Crescent have already  begun with boreholes being drilled in Park Village East, which has been closed to traffic. The National Temperance Hospital is being demolished and large replacement housing blocks are being built on the Regent’s Park estate. 

According to the Journal

Network Rail said it was “required to undertake these works on behalf of High Speed 2 in order to allow the existing railway to operate safely into Euston during future construction for the high-speed railway”, adding it would “minimise any unnecessary noise” to “line side neighbours”.

Not surprisingly, no-one from HS2 Ltd was available to comment.

One comment to “Season’s Greetings from HS2: Demolition Derby, not Santa’s Sleigh”
  1. Hello Joe,

    Here is an idea on how to prevent such an event like this from occurring again.

    A consultation exercise on general planning conditions to be applied to building Phase 1 of HS2 has just been started by the Department of Transport

    HS2 via the Department of Transport is seeking acceptance of a range of rules and conditions which would be applied to how it undertakes building work for Phase 1 of HS2 from London to the West Midlands. Their proposals are contained in this document:

    High Speed Rail (London – West Midlands) Bill: draft class approval content @

    It sounds innocuous, but this set of proposed condition, if approved in its present state, would not prevent building work from being undertaken on Public Holidays.

    However, this set of proposals, which is likely to be a template to apply to the building of any HS2a &HS2b line, is up for consultation.

    Anyone can take part.

    You can reply to question 5 of this consultation, which asks:

    “5. Do you agree that no conditions need to be applied to the class approval?
    If not, what conditions do you think are needed and why are they needed?”

    You can ask for this condition to be inserted into the set of rules and regulations:

    No work should be undertaken on any Public Holiday in order for myself and others to enjoy the peace and quiet which everybody else can take for granted on such occasions.

    Closing date for responding to the consultation is 13th February to respond to this consultation.

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