Old Oak Common railway station

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Old Oak Common National Rail
Crossrail interchange.png
Planned location
Old Oak Common is located in Greater London
Old Oak Common
Old Oak Common
Location of Old Oak Common in Greater London
LocationOld Oak Common
Local authorityLondon Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham
OwnerNetwork Rail
Transport for London
Number of platforms14[1]
Key dates
2026Planned opening
Other information
WGS8451°31′30″N 0°14′48″W / 51.5249°N 0.2467°W / 51.5249; -0.2467Coordinates: 51°31′30″N 0°14′48″W / 51.5249°N 0.2467°W / 51.5249; -0.2467
 London transport portal

Old Oak Common (OOC) is a railway station under construction[2] on the site of the Old Oak Common traction maintenance depot to the west of London in Old Oak Common, approximately 500 m (1,600 ft) south of Willesden Junction station. When built, it is expected to be one of the largest rail hubs in London, at about 800 m (2,600 ft) in length and 20 m (66 ft) below surface level.[3]

The new station has been included as a part of the High Speed 2 line from London to Birmingham, covered by the High Speed Rail (London - West Midlands) Act 2017.[4] This hybrid bill conferred powers to construct and maintain phase 1, including intermediate stations. The surrounding area, including possible above-station development, is controlled by the Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation set up in April 2015. The station will provide a major transport interchange with a number of other main line and commuter rail services, including the Elizabeth line and other services on the Great Western Main Line. The High Speed 2 line will be below ground level at the Old Oak Common site, with the parallel Great Western Main Line tracks on the surface to the south. In May 2020, the station gained planning permission.[5]

Site and design[edit]

The view east over Old Oak Common TMD in 2005
The same view as seen in 2013
The Great Western Main Line passes through Old Oak Common

The proposed site of the Old Oak Common interchange station is located to the north of Wormwood Scrubs and the south of Willesden Junction, alongside the existing Great Western Main Line. The site formerly contained the disused EWS train maintenance site to the north, which was converted into a construction equipment marshalling area for the Crossrail project. Also on the site are the Elizabeth line's Old Oak Common Traction Maintenance Depot and the Great Western Railway North Pole depot for Intercity Express Programme trains.

The new High Speed 2 station at Old Oak Common is planned to act as a catalyst for the regeneration of this neglected part of West London, acting as a gateway to the development of a brand new neighbourhood adjacent to the site, creating tens of thousands of new homes, and integrated into the local area through urban design that maximises green space and the station's connection with local bus, cycling and walking routes.[6]

OOC super-hub station will have a total of 14 platforms. There will be six 450 m (1,480 ft) high-speed platforms, built underground, which will connect with eight conventional rail platforms at ground level serving the Great Western Main Line towards the West Country and Wales, Heathrow Express, as well as integrating the new east–west Elizabeth line services. It will also have 44 escalators and 52 lifts, and will have a naturally-lit concourse to create a pleasing passenger experience while reducing energy consumption - a 25,000 m2 (270,000 sq ft) atrium roof, inspired by the site's industrial heritage, will link the two halves of the station, also housing solar panels.[6] The escalators, linking the concourse to the platforms 13.5 m below, will be the longest on the HS2 network.[7] It is estimated that the station will serve 250,000 passengers per day and will ultimately connect with eight of the UK's largest cities.[6]


Old Oak Common station under construction in March 2022.

The delivery of OOC is a joint venture between Balfour Beatty, Taylor Woodrow Construction and SYSTRA, which was awarded in September 2019.[6] Initial groundwork started on the site in 2019, following the completion of the consultation opened in February 2019.[3]

The station received renewed Government backing in April 2020 following the Oakervee Review, which allowed work to begin on removing 900,000 m3 (1,200,000 cubic yards) of London Clay to create the space required for the 1 km (0.62 miles)-long rectangular station box at a depth of 20 m (66 ft). The piling alone will require the removal of a further 175,000 m3 (229,000 cubic yards), making a total of more than 1,000,000 m3 (1,300,000 cubic yards) of excavated material.[6]

To overcome the site's limited access along the single-carriageway Old Oak Common Lane, and reduce lorry movements across London, a 1 km (0.62 miles)-long conveyor belt will be assembled to transport the excavated material to Willesden Euro Terminal railhead, to be removed by rail freight and then recycled.[6] At its peak, there will be 1,500 workers building the station.[8] In June 2020, sheet piling commenced on site after the station gained planning approval and the main works contractor for the station started work.

Permanent works began on site in June 2021, starting with the construction of 1.8 km-long underground walls which will form the underground station box for the HS2 platforms.[9][10]

Planned services[edit]

Old Oak Common site in relation to existing lines at Willesden Junction; proposed Overground option "C" (2016)
Lines around Willesden & Acton Wells (1914 diagram)

The following table illustrates the planned range of services, based on current DfT documentation on the station, additional proposed serves are described in the following sub-sections.[11]

The Business Case, released in 2020, suggests that every HS2 service that calls at London Euston will also call at Old Oak Common.[12]

Planned routes
Preceding station Elizabeth line roundel (no text).svg Elizabeth line Following station
Acton Main Line Elizabeth line Paddington
Preceding station National Rail National Rail Following station
Birmingham Interchange or Stafford or Preston or Crewe or Birmingham Curzon Street or East Midlands Parkway   Avanti West Coast
High Speed 2
  London Euston
Slough or
Reading or Ealing Broadway
  Great Western Railway
Great Western Main Line
  London Paddington

Journey times from Old Oak Common to Euston will be five minutes, to Birmingham Curzon Street 31 minutes, and to Manchester Airport 56 minutes.[6]

Interchange proposals[edit]

Due to the proximity of the Old Oak Common site to other lines, it has been suggested that further connections could be made with commuter rail services. The 2010 DfT command paper highlights opportunities for interchanges at Old Oak Common with London Underground, London Overground, and West London line services between East Croydon and Watford Junction.

Proposed interchange
Service Interchange Status
London Overground London Overground
North London Line
Old Oak Common Lane Proposed new station[13]
London Overground London Overground
West London Line
Hythe Road Proposed new station[13]
London Overground London Overground
West London Orbital
Old Oak Common Lane Proposed new station and route[14]
National Rail Chiltern Railways
Chiltern Main Line/Acton–Northolt line
Old Oak Lane Halt Proposed new terminal station and route[citation needed]
National Rail Southern
West London Route
Not specified Proposal not supported[citation needed]
London Underground London Underground
Central line
North Acton station Existing station[citation needed]
Transit systems

An early report prepared in 2011 for the Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham by Terry Farrell & Partners explored several interchange possibilities and proposed the construction of an overhead light rail, automated people mover or personal rapid transit system linking "Old Oak Central" [sic] with North Acton, Kensal Green and Willesden Junction stations.[15] However, as of 2018, no actual proposals exist to create an interchange with these lines.[16]

London Overground stations

Transport for London (TfL) considered several options for creating an interchange with London Overground, including a combined North London/West London Line station on the southern side of the site, adjacent to Wormwood Scrubs, and two separate stations located to the south (West London Line) and to the west (North London Line) of the site.[17]

In October 2017, TfL began a public consultation on the construction of two new Overground stations.[18][13]

The consultation concluded that two separate London Overground stations ("Option C") on the Old Oak Common site would be the preferred option:[13] Old Oak Common Lane on the North London line would be built to the west of the main station, and Hythe Road on the West London line would be located east of the station, near Scrubs Lane.[19][20]

In September 2017, a proposal was made for a new West London Orbital from Hounslow to Hendon using the disused Dudding Hill Line. If the scheme were to go ahead, London Overground services would run via Old Oak Common station located at Victoria Road and other new stations at Brent Cross West and Harlesden. Four trains per hour would run from Hendon to Hounslow and another service from Hendon to Kew Bridge via Old Oak Common.[21] As of July 2019, the scheme was being considered by TfL.[14]

Chiltern Main Line Connection

Network Rail has proposed that the Chiltern Main Line should have a second terminal at Old Oak Common to increase capacity on the route as there is no room to expand the station at Marylebone. To do so, services would use the Acton–Northolt line (formerly the "New North Main Line") with some Chiltern trains possibly terminating at Old Oak Common rather than Marylebone.[22][23][24]

A 2017 Network Rail report on the long term plans for the Chiltern Line, included an option of providing additional platforms at Old Oak Common station area as a relief for Marylebone, with upgrading of the Acton-Northolt Line.[25]

High Speed 1

Although the 2010 DfT proposal for HS2 outlined a number of other possible transport links at Old Oak Common, including the addition of a direct link with the High Speed 1 route to Mainland European services via the Channel Tunnel, it was removed following the Higgins Review [26]


Services operated by Southern running between Milton Keynes Central and East Croydon pass through the Old Oak Common site. The line will pass the planned location of Hythe Road Overground station to join the West London Line at Mitre Bridge, approximately 500 metres (550 yd) to the east of the Old Oak Common station site. TfL have stated that it will not be possible to construct platforms to accommodate Southern trains and that an interchange will not be provided.[27]

Other proposals[edit]

High Speed 2
Manchester Metrolink Manchester Piccadilly
Manchester Metrolink Airport interchange Manchester Airport High Speed
Sheffield Sheffield Supertram
East Midlands Hub Nottingham Express Transit
Phase 1
Phase 2
Phase 1
Phase 2
Midland Metro Birmingham New Street
Birmingham Curzon Street Midland Metro
Birmingham Moor Street
Airport interchange Birmingham International
Birmingham Interchange Parking
Old Oak Common Elizabeth line London Overground London Underground
London Underground London Overground Crossrail 2 Euston
pedestrian walkway to
St Pancras International London Underground Thameslink Eurostar

National Rail interchange with National Rail at all stations

The construction company Parsons Brinckerhoff submitted a detailed plan to High Speed 2 which included West London Line, North London Line, West Coast Main Line and Dudding Hill Line platforms,[28] although this pre-dated the announcement of the HS2 London terminus such that their proposed alignment would not be possible.

Network Rail's London and South East Route Utilisation Strategy published in 2011 examines the possibility of constructing a chord through the Old Oak Common area to connect Crossrail to the West Coast Main Line. The report notes that a proportion of trains on the Elizabeth line service are planned to terminate at Paddington, and that a new western branch of Crossrail would enable those services to continue on towards Watford Junction and beyond. The proposed link would also relieve pressure on Euston station by diverting WCML suburban trains onto the Crossrail route instead of terminating at Euston.[29]

A separate proposal promoted by the Campaign for Better Transport advocacy group, the North and West London Light Railway, suggests running a light rail line past the Old Oak Common site between Ealing Broadway and Brent Cross.[30] This scheme is not, however, supported by any government plans.

Political support[edit]

The Old Oak Common plans were unveiled two months before the 2010 United Kingdom general election by the Labour government. While the Conservative/Liberal Democrat administration supported the HS2 project, the Conservative Party has indicated a preference to an alternative proposal, put forward by Arup, for the HS2 line to go directly to a hub station at Heathrow Airport.[31] Under this scheme, the west London interchange would be situated at Heathrow rather than at Old Oak Common.[32] Conservative MP Theresa Villiers (the former Minister of State for Transport) referred to the Old Oak Common scheme as "Wormwood Scrubs International", and criticised it on account of its distance from the airport and the inconvenience to airport passengers having to change trains. The former Mayor of London, Boris Johnson has been non-committal in supporting the Old Oak Common site, and takes the view that further evaluation is required.[33]

When asked about a High Speed Rail / Crossrail interchange at Old Oak Common, Transport Secretary Philip Hammond stated "Lug your heavy bags down a couple of escalators along 600 m of corridor and then change trains at a wet suburban station somewhere in north west London. That is not an option.".[34]

The Old Oak Common plans are supported by the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham.[35]

Lord Mawhinney, a former Conservative MP for Peterborough concluded that the London High Speed 2 terminus should be at Old Oak Common, not at Euston. That was because of tunnelling costs and possible fast turnaround times at Old Oak Common.[36]

In summer 2011, Hammersmith and Fulham launched a wider 'Park Royal City' plan for Old Oak Common, including light rail or personal rapid transit lines to the surrounding areas.[37]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "DfT map of station" (PDF). dft.gov.uk. Archived (PDF) from the original on 14 February 2018.
  2. ^ "Transport Secretary to give the go-ahead for start of permanent works on HS2's west London 'super-hub' station". HS2. June 2021.
  3. ^ a b Lydall, Ross (5 February 2019). "Designs unveiled for new £1bn HS2 hub on site of former depot". www.standard.co.uk. Retrieved 5 August 2021.
  4. ^ "High Speed Rail (London - West Midlands) Act 2017". parliament.uk. Retrieved 29 December 2017.
  5. ^ "Old Oak Common HS2 station gains planning approval and is set to be the largest newly built railway station in the UK". HS2 News and Information. Retrieved 5 August 2021.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g "Old Oak Common: No Ordinary Station". RAIL. No. 909. 15 July 2020. pp. 48–9.
  7. ^ "HS2 awards station lifts and escalators framework to TK Elevator". High Speed 2. 17 January 2022. Archived from the original on 30 January 2022. Retrieved 30 January 2022.
  8. ^ "World Class' Old Oak Common images unveiled by HS2". railnews.co.uk. 5 February 2019. Archived from the original on 7 February 2019. Retrieved 5 August 2021.
  9. ^ Stein, Joshua (23 June 2021). "HS2: work begins on £1.3bn Old Oak Common station". Construction News. Retrieved 5 August 2021.
  10. ^ "Permanent works start at £1bn HS2 'super hub' station". Construction Enquirer News. Retrieved 5 August 2021.
  11. ^ "High Speed Two: From Crewe to Manchester Piccadilly, West Midlands to Leeds and beyond Phase 2b Route Decision" (PDF). gov.uk. DfT. Retrieved 5 March 2018.
  12. ^ "HS2 Phase One full business case". DfT. Retrieved 17 April 2020.
  13. ^ a b c d "Have your say on two potential new London Overground stations at Old Oak". TfL Consultation Hub. Transport for London. Archived from the original on 2 August 2019. Retrieved 20 November 2017.
  14. ^ a b "West London Orbital". Transport for London. Retrieved 26 July 2019.
  15. ^ Terry Farrell (August 2011). "A Vision for Park Royal City" (PDF). London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham. pp. 21 & 34. Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 April 2012. Retrieved 17 June 2013.
  16. ^ "Old Oak Common Station" (PDF). High Speed Rail Consultation. Department for Transport. Retrieved 14 June 2013.
  17. ^ Peter Moth – Principal Transport Planner, TfL. "High Speed 2 – Old Oak Common station proposals". Archived from the original (PPT) on 17 August 2014. Retrieved 11 July 2013.
  18. ^ "First glimpse of how two new London Overground stations could look". Evening Standard. Retrieved 20 November 2017.
  19. ^ "Two new London Overground stations planned at Old Oak Common". Retrieved 27 May 2016.
  20. ^ "Old Oak Common: A Vision and Challenge For Crossrail (Part 1)". London Reconnections. 9 July 2013. Retrieved 11 July 2013.
  21. ^ Desborough, Jenny (20 September 2017). "A real game-changer': New West Orbital Railway connecting Barnet, Harrow, Hounslow, Ealing and other boroughs on the cards". times-series.co.uk. Retrieved 29 December 2017.
  22. ^ Clinnick, Richard (5 July 2016). "Chilterns Route Study to tackle capacity challenges". Rail Magazine. Archived from the original on 2 August 2019. Retrieved 2 August 2019.
  23. ^ "Longer trains, new track, upgraded stations - planning for future demand for rail travel in the West Midlands and Chilterns". Network Rail Media Centre. 4 July 2016. Archived from the original on 12 June 2018. Retrieved 2 August 2019.
  24. ^ "Enabling progress and facilitating growth: A rail strategy for the West Midlands and Chilterns" (PDF). November 2016. p. 7. Archived from the original (PDF) on 6 July 2017. Retrieved 2 August 2019.
  25. ^ West Midlands & Chilterns Route Study Advice and choices for funders (PDF) (Report). Network Rail. August 2017. p. 80. Archived (PDF) from the original on 3 March 2018. Retrieved 2 March 2018.
  26. ^ HIGH SPEED TWO PHASE ONE INFORMATION PAPER A1: DEVELOPMENT OF THE HS2 PROPOSED SCHEME (PDF) (Report). DfT. 23 March 2017. p. 11. Retrieved 4 March 2018.
  27. ^ "Potential London Overground Stations at Old Oak Response to issues raised report" (PDF). Transport for London. December 2018. pp. 27–28. Archived (PDF) from the original on 1 August 2019. Retrieved 1 August 2019.
  28. ^ "Old Oak Common Interchange: A Supporting Submission to HS2" (PDF). dft.gov.uk. Archived (PDF) from the original on 3 February 2011. Retrieved 23 March 2010.
  29. ^ "London and South East Route Utilisation Strategy". Network Rail. July 2011. pp. 149–153. Archived from the original on 28 November 2017. Retrieved 5 August 2021.
  30. ^ "Diagram of Old Oak Common area" (PDF). Campaign for Better Transport. Retrieved 28 May 2010.
  31. ^ Milmo, Dan (4 March 2010). "No Heathrow direct link in high speed rail plans". The Guardian. Retrieved 29 May 2010.
  32. ^ "Heathrow Hub proposals published". Arup. 1 April 2010. Retrieved 29 May 2010.
  33. ^ Cecil, Nicholas (12 March 2010). "Boris Johnson clashes with David Cameron on high-speed rail". Retrieved 29 May 2010.
  34. ^ Sadek, Jackie. "Transport secretary chops down Old Oak High Speed 2 interchange - The Regeneration Blog". Estatesgazette.com. Retrieved 26 March 2013.
  35. ^ "Old Oak Common: The Transport and Regeneration Case for a HS2 Interchange" (PDF). London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham. December 2009. Archived from the original (PDF) on 8 June 2011. Retrieved 28 May 2010.
  36. ^ "No business case' to divert HS2 via Heathrow, say Mawhinney". Rail. No. 649. 28 July 2010. p. 6-7.
  37. ^ "Launch of 'Park Royal City'". London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham. Archived from the original on 17 October 2011. Retrieved 14 October 2011.

External links[edit]