Work has begun on West London’s ‘superhub’ station at old Oak Common.

Transport Minister Grant Shapps launched construction on the 10-hectare site on June 23. First to be built will be a 1.8km long underground wall around what will become the station’s ‘underground box’ below the HS2 platforms.

Mr Shapps said: “The start of permanent works at the largest train station ever built in the UK in one go, Old Oak Common, marks yet more progress in delivering HS2, the high-speed, high-capacity and low carbon railway that will form the backbone of our national transport network.

“This ‘superhub’ station shows our Plan for Jobs in action – kickstarting major regeneration, creating 2,300 jobs and 250 apprenticeships in construction – and underlines this Government’s determination to build back better.”

Once complete, Old Oak Common station will have 14 platforms, six of them for HS2 services to the North and Midlands, four for the  Elizabeth Line and four conventional rail platforms for trains to Wales and the South West.

The station will be under one immense roof, covering the area of over three football pitches. The lightweight structure has been designed to minimise use of materials and allow as much natural light as possible while reducing the station’s carbon impact. There will also be solar panels on the roof.

Design of the station has been led by WSP with architectural support from WilkinsonEyre.

HS2 chief executive Mark Thurston said: “The start of permanent works at Old Oak Common station, our first station under construction, is a significant step for Phase One of HS2, as we deliver world-leading engineering to create what will arguably be one of the best-connected railway superhubs in the UK.

“Over 2,300 jobs will be supported to build the new station; part of the 22,000 jobs being created to build the new high-speed railway between London and the West Midlands, and emphasising the key role HS2 is playing in Britain’s economic recovery after the pandemic.”

HS2’s station construction partner, Balfour Beatty VINCI Systra (BBVS), is leading construction work.

BBVS project director Nigel Russell said: “This incredible milestone is testament to the dedication of our team, who have worked tirelessly to make this moment happen. With many more years of work to do, we are proud to be delivering one of Britain’s largest, connected and sustainable railway stations whilst simultaneously stimulating the local economy.

“Through our work, we are providing numerous employment opportunities for local people, as well as offering 250 apprentices the opportunity to start their career on the UK’s most exciting engineering project.”

With more than 250,000 passengers using the station every day, Old Oak Common will become one of the country’s most vital transport hubs and a catalyst for economic regeneration for both the area and the rest of the UK.

Plans to develop the broader area around the station, a former railway and industrial site, are led by the Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation (OPDC). Tens of thousands of new jobs and homes will be created around the new station.

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