They have calculated that the tunnel could shave 15 months off the construction programme and reduce disruption in the area. It would also be no more expensive than a surface route, estimates suggest.
Project developer HS2 Ltd will recommend that High Speed Two (HS2) be tunnelled between Old Oak Common and Northolt. The suggestion initially came from local residents and Ealing Council and, on investigation, it turned out to be a good idea.
If adopted, this would mean the proposed route for HS2 would be in continuous bored twin tunnels from Old Oak Common to West Ruislip – making it the longest tunnel on the route at 14km. This would make the tunnel longer than any of the tunnels currently being built under London for Crossrail.
The original route of HS2 through northwest London, as announced in January 2012, proposed following a little-used, existing railway line along the Northolt corridor. It would involve replacing both spans of the Hanger Lane gyratory.
HS2 Ltd community and stakeholder manager for London, Peter Fry, said: “The recommendation to build a tunnel through Ealing and Northolt shows what can be achieved by working with local people and that we value their input and suggestions.
“The study we commissioned found that for this specific section of the line, the cost of tunnel would be comparable with a route on the surface without the need to replace bridges and divert associated utilities.
“The proposed tunnel will be included as the preferred option in the draft Environmental Statement for the first phase of HS2, so the community and stakeholders will have the opportunity to respond to this proposal as part of the consultation in coming months.”