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Fri July 30 2021

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Main works start at Old Oak Common

24 Jun After more than three years of site preparations, a site visit by transport secretary Grant Shapps has marked the official start of construction works on HS2’s Old Oak Common station in west London.

Grant Shapps plays banksman for Bachy Soletanche at Old Oak Common
Grant Shapps plays banksman for Bachy Soletanche at Old Oak Common

Although there has been much activity there for months, the BBVS main contracting joint venture of Balfour Beatty, Vinci and Systra is only now officially starting permanent works on the big box that is to be London's superhub.

BBVS took possession of the site back in July 2020, following two years of enabling work by Costain Skanska JV to clear the site. This included demolishing the Great Western Railway train stabling sheds and the largest rail maintenance facility in Europe.

Old Oak Common station is set to have 14 platforms: six for HS2 platforms, four for the Elizabeth Line (Crossrail) and four conventional rail platforms for trains between London and the west.

BBVS’ £1.1bn contract involves the top-down construction of a 1.8km-long underground diaphragm wall around what will become the station’s ‘underground box’ for the six HS2 platforms. Piling rigs will also install 160 reinforced concrete columns inside the wall to help form the box and support the structure.

Transport secretary Grant 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."

Following the first phase of construction to create the 750,000 m3 box, work on the eight overground platforms will begin, with more than 1600 concrete piles to be installed.

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The station’s roof will cover the area of three football pitches, with 2,720 sqm of solar panels on top.

The station design development has been led by consulting engineer WSP with architectural support from WilkinsonEyre.

BBVS project director Nigel Russell described the official start of permanent works as an “incredible milestone” that was “testament to the dedication of our team”.

Plans to develop the wider wasteland area around the station, a former railway and industrial site, are being led by the Old Oak & Park Royal Development Corporation (OPDC).

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