Work is now well underway on an 850m-long station box at HS2’s Old Oak Common station.
Concrete frame and substructure specialist Expanded was appointed by HS2 construction partner Balfour Beatty VINCI SYSTRA to create the main station box.
The box, a reinforced concrete structure, will provide the frame and base for the HS2 station building.
HS2 says the Old Oak Common station is set to be the best-connected and largest new railway station ever built in the UK.
Expanded – part of Laing O’Rourke – will excavate 20m below ground level removing 690,000 cubic metres of clay, before placing 32,000 tonnes of steel and pouring 190,000 cubic tonnes of reinforced concrete. This type of excavation, known as “top down” construction, allows the ground floor slab to be made initially with a series of “mole holes” allowing access for the large excavators to remove the earth from within.
The construction of the box, situated at the east of the site, allows the Tunnel boring machines (TBM) to be launched towards Euston. The west of the site is where the spray concrete lined tunnel between Old Oak Common and the Victoria Road Crossover box finishes.
The work to build the station will provide 2,300 jobs (with Expanded providing 500 of those, including 10 apprentices) and act as a catalyst for the UK’s largest regeneration project in the Old Oak and Park Royal area.
HS2’s deputy project client for old oak common station, Rob Avery, said: “The start of work on the gigantic station box structure is a key milestone for the team at Old Oak Common. Work is progressing well on site and we are pleased that Expanded have now joined us on site as the programme continues to move forward.”
Once complete, Old Oak Common station will have 14 platforms and allow a mixture of six high speed and eight conventional service platforms.
Expanded business unit leader Peter Lyons said: “The award of this contract builds on our extensive experience in the rail sector, especially in London and will see us work on another HS2 project where we have previously delivered bridges utilising our modular bridges capabilities.
“We are proud to be joining forces with the Balfour Beatty, VINCI, SYSTRA joint venture in delivering the main station box. We began pre-construction works in May and the team are pleased to have now started this mammoth task.”
Six high-speed platforms will be built underground with an integrated connection to the adjoining conventional station by a split-level public concourse and conventional rail overbridge to provide an interchange. These are unified by a vaulted roof inspired by the site’s industrial heritage.
Balfour Beatty VINCI SYSTRA project director Nigel Russell said: “We are pleased to be working with Expanded on the delivery of the station box, which represents an integral part of Old Oak Common Station. The reinforced concrete box will form the frame and base for the new state of the art HS2 station building as well as the six underground high-speed platforms.”
Old Oak Common will provide high-speed rail services to the Midlands, Scotland and the North and trains to central London and Heathrow and Wales and the West of England.