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Saturday, September 18, 2021

HS2 reveals Euston tunnel headhouse clad in Victorian-inspired brickwork

HS2 today revealed the final design for the headhouse that will provide emergency access to the new high speed railway’s tunnels as they approach Euston station.

Located next to the existing west coast mainline, the split-level three-storey building will be clad with traditional blue/grey engineering brick, in keeping with the area’s Victorian railway architecture.

Engineering bricks, which are tough and durable, were widely used by the nineteenth-century railway engineers who built what is now the west coast main line. Standing next to the original 10m high retaining wall, the new headhouse structure will extend above the top of the wall, with a green roof, stone-paved courtyard and entrance facing Park Village East.

At street level, the original parapet wall will be retained with new planting to help reduce the visual impact of the building.

Euston approaches – cavern headhouse

Below ground level, a 12 metre diameter ventilation shaft will reach down to the twin tunnels below, provide emergency escape and access for the emergency services together with supporting ventilation and electrical plant rooms.

HS2 engaged with Camden Council during the development of the designs and have held a series of public engagement events to gather views from the local community since 2018. As a result, several significant changes have been made to the final design, including the increased use of brickwork and additional planting at street level.

The plans were drawn up by HS2 Ltd’s main works contractor – a Costain, Skanska and STRABAG joint venture, working with its design partners Design House. The joint venture is delivering 26-miles of tunnel from Euston, via Old Oak Common to the outskirts of London near Ruislip.

Malcolm Codling, HS2 Ltd’s Project Client Director said: 

“The headhouses will be one of the few parts of the London tunnels visible above ground before the line arrives at Euston station. That’s why it’s essential that we get the design right.

“Our design teams have made a number of significant changes as a result of community engagement and we remain committed to working with the local community as we move forward with the construction phase of the project.”

James Richardson, Skanska Costain STRABAG Joint Venture’s Managing Director said:

“We are making good progress in Euston and work is underway to construct the portal where trains will emerge from the tunnels on their way into Euston station.

“Constructing 26 miles of tunnels and associated structures is a big task, we therefore have a growing Joint Venture of more than 1,000 people working for us. We are continuing to recruit more talent across and expanding our UK-wide supply chain throughout 2021 and beyond.”

Photo credit: © HS2 Ltd

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