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As part of the HS2 project, HS2 Ltd are constructing a new station at Old Oak Common in west London. In addition to being served by some HS2 services, the new station with also have platforms on the existing Great Western Main Line. This line is used by trains between London Paddington and Heathrow Airport, the west and south west of England, and south Wales, as well as Elizabeth Line services. As a result, construction of the station will cause disruption to these services.

This briefing paper provides a short overview of the expected impact of the construction of Old Oak Common station, with a particular focus on disruption to passengers using existing rail services.

Benefits of Old Oak Common Station

Once operational, Old Oak Common station will provide a strategic interchange in west London, allowing passengers to transfer between a number of different services without having to travel via central London. It will also provide a temporary terminus for HS2 services before the HS2 station at London Euston opens, as well as easing expected capacity issues at London Euston once HS2 services start serving that station [PDF].

Disruption due to construction

Work on the main line station at Old Oak Common started in October 2022, and the station is scheduled to open between 2029 and 2033. Until 2030, a number of complete and partial closures of the railway through Old Oak Common will be necessary to allow construction of the station. Local MPs and the local media have raised concerns about the impacts of these closures.

During these closures, alternative options under consideration include diverting services to London Euston and passengers transferring to London Underground services at Ealing Broadway station.

Other impacts of Old Oak Common station

Once open, the station will result in additional journey time for passengers on services which now call at Old Oak Common station. It is expected that all Great Western Railway and Elizabeth Line services will call at the station, which will add approximately three minutes to journeys to/ from London Paddington station.

Stakeholder engagement

When planning the construction of Old Oak Common station, Network Rail has engaged with stakeholders when developing their plans for ‘possessions’ (that is, times when the railway will be closed to allow work to be undertaken). Stakeholder engagement will increase as construction work increases. There is also a strategic steering group, including representatives from the Department for Transport (DfT), Transport for London (TfL), HS2 Ltd and Network Rail, which meets regularly.

Passenger communications

Network Rail is leading the development of a passenger communications strategy to inform passengers about the impact of construction on their journey, and to let them know about alternative options.

HS2 Ltd publish a three-month look ahead which summarises the upcoming work at Old Oak Common.

In addition, the affected train operators (Great Western Railway, Heathrow Express and Transport for London, who operate the Elizabeth Line) publish information about timetable changes due to planned engineering works (which includes the construction of Old Oak Common station) on their websites.

Further reading

More information on the HS2 project can be found in the Commons Library research briefing High Speed Rail 2 – an overview (April 2024).

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