HS2 landmark super-hub station celebrates key milestone

HS2’s landmark super-hub station is today celebrating a key milestone as it marks two years of permanent construction.

Significant progress on the site has been made, since June 2021, when then Secretary of State for Transport, the Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP, gave the thumbs up for permanent work to begin on HS2’s super hub station, Old Oak Common, in West London.

A total workforce of 1,900 people are supporting the delivery of the HS2 'super-hub' station, with the site itself welcoming around 1,000 workers each day.

HS2’s Project Client, Huw Edwards, said: “Here at Old Oak Common, we are well underway in our work to construct London’s newest super-hub station.

"Our work is supporting nearly 2,000 jobs and we are already seeing that the new station is becoming a catalyst for regeneration in the Old Oak and Park Royal area.

"Upon completion, it will harness the close linkage with the newly opened Elizabeth Line, dramatically improving connectivity and creating a new destination to live and work in London.”

After being given the signal to start permanent construction, HS2’s Station Construction Partner, Balfour Beatty VINCI SYSTRA Joint Venture (BBVS JV) started work on the the installation of the 1.2 mile diaphragm wall for the underground box which will contain the six new high-speed platforms.

The wall was completed back in March, with the team having installed 275 diaphragm wall panels and 161 bearing piles, the largest of these being 2.2m in diameter and 57m in length. The first base slab concrete pour in the western end of the station box has also taken place.

The excavation of the box is also well underway with over 465,000m3 of London clay already removed out of a total of 930,000m3 from across the site. The excavated clay from the site is now being taken away via part of a 1.7 mile conveyor network, removing thousands of lorry movements from local roads. The conveyor was officially switched on in November 2022 by the HS2 Minister, Huw Merriman MP.

Nigel Russell, Project Director for Balfour Beatty VINCI SYSTRA said: “Together with HS2 and our supply chain partners, we have made great progress at Old Oak Common having most recently celebrated the first concrete base pour for the station box.

“We now look forward to continuing this momentum as we work hard to complete HS2’s ‘super-hub’, which will become one of Britain’s largest, best connected and most sustainable railway stations.”

Over 900 of the 1,600 concrete piles have been installed into the ground where the HS2 station superstructure and overground platforms for the conventional train network will be constructed.

Piling work began earlier this year on the second half of the super-hub - the eight platforms that will be served by Great Western Mainline and Heathrow Express services. It will also become the 42nd stop on the Elizabeth Line. Platform construction will start later this year.

The team also successfully completed the demolition of the Wycombe Line Bridge, over Old Oak Common Lane, at the end of May 2023. The disused rail bridge was removed following a weekend road closure, and makes way for the construction of the new Network Rail bridges which allow the Great Western Mainline track alignment to be widened as it approaches the new station.

The team are not just focused on what they are building but also how they are building. HS2 is committed to eliminating the use of diesel on all its construction sites by 2029 and significant progress has been made towards this at Old Oak Common. The site has set a goal to achieve diesel-free by the end of 2024, with a collaborative team working on plans.

Amongst a number of measures being taken at the site is a transition to electric equipment including the use of two fully electric crawler cranes, two of only five used across the world. There is also an abundance of green technology being used, including hybrid excavators and diesel equipment retrofitted to use more sustainable fuels.

Later this year, the eastern end of the ten-hectare site will be handed over the HS2’s London Tunnels Contractor, Skanska Costain STRABAG joint venture (SCS JV), for the breakthrough of the Tunnelling Boring Machine, named Lydia, which will have completed the construction of an 850m long logistics tunnel from the nearby Atlas Road site.

The SCS JV team will then receive two further TBMs delivered to Old Oak Common, in 2024, which will be assembled in the station box, ready to bore the 5 mile Euston Tunnel.

Once open, Old Oak Common station will become one of the country’s most vital transport hubs, with services East, West, North and South. Plans to transform the wider area around the station, a former railway and industrial site, are being led by the Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation (OPDC) and it projects that tens of thousands of new jobs and homes will be created around the new HS2 station.

Meanwhile, the famous ‘Green Progressor’ locomotive that is playing a big part in making HS2 happen has been immortalised in miniature form.

The 00 gauge class 66 (66796) miniature locomotive – rebranded in 2021 by GB Railfreight (GBRf) with an HS2-inspired design – has recently been made available thanks to a partnership with the famous British model train company Hornby.

The model train, which is 76 times smaller than the real thing, promotes the environmental benefits of delivering construction materials by rail instead of road.

In recognition of the recent carbon-cutting milestone, ‘The Green Progressor’ has now joined a select group of other classic Hornby model locomotives including ‘Flying Scotsman’, ‘Mallard’ and ‘Rocket’.

Simon Kohler, Marketing and Development Director for Hornby, said: “Hornby has always tried to be relevant when it comes to trains and locomotives and when I saw that HS2 was producing a train with GB Railfreight it was really a no-brainer.

“When HS2 first takes its Hitachi-Alstom train in a few years’ time we will be there with our model that will – again – be 76 times that little bit smaller”.

Mike Higgins, Head of Business Development, GB Railfreight, said: “GB Railfreight is extremely honoured and proud to be working in partnership with Hornby and HS2 and making history. Our loco is going to be immortalised by the famous Hornby and loved by model makers and collectors for years to come.”

Working strategically with joint venture partners, Network Rail, freight operators and building materials companies, HS2 has already transported over 10 million tonnes of materials by rail in just over two years. 

It is expected that HS2 will move 20 million tonnes of aggregate across the Phase One programme between the West Midlands and London across a fleet of freight locomotives, removing three million HGVs from the UK’s road network.

All HS2 main works contractors receive materials by rail, supported by the hard work of mutliple suppliers.

This includes transport solutions companies Fishbone, Rail Stone Solutions (RSS), Legge infrastructure and Mendip Rail. HS2 also works in partnership with four freight operators – DB Cargo UK, DC Rail (part of the Cappagh Group of Companies), Freightliner and GBRf – as well as aggregate suppliers Tarmac, Aggregate Industries, CEMEX UK and Hanson UK.

Along with freight operators and aggregate companies, there are now over 28,500 jobs supported by Europe’s largest infrastructure project and over 3,000 British-based businesses have delivered work on HS2 so far. 

If you would like to contact Sarah Walker about this, or any other story, please email