Crossrail 2 will need to be built before the second phase of HS2 in order to avoid massive congestions problems, according to Transport for London’s managing director for planning.
She said it was necessary to avoid a situation where “you could have passengers waiting for 30 minutes for a train” which erodes the benefits of high speed rail.
The topic of Crossrail 2 was at the fore of the London Rail Conference, supported by Construction News, in London yesterday.
Ms Dix added that TfL’s concerns on HS2 were on environmental impacts, displacement at Euston, the proposed interchange at Old Oak Common and the link between HS1 and HS2.
She said: “We also don’t want Old Oak Common to just be a fantastic interchange. We want it to be more of a Westfield and get all the development and jobs to go with that.
“If HS2 goes to plan we will want to see Crossrail 2 built before the second phase [towards Manchester and Leeds] is developed, but we would like provision for a Crossrail 2 station at Euston to be made as part of the HS2 Hybrid Bill in order that we don’t have to dig up Euston twice.”
HS2 chief engineer Andrew McNaughton said that the problems with capacity needed to be resolved before HS2 is completed so that the new rail link acts as “the icing on the cake”.
He added that the tight timescale for HS2 was an advantage to ensuring delays aren’t created through unnecessary posturing.
He said: “I like the pressure. We only get to make the decision once so we don’t faff about. When we talk about value for money, you can be nasty to contractors but the real benefit is in knowing as a client what you want and going after it.
“A tight timescale is our biggest friend in keeping [HS2] on time, quality and budget.”
Crossrail programme director Andy Mitchell said the client has now upped its spending from a £45-55 million figure per month six months ago to nearer £90m per month now.
He said: “I’m pleased to see Thameslink key ouput one being delivered within budget – it shows that it can be done. The trick is to have certainty as a client so you don’t need to have a 30 per cent overlay in case something goes wrong.”
Mr Mitchell added that BIM was being used across the board now and would be a crucial tool for delivering the Crossrail programme over the coming years.
“BIM is an important tool. All our designs are being done in 3D and I am now seeing groups of engineers and planners sitting round coordinating these 4D models now. We need to build these jobs in a virtual world first and there is a huge role for technology to play in Crossrail going forward.”