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A verbal description of the route of the proposed HS2

The following description of the route of Phase 1 of the proposed HS2 is taken from the HS2 London to West Midlands EIA Scope and Methodology Report (LWM‐ARP‐EV‐REP‐000‐00001). The report is dated 30th March 2012.

1. HS2’s London terminus would be an expanded station at Euston. The station would be entirely rebuilt over a single level with 10 platforms for high speed trains alongside 14 classic platforms, two of which would be capable of being used by high speed classic‐compatible services. The station would need to be extended to the south and the west and, to obtain the necessary clearance under Hampstead Road bridge, the platforms would need to be built below the current track level. This would allow new development over the platforms and open up east‐west routes for local people across the site. This would require demolition of property, including around 200 dwellings largely in four mainly local authority‐owned blocks of flats on the Regent’s Park Estate. It would also be necessary to take part of St James’s Gardens and some surrounding buildings.

2. Leaving Euston, the route would descend into tunnel for 7km curving round to the west, broadly in line with the West Coast Main Line, to a new interchange station at Old Oak Common. Here, passengers from the West Midlands and North would be able to change onto Crossrail, the Heathrow Express, the Great Western Main Line or other local public transport. There would be a link from Old Oak Common to High Speed 1 (HS1), partially in tunnel and in part along an upgraded section of the North London Line to an existing junction with HS1 just north of St Pancras.

3. The Proposed Scheme would leave Old Oak Common in a short tunnel, emerging at North Acton to run alongside the Central Line. The route would enter a further tunnel in the Northolt area for 4km to reduce impacts on people living near the railway, and to avoid major disruption to the Chiltern Railways line and the West London Waste Authority transfer station. It would emerge from tunnel at West Ruislip alongside the Chiltern Line and would curve northwards from the Chiltern Railways corridor to cross the Colne Valley on a viaduct, heading to a tunnel portal just inside the M25.

4. The route would enter a 13km long tunnel just before crossing the M25 to pass underneath a section of the Chiltern Hills. It would pass under Chalfont St Giles and the edge of Amersham to surface within the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) near Little Missenden. From there the alignment would be in cutting to pass between South Heath and Great Missenden within a 1.1km green tunnel (where earth is built up around and over a section of the route to screen the village from noise and visual impacts) as it passes South Heath. The route would then cross Wendover Dean on a 500m long viaduct before following the corridor of the A413 to pass Wendover in a 1.3km green tunnel.

5. Leaving the AONB beyond Wendover, the route would then pass to the south‐west of Stoke Mandeville and Aylesbury, and then to the north‐east of Waddesdon, largely at surface level. The route would follow the corridor of an existing freight line along the former Great Central Line railway. At Calvert it would cross the East‐West Rail Line where an infrastructure maintenance depot would be located. It would continue broadly to follow the corridor of the former Great Central Line railway, largely at surface level or in shallow cutting. It would diverge away from that corridor as it approaches Brackley, passing Turweston in deep cutting with a short section of green tunnel.

6. It would then head north‐west through open countryside, largely in cutting but with a 2.1km green tunnel past Greatworth. The route would then curve to avoid the site of Edgcote Roman villa, the likely location of the Battle of Edgcote Moor, and Edgcote House and its Park and Garden. It would enter a 2.5km green tunnel past Chipping Warden and Aston le Walls, before running largely on the surface towards Ladbroke and Southam. At Southam the route would enter a green tunnel merging into a bored tunnel to pass under the hill at Long Itchington Wood for nearly 1.5km. From the tunnel at Southam the route would head towards the gap between Kenilworth and Coventry, passing Offchurch and Cubbington, and through part of the National Agricultural Centre at Stoneleigh.

7. Through the gap between Kenilworth and Coventry, the route would then pass through Burton Green on the alignment of the disused Berkswell to Kenilworth railway cutting in a 520m green tunnel.

8. From Burton Green the line would head north‐west to cross the Rugby to Birmingham branch of the West Coast Main Line (WCML) and the A452 near Balsall Common. The route would then curve to the north to head past Hampton‐in‐Arden towards a new interchange station close to Birmingham Airport and the National Exhibition Centre.

9. Leaving the new Birmingham interchange station the line would head north to a triangular junction located to the west of Coleshill. The junction would provide north and south facing spurs into Birmingham city centre.

10. Heading north the line would run to the east of the M6 and M42, before curving to the north‐west to pass close to Middleton near Tamworth. From Middleton the route would curve past Tamworth and to the east of Lichfield connecting with the WCML to the south of Handsacre which will enable services to run onwards to the north‐west.

11. The spur into Birmingham city centre would follow the Water Orton rail corridor in the east of the city, past a new rolling stock depot located at Washwood Heath, to a new dedicated high speed station at Curzon Street in the city centre. The station entrance would be adjacent to Moor Street station.