Modernizing existing stations and funding new rail links are critical to the success of the Old Oak Common regeneration project, according to Chris Porter, transport planning manager at Transport for London (TfL).
The OPDC is currently moving forward with plans to develop a new neighborhood in West London, including the possibility of creating an urban neighborhood with 25,000 new homes, a wide range of employment opportunities for local people, public spaces and facilities.
At the heart of the development will be the Old Oak Common exchange station, currently under construction by a joint venture between Balfour Beatty, Vinci and Systra (BBVS). The interchange will connect High Speed 2 (HS2) to the Elizabeth Line and provide direct services to Heathrow Airport.
However, speaking at a Westminster Forum event, Porter said the exchange alone would not be enough to fully connect the new neighborhood.
Instead, he said TfL was pushing for upgrades at nearby stations such as Wilsden Junction, North Acton, Harlesden and Park Royal, as well as upgrades to trains on the Bakerloo line to better serve the community.
TfL is also actively seeking funding for its proposed Old Oak Common Lane rail station, Porter said.
The station would be located on the North London Line, between North Acton and Willesden Junction, in the London Overground commuter rail network. It will be located next to Old Oak Common Rail Station.
Porter also supported projects for the West London Orbital Railway which would use existing infrastructure to connect North West and South West London, via the Old Oak Common interchange station.
Porter said without Old Oak Common Lane and West London Orbital, the Old Oak Common regeneration project could not reach its full potential.
Porter said, “Old Oak Common is one of the most exciting developments in the country, but it’s also one of the most frustrating.
“For as much potential as it may be, it also comes with an equal number of challenges. There are many existing infrastructures that pass close to Old Oak Common but are not connected.
“To realize its full potential, we need to find a way to properly integrate existing infrastructure with new developments.”
He added: “There’s no point in building all these houses if residents have to go to central London every time they want to go anywhere.”
Work on the Old Oak common interchange continues to accelerate. As revealed earlier this month, work on the project’s record station box is underway after initial work is completed.
When completed, the station will have 14 platforms in total, with six 450m long high-speed rail platforms located underground in the 850m long station box.
Do you like what you read? To receive New Civil Engineer daily and weekly newsletters, click here.