Demolition of Great Western sheds complete at HS2’s Old Oak Common

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HS2 has completed the demolition of the former Great Western Railway sheds at Old Oak Common as work continues to prepare the way for the high-speed rail project’s West London super-hub

The demolition of the enormous sheds – which were big enough to park more than 600 double-decker buses in – is a milestone in the preparation of the HS2 Old Oak Common site.

The new station, designed to link HS2 with Elizabeth line (Crossrail) services to Heathrow and central London, and trains to Wales and the West of England, will be one of the busiest interchanges in the UK, with around 250,000 people passing through every day.

Across the capital, more than two-thirds of demolitions have now been completed, with more than 1,500 people at work on the project.

HS2 Ltd programme director, Matthew Botelle, said: “HS2 will transform Old Oak Common, unlocking thousands of new jobs and homes around the station and improving journeys for millions of people travelling to Heathrow Airport, London, the Midlands and the North.

“The demolition of the sheds is a major milestone for the project, and it’s great to see how much progress the team has already made as we work to deliver West London’s new super-hub.”

The demolition of the sheds was completed in four months by HS2 Ltd’s London early works contractor, a Costain Skanska joint venture (CSjv) and subcontractors Erith, as part of ongoing work to clear the site ahead of the start of construction.

Next steps include working through 110,000 cubic meters of earth to clear the site of obstructions and remove any hotspots of contamination built up over a century of continuous railway use.

CSjv programme director, Peter Jones, commented: “The successful delivery of this challenging project shows just what can be done when you get the right team together. Alongside HS2 Ltd and Erith, I’m proud to say we’ve built a diverse team at Old Oak Common, including local people, female engineers, apprentices and people with previous careers in the armed forces.

“Our colleagues are working hard to encourage more people from under-represented groups to consider careers in our industry.”

Stuart Accleton, Erith Contractors Ltd operations director, added: “We are proud to have been awarded the Old Oak Common enabling works package for HS2. The works package has seen Erith utilise all its enabling skills in demolition, asbestos removal, temporary works, earthworks and remediation to ensure it provided the support structure required from CSJV and HS2.”

Overall, 98% of material from the demolition of the sheds and associated buildings has been recycled or reused, with the surplus track donated to heritage railways around the UK. The concrete slab was crushed on-site with the material set to be reused during construction.

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