CALEDONIAN SLEEPER is considering options for the southern terminus of its overnight services when work begins on the redevelopment of Euston for HS2. David Simpson, Production Director at CS, told Modern Railways the operator is ‘continuing to consider the feasibility of alternative stations, with St Pancras remaining the goal given its platform lengths’. However, Mr Simpson noted there are ‘several obstacles to navigate’ if this option is to be pursued.
As explained in our feature last month (p64), only two platforms at Euston are long enough to accommodate the Sleeper – numbers 1 and 15. During the closure of Euston over the August bank holiday weekend for power supply work, services were diverted to King’s Cross and the Highland Sleeper had to be split into two separate trains as it was too long for the platforms there.
Modern Railways understands current plans envisage platform 18 at Euston closing in December 2018 to allow HS2 to start building the eastern wall of its new station (which for Phase One will be located outside the current station footprint). This still leaves both platforms 1 and 15 available for CS. However, after Phase One opens in 2026 Network Rail expects to close platforms 14 to 16, leaving 13 conventional platforms at the station.
The loss of platform 15 will mean there is potentially only one platform long enough to accommodate the Sleeper. Mr Simpson explains ‘Notionally we can operate from one platform with some tweaks to empty stock timings, but this adds some risk if there is perturbation’. He also noted the possibility that if the go-ahead is given for Crossrail 2 platform 1 may need to be shortened, which would cause ‘a serious issue’ for the operator.