No this is not some protest against the HS2 but rather the quite skilled art of getting shit to soar into the sky. Well sort of! As part of the works for the new railway station, they’ve been diverting the sewers in the area but what I did not know was they were diverting it via pipes suspended over the roadways and pavements. They had done this last year in Cobourg and Euston Streets but this year they’re doing it once again, in Drummond Street. It was a HS2 guy who very patiently explained to me what these pipes were for. And I thought to myself, ‘well that’s some shit isnt it!’
I haven’t written anything on the HS2 development for ages, in fact the last one I was writing we got thrown into a lockdown. I did go along to see the HS2 works during the first lockdown. I could walk there via some streets, the towpath, and Regent’s Park. There wasn’t a lot happening at the time and progress was somewhat minimal for months as I found when I explored the area again during the summer between lockdowns. I did try to continue to write up something about HS2 – but gave up because the continuity I previously had was no longer extant.
Screencap of my previous HS2 article intended for publication in 2020 with a new new format – it got buggered by lockdowns…
Okay, what’s this about shit at Euston? What’s happening is many utilities have to be diverted or upgraded. In previous posts on HS2 I’ve explained how working was being undertaken streets far away including down Tottenham Court Road to upgrade the area’s utilities in readiness for HS2. The close proximity of the new station site is where things get interesting however. The new Euston station will no doubt have a lot of sewage flowing from it and the system needs to be able to cope. Other utilities also need to be upgraded including the electrical, gas and telecommunications infrastructure because evidently such a large terminus station does require a lot of utilities to enable it to work at its best and serve every need that is required of it.
There’s not much on the HS2 site about this work as its mentioned very briefly. HS2’s information too includes a sample image of an overflow pipe which is the one that was in Euston Street (outside the former Victoria and Northern Lines control room) during 2020. I’ll show some pictures of that next.
Aerial view of the Euston Street pipe on HS2’s documents. This pipe was present during the summer of 2020. Source: HS2
The real thing, spotted in the mid summer of 2020! Yes its an apparatus that sends shit right over the top of peoples’ heads!
Looking down Euston Street past the Coburg St LUL building (on the left.)
This is a portable industrial grade pumping station, these huge industrial machines are built in the Netherlands.
The pipe thats currently at the end of Drummond Street. Imagine someone does a crap at the top of the Euston Tower (thats the tall building.) A few minutes later it’ll have descended deep into the ground, come through here and done several loops before continuing on its way to Three Mills in East London!
Never give shit an easy time! Send it up in the air yet again before coming round the bend once more! Talk about disorientation….
Presumably turning the handle one can tell just how much pressure the shit’s under! Don’t ever give this stuff an easy life…
The original sewer can just be discerned and the diversionary sewer (the blue pipe) is where the brown smelly stuff is going!
Vanderkamp Pumps is a professional Dutch based company and a worldwide renowned company which deals in specialist pumping situations.
I took this brief video of the Drummond Street pipes just to give my viewers more of a real world feel as to what’s happening at Euston!
As an addendum, here’s a couple of mentions on HS2’s progress. I have been assured the work moving the ventilation shafts and auxiliary power equipment to Stephenson Way has begun. The new large grey building next to the Leslie Green designed Hampstead Tube buildings is part of this work, clearly to provide all weather ability at the main worksite itself, from where header tunnels will be driven towards Stephenson Way.
The end of the sewer diversionary pipework once again, but what’s more important is the new large cladded temporary building that forms part of the task to move the ventilation equipment across to Stephenson Way which is in the background where these older buildings can be seen.
The situation is very interesting because what will happen here is the current ventilation shafts and service access (these being the old Charing Cross, Euston and Hampstead Railway’s lift shafts) will be retained in their present location. However the tops of the shafts will be capped and the ventilation/services sent through new tunnels below the ground and underneath Euston Street to Stephenson Way where a new building will be provided. The new ventilation building has proved to be somewhat of a controversy in terms of its radical design, but some like it however.
I wrote about the design for the new Stephenson Way building in January 2019 – whilst here’s a PDF document from HS2 (written in 2018) detailing the plans, although these were at the time not approved.
The building under construction during the summer of 2020. The rear of the Leslie Green building can just be seen behind.
Another major step in the HS2 works at Euston shows the Power Signal Box is being demolished and it is expected the works will be completed in September 2021. Here’s a PDF detailing that work. From this one can see the envisaged programme and the stages that will take place to remove this structure, which was built in the 1960s for the huge modernisation and electrification of the West Coast Main Line as well as the new Euston station. The power signal box opened on 26th September 1965 according to the Westinghouse Brake and Saxby Signal Co website.