Earlier this year photographer Philip Wolmuth set about documenting the community living in the Euston area of London set to be affected by the HS2 railway. Jess McCabe meets some of the residents who fear for their futures
A passenger jumps on the train at London Euston. A mere 49 minutes later, they arrive in Birmingham. Such is the rapid future imagined by High Speed 2, the government’s plan to shave 35 minutes off the journey from the midlands to the capital, reinvigorate the economy and shrink the north-south divide.
The project is expected to cost the taxpayer £33 billion by the time the first trains zoom down the tracks in 2026. But for residents of Camden Council’s Regent’s Park estate, the price will be paid much sooner.
More than 300 homes are due to be demolished to make way for HS2. So far, no plans have been announced for where tenants will be rehoused. Stan Passmore, 87, lives in Eskdale, one of the blocks on the estate scheduled for demolition on a date not yet known to tenants. ‘I’ve been here 50 years. Everybody knows one another [here],’ he says.
Many of Mr Passmore’s neighbours are scared they could be moved away from family, friends, schools and workplaces. ‘You can’t describe [how it feels]. You have to keep consoling people all the time,’ he says.