Q. What have you achieved so far?
We've completed feasibility work that shows the project is technically possible, but also - importantly - the cost is an achievable amount to fundraise.
As well as being technically possible there is a strong business case for the project. We’ve carried out a benefits analysis to understand the need for the project and quantify the positive impact it can make for Camden and London.
The project has received wide-ranging political and other support. 1,200 people have been on a walking tour and 1,000 people have donated to the project so far, including the Mayor of London, Camden Council, MHCLG and various Camden business and individuals.
Support for the Camden Highline has been adopted as Camden Council policy and Network Rail have issued draft terms for a lease on the infrastructure.
Q. When will the Camden Highline open?
Years rather than months. The sooner we raise the money, the sooner it will open!
Q. What's next?
We are currently working towards running the design competition to appoint the team to help us achieve the permissions needed (landowner approval, planning consent etc.) and fundraising the construction cost.
Q. How much will the Camden Highline cost?
As much as we want to spend! How long is a piece of string...
The headline cost is large (yes, tens of millions), but it can be broken down into parts. The amount needed to achieve the permissions (landowner approval, planning consent etc.), the capital amount needed for the various sections along the route, and the revenue amount for the activity to support ongoing running costs.
Q. How will the Camden Highline be funded?
From a mix of private and public sources, large and small, and trading income once the Highline is built. You can see all the project's funders here.
Q. How long has the Camden Highline been disused?
Give or take a year or two, the infrastructure the Camden Highline would re-use has been disused for thirty years. Some time between May 1985 and November 1987 the four-track was changed to double-track, which we think coincided with the closing of Broad Street station in 1986, and/or the short-lived Freightliner Terminal at York Way.
Q. Where will the Camden Highline begin and end?
The western end of the route is on Kentish Town Road and the eastern end is on York Way. You can see a map of the 1.2km long route here.
Q. Why is the Camden Highline temporary?
Network Rail own the infrastructure the Camden Highline would re-use, and they may need it for rail use at an unknown point in the future to increase capacity on the North London Line. The project has passed business and technical clearance with Network Rail who have issued draft terms for a lease on the infrastructure the Highline will re-use. Importantly, the Camden Highline will make it easier to re-instate the infrastructure for railway use in the future. We wouldn’t put our time, money and ask you for help, if the project wasn't worthwhile!
Q. Will I be able to cycle? Will dogs be allowed? Will there be opening hours? What restrictions will there be? etc.
We don't know yet! But there is lots we can learn from other similar projects, both built and unbuilt. Until we're closer to having the funding, permissions and developing a design we want to keep all possibilities open. Fundamentally the project will be a public park and transport link.
Q. Who is behind the project?
The catalyst for the project was a series of blogs written by Oliver O’Brien, an Urbanist and Geographer at University College London which we're picked up by the local newspaper, Kentishtowner.
The project is being promoted and incubated by Camden Town Unlimited and is soon to be an independent charity [the Camden Highline is a registered company] Company number: England and Wales 11205376]). You can read more about the project's history here, and find out more about the team by behind the project here.
Q. What is a Friend of the Camden Highline?
A Friend of the Camden Highline is the name for a donor and supporter of the project.
We want the Camden Highline to become a beacon for what positive and sustainable development of Camden can look like, for others to be inspired by and learn from. But to do this we need your help.
We're seeking one-off donations until we have the permissions and funding for the project in place.
Q. What are the benefits of becoming a friend of the Camden Highline?
As a Friend of the Camden Highline you'll be helping reimagine Camden in a way that benefits both residents and local businesses.
Whether you donate £1, £100, or £1,000,000, as a Friend of the Camden Highline you’ll receive invitations to events, regular newsletters and updates on project progress. Your contribution will be recognised on the website, and if you donate more than £50, you’ll receive a Camden Highline tote bag.
In the future we want to be able to offer much more than a just a tote bag! We want Friends of the Camden Highline to grow and develop into the network that helps sustains the project once it's built.
Q. Why £50?
We want to encourage you to donate to the project, and hope you view the amount as a donation, rather than a transaction! £50 was the average donation during the crowdfunding campaign we ran in 2017.
Q. How do I get hold of my tote bag?
We like to meet everyone who donates to the project, and most people who donate like to meet us too! Until we have the capacity to be able to post tote bags, you'll need to collect them from the Camden Highline HQ, or at one of our regular events.
Q. What will you be spending donations on?
We're using donations to help achieve the permissions (landowner approval, planning consent etc.) and for the construction cost.
We're (soon to be an independent) registered charity, and have raised 100% of the budget ourselves so far.
By becoming a Friend of the Camden Highline you'll receive regular newsletters and updates telling you what we've spent donations on.
Q. What is the Pocket Park?
The funding will be used to establish the core features of the Pocket Park so the Camden Highline can assume responsibility for maintenance upon completion.
Camden Council (the park) and Network Rail (the arches) will continue to own and manage the space and our (fully reversible) Pocket Park ‘acupuncture’ interventions will sit on top and within the existing park.
Q. What is the Education Programme?
We want the Highline to become a beacon for what positive and sustainable development of the city can look like, for others to be inspired from, learn from and benefit from. We want the Education Programme to give Camden’s Young People the skills and opportunities to play a part in the borough’s thriving creative, digital and scientific economy in the future.
We’ve been working with 50 students from Torriano and Regent High Schools, carrying out a series of learning activities based on the architectural design process, using the Highline as the subject matter to connect STEAM subjects.
Q. How can I help?
We have an ever-expanding group of volunteers who have donated their time and services to the project. We need help with litter picking, gardening and everything in between! If you want to be involved then send an email to info [at] camdenhighline [dot] com. And don't forget to like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter and Instagram!