A TUNNEL under Ruislip nearly two miles long was one of the alternative high-speed rail options rejected by the government because it would have been too expensive.
Instead, and as previously feared, the High Speed Two (HS2) trains will speed past homes north of the existing Chiltern line at 155mph, on a series of new bridges and embankments up to 26metres wide.
The announcement shortly before Christmas by Conservative transport secretary Phillip Hammond has been met by a mixture of anger and fear from those whose homes are at risk.
Martin Fenner lives in Lawn Close in Ruislip just a few metres from the existing line and is facing the prospect of his home being demolished.
The 40-year-old told the Gazette: "It would cut the community in half, the disruption would be unbelievable.
"We were planning to move and now we won't be able to, we are stuck in limbo. The problem is you have to through this complicated process to prove that your house has been blighted."
Sam Cronin, from Roundways, also lives by the Chiltern line and could be forced out of her home.
She said: "I think it is pointless, it is not stopping anywhere, just going straight to Birmingham.
"The only people who will use it will be business people."
Documents made public for the first time last week show that HS2 Ltd, the company set up by government to design and construct a new high-speed line, had in November presented the option of tunnelling under Ruislip.
However, the Department for Transport ( DfT ) rejected the idea. HS2 Ltd had reported: "The tunnel option would reduce visual and noise impacts and virtually eliminate any interface between HS2 and the Chiltern Lines.
"It would descend in retained cutting about half a mile before Northolt junction. It would enter into 2,800metre-long twin bore tunnels passing immediately beneath the Chiltern lines."
While the tunnel option would have cost an additional £350 million more than the revised surface route the government has instead chosen, it would have been 'a major mitigation opportunity'.
"Adverse noise effects could be avoided at approximately 400 dwellings as a result and land take would be reduced from residential and commercial properties," HS2 submitted.
The news is cold comfort for residents of Bridgewater Road, Roundways, Almond Close, Lawn Close, Bell Close, Herlwyn Avenue and Blenheim Crescent who face a tough task fighting the proposals and saving their homes from demolition.
But Rita Greenwood, of Almond Close, vowed: "I won't stand for it, we will fight it."