The Anonymous Widower

Is Everything A Short-Term Fix At Willesden Junction?

In posts yesterday, I highlighted the problems with platform/train gaps and the dreadful interchange at the North London Line platforms at Willesden Junction station.

But is all the work done to lengthen the platforms for five-car trains just a short-term measure, which doesn’t address these problems at all?

Obviously, work has to be done on the low-level platforms and as they don’t have too many problems, except for the step up and down into Bakerloo Line trains, it will make the low-level station a good one with step-free access, a cafe and toilets.

The Tube/Overground Mismatch

The Tube/Overground Mismatch

But upstairs, I can’t help feeling that solving the problems are virtually impossible, without a complete rebuild of the station. But look at this map of the proposed layout of the lines at Old Oak Common.

Rail Lines At Old Oak Common

Rail Lines At Old Oak Common


This would link HS2 and Crossrail to the North and West London Lines at a new station at Old Oak Common.

So if the Old Oak Common area is developed with a new station, would this have a knock-on effect at Willesden Junction? This could ich mean that the station had to be changed substantially  or possibly was no longer needed.

The big problem is what to do with the interchange between the North London Line and the Bakerloo and Watford DC Lines.

There have been plans for the Bakerloo Line to take over the Watford DC Line north of Harrow and Wealdstone. This would mean diverting the North London Line via Queen’s Park and Primrose Hill.

This would fit in well with the combined North/West London Line station at Old Oak Common. On the other hand, it would mean a few station closures and stations between Queen’s Park and South Hampstead would leave their links to Euston.

Old Oak Common station is still very much at the planning stage and if the ideas get firmed up to a mega-interchange, it should make it easier to sort out the North London Line and the Watford DC Line.

There is also the question of how the Croxley Rail Link will affect ridership on the Watford DC Line. The fastest jouneys to Euston Square from Watford Underground station, are now about 45 minutes, whereas the DC Line takes 52 minutes from Watford High Street. However by going one-stop the wrong way to Watford Junction station, you can do it in 35 minutes. As London Midland runs several trains an hour into Euston in about twenty minutes, this might be a preferred option.

If Crossrail goes up the West Coast Main Line, as is also being proposed, then the trains would surely stop at Harrow and Wealdstone and Watford Junction.

Transport for London have a lot of deep thinking to do.

November 6, 2014 - Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , ,

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