The Anonymous Widower

Thoughts On Watford DC Line Electrification At Euston Station

I was in Euston station this morning and took these pictures of the electrification on Platform 9.


  1. Watford DC Line trains usually use Platform 9.
  2. The first two pictures show the 750 DC third rail electrification.
  3. The last three pictures show the 25 KVAC overhead electrification.
  4. The train is a five-car Class 710/3 train, which is a dual-voltage train.

The train’s pantograph was in the down position, as far as I could see.

This Google Map shows the ends of Platforms 6 to 11 at the station.


  1. The platforms have their numbers painted on the end.
  2. The train in the top-left corner of the image is in Platform 5.
  3. Platforms 9 and 10 appear to be fitted with 750 VDC third-rail electrification.
  4. All Platforms also seem to have 25KVAC overhead electrification.

So platforms 9 and 10 appear to be able to handle trains which need either form of electrification. When I took the first set of pictures, there was a Class 350 train in Platform 10.

These dual voltage platforms 9 and 10, may help with the operation of the station.

I have some questions.

Do TfL Intend To Increase Watford DC Line Services?

Currently, the services on the Watford DC Line are as follows.

  • Four trains per hour (tph) between Euston and Watford Junction stations.
  • In the last few weeks, I’ve seen both four-car Class 378 and five-car Class 701 trains on the route.
  • All trains that work the route appear to be dual voltage.

This TfL infographic illustrates their plans.

It says Watford and Euston would be run by five-car trains at a frequency of four tph.

TfL have ordered six five-car Class 701/3 trains for the Watford DC service.

Will The Watford DC Platforms Be Moved In The Euston High Speed Two Rebuild?

The operation of the Watford DC Line works well at present, but as Euston station is going through a major rebuild for High Speed Two, the platforms could be moved or rebuilt.

Would Health and Safety object to laying third-rail electrification and insist that Watford DC services used 25 KVAC to access Euston?

They could do this, as all trains running on the Watford DC Line are dual-voltage trains.

Would Removing Third-Rail Electrification From Euston Station Improve Safety?

Health and Safety would say it did and as the trains are dual-voltage, they could transition at Queen’s Park or South Hampstead stations.

An Alternative To Changing The Electrification

The distance between Euston and Queen’s Park stations is just under four miles.

In Will London Overground Fit On-board Energy Storage To Class 378 Trains?, I asked whether it would be worthwhile.

I finished with these two sentences.

I have no idea how much electricity would be saved by regenerative braking on the London Overground, but various applications of regenerative braking technology talk of electricity savings of between ten and twenty percent.

I think it is only a matter of time before the technology is proven to be sufficiently reliable and the numbers add up correctly for the Class 378 trains to be fitted with on-board energy storage.

What would be the advantages from fitting on-board energy storage?

  • There would be the savings of electricity by the use of regenerative braking to the batteries.
  • Trains could be rescued from the Thames Tunnel, if there was a power failure.
  • Hotel power would be maintained, if there was a power failure.
  • Trains can be moved in depots and sidings without power.
  • Trains would be able to move in the event of cable theft.
  • The battery would probably have sufficient capacity to move the train into and out of Euston.

There could be a saving in train operating costs and safety would be improved.


March 5, 2023 - Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , ,


  1. And the thoughts were what, exactly? All I see is a series of pictures.

    Comment by Andrew Bruton | March 5, 2023 | Reply

  2. It’s not finished, but I had to put the pictures up first, as some were rathe duff and needed culling.

    Comment by AnonW | March 5, 2023 | Reply

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