The Anonymous Widower

Doubling Harlesden Junction

London has a rail capacity problem, for both freight and passenger trains.

This report from Network Rail is entitled The London Rail Freight Strategy (LRFS).

One of the secondary recommendations of the report is to double Harlesden Junction. It says this about the doubling.

At present, several Goods lines from the direction of Wembley Yard converge into a single lead through Harlesden Junction, the connection to the City lines, from which the North London Line is accessed. This represents a bottleneck where trains are unable to pass in each direction simultaneously. Conceptual design work for the LRFS has identified that the bridge span immediately above the junction, which the two West Coast Main Line Slow lines also pass under, formerly accommodated four tracks in total.

Because the City lines extend for a relatively short distance between Harlesden Junction and Kensal Green Junction, a speed increase at Harlesden Junction is necessary in order to align with the uplifted speeds proposed for Kensal Green Junction (see Core Interventions). Upgrading Harlesden Junction is therefore required in order to realise the benefits of the core intervention at Kensal Green Junction. Doubling the junction would further ease the flow of freight trains through this critical connection between the West Coast Main Line and the orbital routes.

This map from shows Harlesden Junction.

This Google map shows the area.


  1. The six tracks across the bottom of both maps are the West Coast Main Line.
  2. The double track rail line going North-South over the West Coast Main Line is the Dudding Hill Line.
  3. The Northernmost tracks, that go East-West under the Dudding Hill Lines are the combined Watford DC and Bakerloo Lines, which explains their colour in the first map.
  4. South of these tracks are the City Lines and Harlesden Junction, which connects it to the West Coast Main Line.

This 3D image shows the Harlesden Junction with the Dudding Hill Line over the top, looking from the South-East.

Note that Harlesden station can be seen in the North-East of the map.

There is certainly space in the area to improve the junction.


It strikes me that if you improve Kensal Green Junction, then doubling of Harlesden Junction is needed, to make the most of the investment at Kensal Green.

Related Posts

These are related posts about the London Rail Freight Strategy (LRFS).

Decarbonisation Of London’s Freight Routes

East Coast Main Line South Bi-Directional Capability

Gauge Improvements Across London

Gospel Oak Speed Increases

Headway Reductions On The Gospel Oak To Barking, North London and West London Lines

Heavy Axle Weight Restrictions

Kensal Green Junction Improvement

Longhedge Junction Speed Increases

Moving The West London Line AC/DC Switchover To Kensington Olympia

Moving The West London Line AC/DC Switchover To Shepherd’s Bush

Nunhead Junction Improvement

Stratford Regulating Point Extension

Will Camden Road Station Get A Third Platform?

Will Clapham Junction Station Get A Platform 0?

June 22, 2021 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , | 14 Comments