44 High Street, Watford, planned as Watford Central station
|Original company||Metropolitan Railway|
|1927||Building purchased by the MR|
Watford Central was a planned station on the London Underground in Watford, Hertfordshire. The station was to be part of a proposed extension of the Metropolitan line from the present-day Watford Underground station to Watford's High Street opposite Clarendon Road. Had the line been built, Watford Central would have been the terminus of the branch line.The building which was planned to be the station booking hall has long gone, however the facade was retained and a new building constructed behind it. It is now The Moon Under Water public house.
The London Underground is a public rapid transit system serving London, England and some parts of the adjacent counties of Buckinghamshire, Essex and Hertfordshire in the United Kingdom.
Watford is a town and borough in Hertfordshire, South East England, 15 miles (24 km) northwest of central London.
Hertfordshire is one of the home counties in southern England. It is bordered by Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire to the north, Essex to the east, Greater London to the south, and Buckinghamshire to the west. For government statistical purposes, it is placed in the East of England region.
Building a line to Watford had been an ambition of the Metropolitan Railway Company for several years. Watford was already served by the LNWR main line, but Watford Urban District Council began to lobby the MR to extend their line into the town. By 1911 Watford had grown enough to make a new railway connection seem commercially viable. At this time, the MR shared tracks with the Great Central Railway (GCR) and these companies had formed the Metropolitan and Great Central Joint Railway; together they drew up plans to construct a branch line to Watford town centre, receiving Parliamentary approval in 1912. In the original plans, the Metropolitan line was to terminate at a passenger station located on Hempstead Road, close to the northern end of the High Street, with a goods station a mile further south at Cassiobury Park Avenue.The Urban District Council had recently purchased parts of the Cassiobury Estate from the Earl of Essex to create Cassiobury Park and were opposed to the MR driving a railway across their beautiful municipal park and objected to this scheme.
The Metropolitan Railway was a passenger and goods railway that served London from 1863 to 1933, its main line heading north-west from the capital's financial heart in the City to what were to become the Middlesex suburbs. Its first line connected the main-line railway termini at Paddington, Euston, and King's Cross to the City. The first section was built beneath the New Road using the "cut-and-cover" method between Paddington and King's Cross and in tunnel and cuttings beside Farringdon Road from King's Cross to near Smithfield, near the City. It opened to the public on 10 January 1863 with gas-lit wooden carriages hauled by steam locomotives, the world's first passenger-carrying designated underground railway.
The London and North Western Railway was a British railway company between 1846 and 1922. In the late 19th century the L&NWR was the largest joint stock company in the United Kingdom.
The Great Central Railway in England came into being when the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway changed its name in 1897, anticipating the opening in 1899 of its London Extension. On 1 January 1923, the company was grouped into the London and North Eastern Railway.
The outbreak of World War I in 1914 hampered the project's development, and it was not until 1922 that construction of the Watford branch commenced. By this stage, the GCR was financially less secure and the MR instead formed a joint committee with the London and North Eastern Railway (LNER), the Watford Joint Committee. Opposition from local politicians to the Cassiobury route meant that the terminus had to be sited next to the new goods yard in the Cassiobury area of the town, some distance from the centre. Watford station opened as the terminus of the Metropolitan Railway Watford branch in 1925.
World War I, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war originating in Europe that lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918. Contemporaneously described as "the war to end all wars", it led to the mobilisation of more than 70 million military personnel, including 60 million Europeans, making it one of the largest wars in history. It is also one of the deadliest conflicts in history, with an estimated nine million combatants and seven million civilian deaths as a direct result of the war, while resulting genocides and the resulting 1918 influenza pandemic caused another 50 to 100 million deaths worldwide.
The London and North Eastern Railway (LNER) was the second largest of the "Big Four" railway companies created by the Railways Act 1921 in Britain. It operated from 1 January 1923 until nationalisation on 1 January 1948. At that time, it was divided into the new British Railways' Eastern Region, North Eastern Region, and partially the Scottish Region.
The Cassiobury Estate is a suburban residential area of Watford in Hertfordshire, England. It is bounded to the south by Cassiobury Park, the main public park in the town, to the west by playing fields next to the River Gade, and to the northeast by Hempstead Road. It is mostly characterised by 1930s Mock Tudor houses.
The MR was keen to promote its new destination as part of its Metro-Land advertising campaign; posters published by the MR in 1925 promoting the new route "by Metro to Watford" depicted an illustrated view of Watford High Street on market day, belying the remote location of the station.While the MR was able to provide a shuttle bus service from its station to the town centre, the Metropolitan branch line passenger numbers compared unfavourably with rival services into central London offered by the LMS and the UERL Bakerloo line from the more centrally located Watford Junction and Watford High Street stations. The LNER pulled out of the venture after the General Strike of 1926.
The London, Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS) was a British railway company. It was formed on 1 January 1923 under the Railways Act of 1921, which required the grouping of over 120 separate railways into four. The companies merged into the LMS included the London and North Western Railway, Midland Railway, the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway, several Scottish railway companies, and numerous other, smaller ventures.
The Underground Electric Railways Company of London Limited (UERL), known operationally as the Underground for much of its existence, was established in 1902. It was the holding company for the three deep-level "tube" underground railway lines opened in London during 1906 and 1907: the Baker Street and Waterloo Railway, the Charing Cross, Euston and Hampstead Railway and the Great Northern, Piccadilly and Brompton Railway. It was also the parent company from 1902 of the District Railway, which it electrified between 1903 and 1905. The UERL is a precursor of today's London Underground; its three tube lines form the central sections of today's Bakerloo, Northern and Piccadilly lines.
The Bakerloo line is a London Underground line that runs between Harrow & Wealdstone in suburban north-west London and Elephant & Castle in south London, via the West End. Coloured brown on the Tube map, it serves 25 stations, of which 15 are below ground, over 14.4 miles (23.2 km). It runs partly on the surface and partly at deep level.
The remote location of Watford Met station was clearly proving to be unsatisfactory, and the MR drew up plans to extend the line into the town centre. In 1927 the company purchased a property at 44 Watford High Street, the Empress Tea Rooms and Winter Gardens. A strip of land behind the property provided about 2.5 acres, enough for redevelopment as a railway station with a High Street frontage.Parliamentary approval given in 1929.
The MR put forward alternative routes for the line extension:
Neither scheme was enacted and neither tunnel was built. The terminus was to remain at its Cassiobury location
The property purchased by the Metropolitan Railway at 44 High Street is located on the western side of the street close to the junction with Clarendon Road. The original building was named Derby House, and after extensive refurbishment in 1916 which included refacing of the frontage and the addition of two medallions of Queen Victoria, the rear garden was opened as The Empress Winter Gardens and Tea Lounge.
The premises still stand today and have local listed building status, although the elaborate Winter Garden buildings which once stood behind the property have been demolished.For a brief period in 1921, the Winter Gardens served as a makeshift cinema, serving teas to patrons in the intervals. After acquisition by the Metropolitan Railway in 1927, 44 High Street was let out to a succession of tenants and eventually passed to the Lewis Omnibus Company, which was itself taken over by the London Passenger Transport Board in 1933. In the following years, the building was used as a furniture shop and later it became a branch of the clothing retailer, Next. Today the building is occupied by Wetherspoons as The Moon Under Water public house.
Over 80 years after the MR first attempted to extend its line into central Watford, a new scheme was approved in 2011 to continue the Metropolitan line across the town to Watford Junction station. The Metropolitan line extension is also known as the Croxley Rail Link .A disused stretch of former British Rail track which ran to Croxley Green station would be reinstated, connecting the Metropolitan line with the Watford DC Line at Watford High Street (London Overground) and sharing track to the terminus at Watford Junction. The project is funded jointly by Hertfordshire County Council and Transport for London. Should this project go ahead, the Watford Met tube station would close to passengers.
On 25 January 2017, the Watford Observer newspaper published an update on the Croxley Rail Link confirming work had stopped as there was an ongoing funding issue.
|Preceding station||Following station|
|Watford|| Metropolitan Railway |
The Metropolitan line, colloquially known as the Met, is a London Underground line that runs between Aldgate in the City of London and Amersham and Chesham in Buckinghamshire, with branches to Watford in Hertfordshire and Uxbridge in the western London Borough of Hillingdon. Coloured magenta on the tube map, the line is 41.4 miles (66.7 km) in length and serves 34 stations. Unlike the deep-tube railways, its tunnels are just below the surface and are of a similar size to those on main lines. Just under 67 million passenger journeys were made on the line in 2011/12.
Watford tube station is the terminus of a Metropolitan line branch line in the north-western part of London Underground in Zone 7. The station opened in 1925.
Watford Junction is a railway station that serves Watford, Hertfordshire. The station is on the West Coast Main Line (WCML), 17 miles 34 chains from London Euston and the Abbey Line, a branch line to St Albans. Journeys to London take between 16 and 52 minutes depending on the service used: shorter times on fast non-stop trains and slower on the stopping Watford DC line services. Trains also run to Clapham Junction and East Croydon via the West London Line. The station is a major hub for local bus services and the connecting station for buses to the Harry Potter studio tour. The station is located north of a viaduct over the Colne valley and immediately south of Watford Tunnel.
Croxley is a London Underground station located on Watford Road (A412) in Croxley Green, Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire, on the Watford branch of the Metropolitan line. It is the only intermediate station on the branch between Moor Park, on the main line from Baker Street to Amersham, and the terminus at Watford.
Rickmansworth is an interchange railway station in Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire, northwest of central London, served by the London Underground Metropolitan line and by Chiltern Railways. It is one of the few London Underground stations beyond Greater London and as a consequence is in Travelcard Zone 7. The station is a good location to alight from to explore the Chess Valley.
Moor Park is a London Underground station in the Three Rivers district of Hertfordshire, serving those living on the Moor Park estate, and also on the neighbouring Eastbury and South Oxhey estates. The station is outside the Greater London boundary but is in both Zone 6 and Zone 7, between the Metropolitan line stations of Rickmansworth, Croxley and Northwood.
Watford Stadium Halt railway station is a disused railway station in Watford, Hertfordshire, United Kingdom on the branch line from Watford Junction to Croxley Green. It served Vicarage Road stadium, home of Watford F.C., and was open only on match days.
Tring railway station is 1.5 miles outside the small town of Tring, close to the Grand Union Canal but actually nearer to the village of Aldbury in Hertfordshire, England. Situated on the West Coast Main Line, the station is now an important marshalling point for commuter trains from here for most stations to London Euston.
Watford High Street is a railway station in Watford, Hertfordshire, United Kingdom. It is served by the Watford DC Line on the London Overground network. It is the only station on the line's sole deviation from the West Coast Main Line.
Aylesbury railway station is a railway station in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, England. It is a major stop on the London–Aylesbury line from London Marylebone via Amersham. It is 38 miles (61 km) from Aylesbury to Marylebone. A branch line from Princes Risborough on the Chiltern Main Line terminates at the station. It was the terminus for London Underground's Metropolitan line until the service was cut back to Amersham in 1961. The station was also known as Aylesbury Town under the management of British Railways from c. 1948 until the 1960s.
The Watford DC line is a commuter railway line from London Euston to Watford Junction in Watford, Hertfordshire. Its services are operated by London Overground.
Cassiobridge was a proposed London Underground station in Watford, Hertfordshire, England. The station would have been part of the Croxley Rail Link project, a scheme to extend the Metropolitan line to Watford Junction railway station. It would have been served by Metropolitan line trains between Watford Junction and Central London via Baker Street. The railway line would run over Ascot Road via a viaduct and the platforms would have been situated on the east side of the road. Entrance to the station would have been from the west side of the road, with a ticket hall and other facilities at street level. Passengers would gain access to the platforms via stairs and lifts and a short footbridge over the road.
The Watford and Rickmansworth Railway (W&RR) ran services between Watford and Rickmansworth in Hertfordshire, England. The company was incorporated in 1860; the line opened in 1862. The Rickmansworth branch was closed in 1952, and the remaining line was gradually run down and eventually closed in 1996.
Rickmansworth railway station was a London and North Western Railway (LNWR) station in the town of Rickmansworth in west Hertfordshire, UK. Opened in 1862, it was the terminus of a 7.2-kilometre (4.5 mi) branch line which used to run from Watford. The station closed to passengers in 1952, although the line continued to be used as a goods line for some years after that. Church Street station has since been demolished.
The Croxley Rail Link, or the Metropolitan Line Extension, was a proposed railway engineering project in the Watford and Three Rivers districts of Hertfordshire, England, that would have connected the London Overground and the London Underground's Metropolitan line at Watford Junction. The Metropolitan line's terminus at Watford Underground station would have closed and the line would have been diverted and extended from Croxley to Watford Junction via a reopened section of closed line. The main proponent of the scheme is Hertfordshire County Council but failed to win the support of Transport for London (TfL) which owns the Watford branch. The engineering works would have consisted of the realignment of the disused Watford and Rickmansworth Railway's line between Croxley Green and Watford High Street, with the construction of a viaduct over the Grand Union Canal, River Gade and A412 road and two new stations before branching into the London Overground line near Watford High Street and continuing to Watford Junction.
Edgware Road Tube schemes covers a number of proposals to build an underground railway in London, UK at the end of the 19th century. Each scheme envisaged building some form of rail tunnel along the Edgware Road in north-west London towards Victoria railway station.
Watford Vicarage Road was a proposed London Underground station in Watford, Hertfordshire. The station would have been part of the Croxley Rail Link project, a scheme to extend the Metropolitan line to Watford Junction railway station, served by Metropolitan line trains between Watford Junction and Central London via Baker Street. Originally the station was to be named either Watford Hospital or Watford General Hospital. On 25 January 2017, the Watford Observer newspaper published an update on the Croxley Rail Link confirming work had stopped as there was an ongoing funding issue.