Watford High Street railway station

Last updated

Watford High Street Overground roundel (no text).svg
Watford High Street stn building.JPG
Hertfordshire UK location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Watford High Street
Location of Watford High Street in Hertfordshire
Location Watford
Local authority Borough of Watford
Managed by London Overground
Owner Network Rail
Station codeWFH
DfT category D
Number of platforms2
Fare zone 8
National Rail annual entry and exit
2013–14Increase2.svg 1.152 million [1]
2014–15Increase2.svg 1.228 million [1]
2015–16Increase2.svg 1.442 million [1]
2016–17Increase2.svg 1.444 million [1]
2017–18Decrease2.svg 1.364 million [1]
Key dates
1862Opened (W&RR)
1917Started (Bakerloo line)
1982Ended (Bakerloo line)
Other information
External links
WGS84 51°39′09″N0°23′31″W / 51.652597°N 0.391812°W / 51.652597; -0.391812 Coordinates: 51°39′09″N0°23′31″W / 51.652597°N 0.391812°W / 51.652597; -0.391812
Underground sign at Westminster.jpg London transportportal

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.

Watford Town & Borough in England

Watford is a town and borough in Hertfordshire, South East England, 15 miles (24 km) northwest of central London.

Hertfordshire County of England

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.

United Kingdom Country in Europe

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, and many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world. The Irish Sea separates Great Britain and Ireland. The United Kingdom's 242,500 square kilometres (93,600 sq mi) were home to an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017.

Contents

History

Watford High Street was served by Silverlink trains 1997-2007 London Overground train for Watford Junction at Watford High Street Station.jpg
Watford High Street was served by Silverlink trains 1997-2007
A London Overground train arriving at Watford High Street Watford High Street Overground train.jpg
A London Overground train arriving at Watford High Street

The station was opened by the Watford and Rickmansworth Railway (W&RR) on 1 October 1862, with services running from Watford Junction to Rickmansworth (Church Street). In 1912 a branch was opened to Croxley Green. The line came under the ownership of London and North Western Railway (LNWR), which was absorbed into the London, Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS) in 1923, following the grouping of Britain's railway companies.

Watford and Rickmansworth Railway railway line

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.

Watford Junction railway station railway station that serves Watford, Hertfordshire

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.

Rickmansworth (Church Street) railway station

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.

Additional rail services were introduced to Watford High Street; in 1917 the Underground Electric Railways Company of London extended its Bakerloo line through this station to Watford Junction, and in 1922 the LNWR completed the suburban Camden to Watford Junction New Line, linking Watford High Street to London Euston via the Watford DC Line (shared with the Bakerloo line).

Underground Electric Railways Company of London holding company for underground railways and bus operators in London

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.

Bakerloo line London Underground line

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.

After nationalisation in 1948, the Watford DC Line was run by British Rail (from 1986 under its Network SouthEast brand). At the height of operation around the 1950s, Watford High Street was served by the Bakerloo line, and by British Rail trains on both the Croxley Green and Rickmansworth branches, a local all-stations service to Euston and another local service to Broad Street via Primrose Hill. [2] Over the years, most of these services were gradually withdrawn. The Rickmansworth branch was a poorly used service and passenger services were terminated by BR in 1952. Croxley Green services continued as Parliamentary trains until the line closed fully in 1996. [3] In 1982 London Regional Transport cut back the Bakerloo line to run only as far north as Stonebridge Park (reinstating the service as far as Harrow & Wealdstone in 1984). [4] London Broad Street station was closed in 1986 and trains on the Primrose Hill route were diverted to Liverpool Street until 1992, when passenger services on the Primrose Hill line were withdrawn completely. After the withdrawal of the Croxley, Bakerloo and Broad Street routes, the only remaining service running from Watford High Street was British Rail's Watford DC Line to Euston. [2]

British Rail rail transport operator of Great Britain

British Railways (BR), which from 1965 traded as British Rail, was the state-owned company that operated most of the overground rail transport in Great Britain between 1948 and 1997. It was formed from the nationalisation of the "Big Four" British railway companies and lasted until the gradual privatisation of British Rail, in stages between 1994 and 1997. Originally a trading brand of the Railway Executive of the British Transport Commission, it became an independent statutory corporation in 1962 designated as the British Railways Board.

Network SouthEast former passenger sector of British Rail formed in 1982

Network SouthEast (NSE) was one of the three passenger sectors of British Rail formed in 1982. NSE principally operated commuter trains in the London area and inter-urban services in densely populated South East England, although the network reached as far west as Exeter. Before 1986, the sector was known as London & South Eastern.

Broad Street railway station (England) railway station

Broad Street was a major terminal station in the City of London, adjacent to Liverpool Street station. It served as the main terminus of the North London Railway (NLR) network, running from 1865 to 1986. During its lifetime, it catered for mainly local suburban services around London, and over time struggled to compete with other modes of transport, leading to its closure.

Following the privatisation of British Rail the franchise for the Watford DC Line was taken over by National Express who ran the line under its Silverlink Metro name. In 2007 the line was brought under the control of Transport for London, who today operate it as part of the London Overground network; this service uses the 750 V DC lines for its all-stations local service with the 4th rail presently redundant except as part of the electrical return circuit.

The Privatisation of British Rail was the process by which ownership and operation of the railways of Great Britain passed from government control into private hands. Begun in 1994, it had been completed by 1997. The deregulation of the industry was initiated by EU Directive 91/440 in 1991.

National Express is a British multinational public transport company headquartered in Birmingham that operates bus, coach, train and tram services in the United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Spain, Portugal, Malta, Germany, Bahrain and Morocco and long-distance coach services across Europe. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index.

Silverlink

Silverlink was a train operating company in the United Kingdom owned by National Express that operated the North London Railways franchise from March 1997 until November 2007. At the end of 2007 Silverlink Metro services were taken over by London Overground and Silverlink County services were taken over by London Midland.

Croxley rail link map Croxley rail link map.png
Croxley rail link map

In 2011, a project to extend the London Underground's Metropolitan line to Watford Junction was announced. The planned Croxley Rail Link would have diverted the Metropolitan line branch across the town along a reinstated stretch of disused track of the former Watford and Rickmansworth Railway; the link would then have joined the Watford DC Line just south of Watford High Street, and Underground trains would have shared track with London Overground through to Watford Junction. [5] [6] The scheme was cancelled in 2018 due to funding difficulties. [7]

London Underground rapid transit system in London, United Kingdom

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.

Metropolitan line London Underground line

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.

Croxley Rail Link plan to re-route part of a London Underground line

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.

Location

Map of railways around Watford town centre Watford railways.png
Map of railways around Watford town centre

Watford High Street station is located in the Lower High Street in Watford town centre. In the immediate vicinity around the station are a number of retail and civic amenities including the Watford Museum, containing a gallery of fine art and displays of local heritage, and the 1.4-million-square-foot (130,000 m2) intu Watford Shopping Centre (also known as the Harlequin Centre), the largest shopping centre in Hertfordshire, which attracts more than 17 million customers each year. [8] Various other shopping parks are also close to the station, including a large Tesco Extra, Waterfields Shopping Park (containing large stores such as Sports Direct and Next), as well as many stores situated on the High Street.

Watford town centre has many popular bars and clubs, such as PRYZM; the only producing theatre in Hertfordshire, the Watford Palace Theatre; as well as numerous restaurants and cafes, both chain and independent.

To the east of the railway line is the site of Benskins Brewery, the office building for which is now Watford Museum. The brewery was rail-served by sidings until 1956. [9] [10] The station is situated in a deep cutting covered by a single platform canopy. The roof of the canopy is connected to the concrete sided cutting by ornamental metal trusses.

Services

All services to this station are operated by London Overground. It is on the Watford DC Line of the network and receives trains every 20 minutes Monday to Saturday daytimes; northbound and southbound. In evenings and on Sundays there is a half-hourly service in each direction.

Preceding station  Overground notextroundel.svg National Rail logo.svg London Overground  Following station
Terminus
Watford DC Line
towards  Euston
  Historical railways  
Preceding station  Underground no-text.svg London Underground  Following station
Terminus
Bakerloo line
Disused railways
National Rail logo.svg National Rail
Watford Junction   British Rail
Rickmansworth Branch
  Rickmansworth
(Church Street)
  British Rail
Croxley Green Branch
  Watford Stadium
 Future routes 
Preceding station  Underground no-text.svg London Underground  Following station
Terminus
Metropolitan line
towards  Baker Street or Aldgate

Connections

The station is served by local Routes 8, 142, 258, 306, 306B, 306C, 398, 602, W19 and W20.

Other services to alternate destinations operate from Watford town centre bus stops, which are a short distance from the station.

Future

Croxley rail link map Croxley rail link map.png
Croxley rail link map

In 2011, a project to extend the London Underground's Metropolitan line to Watford Junction was announced. The planned Croxley Rail Link would have diverted the Metropolitan line branch across the town along a reinstated stretch of disused track of the former Watford and Rickmansworth Railway; the link would then have joined the Watford DC Line just south of Watford High Street, and Underground trains would have shared track with London Overground through to Watford Junction. [5] [6] The scheme was cancelled in 2018 due to funding difficulties. [7]

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References

  1. 1 2 3 4 5 "Station usage estimates". Rail statistics. Office of Rail Regulation. Please note: Some methodology may vary year on year.
  2. 1 2 "Watford High Street". Disused Stations. Subterranea Britannica. Archived from the original on 19 July 2013.
  3. "Watford to Croxley Green". West Watford History Group. Archived from the original on 7 August 2013.
  4. Rose, Douglas (1999). The London Underground : a Diagrammatic History (7th ed.). London: [The author]. ISBN   1854142194.
  5. 1 2 "Croxley Rail Link update". 17 December 2014.
  6. 1 2 "Croxley Rail Link". Transport for London. Archived from the original on 25 March 2013.
  7. 1 2 McIntyre, Fiona (26 January 2018). "London mayor 'effectively abandons' £284M Met line extension". New Civil Engineer. Archived from the original on 16 July 2018. Retrieved 16 July 2018.
  8. "intu Watford - The centre". intu Group. Retrieved 17 November 2014.
  9. "Disused Stations: Rickmansworth Church Street". Disused Stations. Retrieved 30 November 2016.
  10. Catford, Nick. "Disused Stations: Watford High Street". Disused Stations. Retrieved 30 November 2016.