Watford tube station

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Watford
Location of Watford in Hertfordshire
Location Watford
Local authority Watford
Managed by London Underground
Number of platforms2
Fare zone 7
London Underground annual entry and exit
2013Increase2.svg 1.66 million [1]
2014Increase2.svg 1.76 million [1]
2015Increase2.svg 1.85 million [1]
2016Decrease2.svg 1.84 million [1]
2017Increase2.svg 1.86 million [1]
Key dates
1925Opened
14 November 1966Goods yard closed [2]
Other information
External links
WGS84 51°39′27″N0°25′03″W / 51.6575°N 0.4175°W / 51.6575; -0.4175 Coordinates: 51°39′27″N0°25′03″W / 51.6575°N 0.4175°W / 51.6575; -0.4175
Underground sign at Westminster.jpg London transportportal

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.

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.

Branch line Minor railway line

A branch line is a secondary railway line which branches off a more important through route, usually a main line. A very short branch line may be called a spur line. David Blyth Hanna, the first president of the Canadian National Railway, said that although most branch lines cannot pay for themselves, they are essential to make main lines pay.

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.

Contents

Location and description

A platform at Watford tube station Watford Tube - platform.JPG
A platform at Watford tube station
Map of railways around Watford showing the Met station in relation to other stations Watford railways.png
Map of railways around Watford showing the Met station in relation to other stations

The station is in the Cassiobury area, on Cassiobury Park Avenue at the junction with Metropolitan Station Approach, close to two of the entrances to Cassiobury Park. It is approximately 1 mile (1.6 km) from the town centre, which is more immediately served by Watford High Street and Watford Junction stations. The station building was designed by the Metropolitan Railway's architect Charles Walter Clark in an Arts and Crafts vernacular style. It is in red brick with a clay-tiled hipped roof, tall brick chimney stacks, and timber sash and casement windows. The main entrance is covered by a polygonal metal canopy supported by twin Doric columns, and the interior, mostly unaltered from the original, is decorated with period tiling and hardwood panelling. The station building is grade II listed. [3]

Cassiobury

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.

Cassiobury Park park in the United Kingdom

Cassiobury Park is the principal public park in Watford, Hertfordshire, in England. It was created in 1909 from the purchase by Watford Borough Council of part of the estate of the Earls of Essex around Cassiobury House which was subsequently demolished in 1927. It comprises over 190 acres (0.77 km2) and extends from the A412 Rickmansworth Road in the east to the Grand Union Canal in the west, and lies to the south of the Watford suburb of Cassiobury, which was also created from the estate. The western part is a 25.1 hectare Local Nature Reserve managed by the Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust. The park hosts the free, weekly timed parkrun 5km event every Saturday morning at 9am, starting at the Rickmansworth Road entrance to the park.

Watford High Street railway station Railway station and planned London Underground station

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.

According to data compiled in 2010, it is the 25th-least used station on the London Underground. [4]

History

Map of "Metro-Land" showing the planned Watford extension (Metropolitan Railway, 1924) Metro-land-map.jpg
Map of "Metro-Land" showing the planned Watford extension (Metropolitan Railway, 1924)

In the early 20th century, the Metropolitan Railway (MR) penetrated Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire with its suburban railway, enticing Londoners with its "Metro-Land" advertising campaign promoting the new railway as an opportunity to live in a rural location with easy transport to central London. [5] The MR was also intent on providing a connection from Watford and planned a branch line from Moor Park via Croxley. The MR purchased a swathe of land from Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge along the planned route, and Parliamentary approval for the branch was granted in 1912. The project was hampered by disagreements with the Watford Borough Council and by the outbreak of World War I in 1914, and construction of the 2.5-mile (4.0 km) branch did not begin until 1922. The MR experienced difficulties running the line across the River Gade and the Grand Junction Canal, and this pushed costs up to £300,000. [6]

Metropolitan Railway underground railway in London

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.

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.

Buckinghamshire County of England

Buckinghamshire, abbreviated Bucks, is a ceremonial county in South East England which borders Greater London to the south east, Berkshire to the south, Oxfordshire to the west, Northamptonshire to the north, Bedfordshire to the north east and Hertfordshire to the east.

Watford Met station opened on 2 November 1925, [7] with MR electric trains to Baker Street and LNER steam trains to Marylebone for the first few months. [8] [9] The Watford Observer commented on the opening that the new station was "likely to have a much greater effect on the town than is at present realised. Just as trade follows the flag, so population follows the railway". Posters published by the MR in 1925 promoting the new route "by Metro to Watford" depicted Watford High Street on market day, belying the remote location of the station. [10]

Metropolitan Railway electric multiple units

Metropolitan Railway electric multiple units were used on London's Metropolitan Railway after the lines were electrified in the early 20th century.

Baker Street tube station London Underground station

Baker Street is a London Underground station at the junction of Baker Street and the Marylebone Road in the City of Westminster. It is one of the original stations of the Metropolitan Railway (MR), the world's first underground railway, opened in 1863.

London and North Eastern Railway British “Big 4” railway company, active 1923–1947

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.

For many years, the MR operated a bus service from the High Street in an effort to gain more passengers, [11] but contrary to the Watford Observer's predictions patronage remained low. MR passenger numbers compared unfavourably with services into central London offered by the LMS and the UERL Bakerloo line from Watford Junction and Watford High Street, [6] and after the General Strike of 1926 the LNER pulled out of the venture with the MR. [6] [12]

London, Midland and Scottish Railway British “Big 4” railway company, active 1923–1947

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.

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.

Watford tube station in Cassiobury Park Avenue was not originally planned to be the terminus of the Watford branch. The Metropolitan Railway Company's original plans drawn up in 1912 intended the line to continue through Cassiobury Park and beyond to Hempstead Road on an area known locally as 'The Wilderness', where West Herts College would later be built (opened in 1938). [13]

Watford Council had recently bought part of the Cassiobury Estate and objected to the proposed railway through the town park and recreation gardens, and so the last section of the route was removed and the line would end abruptly in Cassiobury Park Avenue instead. [14]

An opportunity arose in 1927 for another route to extend the line into the centre of Watford. Through a third party, the Metropolitan was able to purchase an existing building at 44 Watford High Street together with two-and-a-half acres of backlands, with the intention of creating a terminus in the town centre. [6] The possibility of a single-track extension in tunnel—either from the existing station or following a diversionary route around the station—was explored, but costs were extremely high and no Parliamentary powers were sought. The High Street building was leased out and was eventually disposed of by London Transport in 1936, [15] and today Watford station remains the terminus of the line, approximately 1 mile from the town centre. [6] [16]

When Travelcard zones were introduced in 1984 by London Regional Transport, the station was in Zone B; in 2004 it moved to Zone A, and in 2008 to Zone 7.

Future

Croxley rail link map Croxley rail link map.png
Croxley rail link map
The existing Watford branch viaduct over the Grand Union Canal and River Gade Grand Union Canal, Metropolitan Line viaduct - geograph.org.uk - 1151019.jpg
The existing Watford branch viaduct over the Grand Union Canal and River Gade

The ambition to extend the Metropolitan line into Watford town centre was revived around 1994 by London Regional Transport (LRT) when proposals were put forward to run the line to Watford Junction. The projected route was shown on an adapted version of the Tube map for internal planning purposes printed in that year. [17] This project, known as the Croxley Rail Link, involved connecting the Metropolitan line to the disused Watford and Rickmansworth Railway line and reinstating the Croxley Green branch to Watford High Street. [18] The line, opened in 1912, had been closed by British Rail in 1996 owing to low passenger numbers. [19] Although it ran very close to the Metropolitan line (at its closest point about 200 metres away), the two lines were never linked. The plan was to connect the two lines via a short viaduct. The Croxley Rail Link project would have resulted in the closure of Watford Met station. [20] [21]

On 14 December 2011 the project was given approval by the Department for Transport at an expected cost of £115.9m with a proposed completion date of January 2016, [22] later revised to 2020. [23] [24] The planned closure of Watford Met station met with some local opposition, and campaigners lobbied for the station to remain open with a reduced shuttle service. [25] A report compiled in 2012 by the transport watchdog London TravelWatch concluded that the opening of new stations on the route would mitigate any inconvenience caused by the closure, and that a minority of passengers would experience an increase in journey times of more than 15 minutes. It also recommended that a shuttle train service should be trialled, and that in the event of closure a bus service should be provided from Cassiobury to one of the new stations. [26]

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. [27]

Services

As of December 2011 the typical off-peak service was four trains per hour to Baker Street off-peak, with a limited service to Aldgate [28] at peak times.

See also

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Watford DC line commuter railway line from London Euston to Watford Junction

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Watford and Rickmansworth Railway railway line

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

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Watford Vicarage Road tube station Planned London Underground 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.

Watford Central tube station never constructed London Underground station

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.

References

  1. 1 2 3 4 5 "Multi-year station entry-and-exit figures" (XLSX). London Underground station passenger usage data. Transport for London. January 2018. Retrieved 22 July 2018.
  2. Hardy, Brian, ed. (March 2011). "How it used to be - freight on The Underground 50 years ago". Underground News. London Underground Railway Society (591): 175–183. ISSN   0306-8617.
  3. "Watford Station, Watford". British Listed Buildings. Archived from the original on 25 January 2014.
  4. "The proposed closure and discontinuance of services to and from Watford station". London Travel Watch. 28 August 2012. p. 7. Archived from the original on 25 January 2014.
  5. "Metro-Land". British Empire Exhibition booklet. South Bank Publishing. 1924. Archived from the original on 28 June 2008. Retrieved 9 August 2013.
  6. 1 2 3 4 5 Wolmar, Christian (2009). The Subterranean Railway How the London Underground Was Built and How it Changed the City Forever. London: Atlantic Books Ltd. ISBN   9781848872530.
  7. Chronology of London Railways by H.V.Borley
  8. Green, Oliver (1990). The London underground : an illustrated history (3. impr ed.). London: Allan. p. 43. ISBN   0711017204.
  9. Rose, Douglas (1999). The London underground : a diagrammatic history (7th ed.). London: [The author]. ISBN   1854142194.
  10. Unknown Artist (1925). "By 'Metro' to Watford". London Transport Museum poster collection. London Transport Museum. Archived from the original on 9 August 2013.
  11. Unknown photographer (1927). "Inventory no: 1999/28830 - Photograph of Metropolitan Railway single deck coach outside Watford MR station". London Transport Museum photographic collection. London Transport Museum. Archived from the original on 9 August 2013.
  12. Horne 2003, p. 40.
  13. Jackson, Alan A. (December 1961). Cooke, B.W.C. (ed.). "The Metropolitan Railway at Watford". The Railway Magazine . Vol. 107 no. 728. Westminster: Tothill Press. pp. 821–3, 825–8.
  14. Horne 2003, p. 39.
  15. "Steaming discussion".
  16. Horne 2003, p. 96.
  17. Garland, Ken (5 December 1994). Mr Beck's Underground Map. Harrow Weald: Capital Transport Publishing. p. 63. ISBN   1-85414-168-6. OCLC   32915967.
  18. "Scheme Development Report" (PDF). Steer Davies Gleave. September 2011. Archived (PDF) from the original on 7 August 2013.
  19. "Watford to Croxley Green". West Watford History Group. Archived from the original on 7 August 2013.
  20. "Survey works to start along Croxley Rail Link route". Croxley Rail Link. 29 July 2013. Archived from the original on 2 September 2013.
  21. Wright, Mike (24 July 2013). "Watford Met Station to close to passengers when new Croxley Rail Link opens". Watford Observer. Archived from the original on 11 August 2013.
  22. "Local Authority Majors - Development Pool Schemes - Scheme Decisions" (PDF). DfT. December 2011. Archived from the original (PDF) on 25 April 2012.
  23. "Croxley Rail Link update". 17 December 2014. Archived from the original on 9 January 2014.
  24. Michael Knowles (30 July 2015). "Croxley Rail Link will not be completed until 2020, documents reveal". Watford Observer. Retrieved 11 September 2016.
  25. Wright, Mike (21 August 2013). "Watford Met Station campaigners: 'There is no reason for it to close'". Watford Observer. Archived from the original on 1 September 2013.
  26. Stops, Vincent (25 September 2012). "Transport Services Committee Secretariat memorandum: Watford station closure proposal". London TravelWatch. Archived from the original on 5 October 2013.
  27. Duggan, Emma (25 January 2017). "UPDATE: Met Line extension: Mayor confirms work has stopped". Watford Observer. Retrieved 3 October 2018.
  28. "Watford Tube Guide" (PDF). TfL. Archived (PDF) from the original on 12 January 2012.

Bibliography

Preceding station  Underground no-text.svg London Underground  Following station
Terminus Metropolitan line
Watford branch
towards  Baker Street or Aldgate
 Abandoned Watford Central Extension 
Watford Central
Terminus
  Metropolitan Railway   Croxley
towards Baker Street or Aldgate