North and West London Light Railway

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North and West London Light Railway
NWLLR geo map.jpg
Map of possible NWLLR stations, on the London Underground tube map
Location London, UK
Proposer Campaign for Better Transport
Status Proposal
Type Light rail
Stakeholders Campaign for Better Transport and Barnet, Harrow, Ealing councils

The North and West London Light Railway (NWLLR), formerly known as the Brent Cross Railway, is a light rail service proposed by the London group of the Campaign for Better Transport and by the Coalition for a Sustainable Brent Cross Cricklewood,[1] to serve parts of north, northwest and west London, being similar to the Docklands Light Railway (DLR).[2] The proposal for a rapid transit network using existing or abandoned railway corridors was published in 2008.

The proposal has been promoted in the context of the Brent Cross Shopping Centre expansion project, a major urban planning scheme that involves the redevelopment of Brent Cross and northern Cricklewood.[3] The stated aim is to alleviate anticipated traffic problems when this development goes ahead.[4][5]

The NWLLR has not been approved or funded.


The CBT is aiming to reduce CO2 emissions, pollution and cars on the roads. It has said that high-intensity bus services in Brent Cross create more pollution and traffic jams.[6]


The route would have 34 stations on four lines:[7]

Core proposal[edit]

The freight-only Dudding Hill line, which features in the proposal

The proposal suggests that the service could be light rail, similar to the Docklands Light Railway. The core proposal envisages a line running east-west across north London from Brent Cross to Park Royal,[5] with extensions to Ealing Broadway and Wembley Stadium, and a new line running north-south from Finchley Central through Brent Cross to Finchley Road.

The routes would use a combination of existing passenger railway lines, freight lines and disused lines, linked by stretches of new track. The network could include the Dudding Hill Line, the Ealing Broadway branch of the Central line and freight tracks parallel to the Midland Main Line.[4]

Other proposals[edit]

There is a similar proposal from the West London Business to build a Surbiton-to-Brent Cross railway, called the West London Orbital underground railway route.[8] A Fastbus limited-stop bus service from North Acton to Wembley Park is proposed by other companies.

There have been proposals to use the Dudding Hill Line section of the route for a new London Overground service.[9]

Political views[edit]

The current and NWLLR-proposed rail track at North Acton

The proposal has limited support from some local councils, but lacks the funding or support from the Greater London Authority that is necessary to undertake project costings or a feasibility study. The proposal is not supported by the site developers at Brent Cross and relies on changes being made to their plans.[4]

In April 2009, Ealing Council voted to call on Transport for London to look into the proposal and discuss its strategic potential with neighbouring councils.[10] Harrow Council gave its support in principle, but stating that unless Transport for London provided "funding for a feasibility study to examine this proposal ... no more public money should be directed towards this proposal."[11] In 2009 Brian Coleman, the mayor of Barnet and London Assembly Member for Barnet and Camden, said "It's not feasible, it won't happen. Ideas like this are thought up by men who probably still have a train set in the attic."[12] Later that year, Barnet Council voted to request the developers to maintain contact with the light rail promoters.[13] In January 2011, Brent Council voted to call on Transport for London to look into the proposal and discuss its strategic potential with neighbouring councils.[14][15] In January 2014, Barnet Council voted that "much-needed orbital rail links should be investigated, routes safeguarded and included in financial planning", but it removed a reference in the original motion to "light-rail".[16]


  1. ^ Coalition for a Sustainable Brent Cross Cricklewood Transport briefing material, 2009 onwards
  2. ^ Flintoff, John-Paul (17 September 2009). "Orbital rail the solution to city congestion?". The Times. Retrieved 16 December 2009. [dead link]
  3. ^ "Brent Cross Cricklewood - a new Town Centre". Brent Cross Cricklewood Partners. 2009. Retrieved 7 January 2010. 
  4. ^ a b c "Reducing Car Use: Proposals for a Brent Cross Railway". London Campaign for Better Transport. 2008. Retrieved 16 December 2009. 
  5. ^ a b "New rail line needed to tackle traffic at Brent Cross". Campaign for Better Transport. 2008-01-23. Retrieved 16 December 2009. 
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ "West London Orbital 2008 Update – a summary". West London Business. April 2008. Retrieved 16 December 2009. 
  9. ^ Coalition for a Sustainable Brent Cross Cricklewood Briefing material on new London Overground service
  10. ^ "Notes Of Council Meeting - 21st April 2009". Ealing Council. Retrieved 24 November 2013. 
  11. ^ "Minutes of the Meeting of the Council". Harrow London Borough Council. 2 April 2009. Retrieved 16 December 2009. 
  12. ^ Wilkey, Susanna (26 February 2009). "New tramline gathers speed". Hampstead and Highgate Express. Retrieved 16 December 2009. 
  13. ^ "Decisions of the Planning and Environment Committee". Barnet London Borough Council. 18 and 19 November 2009. Retrieved 19 December 2009.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  14. ^ "Railway for north west London proposed". Willesden and Brent Times. 3 February 2011. Retrieved 13 February 2011. 
  15. ^ "Meeting of Council, Monday 24 January 2011 7.00 pm (Item 11.)". Brent Council. Retrieved 25 November 2013. 
  16. ^ "London Borough of Barnet motion on orbital rail links". 

External links[edit]