Watford Junction railway station
Location of Watford Junction in Hertfordshire
|Managed by||London Midland|
|Number of platforms||10|
|National Rail annual entry and exit|
|- interchange||0.549 million|
|- interchange||0.451 million|
|- interchange||0.363 million|
|- interchange||0.411 million|
|- interchange||0.539 million|
|- interchange||0.545 million|
|20 July 1837||Original station - Watford - opened.|
|5 May 1858||Station relocated and renamed as Watford Junction|
|Lists of stations|
| London Transport portal
UK Railways portalCoordinates:
Watford Junction railway station, a short distance from the town centre of Watford, Hertfordshire, United Kingdom, is served by the West Coast Main Line (WCML), the Watford DC Line to Euston, and the Abbey Line (a branch line to St Albans). Journeys to London take between sixteen and fifty-two minutes depending on the service used. Trains also run to East Croydon via the WCML and the West London Line and Clapham Junction. Major redevelopment of the station and its surroundings is planned for the next 10 years. They may be delayed however, for the redevelopment of Watford Junction has been placed within the Pre-Qualification pool of proposed schemes by the Department for Transport.
- 1 History
- 2 Future developments
- 3 Proposed developments
- 4 Services
- 5 Platforms
- 6 Transport links
- 7 See also
- 8 References
- 9 External links
The first station in Watford was north of St Albans Road. Watford Junction station opened when the line to St Albans opened, joining the main line south of St Albans Road, on 5 May 1858. The station was rebuilt in 1909, and was extensively redeveloped in the 1980s.
Trains used to run from the west side of the station to branches serving Croxley Green and Rickmansworth (Church Street), both branches were electrified later than the DC line to Euston but on the same system. At one time tube trains were used to counter the low voltage caused by the lack of a sub-station near Rickmansworth. The Rickmansworth branch predated the DC line and was connected to the Main Line via two through platforms with a junction to the north; these platforms have since been partly built over and their remaining southern sections form part of the DC line terminus.
The Abbey Line originally terminated at a through platform adjacent to the Down Slow Main Line but was relocated further East to provide more car parking; this was before the branch line was electrified.
The Bakerloo line was extended to Watford Junction in 1917, giving a shared service with mainline electric trains which served Euston and Broad Street stations. However since 1982 the line north of Harrow & Wealdstone has only been served by what is now the London Overground service from Euston station; this service uses these DC lines for its "all stations" local service.
Oyster Card capability was extended to this station on 11 November 2007 on both the London Overground and Southern. It was extended to London Midland services on 18 November 2007. However, the station is outside London fare zones 1–9 and special fares apply.
Motive power depot
|Watford Junction rail crash|
|Date||23 January 1975|
|Location||Watford Junction railway station|
|Rail line||West Coast Main Line|
|Cause||Obstruction on line|
|List of UK rail accidents by year|
On 23 January 1975, an express train from Manchester to Euston derailed just south of Watford Junction after striking some stillages that had fallen on to the track. It then collided with a sleeper service from Euston to Glasgow. The driver of the Manchester train was killed, and eight passengers and three railway staff injured. The stillages had fallen from a Ford company goods train that had passed the station a few minutes earlier, conveying car parts from Dagenham to Halewood. Although the wagons of the goods train were sealed on departure from Dagenham, three were found to have open doors when the train was inspected after the accident. The official enquiry ruled that the doors had been forced by thieves or vandals, probably when the train was standing at Gospel Oak.
In 1984 the Victorian station buildings were demolished and the station was rebuilt in a modern architectural style with a travel centre and a large office block above the station which is occupied by the lorry and bus manufacturing company Iveco. Some 19th-century waiting rooms survived, but were finally demolished in 1987.
The station forecourt was extensively remodelled in 2013; the horseshoe-shaped taxi rank was moved to the side of the building, creating a larger pedestrian area in front of the station entrance, and the bus station enlarged. Due to problems with the road layout, buses were unable to gain access to the bus station, and there were problems with access to the relocated car park. London Midland are considering revising the design.
Watford Junction station area improvements
There are plans to upgrade the station and its access points. The scheme includes a new multi storey car park and a new access road to the station, connecting the A412 to Colonial Way and thus to the A4008 M1 link road.
This scheme is currently in the Pre-Qualification pool, where to achieve funding a case for selection must be submitted and if successful the Watford Station redevelopments will be moved into the Development Pool where more than 24 transport projects will compete for about £600 million.
Croxley Rail Link
Abbey Line tram
On 30 October 2009 the then Secretary of State for Transport (Lord Adonis) announced a plan for Hertfordshire County Council to lease the Abbey Line from Network Rail and for the line to be operated using tram-train vehicles. If the plan had proceeded, light rail services would have run from Watford Junction to St Albans Abbey from 2011 with possible extensions into St Albans city centre with on-street running, possibly as far as St Albans City railway station, and the possible re-instatement of the line to Hatfield. The plans were formally dropped in 2013 
London and South East Route Utilisation Strategy
The London and South East Route Utilisation Strategy Draft for Consultation submitted by Network Rail in December 2010 makes several suggestions for improving services to and from Watford Junction, to link the West London Line more effectively with the WCML and to 'free up' platform space at London Euston with the anticipation of High Speed 2.
West London Line improvement
Assuming the ongoing increase in demand on the orbital route between Watford Junction and the West London Line, a significant increase of peak capacity services is needed, as the current limited service forms the only link between the Watford Junction and Kensington Olympia corridors. This proposal suggests increasing West London Line – Watford Junction peak service to two tph, increasing present services to every 30 minutes as well as suggesting extending Southern trains from 4 car to 8 car to help ease over-crowding further.
Watford Junction is under the management of London Midland, who took over from the now defunct Silverlink Trains. London Midland and Silverlink maintained a Traincrew Depot at Watford and stabled trains around the station. There are a number of sidings near the end of platform 11 which are used for storing units as well as rail freight. All platforms except 1 to 4 are electrified by 25K AC overhead lines, platforms 1 – 4 & 6 have DC electrified conductor rails.
The station is staffed by dispatch staff for London Midland; London Overground also maintain a Traincrew Depot here. Overground use only platforms 1-4 but also have a link onto platform 6 to be used for stock movements via the mainline towards London Euston
Off peak weekday service in trains per hour is:
- Southern using Class 377 Electrostars in four-coach formation:
- 1 to Milton Keynes, calling at Hemel Hempstead, Berkhamsted, Tring, Leighton Buzzard, Bletchley, and Milton Keynes from platform 8.
- 1 to South Croydon, calling at Harrow & Wealdstone, Wembley Central, Shepherds Bush, Kensington Olympia, West Brompton, Imperial Wharf, Clapham Junction, Wandsworth Common, Balham, Streatham Common, Norbury, Thornton Heath, Selhurst, East Croydon and South Croydon from platforms 9 or 10.
- London Overground using Class 378 Capitalstars, in four-coach formation:
- 3 to London Euston, calling at Watford High Street, Bushey, Carpenders Park, Hatch End, Headstone Lane, Harrow & Wealdstone, Kenton, South Kenton, North Wembley, Wembley Central, Stonebridge Park, Harlesden, Willesden Junction, Kensal Green, Queen's Park, Kilburn High Road, South Hampstead & London Euston. These trains can use platforms 1 to 4 and 6. Platform 1 is usually used to stable a train. Most trains are timetabled only into platforms 3 & 4. Platform 5 has track removed and platform 6 is mainly for WCML trains.
- London Midland:
- 2 to London Euston, calling at Bushey, Harrow & Wealdstone & London Euston from platforms 9 and 10.
- 3 non-stop to London Euston from platforms 7 and 9.
- 2 to Tring, calling at Kings Langley, Apsley, Hemel Hempstead, Berkhamsted, and Tring from platforms 8 and 9.
- 1 to Birmingham New Street, calling at Hemel Hempstead, Berkhamsted, Leighton Buzzard, Bletchley, Milton Keynes, Wolverton, Northampton, Long Buckby, Rugby, Coventry, Tile Hill, Hampton-in-Arden, Birmingham International, Marston Green, and Birmingham New Street from platform 8.
- 1 to Milton Keynes, calling at Hemel Hempstead, Berkhamsted, Tring, Cheddington, Leighton Buzzard, Bletchley, and Milton Keynes from platform 8.
- Operated by Class 350 Desiros, and are usually formed of four, eight or twelve coaches. Tring Services are occasionally formed of eight car class 321s.
- 1 train every 45 minutes to St Albans Abbey, calling at Watford North, Garston, Bricket Wood, How Wood, Park Street, and St Albans Abbey from platform 11
- Always operated by a four car class 321
Virgin Trains also operate at this station with one train per hour northbound to Birmingham New Street with some peak services extended to Wolverhampton. These services also stop on returning southbound but for set-down only. Early weekday mornings and evenings Virgin also provide services to/from Liverpool Lime St, Glasgow Central (via Trent Valley) and Manchester Piccadilly, and one service Saturday morning to Holyhead.
|Preceding station||London Overground||Following station|
|Terminus||Watford DC Line||
Highland Caledonian Sleeper
Lowland Caledonian Sleeper
|Milton Keynes Central||London Midland
London - Crewe
|Kings Langley||London Midland
West Coast Main Line
|Watford North||London Midland
Milton Keynes - South Croydon
|Milton Keynes Central
West Coast Main Line
|Preceding station||London Underground||Following station|
towards Elephant & Castle
|Watford High Street|
Croxley Green Branch
|Watford High Street|
|Preceding station||London Underground||Following station|
- Platforms 1-4: Bay platforms for the three trains per hour London Overground Service to London Euston calling at all stations
- Platform 6: For the hourly Virgin trains service to Wolverhampton, and the hourly London Midland service to Crewe
- Platform 7: For the hourly London Midland service from Crewe to Euston, and Virgin services only to set down.
- Platform 8: For all other northbound London Midland services, and the hourly Southern service to Milton Keynes.
- Platform 9: For fast and stopping London Midland services to London Euston, the hourly Southern service to East Croydon and some late evening Virgin Trains.
- Platform 10: For Southern services to Kensington Olympia early morning and late evening on weekdays, and all day on Sundays. London Midland operate 2 trains at 07:55 and 08:15 to London Euston in the morning peak, whilst one terminates from London Euston at 17:55
- Platform 11: Used for the service every 45 minutes to St Albans Abbey. It is limited to four coaches.
London bus route 142, 258, LSP route W7, W9, and other routes 5, 6A, 6D, LSP route 8, 10, 41, 80, GE3, R8, W1, W2, W20 and W19. Green Line route 724 stops in the station forecourt. It runs directly to St Albans and Harlow from Stop 2 and Heathrow Terminal 5 via Heathrow Central and Rickmansworth station from stops 5/6.
- Watford Underground station (Metropolitan Line)
- Watford High Street (Watford DC Line)
- St Albans Branch Line
- "London and South East" (pdf). National Rail Enquiries. National Rail. September 2006. Archived from the original on 2009-03-06.
- "Station usage". Rail statistics. Office of Rail Regulation. 30 April 2010. Retrieved 17 January 2011. Please note: Some methodology may vary year on year.
- Butt (1995), page 242
- "Bakerloo Line Facts". Transport for London. Archived from the original on 2007-05-02.
- Griffiths, Roger; Smith, Paul (1999). The directory of British engine Sheds and Principal Locomotive Servicing Points: 1. Oxford: Oxford Publishing Co. p. 106. ISBN 0-86093-542-6.
- McNaughton, Lt Col I K A (1975-07-16). Report on the Derailment near Watford Junction (PDF). HMSO. Archived from the original on 2008-08-20.
- "Railway". Watford Junction community website. Watford Museum. Retrieved January 28, 2014.
- Wright, Mike (27 January 2014). "London Midland to rethink Watford Junction revamp after drop-off zone complaints". Watford Observer. Retrieved January 28 2014.
- "4.3 Watford Junction Area". Watford Borough Council. Retrieved 2008-11-25.[dead link]
- Local Transport Today, Issue 557, Page 7
- "Croxley Rail Link". Transport for London. Archived from the original on 2008-12-02.
- "DfT Press Release Watford and St Albans passengers on track for new tram service". 2009-10-30.[dead link]
- "St Albans Abbey tram-train announced". Railway Gazette. 2009-10-30. Archived from the original on 2009-11-03.
- "St Albans light rail conversion plan dropped". Railway Gazette. 2013-08-26. Archived from the original on 2013-09-04.
- "London and South East Route Utilisation Strategy Draft for Consultation" (PDF). Network Rail. December 2010 / July 2011. Archived from the original on 2011-11-27.
- Butt, R. V. J. (1995). The Directory of Railway Stations: details every public and private passenger station, halt, platform and stopping place, past and present (1st ed.). Sparkford: Patrick Stephens Ltd. ISBN 1-8526-0508-1. OCLC 60251199.
- Jowett, Alan (March 1989). Jowett's Railway Atlas of Great Britain and Ireland: From Pre-Grouping to the Present Day (1st ed.). Sparkford: Patrick Stephens Ltd. ISBN 1-8526-0086-1. OCLC 22311137.
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