Greenford branch line

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Greenford branch line
Greenford station bay platform Unit 165126.JPG
The bay platform at Greenford station.
A Paddington train awaits departure.
TypeSuburban rail
SystemNational Rail
LocaleGreater London
West Ealing
OwnerNetwork Rail
Operator(s)Great Western Railway
Depot(s)Old Oak Common TMD
Rolling stockClass 165 "Turbo"
Track length2 miles 40 chains (4.0 km)
Number of tracks1–2
Track gauge4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Route map

South Greenford
Castle Bar Park
Drayton Green
West Ealing

The Greenford branch line is a 2 miles 40 chains (4.0 km) Network Rail suburban railway line in west London, England. It runs northerly from a triangular junction with the Great Western Main Line west of West Ealing to a central bay platform at Greenford station which is also on the London Underground Central line. A triangular junction near Greenford connects to the Acton–Northolt line (formerly the New North Main Line). The line serves mainly the suburbs of Ealing and Greenford.

The passenger service is provided by Great Western Railway. Trains from the branch terminate at West Ealing, except for one service from Paddington at the start of the day, and to Paddington at the end of the day.

There is a parliamentary service operated by Chiltern Railways from 10 December 2018 that - during the weekday - starts from South Ruislip and non-stops through to West Ealing and returns to High Wycombe. [1]

All services are operated with two-car Class 165 Turbo diesel trains. There is no Sunday service.


A Class 121 railbus in BR Network SouthEast livery at London Paddington station for the Greenford service (1988).

The opening of the line in 1903 coincided with the opening of a station at Park Royal on the Acton–Northolt line to serve the Royal Agricultural Show held in the grounds of part of the Twyford Abbey Estate. [2]The Show ran from 15 June 1903 to 4 July 1903 during which period trains operated a circular service to and from Paddington via Park Royal and Ealing. Normal services started on 2 May 1904 and the links to Greenford station were put in on 1 October 1904.

The loop formed by the GWML, the branch and the ANL is sometimes used for turning trains for operational reasons such as balancing wheel wear. On weekends in 2008 during engineering works on the West Coast Main Line the line was used by Virgin Trains' Euston-Birmingham International "Blockade Buster" service which ran to Euston via Willesden, Acton Main Line, Ealing Broadway, Greenford, High Wycombe, Banbury and Coventry using pairs of 5-car Voyager sets. On two Sundays in February 2010, Chiltern and Wrexham & Shropshire trains were diverted to Paddington via the line while engineering work blocked the route to Marylebone.

Locally the service is called the 'Push-and-pull', a term which dates from the days of steam, when the engine could not change ends at Greenford and so the locomotive pulled the carriages one way and pushed them on the return run (see GWR Autocoach).[citation needed] In the 1950s the service frequently ran with two auto-trailers, one either side of the engine.

During the 1960s and '70s the service was normally operated by a Class 121 'Bubble Car' two-carriage diesel railcar, although this was later reduced to a single carriage.

As Drayton Green, Castle Bar Park and South Greenford have short platforms the maximum length of train that can be used is two cars.[3]

In preparation for Crossrail, a new platform 5 has been constructed at West Ealing, and (as of January 2017) all services have been diverted to terminate there.

Passenger volume[edit]

These are statistics of passenger usage on the National Rail network along the Greenford branch line from the year beginning April 2002 to the year beginning April 2011.



  1. ^
  2. ^ "Twyford and Park Royal, Brent, London". Retrieved 2017-01-19.
  3. ^ "Quail Track Diagrams by TRACKmaps – Railway Track | Book 3 Western". Retrieved 2017-01-19.

Further reading[edit]