Watford Stadium Halt railway station
Location of Watford Stadium in Hertfordshire
|Local authority||Borough of Watford|
|Number of platforms||1|
|Original company||British Rail|
|4 December 1982||Station opened|
|?||Last train called|
|22 March 1996||Last train ran on line|
|29 September 2003||Official closure|
|Lists of stations|
| London Transport portal
UK Railways portal
Watford Stadium railway station is a disused railway station in Watford, Hertfordshire, United Kingdom on the branch line from Watford Junction to Croxley Green. It served Vicarage Road stadium, home of Watford F.C., and was open only on match days.
|Railways around Watford and Rickmansworth RDT|
The Watford and Rickmansworth Railway opened its line between Watford Junction and Rickmansworth (Church Street) via Watford High Street in 1862. The line was soon taken over by the London and North Western Railway (LNWR), who in 1912 opened a branch line to Croxley Green, with a new intermediate station at Watford West.
Watford Stadium station did not come into existence until 1982, 70 years after the branch had been opened. It was built to serve Vicarage Road Stadium as a means of managing the crowds attending football matches; prior to this, the nearest stations available to football fans were Watford High Street and Watford Junction. A direct transport connection from the stadium would enable football officials to keep fans of "away" teams separate from Watford F.C. supporters and reduce instances of football hooliganism in Watford town centre. The station acquired the nickname of "Hooligan Halt".
Development of the station was funded jointly by the Football Trust, which contributed £50,000, Watford Borough Council (£80,000), Watford F.C. (£50,000), with the remaining £200,000 paid by British Rail. It was officially opened on 4 December 1982 by the rock musician and chairman of Watford Football Club, Elton John, and chairman of the Football Trust, Lord Aberdare. The inaugural train rolled into the station five minutes late. The station was only open on match days, with the first crowds passing through the station being Manchester United fans on the opening day.
The Croxley branch was temporarily closed in 1996 when a local road construction scheme severed the line and the line was formally closed in 2003. However Watford Stadium Halt had not been used for some years prior to this although it is not know exactly when the halt was last used. The halt was not demolished and the station furniture, including the lampposts and signage, was left in situ and despite nature reclaiming the station, the platforms and station furniture, apart from the station nameboards, were still in place when clearance work in preparation for the building of the Croxley Rail Link began in 2014. When the station is finally demolished it will have been abandoned for longer than the total length of time that it was in use.
In December 2011 the Department for Transport approved the Croxley Rail Link project, a scheme to extend the London Underground Metropolitan line to Watford Junction. The project will involve re-opening part of the Watford and Rickmansworth line and diverting the Metropolitan line along this route, and the construction of new stations along the line. Watford Stadium station will not re-open. Instead, a new full-time station called Watford Vicarage Road tube station is to be built to serve local area and the football stadium.
- Crozier, David (8 August 2013). "Elton rides in to open soccer halt". Watford Observer. Retrieved 12 August 2013.
- "Watford to Croxley Green". West Watford History Group. Archived from the original on 7 August 2013.
- Disused stations "Watford Stadium" Check
|url=value (help). Disused Stations. Subterranea Britannica. Archived from the original on 19 July 2013. Retrieved 12 August 2013.
- "Photos of Watford Stadium Halt". Croxley Green-Watford High Street (pt.4). Abandoned Tube Stations. Archived from the original on 22 July 2013. Retrieved 12 August 2013.
- "Croxley Rail Link plan approved by Government". The Watford Observer. Archived from the original on 5 August 2013. Retrieved 2011-12-13.
- "New Watford tube station to be called Vicarage Road". BBC News. 9 August 2013. Archived from the original on 11 August 2013. Retrieved 12 August 2013.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Watford Stadium Halt railway station.|
- Watford Stadium Halt in the years after abandonment
- Pictures of the Halt during construction and when in use in addition to pictures showing the Halt in the years after abandonment
- Pictures of the Croxley line, including Watford Stadium Halt, taken in 2009
- A BBC TV news report on the opening of the station
|Preceding station||Disused railways||Following station|
|Watford West||Network SouthEast
Croxley Green Branch