Wembley Central station

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Wembley Central London Underground London Overground National Rail
Wembley Central station 8.jpg
Wembley Central is located in Greater London
Wembley Central
Wembley Central
Location of Wembley Central in Greater London
Location Wembley
Local authority London Borough of Brent
Managed by London Underground[1]
Owner Network Rail
Station code WMB
DfT category C2
Number of platforms 6 (4 in use)
Accessible Yes [2]
Fare zone 4
London Underground annual entry and exit
2009 Increase 4.228 million[3]
2013 Decrease 4.59 million[3]
2014 Increase 5.52 million[3]
2015 Increase 5.79 million[3]
2016 Decrease 5.77 million[3]
National Rail annual entry and exit
2011–12 Increase 2.655 million[4]
2012–13 Decrease 2.523 million[4]
2013–14 Increase 2.973 million[4]
2014–15 Increase 3.172 million[4]
2015–16 Increase 3.384 million[4]
Key dates
1842 Station opened as "Sudbury"
1 May 1882 Renamed "Sudbury & Wembley"
1 November 1910 renamed "Wembley for Sudbury"
16 April 1917 Bakerloo line
1948 Street level buildings reconstructed within shopping arcade
5 July 1948 renamed "Wembley Central"
24 September 1982 Bakerloo line service withdrawn
4 June 1984 Bakerloo line service re-instated
June 2008 Station building demolished for re-development
Other information
Lists of stations
External links
WGS84 51°33′09″N 0°17′48″W / 51.552633°N 0.29663°W / 51.552633; -0.29663Coordinates: 51°33′09″N 0°17′48″W / 51.552633°N 0.29663°W / 51.552633; -0.29663
Underground sign at Westminster.jpg London Transport portal
170433 at Edinburgh Waverley.JPG UK Railways portal

Wembley Central is an interchange station in Wembley, in north-west London, served by London Underground Bakerloo line, London Overground, London Midland and Southern. It is on the modest-sized east-west High Road. The station serves Wembley Stadium and the nearby Wembley Arena.


  • 20 July 1837: London and Birmingham Railway line opened
  • 1842: Station opened as "Sudbury"
  • 1 May 1882: renamed "Sudbury & Wembley"
  • 1 November 1910: renamed "Wembley for Sudbury", coincident with construction of the "LNWR New Line"
  • 16 April 1917: Bakerloo line service commenced over New Line
  • 1936 Street level building reconstructed with shopping arcade
  • 1948 Further work in preparation for Olympic Games at Wembley Stadium
  • 5 July 1948: renamed "Wembley Central"
  • 1965 Station Square constructed on a 2 12 acres (1.0 ha) concrete raft over the station by Ravenseft Properties Limited (see also Stratford Centre), providing most of current layout[5]
  • 24 September 1982: Bakerloo line service withdrawn
  • 4 June 1984: Bakerloo line service re-instated
  • November 2007: Station management transferred from Silverlink to London Underground
  • June 2008: 1936/1948 surface buildings in process of being demolished for redevelopment
  • February 2009: Southern services between Milton Keynes and East Croydon stop here (each hour Mon-Sat daytime).
  • December 2014: London Midland services between London Euston and Tring have been introduced (each hour Mon-Sat daytime).

Accidents and incidents[edit]

  • On 13 October 1940, an express passenger train was derailed after it collided with a platform barrow obstructing the line. Several people were killed and many more were injured.[6]
  • In 1984, a passenger train overran a signal and collided with a freight train, killing three people.[7]

Services and operations[edit]

As of December 2015, the typical Monday-Saturday off-peak service is:[8]

  • 3 trains per hour (tph) to London Euston (London Overground)
  • 6 tph to Elephant & Castle (Bakerloo Line)
  • 1 tph to London Euston (London Midland)
  • 1 tph to East Croydon (Southern)
  • 3 tph to Watford Junction (London Overground)
  • 6 tph to Harrow & Wealdstone (Bakerloo Line)
  • 1 tph to Tring (London Midland)
  • 1 tph to Milton Keynes Central (Southern)

Wembley Central has the appearance of an underground station due to the elevated position of the High Road (where the main entrance was until recently behind a 1940s shopping arcade) and the enclosed nature of the platforms below the raft upon which Station Square is built; it is actually generally at or above the local ground level, having been reconstructed by British Rail in its current form during the 1960s electrification of the West Coast Main Line. It is the first station out of Euston to have platforms on all three pairs of tracks and the combination of the confined space and through trains passing at speed on platforms 3-6 (the main line platforms) create a wind tunnel effect which can be dangerous for passengers.[citation needed]

As a result, the main line platforms (for Southern, London Midland, and Wembley Stadium additional services) are locked out of use for most of the day and entrance is only allowed 5 minutes before the trains are due,[citation needed] the Southern services, which use platforms 5 and 6 (on the slow main line). Passengers alighting from these services must make their way to the end of the platform and staff will lead them out of the station. Gates into these platforms open 5 minutes before the train is expected to arrive.

The station was modernised in 2006 with additional safety features.[9]

When a major event occurs at Wembley Stadium, all London Midland services call here always stopping at platforms 5 and 6. Virgin Trains' services are formed of trains which are too long for the platforms and take longer to set down and pick up. As a result, these services will make additional stops at Watford Junction or Milton Keynes, for customers to change onto London Midland or Southern services.

Fast London Midland services using platforms 5 & 6 are usually longer than the platforms. So, when trains are formed of more than six coaches, customers wishing to board and alight the train must do so from the front four coaches only. British Transport Police officers maintain a high presence on match days, particularly at this station and on all train services.

Station works[edit]

The passenger footbridge at the London end of the station, completed in late 2006 by civil engineers C Spencer Ltd, carries extra foot traffic to and from the platforms during event days at the nearby Wembley Stadium; the everyday access is at the "country" end of the platforms. In practice, this means the bridge is usually locked and out of use, only being opened when the stadium itself is in use.[10]

Other recent works include the resurfacing of platforms 1 and 2 complete with the installation of curved steel cladding panels also completed by contractor, C Spencer Ltd. The station's staff received refurbished messing facilities and new public toilets have also been installed.

In 2011-12, the station was made step-free, in preparation for the Olympics. A step-free route was provided between the station entrance and platforms 1 and 2 for the first time, with the installation of two new lifts and a stair lift. The toilets were refurbished to make them fully accessible. Two platforms were extended as well. This improvement scheme cost £2.5m.[11]


In June 2008, the London Borough of Brent (Local council) planned that the station was going to be demolished for re-development, as part of the Wembley Central Square plan, by St. Modwen construction company (although the plan also included new apartments, shops and open space surface).


A map of Wembley Stadium in relation to Olympic Way, Wembley Central, Wembley Stadium and Wembley Park stations, and the A406 North Circular road (bottom right)

London Buses routes 18, 79, 83, 92, 182, 204, 223, 224, 297, 483 and H17 and night routes N18 and N83 serve the station.


  1. ^ "Step free Tube Guide" (PDF). Transport for London. Archived (PDF) from the original on 3 June 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "Multi-year station entry-and-exit figures" (XLS). London Underground station passenger usage data. Transport for London. March 2017. Retrieved 28 May 2017. 
  3. ^ a b c d e "Station usage estimates". Rail statistics. Office of Rail Regulation.  Please note: Some methodology may vary year on year.
  4. ^ "One of the largest private development schemes of BR air rights in the London area is progressing at Wembley Central". Modern Railways: 351. June 1965. 
  5. ^ Earnshaw, Alan (1990). Trains in Trouble: Vol. 6. Penryn: Atlantic Books. pp. 24–25. ISBN 0-906899-37-0. 
  6. ^ Hall, Stanley (1990). The Railway Detectives. London: Ian Allan. p. 132. ISBN 0 7110 1929 0. 
  7. ^ GB eNRT December 2015 Edition, Tables 60, 66 & 176 (Network Rail)
  8. ^ "wembleyway newsletter" (PDF). London Borough of Brent. November 2005. p. 3. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-10-01. Retrieved 5 February 2013. 
  9. ^ "Wembley Central Station Plan". Network Rail. Retrieved 5 February 2013. 
  10. ^ "Wembley Central station to be step-free in time for the Olympics". 1 September 2011. Retrieved 5 February 2013. 

External links[edit]

Preceding station   Underground no-text.svg London Underground   Following station
Bakerloo line
Overground roundel (no text).svg National Rail logo.svg London Overground
Watford DC Line
towards Euston
National Rail National Rail
Harrow & Wealdstone   London Midland
West Coast Main Line
  London Euston
Harrow & Wealdstone   Southern
West London Route
  Shepherd's Bush
Historical railways
London and North Western Railway