Harrow & Wealdstone station

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Template:Use dmy dates Template:Use British English Template:Infobox London station Harrow & Wealdstone station is in Wealdstone, Greater London. It is served by London Overground, London Midland, Southern and London Underground Bakerloo Line services. The station is located between The Bridge, Wealdstone, (which joins the southern end of High Street) and Sandridge Close, Harrow with entrances leading to both. The Harrow and Wealdstone rail crash of 1952, killing 112 people, remains Britain's worst peacetime rail disaster.

History

The station was opened by the London and Birmingham Railway (L&BR) as Harrow on 20 July 1837 in what was then rural Middlesex.<ref name=Name>Template:Cite book</ref> At the time the station was built, the area was fields and the nearest large settlement was at Harrow on the Hill about 1.5 miles to the south. Wealdstone was a collection of houses at the north end of what is now Wealdstone High Street, about 1 mile north of the station. The station buildings on the south-west (Harrow) side of the station are the older part of the station, located beside what were the fast lines until the platforms were used for the later Euston to Watford DC Line and the main line tracks were re-routed through the previous slow line platforms and new platforms (nos 5 and 6) to the northeast; a new, larger, station building was also erected on this Wealdstone side of the station. The station footbridge was originally constructed with a full-height central barrier with passengers using the "London" side and railway and postal staff using the "Country" side to move goods and mails via lifts which were removed in the early 1970s leaving two parcels elevators serving the DC line platforms for the remaining postal traffic.

On 7 August 1838 Thomas Port was fatally injured when he fell from a train and was run over about 1¼ miles south of the station.

On 18 December 1890, a short branch line was opened by the London & North Western Railway (LNWR, successor to the L&BR) to Stanmore to the north-east of the main line. In 1930 an intermediate halt was constructed as Belmont to serve the developing residential areas locally. The train was known affectionately as the "Belmont Rattler".

By the end of the 19th century Wealdstone had developed in size and the station was given its current name on 1 May 1897 to reflect more accurately its location.<ref name=Name/>

On 16 April 1917, Bakerloo Line services were extended from Willesden Junction to Watford Junction running on the newly electrified local tracks (the "New Lines", which were originally steam-worked) and calling at Harrow & Wealdstone from that date.<ref name=rose>Template:Cite book</ref>

On 15 September 1952, the passenger service to Stanmore, by then renamed Stanmore Village to avoid confusion with the Metropolitan Railway's (later Bakerloo, and now Jubilee Line) station opened in 1934 were withdrawn. Freight traffic (particularly the storage of bananas) continued sporadically until about 1960.

On 8 October 1952, the station witnessed Britain's deadliest train crash in peacetime when 112 people were killed and 340 were injured as a result of a Scottish express train colliding with the rear of a local train standing at platform 4. Seconds later a northbound express hauled by two locomotives collided with the wreckage causing further injury and demolished one span of the footbridge and the northern end of platforms 2 and 3. A memorial plaque was placed above the main entrance on the eastern side of the station to mark the 50th anniversary in 2002.

During the early 1960s, as part of the West Coast Main Line electrification, the bridge carrying the A409 road (The Bridge/Station Approach) over the railway was rebuilt easing the previous severe road gradients and offering higher clearance over the tracks to allow for overhead catenary cabling.

On 6 July 1964, all services on the branch line to Belmont were withdrawn as part of the cuts of the Beeching Axe. The permanent way north of Harrow and Wealdstone station was removed but the disused platform 7 on the eastern side of the station was left in place as a siding for a further few years until it too was removed.

On 24 September 1982, Bakerloo Line services to Harrow & Wealdstone ended when services north of Stonebridge Park were ended.<ref name=rose/> However the closure was short-lived, and the Bakerloo Line to Harrow & Wealdstone was reinstated on 4 June 1984 with the station acting as the terminus.<ref name=rose/>

In the 1990s major reconstruction of local roads made to by-pass High Street, Wealdstone sent a new road (Ellen Webb Drive) through what remained of the station goods yard and part of the forecourt of the eastern entrance (1917) to the station.


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The station today

File:Harrow & Wealdstone stn fast tracks look north.JPG
Harrow and Wealdstone station, with fast platforms in centre, DC electric platforms to the left, and slow platforms to the right.

The station has undergone several improvements in recent years, with the footbridge (which links both entrances and all platforms) improved by removal of the central barrier to allow use of the full width, new lifts for the use of disabled persons, and newly painted and brightly illuminated waiting rooms. In recent years the two-track reversing sidings (used for turning Bakerloo Line trains) located between the tracks of the DC line at the northern end side of the station have been replaced by a single siding and the curve at the down end of the platform eased.

Ticket barriers have been installed to both entrances.

Fast trains generally pass through platforms 3 and 4 which are not usually used for trains calling at this station. These platforms are now closed off by fencing, but gates exist that are only operable by members of staff. Southern services between Clapham Junction and Watford Junction use the same platforms 5 and 6 as London Midland semi-fast Euston services. Template:LUL stations is only served by Southern and a few late night/early morning London Midland trains.

Service patterns

from 13 December 2009

Main Line services

NOTE - Most stopping trains on the main line services use platforms 5 and 6 on the Slow Lines but can be randomly diverted via platforms 3 and 4 during normal working (this will usually be observed after Up freight services have passed the station shortly before, those freight trains being passed while held at signals between Wembley and Willesden). Passengers are therefore advised to watch for such platform changes which can be made at short notice; in either case the mode of access to the relevant platform (by lift or stairs) will be essentially the same. On Sundays all services might be diverted via either the Slow Lines or the Fast Lines. The fast line platforms 3 and 4 are now closed off by fencing, but gates exist that are only operable by members of staff.

Weekdays

Sundays

  • As weekdays for Southern
  • 3tph to London Euston only. (London Midland).
  • only 2tph northbound (London Midland);

Local services

Weekdays

  • 3tph to London Euston on the DC Lines via Wembley Central. (London Overground) Platform 2.
  • 3tph to Watford Junction on the DC Lines via Template:Stnlnk. (London Overground) Platform 1.
  • appox 6tph all stations to Elephant & Castle Underground via Baker Street. (London Underground) Platform 1 or Platform 2.

Sundays

NOTE - for some time, either or both of LU and LO services have tended to have some part of their route replaced by buses on Sundays.

  • Mainly as weekdays for London Underground services.
  • 2tph instead of 3 on London Overground services.

Transport connections

Bus routes 140, 182, 186, 258, 340, H9, H10 and night bus route N18 serve near the station.

Access to Station

The TfL Getting Around map shows this station as having disabled access (platform 1 does not involve the use of a lift when entering/leaving the Harrow entrance).

The Harrow entrance is possibly more convenient for access by private vehicle as the Wealdstone entrance leads to the main road and its slip road is often full of booked taxis.

References

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External links

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