Watford High Street railway station
Template:About Template:Use dmy dates Template:Use British English Template:Infobox London station Watford High Street railway station is a railway station in Watford, Hertfordshire, United Kingdom. It is served by the Watford DC Line on the London Overground network.
The station was opened by the Watford and Rickmansworth Railway (W&RR) on 1 October 1862, with services running from Template:Stnlnk to Template:Stnlnk. In 1912 a branch was opened to Template:Stnlnk. The line came under the ownership of London and North Western Railway (LNWR), which was absorbed into the London, Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS) in 1923, following the Grouping of Britain's railway companies.
Additional rail services were introduced to Watford High Street; in 1917 the Underground Electric Railways Company of London extended its Bakerloo Line through this station to Template:Stnlnk, and in 1922 the LNWR completed the suburban Camden to Watford Junction New Line, linking Watford High Street to Template:Stnlnk via the Watford DC Line (shared with the Bakerloo line).
After nationalisation in 1948, the Watford DC Line was run by British Rail (from 1986 under its Network Southeast brand). At the height of operation around the 1950s, Watford High Street was served by the Bakerloo Line, and by British Rail trains on both the Croxley Green and Rickmansworth branches, a local all-stations service to Euston and another local service to Template:Stnlnk via Template:Stnlnk.<ref name="disused">Template:Cite web</ref> Over the years, most of these services were gradually withdrawn. The Rickmansworth branch was a poorly used service and passenger services were terminated by BR in 1952. Croxley Green services continued as Parliamentary trains until the line closed fully in 1996.<ref name="wwhg">Template:Cite web</ref> In 1982 London Regional Transport cut back the Bakerloo line to run only as far north as Template:LUL stations (reinstating the service as far as Template:LUL stations in 1984).<ref name="LU1999">Template:Cite book</ref> London Broad Street station was closed in 1986 and trains on the Primrose Hill route were diverted to Template:Stnlnk until 1992, when passenger services on the Primrose Hill line were withdrawn completely. After the withdrawal of the Croxley, Bakerloo and Broad Street routes, the only remaining service running from Watford High Street was British Rail's Watford DC Line to Euston.<ref name="disused" />
Following the Privatisation of British Rail the franchise for the Watford DC Line line was taken over by National Express Group who ran the line under its Silverlink Metro name. In 2007 the line was brought under the control of Transport for London, who today operate it as part of the London Overground network; this service uses the 750 V DC lines for its all-stations local service with the 4th (600 Volts DC) rail presently redundant.
Watford High Street station is located in the Lower High Street in Watford Town Centre, very close to the intu Watford Shopping Centre, the largest in Hertfordshire, attracting more than 17 million customers each year. Also close to the station is a large Tesco Extra, Waterfields Shopping Park (containing large stores such as Sports Direct and Next). Various other shopping parks are located in close vicinity, as well as many stores situated on the High Street and those which surround.
Watford Town Centre has many popular bars and clubs, such as Oceana; the only producing theatre in Hertfordshire, the Watford Palace Theatre; as well as numerous restaurants and cafes, both chain and independent.
All services to this station are operated by London Overground. It is on the Watford DC Line of the network and receives trains every 20 minutes Monday to Saturday daytimes; northbound and southbound. In evenings and on Sundays there is a half-hourly service in each direction.
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Directly served by buses W20, W19, LSP route 8, 2, 602, W1, W9, W7 and London bus routes 142, 258. Other services to alternate destinations operate from Watford Town Centre bus stops, which are a short distance from the station.
A project is under way to extend the London Underground's Metropolitan Line to Watford Junction: the Croxley Rail Link will reinstate a stretch of the disused Watford and Rickmansworth Railway and divert the Metropolitan Line branch across the town to join the Watford DC Line, sharing track with London Overground through Watford High Street to Watford Junction. The new route, expected to open in 2016, will also provide two new Underground stations at Ascot Road and Vicarage Road. The project will bring about the return of London Underground trains to Watford High Street for the first time in 34 years, although the new service will be provided by the new Metropolitan Line sub-surface trains rather than the deep-level Tube stock of the Bakerloo Line. As a result of the diversion of the line, the original Watford tube station will close to passengers.<ref name="tfl_2053">Template:Cite web</ref>