Willesden Junction station

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Willesden Junction station is a Network Rail station in Harlesden, northwest London, UK. It is served by both London Overground and the Bakerloo line of the London Underground.


File:Willesden & Acton Wells RJD 78.jpg
Willesden Junction in 1903. The pre-1866 'Willesden' station (near the site of Template:LUL stations station) was on the red line to the west, just beyond the green Midland Railway Dudding Hill Line
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Willesden Junction main line station - end of platform view in 1962 looking towards Euston
A Class 501 awaits departure from the bay platforms, bound for Broad Street (which closed in 1986)

The station developed on three contiguous sites:

  • The West Coast Main Line (WCML) station was opened by the London & North Western Railway on 1 September 1866 to replace the London and Birmingham Railway's Willesden station of 1841 which was half a mile to the northwest. Passenger services ended in 1962 when the platforms were removed during electrification of the WCML to allow easing the curvature of the tracks. Later the bridges for the North London Line (NLL) were rebuilt.
  • The High-Level station on the NLL was opened by the North London Railway in 1869 on a track crossing the WCML roughly at right angles.
  • The 'Willesden New Station' or Low-Level station on the Watford DC Line was opened in 1910 to the north of the main line with two outer through platforms and two inner bay platforms at the London end. The bay platforms were originally long enough for four-coach Bakerloo trains when such trains ran outside peak times, but were shortened in the 1960s when a new toilet block was installed; in more recent times the platform buildings have been reconstructed and the bay length increased to allow reversal of 4-coach class 378 trains.

The main-line platforms were numbered from the south side (including one or two on the Kensington route) followed by the high level platforms and then the DC line platforms which thus had the highest numbers. Later the surviving platforms were re-numbered.

Willesden Junction was depicted as 'Tenway Junction' the site of the suicide of Ferdinand Lopez in Anthony Trollope's novel The Prime Minister.

The station today

There are no platforms on the West Coast Main Line, which is separated from the low level station by the approach road to Willesden Depot which lies immediately south-east of the station.

The high-level station consists of an island platform rebuilt in 1956, with faces as platforms 4 and 5, which are roughly at the level of Old Oak Lane to the west of the station, serving the NLL and the West London Line; some trains on the latter reverse in a central turnback siding on the NLL, to the east of the station, which opened in 2011. Both platforms have been extended across the DC line to accommodate 4-coach class 378 trains. There is another turnback siding further east which was previously used; it was laid in the late 1990s to allow Royal Mail trains to reach the Royal Mail depot at Stonebridge Park.

The low-level station, at the level of the area to the south, is an Edwardian island platform, with outer faces as platforms 1 and 3 and one face of the east-facing two-platform bay as platform 2, the other face of the bay now has no track. Platforms 1 and 3 are used by the Bakerloo line services, which began on 10 May 1915.<ref name=CULG>Template:Cite web</ref> and London Overground services between Template:Stnlnk and Template:Stnlnk. Until May 2008 north-bound Bakerloo line trains which were to reverse at Template:LUL stations depot (two stations further north) ran empty from Willesden Junction although the southbound service began at Stonebridge Park. This imbalance was as there were no London Underground staff beyond Willesden Junction to oversee passenger detrainment, but this changed after London Underground took over the staffing of stations on the line, including Stonebridge Park, from Silverlink in November 2007,<ref name=TFL1107>Template:Cite web</ref> and trains bound for Stonebridge Park depot now terminate at Stonebridge Park station.<ref name=TFLNEWS0808>Template:Cite web </ref> Normally only the first and last NLL trains of the day, which start or terminate here, use the bay platform, though it is used for empty stock transfers between the depot and the North London and Gospel Oak to Barking lines.

The station signs on the platforms say, below the Overground roundel, "Alight for Harlesden town centre".

Motive Power Depot

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The original motive power depot in 1962

The LNWR opened a large locomotive depot on a site on the south side of the main line to the west of the station, in 1873. This was enlarged in 1898. The London Midland and Scottish Railway opened an additional roundhouse on the site in 1929. Both buildings were demolished when the depot was closed in 1965 by British Railways and replaced by a Freightliner depot. (The servicing of locomotives and multiple units was then undertaken by the present Willesden TMD on the other side of the line.)

The steam depot had the shed code 1A and was a major depot for predominantly freight locomotives used on the West Coast Main Line and for suburban passenger services from Euston.


File:Willesden Junction station MMB 28 378228.jpg
A London Overground Watford DC Line service departs Willesden for Template:Rws. There are three trains per hour in each direction on this line, all operated using Template:Brc electric multiple units.

The typical off-peak London Underground service at Willesden Junction is six Bakerloo line trains per hour (tph) between Template:LUL stations and Template:LUL stations and three Bakerloo line trains per hour (tph) between Template:LUL stations and Template:LUL stations.

All London Overground services are operated by new Template:Brc Capitalstar units. The typical off-peak North London Line, West London Line and Watford DC Line services at the station in trains per hour are:

The station is on London bus routes 220, 224 and 487.

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External links

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