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Watford Junction Station - Station Road, Watford, Herts, UK
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Master Mariner
N 51° 39.821 W 000° 23.808
30U E 680032 N 5726842
Quick Description: Watford Junction railway station serves the Watford area as well as the services provided by several rail operators. The main entrance to the station is on the north east side of Station Road in Watford.
Location: Eastern England, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 6/6/2015 11:39:02 AM
Waymark Code: WMP0W7
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member superstein
Views: 1

Long Description:

Wikipedia has an article about Watford Junction station that tells us:

Watford Junction railway station is a railway station that serves Watford, Hertfordshire. The station is on the West Coast Main Line (WCML) to London Euston and the Abbey Line, a branch line to St Albans. Journeys to London take between 16 and 52 minutes depending on the service used: shorter times on fast non-stop trains and slower on the stopping Watford DC line services. Trains also run to East Croydon and Clapham Junction via the West London Line. The station is a major hub for local bus services and the connecting station for buses to the Harry Potter studio tour.

The first railway station to open in Watford was situated on the west side of St Albans Road, approximately 200 metres (220 yd) further up the line from the present-day station. This small, single-storey red-brick building was built 1836-7 when the first section of the London and Birmingham Railway (L&BR) was opened between London and Boxmoor. The station provided first and second-class waiting rooms, a departure yard, a carriage shed and engine house. The platforms were situated in a deep cutting which was accessed via a staircase. In its 21 years of operation it also served as a station for royalty; in the short period when the Dowager Queen Adelaide was resident at Cassiobury House (c.1846-49), this station was remodelled to provide her with a royal waiting room, and it was also reportedly used by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert on a trip to visit Sir Robert Peel in November 1843, when they travelled by road from Windsor Castle to take a train from Watford to Tamworth. The old station closed when it was replaced by a new, larger station, which opened on 5 May 1858. The new Watford Junction station was located south of St Albans Road in order to accommodate the newly constructed branch line to St Albans. The junction station was rebuilt in 1909, and was extensively redeveloped in the 1980s. The Grade-II-listed Old Station House still stands at 147A St Albans Road, a rare surviving example of architecture from the beginning of the railway age, and today the building is occupied by a second-hand car dealership.

In 1862, the Watford and Rickmansworth Railway opened a route from Watford to Rickmansworth (Church Street). Now mostly closed, this route began by running south and west to a more central station on Watford's High Street, which remains in use.

From 1846, the L&BR was absorbed into the London and North Western Railway (LNWR) and Watford Junction was now run by this large, ambitious company. Seeking to compete with local buses and trams, the LNWR built an additional electrified suburban line from Euston to Watford in the early years of the 20th century, now known as the Watford DC Line. This looped away from the main line around Watford to run through the High Street station. A second suburban branch line was also built from High Street west towards Croxley Green to serve new housing developments in the area. Both branches were later electrified as part of this improvement plan, on the same DC four-rail system. The Rickmansworth branch was connected to the Main Line via two through platforms with a junction to the north; these platforms have since been partly built over and their remaining southern sections form part of the DC line terminus. At one time tube-style trains were used on the branches to counter the low voltage caused by the lack of a sub-station near Rickmansworth.

The Bakerloo line was extended to Watford Junction in 1917, giving a shared service with mainline electric trains which served Euston and Broad Street stations. However, since 1982 the line north of Harrow & Wealdstone has only been served by what is now the London Overground service from Euston station; this service uses these DC lines for its "all stations" local service.

Oyster Card capability was extended to this station on 11 November 2007 on both the London Overground and Southern. It was extended to London Midland services on 18 November 2007. However, the station is outside London fare zones 1–9 and special fares apply.

With the electrification of the entire West London Line in the 1990s, it became practical to run express services from Watford Junction to Clapham Junction, allowing passengers to cross London without changing trains. Southern rail now operate a service from Milton Keynes through Watford to East Croydon with connections to Brighton and Gatwick.

In 1984 the Victorian station buildings were demolished and the station was rebuilt in a modern architectural style with a travel centre and a large office block above the station which is occupied by the lorry and bus manufacturing company Iveco. Some 19th-century waiting rooms survived, but were finally demolished in 1987. To enlarge the car park and provide more space, the St. Albans branch line was realigned northwards, with the original St. Albans platforms becoming a single terminating bay now mostly used by Southern services.

The station forecourt was extensively remodelled in 2013; the horseshoe-shaped taxi rank was moved to the side of the building, creating a larger pedestrian area in front of the station entrance, and the bus station enlarged. Due to problems with the road layout, buses were unable to gain access to the bus station, and there were problems with access to the relocated car park. London Midland are considering revising the design.

Further redevelopment of the station and its surroundings is planned for the next 10 years. They may be delayed because the redevelopment of Watford Junction has been placed within the Pre-Qualification pool of proposed schemes by the Department for Transport.

The station is staffed by dispatch staff for London Midland; London Overground also maintain a Traincrew Depot here. Overground use only platforms 1-4 but also have a link onto platform 6 to be used for stock movements via the WCML to/from London Euston.

Virgin Trains also operate at this station with one train per hour picking-up only northbound to Birmingham New Street with peak services extended to Wolverhampton. These services also stop on returning southbound but for set-down only. Morning peak and evening peak Virgin services also run to/from Liverpool Lime St, Glasgow Central, Preston and Manchester Piccadilly, and one service Saturday morning to/from Holyhead.

Local buses run to destinations including Heathrow Airport, Stanmore, Uxbridge and Brent Cross in London, Amersham, Chesham and High Wycombe in Buckinghamshire, Hatfield, Harpenden and Hertford in Hertfordshire, Luton Airport in Bedfordshire and Harlow in Essex.

Specific routes include London bus routes 142, 258 and non-London routes W7, 306, and 5, 6A, 6D, 8, 10, 41, 80, GE3, R8, W1, W2, W20 and W19.

Green Line route 724 stops in the station forecourt. It runs directly to St Albans and Harlow from Stop 2 and to Heathrow Terminal 5 via Heathrow Central and Rickmansworth station from stops 5/6.

Is the station/depot currently used for railroad purposes?: Yes

Is the station/depot open to the public?: Yes

What rail lines does/did the station/depot serve?: London Overground, Caledonian Sleeper, London Midland, Southern, Virgin Trains

Station/Depot Web Site: [Web Link]

If the station/depot is not being used for railroad purposes, what is it currently used for?: Not listed

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