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Willesden Junction station

Willesden Junction is a National Rail station in Harlesden, north-west London, UK. It is served by both London Overground and London Underground services.

Willesden Junction London Underground London Overground
Willesden Junction ('New') Station geograph-4071406-by-Ben-Brooksbank.jpg
Willesden Junction is located in Greater London
Willesden Junction
Willesden Junction
Location of Willesden Junction in Greater London
Local authorityLondon Borough of Brent
Managed byLondon Overground
OwnerNetwork Rail
Station codeWIJ
DfT categoryC2
Number of platforms5
Fare zone2 and 3
London Underground annual entry and exit
2013Increase 4.17 million[2]
2014Increase 4.50 million[2]
2015Increase 4.60 million[2]
2016Increase 4.73 million[2]
2017Decrease 4.68 million[2]
National Rail annual entry and exit
2013–14Increase 3.964 million[3]
– interchange Increase 2.624 million[3]
2014–15Increase 4.802 million[3]
– interchange Increase 2.712 million[3]
2015–16Increase 6.243 million[3]
– interchange Decrease 2.600 million[3]
2016–17Decrease 6.197 million[3]
– interchange Decrease 2.513 million[3]
2017–18Decrease 6.070 million[3]
– interchange Decrease 2.340 million[3]
Railway companies
Original companyLondon & North Western Railway
Post-groupingLondon Midland & Scottish Railway
Key dates
1837Tracks laid
1915Started (Watford DC line & BS&WR
Other information
External links
WGS8451°31′58″N 0°14′44″W / 51.53266°N 0.24547°W / 51.53266; -0.24547Coordinates: 51°31′58″N 0°14′44″W / 51.53266°N 0.24547°W / 51.53266; -0.24547
Underground sign at Westminster.jpg London transport portal


Willesden Junction in 1903. The pre-1866 'Willesden' station (near the site of Harlesden station) was on the red line to the west, just beyond the green Midland Railway Dudding Hill Line
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:

    High Level station in late 1890s
    The High-Level station on the NLL was opened by the North London Railway in 1869 for two Richmond tracks and later for two Shepherds Bush tracks, both crossing the WCML roughly at right angles. In 1894 a new, combined High-Level station was built, with an island platform plus a third shorter platform for Earls Court trains (which was later removed) together with a new station entrance building which still survives. By 1897 199 passenger and 47 goods trains passed through the High-Level station each day.[4]
  • 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 due to the addition of a fourth and then a fifth coach to class 378 trains.

In 1896 staff totalled 271, including 79 porters, 58 signalmen (in 14 signal boxes) and 58 shunters and yard foremen. They issued 1,006,886 tickets to passengers in 1896, up from 530,300 in 1886.[4] Many of them were housed in what is now the Old Oak Lane conservation area, built by the LNWR in 1889[5] and which included an Institute, reading room and church.[4]

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.

Accidents and incidentsEdit

  • On 5 December 1910, a passenger train was in a rear-end collision with another at the station. Three people were killed and more than 40 were injured.[6]
  • On 6 October 1986 at 17.00 a class 313 train collided with the rear of a stationary Bakerloo Line train on the up line to the east of the station between the Scrubbs Lane overbridge and Kensal Green tunnel (the location was officially described as "Kensal Green"). 23 of 25 passengers were injured, all but one were discharged from hospital during the same evening.[7]

The station todayEdit

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 (HL) 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, this opened in 2011. Both platforms have been extended across the DC line to accommodate 4-coach class 378 trains. The HL station previously had a third platform on the eastern side which was used by services to/from Earls Court.[8] 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 northern bay platform bay as platform 2, the southern bay now has no track. In October 2014 the DC line was closed temporarily between Wembley Central and Queens Park reportedly by Network Rail (London Overground) to allow platform 2 to be extended further west as a through platform.[9] Most of the original and later platform buildings were demolished when platform 2 was extended in preparation for longer Class 378 trains and provision of a new footbridge and lift in 1999.

Platforms 1 and 3 are used by the Bakerloo line services, which began on 10 May 1915,[10] and London Overground services between Euston and Watford Junction. Until May 2008 north-bound Bakerloo line trains which were to reverse at Stonebridge Park depot (two stations further north) ran empty from Willesden Junction although the southbound service began at Stonebridge Park. This imbalance arose 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,[11] and trains bound for Stonebridge Park depot now terminate at Stonebridge Park station.[12] 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 depotEdit

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.[13] (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.


A London Overground Watford DC Line service departs Willesden for Watford Junction. There are three trains per hour in each direction on this line, all operated using Class 378 electric multiple units.

Arriva Rail London branded London Overground services are normally operated by Class 378 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:

London Underground is classed as a open access operator between the Queens Park Junction and Harrow & Wealdstone with LU purchasing individual slots on the Watford DC line from Network Rail. The typical off-peak service at Willesden Junction is six Bakerloo line trains per hour (tph) between Elephant & Castle and Harrow & Wealdstone and three Bakerloo line trains per hour (tph) between Elephant & Castle and Stonebridge Park.

Southern Railway services travelling between Milton Keynes Central/Watford Junction and the South Croydon/East Croydon, and slow London Northwestern Railway services travelling between London Euston and Tring, currently do not stop at this station, as there are currently no platforms provided on the lines which previously passed through the southernmost platforms of the main line station, and which now form the up and down Willesden relief lines. However, in the future there is a proposed plan for these services to stop here, which will involve building new platforms on the WCML.[16] A study in 2017 suggests there would be two new platforms for slow main line services to stop (the existing London Northwestern Railway and Southern services).

Preceding station       London Overground   Following station
towards Richmond
North London Line
towards Stratford
West London Line
towards Stratford
Watford DC Line
towards Euston
  London Underground
Bakerloo line
  Future services  
  London Underground
Bakerloo line
  Historical railways  
London and North Western Railway

Bus connectionsEdit

The station area is served by London Buses routes 18, 220, 228, 266, 487 and night route N18.


  1. ^ "Step free Tube Guide" (PDF). Transport for London. March 2019. Archived (PDF) from the original on 1 June 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Multi-year station entry-and-exit figures" (XLSX). London Underground station passenger usage data. Transport for London. January 2018. Retrieved 22 July 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Station usage estimates". Rail statistics. Office of Rail Regulation. Please note: Some methodology may vary year on year.
  4. ^ a b c Whitechurch, V L (September 1897). "Twenty-four hours at a railway junction". Railway Magazine. pp. 263–271. Retrieved 15 December 2016.
  5. ^ "Old Oak Lane Conservation Area Character Appraisal". Ealing Council. 2006. Retrieved 15 December 2016.
  6. ^ Earnshaw, Alan (1991). Trains in Trouble: Vol. 7. Penryn: Atlantic Books. p. 13. ISBN 0-906899-50-8.
  7. ^ Railways Archive - Report on the collision that occurred on 16th October 1986 at Kensal Green (pub. Department of Transport 1989)
  8. ^ Disused Stations - Willesden Junction
  9. ^ London Overground Capacity Improvement
  10. ^ "Bakerloo Line, Dates". Clive's Underground Line Guides. Retrieved 22 July 2008.
  11. ^ "Safety boost as London Underground takes full control of 14 Silverlink stations". Transport for London. 22 November 2007. Retrieved 28 January 2013.
  12. ^ "Bakerloo line changes benefit over 7,000 passengers". Transport for London. 18 July 2008. Retrieved 28 January 2013.
  13. ^ Griffiths, Roger; Smith, Paul (1999). The directory of British engine Sheds and Principal Locomotive Servicing Points: 1. Oxford: Oxford Publishing Co. p. 93. ISBN 0-86093-542-6.
  14. ^ Watford DC Line timetable from 22 May 2011.
  15. ^ North London Line timetable from 22 May 2011.
  16. ^ Willesden Junction station feasibility study, Greater London Authority

External linksEdit