12 Mar 2010

Willesden Junction

Willesden Junction, London, originally uploaded by looper23.

Willesden Junction is a major and strategic transport node in west London. It lies on the edge of the high density suburbs that developed up to the beginning of the First World War. London Overground lines converge from five directions, and there is also a tube. The routes are

  • Stratford to Richmond
  • London Euston to Watford
  • Clapham Junction to Willesden Junction
  • Bakerloo Line

Willesden Junction also enjoys direct access via the West London Line from routes to the South Coast and South West.

This means that a substantial proportion of the population of the Victorian suburbs of north London can reach Willesden Junction without having to go into central London, and within half an hour, without having to change trains. There is also potential to serve it directly from places such as Gatwick and Brighton.

If all West Coast Main Line trains called at this station, many passengers could avoid having to travel to Euston. They would also save useful amounts of time on their overall door-to-door journey, without the need for 250 mph railways.

The large areas of grass between the tracks in the picture are where the platforms used to be before Willesden Junction main line was closed in the 1960s. Reopening stations such as this is the way to improve connectivity and cut journey times.


  1. Why not visit CTC Forum and see how one traveller reckons he is saving almost 2 hours per day on his travel time, and around £8500/year, by the simple intervention of making the shoulder journey (the last mile) by bike. Several thousand London commuters could equally slash their daily journey times with a low cost rapidly delivered intervention - p[roven during the 2004-05 Thameslink blockade (over 100% increse in use of cycles for onward connection from St Pancras, and the 06 Waterloo & City closure (residually stiill rmoving 2 train-loads of passengers from peak hour W&C trains.

    With a bike you can travel office to office Manchester-London in 2h 30m - now with a train every 20 min!

    Check out http://forum.ctc.org.uk/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=33320#p264849
    and then see how we can fill those empty trains.
    and empty full ones

    Amazingly no rail operator has really bothered to do serious market research of this amazing potential to save (no costly car parks) & make money (expanded catchment areas and faster door to door journey times)

  2. Yes bike+train works very well but where do you keep your bike? Does it go on the train with you? If any number of people were to take bikes on trains, even folding ones, they would try to stop it, which is what happened in the 1970s. There was not enough space on the trains, especially the new ones that were introduced about that time. Of course it is possible to leave a bike at one or both ends of the journey but secure storage must be provided.

  3. Quite a few cities are now pushing "community biking" - ie free (or maybe 50p/deposit - not sure) bikes at stations - perhaps it will catch on.

    If it makes my walk to the town centre less like a trip down a coal mine (atmospherically) I'm all for it - even in a relatively small city like Hull (where I live) the (invisible) low air quality is quite shocking on main roads in and out of town.