West London Line

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West London Line
20pxBSicon leer.svgBSicon leer.svg North London Line
20px20px20px Willesden Junction (Watford DC Line)
20px20px20px West Coast Main Line
20px20pxBSicon leer.svg Mitre Bridge Jn (North London Line)
20px20px20px Great Western Main Line
BSicon leer.svg20pxBSicon leer.svg North Pole Junction
20px20pxBSicon leer.svg Link to GWR Goods line to Ealing/Central Line
20px}}} St. Quintin Park and Wormwood Scrubs (Closed 1940)
BSicon leer.svg20px20px Link to Hammersmith & City Line (Closed 1940)
20px}}} Shepherds Bush (Constructed but not opened)
20px20pxBSicon leer.svg Kensington (Olympia)
20px20px20px District Line (Olympia Branch)
20px20px20px District Line (to West Kensington)
BSicon leer.svg20px20px West Brompton (For District Line)
20px20px20px District Line (Wimbledon Branch)
20px}}} Chelsea & Fulham (Closed 1940)
20px}}} Imperial Wharf (Planned)
20px}}} Cremorne Bridge
20px}}} Battersea (Closed 1940)
20px20pxBSicon leer.svg
20px20px20px South Western Main Line (towards Waterloo)
20px20px20px South London Line (towards Victoria)
20px20px20px Inner South London Line (towards London Bridge)
20px20px20px Clapham Junction
20px20px20px Outer South London Line & Brighton Main Line
20px20pxBSicon leer.svg Hounslow and Kingston Loops
20px}}} South Western Main Line (towards the South-West)
West London Line trains at Kensington (Olympia)

The West London Line is a short railway linking Clapham Junction in the south to Willesden Junction in the north. It was built to enable trains to cross London.

The West Cross Route, one side of the Ringway 1 inner ring road, would have paralleled the West London Line.

Train services

Local trains run every half hour and are operated by London Overground, and hourly Southern trains run from Brighton or Gatwick Airport to Watford Junction, not stopping at Willesden Junction. The line also carries considerable freight and was used by Eurostar trains between Waterloo International and the depot at North Pole Junction prior to November 2007.

Recent timetable changes have meant that some London Overground peak hour trains now continue onto the North London Line.

History of the line

The railway was originally built as an atmospheric railway running between Wormwood Scrubs and Shepherds Bush opening in 1840. Later converted to an orthodox railway it came to prominence as an avoiding line facilitating through-running on the west side of London, especially for freight:

According to the official "History of the Great Western Railway", the West London Railway was originally called the Birmingham, Bristol & Thames Junction Railway, authorised in 1836 to run from the London and Birmingham Railway across the proposed route of the Great Western, to the Kensington Canal Basin. An Act of 1845 authorised the Great Western and the London and Birmingham to take out a joint lease of the West London line.

The line is electrified at 750V DC (third rail) from the south to the North Pole depot, where the electrification changes to 25kV AC (overhead). The work was carried out as part of Channel Tunnel infrastructure improvements in 1993. The northern section of the line, from Willesden Junction to Earls Court (via Kensington Olympia), was electrified by LNWR in 1915, but passenger service was discontinued due to bomb damage in World War Two[1].

The route

Line map of the West London Line, including planned and under construction stations, showing connections and travelcard zones

This description of the Line, from north to south, giving former and present-day details, and details the links with all the constituent railways:

(The station still not open as of January 2008, due to one of the platforms are deemed to be some 18 inches/45cm too narrow, and when the new shopping centre opens in late 2008, currently claims have been made that that platform would not be able to cope with all the proposed passenger traffic estimated to use the new station).


  1. LNWR Electrification. Suburban Electric Railway Association (2007). Retrieved on 2007-02-01.

Further reading

  • Nisbet, A F. (2006 Page=117 to 121), "Punch's Railway and the Winkle Railway", BackTrack 20(2 Feb)).
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has media related to:
West London Line
Railway lines in London:
North London:  Dudding Hill Line   Hertford Loop Line   Gospel Oak-Barking Line   North London Line   Northern City Line   Lea Valley Lines  
 St Albans Branch Line   Thameslink   Watford DC Line
East London:  Romford-Upminster Line
South London:  Bexleyheath Line   Bromley North Line   Catford Loop Line   Greenwich Line   Dartford Loop Line
 Hayes Line   Hounslow Loop Line   South London Lines   Tattenham Corner Line   Thameslink
West London:  West London Line
Proposed network: London Overground