West London Line
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:
- The West London Joint Railway (WLJR) owned by the Great Western Railway (GWR) and the London and North Western Railway (L&NWR)
- The West London Extension Joint Railway: GWR/L&NWR/London, Brighton and South Coast Railway (LB&SCR)/London and South Western Railway (L&SWR)
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.
This description of the Line, from north to south, giving former and present-day details, and details the links with all the constituent railways:
- Willesden Junction
West London Line trains use the high level station here, which is part of the North London Line. There is also interchange with the Bakerloo Line and Euston-Watford DC Line.
- West London Junction
The line separates from the North London Line.
- North Pole Junction
End-on junction; connection to Eurostar North Pole depot which runs parallel with the GWR main line, the WLJR proper starts here; also the connection with the GWR main line (not electrified). A limited Virgin Trains service uses this line between Reading and Brighton.
- St. Quintin Park and Wormwood Scrubs (closed)
- Shepherd's Bush New station on the site of the former Uxbridge Road station; was scheduled to open in May then moved back to July 2007. Interchange with Central Line, and new bus station under construction.
(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).
- Kensington (Olympia) (formerly Addison Road station)
Interchange with the District Line
- West London Extension Junction
End-on junction connecting the two parts of the Line; here also were extensive goods yards owned by the LNWR/GWR
- West Brompton
Interchange with District Line
- Chelsea & Fulham (closed)
Here was a goods line to Chelsea Basin
- Imperial Wharf (planned)
New station scheduled to open by 2010
- Battersea Railway Bridge Proper name - Cremorne Bridge.
Here the Line crosses the River Thames
- Battersea High Street (closed)
- Latchmere Junctions
With connections to the L&SWR and LB&SCR
- Clapham Junction station
Interchange with national rail network and proposed western extension to the East London Line
- Nisbet, A F. (2006 Page=117 to 121), "Punch's Railway and the Winkle Railway", BackTrack 20(2 Feb)).
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|