Saturday, March 03, 2012

Watford Metropolitan Station

Looking like a larger version of the other early 20th century house in Cassiobury Park Avenue, this is Watford Station.

One of the more distant outposts of the London Underground, it was opened in 1925. The Metropolitan Railway, who built this branch from Moor Park, envisaged extending the line further to Watford town centre (more of that in a later post), but that never happened. Though if you look back at the station building from beyond the ticket barriers you can see that it was built so there was room for the lines to continue underneath it.

Now Watford Station is threatened with closure because another way of extending the branch has been found. Under the Croxley Rail Link project a new viaduct will be built to link the Metropolitan to the old British Rail branch from Watford Junction to Croxley Green.

This will enable Underground trains to call at Watford High Street station in the town centre and then reach the West Coast Mainline at Watford Junction.

Charming as the current Metropolitan Station is, that will provide a far better service for most passengers. Certainly, part of its charm when I visited it this afternoon (and took a trip to Moor Park and back) was how quiet it was.

The current estimate is that Metropolitan trains will reach Watford Junction in January 2016 and that Watford Metropolitan Station will close at that date.

A local Liberal Democrat councillor, reports the Watford Observer, is campaigning to have it kept open as the terminus for a service to and from another Metropolitan outpost, Amersham. There must be scope for such a service - indeed it is hard to see why it is not being run already - but unless there would be problems with capacity at Watford Junction, it looks as though that service would be more use if ran from there too.


Happyrunner said...

It seems a shame to lose public transport to Cassiobury park which is a fantastic facility. If we are to encourage people to lead healthier and more active lives, public transport to great open spaces should be increased not removed. When there are events in the park, the Met station is heavily used. The underground is not just for commuting.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps a shuttle could be ran between Watford Met and Ascot Road, not interfering with the new link and using Parry People Movers to make it more economical. (