Watford Junction

So, this is another trip for my Freedom Pass Project. Watford Junction qualifies on 2 counts, it’s a farthest point on the map and it’s also the terminus of the London Overground trains from Euston. It has been a long time since I came here but I actually know when I last visited Watford Junction to watch trains – August 1979…

…That’s when I photographed this Class 37 hauling a couple of Great Eastern units back from Wolverton Works to Stratford. Since then I believe I have got off at Watford Junction to attend work meetings in Leavesden on 2 occasions.

The station was rebuilt in 1984 but the slow-line platforms don’t look much different today. The bus shelter has gone and the platform buildings have been modernised. Stopping services are provided by London Northwestern Railway. Here’s one of their class 350 units on a London Euston bound service…

The main station building has become a large office block…

…with the station ‘concourse’ such as it is, hidden beneath. The unit in the photo is a Class 221 belonging to Avanti West Coast, operating a Birmingham to Euston service. It’s an interesting anomaly that the southbound express services that call here are for alighting passengers only – you’re not allowed to board them!

The station entrance on the street outside is half hidden by street furniture – the forecourt having been remodelled in 2013 to make it more pedestrian friendly…

…There is a bus station as well – also expanded in 2013, it still seems a bit small…

…and I noted that it can be a bit of a struggle for some vehicles to manoeuvre within its confines.

Back on the station and a quick mention of the Abbey Line – this route is operated by a single unit on the ‘one engine in steam’ principle and connects Watford to St Albans…

…Unfortunately, my Freedom Pass does not allow me to use this line😐 But perhaps I’ll take a trip out to Watford again in the summer and buy a return ticket to St Albans just to experience the route and visit the abbey.😎

Back to the trains and a shot of an Avanti West Coast Pendolino unit operating a London to Manchester Piccadilly service and not stopping at Watford Junction…

…These class 390 units – this is 390117 – form the backbone of the long distance services out of London Euston.

A lot of freight runs up this route and it’s difficult to find paths for everything that needs to run – it’s one of the main reasons why the HS2 link is so important. Shifting some passenger routings away from the West Coast main line will provide additional capacity for freight services. Here’s 66621 with a train of hoppers from Willesden to Tunstead Sidings…

…and if you take a look back at yesterday’s ‘spotting’ post you’ll see an example of an intermodal service from Lawley Street to Felixstowe North passing through.

Time to catch the train home – Here’s 710377 operating the London Overground service from Watford Junction to Euston…

…I’ll take that to Willesden Junction and pick up the North London Line from there😎

2 Comments

    1. I can explain a little about the buses Debra. Watford comes under Hertfordshire County Council for route contracts and most of the routes are operated by Arriva. The blue is Arriva’s standard livery for local bus routes (they have special liveries for express routes). One oddity is the red bus with blue skirts you can see sneaking behind the buses parked in the centre – That belongs to Mullanys and operates a route to Abbots Langley. The other red double-decker is on the 258 route to South Harrow – that takes it into Transport for London territory. TfL require that all buses operating in London boroughs are painted red. Another such route is the 142 which goes to Brent Cross Shopping Centre – a shopping mall that’s quite close to me 😎 I hoe this long-winded reply has made sense👍

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