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Willesden Junction is an important railway centre, not in the dazzling sense of a Crewe or Carlisle, but it fulfils many essential functions. It is a main-line interchange and also a junction for suburban traffic to all parts of the capital.
The Junction is the meeting point for the main railways of London. It may not have the imposing presence of a Clapham Junction or the importance of a Crewe, but it is important for its special function as the link for the West London and North London systems.
It is the terminus of two suburban lines running to the north and south of the Junction; for the West London line it has two platforms, one a through platform and the other an inner bay platform, while on the northern part of the High Level Line there are four long through platforms. All of these platforms are connected to the High and Low-Level Stations by means of subways and footbridges.
A large area of housing was built around the Station after World War II. During the Second World War the Junction was a target for air-raids and there was considerable damage to homes, shops and factories. After the War many people moved to the area because of employment in nearby factories and there is a significant Jewish population.
The Low-Level station was opened in 1910. The main platforms are numbered from the north side, but in later years they were renumbered from the south, starting at Platform 1. There are two outer through and two inner bay platforms on the Watford DC Line which was opened in 1915; the station became a junction for this service when it was extended to Kensington High Street in 1915.
The station is located in the heart of Harlesden and is a popular commuter hub. It is serviced by London Overground and the Bakerloo line of the Underground. The low-level station has four long platforms, three of which are island types and there is a tangle of goods and shunting tracks on the down side.
Services run hourly to Clapham Junction and south towards Willesden. Several trains also stop here on their way from the north to Stratford and Richmond.
Prior to the grouping of railways, services ran from here into the Kensington & Chelsea section of the main line via the old Uxbridge Road station which was replaced by Willesden Junction on 1 September 1866. It was named in honour of its location at a point where the main line to Kensington & Shepherd’s Bush diverged from the Hampstead Junction Railway.
The station is well served by bus routes 220, 224 and 487, with many stopping at the bus stop beside the main entrance. Car parking spaces are available nearby at JustPark – reserve your space in advance and avoid the hassle of searching for a spot when you arrive. The app is trusted by 13 million drivers and has excellent ratings on the App Store and TrustPilot. You can find a space close to Willesden Junction Station in minutes, with some even offering CCTV and electric vehicle charging.
The most straightforward way to get to Willesden Junction is by train. The average journey time is around 19 minutes, but this can vary depending on the day of the week and the type of train. You can use a travel planner to help you find the best route.
Willesden Junction was originally two separate stations – the low level platform (known as Willesden New Station) opened in 1910 to the north of the main line, with two outer through platforms and two bay platforms at the London end. The platforms were originally long enough for four-coach Bakerloo trains, but were shortened in the 1960s. The station buildings were reconstructed at this time, as they are today.
Aside from its London Overground and Bakerloo line services, the station also provides access to two sets of tracks that host frequent freight trains – one on the west coast main line, and the other serving the Willesden Depot. The former tracks are accessed by a pathway that runs from the station’s side entrance on Harrow Road, and offers a good vantage point from which to watch train movements.
The walkway connects with the low level platforms, which have step-free access and modern but slightly tatty buildings. It’s also possible to reach the high level via a stairway or lift from either platform, and there is an extensive concourse with a variety of retail outlets and dining options. London Oyster pay-as-you-go tickets are valid on all platforms.
Willesden Junction is one of the busiest railway stations in London and offers a full range of facilities to passengers. It is managed by London Overground and provides train services to destinations such as Northbound towards Watford Junction, Southbound towards Clapham Junction, Eastbound to Stratford and Westbound to Richmond.
The station itself is a two-platform island structure with a through road and a pair of inner bay platforms at the London end, which were originally long enough to accommodate four-coach Bakerloo trains when such services were run outside peak times. A separate low-level platform – known as Willesden New – opened in 1910 to cater for electric services from Euston to Watford and the Bakerloo Line to Kensington High Street.
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