CROXLEY GREEN - WATFORD HIGH STREET (Pt.4)

(1912 - 1996)

This branch line was opened by the London & North Western Railway (LNWR) to provide competition with the Metropolitan line, whose influence was in the ascendancy in north-west London. The line branched off the ill-fated Watford - Rickmansworth line, opened originally by the Watford and Rickmansworth Railway (and which was absorbed into the LNWR only nineteen years after opening).

The main Rickmansworth line was closed to passengers in 1952, its demise caused by a familiar pattern of more direct and cheaper services elsewhere. The Croxley Green branch somehow survived Beeching's axe but attempts to create more traffic by providing more frequent services failed. The line was closed unofficially in 1996 when a new dual carriageway cut through the line and a new replacement bridge was deemed as not being financially viable. Formal closure was passed in 2002, albeit with the long-term intention of the line being taken over by the Metropolitan Line.

So, a line that was built originally in competition with the Metropolitan Line is destined to be taken over by it and will owe its continuted existence to it. Long delayed plans have now been authorised that will see the Metropolitan divert away from its current (and remote) Watford terminus and run over the Croxley Green branch to Watford Junction.

The detailed plans are contained in this excellent site: www.croxleyraillink.com from which much information contained here is sourced from.

Curiously, none of the three stations on the Croxley Green branch will be retained; they will be replaced by two stations in different locations along the line. Thus although the majority of the line is due to be reinstated, these webpages will remain as testament to its former stations.

 


 

VICARAGE ROAD - WATFORD STADIUM 

 

 

 

 

Approaching the Vicarage Road bridge. The area here is where the second new station on the line will be built. It was going to be given the somewhat unappealing name of Watford General Hospital but is now going to be called Watford Vicarage Road.

(photo: Jan 2012)

 

 

 

Facing the opposite direction at the new Watford Vicarage Road station site.

(photo: Jan 2012)

 

 

 

Westward view of the bridge taking Vicarage Road over the line. It doesn't appear that this bridge is going to be rebuilt as part of the new station.

(photo: Jan 2012)

 

 

 

Watford Stadium station, opened on 4th December 1982 by Elton John, to provide means for football crowds to get to Watford FC. According to this site, it was mainly only served by special football trains, the normal Croxley Green service did not stop here.

(photo: 2002)

 

 

 

Watford Stadium station platform facing eastward toward Watford.

(photo: Jan 2012)

 

 

 

Facing the other way. The new Watford Vicarage Road station will be built on the other side of the Vicarage Road bridge seen here.

(photo: Jan 2012)

 

 

 

This station was listed in a contemporary copy of the A-Z as Watford Stadium Halt.

(photo: 2002)

 

 

 

Westward view.

(photo: 2002)

 

 

 

Westward view.

(photo: 2002)

 

 

 

The increased vegetation over the years was such that the track was no longer visible.

(photo: Jan 2012)

 

 

 

Eastward view of the entrance/exit.

(photo: Jan 2012)

 

 

 

The entrance/exit.

(photo: Jan 2012)

 

 

 

Westward view with the entrance/exit on the left hand side.

(photo: 2002)

 

 

 

 

 

 

(photo: 2001)


 

Part 5: Watford Stadium - Wiggenhall Road