Willesden Junction London Overground London Underground
Willesden Junction is located in Greater London
Willesden Junction
Willesden Junction
Location of Willesden Junction in Greater London
Local authorityLondon Borough of Brent
Managed byLondon Overground
OwnerNetwork Rail
Station codeWIJ
DfT categoryC2
Number of platforms5
Fare zone2 and 3
London Underground annual entry and exit
2018Increase 5.16 million[2]
2019Decrease 5.13 million[3]
2020Decrease 3.99 million[4]
2021Decrease 2.63 million[5]
2022Increase 4.41 million[6]
National Rail annual entry and exit
2017–18Decrease 6.070 million[7]
– interchange Decrease 2.340 million[7]
2018–19Decrease 5.944 million[7]
– interchange Decrease 2.093 million[7]
2019–20Increase 6.019 million[7]
– interchange Increase 2.268 million[7]
2020–21Decrease 2.756 million[7]
– interchange Decrease 0.855 million[7]
2021–22Increase 5.358 million[7]
– interchange Increase 1.583 million[7]
Railway companies
Original companyLondon & North Western Railway
Post-groupingLondon Midland & Scottish Railway
Key dates
1837Tracks laid
1 September 1866Opened
10 May 1915Watford DC line & BS&WR commenced
Other information
External links
WGS8451°31′58″N 0°14′44″W / 51.53266°N 0.24547°W / 51.53266; -0.24547
 London transport portal

Willesden Junction is an interchange station located in Harlesden, north-west London, for London Underground and London Overground services. The station also borders the London Borough of Ealing, near the Old Oak Lane conservation area in the East Acton ward.


Willesden Junction in 1903. The pre-1866 'Willesden' station (near the site of Harlesden station) was on the red line to the west, just beyond the green Midland Railway Dudding Hill Line
Willesden Junction mainline station - end of platform view in 1962 looking towards Euston

The station developed on three contiguous sites: the West Coast Main Line (WCML) station was opened by the London & North Western Railway on 1 September 1866 to replace the London and Birmingham Railway's Willesden station of 1841 which was 0.5 miles (0.80 km) to the northwest. Passenger services ended in 1962 when the platforms were removed during the electrification of the WCML to allow the curvature of the tracks to be eased. Later the bridges for the North London Line (NLL) were rebuilt.

The High-Level station on the NLL was opened by the North London Railway in 1869 for two Richmond tracks and later for two Shepherds Bush tracks, both crossing the WCML roughly at right angles. In 1894 a new, combined High-Level station was built, with an island platform plus a third shorter platform for Earls Court trains (which was later removed) together with a new station entrance building which still survives. By 1897 199 passengers and 47 goods trains passed through the High-Level station each day.[8] The 'Willesden New Station' or Low-Level station on the Watford DC Line was opened in 1910 to the north of the main line with two outer through platforms and two inner bay platforms at the London end. The bay platforms were originally long enough for four-coach Bakerloo trains when such trains ran outside peak times, but were shortened in the 1960s when a new toilet block was installed; in more recent times the platform buildings have been reconstructed and the bay length increased due to the addition of a fourth and then a fifth coach to class 378 trains.

In 1896 staff totalled 271, including 79 porters, 58 signalmen (in 14 signal boxes) and 58 shunters and yard foremen. They issued 1,006,886 tickets to passengers in 1896, up from 530,300 in 1886.[8] Many of them were housed in what is now the Old Oak Lane conservation area, built by the LNWR in 1889[9] and which included an Institute, reading room and church.[8]

The main-line platforms were numbered from the south side (including one or two on the Kensington route) followed by the high level platforms and then the DC line platforms which thus had the highest numbers. Later the surviving platforms were renumbered.

A freight liner terminal was opened in August 1967. It was built on an 18-acre site of the steam locomotive depot alongside the main electrified rail-link. It was opened by John Morris, Parliamentary Secretary for the Ministry of Transport. The terminal had the capacity to handle 2,000 containers a week.[10]

In the late nineteenth century, it was nicknamed "Bewildering Junction" or "The Wilderness" because it contained such a maze of entrances, passages and platforms.[11][12]

Accidents and incidents

The station today

There are no platforms on the West Coast Main Line, which is separated from the low-level station by the approach road to Willesden Depot which lies immediately south-east of the station.

The high-level (HL) station consists of an island platform rebuilt in 1956, with faces as platforms 4 and 5, which are roughly at the level of Old Oak Lane to the west of the station, serving the NLL and the West London Line; some trains on the latter reverse in a central turnback siding on the NLL to the east of the station, this opened in 2011. Both platforms have been extended across the DC line to accommodate 4-coach class 378 trains. The HL station previously had a third platform on the eastern side which was used by services to/from Earls Court.[47] There is another turnback siding further east which was previously used; it was laid in the late 1990s to allow Royal Mail trains to reach the Royal Mail depot at Stonebridge Park.

The low-level station, at the level of the area to the south, is an Edwardian island platform, with outer faces as platforms 1 and 3 and northern bay platform bay as platform 2, the southern bay now has no track. In October 2014 the DC line was closed temporarily between Wembley Central and Queens Park reportedly by Network Rail (London Overground) to allow platform 2 to be extended further west as a through platform.[48] Most of the original and later platform buildings were demolished when platform 2 was extended in preparation for longer Class 378 trains and provision of a new footbridge and lift in 1999.

Platforms 1 and 3 are used by the Bakerloo line services, which began on 10 May 1915,[49] and London Overground services between Euston and Watford Junction. Until May 2008 north-bound Bakerloo line trains which were to reverse at Stonebridge Park depot (two stations further north) ran empty from Willesden Junction although the southbound service began at Stonebridge Park. This imbalance arose as there were no London Underground staff beyond Willesden Junction to oversee passenger detrainment, but this changed after London Underground took over the staffing of stations on the line, including Stonebridge Park, from Silverlink in November 2007,[50] and trains bound for Stonebridge Park depot now terminate at Stonebridge Park station.[51] Normally only the first and last NLL trains of the day, which start or terminate here, use the bay platform, though it is used for empty stock transfers between the depot and the North London and Gospel Oak to Barking lines.

The station signs on the platforms say, below the Overground roundel, "Alight for Harlesden town centre".

Motive power depot

The original motive power depot in 1962
Willesden Traction Maintenance Depot.

The LNWR opened a large locomotive depot on a site on the south side of the main line to the west of the station, in 1873. This was enlarged in 1898. The London Midland and Scottish Railway opened an additional roundhouse on the site in 1929. Both buildings were demolished when the depot was closed in 1965 by British Railways and replaced by a Freightliner depot.[52] (The servicing of locomotives and multiple units was then undertaken by the present Willesden TMD on the other side of the line.)

The steam depot had the shed code 1A and was a major depot for predominantly freight locomotives used on the West Coast Main Line and for suburban passenger services from Euston.


A London Overground Watford DC Line service departs Willesden for Watford Junction. There are three trains per hour in each direction on this line, operated using Class 710 electric multiple units since 2019

London Overground operate services from the high-level station on the North London Line using Class 378 EMUs. The weekday off-peak service is:[53]

London Overground also operate services from the low-level station on the Watford DC line using Class 710 and Class 378 EMUs. The weekday off-peak service is:

London Underground also operates Bakerloo line trains on the Watford DC line using 1972 Stock. The weekday off-peak service is:[54]

Preceding station London Underground Following station
Harlesden Bakerloo line Kensal Green
Preceding station London Overground Following station
Acton Central
towards Richmond
North London line Kensal Rise
towards Stratford
Shepherd's Bush West London line
Harlesden Watford DC line Kensal Green
towards Euston
Historical railways
London and North Western Railway

Bus connections

The station area is served by London Buses routes 18, 220, 228, 266, 487 and night route N18.


  1. ^ "Step free Tube Guide" (PDF). Transport for London. April 2021. Archived (PDF) from the original on 15 May 2021.
  2. ^ "Station Usage Data" (CSV). Usage Statistics for London Stations, 2018. Transport for London. 23 September 2020. Archived from the original on 14 January 2023. Retrieved 11 October 2023.
  3. ^ "Station Usage Data" (XLSX). Usage Statistics for London Stations, 2019. Transport for London. 23 September 2020. Archived from the original on 9 November 2020. Retrieved 9 November 2020.
  4. ^ "Station Usage Data" (XLSX). Usage Statistics for London Stations, 2020. Transport for London. 16 April 2021. Retrieved 1 January 2022.
  5. ^ "Station Usage Data" (XLSX). Usage Statistics for London Stations, 2021. Transport for London. 12 July 2022. Retrieved 7 September 2022.
  6. ^ "Station Usage Data" (XLSX). Usage Statistics for London Stations, 2022. Transport for London. 4 October 2023. Retrieved 10 October 2023.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Estimates of station usage". Rail statistics. Office of Rail Regulation. Please note: Some methodology may vary year on year.
  8. ^ a b c Whitechurch, V L (September 1897). "Twenty-four hours at a railway junction". Railway Magazine. pp. 263–271. Retrieved 15 December 2016.
  9. ^ "Old Oak Lane Conservation Area Character Appraisal". ealing.cmis.uk.com. Ealing Council. 2006. Retrieved 15 December 2016.
  10. ^ "New Liner Terminal Opened". Birmingham Daily Post -. 5 August 1967.
  11. ^ Catford, Nick (July 2009). "Willesden Junction". disused-stations.org.uk. Retrieved 30 November 2022.
  12. ^ "BEWILDERING BY WILLESDEN JUNCTION POETS". metrolandcultures.com. 2021. Retrieved 30 November 2022.
  13. ^ "The Collision at the Willesden Junction". London Daily News. 4 August 1858.
  14. ^ "The Late Fatal Collision at Willesden Junction". Western Daily Press. 4 August 1858.
  15. ^ "Epitome of News". Illustrated London News. 4 September 1858.
  16. ^ "Central Criminal Court". London Evening Standard. 28 October 1858.
  17. ^ "Shocking death". Downpatrick Recorder. 31 May 1873.
  18. ^ "Fire at Willesden Junction". Belfast Newsletter. 6 April 1874.
  19. ^ "Accident at Willesden Junction". Hull Packet. 24 December 1879.
  20. ^ "Inquests". London Evening Standard. 10 September 1880.
  21. ^ "Shocking discovery at Willesden Junction". Buckingham advertiser and free press. 16 April 1892.
  22. ^ "Failed to kill himself". Weekly Mail. 11 July 1903. p. 2. Retrieved 19 June 2022.
  23. ^ "Accident to the Scotch Express". Dundee Courier. 23 June 1893.
  24. ^ "Failed to kill himself". Weekly Mail. 11 July 2022. p. 2. Retrieved 18 June 2022.
  25. ^ "Fatal Haste To Catch a Train". Luton Times and Advertiser. 28 August 1903.
  26. ^ "Collision at Willesden Junction - Four railway men injured". The Scotsman. 12 November 1907.
  27. ^ "Accident at Willesden Junction". Willesden Chronicle. 6 March 1908.
  28. ^ Earnshaw, Alan (1991). Trains in Trouble: Vol. 7. Penryn: Atlantic Books. p. 13. ISBN 0-906899-50-8.
  29. ^ "Willesden Junction Collision". The Scotsman. 20 December 1910.
  31. ^ "Abergavanny Man Killed at Willesden junction". Abergavanny Chronicle. 7 January 1916. Retrieved 18 June 2022.
  32. ^ "SOLDIER ON EXPRESS BUFFERS". Lancashire Evening Post. 31 March 1920.
  33. ^ "Accidents to pleasure parties". Coventry evening Telegraph. 7 August 1923.
  34. ^ "Street Betting". Daily Herald. 24 December 1928.
  35. ^ "Fatal accident at Willesden Junction". Kensington Post. 5 June 1936.
  36. ^ "They had to walk". Manchester Evening News -. 16 March 1940.
  37. ^ "Railway shunters fined". Marylebone Mercury. 5 April 1941.
  38. ^ "Grabs cashback from bandits". Daily mirror. 22 April 1949.
  39. ^ "Floods trap 600 on tube train". Belfast Telegraph. 7 August 1952.
  40. ^ "TRAIN SPOTTING BAN LIFTED". Coventry Evening Telegraph. 24 August 1956.
  41. ^ "Wagon goes adrift with £20 million". Birmingham Post. 12 December 1967.
  42. ^ "Rail crash delays trains". Coventry Evening Telegraph. 5 July 1969.
  43. ^ "Three hurt after derailment". Birmingham Post. 5 July 1969.
  44. ^ "Passengers pack the platform as tanker truck blocks line". Acton Gazette. 25 March 1971.
  45. ^ Report on the Collision that occurred on 16 October 1986 at Kensal Green in the London Midland Region British Railways, at The Railways Archive (pub. Department of Transport 1988)
  46. ^ "Trains within seconds of head on crash". Aberdeen Press and Journal. 15 September 1990.
  47. ^ Disused Stations - Willesden Junction
  48. ^ London Overground Capacity Improvement
  49. ^ "Bakerloo Line, Dates". Clive's Underground Line Guides. Retrieved 22 July 2008.
  50. ^ "Safety boost as London Underground takes full control of 14 Silverlink stations". Transport for London. 22 November 2007. Retrieved 28 January 2013.
  51. ^ "Bakerloo line changes benefit over 7,000 passengers". Transport for London. 18 July 2008. Retrieved 28 January 2013.
  52. ^ Griffiths, Roger; Smith, Paul (1999). The directory of British engine Sheds and Principal Locomotive Servicing Points: 1. Oxford: Oxford Publishing Co. p. 93. ISBN 0-86093-542-6.
  53. ^ "London Overground timetable".
  54. ^ "Bakerloo line timetable".