Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Watford Station Redevelopment Plans and Consultations

Watford Station Redevelopment Plans and Consultations

Given the plethora and overlap of consultations and considerations, I am writing on behalf of this association to give our general views and further information may be found on our website:

Our main wish and desire is for a new direct North-East curve be installed off the slow lines of the West Coast Main Line to link and allow direct running into and out of the Abbey Line from the North.

This would require a new single or double track off the slow lines north of A412 St Albans Road a new underpass to allow the lines to curve round and link with the Abbey Line.

Our vision for the Abbey Line is for a double track twin platform station at Abbey with a new booking hall and coffee shop and public conveniences and for doubling track loop at Bricket Wood and a new link line east of that station to a new station on the Midland Main Line (MML) south of St Albans City Station/North of M25 whereby the Abbey lines would go under the MML and link to the slow London bound lines.

This would enable the following:
a. Trains from Bedford-Bletchley to run into Watford and on to the Abbey Station off the West Coast Main Line
b. Specials to visit the area off the main lines
c. waitover for stock
d. Thameslink to Watford Junction from North London MML Stations like Hendon and Radlett
e. More use, patronage and diversity turning the Abbey Branch into a through route dynamic again.

Rarely used platforms adjacent to current Abbey Branch platform at Watford Junction could also be linked to the north via these new lines, making more platform flexibility for more services.

A footbridge linking the Retail Park with platforms and a new booking hall above ground level with lift/escalator access to ground level could give more capacity to the crowded tunnel and stair arrangement from platforms.

Could the office tower at the station be relocated to spare office locations and knocked down for more railway access? Given we have on the west side of Watford Junction the Croxley Link as well as metro lines to Euston more baying capacity is required. If the tower was gone the footbridge could extend across and the current bay line knocked through to the north side of the tower making a 12 coach through platform for interface with fast trains going north. The current bus interchange could be made a multi-storey car park and accommodate an extra bay for extra trains.

We need to encourage people to walk, cycle and use public transport to and from Watford Junction and safer off road cycle and walking facilities with the main High street and radial parks, estates and linking conurbations should also be progressively networked, mapped and promoted. Cycling on busy main roads is draconian for many cyclists and cycling on pedestrian space is also a problem. A off road cycle space, akin to Utrecht in Holland is the incremental way forward so optimising these non car methods more to greater numbers. They will require more lock up space accommodation and the link to the retail park will be useful capacity for this as well as at the front of the station.

We would encourage a study to consider incremental phased extension of the underground from Stanmore and possibly Edgware to Watford and that the Watford Metropolitan Station is not lost to railway use but retained for more services including use of the Amersham north to east curve for a Watford-Aylesbury service without a need to change. This could be a Chiltern Railway diesel service and link to the East-West Rail Network.

A possible heritage centre and some preservation/museum could also be developed around the site adding another attraction and boosting footfall and spend across the vicinity.

The north to east curve at Watford would have a triangle platform with the said footbridge (see diagram) so trains from the north bound for either the Abbey or Thameslink could call at Watford and again save changing trains. From tourism to sport, commuting to further afield travel, this would give more options for local and regional rail.

For more information please see: 

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