Wednesday, 2 May 2012

What Do You Think about Croxley Link? [1]

You've Seen The Green?
And, indeed this is Croxley Green, a little bit of rural Hertfordshire sometime in the early years of the 20th Century ...
... and the idyllic scene is little changed today. If your geographical knowledge is a bit thin, take a look at this "broad view".
And this is a clip from a 1930s map with Croxley Green green top left just beside Parrots Farm ...
... and Croxleygreen developing suburb bottom left, and Croxley Green Station centre right. Needless to say, the station is miles from its eponymous verdure. Just above the "ee" of Croxleygreen is a white blob which is Croxley (un-green) station! The signifiant black line is the route of the Metropolitan Railway branch from its "main line", north of Moor Park, to Watford, opened in 1924.

To add to the confusion, Croxley (un-green) station was named Croxley Green until 1949! Pre- and post- war development had effectively created a typical "Metroland" Community which gave itself the spurious name of Croxley.
Back in 1912, conscious of the ever-expanding Metropolitan Railway into the profitable Herfordshire countryside, the London and North Western Railway had opened their "Green" branch west of Watford. It was never as successful as the Met and declined slowly but surely with the onslaught of private motoring. Whereas "country house" style Croxley (Met) station exuded quality and respectability ...
... Croxley Green, with its "cheap" wooden appurtenances perched uninvitingly on an embankment, always seemed a bit of an afterthought!
The service declined steadly, first to a few trains each day; then to a Monday to Friday peak hour service and finally to a nominal one return train at a useless time.
By now the buildings had been demolished and the station reduced to a simple platform with steps up from the road. In 1996 the line was breached by a much enlarged Ascot Road just on the Watford side of the terminus. The closure was officially "temporary" with the remaining "service" provided by bus, and later, taxi. Official closure did not come until 2001.

For many years, however, there has been discussion about linking the Met just east of Croxley station with the former branch and running through to Watford Junction.
Incidentally, on the map above, for Watford West, read Watford Hospital.

In December 2011, H M Government finally gave approval to the "Croxley link" ...
... which fbb will explore tomorrow.

In fact, there are buses to Croxley Green green; services 352 operated by Red Rose and R4 operated by Z & S International (!) which fbb will be exploring in due course.

 Next Blog : Thursday 3rd May 


  1. One thing that I have not yet seen any clear explanation about is fares. Watford is in Zone 7, but Watford High Street is Zone 8, and Watford Junction is its own Special Fares area. The farezone location of the new/reopened stations on the Croxley Link could be in 7 or 8, but either way it looks as if Met line users to the town of Watford will have to pay extra for their new facility.

  2. Too true Daddysgadgets! The zonal fares system is in a mess at the edges, largely because of the separate business structures of Transport For London's underground and (so-called) National Rail companies. There is a blog coming up which looks again at the mysteries of the Oyster pre-pay system.

  3. Having pre-empted your Stratford International blog by going there a few days before you posted, we pre-empted this blog entry by taking a trip up from Bristol to London on Saturday and took the Met to Watford. We actually timed it accidentally so that the 352 was a good connection off the Met, not a bad feat! Just got a bit damp waiting at the bus stop for the 352 though!

    Do I remember reading somewhere that when Watford Met closes the tracks will remain for stabling?


  4. Colly405 : see episodes 2 and 3 to follow!