North and West London Light Railway

North and West London Light Railway
North and West London Light Railway
NWLLR geo map.jpg
Geographical map of possible NWLLR stations, on the London Underground "tube map"
Location London, UK
Proposer Campaign for Better Transport
Status Proposal
Type Light rail
Stakeholders Campaign for Better Transport and Barnet, Harrow, Ealing councils

The North and West London Light Railway (NWLLR), formerly proposed-named as Brent Cross Railway, is a potential light rail service proposed by the London group of the Campaign for Better Transport, intended to serve parts of north, northwest and west London, being similar to the Docklands Light Railway (DLR).[1] The proposal for a rapid transit network using existing or abandoned railway corridors was published in 2008.

The proposal has been promoted in the context of the Brent Cross Shopping Centre expansion project, a major urban planning scheme which involves the redevelopment of Brent Cross and northern Cricklewood.[2] The stated aim of the NWLLR proposal is to alleviate anticipated traffic problems when this development goes ahead.[3][4]

The NWLLR remains at the proposal stage and has not been approved or funded.



The Campaign for Better Transport is aiming to reduce CO2 emissions, pollution and cars on the roads. The campaign have also said that high-intensity bus services in Brent Cross create more pollution and traffic jams.[5]


It is proposed that the NWLLR route will have 34 stations on 4 lines:[6]

Core proposal

The freight-only Dudding Hill line, which features in the proposal

The Campaign for Better Transport proposal suggests that the service could be a light rail system, similar to the Docklands Light Railway. The core proposal envisages a line running east-west across north London suburbs from Brent Cross to Park Royal.[4] The group also advocates further extensions to Ealing Broadway and Wembley Stadium, and a new line running north-south from Finchley Central through Brent Cross to Finchley Road.

The routes would use a combination of existing railway lines, freight lines and disused lines, linked by stretches of new track. The proposal document suggests the network could include the Dudding Hill Line, the Ealing Broadway branch of the Central Line and freight tracks which currently run parallel to the Midland Main Line.[3]

Other proposals

There is a similar proposal from the West London Business to build a Surbiton-to-Brent Cross railway, called the West London Orbital underground railway route.[7] A Fastbus limited-stop bus service from North Acton to Wembley Park is also proposed from other companies.

Political views

The current and NWLLR's proposed rail track at North Acton

The proposal has limited support from some local councils, but lacks the funding or support from the Greater London Authority that is necessary to undertake project costings or a feasibility study. The proposal is not supported by the site developers at Brent Cross and relies on changes being made to their plans.[3]

In April 2009 Ealing London Borough Council passed a resolution to support the proposal in principle and to discuss with neighbouring councils "its strategic potential for supporting new developments and orbital travel."[8] Harrow London Borough Council gave its support in principle, stating that unless Transport for London provided "funding for a feasibility study to examine this proposal ... no more public money should be directed towards this proposal."[9] In 2009 Brian Coleman, the mayor of Barnet and London Assembly Member for Barnet and Camden said "It's not feasible, it won't happen. Ideas like this are thought up by men who probably still have a train set in the attic."[10] Later that year, Barnet London Borough Council voted to request the developers to maintain contact with the light rail promoters.[11]

In January 2011 Brent London Borough Council passed a resolution to effectively support the proposal in principle.[12]


  1. ^ Flintoff, John-Paul (17 September 2009). "Orbital rail the solution to city congestion?". The Times. Retrieved 16 December 2009. [dead link]
  2. ^ "Brent Cross Cricklewood - a new Town Centre". Brent Cross Cricklewood Partners. 2009. Retrieved 7 January 2010. 
  3. ^ a b c "Reducing Car Use: Proposals for a Brent Cross Railway". London Campaign for Better Transport. 2008. Retrieved 16 December 2009. 
  4. ^ a b "New rail line needed to tackle traffic at Brent Cross". Campaign for Better Transport. 2008-01-23. Retrieved 16 December 2009. 
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ "West London Orbital 2008 Update – a summary". West London Business. April 2008. Retrieved 16 December 2009. 
  8. ^ "Minutes of Council Meeting". Ealing London Borough Council. 21 April 2009. Retrieved 16 December 2009. 
  9. ^ "Minutes of the Meeting of the Council". Harrow London Borough Council. 2 April 2009.$$MDocPackPublic.pdf. Retrieved 16 December 2009. 
  10. ^ Wilkey, Susanna (26 February 2009). "New tramline gathers speed". Hampstead and Highgate Express. Retrieved 16 December 2009. 
  11. ^ "Decisions of the Planning and Environment Committee". Barnet London Borough Council. 18 and 19 November 2009. Retrieved 19 December 2009. 
  12. ^ "Decision of London Borough of Brent". Willesden and Brent Times. 3 February 2011. Retrieved 13 February 2011. 

External links

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