- New North Main Line
New North Main Line Overview Type Suburban rail System National Rail Status Operational Locale Greater London Stations None open Operation Opened 1903 Owner Network Rail Technical Track gauge Standard gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in) New North Main Line RDTLegend Great Western Main Line to Paddington Central line to Central London Old Oak Junction GWML to the West ► Old Oak Lane Halt (1906-1947) North London Line ◄ Stratford-Richmond ► North Acton (NNLM 1904-1947) Central line to Ealing Broadway Marcon Topmix stone terminal (mothballed) The British Can Co.'s, Fiat (England) and Joseph's sidings Park Royal (NNML1903-1937) Park Royal Guinness brewery Park Royal West Halt (1932-1948) Park Royal Piccadilly line ◄ Cockfosters-Uxbridge ► Twyford Abbey Halt (1904-1911) A406/A40 gyratory Hanger Lane sidings Hanger Lane A406/A40 gyratory Brentham (1911-1915, 1920-1947) Sanderson & Son's sidings Perivale Perivale Halt (1904-1947) Perivale Post office sidings. Greenford freight sidings Greenford Branch Line to GWML Greenford (NNML 1904-1963) British Bath Co., Aladdin Industries Ltd. and Kevin Construction Co. Ltd. sidings. Northolt (NNML 1907-1948) Northolt goods yard and carriage sidings ▲ Chiltern ML to Marylebone Northolt Waste Compactor Northolt Junction South Ruislip Ruislip Gardens (GWR/NNML 1934-1958) Central line to West Ruislip Chiltern Main Line to Birmingham
The New North Main Line or NNML is a currently little-used railway line about eleven miles long in north-west London.
- 1 History
- 2 Modern usage
- 3 Future developments
- 4 The line's former stations and sidings
- 5 References
- 6 See also
It opened in 1903 as part of a joint project by the Great Central Railway (GCR) and the Great Western Railway (GWR) to improve their access from London to the midlands and north of England, especially relative to the London and North Western Railway (LNWR) route. It begins at Old Oak Junction on the Great Western Main Line from Paddington and runs via Greenford to join what is now the Chiltern Main Line at Northolt Junction, south-east of South Ruislip.
The line joined the Great Western and Great Central Joint Railway between Denham station and West Ruislip in 1906. Its original name was "Denham - Junction for Uxbridge" as it was planned to be a stop on the shuttle service between Gerrards Cross and Uxbridge High Street. The latter was closed in 1964 and later demolished.
In the past it carried many trains to the north-west, and it was heavily used in the 1960s when electrification work restricted capacity on the West Coast Main Line (WCML); but when that project was completed, express services from London to Birmingham on the GWR/GCR route were discontinued as part of the Beeching Axe. All local trains on the route were diverted to Marylebone via Sudbury in 1963, and Greenford station on the New North Main Line was closed.
In the early 1990s the New North route was singled between Old Oak Common and Park Royal and between Greenford and South Ruislip. No improvement work has been carried out on the line since that date.
Plans at this date to do away with Greenford East signal box and its semaphore signals, with upgraded signalling controlled by Slough and Marylebone signalling centres, were postponed indefinitely as the decline of rail traffic controlled by Greenford East did not justify the cost.
Chiltern Railways operates a token Paddington service on weekdays; in some timetable revisions it has been one up or one down train, or one of each way between Gerrards Cross and Paddington via West Ruislip. The line is still used for Goods trains carrying refuse from London and for empty coaching stock movements, and it has exceptionally been a diversionary route when the normal lines to Marylebone or Paddington have been closed.
For operational reasons such as balancing wheel wear, trains including those of Heathrow Express which were affected by tight track at Heathrow Junction have been turned using the London end of the NNML, its triangular junction with the Greenford Branch Line and the GWML through Ealing. At weekends in 2008 when major engineering works were taking place on the WCML, it was also used by Virgin Trains' Euston-Birmingham International "Blockade Buster" service, which ran from Euston via Willesden, Acton Main Line, Ealing Broadway, Greenford, High Wycombe, Banbury and Coventry using pairs of 5-car Voyager sets. On two Sundays in February 2010, Chiltern and Wrexham & Shropshire trains were diverted to Paddington via the line while engineering work blocked the route to Marylebone. This happened again between Monday 15th and Friday 19th of August 2011.
The route is also used for testing out new trains and for the training of new drivers.
Northolt Waste Compactor
The Northolt Waste Compactor plant is still operational.
The route proposed for High Speed 2 to leave London would make use of the NNML formation. A station is also proposed on it, provisionally known as 'Crossrail interchange', for connections between the proposed high-speed line and Crossrail.
As proposed in March 2010, the line would run from London Euston, mainly in tunnel, to an interchange with Crossrail, west of Paddington, thence along the New North Main Line (Acton-Northolt Line) past West Ruislip and alongside the Chiltern Main Line before striking out on a new formation of its own.
The line's former stations and sidings
Ruislip Gardens tube station
The tracks through the station were laid by the Great Western and Great Central Joint Railway with services starting on 2 April 1906, although there was no station at Ruislip Gardens at that time. The station opened on 9 July 1934.
As part of the 1935-40 New Works Programme, Central line services were projected westwards from a new junction, west of North Acton on the line to Ealing Broadway. The original intention was to extend the service as far as Denham, but work was delayed by the Second World War and the terminus of the extension was cut back to West Ruislip, with services starting on 21 November 1948.
Main-line services calling at Ruislip Gardens ceased in 1958 and the station closed, leaving only the Central Line services in operation. Until recently the entrance to a passenger stairwell was visible on the London-bound side of the Chiltern tracks.
Northolt goods yard and carriage sidings
These served several local businesses and were used to store spare British Rail and/or London Underground stock on occasion too. They were abandoned in the early 1990s.
Northolt tube station
The Great Western Railway built a halt here named Northolt Halt in 1907, on the New North Main Line to Birmingham. It was renamed Northolt (for West End) Halt, before gaining station status under its original shorter name. It was closed in 1948 when the Central line was extended on a new pair of tracks from North Acton, the current Northolt tube station opening on 21 November 1948. The opening had been planned to be in the 1930s but was delayed by World War II.
The Kevin Construction Co. Ltd. siding.
Long since closed.
The Aladdin Industries Ltd. siding.
Long since closed.
the British Bath Co.'s. sidings.
Long since closed.
The present station, adjacent to the original, was built as part of the Central line extension of the 1935-40 New Works Programme of the London Passenger Transport Board. It opened on 30 June 1947 after delay due to the Second World War. Service at the original station was gradually reduced and it was closed in 1963.
Greenford freight sidings
These served several local businesses, but were closed in the 1990s.
Perivale G.P.O. sidings
These served the local Royal Mail distribution centre and sorting office, but were closed in the early 2000s.
Perivale Halt railway station
The Great Western Railway opened "Perivale Halt" on 2 May 1904. It closed on 15 June 1947, after the extension of the Central Line to Ruislip. It had long wooden platforms and pagoda huts, on an embankment reached by sloping paths west of Horsenden Lane South. The steam "push-and-pull" passenger service ran to Bishop's Bridge Paddington; the line (the last main-line to be built) was shared with freight and with express trains to Birmingham (2 hours non-stop). Until the late 1920s, Perivale was entirely rural, despite its proximity to Ealing.
A Lens of Sutton photograph of the station can be seen on page 77 of The forgotten Stations of Greater London by J.E. Connor and B.L. Halford (Connor and Butler) (ISBN 0947699 17 1). There was a similar halt at South Greenford before it was modernised by Network SouthEast.
The current London Underground station was opened on 30 June 1947.
Sanderson & Son's sidings.
The Sanderson & Son's sidings have long since closed.
Hanger Lane facilities
Brentham station and Twyford Abbey Halt
The Great Western Railway (GWR) opened Twyford Abbey Halt just east of the site on 1 May 1904 as part of the GWR and Great Central Railway Joint Railway project (the New North Main Line) towards High Wycombe. It was closed on 1 May 1911, replaced by Brentham station, later renamed "Brentham (for North Ealing)", to the west of the present location. That station was closed between 1915 and 1920 due to World War I economies. Brentham and most main-line stations between North Acton and West Ruislip were finally closed in 1947 when the Central line was extended from North Acton on electrified tracks built under the LTPB New Works Programme of 1935, the delay being due to World War II. The Central line station opened on 30 June 1947 as "Hanger Lane" as it was near that road.
Hanger Lane sidings
These few sidings were used by both London Underground and local businesses. They have now been mostly removed and the remaining one was heavily overgrown as of 2008.
Park Royal facilities.
Park Royal West Halt
Park Royal West Halt was open between 1932 and 1948.
Park Royal Guinness brewery and sidings
These served the now demolished local Guinness plant, but were closed by the early 1990s.
In 2004, the multinational company Diageo agreed to build extra Central Line platforms at Park Royal tube station, as part of its First Central business park, built on the site of the former Guinness brewery. As of 2010, this had not yet happened.
Park Royal station (New North Main Line)
Park Royal station (New North Main Line) was open between 1903 and 1937.
The British Can Co.'s siding. Long since closed.
The Fiat (England) siding. Long since closed.
Joseph’s siding Long since closed.
The Marcon Topmix stone terminal sidings
They both served the Marcon Topmix stone works, but were mothballed in the late 2000s.
North Acton tube station
“ On 18 August 1911, the Central London Railway abandoned its policy of no through running with any other railway, and secured powers to build a short extension from Wood Lane to connect with the intended Ealing & Shepherds Bush line of the Great Western Railway, over which it proposed to exercise running powers. ”
North of the Central line tracks were two freight lines, removed in the 1960s, running alongside the Central line as far as White City. To the north of those at a slightly higher level were the two tracks of the NNML. The footbridge to the NNML platforms is on the extreme left of this 1933 photograph.
The NNML platforms closed when the Central line was extended on new track from North Acton to Greenford station in 1947. Between South Ruislip station and Old Oak Junction, the GWR line was progressively run down, and in many places it is now single-track, including the stretch running past the tube station. By May 2008 only freight trains and a token, once daily, passenger service provided by Chiltern Railways used this stretch of line.
Old Oak Lane Halt railway station
Old Oak Lane Halt railway station was opened by the Great Western Railway in 1906 within the complex of lines at the south east end of the New North Main Line, a location with low potential for passenger traffic. It closed in 1947 without a replacement when the Central line of London Underground was extended from North Acton to West Ruislip alongside the NNML under the 1935-1940 New Works Programme delayed by World War II.
- ^ "Timetable May 2010". Chiltern Railways. http://www.chilternrailways.co.uk/sites/default/files/May_2010_timetable_0.pdf.
- ^ Quail Track Diagrams, Book 3: Western, 2005.
- ^ HS2 route proposal.
- ^ "High Speed Rail London to the West Midlands and Beyond, Supplementary Report, September 2010: Refining the Alignment of HS2's Recommended Route". Department for Transport. http://www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/rail/pi/highspeedrail/hs2ltd/recommended-route/pdf/route.pdf.
- ^ a b c d e "Central Line, Dates". Clive's Underground Line Guides. http://www.davros.org/rail/culg/central.html#dates. Retrieved 2009-10-11.
- ^ a b c d e f g Railway clearing house atlas of London. Ian Alan. 1935. ISBN 0-7110—2789-7.
- ^ a b S.K. Baker. O.P.C. rail atlas of Great Britain and Ireland. Oxford Publishing. ISBN 0-86093-553-1.
- ^ North and West London light railway (NWLLR) / Brent Cross Railway (BCR) plan, London Campaign for Better Transport.
- ^ "West London Orbital: 2008 Update – a summary". West London Business. April 2008. http://www.westlondon.com/uploads/WLOSummary.pdf.
- ^ "Wembley—Park Royal Fastbus". Park Royal Partnership. http://www.parkroyal.org/images/stories/Documents/transport/Fastbus.pdf.
- ^ Transport for London: Central line facts
- ^ North Acton station in 1933, London Transport Museum.
- High Speed 2
- North and West London Light Railway (proposal)
- List of closed railway stations in London
Railway lines in London Primary SecondaryBexleyheath Line · Brighton Main Line · Caterham Line · Chatham Main Line · Chiltern Main Line · Crossrail (under construction) · Dartford Loop Line · Hertford Loop Line · Lea Valley Lines · London to Aylesbury Line · London, Tilbury and Southend Line · North Kent Line · Oxted Line · Shepperton Branch Line · South Eastern Main Line · South Western Main Line · Sutton & Mole Valley Lines · Tattenham Corner Line · Thameslink · Watford DC Line · Waterloo to Reading Line · West Anglia Main Line LocalBromley North Line · Catford Loop Line · Chessington Branch Line · Chingford Branch Line · Dudding Hill Line · East London Line · Epsom Downs Branch · Gospel Oak to Barking Line · Greenford Branch Line · Greenwich Line · Nunhead to Lewisham Link · Hayes Line · Hounslow Loop Line · Kingston Loop Line · Mid-Kent Line · New North Main Line · North London Line · Northern City Line · Romford to Upminster Line · South London Line · West London Line Disused
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