London’s next stop Brent Cross West – rail freight says you’re welcome
Rail freight has delivered a lot in London, but one of the biggest projects has been hiding in plain sight. The London borough of Barnet Council has released a ‘first look’ video of the new 7,000 square metre, four platform station, Brent Cross West, which is expected to open later this year. The station sits in the heart of a vast regeneration project, which has proved good business for the UK rail freight sector, with construction materials delivered daily and spoil removed equally frequently.
It has been impossible not to notice for anyone travelling into London from Buckinghamshire, the East Midlands and South Yorkshire. Taking shape in the north of London, Brent Cross West station is characterised by an impressive 16-metre-high building, which includes a public overbridge that will reconnect the areas of Barnet and Brent via the Midland Main Line for the first time in 150 years. The new video gives an aerial view of the huge new Brent Cross West station, which, when it opens, will be the first major new mainline station in London in over a decade.
Station planned for now and the future
The station will sit between Cricklewood and Hendon stations on the Midland Main Line. Thameslink trains will connect central London to Brent Cross in as little as 12 minutes, with up to eight trains an hour at peak times. In another three minutes, passengers will arrive in Farringdon for Elizabeth Line services. The station isn’t slated to receive longer distance MML trains, but may in the future, with provision for longer distance services serving the East Midlands and Sheffield.
The station will also be able to accommodate the planned West London Orbital (WLO) line in the future, providing additional cross-London services. Barnet Council is leading Brent Cross West station and the associated rail infrastructure – it is one of the first rail projects in England to be delivered entirely by a local authority. It is being built by VolkerFitzpatrick and managed by Mace, with the national infrastructure agency Network Rail as a key programme partner.
Impressive new station opening soon
Delivery of the project has been heavily dependent on rail freight support. The mammoth building project has seen its own freight terminal, adjacent to the main line, in constant use, receiving aggregate trains, mainly from the north of England quarries. According to the local authority, the station is an essential part of the Brent Cross Cricklewood Regeneration Programme, providing the gateway to Brent Cross Town, the 180-acre, eight-billion-pound, net-zero “park town” that is being delivered by the partnership between Barnet Council and Related Argent, the UK property developer. Brent Cross Town will deliver 6,700 new homes, create 25,000 jobs, and aims to be net zero by 2030 – and, of course, be rail-connected.
Brent Cross West will also increase public transport options by providing a more environmentally friendly way to connect across the borough and central London. “The new Brent Cross West station is fundamental to our plans to transform the area”, said local councillor Alan Schneiderman, who has the local authority’s portfolio for environment and climate change. “We look forward to this impressive new station opening soon, providing new ways for people to visit our borough and additional, sustainable ways for locals to travel.” Brent Cross was synonymous with its large and pioneering, if somewhat dated, sixties shopping centre. The borough is also the location for Staples Corner, a meeting of several main roads, and at one time Britain’s best-known traffic jam. Perhaps the new station will give the borough a whole new notoriety, this time for all the right reasons.