The West London Line is a short railway in inner West London that links Clapham Junction in the south to Willesden Junction in the north.
The Underground Map is a project which is creating street histories for the areas of London and surrounding counties lying inside the M25.
The Birmingham, Bristol & Thames Junction Railway was authorised in 1836 to run from the London and Birmingham Railway (L&BR), near the present Willesden Junction station, across the proposed route of the Great Western (GWR) on the level, to the Kensington Canal Basin. Construction was delayed by engineering and financial problems. Renamed the West London Railway (WLR) the line officially opened on 27 May 1844, and regular services began on 10 June, but before that trials to demonstrate the potential of the atmospheric railway system had been held from 1840 to 1843 on a half-mile section of track adjacent to Wormwood Scrubs, leased to that system’s promoters; The WLR used conventional power but was not a commercial success. The low number of passengers became such a regular target of Punch magazine that the line was called Punch’s Railway. After only six months it closed on 30 November 1844.
An Act of 1845 authorised the GWR and the L&BR (which became part of the London and North Western Railway Olympia
service appeared in the public timetables, but full passenger services on the West London Line were not re-introduced until 1994 by Network SouthEast service. In 1997, as part of the privatisation of British Rail, operation of both the WLL and NLL was brought under the North London Railway franchise, and taken over by National Express, trading as Silverlink. For a decade, the West London Line was operated with the green-and-purple liveried Silverlink Metro trains.
Channel Tunnel infrastructure work in 1993 electrified the line at 750 V DC third rail from the South to the North Pole depot. The line is electrified at 25 kV AC overhead wires from Westway (near the overbridge carrying the Hammersmith
and City Line) to Willesden and the North. Until the High Speed 1 railway line from St Pancras opened in November 2007, Eurostar trains from Waterloo International used the West London Line to access their North Pole depot.
Platforms were reinstated at West Brompton in 1999.
In 2006, Southern introduced its cross-London service from Milton Keynes to East Croydon.
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