In its final report London Travelwatch’s clusure panel recommended that “a trial split service is trialled, serving both Watford and Watford Junction Stations, prior to a final decision on the closure of Watford station.”
But how might that work? At the public meeting held in June a proposal was put forward by one group of objectors for a shuttle service between Croxley and Watford stations. However LUL pointed out that one of the main obstacles to this is the need for an additional platform and points at Croxley which could require the acquisition of more land, possibly taking a strip of the edge of the existing car park.
But this feels like a patch solution whose viability could be called into question in the future by LUL. Could there however be other options for integrating this shuttle idea into the wider operation of the Metropolitan Line. For those who don’t know the Met Line is unique in it’s operation of a twin-track (literally) service over much of it’s route from Wembley Park to Watford – a stopping service and a ‘fast’ service. As a result there are 4 platforms at Moor Park and 6 at Harrow-on-the-Hill. Wouldn’t one of these be a more logical choice as the starting point for a Watford/Watford Jct shuttle service? This would also potentially offer Watford Jct Met Line travellers the opportunity to short-circuit what would otherwise be a seemingly interminable 15-stop, 55 minute grind to Baker St.
I profess no technical railway engineering skills but have sketched out below, from a traveller’s perspective, what seem like some sensible alternatives. All of these are bound to cost more than not providing the service so be ready for LUL to bleat unviability but aren’t these the sorts of ideas that are worthy of consideration to alleviate the hardship identified by London Travelwatch to existing Watford Met users?
Change at Moor Park
a) All north & southbound services stop at Moor Park (platforms 1 & 2) en route to Amersham/Chesham
Passengers cross to platforms 3 & 4 (as many do currently) for alternate 3tph shuttles to Watford Met (renamed Cassiobury Park?) and Watford Jct.
b) Fast north & southbound services stop at Moor Park (platforms 1 & 2) en route to Amersham/Chesham
Passengers cross to platform 4 for alternate 3tph shuttles to Watford Met (renamed Cassiobury Park?) and Watford Jct.
Platform 3 used as terminus for southbound stopping trains in morning rush and northbound stopping trains in evening rush and all [stopping] trains during off-peak times.
In each case above the installation of disabled access lifts between platform and subway would be advantageous.
Change at Harrow-on-the-Hill
a) All north & southbound services stop at Harrow-on-the-Hill
Passengers cross to platforms 5 & 6 (as many do currently) for alternate 4tph shuttles to Watford Met (renamed Cassiobury Park?) and Watford Jct (all using platforms 3 & 4 at Moor Park)
In each case above the installation of disabled access lifts between platform and subway/footbridge would be advantageous.
What do people think?