North and South Western Junction Railway

North and South Western Junction Railway
North and South Western Junction Railway
Locale London, England
Dates of operation 1853–1871
Successor Joint ownership: London and North Western Railway, Midland Railway, North London Railway
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) (standard gauge)

The North and South Western Junction Railway (NSWJR) was a railway in west London, England. It was authorised in 1851 to connect the London and North Western Railway (LNWR) at Willesden Junction with the London and South Western Railway (LSWR) Hounslow Loop Line by a west-facing link at Old Kew Junction.

Main Line

After opening in 1853 the main line was operated by the North London Railway (NLR). From 1865 Broad Street in the City of London was the most important passenger station connected to the line.

Services to Richmond and Twickenham began on 20 May 1858 via Chiswick with reversals at both Old Kew Junction and Barnes. From 1 February 1862 the reversals were eliminated by chords at Kew, which bore the platforms of the N&SJR Kew Bridge station, and at Barnes (long since lifted). From 1864 some trains went on to Kingston. The line between Willesden and Richmond carried services to and from Broad Street and was used by other companies serving Richmond. In 1869 the LSWR opened the direct connecting line from South Acton to Richmond via Gunnersbury and services west beyond Richmond ceased.

The LNWR electrified the lines to both Richmond and Kew Bridge in 1916 on the 4th rail DC system. Passenger service to Kew Bridge ended in 1940. After Broad Street closed in 1986 the NSWJR line carried North London Line services between Richmond and North Woolwich in east London.

Hammersmith Branch

The only branch line of the NSWJR ran from Acton to a terminus at Hammersmith which was renamed "Hammersmith & Chiswick" in 1880. The branch was built, and in full freight and passenger service, by 8 April 1858, against the advice of its shareholders.

The branch did not prosper. Its junction with the NSWJR main line faced away from London and, despite operational expedients, this degraded the service quality of the line, making it unpopular with local commuters, also the Hammersmith terminus was too far from the town centre. Competing lines such as the Hammersmith & City line of the Metropolitan Railway, which opened in 1864, provided faster services and when housing development took place in the catchment area of the branch new lines and stations took away the increase in passenger numbers that the NSWJR might have had. A new station at South Acton, with a bay for the branch, removed the operating difficulties at the junction and halved the journey time to London, but to no effect on business.

In 1909, three new halts were built at Bath Road, Woodstock Road and Rugby Road and new railmotors were acquired to improve the services. Three years later, the new Metropolitan District Railway station at Stamford Brook, close to the terminus of the branch at Hammersmith & Chiswick, took away the remaining passengers.

Passenger services were withdrawn during World War I, on 1 January 1917, and they were never reinstated. Freight services continued until 3 May 1965, sustained by a local coal depot and asphalt plant.

References


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