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Wembley Park tube station

Wembley Park
Entrance to Olympic Way
Wembley Park is located in Greater London
Wembley Park
Location of Wembley Park in Greater London
Location Wembley Park
Local authority London Borough of Brent
Managed by London Underground
Number of platforms 6
Accessible Yes [1]
Fare zone 4
London Underground annual entry and exit
2011 9.66 million[2]
2012 10.60 million[2]
2013 11.74 million[2]
2014 14.11 million[2]
Key dates
1880 Tracks laid (MR)
1893 Limited opening
1894 Full opening
1932 Branch to Stanmore opened
1939 Started (Bakerloo)
1979 Ended (Bakerloo)
1979 Started (Jubilee)
Other information
Lists of stations
London Transport portal

Wembley Park is a London Underground station in Wembley Park, north west London. The station is served by the Underground's Metropolitan and Jubilee Lines and is in Travelcard Zone 4. It is located on Bridge Road (A4089) and is the nearest Underground station to the Wembley Stadium and Wembley Arena complex.

Contents

  • History 1
  • Layout 2
  • Connections 3
  • Future developments 4
  • Gallery 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7

History

A map of Wembley Stadium in relation to Olympic Way, Wembley Central, Wembley Stadium and Wembley Park stations, and the A406 North Circular road (bottom right)
The first and only completed stage of Watkin's Wembley Tower (c.1900)

Until 1880 the Metropolitan Railway (MR) line out of London only ran as far as Willesden Green. In early 1879 work began to build an extension to Harrow-on-the-Hill, with one additional station at Kingsbury and Neasden. Services to Harrow started on 2 August 1880, extending the MR route (today's Metropolitan line) into Middlesex.[3] At this time Wembley was a sparsely populated rural area which did not merit the construction of a railway station and MR trains passed through without stopping. In his 1973 BBC documentary Metro-land, Sir John Betjeman remarked, "Beyond Neasden there was an unimportant hamlet where for years the Metropolitan didn't bother to stop. Wembley. Slushy fields and grass farms."[4] However the then chairman of the MR, Edward Watkin, was ambitious businessman who sought new ways of attracting paying passengers out of London and onto his railway, and he regarded the barren lands of Wembley as a business opportunity.

In 1881 Watkin purchased large tracts of land close to the MR line and began a grand scheme to build an amusement park at Wembley, laid out with boating lakes, a waterfall, ornamental gardens and cricket and football pitches. The centrepiece of this park was to be a soaring metal tower, known as Watkin's Tower; at 1,200 feet (366 m) it was to be taller than the Eiffel Tower and would offer panoramic views of the surrounding countryside, just 12 minutes from Baker Street station.[5] Wembley Park station was specially constructed to serve these pleasure grounds as a destination for excursion trips on the company's trains.[6] The station opened for the first time on 14 October 1893 and initially operated to serve only Saturday football matches in the park. It opened fully on 12 May 1894.[7]

Watkin confidently anticipated that large crowds would flock to the park and the railway station design incorporated additional platforms to handle large passenger numbers.[8] Watkin's Tower ran into structural and financial difficulty; it was never completed and the partially built structure was demolished in 1904. Despite this, Wembley Park itself remained a popular attraction and flourished.

Later in the 1890s, the Great Central Railway's (GCR's) London extension was constructed adjacent to the MR's tracks. The tracks pass under the entrance building but the station has never been served by main line operators.

In 1905 the tracks were electrified and the first electric trains became operational. Between 1913 and 1915, the MR added additional tracks to double the line's capacity.[9] On 10 December 1932,[7] the MR opened a branch line north from Wembley Park to Stanmore.

A 1924 map promoting Metro-Land, showing Wembley Park and the British Empire Exhibition
Old 1996 extension, used until 2004

From 1915 the MR began a programme of selling off its surplus land holdings in Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire and Middlesex for suburban housing development. Its Metropolitan Railway Country Estates Limited (MRCE) marketed areas such as Wembley Park under the "Metro-land" brand, promoting modern homes in beautiful countryside with a fast railway service to central London.[10] The MR sold the park land at Wembley when the site was selected to host the 1924 British Empire Exhibition and the grand British Empire Exhibition Stadium constructed for this event was later to become Wembley Stadium, the home ground of the England national football team.[11]

Originally, the MR served all stations south from Wembley Park to Baker Street station but the line suffered from congestion due to limited capacity on the tracks heading into Baker Street. Following the combination of the MR and London's other underground railways to form the London Passenger Transport Board (LPTB) in 1933, the LPTB took steps to alleviate the congestion by constructing new Bakerloo line tunnels from Baker Street to connect to the Metropolitan's tracks south of Finchley Road station. From 20 November 1939,[12] the Bakerloo line then took over the Metropolitan stopping services between Wembley Park and Finchley Road and the Stanmore branch.

To handle the exceptional passenger numbers associated with the 1948 Olympics held at Wembley Stadium, the original station building was extended and given a new ticket hall and additional circulation routes and platform stairs. At the opening of the Jubilee line on 1 May 1979, the Bakerloo service from Baker Street to Stanmore was transferred to the new line.

When the UEFA European Football Championship was held at Wembley in 1996, a large staircase was constructed leading down from the 1948 extension and under the newly built Bobby Moore Bridge, which had opened in 1993. This was intended as a temporary structure and remained in its unfinished state until 2004, when extensive work began on the station in conjunction with the reconstruction of Wembley Stadium. Additional facilities were provided to handle event crowds, and the staircase was completed in time for the opening of the new stadium in 2007.

Layout

The station currently has six London Underground tracks, with the two Jubilee line tracks in the centre flanked in turn by the Slow and Fast Metropolitan line tracks. Fast trains call at the station only during off-peak periods (Northbound during the morning peak and southbound during the evening peak). Both Metropolitan and Jubilee line trains may start or end their service at the station. Jubilee line trains that terminate at Wembley Park reverse via sidings between the running lines to the north of the station. Meanwhile, Metropolitan line trains that terminate at Wembley Park use the fly-under and Neasden depot to reverse.

Connections

London Buses routes 83, 182, 206, 223, 245 and 297 serve the station.

Future developments

The proposed West London Orbital would call at this station. The underground railway would run between Brent Cross and Surbiton. The railway is still on the proposal stage and is not approved or funded at present.

The Fastbus is also a proposed limited-bus service running from Wembley Park to North Acton.

Gallery

References

  1. ^ "Step free Tube Guide" (PDF).  
  2. ^ a b c d "Multi-year station entry-and-exit figures" (XLS). London Underground station passenger usage data.  
  3. ^ Horne, Mike (2003). The Metropolitan line. Capital Transport/London Transport Museum. p. 13.  
  4. ^ Betjeman, John (2010). Games, Stephen, ed. Betjeman's England. Hachette UK.  
  5. ^ Goffin, Magdalen (2005). "4 The Watkin path". The Watkin path : an approach to belief. Brighton: Sussex Academic Press. pp. 23–25.  
  6. ^ "A History of the County of Middlesex". English History Online 4. 1971. pp. 198–203. Archived from the original on 2007-09-28. 
  7. ^ a b "Metropolitan Line". Clive's UndergrounD Line Guides. Archived from the original on 2000-05-11. 
  8. ^ Horne, Mike (2003). The Metropolitan line. Capital Transport. pp. 19–20.  
  9. ^ Rose, Douglas (1999). The London Underground, A Diagrammatic History. Douglas Rose.  
  10. ^ Jackson, Alan A. (1986). London's metropolitan railway. Newton Abbot: David & Charles. pp. 241–242.  
  11. ^ De Lisle, Tim (14 March 2006). "The Height of Ambition".  
  12. ^ "Bakerloo Line". Clive's UndergrounD Line Guides. Archived from the original on 2000-03-03. 

External links

  • "Photographic Archive". London Transport Museum. Archived from the original on 2008-03-18. 
    • View of platforms, c. 1921
    • Station entrance, 1958
    • View of platforms, 1964, showing 1947 platform steps and bridge
    • Station building, 1966, showing 1947 extension to left
  • "Regeneration of Wembley Park tube station". London Borough of Brent. Archived from the original on 2006-08-27. 
  • "Wembley Park". Tube Photos. Archived from the original on 2011-10-03. 
Preceding station   London Underground   Following station
towards Stanmore
Jubilee line
towards Stratford
towards Watford or Uxbridge
Metropolitan line
towards Baker Street or Aldgate
towards Amersham or Chesham
No regular service
towards Baker Street or Aldgate
  Former services  
Preceding station   London Underground   Following station
towards Stanmore
Metropolitan line
Stanmore branch (1932-1939)
towards Baker Street or Aldgate
towards Stanmore
Bakerloo line
Stanmore branch (1939–1979)
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