Harrow and Wealdstone station currently serves the Bakerloo and overground branches of the London Underground and also serves National Rail services. Located around a mile away from Harrow-on-the-Hill the station opened in 1837.
The station originally opened as what was known as a ‘Rural Station’. It was opened by the London and Birmingham railway company and was referred to as Harrow Station. Being located in rural Middlesex, the station served those looking to commute towards the city centre. At the time of opening the closest large settlement was Harrow-on-the-Hill. Other than that area, the station was surrounded by mostly fields and greenery with a few houses to the north of the station which sat where Wealdstone High Street is today.
Being renamed in 1897, the station took on the name of Harrow and Wealdstone Station. This was due to the station being built in Wealdstone, not Harrow. The area known as Wealdstone had grown significantly and had a much larger population compared to when the station first opened. Serving those who lived in both Harrow and Wealdstone, the new name reflected the location of the station much more accurately.
The older part of the station buildings sits on the south-west (Harrow) side of the station. These had been located beside the faster railway lines up until the platforms began to be used for the Euston to Watford line causing the main line tracks to be re-routed through the previous slow line platforms. This then led to new platforms being created and a larger station building being erected in 1912.
Following this, the station began to serve London Underground services. In 1917, Harrow and Wealdstone welcomed Bakerloo Line services. The Bakerloo Line had been extended out of the city towards Willesden Junction and Watford Junction leading Harrow and Wealdstone station to become a useful stop.
Formally containing seven platforms, Harrow and Wealdstone lost its seventh platform in 1962 as part of the Beeching Axe, a system created to increase the efficiency of national rail services following the privatisation of the Trainline. The journey taken north of Harrow and Wealdstone station was also removed to make way for new, more convenient services.
A few years later in 1982, Bakerloo services were withdrawn from the station after services north of Stonebridge Park were removed. However, the removal was short-lived. Just two years later in 1984, Harrow and Wealdstone was transformed into the final stop for the newly re-established Bakerloo Line.
The station has witnessed many changes and updates over the years; however, nothing affected the station more than the train crash of 1952. On October 8th, over 100 people were killed and 340 were injured. This was the result of a Scottish express train colliding into the rear of a local train that stood at platform 4. In a matter of seconds another train, moving at full speed, passed through and collided with the wreckage causing much more devastation and destroying a part of the footbridge.
The Harrow and Wealdstone station continues to serve those in and out of the city to this day and remains one of North West London’s vital stations. The station is one that is rich with history which is celebrated and remembered nearly 200 years later.