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A look back at the history of Rayners Lane station

Rayners Lane is an underground station in the district of Rayners Lane in northwest London’s Harrow. The station acts as an interchange between the Piccadilly and Metropolitan line.

With very recent access to central London, the residents of Rayners lane may find it surprising to learn that the story behind the station is not only historically profound but has been instrumental in establishing the residential district.

The history and formation of the metropolitan Rayners Lane junction is intrinsically linked to the transformation of Rayners Lane from a rural area comprised of farmstead to the booming suburban residential we know today.

A look back at the history of Rayners Lane station Harrow Online

Built in 1906, with tracks laid in 1904, the railway station was nicknamed pneumonia junction because of its somewhat exposed location. Rayners Lane was initially called Rayners Lane Halt, after a local farmer. Being entirely surrounded by farmland, with Rayners Lane farm to its north and Farm avenue not far by, it’s not hard to see why locals decided upon this pet name.

Though the lane itself has ancient origins. The roadway, initially called Bourne Lane, until in the 19th century when farmland owners, the Rayners, renamed it accordingly.

Previously, however, it was used for transporting grains to the mill on Pinner green, during the Middle Ages.

Prior to its official opening in 1906, the metropolitan station ran up to Uxbridge with the only intermediary stop being Ruislip.

To imagine that once upon a time, a line that now runs to the likes of Leicester Square and Baker Street, in the capital’s central, operated entirely on steam is extraordinary!

In the years that followed, the region saw a boom in the number of residential suburban buildings and amenities that had sprouted. Instigated primarily by two companies: Metropolitan County Estates and TF Nash and Co.

Meanwhile, the Metropolitan Railway Company aimed to redevelop the land around its railways. Since the emergence of additional stations running to Uxbridge notable headways have been made in the number of surrounding residential areas that have arisen as a result.

A look back at the history of Rayners Lane station Harrow Online
Rayners Lane Station in 1978. Credit: Ben Brooksbank

Much later came the addition of the Piccadilly line in 1993, and with a sudden influx of passengers, the station saw new refurbishments in its design.

Due to its infrastructure being very traditional to the period, in terms of its status as a unique historical building, Historic England has graded it 2 in the National Heritage List for England.

The residents of Rayners Lane are reminded to reminisce upon their home station as one with not only deep historical roots, but an innovation for the district.