Brent Cross West, the first new mainline station to be built in London in over a decade, officially opened its doors to passengers for the first time yesterday.
Situated between Cricklewood and Hendon stations on the Midland Main Line in North London, the newly established Thameslink station serves as the gateway to the new Brent Cross Town neighbourhood which will deliver 6,700 new homes, 3 million sq ft of offices creating space for 25,000 employees, along with a new high street.
Beyond its role in efficiently connecting central London to Brent Cross within a mere 12 minutes, the station boasts a notable feature—a newly constructed public overbridge. This overbridge holds historical significance as it offers the first pedestrian access across this portion of the Midland Main Line since its original construction in the 19th century.
Leader of Barnet Council, Barry Rawlings, said: “The opening of Brent Cross West marks the end of a significant journey for Barnet Council and our partners and is a huge achievement. For existing communities, it provides new ways to get around the area and more sustainable travel options, while also unlocking the opportunity to bring much needed homes and jobs to the area.”
As well as rail enthusiasts, hundreds of people turned out to celebrate the opening of Brent Cross West with Barnet Council arranging music and family-friendly activities to mark the occasion. Including some of the 100 plus Barnet residents who have been employed as part of the construction of the station.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan joined the celebrations to officially open Brent Cross West and congratulate Barnet Council and its partners of the successful delivery of the project.
He said: “Brent Cross West station, the first major new mainline station in London in over a decade, will be transformative for northwest London, better connecting Brent Cross with the rest of the capital and unlocking wider development in the area. The station will serve as a gateway to a Brent Cross Town, a brand-new neighbourhood delivering new homes, creating jobs, and aiming to be net zero by 2030.
“Investment in London and in London’s transport network is critical in driving economic recovery in both the capital and the rest of the country. That’s why I’m delighted about the opening of this new station and development, which supports my aim to continue building a better, more prosperous London for everyone.”
Barnet Council secured £419 million of government funding from the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities to allow the project to be delivered. They have been supported by Mace, who has project managed the programme. The station has been built by VolkerFitzpatrick, with Network Rail a key delivery partner.
As well as delivering the 7000 square foot station, hundreds of metres of tracks were reconfigured, and new modern railway sidings delivered, to allow Brent Cross West to be built. Teams navigated the complexities of working on a live railway, as well as challenges faced by the Covid-19 pandemic, managing to find safe ways to continue to progress the project.
Mark Pavlides, Interim Chief Customer Officer for Govia Thameslink Railway, said: “A huge ‘thank you’ to Barnet Council for leading the construction of this magnificent station, and to all the development partners we’ve worked with to ensure it meets the area’s needs sustainably. We’re excited and honoured to be welcoming customers here, and providing fast, frequent trains to whisk people into central London and beyond. Welcome also to everyone using the public footbridge that now connects Barnet and Brent – we’re really looking forward to becoming part of the local community.”
Jake Kelly, Regional Managing Director for Network Rail’s Eastern Region, added: “We’re thrilled to see the opening of Brent Cross West station, allowing more people to sustainably travel to and from the centre of London and beyond. We have worked closely with Barnet Council and other key stakeholders to deliver this incredible project and I believe that the finished station is something that the local community can be proud of.”
Brent Cross West is a key component of Barnet Council’s largest redevelopment initiative. It plays a crucial role in unlocking broader development in the region, serving as a gateway to the ambitious 180-acre, net-zero Brent Cross Town project developed in partnership with Related Argent.
André Gibbs, Partner of Related Argent said: “The opening of the new Brent Cross West station is a major milestone for Brent Cross Town, one of Europe’s largest new net zero neighbourhoods. There are six buildings currently under construction including close to 1,000 new homes with the first residents set to move in from the middle of 2024.
“The station will be a major gateway to the new business and innovation district connecting Brent Cross Town to the Knowledge Quarter in King’s Cross and the Oxford-Cambridge Arc, with 5.2 million working people within a 60-minute commute. Congratulations to Barnet Council and the delivery team who have provided a key station for London’s growth.”