UK

Sadiq Khan opens first new London mainline train station in 10 years

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan (centre, right) opens Brent Cross West mainline station (Kristina Wemyss/PA)
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan (centre, right) opens Brent Cross West mainline station (Kristina Wemyss/PA) Mayor of London Sadiq Khan (centre, right) opens Brent Cross West mainline station (Kristina Wemyss/PA)

The Mayor of London has opened the first new mainline station in the capital in a decade.

Services from Brent Cross West will run to St Pancras, with journeys taking as little as 12 minutes.

The £419 million project was due to be undertaken in 2030, but was brought forward to put infrastructure in place before thousands move into new homes.

Direct Thameslink services will run to Luton Airport Parkway and Farringdon, providing a link to the Elizabeth line.

Six trains will run every hour on weekdays and Saturdays, with eight at peak times.

Sadiq Khan stepped off a Thameslink service from St Pancras and through the ticket barriers to cheers of “hip hip hooray, Brent Cross West” from local residents and councillors from Brent and Barnet as he opened the station on Sunday.

DJ, broadcaster and Barnet resident Tony Blackburn recorded a message to be played on the station’s loudspeaker and a steel drums group played at the opening.

Mr Khan told the PA news agency: “It’s really exciting that we have the first mainline station in London in more than 10 years.

“What this station does, it makes the possibility of the West London Orbital more likely… if we get the capital funding from the Government next year and subsequent years.”

The Orbital is a proposed extension to the London Overground that would use existing rail lines running from West Hampstead and Hendon towards Hounslow.

Transport across London has been hampered by several problems this week, including grounded flights at Gatwick on Saturday related to air traffic control and Elizabeth line services stuck for hours near Paddington on Thursday.

Mr Khan said: “I’m really disappointed about how the failures of Network Rail have led to problems on the Elizabeth line.

“It shows the consequences of years of underinvestment… It’s really important that Network Rail works closely with TfL and MTR. I’ve written to the chief executives of all three organisations explaining that Londoners and others deserve better.”

Services from Brent Cross West started earlier in the day before the official opening, with the first due around 7am arriving 20 minutes late to crowds of train enthusiasts who had gathered for its arrival.

“Start as you mean to go on,” Barnet Council leader Barry Rawlings said.

Speaking on the station, he added: “It’s a doorway to what will be a new town – a real statement of a place moving forward, looking to the future and expecting great things to happen.

“The plan is, I think, to have about 25,000 people working here, which is why we need a new station.”

The Zone 3 station was built by contractor Volker Fitzpatrick, and it is one of the first stations in England to be delivered entirely by a local authority.