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Written by Robert Keith - 23 May 2006
last update by Ralph Darvill - 18 Aug 2012
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Location notes
This is a very large station almost in the centre of Watford. Watford is North West of London and has about 4 stations! Watford Junction being the largest and most interesting.
West Coast Mainline and suburban services from London Euston to Milton Keynes, Northampton, Birmingham and beyond to the North.
Southern trains services from Milton Keynes to Brighton.
London Overground services to Euston and Kensington Olympia to Shepherds Bush (for Westfields shopping centre).
Quite a bit of heavy freight and charters have passed here and the station has been a pick up set down point too.
Railway type and traffic
West Coast Mainline and suburban services from London Euston to Milton Keynes, Northampton, Birmingham and beyond to the North.
Southern trains services from Milton Keynes to Brighton.
London Overground services to Euston and Kensington Olympia to Shepherds Bush (for Westfields shopping centre).
Quite a bit of heavy freight and several steam charters have passed here and the station has been a pick up set down point too.
Environment
The station is staffed 24-7 and the staff are generally friendly.
The station is near central Watford and is a busy spot.
I always feel safe there, but of course there are alleyways and tunnels here so when carrying expensive camera gear one needs to be aware of potential thieves.
Road directions
Access to the station is along the A412 Rickmansworth Road/St. Albans Road from the west, and along St Albans Road (still A412) from the east.

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Watford Junction map co-ordinates
Parking
There is limited free parking at the station for only 20 minutes. Also there is a pay and display car park.
Locally the streets are permit parking only but there is pay parking in the following streets:
  • Nascot Road
  • Malden Road
  • Essex Roads (bottom end).
    Permit parking operates between 08-30 and 18-30. Parking here is generally safe.
    The local "Homebase" has a large cap park and threatens long-stayers with fines, but in reality this doesn't happen often.
  • Public transport
    London Euston - Watford Junction Silverlink County about a 20-30 minute ride. Stopping at either Harrow and Wealdstone and Bushey then Watford or No stops before primarily however some leave out Bushey or Harrow and Wealdstone.
    Southern services terminate here from either Gatwick or Brighton.
    The main Watford bus routes all pass through Watford Junction.

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    Amenities
    There are toilets on platform 6.
    There are several food kiosks on the station and in the foyer. A cafe, sandwich bar, chip shop, Lebanese, Chinese and pizza restaurants near the junction of Station Road and St. Albans Road.
    Accommodation
    There is a Holiay Inn Express adjacent to the station and the Wellington Arms in Woodford Road adjacent to the bus station offers budget accommodation if needed.
    Sun Compass
    Sun Compass using Suncalc by brought to you by Vladimir Agafonkin:
    It might be necessary to adjust the time to suit your visit, this link should open with the current day.
    Watford Junction

    Googly map
    Streetmap links
    Watford Junction general view map
    Watford Junction close up map

    Windows Local Live Link - image quality may vary
    Watford Junction



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    Photographic notes
    One of the best locations is at the southern end of platform 9 as this has a good sight line under the catenary. A couple of signal towers make a nice frame for trains as the enter the platform. Steam specials and freights run through here. (NB freights travel VERY fast through and one needs to be sure to be behind the yellow lines).
    Light becomes an issue by mid morning. On the other side of the lines the northern end of platform 8 gives a straight view all the way to the entrance of the Watford Tunnels a mile away. Modern loco headlamps compromise photography of trains approaching straight on. It is always best to ask at the gate to be let through and some staff request that you visit the station managers office which is in the main building on the way to the Overground platforms.


    General views - All photographs © Robert Keith unless otherwise stated
    Fig 1 - Looking north

    
Fig 1 - Looking north

    The Abbey line platforms.

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