diamond geezer

 Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Local News: South-west Hertfordshire
Blimey. Bloody hell, even. The Government's only gone and approved the Croxley Rail Link. That's the severing of the Metropolitan line to Watford and its diversion to Watford Junction via a new viaduct and a revived branch line. The scheme's been on the drawing board for thirty years or more - I remember articles in the local village newsletter when I was a kid. And now they're actually going to build it, subject to all the usual caveats, with £120m of funding provisionally earmarked. Nobody was interested during the boom years but, now we're in recession with a construction industry to kickstart, the Croxley Link's time has come. I never thought I'd see the day. I genuinely thought this was an eternal pipedream trapped on the Home Counties drawing board, but suddenly it's real. If all goes to plan there'll be new stations built at Ascot Road and Watford Hospital, and a new link that takes passengers into the heart of Watford rather than dumping them on the outskirts. Those who live near the existing Watford station won't be happy, because their service will be disappearing. And don't expect top quality design at the new stations either. Funding has been trimmed to get plans past our Treasury overlords - which has meant reducing the size of station buildings, reducing the finish quality, shortening platform canopies and omitting a couple of planned platform extensions. There'll be no expense wasted, but there'll also be up to six trains an hour. And it'll all happen by 2016, maybe, but hugely less maybe than ever before. All change for Watford Junction.

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