Opening of Brent Cross West Station hailed as “major milestone” for area

The new Thameslink stop will help spur development of 6,700 homes at ‘Brent Cross Town’, reports James Cracknell

GTR Interim Chief Customer officer Mark Pavlides (left) and Station Manager Marc Asamoah with the official plaque
Mark Pavlides from Govia Thameslink Railway (left) and Brent Cross West manager Marc Asamoah (right) with the official plaque (credit Peter Alvey)

Barnet Council has hailed the opening of a major new railway station in the borough as a “milestone moment” that provides a “gateway to a new neighbourhood”.

Brent Cross West Station officially opened on Sunday (10th) with a celebration event in the morning that included steel pan drumming, free cinnamon buns and a children’s art workshop.

The new step-free Thameslink station sits halfway between Hendon and Cricklewood and now connects the new neighbourhood of ‘Brent Cross Town’ to central London in just twelve minutes, with eight trains per hour at peak times and six during off-peak periods. There will even be some services going through London and on to Brighton.

The station also incorporates a footbridge over the railway that will be open 24 hours a day to enable people to cross over the tracks – providing the first pedestrian access across this stretch of the Midland Main Line since it was first built in the 19th Century.

The council itself has led on the project, which it says is a first for local authorities in England, although the full £419million cost was funded by the government after the council submitted its business case.

It’s now hoped the new station will spur on development at Brent Cross Town, where the first of 6,700 homes are well on the way to being completed.

Council leader 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 attending Sunday’s big opening, some of the more than 100 local residents who helped in its construction were also there.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan joined the celebrations and congratulated the council and its partners on 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 north-west 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.”

The council has been supported by Mace in managing the station project, while VolkerFitzpatrick carried out construction – which took just over three years. As well as delivering the 650sqm station, hundreds of metres of tracks were reconfigured, and new modern railway sidings delivered. Teams also had to navigate the complexities of working above a live railway.

Mark Pavlides, interim chief customer officer for rail operator 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 [boroughs] – 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 Town is a 73-hectare development being delivered in a partnership between Barnet Council and Related Argent. As well as 6,700 new homes it is set to deliver around 280,000sqm of offices, creating space for 25,000 employees, along with a new high street.

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.”

Read more about Brent Cross West and the wider regeneration programme:

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