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Croxley Rail Link – 2019 delivery date at ‘considerable risk’

London Underground says there is a “very considerable risk” that it will not meet the December 2019 target for the long-awaited Croxley Rail Link programme, and that it is not committing to that date. 

The Link extends the Metropolitan Line to Watford Junction, via Watford High Street. 

A board paper to Transport for London’s (TfL’s) Finance and Policy Committee tomorrow (Wednesday 17 June), which is being asked to approve transfer of necessary Croxley Rail Link delivery and Transport and Works Act Order (TWAO) obligations from Hertfordshire County Council (HCC) to TfL, notes that “no commitment to this date has been given”. 

Back in March, mayor of London Boris Johnson directed TfL to assume full responsibility for delivering the Croxley Rail Link project and, subject to approval tomorrow, it is expected the transfer will be complete by the end of July.

The scheme was formally initiated in late 2011, when DfT ministers provisionally approved a £76.2m maximum government contribution towards the then estimated scheme cost of £116m, when it was thought services could begin as early as May 2016. 

However, that date is certainly not going to be achieved and the cost of the project has ballooned to £284.4m, with TfL’s contribution to the scheme increasing to £46.5m.


The scope of the Croxley Rail Link scheme comprises two new junctions: one north of Croxley Metropolitan Line station and a second linking the Croxley Rail Link into the existing Network Rail track south of the existing Watford High Street station. 

From the Croxley junction, the route traverses roads and a canal via a new viaduct leading to the first new Croxley Rail Link station at Ascot Road (to be known as Cassiobridge) and a second new station at Watford Vicarage Road. 

The signalling will be based on LU legacy technology whilst route paths on the Network Rail sections will rely on modified Network Rail signalling. 

Once complete, the intention is to run six Metropolitan trains per hour in the peak to Watford Junction and four trains per hour in the off-peak. The service will share two stations, Watford High Street and Watford Junction, with London Overground (currently LOROL) and London Midland services. 

Back in 2013, Boris Johnson agreed to the closure of the existing Watford Metropolitan station when the Croxley Rail Link becomes operational. 

Prior to the decision to transfer delivery responsibility to LU, HCC had intended to award the Stage 2 contract to Taylor Woodrow on a target cost basis. 

But LU is now reviewing its options for taking forward Stage 2 (main works) delivery. It will make its recommendation at the finance and policy committee’s 30 July meeting. 

The provisional outline delivery programme is below. However, these dates will need to be verified by an “integrated delivery programme” encapsulating the full works, TfL says.


Tell us what you think – have your say below or email [email protected]


Lutz   16/06/2015 at 12:26

Disappointing; I remember when this was costed at GBP 16 Million. At this rate it will have to be cancelled again.

Nigel Spate   17/07/2015 at 00:39

As I had predicted on another forum yet more delays. Too many organisations involved for a very short rail link that is @ 150 years late! Mind The Gap Between the new stated completion date and the one that transpires assuming the project is not canned in the interim!

Chris   11/08/2015 at 17:01

Oh for Pete's sake no wonder nothing gets done in a hurry (or at all) in this country.

Bob Bingham   05/11/2015 at 16:36

I would have expected a bit of activity in Croxley for the new viaduct by now as this will be major engineering work. Croxley Motors at the bottom of Baldwins Lane will be badly disrupted/will have to temporary move and they don't know what is happening.

Jan   26/11/2015 at 06:45

Why does Trial Running & Driver Training 6 months and what do Ops do in their 6 months?

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