Brent Cross West: London's first new mainline station for 10 years to open this weekend

The first new mainline station in London for a decade will open on Sunday, with services in and out of St Pancras taking just 12 minutes.

Brent Cross West, which will be served by Thameslink trains, is located between Cricklewood and Hendon stations. It has been built to drive investment in an adjacent new “town centre” that will include 6,500 homes, a park and offices.

However the station, which was funded with £419m of Government cash, lies more than a mile south of Brent Cross shopping centre, a 20-minute walk away.

It has two entrances and a public footbridge over the Midland Mainline that will remain open 24 hours a day.

But while it has lifts providing step-free access to the four platforms, there is no level boarding for wheelchair users.

Engineers said this was because different-sized trains used the line, including freight trains, and some would strike the platform if it was designed only with Thameslink trains in mind.

DJ and broadcaster Tony Blackburn has recorded an opening message that will be played on station tannoys along the line.

Tony Blackburn has recorded a special tannoy message (GoVia Thameslink Railway)
Tony Blackburn has recorded a special tannoy message (GoVia Thameslink Railway)

He said: “As a Barnet resident I’m delighted and honoured to be involved in the opening of our fabulous new station which, as far as I’m concerned, is top of the charts.”

The project has been led by Barnet council after a private developer pulled out. Council leader Barry Rawlings said: “It’s an investment in the future. It’s not just for people who are here now.”

It was built by contractor Volker Fitzpatrick, with the bulk of the work being done while trains continued to run underneath.

It is one of the first rail projects in England to be delivered entirely by a local authority.

Six trains an hour will run during weekdays and Saturdays, and eight at peak times. There will be direct services to Luton Airport Parkway station as well as connections to Elizabeth Line services via Farringdon station.

Keith Jipps, Govia Thameslink Railway’s Infrastructure Director, said there would be a “near metro service” for passengers, serving Luton directly and seven central London stations.

The new station is in zone 3. Oyster and Contactless cards can be used.

The station has two entrances (Ross Lydall)
The station has two entrances (Ross Lydall)

The trains will terminate at Rainham or Sutton via Wimbledon. Brighton and Gatwick airport can be reached by changing at a Thameslink train in central London.

The 189 and 326 buses will call at the station’s eastern entrance and 316 bus will terminate and leave from the station’s western entrance.

The station has been future-proofed for the possible building of a West London Orbital line in future.

Mr Rawlings said the council got involved “to make sure it happened”.

He said: “There is a whole new town being built around here. We have built a station because that is a way of bringing people in and making it a destination.

“There will be 14,000 to 15,000 people living here. There will be office space. There will be a university campus. It’s a very exciting station – there is nothing like it on the line. This is something new for London, not just for Barnet. It can take your breath away, things like this.”

Asked why it had not been built closer to Brent Cross shopping centre, he said: “We wanted Brent cross to be more than a shopping centre. We wanted it to be a place to come, a place to live, a place to play sport and have a new cinema and library.”