The Brent/Cricklewood sidings have been used as a marshalling yard for trains since the 1860s when the Midland Main Line was built. The sidings were originally used to split and organise huge shipments of coal for the capital and elsewhere, which helped power homes and industry. More recently, the sidings have been used for marshalling, servicing and holding passenger trains. But these sidings are being remodelled as part of the station project, creating space for the Brent Cross West to be built.
Construction of the sidings began in October 2018, with the sidings from the south side coming in to commission eight months later. From March 2021 trains have been able to enter the sidings from both the north and south ends of the track, and a level crossing has also been installed, allowing staff to cross the tracks safely to get to and from the trains.
As well as constructing a train stabling facility we have also constructed pedestrian and drivers’ walkways, pedestrian access gates, vehicle restraint barriers, overhead line equipment, noise barriers, lighting columns and realigning existing Midland Main Line railway tracks to serve the new train station.
The sidings are further south than their previous location, which will become the site of the new Brent Cross West station.
The new sidings have capacity for up to 24 trains, offering extra resilience and opportunities for train operating companies to manage their fleets. Construction work began in October 2018 and was completed in March 2021. Following this, the existing north sidings will be removed and then the fast and slow line track realignment will commence.
Train Operators’ Compound
In December 2019, we opened a new train operators’ compound (office space) that can accommodate up to 80 drivers, crew and presentation staff.
The new compound was constructed off-site, to reduce the amount of disruption and noise experienced by local residents.
Work commenced: February 2019
Contractors: Sidings: Amey (Project Manager: Network Rail).
Working hours: Our standard working hours on the project are Monday to Saturday 8am to 9pm and, where consented, Sundays 8am to 5pm. However, over the next three months certain teams will be working day and night during the week and weekends, as permitted by the local authority.
A detailed programme of working hours by project, from March to June, can be found here:
- Construction of new South Sidings.
- Installation of related Overhead Line Equipment (OLE), drivers’ walkways, signalling and switch gear and associated works.
- Installation of permanent fuelling station and finishing works on the Train Operators’ Compound.
Current works overview:
- On 26 and 27 March (and possibly 10 April) there will be drainage works which involves some digging.
- From the 11 June to 3 July the team will be carrying out general groundworks and the replacement of the overhead wires.
- A small number of lorries and vans will need to use the Brent Terrace South access gate to carry out these works. Banksman in the area have been briefed and drivers instructed to go straight to site (no earlier than 8am).
We surround any noisy equipment, such as piling rigs and pneumatic drills, with acoustic barriers where possible.
Residents’ briefing on the commissioning of the new sidings
On Wednesday 27 May 2020 the Brent Cross Thameslink Team hosted a briefing for residents in partnership with Network Rail, East Midlands Railways and Govia Thameslink Railway who will be operating the sidings.
The briefing was recorded on the evening and can be watched below: