The Brent/Cricklewood sidings have been used as a marshalling yard for trains since the 1860s when the Midland Mainline 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.
Services provided at the sidings ensure trains are correctly formed, cleaned and positioned to serve the tens of thousands of passengers arriving in and departing from London every day. The reconstructed and realigned sidings are currently being moved further south to make space for the new station. They are due to be completed in 2021.
As well as constructing a train stabling facility we are also constructing pedestrian and drivers’ walkways, pedestrian access gates, vehicle restraint barriers, overhead line equipment, noise barriers, lighting columns and realigning existing Midland Mainline railway tracks to serve the new train station.
The sidings will be further south than their current location, which will become the site of the new Brent Cross West station.
The new sidings will have capacity for up to 24 trains, offering extra resilience and opportunities for train operating companies to manage their fleets. The installation of new sidings started on site at the beginning of 2019 and is due to be completed in June 2020. Following this, the existing north sidings will be removed and then the fast and slow line track realignment will commence in 2021.
The focus in the coming months will be on connecting the new sidings up to the Midland Mainline, bringing them partially into use in June, and fully operational from both ends in January 2021.
Extensive testing of electronic switchgear and other equipment is taking place to make sure everything is working as it should be for the safe operation of the railway.
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 schedule Railway Sidings and Train Operators' Compound
Work commenced: February 2019
Working hours: Monday to Friday, 8am-6pm; Saturday 8am-1pm
(3pm on the Train Operators’ Compound)
Additional working hours are approved by application to the local planning authority.
Please see our programme of works including planned out-of-hours working from October to January here.
Sidings: Amey (Project Manager: Network Rail)
Train Operators’ Compound: Graham
- 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:
The focus in the coming months will be on connecting the new sidings up to the Midland Mainline, bringing them partially into use in June, and fully operational from both ends in January 2021. Extensive testing of electronic switchgear and other equipment is taking place to make sure everything is working as it should be for the safe operation of the railway.
Substantial completion of the Sidings is planned for June 2020 when they will come into partial use. Following this the existing north sidings will be removed and then the fast and slow line track realignment will commence in early 2021.
Residents’ briefing on the commissioning of the new sidings
On Wednesday 27 May 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:
Frequently asked questions on the sidings can be read here.
The team also hosted a virtual briefing on Wednesday 29 July outlining future plans for noise control and the acoustic barrier. You can view the presentation here.