Railway Walk: Harrow and Stanmore Railway
The Harrow and Stanmore Railway ran from the London and North-Western Railway's station at Harrow (Later Harrow and Wealdstone) to the village of Great Stanmore, some two miles away. It was promoted by Frederick Gordon, a wealthy hotelier who had purchased Bentley Priory in 1882. It opened in 1890 and was operated from the outset by the London North Western Railway, which in 1923 was incorporated into the London, Midland and Scottish (LMS). becoming part of the London Midland Region upon nationalisation in 1948. The terminus at Stanmore had an eccentric station building, designed to resemble a country church! The terminus was at the junction of Gordon Avenue and Old Church Lane; Gordon had wanted the terminus to be closer to Great Stanmore (and his hotel) but funds did not permit. The line was opposed by Lord Wolverton; however he was persuaded to sell some of his land and part of this was used by Gordon to lay out Stanmore Golf Course, which still exists today.

At the time of opening the area was still very rural, and there were no intermediate stations but some development took place in Stanmore. In 1932 a single-platform wooden halt was built where Kenton Lane crossed the railway; this was called Belmont after a nearby hill. When it opened it was surrounded by fields, but by the end of the decade the area was completely built up and the station was rebuilt as an island with two platform faces, enabling trains to pass here.

The Metropolitan Railway arrived in Stanmore in 1932, providing a direct link into Central London. By 1939 the Met's Stanmore branch had been incorporated into the Bakerloo Line (it is today part of the Jubilee Line) and London Transport farescales were applied, which were considerably cheaper than the LNWR's. The line also suffered competition from the new bus routes that were put on to serve this rapidly expanding suburban area. Stanmore LNWR (renamed Stanmore Village in 1950) closed to passengers in September 1952, but the Goods Yard remained operational until July 1964 and the occasional railtour also found its way there. The line was also used for filming, being so quiet yet so close to Central London, and late in its life Stanmore Village found another role; that of storing equipment and materials required for the electrification of the line out of Euston. The last engineering train ran on 21st August 1964 and the lines north of Belmont were taken up soon after. From September 1952 the passenger service shuttled between Harrow & Wealdstone and Belmont, latterly at peak hours only. This service fell victim to Beeching's axe and the last train ran on 3rd October 1964.

The remaining track was taken up in 1966, apart from the first few hundred yards from Harrow & Wealdstone which were kept as a Headshunt for Harrow Goods Yard and a test line for tamping machines; even this disappeared in 1968. Harrow Council acquired the trackbed in 1969 and sold parts of it for development, particularly Stanmore Station and Goods Yard and south of Christchurch Avenue in Wealdstone. However a footpath has been maintained along the course of the railway from Wemborough Road, north of Belmont, to Christchurch Avenue in Wealdstone, and this can still be followed today. The route alongside Stanmore Golf Course, north from Wemborough Road to Wolverton Road, also exists; although it is overgrown and mostly inaccessible it is possible to follow the course of the line around the edge of the golf course. .

Source of information: "The Stanmore Village Branch", I Baker & J E Connor, Connor & Butler 1998.
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