is a London Underground
station served by National Rail
and London Underground
(LU) trains. It is located between College Road and Lowlands Road in the Greenhill
area of Harrow, about a half-mile north of the locality from which it takes its name.
The station is the junction for four LU tracks from Baker Street (paired by direction), two Network Rail
tracks from Marylebone, four LU tracks (paired by speed) to Amersham
and the double-track LU line to Uxbridge
which leaves via a burrowing junction west of the station. Services to Watford
leave the "Main Line" to Amersham at Watford South Junction (not to be confused with Watford Junction) near Rickmansworth.
The London Underground service at Harrow-on-the-Hill is provided by the Metropolitan line
. The adjacent Underground stations are (toward London) Northwick Park
, (toward Amersham) North Harrow
and (toward Uxbridge) West Harrow
. The Metropolitan line operates a varied pattern of trains and not all trains stop at all stations. Many "fast" and "semi-fast" services do not stop between
Harrow-on-the-Hill and Finchley Road
; the stations between Harrow and Wembley Park, and between Harrow and Moor Park have no platforms on the Fast Lines.
Trains to London go to either Aldgate or Baker Street stations with some services terminating at Moorgate.
The station was opened as "Harrow" on August 2 1880, when the Metropolitan Railway was extended from its previous terminus at Willesden Green. Its name was changed to "Harrow-on-the-Hill" on June 1 1894. Like a number of other Underground stations the name is an example of marketing rather than precision; in this case the town "proper" of the same name is at the top of Harrow Hill while the station is located in Greenhill to the North of Harrow Hill which has become the main shopping area in this part of the Borough of Harrow.
Had the governors of Harrow School not made objections during the planning stage it is possible that the Metropolitan Railway might have followed a different route taking it closer to the town centre on the hill. The station is at the heart of Metro-land.
The National Rail service at Harrow-on-the-Hill is provided by Chiltern Railways
. Services operate between Marylebone station
using the separate Network Rail tracks from London to Harrow and sharing London Underground tracks between Harrow and Amersham. Chiltern Railways started operating in 1996 after the privatisation of British Rail
and provide two trains per hour between Aylesbury and London via Harrow.
This service began as the Great Central Railway
(GCR) on March 15 1899
. The GCR ran on the former Great Central Main Line
, an intercity
trunk route and provided services from Harrow to destinations such as Rugby
. The passenger service north of Aylesbury ceased in 1966 due to the Beeching Axe
The station building is above ground with the 6 platforms in a cutting. Two (on the South side) are used by NR services and the other four by the Metropolitan Line; the NR platforms are electrified with the LU system (normal services are operated by diesel trains) and incoming
LU trains on some routes can be diverted into them should this be necessary (or on rare occasions because of human error).
The station has two entrances, one on Station Approach (leading to Lowlands Road and Harrow Hill) and one on College Road (for the adjacent Harrow Bus Station and the main shopping area).
The present main station building replaced older structures at the London end of the platforms (thus leaving Station Road with no station); it consists of a main circulating area built across all tracks with stairs down to all platforms and both street entrances thus requiring a number of steps to be negotiated by all users. During opening hours it also acts as a public footbridge between Lowlands Road and College Road. A pedestrian tunnel connected all platforms to the adjacent but now closed and semi-derelict Post Office sorting office to enable collection and delivery from trains in earlier years.
publication "Tube Access Guide" dated July 2006 indicates this station as having "Connection only between fast, semi-fast and "all stations" Metropolitan Line services" (NB-without lifts there will only be step-free interchange between Metropolitan Line trains travelling in the same direction) and "Entry and exit not accessible" (see station description above). The Lowlands Road entrance (which is also the route to the car park and the car passenger pick up and set down area) has the fewer number of steps.