please empty your brain below

Good stuff DG. As a boy I used to live beside the Grand Union canal and walk under the Metropolitan line bridge featured in one of your pictures most days. The clock tower was on my route to and from primary school; sad but hardly surprising to see it in its dilapidated state now. There were two large horse-chestnuts close by that were the source of my conkers for a good many years; all gone and replaced by a dual carriageway, the one that severed the trackbed in the mid-1990s. I'm not really one for nostalgia but this has brought some childhood memories flooding back. Thank you.

I too have childhood memories of this part of the Metropolitan line. I used to go fishing along the Grand Union Canal, back in the late 1950's.

With you on the nostalgia comment THC. Nostalgia ain't what it used to be.

Apparently the whole route was part of Silverlink at the end, so it would have been their responsibility to update branding and signage (and providing the taxi). Obviously it was never on their hit list of priorities :)

Amazing that this line, already on its last legs by then, got the full Network Southeast rebranding treatment in 1986. Almost all that branding has disappeared now, but its still to be seen on other unloved outposts, like the Northern City line (Moorgate to Drayton Park) and, despite two subsequent upgrades, on the platform edges of the "Drain" (where the NSE flashes mark the positions to queue to line up with the doors: - of the trains that were replaced in 1993!

The slam door trains you mentioned (Class 501) were based at a depot on the branch - it was probably the need for access to this depot which kept the line going as long as it did. The 501s were replaced in 1985 by sliding-door Class 313s which were capable of running on ac as well as dc and so could get to Bletchley depot for maintenance. This spelt the end for Croxley Green depot, and the branch went soon afterwards.

There was an all-day Monday-Saturday service on the branch for a couple of years in the 1980s/1990s - I can't find the dates at the moment. It wasn't very well used - I did occasionally see a few people getting on at Watford High Street, but of course they might have been people who didn't realise it wasn't a Euston train.

Wow the difference between the 2005/2011 pictures is amazing!

I too lived near Croxley Green Station. I can remember starting our summer holidays to the seaside from there in the late 1940s with my younger sister in a big wheeled pram that we took with us all the way on various trains. The pram was packed with luggage under where my baby sister lay.
At that time the entrance was about 200 yards up the Watford Road (nearer to Croxley Station) and there was also an active goods yard.

It wasn't the fact the NSE signage had survived - more that someone had bothered to install it in the first place. According to Wikipedia the twice hourly daytime service ran in 1988-1990, so the NSE signage probably dates from then. (None of the Class 501s got NSE branding - they were replaced by 313s (and 2EPBs on the North London Line) in 1985.
Although the line didn't formally close until 2001, the new road severed the line in 1996, the year before the Silverlink franchise started, so SL never actually ran any trains on the branch.

"Come AND join me", please.

"Come weep with me" - Romeo and Juliet, Act 4, Scene 1

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