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Clapham Junction
Template:R-I Template:R-I Template:R-I Template:R-I
File:Clapham Junction stn north entrance.JPG

Northern entrance

Local authorityLondon Borough of Wandsworth
Managed bySouth West Trains
OwnerNetwork Rail
Station codeCLJ
Number of platforms16
Fare zone2

National Rail annual entry and exit
2004–0511px 12.550 million[1]
2005–0611px 12.427 million[1]
2006–0711px 18.868 million[1]
- interchange12.868 million[1]
2007–0811px 18.181 million[1]
2008–0911px 17.508 million[1]
- interchange16.355 million[1]

2 March 1863Opened

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    Template:Portal-inlineCoordinates: 51°27′53″N 0°10′14″W / 51.4646°N 0.1705°W / 51.4646; -0.1705

    Clapham Junction railway station is near St John's Hill in the south-west of Battersea in the London Borough of Wandsworth. Although it is in Battersea, the area around the station is commonly identified as Clapham Junction and the London Plan identified it as one of 35 major centres in Greater London.[2]

    Many routes from London's two busiest termini, London Waterloo and Victoria, funnel through the station making it one of the busiest in Europe by number of trains using it, more than one hundred an hour outside peak periods.


    Before the railway came the area was rural and specialised in growing lavender; Lavender Hill is to the east of the station. The coach road from London to Guildford ran slightly south of the future station site, past The Falcon public house at the crossroads in the valley between St. John's Hill and Lavender Hill.

    On 21 May 1838 the London and Southampton Railway, which became the London and South Western Railway (L&SWR) that day, opened its line from Nine Elms as far as Woking. That was the first railway through the area but it had no station at the present site.

    File:Clapham Junction Railway Station - Detail of Roof Columns - London - 240404.jpg

    Details of roof support columns at Clapham Junction

    The second line, initially from Nine Elms to Richmond, opened on 27 July 1846. Nine Elms was replaced in 1848 as the terminus by Waterloo Bridge station, now Waterloo. The line to Victoria opened by 1860. Clapham Junction station opened on 2 March 1863, a joint venture of the L&SWR, the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway (LB&SCR) and the West London Extension Railway (WLER) as an interchange station for their lines.[3]

    When the station was built Battersea was regarded as a poor district while Clapham, a mile east, was more fashionable. The railway companies, to attract a middle and upper class clientele, adopted the grander of the two names, leading to a long-lasting misunderstanding that the station is in Clapham. A local action group, Love Battersea, was belatedly formed in 2005 to reduce the misapprehension.[4]

    Additional station buildings were erected in 1874 and 1876.

    The station brought development to the surrounding area whose population rose from 6,000 in 1840 to 168,000 by 1910.


    Template:Clapham Junction lines Each day about 2,000 trains, most stopping, pass through the station, more than through any other station in Europe.[citation needed] At peak times 180 trains per hour pass through of which 117 stop. It is not the busiest station by number of passengers, most of whom (about 430,000 on a weekday, of which 135,000 are at rush hours) pass through. Interchanges make some forty per cent of the activity and on that basis too it is the busiest station in the UK.[5]

    The main entrance, at the south from St. John's Hill, leads into a subway some 15 ft (4.6 m) wide which connects to the eastern ends of all platforms and to the northern exit on Grant Road which has restricted opening hours. The subway is crowded during rush hours, ticket barriers at the ends are pinch points.

    A very wide covered footbridge joins the western ends of all platforms but does not provide entry to or egress from the station. In 2007 Network Rail announced access improvements to be completed in 2009 which included re-opening the Brighton Yard entrance on St John's Hill and installing lifts to the platforms.[6]

    The station has limited public toilet facilities; refreshment kiosks in the underpass, on the overpass, and on some platforms; and a small shopping centre in the St. John's Hill entrance.

    British Transport Police maintain a neighbourhood policing presence at Clapham Junction.[7]


    Template:Refimprove-section Clapham Junction has no London Underground connection, but in 2007 the alignment of the proposed Chelsea-Hackney line possibly reaching Clapham Junction was safeguarded. The possibility of a further extension to the Northern line, once the extension to Battersea has been completed, has also been discussed.

    The Secretary of State for Transport announced in February 2009 the allocation of £75m for extending the London Overground East London Line to Clapham Junction, a link which will connect Clapham Junction through Camberwell and Peckham to Highbury and Islington in north-east London. The extension is set to be completed by October 2012.

    A planning application from Metro Shopping Fund for a £39.5 million project at the station was withdrawn shortly before Wandsworth Planning Committee was to consider it on 20 May 2009. The plan included a new entrance on St John's Hill, straightened and extended platforms 15-17, more ticketing facilities, an enhancement of current works to give step-free access to all platforms by 2011, a new step-free entrance on Grant Road, and a new 'high street' from St John's Hill to Falcon Road with retail space and an art house cinema. To pay for the rail improvements there would have been two 42-storey residential buildings above the station.

    Clapham Junction is overcrowded during rush-hours and improvement is needed. In 2009 a mystery shopper assessment of fabric and environment listed the station in the ten worst category B interchange stations. It is to share a £50m funding for improvements.[8] It was referenced in the review as "upgrade interchange: new entrances & more retail".[9]

    Heathrow Airtrack is a proposed rail link from Heathrow Airport running south to the Staines to Windsor Line to provide direct services to London Waterloo, calling at Clapham Junction, and to Reading and to Guildford. Clapham Junction would be an interchange for air passengers changing between Heathrow and Gatwick Airports. If permission is granted, work is forecast to begin in 2010, with rail services operating by 2014.

    Clapham rail disaster[]

    Main article: Clapham Junction rail crash

    On the morning of 12 December 1988 two collisions involving three commuter trains occurred slightly south-west of the station. Thirty-five people died and more than 100 were injured.


    All services from Waterloo, by South West Trains, and many from Victoria, by Southern and Gatwick Express, use the station as do the West London Line services of London Overground and Southern.

    Typical off-peak service of more than 110 trains an hour comprises:


    File:Clapham Junction Railway Station - The Footbridge - London - 240404.jpg

    The station footbridge.


    Clapham Junction Station in 2001. Virgin Trains used to call here until 2001.

    Preceding station National Rail logo.svg.png National Rail Following station
    London Waterloo   South West Trains
    South Western Main Line
    West of England Main Line
      Earlsfield or Woking
      South West Trains
    Waterloo to Basingstoke
    Alton Line
    Vauxhall   South West Trains
    Waterloo to Woking
    Mole Valley Line
    Kingston Loop via Wimbledon
    Shepperton Branch
    Hampton Court Branch
    New Guildford Line
    London Waterloo   South West Trains
    Waterloo to Reading
    Vauxhall   South West Trains
    Waterloo to Windsor
    Queenstown Road
      South West Trains
    Kingston Loop via Richmond
    Hounslow Loop
    Reading and Windsor Lines
      Wandsworth Town
    London Victoria   Southern
    Brighton Main Line
      East Croydon
    London Victoria   Southern
    Oxted Line
      East Croydon
    Imperial Wharf   Southern
    West London Line
      Wandsworth Common

    Template:Rail line three routes

    15px National Rail London Overground
    Terminus   West London Line   Imperial Wharf
    towards Willesden Junction
        Under construction    
    Terminus {{{{{system}}} lines|{{{line}}}}} Terminus
    Terminus   East London Line   Wandsworth Road
    towards Dalston Junction or
    Highbury & Islington
        Former Services    
    Terminus   West London Line   Battersea


    File:Clapham Junction Railway Station - Foot Tunnel at Night - London - 240404.jpg

    The subway at Clapham Junction at night

    The station has 17 platforms, numbered 1 to 17 (number 1 is disused), divided in two groups. Platforms 1-6, the northern group, lie a west-southwesterly direction and platforms 7-17, the southern group, are oriented in a southwesterly direction. Sidings leading into railway sheds at the west of the station separate the two groups.

    The main service usage at the platforms is:

    • 1: The northernmost platform, out of use. The East London Line extension to Clapham Junction might use this platform (October 2012)
    • 2: West London Line for Willesden Junction
    • 3 and 4: Up Windsor line
    • 5 and 6: Down Windsor line
    • 7 and 8: A few express trains to Waterloo from the South West mainline
    • 9: South West Trains main line destinations
    • 10: South West Trains up suburban services coming through Wimbledon; the busiest up platform with 16 trains per hour
    • 11: South West Trains down suburban services going through Wimbledon
    • 12: Fast trains on the Brighton mainline to Victoria
    • 13: Brighton mainline southbound to all destinations. All trains call at East Croydon
    • 14: Up suburban services on the Brighton Mainline
    • 15: Down Southern suburban services
    • 16: West London Line to Milton Keynes Central
    • 17: West London Line to East Croydon via Balham and Selhurst

    Platforms 11-17 are very curved with very wide gaps between platforms and trains.

    Bus links[]

    London bus routes 35, 37, 39, 49, 77, 87, 156, 170, 219, 295, 319, 337, 344, 345, C3, G1, school route 639, 670, night route N19, N31, N35 and N87.

    The junction[]

    File:Clapham Junction, Stewarts Lane, Lavender Hill & Longhedge RJD 17.jpg

    A 1912 Railway Clearing House map of lines around Clapham Junction

    The station is named Clapham Junction because it is at the junction of several rail lines. The name is not given to any rail junction near the station which, without end-on intercompany junctions, are:

    • Falcon Junction at the south end of the station, where the West London Line (WLL) joins the Brighton Slow Lines
    • Ludgate Junction at the eastern end of the Windsor Line platforms to the WLL
    • Latchmere SW Junction connecting the WLL to the Windsor lines at Ludgate Junction.
    • Latchmere Main Junction connecting the WLL to the Brighton Line at Falcon Junction.
    • West London Extension Junction and Junction for Waterloo, relaid for Eurostar empty stock moves from the Windsor Lines to the WLL.
    • Pouparts Junction where the low-level and high-level approaches to Victoria split.


    1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Template:Citation ORR rail usage data
    2. Mayor of London (February 2008). London Plan (Consolidated with Alterations since 2004). Greater London Authority.
    3. The west London Railway and the W.L.E.R, H.V.Borley & R.W.Kidner, 1981 reprint, The Oakwood Press, Usk Monmouthshire. ISBN 0-85361-174-2
    4. Love Battersea
    5. Delta Rail, 2008-09 station usage report, Office of the Rail Regulation website
    6. Route Plans 2007 - Route 3 - South West Mainline published by Network Rail, 2007 - See page 20
    7. British Transport Police, London South Area
    8. £50m revamp for 'worst stations'. BBC News (17 November 2009). Retrieved on 17 November 2009.
    9. Chris Green & Sir Peter Hall, Better Rail Stations, November 2009

    External links[]

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