Station Name: BELMONT

[Source: Nick Catford]

Date opened: 12.9.1932
Location: On the north side of Kenton Lane to the west of Belmont Circle.
Company on opening: London Midland & Scottish
Date closed to passengers: 5.10.1964
Date closed completely: 5.10.1964
Company on closing: British Railways (Midland Region)
Present state: Cutting infilled and the platform has been buried below the current car park.
County: Middlesex
OS Grid Ref: TQ165906
Date of visit: February 1968, June 1968, March 1969, December 1973, April 1981 & April 2007

Notes: When Belmonth station was opened in 1932 it had a single platform with a wooden booking office and waiting shelter on the platform with access by a ramp from the west end of Kenton Lane bridge. In 1934 Belmont won a bronze shield as the LMS station with the largest increase in passenger numbers

A reconstruction scheme announced in 1935 was completed on 5 July 1937 when a 300ft island
platform station with centrally-heated brick waiting room replaced the earlier wooden halt. A wooden passimeter style booking office, built out on stilts at the side of the Kenton Lane bridge was linked to the platform by an open footbridge. The passing loop, with its spring-loaded points and ancillary sand drags, controlled from a signal box on the platform, made it possible to have two trains on the branch at a time, providing a ten¬minute service in the peak.

In 1955 the west side of the Belmont loop was lifted, working on the branch reverting to one
train on line from 9 July.

LMS platform tickets were issued until closure
The track was lifted in early 1966 and the station buildings were demolished in July 1966.
Kenton Lane bridge had been developing cracks for many years and a concrete strengthening shell had been added underneath it maintaining the right of way under the bridge. In 1979 the bridge was completely rebuilt with the road deck being lowered by four feet with steps to the footpath that runs under the bridge.

There were never any goods facilities at Belmont although the station was built on the site of the Bransgrove Kenton Lane Siding where waste material from the borough of St. Marylebone was unloaded.The rubbish was used by a local farmer John Bransgrove. A clause in his deeds prohibited the ploughing of top soil so he distributed the waste material on top of the soil and ploughed that! Shortly after Belmont Station opened a siding was added to the north of the station for unloading bricks during the development of the area for housing.


With a population of only 1,400 and three stations within easy reach there was little demand for a branch line to Stanmore.  London hotel owner Fredrick Gordon acquired the Bentley Priory estate in 1882 with the intention of converting it into a country retreat and resort for his London hotel guests. To bring customers to his new 'resort', Gordon resurrected an earlier failed proposal to bring a railway to Stanmore by proposing his own Harrow and Stanmore Railway Bill; his line was authorised in 1886.

After failing to raise sufficient capital, Gordon proposed a second Bill in 1887 for a shorter 2 1/8 mile route from a junction with the London & North Western Railway at Harrow & Wealdstone to a terminus at Stanmore. By a further Act in 1891 the LNWR agreed to work the short branch with the Harrow & Stanmore Railway building and maintaining a single track line with a passenger and goods station at Stanmore and interchange sidings at Harrow. The act also allowed for an intermediate station if requested by the LNWR. After one year the LNWR agreed to take over maintenance and repair of the line.

The H & SR was sold to the LNWR under 'The LNWR (Additional Powers) Act’ of 1st July 1899 before the line was completed with the first train running on 18.12.1890. The first timetable shows ten down and nine up trains Mondays to Fridays with one extra train on Saturdays. There were no Sunday trains as part of the initial deal secured by Fredrick Gordon.

The H & SR was sold to the LNWR under 'The LNWR (Additional Powers) Act’ of 1st July 1899 before the line was completed with the first train running on 18th December 1890. The first timetable shows ten down and nine up trains Mondays to Fridays with one extra train on Saturdays. There were no Sunday trains as part of the initial deal secured by Fredrick Gordon.

In 1912 Harrow & Wealdstone Station was rebuilt as part of the LNWR widening and suburban electrification scheme. The branches from Watford to Croxley Green and Rickmansworth were both electrified but because of the position of the junction the Stanmore branch was not included which, in the long run, led to the demise of the line after the Metropolitan Railway (now the Jubilee line) opened their line to Stanmore on 10th December 1932 once urban development reached the area.

Gordon's hopes for the line failed to materialise and traffic was always light.  Although there was some early development around the station the branch ran through open countryside until the 1920's. Gordon's Bentley Priory scheme was not a success and Bentley Priory eventually became a girls' school.  Passenger traffic was further depleted after 1913 when the first motor busses arrived in the area. In 1923 the LNWR and with it the Stanmore branch were vested into the London Midland & Scottish Railway (LMS)

Passenger numbers improved in the 1930's when urban development finally reached the area between Harrow and Stanmore.  To cater for this, the LMSR opened a wooden halt at Belmont on 12 September 1932, on the site of the former Kenton Lane siding, to serve a planned housing estate. Although the Metropolitan line from Wembley Park reached Stanmore shortly after
Belmont opened fares were cheaper from Belmont and the new station attracted commuters.  A Sunday service was introduced in 1934 and in order to cater for the added demand, Belmont was rebuilt in 1937. In 1938 the service had increased to 71 trains in each direction on weekdays with a ten minute interval during rush hours. Freight traffic also improved; with the ongoing urban development there was a demand for large quantities of bricks which were delivered to the yard at Stanmore and eventually a temporary siding was laid at Belmont to cater for some of this traffic.

The branch survived WW2 with only a short disruption to the service when a bomb left a crater near the track. In 1946 there was a fuel shortage and the Sunday service which had initially been very popular was temporarily suspended. When it was reinstated most passengers had found alternative means of transport and never returned to the railway so the Sunday service was permanently withdrawn from 27 July 1947.  Although Belmont remained busy and was now the principal station on the line few passengers used the terminus at Stanmore and in 1952 the average daily usage was only 700 so it came as no surprise when BR announced closure of the branch which was making an annual loss of £4000.   There was a robust campaign by residents of Belmont to keep their section of the line open; this was successful and from 15th September 1952 the passenger service was cut back to Belmont.  Stanmore remained open being served by a daily freight train.

Diesel Multiple Units began operating the Belmont service on 15th March 1954 when British Railways' experimental ACV diesel railcar was transferred from the St. Albans Abbey branch but it returned to St. Albans the following year and steam returned to Belmont.  During the next seven years the line was worked intermittently by a variety of steam locomotives
and DMU’s with the last steam service running on 15th December 1962.  Off peak travel to Belmont became very light in the late 1950's while rush hour traffic remained heavy with some trains carrying up to 100 passengers in 1958; most of this was commuter traffic into London. Despite the lines continued popularity with commuters the branch was listed for closure in Dr Beeching's Reshaping of British Railways in 1963 as it was uneconomical to keep it open. No attempt was made to save costs on the line but there was a vigorous local campaign to keep the line open but to no avail with the line closing on 5th October 1964. To coincide with the closure of the passenger service to Belmont the freight service to Stanmore was withdrawn from 6th July 1964 and track lifting north of Belmont started in mid-September that year.

After closure a local campaign to reopen the line was started and this was considered by the Minister of Transport six months after closure and again in 1965 but the Minister decided "there is no economic or social justification for reopening the line".

The first few chains out of Harrow were retained until 1968 as a headshunt for the Harrow goods yard and a test track for tamping machines. On 9th June 1965 the branch came back to life for one day when it was used by the BBC for an episode of 'The Londoners' TV series with a two car train shuttling up and down the branch all day.  Only one other train went beyond the
1/4 mile post when a weed killing train visited the branch on 25th June 1965.

Track lifting beyond the retained siding took place in January 1966 and the remaining siding was lifted at the end of 1968.

Despite a campaign in 1967 to renovate Stanmore Station as an arts centre and railway museum the station site was sold to a local property developer in 1969 while Harrow Council bought the remainder of the track bed much of it has now been developed although the central section of the branch is now a public footpath between Christchurch Road through Belmont to Wolverton Road.   

Other web sites: Abandoned Tube Stations & Dewi's Trains, Trams & Trolleys

Source: London's Local Railways by Alan A. Jackson - Published by David & Charles - 1978 & (2nd edition) 1999 - ISBN 0 7153 7479 6.
Harrow & Stanmore Railway by Peter G. Scott - Hartest Productions 1972 and (2nd edition) 1981 ISBN 0 9506469 1 1. Tickets from Brian Halford   

Further reading: The Stanmore Village Branch - A photographic journey by I. Baker & J.E. Connor - 1998 Connor & Butler ISBN 978-0-947699-26-0

To see other stations on the Stanmore branch click on the station name:
Harrow & Wealdstone & Stanmore Village

Belmont Station in c.1935. When the station opened in 1932 it had a single platform face with a wooden ticket office and waiting shelter on the platform.
Copyright photo from Paul Laming collection.

1914 1:2,500 OS map. At this time there was no residential development of the area and no requirement for an intermediate station on the Stanmore branch. Belmont did not eist.

1937 1:2,500 OS map. The survey for this map was made in 1936 during the reconstruction of the station. The island platform has been built but the new platform building and street level buildinng have yet to be constructed. There is only one through line, the down line stops at the south end of the platform and has noit yet been joined to to the remainde of the down line because the access path from Kenton Lane custs across it.

1947 1:2,500 OS map. This is a revised version of the previous map with no resurvey. The station is now complete in its rebuilt form and includes a signal box at the north end of the platform building.

1962 1:2,500 OS map. The street level building is on one side of the Kenton Lane bridge. From there is a footbridge and steps down to the island platform. My this date the line had been singled.

An ACV/BUT 3-car railbus set waits at Belmont in April 1954. ACV was a joint project been AEC and Park Royal Vehicles, the former handling the running gear and the latter the bodywork. ACV is not to be confused with BUT (British United Traction) which was an AEC - Leyland joint venture concerned with diesel engine and trolleybus manufacture. Nicknamed 'Flying Bricks' these trains were actually diesel multiple units albeit made up of 4-wheeled vehicles but, obviously, could only multiple with themselves. They comprised double-ended driving motor cars and intermediate non-driving trailer cars and could operate singly (driving motors), as 2-car sets (two driving motors, one of which was a brake) or, as seen here, 3-car sets. This flexibility gave them a distinct advantage over the later BR diesel railbuses which, with the arguable exception of the Waggon und Maschinenbau railbuses, could only operate singly. The set seen here at Belmont was the prototype used initially for demonstration purposes in a number of areas, including the West Midlands and on the Allhallows branch in Kent, but the type in general was usually associated with the London area. The prototype differed to the production examples in that it had half-drop windows and lower bodyside skirts, both these features being just visible here. Production examples lacked the skirts and had sliding window vents similar to those on contemporary road buses and thus had a slightly more modern appearance. The prototype set appeared in 1952 and wore a rather dire two-tone grey livery with red waistband. It is seen in this condition at Belmont and also visible on the end door is the car number. The set was given car numbers 1 - 3 and the vehicle facing the camera is No.1. Purchased from the makers by BR in November 1953, the set was eventually renumbered M79740/1/2 but out-of-sequence with No.1 becoming M79742. Both prototype and production cars could, and did, run in mixed formation. All were later given BR lined green livery and 'Cycling Lion' logo and the entire class became M79740 - M79750. This comprised 3 x 3-car sets plus two spare vehicles. The units appear to have been technically fairly successful but otherwise they could not be relied upon to operate track circuits (whether this was fact or mere precaution is not known) and are said to have been very rough riding. The latter is a problem with any lightweight 4-wheeled rail vehicle with a relatively short wheelbase but comparison is usually with bogie vehicles so perhaps a little unfair. The ACV 'Flying Bricks' had been taken out of service during 1959 and scrapped by the end of 1963 although there is some evidence of intermittent use in the interim, specifically by the
Civil Engineering Department.
Photo by Alan A. Jackson

Belmont station during the second half of the 1950s. One of the ACV/BUT railbus sets has arrived from Harrow and apparently disgorged a respectable number of passengers - seen on the footbridge. This train is one of the later production sets with sliding window vents and lacking bodyside skirts. These sets, 2 x 3-car plus two spare cars, had appeared in 1955 and wore BR lined green livery from new but it is not known if any were ever given 'speed whiskers'. Given that all sets were apparently out of passenger service by 1959 it is unlikely. As mentioned elsewhere, although these sets were fairly successful from the technical point of view they did have their problems so the question is begged regarding why BR apparently ignored the warning signs and purchased 22 passenger railbuses in 1958. The principle of the 4-wheeled passenger railway vehicle was to re-emerge later in the form of the LEV railbuses and 'Pacer' units but by this time, due in part to experiments conducted as part of the abortive APT project, BR had learned the lesson regarding short wheelbase 4-wheelers with unsuitable suspension arrangements.
Photo by John L. Smith

BR Standard 2MT 2-6-2T No.84002 and ex-LMS push-and-pull set waits at Belmont to return to Harrow & Wealdstone, the driver having repositioned himself from the driving trailer to the locomotive footplate. The photographer can only recall the date as being 'around 1963'. Steam passenger services ended on the line in December 1962 and this view appears to have been taken during summertime so perhaps dates from the second half of 1962. Following the cessation of steam, DMUs took over until closure and were usually Park Royal Class 103s. Despite Belmont station having a rather moribund atmosphere it was, at this time, quite well maintained but business was not apparently brisk enough to warrant Wymans kiosk being open. No.84002 was a Bletchley locomotive at this time and was once a regular performer on services to Buckingham. The class was based on the LMS Ivatt 2MT tanks and comprised thirty examples, No.84002 being new in August 1953 and withdrawn in April 1965. She was scrapped the following year and no class members survived into preservation. However what would have been the next class member, No.84030, is at the time of writing being constructed by the Bluebell Railway from Standard 2MT No.78059, this type being the tender version of the same locomotive. The 84xxx tanks (together, it is thought, with a few of the Ivatt types) very nearly escaped the scrapman in that they were considered for transfer to the Isle of Wight to replace the O2 tanks in use there. Had they have done so it is highly likely a large number would have eventually entered preservation but, like the Belmont branch, this assured future was not to be.
Photo by John Carter

DMU at Belmont Station looking south in 1964, shortly before closure.
hoto by Terry Tracey

The last train at Belmont on 3rd October 1964
Photo by Norman Balch from web site

Belmont Station looking north in April 1966 shortly before the buildings were demolished
hoto by J. E. Connor

Belmont station footbridge and street level building in spring 1966 shortly before
the buildings were demolished
Photo by Ted Burgess

Belmont Station looking north in June 1968
hoto by Nick Catford

Belmont Station looking north in April 1981, shortly after the infilling of the cutting had started
hoto by Nick Catford

The site of Belmont Station looking north in April 2007. The platform is still extant below the car park
hoto by Nick Catford

Click here for more pictures of Belmont Station




[Source: Nick Catford]

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