Article date 27 September 2012
Revised 28 February 2015
To commence, let's locate How Wood in relation to railway lines in the vicinity.
The above plan is explained in our article Options for railway lines in the St Albans area . Particularly of relevance to this article is the section "Interchange at How Wood".
Referring to the above article, there are circumstances in which the section of the Abbey line north of the connecting chord from the HS2 to HS1 link line and south of the Midland Main Line connecting link would be quite short. It might be reasonable for this section to be 4-tracked and with a full cross-over facility, offering (i) Watford to Midland Main Line (ii) Watford to Welwyn (iii) HS2 HS1 link to Midland Main Line and (iv) HS2 HS1 link to Welwyn. With a reasonable frequency of services in each of these four cases, there would be no requirement for passengers to change trains in order to accomplish any of these four journeys.
What happens if there were not reasonably frequent services in each of these four cases ? What if, for example, there were frequent services in case (i) Watford to Midland Main Line and case (iv) HS2 HS1 link to Welwyn but only infrequent services in case (ii) Watford to Welwyn and case (iii) HS2 HS1 link to Midland Main Line ? In these circumstances, the need for a passenger interchange might arise.
We therefore hypothesise a passenger interchange, which would reasonably be in the locality of the existing station at How Wood. A passenger interchange is hypothesised rather than proposed, for two reasons. Firstly, direct services providing the journeys that passengers wish to undertake are better than requiring passengers to change trains. Particularly, we envisage some services being airport services or services to Aylesbury Interchange which incorporates Aylesbury International i.e. which provides a station stop for international services and, for both of these, passengers could be accompanied by luggage. The second reason is that How Wood itself is not a significant centre of population and does not, in itself, justify a station other than on an all-stations-stop local service.
To summarise, there are disadvantages in providing an interchange at How Wood in comparison with the provision of a full set of direct services. An interchange is therefore hypothesised and not proposed.