Kilburn High Road railway station opened in 1852 as Kilburn & Maida Vale station by the LNWR. At the beginning of the 20th century the station had platforms on all four lines out of Euston but with the construction of the Euston to Watford DC Line the local service took over the slow main line platforms, the slow main line services were diverted through what had been the fast main line platforms and the fast main lines were in turn moved south to their present position. The slow (previously fast) main line platforms were almost entirely demolished during the electrification of the West Coast Main Line, with the last platform building disappearing in the 1980s when the LNWR platform canopies were removed. The current footbridge and street-level buildings are not so much the result of modernisation but of three or four major fires which have occurred here since the early 1970s. Kilburn High Road originated as an ancient trackway, part of a Celtic route between the settlements now known as Canterbury and St Albans. Under Roman rule, the route was paved. In Anglo-Saxon times the road became known as Watling Street. Kilburn grew up on the banks of a stream which has been known variously as Cuneburna, Kelebourne and Cyebourne, which flows from Hampstead down through Hyde Park and into the River Thames. It is suggested the name means either Royal River or Cattle River ('Bourne' being an Anglo-Saxon word for 'river'). The river is known today as the River Westbourne. From the 1850s it was piped underground and is now one of London's many underground rivers.
The name Kilburn was first recorded in 1134 as Cuneburna, referring to the priory which had been built on the site of the cell of a hermit known as Godwyn. Godwyn had built his hermitage by the Kilburn river during the reign of Henry I, and both his hermitage and the priory took their name from the river. The typical off-peak service is three trains per hour to London Euston, and three trains per hour to Watford Junction, calling at all stations. Although the station is not on the London Underground network, it is occasionally used as a reversing point by Bakerloo line trains when they are unable to enter the LU platforms at Queens Park tube station due to scheduled work or failures and/or are prevented from reversing in the Up DC line platform there. The fourth rail (bonded to the traction current return rail) continues to Kilburn High Road to permit these manoeuvres but the carrying of passengers to Kilburn High Road by LU tube trains is not permitted as the platform height is matched to NR trains (platforms on this line north of Queens Park station are positioned at a "transition" height which is higher than that for normal LU platforms and lower than NR platforms). There are also one or two "rusty rail" journeys made by LU trains each day to keep the fourth rail clean for the relatively infrequent unscheduled diverted LU trains. Kilburn High Road appears on internal London Underground (LU) maps for this purpose. The station has wi-fi, boarding ramps and a waiting room but no toilets.
Connections: London Buses routes 16, 31, 32: 98, 206, 316, 328 and 632 and night routes N16, N28 and N31 serve the station.