diamond geezer

 Monday, April 11, 2016

Something unusual is happening on London's railway network next month. A new station is opening. It's not on the tube - no brand new station has opened on the tube since 2008. It's not on the Overground - no brand new stations have opened on the Overground since 2010. It's not on the DLR - no brand new stations have opened on the DLR since 2011. It's on the 'ordinary' railway, where no brand new station has opened since Stratford International limped into existence in 2009. And officially it's not really a new station at all, simply the reopening of a very old station which closed in 1985. It's Lea Bridge, and residents of west Leyton will be pleased to have it back.



The Lea Bridge Road runs from Clapton to Whipps Cross, once part of the main northeastern egress from the capital, three miles without a single station to its name. There are two bridges across the Lea, one the main river (in the vicinity of the Princess of Wales pub), and the other simply the Flood Relief Channel. The former Northern and Eastern Railway runs close to the latter, and roughly parallel, before heading north across Walthamstow Marshes. The combination of rail and water creates a considerable disconnect, so getting around isn't as easy as it could be, even for those on foot or a bike, so the addition of a new station will really help.

Except the railway line in question isn't quite the useful link it might be. It's the line from Stratford to Tottenham Hale, also closed in 1985 but resuscitated in 2005 without its former intermediate station. If you live on the Lea Bridge Road and want to get to Tottenham, Harlow or Stansted, then great. If you fancy shopping at Westfield or a trip to the Olympic Park then ideal. But if it's central London you're after, then some deft changing of trains will be required, and you might have been better off taking the bus.



At the time of its closure, Lea Bridge was an unstaffed halt with two staircases rising to a bleak timber shelter. A burst of arson saw to that, and for the last umpteen years the entrance to the station has been blocked by two large billboards, with weeds overrunning the platforms below. It hasn't taken long to knock things back into shape. Works started less than a year ago, and everything's already pretty much ready to go. The platforms have been scrubbed up and made health and safety-ready, with shelters and loudspeakers and more CCTV cameras than would seem truly necessary. Some lighting still needs to go in, and the station name signs but they'll presumably be amongst the last things to be added.

And the station entrance has moved. It used to be up on the main road, where the pavement's quite narrow, but now it's been shifted down to one side to allow for level access. This is the part of the station that's still under construction, or rather being finished off, behind barriers and a freshly tarmacked path. The relocation is good news if you're catching a train towards Stratford, but less good for travellers going the other way who'll need to go up and over the new metal footbridge to reach the other side. And that's annoying because the footbridge passes the former station entrance on the main road, but seemingly with no access, which could feel like a tedious detour.



The station is scheduled to open on Sunday 15th May, with the first train (unusually) at eighteen minutes past eight in the evening (due to planned engineering works). Normally there'll be two trains an hour, shuttling from Stratford to Hertford East on Sundays and Stratford to Bishops Stortford for the rest of the week, and it'll be interesting to see how busy the new services will be. On paper not very many people live close by, with most of the land to the west of the station essentially the flood plain of the River Lea, but there's a lot of industry nearby (up Argall Way) and an excellent bus service to feed in punters from the upper reaches of Leyton. If nothing else it's refreshing to see a station being added to an existing railway line because it can be, rather than to feed the pockets of housing developers... or at least, we'll see.

» The full lowdown, as usual, comes from London Reconnections
» Ian's also visited earlier this year, here's his take


<< click for Newer posts

click for Older Posts >>


click to return to the main page


...or read more in my monthly archives
Jan17  Feb17  Mar17  Apr17
Jan16  Feb16  Mar16  Apr16  May16  Jun16  Jul16  Aug16  Sep16  Oct16  Nov16  Dec16
Jan15  Feb15  Mar15  Apr15  May15  Jun15  Jul15  Aug15  Sep15  Oct15  Nov15  Dec15
Jan14  Feb14  Mar14  Apr14  May14  Jun14  Jul14  Aug14  Sep14  Oct14  Nov14  Dec14
Jan13  Feb13  Mar13  Apr13  May13  Jun13  Jul13  Aug13  Sep13  Oct13  Nov13  Dec13
Jan12  Feb12  Mar12  Apr12  May12  Jun12  Jul12  Aug12  Sep12  Oct12  Nov12  Dec12
Jan11  Feb11  Mar11  Apr11  May11  Jun11  Jul11  Aug11  Sep11  Oct11  Nov11  Dec11
Jan10  Feb10  Mar10  Apr10  May10  Jun10  Jul10  Aug10  Sep10  Oct10  Nov10  Dec10 
Jan09  Feb09  Mar09  Apr09  May09  Jun09  Jul09  Aug09  Sep09  Oct09  Nov09  Dec09
Jan08  Feb08  Mar08  Apr08  May08  Jun08  Jul08  Aug08  Sep08  Oct08  Nov08  Dec08
Jan07  Feb07  Mar07  Apr07  May07  Jun07  Jul07  Aug07  Sep07  Oct07  Nov07  Dec07
Jan06  Feb06  Mar06  Apr06  May06  Jun06  Jul06  Aug06  Sep06  Oct06  Nov06  Dec06
Jan05  Feb05  Mar05  Apr05  May05  Jun05  Jul05  Aug05  Sep05  Oct05  Nov05  Dec05
Jan04  Feb04  Mar04  Apr04  May04  Jun04  Jul04  Aug04  Sep04  Oct04  Nov04  Dec04
Jan03  Feb03  Mar03  Apr03  May03  Jun03  Jul03  Aug03  Sep03  Oct03  Nov03  Dec03
 Jan02  Feb02  Mar02  Apr02  May02  Jun02  Jul02 Aug02  Sep02  Oct02  Nov02  Dec02 

eXTReMe Tracker
jack of diamonds
Life viewed from London E3

» email me
» follow me on twitter
» follow the blog on Twitter
» follow the blog on RSS

my flickr photostream