Chingford railway station
Template:Use dmy dates Template:Use British English Template:Infobox London station Chingford railway station is at the end of Greater Anglia's Chingford Branch. It is on the edge of Epping Forest, and serves the suburb of Chingford in North-east London.
The Eastern Counties Railway had begun its venture into a main line railway that would head north to compete with the Great Northern. Limited funds and incessant squabbling had slowed its progress. After the merger with several other lines, the ECR became part of the Great Eastern Railway. The GER planned a network of lines to serve countryside around London by its Metropolitan Station and Railways Act of 1864. It also planned a line to High Beach, to serve Epping Forest, which reached a terminus in Bull Lane, Chingford, in 1873. In 1878 the little station near to the village green was replaced by a much more grandiose station on the very edge of town, overlooking the forest. The extension of the railway by only 600 yards to a place far less useful to the local population was an attempt to trap tourist traffic to the forest, and to stimulate suburban growth in the fields surrounding it. The line was doubled and the new station built as a through station, with its platforms and tracks leading out onto an embankment ready to leap across the newly named Station Road and enter the forest.
The railway fostered new interest in the forest as a destination and the popularity of this Crown land and its impending loss to development was not unnoticed. In 1882 Queen Victoria came by train to Chingford and declared the forest open to the public forever. The railway that had encouraged so much interest and carried the Royal party to the very edge of town was now stumped as any new development on the forest lands would be strictly controlled. However, the Chingford Rise Estate company developed land to the south with large villas, some of which now sell for over £1 million.
Chingford became a commuter terminal and was eventually truncated to make way for a bus station. The line no longer towers over the forest, but hides quietly behind the bustle of Station Road, its electric trains now transporting workers into the city rather than helping the masses to escape it.
The station building is relatively unchanged since its 1878 construction, and still carries the grandeur that accompanied the railway schemes of the late 19th century.
The line was electrified in the late 1950s with electric services commencing on 12 November 1960. Early services were formed of Class 305 EMUs but initial technical problems with these saw replacements by Class 302 and Class 304 EMUs.
There is a plastic owl in the underside of the canopy over platform two, just outside the newsagent's, an attempt to stop pigeons landing there.
Ticket barriers were installed in 2011.
London Buses routes 97, 179, 212, 313, 379, 385, 397, 444, LSP routes 505 and Night routes N26.
The maximum length of train is eight carriages.
The typical off-peak service in trains per hour is:
- 4 to Liverpool Street
In late June 2013, as part of the 2013 Spending Review, Chancellor George Osborne gave the commitment for the devolution of the Seven Sisters and Chingford lines of West Anglian Suburban to TfL by the end of 2015. As such the station will then transfer to TfL control.
- Chingford station geograph-3084876-by-Ben-Brooksbank.jpg
Inside Chingford station
- Chingford station northbound.JPG
Platforms 2 and 3 looking north, to the buffers
- Chingford station southbound.JPG
Platforms 2 and 3 looking south. Class 315 unit 315822 awaits departure.
- Chingford station platforms 2 and 3 buffers.JPG
Northern end of platforms, showing the provision once made for through running
- Chingford station platform 1 and 2 southbound.JPG
Platforms 1 and 2 looking south. Platform 1 was designed as a bay from the outset.
- Chingford station signage.JPG
Platform signage, with National Express logo on right.
- Chingford station rear entrance.JPG
Rear entrance, also showing that the platforms were designed for through running.
- Chingford station north end platforms.JPG
View looking south from bus stand, showing the provision for through running. The extension to High Beach was cancelled in the late 19th century.