Epping tube station
Template:Use dmy dates Template:Use British English Template:Infobox London station Epping on the London Underground is the north-eastern terminus of the Central Line. The station before Epping is Theydon Bois, which is about three minutes travelling time away. Epping station is in the Epping Forest District of Essex. It is one of eight London Underground stations in the district and is in Travelcard Zone 6.
In 1856, the Eastern Counties Railway (later Great Eastern Railway) opened a double-track railway between Stratford and Loughton and added a single-track extension from Loughton to Ongar in 1865. The popularity of the line led to the doubling of the track between Loughton and Epping in the 1890s. The line was well served, with 50 trains operating between London and Loughton each day, a further 22 continuing to Epping and 14 more to Ongar. Loughton to Epping became part of the London Underground Central Line on 25 September 1949, leaving the single track line from Epping to Ongar as the last steam-worked section. British Railways ran the service until 1957 when the line was electrified and became part of the Central Line. However, services did not run through to the rest of the Central Line except for occasional depot workings, so passengers to/from stations beyond Epping normally had to change platforms for the single-track line to Ongar via North Weald and Blake Hall stations. On 2 November 1981, Blake Hall closed and trains passed through the station. On 30 September 1994 London Underground withdrew the service between Epping and Ongar and subsequently sold this section of the Central line. This later became the privately owned preserved line Epping Ongar Railway.
The station today
Epping station saw a growth in passenger numbers in the mid 1990s due to the closures of nearby North Weald, Blake Hall and Ongar stations. This growth has continued due to significant development in Epping itself and surrounding villages. Another major contributing factor is that many people living in not too distant towns such as Harlow and Bishop's Stortford use the station instead of their own National Rail stations, because it is considerably cheaper to travel to London by London Underground than it is to use National Rail services. Growth is now at such a point where the station’s car park is full by 6:30 am and parking around the station (as with other stations on this part of the line, e.g. Theydon Bois and Debden) has become a serious problem for local residents, which in turn has caused many residents and local groups to call for the re-opening of North Weald and Ongar stations to help ease demand on Epping station.
As of 11 May 2008 an e-petition calling for the reopening of North Weald and Ongar stations was created on the Downing Street website. It closed on 11 December 2008 with 1012 signatures. Part of the Epping-Ongar line is now a heritage railway, the Epping Ongar Railway.
Epping Station was a stop on the proposed London Underground Chelsea-Hackney line. This scheme is currently being pursued by the developers of Crossrail. It would have taken over the Central Line from Leytonstone and continue to Epping serving as its terminus.Template:Citation needed However, as of 2013, the route options for this proposed line no longer include the Epping branch.
- The longest possible journey on the London Underground without changing trains is the Central line route between West Ruislip and Epping (34.1 miles / 54.9 km).
- Epping station counts approximately 6,200 users daily.<ref name="TfL 3873">Template:Cite web</ref>
- Epping has the largest public London Underground station car park with 519 spaces.<ref name="TfL 3873" />
- Epping tube station roundel.JPG
Roundel at Epping station
- Epping station high southbound.JPG
Looking south from footbridge
- Epping Station auto-train geograph-2988854-by-Ben-Brooksbank.jpg
The station in 1957
- London's Abandoned Tube Stations - Epping to Ongar branch
- Epping station in 1952
- Epping station in 1953