Loughton tube station
Template:Use dmy dates Template:Use British English Template:Infobox London station Loughton is a London Underground station, some two miles north of the Greater London boundary, in the Epping Forest district of Essex.
It is served by the Central Line and lies between Buckhurst Hill and Debden. It is the larger of the two Underground stations in the town of Loughton, with Debden station being the smaller.
For the purposes of fare charging it is in Zone 6.
The original station was opened by the Eastern Counties Railway on 22 August 1856 and formed the terminus of the branch from London. The actual location was on the site of what is now the Lopping Hall in Loughton High Road, on a continuation of what eventually became the goods sidings, the line running across what are now the house sites and gardens on the west side of Station Road. The post 1865 goods and carriage sidings no longer exist and were located where the present car parks are. The pre-1865 station also had sidings and a coal wharf, extending almost to what is now St Mary's Church. This station is extensively documented in H W Paar and others, Loughton's First Station 2002 and in Pond, Strugnell and Martin The Loughton Railway 150 years on, 2006. There was also an excursion station or platform constructed along the westernmost edge of the goods yard site: this was used for the many thousands of excursionists who used Loughton as a base to visit nearby Epping Forest.
It was re-sited some 500 yards to the south on 24 April 1865 as part of the extension of the line to Epping and Ongar. A new station was opened on 28 April 1940 in readiness for London Underground trains, which took over the service from British Railways (Eastern Region) on 21 November 1948.
The station today
The current station is of notable architectural importance and is a Grade II listed building. Designed by John Murray Easton for the London & North Eastern Railway, on behalf of London Transport, the main structure consists of a high, square block dominated by large arched windows at high level. The main elevation is flanked by symmetrical wings and, to the south, a single storey extension. The whole building, as well as the associated disused signal cabin and sub-station, is finished in carefully bonded, incised, gault bricks. The ticket hall takes the form of a lofty arched hall, from which leads a subway that gives access to the two island platforms. The platforms are dominated by graceful, gull-winged shaped reinforced canopies that were altered during 1980s renovations. Although some original platform furniture has been lost the timber platform benches, with the London Underground roundel forming the seat backs, survive.
The station has four platform faces and three tracks, with the middle bi-directional track usually used for terminating trains. A proportion of eastbound trains are scheduled to terminate at Loughton, most of which return to central London, although some go out of service into Loughton sidings (usually after the evening peak and late at night) which can accommodate 10 trains. A traincrew depot ("the Powerhouse") was converted from the matching electrical substation to the north-east of the station in 2006.
A small bus station is situated in the station forecourt, where there are London Buses services, alongside commercial and Essex County Council contract bus services.