Fenchurch Street railway station

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Fenchurch Street National Rail
London Fenchurch Street
Fenchurch Street station (6553644825).jpg
Main entrance on Fenchurch Place
Fenchurch Street is located in Central London
Fenchurch Street
Fenchurch Street
Location of Fenchurch Street in Central London
Location Fenchurch Street
Local authority City of London
Managed by Network Rail
Station code FST
DfT category A
Number of platforms 4
Fare zone 1
OSI Aldgate [1]
Bank
Liverpool Street (NR)
Monument
Tower Gateway (DLR)
Tower Hill
National Rail annual entry and exit
2004–05 Increase 16.086 million[2]
2005–06 Decrease 15.746 million[2]
2006–07 Decrease 15.189 million[2]
2007–08 Increase 15.976 million[2]
2008–09 Decrease 15.676 million[2]
2009–10 Decrease 15.093 million[2]
2010–11 Increase 16.675 million[2]
2011–12 Increase 16.937 million[2]
2012–13 Decrease 16.843 million[2]
Railway companies
Original company London and Blackwall Railway
Pre-grouping Great Eastern Railway
Post-grouping London and North Eastern Railway
Key dates
1841 Opened
1854 Rebuilt
1935 Remodelled
Listed status
Listed feature Front block
Listing grade II
Entry number 1079149[3]
Added to list 14 April 1972
Other information
Lists of stations
External links
Portal icon London Transport portal
Portal icon UK Railways portalCoordinates: 51°30′42″N 0°04′44″W / 51.51167°N 0.07881°W / 51.51167; -0.07881

Fenchurch Street, also known as London Fenchurch Street,[4] is a central London railway terminus located on Fenchurch Place, off Fenchurch Street, in the southeastern corner of the City of London. It is one of the smallest railway termini in London in terms of platforms but one of the most intensively operated.

Uniquely among London termini, Fenchurch Street does not have a direct link to the London Underground, although a secondary entrance on Cooper's Row (also known as the Tower entrance) is close to Tower Hill tube station and Tower Gateway DLR station, while Aldgate tube station is also nearby. It is one of 19 stations in the United Kingdom managed directly by Network Rail.[5] [6]

Design[edit]

The station facade is of grey stock brick and has a rounded gable roof. In the 1870s a flat awning over the entrance was replaced with the zig-zag canopy seen today. Above, the first floor facade has 11 round-arched windows, and above these is the station clock.

Fenchurch Street has four platforms arranged on two islands elevated on a viaduct. The station operates at capacity, especially during peak hours. To avoid overcrowding of the station, trains arriving during the morning peak period use alternate island platforms whenever possible. Office blocks (including the 15-storey One America Square) have been built above the station platforms in two places with only one short section of canopied platform and another short section of exposed platform.

The station has two exits: a main entrance to Fenchurch Place, just off Fenchurch Street itself, and another on Cooper's Row with access to the nearby Tower Hill tube station. The main station concourse is arranged on two levels connected by stairs, escalators and lifts. There is a ticket office and automatic ticket barriers at each entrance and retail outlets located on both levels of the station.

History[edit]

The station during the 1948 Summer Olympics
View westward towards the City end of the station, in May 1961

The station was the first to be constructed inside the City of London; the original was designed by William Tite and opened on 20 July 1841[7] for the London and Blackwall Railway (L&BR), replacing a nearby terminus named Minories that had opened in July 1840.

The station was rebuilt in 1854, following a design by George Berkley, adding a vaulted roof and the main facade. The station became the London terminus of the London, Tilbury and Southend Railway (LT&SR) in 1858; additionally, from 1850 until the opening of Broad Street station in 1865 it was also the City terminus of the North London Railway (NLR).

The Great Eastern Railway (GER) used the station as an alternative to the increasingly overcrowded Liverpool Street station for the last part of the 19th and first half of the 20th century over the routes of the former Eastern Counties Railway.[8] The L&BR effectively closed in 1926 after the cessation of passenger services east of Stepney (now Limehouse). When the former Eastern Counties lines transferred to the Underground's Central line in 1948 the LT&SR became the sole user of the station.

Fenchurch Street station was the location of the first railway bookstall in the City of London, operated by William Marshall.

Connection to the Underground[edit]

In the 1970s Fenchurch Street was considered an integral part of the proposed Fleet line. This would have brought it into the London Underground network. An extension from the end of the existing track terminus at Charing Cross to Fenchurch Street via Aldwych and Ludgate Circus would then have seen the line go on to a destination in east London, most probably via a new station at St Katharine Docks. Political wrangling delayed the extension, despite being considered the highest priority transport project in the city, and when in 1999 the extension was finally completed as part of the Jubilee line the route did not go through Fenchurch Street but instead went south of the River Thames before cutting back northwards at North Greenwich. Fenchurch Street remains isolated from the London Underground network, although within close walking distance of Tower Hill tube station and is shown on the tube map next to Tower Hill's marker.

Accidents and incidents[edit]

  • On 1 August 1859, two trains were involved in a low-speed head-on collision at Fenchurch Street after an arriving North Woolwich service erroneously passed a red signal and struck a stationary Tilbury service. No-one was injured.[9]
  • On 28 November 1860, a track defect caused the first four carriages of a departing train to leave the line at low speed. No-one was injured.[10]
  • On 24 June 1872, a service arriving from Bow came into collision with the buffers at the platform end at Fenchurch Street, resulting in injury to three passengers.[11]
  • On 17 August 1872, two people were injured when their service collided with an empty train being shunted out of a siding.[12]
  • On 2 September 1903, 11 passengers and one crew member were injured when a train hit the buffers as it arrived at Fenchurch Street.[13]
  • On 3 February 1912, approximately 86 people were injured when a train hit the buffers as it arrived at Fenchurch Street from Westcliff. It was estimated that 860 passengers were aboard at the time. Driver error and excessive speed were blamed for the incident.[14]
  • On 26 January 1927, 10 people were injured in a head-on collision and subsequent derailment caused by defects in the signal detection and signals at Fenchurch Street.[15]

Services[edit]

Since 2006 Fenchurch Street is served by the train operating company c2c, with services towards east London and south Essex. The typical off-peak service consists of eight trains per hour (tph) arriving and departing Fenchurch Street:

tph Destination Route Stopping pattern
2 Shoeburyness via Basildon not stopping at Limehouse, West Horndon or Pitsea
2 Shoeburyness via Basildon all stations
2 Southend Central via Ockendon all stations
2 Grays via Rainham all stations

During peak periods services are increased to 20 tph with some trains operating between Laindon and London while others run non-stop to and from Benfleet.

Preceding station National Rail National Rail Following station
Terminus   c2c
London, Tilbury & Southend Line
  Limehouse

Connections[edit]

Tower Hill tube station and Tower Gateway DLR station are out-of-station interchanges (OSI) for the London Underground and Docklands Light Railway.

London Buses route 40 serves the station.

Cultural references[edit]

  • The name of the clothing brand Fenchurch is derived from the station.
  • In the Book Dracula, by Bram Stoker, Dr. John Seward and Mrs. Mina Harker take the Underground to Fenchurch Street after they have met for the first time.

References[edit]

External links[edit]