Hertford Loop Line
|Hertford Loop Line|
First Capital Connect Class 313 at Enfield Chase
East of England
|Operator(s)||First Capital Connect|
|Rolling stock||Class 313|
|Line length||24 mi (39 km)|
|No. of tracks||2|
|Track gauge||1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in) standard gauge|
|Route availability||RA 7-9|
|Electrification||25 kV AC OHLE|
|Hertford Loop Line|
The Hertford Loop Line is a branch of the East Coast Main Line, providing a commuter route to London for Hertford and other Hertfordshire towns and an occasional diversion route for the main line. The line is part of the Network Rail Strategic Route 8, SRS 08.03 and is classified as a London and South East Commuter line.
First Capital Connect operates suburban services along the Hertford Loop Line between London King's Cross or Moorgate, and Letchworth, Stevenage or Hertford North. Occasionally, East Coast, First Hull Trains, Grand Central and other faster First Capital Connect services operate non-stop along the route when diverted off the main section of the East Coast Main Line, due to engineering work. There is a reversing siding to the north of Bowes Park which is occasionally used to turn around East Coast trains heading for the Bounds Green Depot. There are also bay platforms at Hertford North and Gordon Hill, the latter acting as a terminus during peak hours only.
European Rail Traffic Management System trials on the Hertford Loop 
Network Rail plans to use Eversholt Rail owned unit 313121 as a test vehicle for ERTMS on the Hertford Loop, where it hopes to have the facility running by 2014 or earlier. The plan involves resignalling a 5½ mile section of the double track route to allow existing services to use only one line, freeing the other for ERTMS tests.
The line was opened in three stages between 1871 and 1924. The first section called the Enfield Branch Railway was developed by the London and York Railway and went from Wood Green to Enfield. In 1898, a plan was approved to extend the line north to Hertford and Stevenage, in order to relieve congestion on the main line without having to widen the Welwyn Viaduct. Work started in 1905 and Cuffley was reached on 4 April 1910. The construction of two major viaducts and the Ponsbourne Tunnel (at 2,648 yards, the longest in the eastern counties of England and the last to be built by traditional methods), combined with World War I shortages of men and materials, delayed the opening of the route to Stevenage until 4 March 1918. Then it was single track and for goods services only. The line finally opened to passengers on 2 June 1924 when a new Hertford North Station was opened. The line was electrified in 1977.
Route and settlements served 
- Watton-at-Stone, serving the village of Watton-at-Stone
- Hertford North, serving the town of Hertford
- Bayford, serving the villages of Bayford and Brickendon
- Cuffley, serving the villages of Cuffley, Northaw and Goffs Oak
- Crews Hill, serving the village of Crews Hill
- Gordon Hill, serving the northern area of Enfield and Forty Hill, also close to Chase Farm Hospital.
- Enfield Chase, serving Enfield Town
- Grange Park, serving Grange Park
- Winchmore Hill, serving Winchmore Hill
- Palmers Green, serving Palmers Green
- Bowes Park, serving Bowes Park, Bounds Green and Wood Green
- "Route 8 - East Coast Main Line". Network Rail. 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-01.
- "Railway Industry Association: Update #52 page 6". Retrieved 4 March 2011.
- Rail Magazine 664. February 22 - March 8 2011.
- A Regional History of the Railways of Great Britain (Vol. 3 Greater London), H P White, David & Charles Ltd 1971 (Pages 166-7)
- A Regional History of the Railways of Great Britain (Vol. 5 The Eastern Counties), D I Gordon, David & Charles Ltd 1977 ISBN 7153-4321-1 (Pages 123-4)
- http://www.pastscape.org/hob.aspx?hob_id=1368854&search=all&criteria=Haringey&p=4#aSt English Heritage Pastscape: Hertford Loop Line
- Network Rail (2006-12-02). London North East Route Sectional Appendix. Module LNE1. p. 46. NR30018/01a.
- Network Rail (2006-12-02). London North East Route Sectional Appendix. Module LNE1. p. 44. NR30018/01a.
Hornby, Frank (1995) London Commuter Lines. Volume 1: Main lines north of the Thames. Kettering: Silver Link Publishing Ltd.