Lea Valley Lines

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Lea Valley Lines
Unit 315857 at White Hart Lane.JPG
An Abellio Greater Anglia train at White Hart Lane.
Overview
Type Commuter rail, Suburban rail
System National Rail
Status Operational
Locale Greater London
East of England
Termini Enfield Town
Cheshunt
Chingford
London Liverpool Street
Stratford
Stations 31
Services 5
Operation
Owner Network Rail (Anglia Route)
Operator(s) Abellio Greater Anglia
Depot(s) Ilford
Sidings at Chingford
Rolling stock Class 315
Class 317
Class 379 "Electrostar"
Technical
No. of tracks 2-4
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge
Electrification 25 kV 50hz AC Overhead lines
Operating speed Below 75 mph (121 km/h)
Route map
West Anglia Main Line 00m 00ch
14m 01ch
Cheshunt 
Cheshunt Junction 00m 00ch
14m 28ch
13m 71ch
13m 45ch
Theobalds Grove 
 Waltham Cross
12m 63ch
 00m 00chM25 motorway
12m 16ch
Turkey Street 
00m 00ch
Carterhatch Lane 
 Enfield Lock
11m 65ch
10m 55ch
Enfield Town 
 Brimsdown
10m 61ch
10m 32ch
Southbury 
 Chingford
10m 33ch
09m 69ch
Bush Hill Park 
 Ponders End
09m 71ch
Bury Street Junction 09m 20ch
 Highams Park
08m 52ch
08m 45ch
Edmonton Green
formerly Lower Edmonton
00m 00ch 
Lower Edmonton
(low level)
07m 75ch
Silver Street 
 Angel Road
07m 57ch
07m 11ch
White Hart Lane 
 Wood Street
07m 07ch
 Northumberland Park
06m 73ch
06m 28ch
Bruce Grove 
 Walthamstow Central London Underground
06m 16ch
 00m 00chGospel Oak to Barking Line
 Tottenham Hale London Underground
06m 00ch
05m 48ch
London Underground Seven Sisters 
 St James Street
05m 55ch
Palace Gates Line00m 00ch 
05m 41ch  Tottenham S Junction
Seven Sisters Junction 05m 40ch
 South Tottenham
00m 00ch
04m 74ch  Coppermill Junctions
Gospel Oak to Barking Line00m 00ch 
 00m 00chHall Farm Junction
05m 03ch
Stamford Hill 
 00m 00chLea Bridge Junction
Clapton Junction00m 00ch 
 Lea Bridge
00m 00ch
03m 78ch
Clapton 
 00m 00chLoughton Branch
Clapton Tunnel00m 00ch 
 00m 00chLoughton Branch Junction
04m 16ch
Stoke Newington 
00m 00ch 
Queens Road
(never opened)
03m 64ch
Rectory Road 
 00m 00chQueens Road Tunnel
Hackney Downs N Junction 03m 04ch
 00m 00chGreat Eastern Main Line
02m 78ch
Hackney Downs 
 Stratford London Underground Docklands Light Railway
00m 00ch
North London Line00m 00ch 
Reading Lane Junction 02m 55ch
02m 35ch
London Fields 
01m 61ch
Cambridge Heath 
Bethnal Green N Junction 01m 30ch
01m 10ch
Bethnal Green
(GEML platforms closed)
00m 00ch
Bishopsgate Goods 
 00m 00chEast London Line
00m 00ch
Bishopsgate (Low Level) 
00m 00ch
London Underground Liverpool Street 

The Lea Valley Lines are three commuter lines and two branches in North East London, so named because they run along the Lower Lea Valley of the River Lea. They were part of the Great Eastern Railway,[1] now part of the Anglia Route of Network Rail.

History[edit]

The first section was opened by the Eastern Counties Railway (ECR) on 20 June 1839 from the London end at Devonshire Street to Romford, extended on 1 July 1840 to Bishopsgate (London end) and Brentwood. The Northern and Eastern Railway (N&ER) opened its first section from that line at Stratford to Broxbourne on 15 September 1840, and to Harlow in 1841; though it remained a separate entity, its line was leased to the ECR from 1 January 1844. A branch from Broxbourne to Hertford opened in 1843.

Enfield was reached on 1 March 1849 by the single-line Enfield Town branch from the N&ER at Angel Road via Lower Edmonton. The ECR was incorporated into the Great Eastern Railway (GER) in 1862. A shorter route to Edmonton was provided by the GER in 1872, from Bethnal Green via Hackney Downs and Stoke Newington, which opened on 27 May; the section via Seven Sisters and Lower Edmonton, at a new high-level station provided adjacent to the old low-level station, opened on 22 July. The line from there to Enfield was doubled at the same time. The old line between Angel Road and Lower Edmonton was closed to passenger trains in 1939, except for occasional diversionary traffic including the period in the 1950s when the rest of the local network was being electrified; the line closed completely in 1964 and the track was removed soon after.

Another branch, the Chingford Branch Line, went from Lea Bridge to Walthamstow, Shern Hall Street, in 1870, extended southwards to Hackney Downs in 1872 and northwards to Chingford in 1873.

The final section linked Lower Edmonton on the Enfield branch via Churchbury (later Southbury) with the Broxbourne line at Cheshunt, opening on 1 October 1891; it was known as the Churchbury loop until the renaming of that station in 1960, then the Southbury loop.

A station was proposed near Clapton called Queens Road but never opened.[2]

Route and services[edit]

All lines start at either London Liverpool Street or Stratford and are operated by Abellio Greater Anglia as a part of the Greater Anglia Rail Franchise.

The routes are:

Until 1970 the Tottenham Hale and Chingford lines were connected by the Hall Farm Curve, which may be reconstructed.[3]

The line is part of the Network Rail Strategic Route 5, SRS 05.02, 05.04 and part of 05.01. It is classified as a London and South East Commuter line.[4]

A minor service runs from the Seven Sisters branch to Stratford via the Gospel Oak to Barking Line and the West Anglia Main Line. This is one of only two places on the Gospel Oak to Barking Line where it is electrified.

Infrastructure[edit]

The line is double track for most of its length, with some multitrack between Hackney Downs and Liverpool Street - the Suburban Lines for trains stopping at Cambridge Heath and London Fields and the Main Lines for non-stop West Anglia/Stansted Express services. It is electrified at 25 kV AC using overhead line equipment and has a line speed of 40-75 mph except between Cheshunt and Coppermill junction where it is 60-85 mph. Different sections have different loading gauges. Most is W8, with the branches to Enfield Town and Chingford being W6 and the branch to Stratford W9.[4]

Future developments[edit]

Following the expansion of the London Overground network in December 2012, TfL expressed its intention to operate other suburban lines, including the West Anglian suburban routes: Liverpool Street to Enfield, Chingford, Cheshunt and Hertford East.

In late June 2013, as part of the 2013 Spending Review, the Greater London Authority confirmed that Chancellor George Osborne gave the commitment for the Seven Sisters and Chingford lines to be taken over by TfL by the end of 2015.

The Tottenham Hale-West Anglian route is planned to become part of Crossrail 2 to Cheshunt, Broxbourne and Hertford East.

References[edit]

  1. ^ White, H.P. (1987). Thomas, David St John, ed. A Regional History of the Railways of Great Britain — Volume 3: Greater London (3rd ed.). Dawlish: David & Charles. 
  2. ^ Brown, Joe (2006). London Railway Atlas (1st ed.). Ian Allan Publishing. p. 23. ISBN 0-7110-3137-1. 
  3. ^ "The Case for a Chingford to Stratford Rail Service". London Borough of Waltham Forest. Retrieved 2012-10-01.  See also Greater Anglia Route Utilisation Strategy.
  4. ^ a b "Route 5 - West Anglia". Network Rail. 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-26. 

Brown, Joe (2006). London Railway Atlas. ISBN 978-0-7110-3137-1.