Lea Valley Lines

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Lea Valley Lines
Unit 315857 at White Hart Lane.JPG
An Abellio Greater Anglia train at White Hart Lane.
Type Commuter rail, Suburban rail
System National Rail
Status Operational
Locale Greater London
East of England
Termini Enfield Town
London Liverpool Street
Stations 31
Services 5
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"
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
Cheshunt; 14m 01ch
Cheshunt Jn
14m 28ch / 13m 71ch
Theobalds Grove; 13m 45ch
Waltham Cross; 12m 63ch
M25 motorway
Turkey Street; 12m 16ch
Enfield Lock; 11m 65ch
Carterhatch Lane
Brimsdown; 10m 61ch
Enfield Town; 10m 55ch
Chingford; 10m 33ch
Southbury; 10m 32ch
Ponders End; 9m 71ch
Bush Hill Park; 9m 69ch
Bury Street Jn; 9m 20ch
Highams Park; 8m 52ch
Edmonton Green; 8m 45ch
Formerly Lower Edmonton
Lower Edmonton (Low Level)
Silver Street; 7m 75ch
Angel Road; 7m 57ch
White Hart Lane; 7m 11ch
Wood Street; 7m 07ch
Northumberland Park; 6m 73ch
Bruce Grove; 6m 28ch
Tottenham Hale London Underground; 6m 00ch
Seven Sisters London Underground; 5m 48ch
Walthamstow Central London Underground; 6m 16ch
Palace Gates Line
Seven Sisters Jn; 5m 40ch
South Tottenham
Gospel Oak to Barking Line
Tottenham South Jn; 5m 41ch
Stamford Hill; 5m 03ch
St James Street; 5m 55ch
Coppermill Jns; 4m 74ch
Clapton Junction
Hall Farm Junction
Lea Bridge Jn
Lea Bridge
Stoke Newington; 4m 16ch
Clapton; 3m 78ch
Rectory Road; 3m 64ch
Clapton Tunnel
Queens Road; 3m 78ch
Queens Road Tunnel
Hackney Downs North Jn; 3m 04ch
Hackney Downs; 2m 78ch
Loughton Branch Jn
Great Eastern Main Line
North London Line
Reading Lane Jn; 2m 55ch
Stratford London Underground Docklands Light Railway
London Fields; 2m 35ch
Cambridge Heath; 1m 61ch
Bethnal Green North Jn; 1m 30ch
Bethnal Green; 1m 10ch
(GEML platforms closed)
East London Line
Bishopsgate Goods
Bishopsgate Low Level
0m 00ch
Liverpool Street London Underground; 0m 00ch

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.


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.

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.[2]

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.[3]

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.


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.[3]

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.


  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. ^ "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.
  3. ^ 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.