The station is managed by London Overground, and is in Zone 3. The service has been improved in stages to four trains an hour, weekdays and weekends except late evenings when it goes down to two trains an hour.
Opened on 9 July 1894 as part of the Tottenham & Forest Gate Railway and was originally just called "Leyton". On 17 August 1915, three explosive bombs from the German Zeppelin L.10 landed on or near the station, destroying the ticket office, a billiard hall in the arches under the platform and damaging several houses nearby. Four people were killed. The station was renamed Leyton Midland Road on 1 May 1949.
Since the takeover by London Overground the station has benefited from a major refit including deep clean, new signing, a ticket machine and additional waiting shelters. The community garden which was started by members of the GOBLIN support group is tended by station staff now, one of whom recently won an award for outstanding service to passengers.. Automatic ticket gates have now been installed and, controversially, the Midland Road entrance now closed.
In common with other stations on the line, usage has greatly increased in recent years, following improvements in train services and the reintroduction of station staff, and peak-hour overcrowding of the two-car diesel trains is now a major issue. Electrification of the line has been finally approved after a long campaign and is anticipated for 2017.