Essex Road railway station
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Entrance on Canonbury Road
Location of Essex Road in Greater London
|Local authority||London Borough of Islington|
|Managed by||Great Northern|
|Number of platforms||2|
|National Rail annual entry and exit|
|1975||Closed (Northern City Line)|
|1976||Opened (British Rail City Line)|
|Lists of stations|
| London Transport portal
UK Railways portal
Essex Road railway station is a National Rail station in Canonbury in the London Borough of Islington. It is on the Northern City Line between Old Street and Highbury & Islington, 1 mile 59 chains (2.8 km) down-line from Moorgate, and is in Travelcard Zone 2. The station is at the junction of Essex Road, Canonbury Road and New North Road, with the present entrance on Canonbury Road. Operated by Great Northern, it is the only deep level underground station in London served solely by National Rail trains. Between 1933 and 1975 the station was operated as part of the London Underground, as a short branch of the Northern line. Between 1922 and 1948 the station name was Canonbury & Essex Road. The name reverted to the original form in 1948.
The station was opened on 14 February 1904 by the Great Northern & City Railway (GN&CR) on its underground route between the Great Northern Railway (GNR) station at Finsbury Park and the Metropolitan Railway (MR) and City & South London Railway (C&SLR) station at Moorgate in the City of London.
The GN&CR was intended to carry main line trains and the tunnels were constructed with a larger diameter (16 ft/4.9 m) than the other deep tube railways being built at that time (roughly 11 to 12 ft/3.4 m to 3.7 m). From 1913 the MR took control of the GN&CR and ran it under its own name until it became part of the London Passenger Transport Board (LPTB) in 1933. In preparation for the LPTB's "Northern Heights" plan the line was transferred to the control of the Morden-Edgware Line (now the Northern line).
The Northern Heights plan involved the building of a connection to the surface platforms at Finsbury Park and the transfer of a London and North Eastern Railway (LNER) branch from there to Edgware, High Barnet and Alexandra Palace. By 1939 much of the work for the connection of the lines had been done and the opening of the connection was scheduled for autumn 1940 but the start of World War II put a halt to further construction. After the war the uncompleted parts of the plan were cancelled and Northern line trains continued to run to Finsbury Park on what became known as the Northern City Line or, from 1970, the Northern line Highbury Branch.
The station was, from the early 1960s, closed on Sundays. In the 1970s it was also closed on Saturdays.
The Northern City Line was closed on 4 October 1975 (due to its weekend closure, Essex Road closed the day before) and ceased to be part of the London Underground. The line was transferred to British Rail (BR) and the unused connection between Drayton Park and Finsbury Park from the cancelled Northern Heights plan finally received the tracks to connect the line to the surface platforms at Finsbury Park. On 8 August 1976, the City Line reopened as part of the BR network with main line size trains running to Old Street. On 8 November 1976, seventy-two years after the GN&CR first opened, the line was opened fully for main line trains from Moorgate to Finsbury Park and beyond as had been originally intended.
By comparison with other underground stations built at the beginning of the 20th century, the station's surface building is nondescript and unremarkable. Unlike many other central London underground stations, Essex Road was never modernised with escalators and access to the platforms is by lift or a spiral staircase. The station also lacks the automatic ticket gates present at most London Underground and many National Rail stations.
At the lower level the lifts and staircase (of 157 steps) are connected to the platforms via a passageway and a short staircase rising between the two tunnels. The Underground's former operation of the station is evident from the unused and rusty fourth rail which once provided a return of the current from the tube trains serving the line. The third rail is still in use, with return now through the running rails. Signs at street and platform level still mention Network SouthEast, even though it is now Great Northern that serves this station.
- 6tph to London Moorgate
- 3tph to Welwyn Garden City via Potters Bar
- 3tph to Hertford North (1tph extended to Letchworth Garden City, via Stevenage)
At the weekends:
- 4tph to London Moorgate
- 2tph to Welwyn Garden City via Potters Bar
- 2tph to Hertford North (1tph extended to Stevenage)
In peak hours, there is a service approximately every 4–15 minutes until 10:00 and again after 16:00, until the end of service. Peak service variations on the Hertford Loop see certain trains start/terminate at Gordon Hill or Stevenage, others on both lines skip certain stations (e.g. Harringay & Hornsey).
Essex Road was a station on the proposed Chelsea-Hackney line. However, the scheme currently being pursued by the developers of Crossrail, known as Crossrail 2, does not provide for an interchange at Essex Road.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Essex Road railway station.|
- "Station usage estimates". Rail statistics. Office of Rail Regulation. Please note: Some methodology may vary year on year.
- Table 24 National Rail timetable, May 2016
- "Seven-day-a-week service to the City better for late-returning commuters and weekend shoppers" (Press release). Govia Thameslink Railway. 5 November 2015. Retrieved 15 November 2015.
- Crossrail Chelsea-Hackney: Downloads Archived 19 September 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
- Train times and station information for Essex Road railway station from National Rail
- London Transport Museum Photographic Archive
|Preceding station||National Rail||Following station|
|Preceding station||London Underground||Following station|
towards Finsbury Park
Northern City branch
|Abandoned Northern Heights Line|
|Preceding station||London Underground||Following station|