Hall Farm Curve

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Hall Farm Curve
OSM Hall Farm Curve.png
The former location of the Hall Farm Curve
TypeCommuter rail, Suburban rail
SystemNational Rail
LocaleGreater London
StationsLea Bridge
ServicesLea Valley Lines
Opened26 April 1870[1]
OwnerNetwork Rail
Number of tracks2
Track gauge4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge

The Hall Farm Curve is a disused 500 m (1,600 ft) length of railway line in Walthamstow, east London, that connected Chingford station with Stratford station until the closure of the section of line in September 1968.[2] The track was lifted in 1970.[3][4]


Located between Hall Farm Junction and Lea Bridge Junction, the Hall Farm Curve connected two of the Lea Valley Lines - that running between Stratford and Tottenham Hale, and that running between Liverpool Street and Chingford.[3][4]

Lea Bridge railway station is located a short distance to the south of the junction on the Stratford line. It was closed in 1985,[3] but reopened in spring 2016.[5]


The curve was opened on 26 April 1870 as the original route from London to Walthamstow. When the direct line to Clapton opened in 1872, it was used by a regular service between Stratford and Chingford until 1940. Weekend services continued on the line until 1950. In 1960 the Chingford line was electrified, and overhead wires erected over the Hall Farm curve, but not the Stratford line. It was still used as a diversionary and freight route, using diesel haulage. However, British Rail closed the line in 1968 and removed the track from the curve in 1970.[4]

Possible reinstatement[edit]

Campaigns have been run since the 1990s to have both the curve and Lea Bridge station reinstated. Legal powers to re-lay the spur were obtained by British Rail in 1992, but not exercised.[6] The proposal has the support of Waltham Forest London Borough Council;[3] Jennette Arnold, Labour Party politician and member of the London Assembly representing the London Boroughs of Hackney, Islington and Waltham Forest;[7] Stella Creasy, Member of Parliament for Walthamstow;[7] the Walthamstow Liberal Democrats, the Chingford and Woodford Green Liberal Democrats, the Chingford and Woodford Green Labour Party;[4] and Railfuture, an independent organisation campaigning for better rail services in the UK.[4] Transport for London ran a study on the feasibility of reopening the curve for 2016 that produced a result with a benefit-cost ratio ranging between 8:1 and 14:1 depending on the length of trains involved.[3] In 2007, the Greater Anglia Route Utilisation Strategy published by Network Rail suggested that construction of the curve could be possible by 2019 or later.[8]

Designs for new services run using the curve have been suggested to reduce journey times between Chingford and Stratford to 20 minutes, and high-frequency journeys between Walthamstow Central and Stratford to 12 minutes from the current duration of about 35 minutes.[9]

In January 2019, Campaign for Better Transport released a report identifying the line was listed as Priority 2 for reopening. Priority 2 is for those lines which require further development or a change in circumstances (such as housing developments).[10]


  1. ^ Borley, H.V. Chronology of London Railways. p. 18.
  2. ^ Borley, H.V. Chronology of London Railways. p. 19.
  3. ^ a b c d e "The Case for a Chingford to Stratford Rail Service". London Borough of Waltham Forest. Archived from the original on 22 October 2017. Retrieved 1 October 2012.
  4. ^ a b c d e "Rail Link Chingford – Stratford". Chingford and Woodford Green Labour Party. 20 January 2012. Retrieved 1 October 2012.
  5. ^ "A £15m station re-opening project will boost Waltham Forest's economy, travel and housing situation when it re-opens in 2016, according to council's leader". 10 July 2015. Retrieved 17 July 2015.
  6. ^ "Schedule 1: Descriptions of works referred to in section 5 of this Act". British Railways (No. 2) Act 1992 (c. xi). The Stationery Office. 18 June 1992. Retrieved 1 October 2015. A... railway (717 metres in length) at Walthamstow, commencing by a junction with the railway between Clapton and St. James Street at a point 429 metres north-east of the bridge carrying that railway over the railway between Tottenham Hale and Stratford and terminating by a junction with the last mentioned railway at a point 425 metres south-east of that bridge[.]
  7. ^ a b Arnold, Jennette. "Issues raised by Waltham Forest constituents". Jennette Arnold AM. Retrieved 1 October 2012.
  8. ^ "Greater Anglia Route Utilisation Strategy December 2007" (pdf). Network Rail. December 2007. p. 8. Retrieved 1 October 2012.
  9. ^ Curtis, Joe (26 June 2012). "CHINGFORD: Return of Hall Farm Curve to be 'seriously considered'". Waltham Forest Guardian. Retrieved 1 October 2012.
  10. ^ [1] p.42

Coordinates: 51°34′20″N 0°02′46″W / 51.5722°N 0.0462°W / 51.5722; -0.0462

External links[edit]