Highbury & Islington station

Coordinates: 51°32′45″N 0°06′18″W / 51.5458°N 0.1050°W / 51.5458; -0.1050
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Highbury & Islington London Underground London Overground National Rail
Highbury & Islington is located in Greater London
Highbury & Islington
Highbury & Islington
Location of Highbury & Islington in Greater London
LocationHighbury & Islington
Local authorityLondon Borough of Islington
Managed byLondon Underground[1]
London Overground (surface platforms only)[2]
Station codeHHY
DfT categoryC2 (Great Northern platforms)
F1 (London Overground)
Number of platforms8
AccessibleYes (Overground platforms only)
Fare zone2
London Underground annual entry and exit
2018Decrease 17.89 million[3]
2019Decrease 17.50 million[4]
2020Decrease 8.22 million[5]
2021Increase 8.34 million[6]
2022Increase 13.76 million[7]
National Rail annual entry and exit
2018–19Increase 30.440 million[8]
– interchange Decrease 3.964 million[8]
2019–20Decrease 29.399 million[8]
– interchange Decrease 3.397 million[8]
2020–21Decrease 8.661 million[8]
– interchange Decrease 1.116 million[8]
2021–22Increase 17.816 million[8]
– interchange Increase 2.193 million[8]
2022–23Increase 20.601 million[8]
– interchange Increase 6.840 million[8]
Key dates
26 September 1850Opened (NLR)
28 June 1904Opened (GN&CR)
1 September 1968Opened (Victoria line)
1975Closed (Northern line (Highbury branch))
1976Opened (Northern City Line)
February 2010Overground platforms rebuilt
1 June 2010North London Line platforms re-opened
March 2011East London Line platforms opened
Other information
External links
WGS8451°32′45″N 0°06′18″W / 51.5458°N 0.1050°W / 51.5458; -0.1050
 London transport portal

Highbury & Islington is an interchange station in the London Borough of Islington, North London for London Underground, London Overground and National Rail services

The station is served by the Underground's Victoria line, the Overground's East and North London Lines and the Great Northern's Northern City Line.[9]

On the Victoria line, the station is between Finsbury Park and King's Cross St Pancras. The station is the terminus of the East London Line, with Canonbury the preceding station. On the North London Line, it is between Caledonian Road & Barnsbury and Canonbury. On the Northern City Line, it is between Essex Road and Drayton Park, 2 miles 21 chains (3.6 km) down the line from Moorgate

It is the 13th busiest station in the UK with over 30 million people a year using it in 2018/19 according to Office of Rail and Road statistics.

The station is in Travelcard Zone 2.[10]


The Horne station building, pictured in 1873
The GN&CR building (1904)
The 1960s building

The current station derives from two earlier stations. The first, which was on the same site, was a Victorian-gothic building, designed by Edwin Henry Horne, with a drive-in forecourt, opened on 26 September 1850 by the North London Railway (NLR) and called 'Islington'. Following reconstruction, it was renamed 'Highbury & Islington' on 1 July 1872.[11][12]

The second station, on the opposite side of Holloway Road, was opened on 28 June 1904 by the Great Northern & City Railway (GN&CR) on its underground line between Finsbury Park and Moorgate. Opened as 'Highbury', it was renamed to 'Highbury & Islington' on 20 July 1922.[13] This line and stations were operated by the Metropolitan Railway and its successors from 1913 until 1975 when the line, by then called the Northern City Line, was transferred to British Rail. The route is now operated by Great Northern.

The NLR station was damaged by a V-1 flying bomb on 27 June 1944; however, its main building remained in use until it was demolished in the 1960s during the building of the Victoria line. The original westbound platform buildings remain, as does a small part of the original entrance to the left of the present station entrance.

The present single-storey structure was built in the 1960s for the opening of the Victoria line on 1 September 1968 and is the entrance for all lines.[14] When the escalators to the deep-level platforms were opened, the GN&CR station building was closed. Its disused entrance remains and was refurbished externally in 2006 – it houses signalling equipment for the Victoria line.[15]

The Victoria line was built to give as many interchanges as possible with Underground and British Rail lines, with, wherever possible, cross-platform connection between different lines heading in the same direction. To this end, at Highbury & Islington the northbound Northern City Line platform was reallocated to the southbound Victoria line to give a direct link between the two southbound platforms; a new northbound platform was constructed for each line; the northbound running NCL tunnel was diverted to its new platform; and the southbound Victoria line tunnel was joined to the old northbound NCL tunnel.

Between 14 May 1979 and 11 May 1985 the station was served by the Crosstown Linkline diesel multiple unit service between to Camden Road and North Woolwich.

The former train operating company Anglia Railways ran services known as London Crosslink from Norwich to Basingstoke via Stratford, which called at Highbury & Islington. This service operated from 2000 until 2002.

To allow new four-car trains to run on the London Overground network, the North London Line between Gospel Oak and Stratford was closed between February and May 2010 while a new signalling system was installed and 30 platforms were extended. During this closure, the Highbury & Islington station ticket hall was extended and step-free access installed on all of the London Overground platforms. The North London Line reopened on 1 June 2010; however, the East London Line platforms did not open until March 2011, whilst the Western Curve was reinstated, linking the station to Dalston Junction and the rest of the East London Line.[16]


Highbury & Islington has a total of eight platforms, divided between those that are on the surface and those that are deep level:

Surface platforms[edit]

Platforms for North London Line (NLL) and East London Line (ELL) services are operated by London Overground. On 1 June 2010, following the temporary closure of the route from February 2010 to May 2010, NLL services were rerouted to the newly built platforms 7 and 8 for the AC lines, which replaced the old "special use" platform. Platforms 1 and 2, which previously served the NLL route on third rail lines, were closed from February 2010 for reconstruction and reopened in 2011 for the ELL services. The change of platforms allows ELL services to operate without having to cross over NLL tracks. An island platform provides platforms 2 and 7; platforms 1 and 8 are side platforms. When the ELL extension to Clapham Junction was first instituted in December 2012, trains ran through to Clapham Junction from this station throughout the week. Following a timetable change in December 2014, they only do so on Sundays, with West Croydon the second destination served alongside Crystal Palace on weekdays & Saturdays.

Deep-level platforms[edit]

Platforms 3 to 6 are deep-level platforms. Platforms 3 and 5 are used for services on the Victoria line; 4 and 6 are used for Northern City Line services.


London Overground[edit]

London Overground Class 378 in 2019

All times below are correct as of May 2016.

East London Line[edit]

Mondays to Saturdays there is a service every 6–9 minutes throughout the day, while on Sundays before 13:00 there is a service every 15 minutes, changing after that to every 7–8 minutes until the end of service.[17]

North London Line[edit]

Mondays to Fridays there is a service approximately every 7–8 minutes throughout the morning and evening peaks, changing to roughly every 10 minutes off-peak. On Saturdays the service is approximately every 10 minutes. Sunday services are similar in frequency to the services on Saturdays.[18]

Great Northern[edit]

Great Northern Class 313 in 2017

Mondays to Fridays there is a service approximately every 4–15 minutes until 10:00, when the frequency is every 10 minutes until 16:00, when the frequency again changes to between every 4–15 minutes until the end of service.[19] Prior to December 2015, weekend and evening services were diverted to Kings Cross from Finsbury Park.[20] Northbound trains run alternately to Welwyn Garden City and to Stevenage via Hertford North.

London Underground[edit]

Victoria line[edit]

Westbound there is a service every 2–5 minutes all day, all week. Eastbound there are services every 2–8 minutes all day, all week.[21][22]

Preceding station London Underground Following station
King's Cross St Pancras
towards Brixton
Victoria line Finsbury Park
Preceding station London Overground Following station
Caledonian Road & Barnsbury North London line Canonbury
towards Stratford
Terminus East London line Canonbury
Preceding station National Rail National Rail Following station
Great Northern
Former Service
Camden Road or
West Hampstead
  Anglia Railways
London Crosslink
Preceding station London Underground Following station
Drayton Park Metropolitan line
Northern City Branch
Essex Road
towards Moorgate
Northern line
Northern City branch
Drayton Park
Northern line
Northern City branch
Abandoned plans
Drayton Park Northern line Essex Road
towards Moorgate


London Buses routes 4, 19, 21, 30, 43, 263 and 393 and night routes N19, N41, N271 and N277 serve the station.[24][25]


  1. ^ thetrainline
  2. ^ "Station Usage Data" (CSV). Usage Statistics for London Stations, 2018. Transport for London. 23 September 2020. Archived from the original on 14 January 2023. Retrieved 11 October 2023.
  3. ^ "Station Usage Data" (XLSX). Usage Statistics for London Stations, 2019. Transport for London. 23 September 2020. Archived from the original on 9 November 2020. Retrieved 9 November 2020.
  4. ^ "Station Usage Data" (XLSX). Usage Statistics for London Stations, 2020. Transport for London. 16 April 2021. Retrieved 1 January 2022.
  5. ^ "Station Usage Data" (XLSX). Usage Statistics for London Stations, 2021. Transport for London. 12 July 2022. Retrieved 7 September 2022.
  6. ^ "Station Usage Data" (XLSX). Usage Statistics for London Stations, 2022. Transport for London. 4 October 2023. Retrieved 10 October 2023.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Estimates of station usage". Rail statistics. Office of Rail Regulation. Please note: Some methodology may vary year on year.
  8. ^ "Home - Transport for London". www.tfl.gov.uk. Retrieved 2 December 2015.
  9. ^ TFL.gov.uk
  10. ^ Butt 1995, pp. 120, 128.
  11. ^ Chronology of London Railway by H.V.Borley
  12. ^ Butt 1995, p. 120.
  13. ^ Horne 1988, p. 43.
  14. ^ "Metronet News Issue 8 (page 7)" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 31 October 2006. Retrieved 11 April 2007.
  15. ^ "In Pictures: The East London Line Extension To Highbury & Islington". Londonist. 28 February 2011. Retrieved 2 December 2015.
  16. ^ Table 178 National Rail timetable, May 2016
  17. ^ Table 59 National Rail timetable, May 2016
  18. ^ Table 24 National Rail timetable, May 2016
  19. ^ "Seven-day-a-week service to the City better for late-returning commuters and weekend shoppers" (Press release). Govia Thameslink Railway. 5 November 2015. Archived from the original on 17 November 2015. Retrieved 15 November 2015.
  20. ^ Journeyplanner.tfl.gov.uk
  21. ^ Journeyplanner.tfl.gov.uk
  22. ^ Orange-colored “Great Northern” from 1904
  23. ^ "Buses from Highbury & Islington" (PDF). TfL. 4 February 2023. Retrieved 5 February 2023.
  24. ^ "Night buses from Highbury & Islington" (PDF). TfL. 4 February 2023. Retrieved 5 February 2023.


External links[edit]