Lea Valley Lines

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Lea Valley Lines
London Overground Class 317.jpg
British Rail Class 317 in Overground livery
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
London Overground
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 50 Hz AC Overhead lines
Operating speed Below 75 mph (121 km/h)
Route map
 00m 00chWest Anglia Main Line
14m 01ch
14m 28ch
13m 71ch  Cheshunt Junction
13m 45ch
Theobalds Grove 
 Waltham Cross
12m 63ch
 00m 00chM25 motorway
12m 16ch
Turkey Street 
 Enfield Lock
11m 65ch
00m 00ch
Carterhatch Lane 
10m 55ch
Enfield Town 
10m 61ch
10m 32ch
10m 33ch
09m 69ch
Bush Hill Park 
 Ponders End
09m 71ch
Bury Street Junction 09m 20ch
 Highams Park
08m 52ch
 Wood Street
07m 07ch
08m 45ch
Edmonton Green
formerly Lower Edmonton
00m 00ch 
Lower Edmonton
(low level)
07m 75ch
Silver Street 
 Angel Road
07m 57ch
07m 11ch
White Hart Lane 
 Northumberland Park
06m 73ch
06m 28ch
Bruce Grove 
 Walthamstow Central London Underground
06m 16ch
05m 48ch
London Underground Seven Sisters 
 Tottenham Hale London Underground
06m 00ch
Palace Gates Line00m 00ch 
 00m 00chGospel Oak to Barking Line
Seven Sisters Junction 05m 40ch
 St James Street
05m 55ch
00m 00ch
London Overground South Tottenham 
05m 41ch  Tottenham S Junction
Gospel Oak to Barking Line00m 00ch 
04m 74ch  Coppermill Junctions
05m 03ch
Stamford Hill 
 00m 00chHall Farm Junction
04m 16ch
Stoke Newington 
 00m 00chLea Bridge Junction
Clapton Junction00m 00ch 
 Lea Bridge
00m 00ch
03m 78ch
 00m 00chLoughton Branch
Clapton Tunnel00m 00ch 
 00m 00chLoughton Branch Junction
03m 64ch
Rectory Road 
00m 00ch 
Queens Road
(c.1892 never opened)
Queens Road Tunnel 00m 00ch
00m 00ch 
Stratford International
on High Speed 1
Hackney Downs N Junction 03m 04ch
 00m 00chGreat Eastern Main Line
02m 78ch
London Overground Hackney Downs 
 Stratford London Underground Docklands Light Railway London Overground Crossrail National Rail
00m 00ch
North London Line00m 00ch 
 00m 00chHigh Meads Junction
Reading Lane Junction 02m 55ch
02m 35ch
London Fields 
Regent's Canal 00m 00ch
01m 61ch
Cambridge Heath 
Bethnal Green N Junction 01m 30ch
01m 10ch
Bethnal Green
00m 00ch
Bishopsgate Goods 
00m 00ch
 00m 00chEast London Line
00m 00ch
Bishopsgate (Low Level) 
00m 00ch
London Underground Crossrail National Rail Liverpool Street 

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,[2] now part of the Anglia Route of Network Rail.

On 31 May 2015, services between London Liverpool Street to Chingford, Cheshunt and Enfield Town were transferred to London Overground, services between London Liverpool Street and Stratford via Tottenham Hale to Hertford East and Bishops Stortford remain with Abellio Greater Anglia.


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 under the Eastern Region; 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.

A station was proposed near Clapton called Queens Road but never opened.[3]

Route and services[edit]

All express services start at either London Liverpool Street or Stratford and are operated by Abellio Greater Anglia as part of the Greater Anglia Rail Franchise. Suburban services operating on the Southbury Loop terminating at Cheshunt, on the Enfield Town branch and on Chingford branch are operated by London Overground. Services operating via the Southbury Loop that continue beyond Cheshunt, as well as on the line via Tottenham Hale, including services originating at Stratford, are operated by Greater Anglia. The routes are:

Until 1970 the Stratford and Chingford lines were connected by the Hall Farm Curve, which may be reconstructed.[4]

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.[5]

A number of services to/from Liverpool Street start or terminate at Edmonton Green or Stamford Hill. Three minor services runs on Saturday only one between Enfield Town and Liverpool Street, one between Edmonton Green and Liverpool Street and the other between Cheshunt and Liverpool Street via Stratford and Gospel Oak to Barking 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, however between Hackney Downs and Liverpool Street it is multitrack- the Suburban Lines for trains stopping at Bethnal Green, 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.[5]

Future developments[edit]

The Tottenham Hale-West Anglian route is planned to become part of Crossrail 2 to Cheshunt, Broxbourne and Hertford East.


  1. ^ Railway Magazine December 1957 p. 891
  2. ^ White, H.P. (1987). Thomas, David St John, eds. A Regional History of the Railways of Great Britain — Volume 3: Greater London (3rd ed.). Dawlish: David & Charles. 
  3. ^ Brown, Joe (2006). London Railway Atlas (1st ed.). Ian Allan Publishing. p. 23. ISBN 0-7110-3137-1. 
  4. ^ "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.
  5. ^ a b "Route 5 – West Anglia" (PDF). Network Rail. 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-26. 

Brown, Joe (2006). London Railway Atlas. ISBN 978-0-7110-3137-1.