(1903 - 1947)


The Central Line loop in East London/Essex that runs via Hainalt, incorporated an existing LNER route from Woodford to Newbury Park, and had new tunnels built from Newbury Park to reach Leytonstone. The LNER section of track between Newbury Park and the main GER line at Ilford was withdrawn from passenger service.




Southward view from Newbury Park station showing the original route to Ilford (centre) and the two tunnels subsequently built for the Central Line.

The original line as shown in the centre of the photo, was retained after 1947 for the length of a freight train, to cater for the freights which operated to Newbury Park yard, believed to have finished in the early 1960s (possibly at the same time as those on the Epping line which ended in 1964). The trains, which ran from Temple Mills Yard via Woodford and Fairlop, ran through Newbury Pk station (from which the photo was taken) onto the stretch of line shown, then propelled back through the other platform and into the goods yard. After the freight service finished this stretch of line was retained for a good number of years and was occasionally used to stable tamping and similar machines.

The freight trains on the Newbury Pk and Epping lines (and occasional steam or diesel hauled special passenger trains on the Epping line) caused great surprise to passengers waiting on the various stations en route for underground trains who were not expecting such things to appear on an 'Underground' line.

(David Burrows)





This photo was taken in March 2006, a quarter of a century or so after the photo above. The central siding was removed in 1992.




The bridge over Wards Road. It has a strange design in that motor traffic is separated from pedestrians, though it seems probable that this was a post-closure alteration. The view here is of the south facing wall on the railway side; the road is behind the wall and there is an equivalent wall on the other (north) side of the road. Though the cutting for the line has been filled in, there is still a drop in the pavement level, to such an extent that a gap has been left between the bridge and the pavement (now boarded up) as seen here.





The bridge over Benton Road viewed from the trackbed north of the bridge.

(Mar 2006)





The bridge at Vicarage Lane looking south. Putting paid to any talk about the line being reopened is this housing estate recently built on the line. While not exactly on the track route itself, it is hard to imagine residents of this estate agreeing to have it bisected by a 'new' railway.

(Mar 2006)





Northward view of the Vicarage Lane bridge. The trees in the centre-right of the photo indicate the path of the line north of the housing estate.

(Mar 2006)





The view south of the Benton Road bridge and construction is underway for some more buildings, presumably housing to join up that north of the bridge and that seen on the right of this photo.

(Mar 2006)





Eastward view of the existing GER line between Seven Kings and Ilford stations, and the tracks leading to the Ilford Car Sheds, built on the route of the line to Newbury Park.

(Mar 2006)


Kings Cross York Road / Suburban