East London Line


(1876 - 2006)


The planned closure of Shoreditch station as part of the works for the East London extension should have occurred years before it did. Indeed, the extension to Dalston Junction that caused the replacement of this station should have been completed in the year that this station was finally closed.

As part of the works to extend the East London line, Shoreditch station was closed and replaced by a new Shoreditch High Street station. The route of the new line necessitated crossing over the main line tracks from Liverpool Street station, yet Shoreditch station was on the same level as those tracks. Apart from a small section where the station building is, the entire platform area has been filled in.

For a full history of the East London line, see Clive's UndergrounD Lines Guide.


Map showing a few areas of interest:

- The yellow shading is the now demolished Broad Street station. Its line north of New Inn Yard has been taken over by the East London line extension.

- The purple area is Liverpool Street station. Shoreditch station at one time had a through connection to this station.

- The light red area is the first G.E.R. terminus (replaced by Liverpool St) which subsequently was used as a goods station. Its site has been used for the new Shoreditch High Street station.

- The green area is Shoreditch station on the East London Line (closed in 2006). The route of its new connection to the former Broad Street line is indicated by the blue line.

- The station seen on the old Broad Street line at the top of the map is its own Shoreditch station, closed in 1940. By taking over this line, the East London line now has two disused Shoreditch stations on its route!




A small 'then & now' section - then being the late 1970s or so. Move your cursor over the images to see equivalent photos taken in the last month of service:


Shoreditch station building.

The East London Line extension was due to be opened in 2006, however the building of the line was delayed by legal action instigated by London Railway Heritage Society who claimed that demolition of the Bishopsgate Goods Yard was unnecessary. They lost their case on 2/5/2003 when a high court judge deemed that "It is difficult to see how it could conceivably be said that the desirability of retaining the goods yard should outweigh the need for an immediate progression of the Tube line extension."




Facing south.

The route for the new northward extension diverts from Whitechapel station to a new station (Shoreditch High St - built on the old Bishopsgate Goods Yard site) then runs along the old Broad Street main line route to Dalston (via stations at Hoxton, and Haggerston) ending up along the North London line to Highbury & Islington.




This station on the East London line (northwards from Whitechapel) was only open during weekday peak hours and Sunday mornings (for Brick Lane market). For the northward extension, the Scheduled Works state that the new line (from a southbound perspective) joins "... the course of the East London Line between Shoreditch station and Whitechapel station, terminating at a point 20 metres north west of the junction of Selby Street with Vallance Road."

Most of the station, as seen in these photos, has been filled in and the new bridge required to carry the line over the Great Eastern Railway into Liverpool Street has been built over the top.




Facing south(bound). Even in the late 1970s when this photo was taken, the decline of the station appeared to be terminal.
All of the area seen here has been in-filled.




The western end of the station: the route used to continue through to the British Rail lines to Liverpool Street main line station. The connection remained until the 1960s and was used until then for regular BR worked parcels trains at night, as well as through Sunday excursions from Eastern Region (and from Loughton on the Central Line) to such places as Brighton, Eastbourne and Margate. These reversed in Liverpool St.

The section seen here still remains and is visible from some trains on the Liverpool Street mainline.

(Info: David Burrows)




The eastern end of the station: the tracks leading from Shoreditch down to Whitechapel station. This is now the location of the ramp that takes the new line from the sub-surface tunnel from Whitechapel up onto the new bridge that crosses the Liverpool St mainline tracks.




2010: the cutting that Shoreditch station was in has been filled in (the grass area and the paved section on the right). The station building from this angle looks half-buried (arrowed).

The replacement line is on the right; the bridge taking it over the Liverpool Street main line tracks. There are two boxed sections after the bridge: the first is just an enclosure for the track, the second is the new Shoreditch High St station. Apparently they've been built in boxes to allow building works to be carried out in the immediate area without the need to close the line.




The new Shoreditch High Street station was built on the area that the original GER terminus was built: Bishopsgate, which was closed for passenger use when Liverpool Street opened. Bishopsgate was then used as a goods station until fire destroyed it in 1964. It was demolished in 2005. This view is the cleared area in 2006. Move your cursor over the image to see the same view in 2010 on the day that Shoreditch High Street station opened.





2010: new from old. The passenger train arriving at the new Shoreditch High Street station.




Panorama of Shoreditch station. Trains running this line comprised of only three cars, therefore not all the platform length was utilised.
The 'lump' in the middle of the shot is the barrier preventing passenger access from the in-use section of platform to the not-in-use section.
Contrary to the visual illusion given here, it did not extend over the track to the opposite platform!

(photo: 2006)




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Full details (albeit no longer updated) on the East London Line extension are at alwaystouchout.com

Lastly, a couple of webpages showing the East London line as it was in its tube days are here.


Shoreditch (Pt.2)



Photos taken between 1977 and 1981, except where stated.