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09.01.2015
London Overground stations are managed by the London Underground & serves to link the underground tube network to the overground trains.
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Homerton Station, opened in 1868 and pictured here in the early years of the 20th Century. The new station had its entrance on Cadogan Terrace and comprised a substantial three storey brick building with the booking office at ground level and stairs up to the platform.
The original signalbox was on the east side of the Stratford lines at the junctions, this was later replaced by a new box between the diverging tracks. The Stratford platform closed on 1st November 1942 and the Poplar line platforms were closed on 8th November 1943, before the North London line was closed due to enemy action; the station didn't have any freight facilities. Until demolition of the station building it was still possible to read the station name on one of the blackened windows.
Freight traffic continued through the 1970's although with competition from road transport it was in decline and ceased on 3rd October 1983; the signalbox was closed and subsequently partially demolished leaving just the lower floor and external steps to the upper floor which can still be seen today. The original idea for the North London Line came from the London & Birmingham Railway who was keen to reach the docks situated on the lower reaches of the River Thames. The extension to Camden Town (Camden Road until 1870) was opened on 7th December 1850 and on to Hampstead Road (renamed Chalk Farm from 1862 and Primrose Hill from 1950) on 9th June 1851; beyond Hampstead Road there was a junction with the LNWR. On 1st January 1853, the rather unwieldy East & West India Docks and Birmingham Junction Railway was changed to the North London Railway. On the 18th May 1869 an eastwards spur was added at Bow onto the London Tilbury and Southern Railway allowing through running between Broad Street and Southend. The line was an immediate success and traffic steadily increased with 4.37 million passengers being carried in 1853 when some trains were extended from Hampstead Road over the LNWR to Willesden and Kew. By 1861, passenger numbers had reached 6.5 million the NLR decided to seek a more direct access into the city rather than the circuitous route into Fenchurch Street.
The Broad Street extension was very expensive to build and to save costs, the adjacent Broad Street goods station was built on two levels. The Bow locomotive shed was closed in 1882 and the building was incorporated into Bow Works. For the next 50 years a 15 minute service ran from Broad Street over the Poplar line, another 15 minute service ran to Hampstead Road calling at all stations while a third ran semi-fast to Camden with alternate trains running on to Watford and Richmond. In 1909 the North London Railway went into joint management with the LNWR and in 1922 the latter company absorbed the NLR completely before itself becoming part of the LMS the following year. The lines to Richmond and Watford remained and the Richmond service was reputedly one of London's more profitable but this prosperity was short lived with passenger numbers once again in decline by 1955.
Freight traffic was now also in decline as the developing motorway network made it more economical to transport freight by road. The opening of the new line marked the end for Broad Street however, from 13th May 1985 the Richmond service was diverted from Broad Street to North Woolwich leaving just a peak hour service to Watford Junction. The Stratford branch used the track bed of the North London line from its junction with the former L & B at Poplar to a point just north of Bow station where it took a new route to Stratford running into a disused bay platform at the existing station. In January 1997, the government granted the statutory planning powers for an extension of the East London Line. In phase 1, the line is being extended northwards from Whitechapel, with new stations at Shoreditch High Street, on the site of the old Bishopsgate goods depot, Hoxton, Haggerston and Dalston Junction, the latter two stations on their original sites.
The line has been franchised out to London Overground which was launched in 2007, when TfL took over part of the rail franchise for the existing North London line service from Richmond to Stratford from Silverlink trains; the line from Stratford - North Woolwich closed in November 2006.


Today the only part the North London line that hasn't been reopened is between Victoria Park and Bow.
Victoria Park in 1911, the Stratford plaform is in the foreground with the Poplar line platforms to the right. The site of Victoria Park Station seen from the remains of the signalbox in September 2009.
Despite Royal Mail price increases from March 2015 our prices remain the same inclusive of postage & VAT !!
The bottom brick built floor of the signalbox and the external metal steps survive with some electrical fittings still in place inside. Everything was cleared away in 1970 during the construction of the A102M motorway (Now the A12) which cut through the southern end of the Poplar line platforms at a lower level.
On 5th May 1984 the points at Victoria Park junction were removed, the track was lifted and the new concrete viaduct over the A102M was demolished in the late 1990's.. Initially planned as a freight only line, by the time the first five mile section of the East & West India Docks and Birmingham Junction Railway opened between Islington and Bow on 26th September 1850, it was also provided with a passenger service with an intermediate station at Hackney and another at Kingsland (Dalston) opening a month later. A connection was made with the Eastern Counties Railway (later the Great Eastern) at Hackney Wick in 1854 and Victoria Park station was opened north west of the junction in 1856 and the company opened its locomotive and carriage works south of Bow station in 1863. By this time however, the steamers were in decline and the train service was withdrawn in 1890 and the connection at Poplar was severed.
To avoid congestion, the LNWR promoted the six mile long Hampstead Junction Railway between Camden Town and Old Oak Junction (Willesden) which opened on 2nd January 1860 and was operated by the NLR. A replacement known as Devons Road was built further south and consisted of two 10-road Northlight sheds, of Webb LNWR design.
WW1 brought little change although Maiden Lane was closed as a war time economy measure and never reopened. The last steam locomotives left Devons Road shed on 28th August 1958 and it became London's first all diesel depot. Strenuous opposition to closure by local authorities along the route brought a reprieve in 1965 and a modest modernisation scheme to cut costs was started in 1966, this involved singling the track out of Broad Street and removal of the junction to Poplar at Dalston. By the early 1980's the Poplar line had been reduced to the status of a long siding and freight traffic ceased from 3rd October 1983.
With the opening of a new connecting spur between the North London and the former Great Eastern line at Hackney the remaining. A further extension along the North London Line, through Canonbury to Highbury & Islington for interchange with the Victoria line, North London Line and Northern City Line will open soon afterwards. This view is taken from the original signnal box which stood to the north of the Stratford line. The very degraded remains of the Stratford platform can be seen to the left with the Poplar line 'down' platform to the right. When the A102M was built the embankment and the remains of the degraded platforms were removed and replaced by new viaducts with the two new carriageways passing either side of the station site.. The Stratford line is seen on the left, this together with the Stratford platform was on an embankment here' The Poplar platforms were to the right. Part of the concrete viaduct is also still extant on either side of the A12 as well as abutments for the bridges that carried the line over Cadogan Place, Wick Lane and the Hertford Union Canal to the south of the station. There was a a waiting shelter with a short canopy on both Poplar platforms with a brick waiting room and a canopy on the Stratford platform. This involved the removal of the embankment on both lines with new concrete viaducts spanning the new road and its slip roads. By 1910 the decline in passenger numbers has reached catastrophic proportions and in 1921 only 11.4 million passengers were carried.


Despite the shortage of men and materials the Broad Street - Richmond line was electrified in 1916 which brought a moderate increase in passenger numbers. Victoria Park closed on 1st November 1942 and the remaining stations of the Poplar line closed on 15th November 1944.
On the 5th May 1984 the points at Victoria Park Junction were removed and the track south of Victoria Park was lifted shortly afterwards.
Broad Street trains were diverted into Liverpool Street bringing final closure to Broad Street and Dalston Junction on 30th June 1986. In 1982, the government decided to redevelop the area and encouraged construction and renovation on the disused docks for business and leisure. Although Broad Street Station has now gone, replaced by the massive Broadgate office development, the remainder of the route remained intact after closure. Click here for an account of a journey from Fenchurch Street to Bow and along the North London line to Hampstead Road. Just beyond the bushes the A12 swings in from the right across the south end of the station. The new carriageways passed either side of the station leaving a small isolated section of embankment with the signalbox. There was a connection at Bow with the London & Blackwall line allowing trains to run into their City terminus at Fenchurch Street.
At this time, the through service to Fenchurch Street was withdrawn with trains terminating at Poplar with a shuttle service being introduced between Bow and Fenchurch Street and from 31st December 1868; this service was taken over by the Great Eastern. The Poplar line however was never electrified and the North London line was never to recover its former glories. The closure was described as temporary and all the booking office remained open issuing tickets for an emergency bus service calling at all stations.
By the early 1990's the Watford Junction to Liverpool Street was reduced to just four trains Monday - Friday. This was undertaken by the London Docklands Development Corporation which needed to provide public transport cheaply for the former docks area to stimulate regeneration.
After the Government gave the go-ahead on 9th October 2001 on the basis of the line being funded through the Private Finance Initiative, the construction of the northern extension was due to begin in December 2001.
North London Railway Historical Society includes history plus details of Society publications, tours and speakers. Just before the end of the war the bus service was withdrawn and the line was permanently closed to passengers although freight traffic to the docks ensured the lines future for many years. During the early 1970's there was a spirited campaign to reopen the line between Dalston and Stratford but nothing happened until the spring of 1979 when British Rail announced plans to reinstate the 'Missing Link' and introduce an hourly service between Camden Town and North Woolwich. They chose a light-rail scheme using surviving railway infrastructure to link the West India Docks to Tower Hill and to a northern terminus at Stratford station utilising part of the former North London line between Poplar and Bow. However, it was held up when it came to light that the Grade II listed 19th-century Braithwaite arches in the former Bishopsgate Goods Yard were to be demolished as part of the project. Work began in 1984 with the construction of three branches, from Tower Gateway, Stratford and Island Gardens, the £77 million system was ready for use three years later and was officially opened by Queen Elizabeth II on 31 July, 1987. Campaigners launched legal action against London Underground in an effort to prevent the demolition, but the project finally received legal clearance in the Court of Appeal on 7 July 2003.



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