It only opened four years ago, but there are already plans to rebuild Lea Bridge station in East London.

It’ll be the latest in many changes for the station. It originally opened in 1840, and is purported to have been the earliest example of a station entrance that was constructed above the rail tracks. That station burnt down in the 1940s and was rebuilt in the 1950s, and closed in 1985. It reopened, in a current slightly shifted location in 2016 as a light-weight station for an area that is largely open space and light industrial land.

It’s basically a couple of platforms, a footbridge/lift, and two small shelters, and not much else.

The impetus to rebuild again is the ongoing redevelopment of London, and here in Lea Bridge a lot of new flats are going up. The developers, both private and the local council which owns three plots next to the station, want a more significant station building, partly to cope with modest projected increases in demand, but mainly as a local wayfinding point by making the station more noticeable.

The placement of the new station entrance also protects an alignment that was agreed back in 2015 for potential additional rail tracks to run alongside the existing two tracks if needed.

The design is for an unstaffed open-plan station, but future-proofed to allow for the addition of gate-lines and staff later on if needed. A small retail outlet is included, which is too small to be much more than a newsagent or coffee outlet (or both). The entrance will be a striking timber-based glulam canopy, and some form of local art or heritage is planned for the main wall.

Due to the relocation of the entrance from the side road back up to the bridge, they need to partly demolish and rebuild the newish footbridge that links the two platforms.

The lower level will be become a lockable cycle storage hub, offering 136 spaces, compared to the existing 48 cycle spaces near the existing station entrance.

If planning permission is given, then construction is expected to start in January 2021.

Images from the planning application


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  1. Maurice Reed says:

    Will they ever reinstate Hall Farm curve to enable trains from Chingford to reach Stratford…..don’t hold your breath!

    • @Maurice Reed: The problem here is that clock-face Stansted Express services limit the number of “local” trains that can pass though the area, so there’s no real chance of that curve being re-done.

      And where would the Chingford to Stratford trains go to? With the Meridian Water service there’s no platform space left at Stratford.

      I suspect the whole point of the walkway at Hackney Downs/Hackney Central is that you can change from Chingford to Stratford changing there.

  2. Rog Laker says:

    Maurice, Chingford-Stratford services require much more than just reinstating that east-south chord. Track capacity north of Stratford and extra platforms (on High Meads Loop?) if a proper 4tph metro service.
    Brian, Stansted services pass north and well clear of HFC, so not an issue. Stratford could only just accommodate an extra 2mph so not a proper Metro 4tph. And rest assured that Hackney Interchange was never intended as a substitute; another option is Walthamstow Central-Tottenham Hale for the post-Meridian Water 4that service to Stratford.

  3. Andrew Gwilt says:

    I think it would of been built when the railway station opened in 2016. Rather having a footbridge with lifts next to the road that could of had a new access. But it only has one access via using the steps and ramps from where the industrial estate is.

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