A small windswept train station in the middle of an industrial estate that sees hardly any trains stopping could soon become considerably busier thanks to a local development.

Angel Road sees just a handful of trains each morning and evening, and none during the day or weekends. It’s the fourth quietest station in London (after Sudbury & Harrow Road) with just 86,000 users during 2014/15.

The local council did try to force the operator, Abellio Greater Anglia to increase the service to run throughout the day, but lost that in the courts.

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The lack of use can be put down to the simple fact that the area is largely empty of residential users, with a cluster of light industry and warehouses being the main facilities.

The North Circular hurries road traffic through the area as people rush to the massive Ikea and Tesco to stock up on food and tealights. It’s a bleak unforgiving land of concrete and rust.

This is set to change

A large section of land around the empty train station is set to be redeveloped in a £3.5 billion scheme which will see the former industrial site turned into 10,000 new homes over the next 20 years.

With houses prices being what they are, 10,000 high-earning bankers aren’t going to want to live in a transport black hole, so an upgrade is planned.

This wont be the first time the small station has seen changes though. When it opened in 1840, the station entrance was, unsurprisingly, on Angel Road, but was renamed Water Lane just 9 years later, and then back to Angel Road in 1864.

When quiet little Angel Road became the North Circular neo-motorway in the 1960s/70s the station entrance was moved northwards to a new bypass road, and the old ticket office demolished.

A small spur railway line ran up to a station in Edmonton, but that closed in 1964.

What’s left is two platforms, and a very unpleasant route under the main road and along a narrow alley to the insignificance of an entrance.

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The station’s apology of an entrance has a newish looking sign proclaiming to no one that there’s an alternative to the motor car. Down some puddle laden steps and then a dark underpass under the main road above.

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More steps down, then a narrow winding wire lined corridor to the station proper. If heading into London, over the footbridge to the hint of a seating shelter.

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A sign with the timetable is a litany of despair about the available service.

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This is set to change

In fact, the station will close, and move a couple of hundred yards to the south to bring it a bit closer to the new housing development.

This should see three platforms built and all the usual modern facilities we expect from a new station.

Network Rail has progressed design development and provided a cost estimate of £11.7m for the project. The project is being funded with £2.5 million from the Greater London Authority with a further £1 million from Enfield Council.

Along the tracks nearby there are already hi-vis wearing Network Rail contractors clearing the land to prepare it for the Stratford to Angel Road (STAR) rail upgrade project which will see a third railway track added. Passive provision for a fourth track will be included for Crossrail 2.

When the blocks of flats arrive, and the trains upgraded the high earning banking sorts who can afford to live here will be just 30 minutes from the skyscrapers of the city and docklands.

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The new station is expected to open in 2018, and it wont be called Angel Road anymore, it’s likely to be called Meridan Water, after the housing development.

That does mean that sometime in 2018, there will be a cluster of train geeks making probably their first ever visit to Angel Road Station, just to be on the very last train to ever depart this benighted location.

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16 comments on “One of London’s quietest train stations set for major upgrade
  1. martin says:

    I once tried to catch a train from there without first checking the timetable. Silly idea, really.

    By the way, Abellio have marked the start of their new franchise by renaming the TOC to Greater Anglia. Just like it used to be

  2. Trevor Mumby says:

    Me too.Delivering a car.Plenty of industry nearby. London train station.Inside the M25, off the North Circular. Must be plenty of trains At least one every 20 min Nah. Where’s the bus stop lol

  3. GT says:

    The small spur railway was originally the main line to Enfield, not Edmonton – but became a backwater after the current line opened in the 1870’s.
    As suggested, the re-arrangement of the access footpaths is what makes the current station such an awful place. Incidentally there used to be a gas-works there, which had it’s own weird (Sentinel type) locomotive,

    • Dangly says:

      Used to use AGR every day when I worked there, wouldn’t have been so bad apart from GA cutting the station to make up time on the afternoon trips to SRA, which meant a walk to Northumberland park or a bus to Tottenham hale

  4. Nick says:

    This is my nearest station. It would be useful if trains actually stopped there. Frustratingly I have to get off stop early at Northumberland Park, or the stop after – Ponders End. No wonder it is one of the quietest stations.

  5. S M says:

    Meridian Water’s prices are intended to be pitched towards the middling sort rather than high-end bankers.

  6. Andrew G says:

    So Angel Road station is to be renamed as Meridian Waters as part of the housing development or development of the area close to the railway station on the West Anglia main line north of Tottenham Hale. Which will provide more trains to stop at the station with 2 extra tracks to be built to make it 4 tracks as part of the Crossrail 2 project that will have a tunnel portal north of Tottenham Hale. And Crossrail 2 will take over the Hertford East and only reach as far as Broxbourne and Harlow Town. White Hart Lane station on the Cheshunt/Enfield Town (London Overground) Lea Valley lines is also to be renamed which will come at a cost of £12m to rename the station which could be renamed as North Tottenham or another road name that the station could be renamed as whilst the football club Tottenham Hotspur is having a makeover and redevelopment to the stadium near to the railway station which is also not far from Tottenham Hale and Northumberland Park station on the WAML.

  7. Local Historian says:

    Much of the industrial estate was the gravel pit operated by the North London Ballast & Sand Company (formerly Martin’s I think) in the first half of the last century. They found a number of “dinosaur” type finds which have been reported. I would be very interested if anyone could suggest to me or provide any additional information about the NLB&SC, William Griffiths & Company which operated a depot for its constructional department, which may have now become the Hanson site, and owned or had a mortgage over the site, and the Great Eastern London Motor Omnibus Company, which was bought by the London General Omnibus Company in 1911, which also claimed ownership of some acres (30?).

  8. Mark Swift says:

    Interesting article for the facts, which is how I landed here. The author’s self-perceived humour and sarcasm did spoil it a little.

  9. Phil Brown says:

    Very good article. I can see the sign at the entrance to Angel Road station fron my kitchen window and visited it for the first time today. Its a sunny Sunday morning which is probably the only time I’d want to walk the entrance route. I recorded a video of the walk on my way out for posterity.Before my visit I knew how few passengers use the station. Now I’m amazed anyone does!

  10. Anon says:

    I’ve worked locally for two different businesses. I would commute to Silver St and walk or catch a bus rather than wait 2h at an empty station. For a couple of years I used this station and I was a little nervous at times, using that enclosed walkway but thankfully other commuters would cut open the fence so that there was access to the retail centre by just crossing the road, not the long, stupid and lonely diversion that is in place. Shame the station will be moved, when all that is needed is a new entrance.

  11. JOHN GREENWOOD says:

    I am a gratuitous Travelcard joyrider yet even I have never used Angel Road Station. I did a gratuitous visit to Lea Bridge Station in 1985 a few days before it was about to close. The DMUs were lightly loaded on that occasion. Lea Bridge Station has now reopened I see, so Angel Road Station ought to be given a chance to thrive even with a name change.

  12. Thomas Rogers says:

    I’d be interested to know how the station was on opening to the construction -and ensuing chaos- of the NCR. Would there be any archived pictures or photographs?

  13. ken marshall says:

    I used to travel that line in about 1970 when the last diesel trains were running
    Along there was a massive works of some sort, any one know what it was gas works/ power station ?
    I assume this has gone and that is the land for redevelopment

  14. Martin J. Lines says:

    Angel Road railway station is everything that is bad about the modern railway. Depressing grey all over the place, concrete structures all around and inadequate platform shelter. Unfortunately, the new stations being built in connection with Crossrail also leave a lot to be desired. Continued use of concrete, prefabricated slabs and ludicrous designs which, no doubt, are an attempt to show a railway for the 21st century (to use a hackneyed, irritating phrase). Regrettably, the designs are hideous. I’d rather have a 19th century station any day. The designs by the architects (or the design teams ) concerned will not be revered in future times as they are awful and the structures will no doubt rot and become shabby very quickly; in essence their moment will be transient in the extreme.

  15. Dee says:

    I used to use this station in the mid 80s when I worked at Thorn EMI on the industrial site. Even then I rarely saw anyone else on the platforms. Didn’t realise they were closing it.

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