Following on from my post “Epping – Gateway to London“, this post features two old stations and some prime walking territory.
Chingford opened in 1878 as part of the Eastern Counties Railway, which subsequently became the Great Eastern Railway, and until this local commuter line was subsumed into London Overground there were no other significant changes. It had originally been seen as being an intermediate station, but then a change to the status of Epping Forest effectively rendered extension impossible (and quite rightly so).
Loughton, also originally on an Eastern Counties/ Great Eastern Railway branch, first opened in 1856, with the Central line taking over the running of this branch from Stratford to its original terminus at Ongar in 1948-9 (it is not the oldest section of line to be run be London Underground – the northern end of the High Barnet branch of the Northern line, which opened under the aegis of the London & North Eastern Railway in 1841 has that distinction). The station building at Loughton, pictured below (from this original posted on 150greatthingsabouttheunderground) clearly shows its Victorian origins:
For more information about the two stations here a couple of links:
WHY THE JUXTAPOSITION?
First off, the two stations are actually reasonably close together (although not close enough for even me to suggest that it would be worth showing a potential interchange between them), as this map shows…
Secondly, while looking for walks around Epping, I saw this walk from Chingford to Epping which passes High Beach Visitor Centre:
I recalled the route down from this visitor centre to Loughton station, following the Loughton Brook as being an attractive one (I walked it, in both directions, several times when I was living in London). Thus, given the amount of material I already had for the Epping post I decided on a second post to make use of this find. Here is the map produced by the visitor centre website:
Also, just to show you the length of the long walking route I have in mind, Chingford-High Beach Visitor Centre – Loughton, here are two more maps…
Incidentally, one can follow the Loughton Brook beyond Loughton to the point at which it flows into the river Roding as well.
The maps in this section, some old and some new, show more detail about these stations…
AFTERWORD – ON FARE ZONES
When I first visited that part of the world, Loughton had an extra distinction – it was the last point on the Central line that one could visit on a travel card (the Metropolitan also had stations outside the travel card zones – Moor Park being the boundary in that case). Nowadays all of London Underground falls within one or other fare zone, and there is a suggestion (massively endorsed by this site) on the table from London mayoral candidate Sian Berry that would further simplify matters.