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Somewhat buried amongst a number of railway-related announcements from the DfT this month was final confirmation of something that Waltham Forest council have been pushing for some time – the reopening of Lea Bridge Station.

The station (as “Lea Bridge Road”) was one of the original stations on the Northern & Eastern Railway, which opened in 1840. At the time, Walthamstow was a relatively popular retreat for London’s businessmen and the station was in part intended for their use. In truth, however, the station never attracted significant footfall during its operating life, especially as newer, better, connections within Walthamstow itself began to emerge.

Lea Bridge Station, approx. 1897

Lea Bridge Station, approx. 1897

Lea Bridge Station, approx 1907

Lea Bridge Station, approx 1907 from the John Alsop collection, via Disused Stations

A Sporting Peak

Lea Bridge experienced something of a revival in the 1920s, largely thanks to its proximity to the now-demolished Lea Bridge Stadium. “The Bridge,” as it was then known, was the home of a sport that was enormously popular in London at the time, but whose role in the city’s social history is now often overlooked – Speedway.

Speedway at Lea Bridge Station

Phil Bishop & Roger Frogley in action at Lea Bridge stadium, with thanks and copyright to Defunct Speedway

The Bridge hosted speedway between 1929 and 1939, and was home to the Clapton Saints Speedway team, who competed in the National League from 1932 onwards. Speedway wasn’t the only sport that brought people (and thus passengers) to the area, however, for between 1930 and 1937 The Bridge was also home to Clapton Orient FC. Orient regularly pulled in gates of 7000 at the stadium, with the stadium’s record attendance being set in the 1936/37 season when Orient v Millwall attracted a crowd of over 20,000.

By 1937, however, Clapton Orient had become unhappy with their shared sporting home, and a move was engineered to Leyton where the club would soon adopt the name by which they are better known today – Leyton Orient.

Lea Bridge Stadium in 1933

Lea Bridge Stadium in 1933. Note the station platforms visible in front of the ground, and the goods depot to the bottom of the image.

Without the additional income football provided, the fortunes of the stadium – and its speedway team – declined, and it closed soon after. The station, however, limped on, although it would see no major investment for the rest of its operating life.

Decline and Fall

In 1970, British Rail decided to remove freight services from Lea Bridge, and the station’s fate was finally decided in 1984 when BR announced that direct services between Stratford and Tottenham Hale would cease in October that year. Following objections from the public, this change was deferred until July 1985 but Lea Bridge Station’s closure was now inevitable.

By the time it closed in 1985 it was a shadow of its former self. The small, but architecturally interesting, ticket office with which the station had first opened had long since disappeared. It was demolished by British Rail in 1976 and replaced by a simple, featureless shelter to allow staffless operation.

The station building in 1940

The station building in 1940, courtesy the Vestry House museum

Lea Bridge Station in 1984

Lea Bridge Station in 1984 by Nick Catford, via Disused Stations

Years of under-investment had also seen the station fall into disrepair at platform level, with most of its shelters and furniture long since removed.

Lea Bridge Station on its last day

Lea Bridge Station on its last day by Dave Brennand, via Disused Stations

The Station Today

Since its closure, the station has continued to detoriate. A “blink and you’ll miss it” feature on bus journeys up the Lea Bridge Road from Clapton to Walthamstow at the point where the road crosses the line to Stratford.

Where to find the station today

Where to find the station today

The station building, which for a time was hidden behind advertising hoardings and used by the homeless for shelter, ultimately succumbed to fire. Meanwhile at platform level track was ripped up and the platforms became increasingly overgrown.

The reopening of the section of Line on which Lea Bridge sits to allow services between Stratford and Stansted in 2005 has resulted in the greenery being somewhat better pruned, but as the photos below show, the station still remains desperately dilapidated and overgrown.

The station viewed from the road side

The station viewed from the road side

The remains of the station building, now fenced off

The remains of the station building, now fenced off

The remains of the 1970s ticket office

The remains of the 1970s ticket office

The old staircase down to  the platform (to Tottenham Hale)

The old staircase down to the platform (to Tottenham Hale)

The remains of the stairs down to the Stratford platform

The remains of the stairs down to the Stratford platform

The remodelling that created Argall Way, and its adjacent open space, means that its now possible to get much closer to the old station and see its state at ground level, although the area is still relatively overgrown.

The station, abandoned trackbed, and the bordering space by Argall Way

The station, abandoned trackbed, and the bordering space by Argall Way

Lea Bridge Station viewed from platform level

Lea Bridge Station viewed from platform level

The station from afar

The station from afar

The platforms seem relatively intact, structurally speaking, but do show the amount of debris and damage that one might expect for a station that has been abandoned and overgrown for so long.

Lea Bridge Station platforms

Lea Bridge Station platforms

lea_bridge_station_platforms_2

Another view of the Lea Bridge Station platforms

A closer view of the platforms, taken last year

A closer view of the platforms, taken last year

A Station Reborn

With the resumption of services along the line on which the station sits in 2005, Waltham Forest sniffed an opportunity to push the case for the station’s reopening. At first glance, the station may seem a poor candidate for regeneration, appearing to sit on the edge of a surprisingly large expanse of open space between Hackney and Waltham Forest. In truth, though, the case for reopening has only increased over time. The station sits on a busy road well connected to Walthamstow, Hackney and Leyton via local buses. Nearby Bakers Arms, an area of increasing population density, is also shorter on solid rail connections than one might think – the Central Line, Victoria Line, Overground and National Rail connections to Liverpool Street are all temptingly close but just out of reach. A reopened station at Lea Bridge would be only a five minute journey from Stratford, a location and station reinvigorated by the arrival of Westfield and the Olympics.

None of the above has been lost on Waltham Forest council (or indeed on both Network Rail and TfL). The council pushed heavily for the station to be rebuilt and reopened before the Olympics, and though their campaign was ultimately unsuccessful it did push the door to redevelopment ajar, with Network Rail indicating that they were open to suggestions in the future.

In March 2012, the Council began another push to see the station reopened, commissioning a feasibility study into options and costs, with the tacit backing of Network Rail and TfL (whose own interests in the future of the Lea Valley Line were by this point well known).

Finally, in January 2013, Waltham Forest Council confidently announced that they now had Network Rail’s support and were working together to secure the required funds.

Although it was a major step forward, there were still some issues to overcome. This month, however, the DfT finally confirmed that the station would be one of four to be given the green light for development. Lea Bridge station’s rebirth is now all but guaranteed.

Looking into the Future

So just what will this new station look like?

Although specific plans are yet to be made public, the amount given for the station cost (£6.5m) is pretty telling. This matches exactly the cost of the Council’s preferred option (Option E) in their 2012 feasibility study. This was also the option they indicated then that Network Rail felt was the most practical. From this, therefore, we can probably conclude with a considerable degree of confidence that the final station will be almost identical to the plan proposed in that study.

lea_bridge_station_ground_plan

Option E from the Council’s feasibility study

The layout for this can be seen above. Essentially the platforms will be brought back into service, but station access will be moved from the previous location at the top of the bridge to an unmanned station building at ground level, with a new footbridge added to provide access to the Tottenham Hale platform.

The new Lea Bridge station

The new Lea Bridge station

Moving access to the station to ground level may seem, at first glance, to be an odd decision, given that it means incurring the costs of building a new footbridge. Visiting the site in person, however, shows just how limited access from the current bridge is.

The narrow path access along the bridge to the station

The narrow path access along the bridge to the existing station building

The open space now to be found by the Stratford platform by Argall Way is also too good a station development opportunity to miss. By using just a small section of that land it is possible to provide both bike and vehicle parking, as well as an unmanned ticket facility that can easily be upgraded to a manned station building if required in future.

Looking down, roughly, at the site of the new station building from the bridge

Looking down, roughly, at the site of the new station building from the bridge

The new station building, viewed from a similar angle

The new station building, viewed from a similar angle

Using the existing stairs as the primary means of accessing the platforms would also have meant trying to find an alternative way of making the platforms accessible to those with mobility problems. Under the current plan, lifts can be included in the new footbridge design, and the existing stairs potentially brought back into service at a later date if demand supports it.

A mocked up view from the footbridge of the Stratford platform and station building

A mocked up view from the footbridge of the Stratford platform and station building

Whatever the final design, the fact that the station is returning at all is ultimately good news both for Waltham Forest Council and the area in general. With construction due to start shortly, and an opening date before the end of 2014 being mooted, the sight of the old station sitting forgotten and unloved on the bridge is now finally drawing to an end.

Somewhere, in the graveyards of the East End, the ghosts of the Clapton Saints are looking affectionately once more towards Lea Bridge with a smile.

Many thanks to Bob – a police officer who, having watched your LR Editor repeatedly reboard buses over the bridge to take photos of the railway and station, and then crawl deep into bushes next to railway land to do the same, was happy to accept that there was a reasonable excuse for this behaviour – and then even helped hold back the worst of the shrubbery.

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There are 131 comments on this article
  1. Jonathan says:

    And bring back the Cravens!

  2. Graham Thomas says:

    The W19 bus service currently terminates about 500m away at the Argall Avenue Industrial Estate, extending this to terminate at the new station would probably be of benefit giving a direct connection to Walthamstow whichis a lot quicker than a 48 due to the quiet back street route.

  3. Pedantic of Purley says:

    Political incorrectness alert. Manned/unmanned used three times instead of staffed/unstaffed. Me feels the LR guide to writing style needs an update.

  4. Pedantic of Purley says:

    Meant to say, as once stated to JB, I can’t believe they would do this just for a half-hourly service so I reckon we must see an improved or new rail service on this line around the time it opens.

  5. John Bull says:

    If “manned” and “unmanned” is good enough for NASA, I think it’s good enough for us.

  6. Walthamstow Writer says:

    Surprised that there was a policeman keeping on eye on that part of Waltham Forest. I’ve never seen one in that area whenever I’ve been there. Still it is helpful to have the station reopening as there is more development in that area and I’m sure it will be used. It’s just a slight shame the service level is relatively poor and there is little prospect of it improving given the reducing likelihood of devolution of Greater Anglia’s inner area services to TfL. The other aspect that would really improve local connectivity is reinstatement of the Low Hall Farm curve to give Chingford – Stratford services. Of course we will have to wait for decades, if it ever happens, for that link to be reinstated despite the eminent logic for it if people actually looked at how busy local bus services are from Walthamstow to Stratford.

  7. John Bull says:

    Indeed – first time I’d seen one that far south of Bakers Arms as well. They seemed to be out in force yesterday though (as were the grippers on the trains and buses). Not sure why.

    I do think that the reopening suggests bigger plans are afoot for the line in general. It would indeed be something of a wasted opportunity otherwise.

  8. swirlythingy says:

    What’s with that short set of steps leading up to the Stratford platform from the abandoned trackbed? They look quite new.

  9. Greg Tingey says:

    Once Lea Bridge is re-opened, there is a better case for re-opening the Hall Farm curve & making the Chingford service every 10 minutes, alternating between Liverpool St & Stratford – especially once CR1 is open ….

    The other thing that needs to be done, before LB ir re-opened is do something about the current service – one of the slowest in London & suprisingly unreliable regarding timekeeping, even so!

  10. Slugabed says:

    The plan,as published,would seem to put the kybosh on any thoughts of re-instating the goods lines (visible in Dave Brennand’s photo).
    This seems short-sighted,as capacity is a real problem on the Lee Valley line,and the greater the route-mileage of 3- or 4-tracks can be,the better,surely?

  11. Josh says:

    Is this one of those lines that TfL wants for London Overground? Do we know if they are likely to get it yet?

  12. Anonymous says:

    @Slugabed

    “The plan,as published,would seem to put the kybosh on any thoughts of re-instating the goods lines ”
    On the contrary, no substantial structure would be in the way. The station buildings would have to be relocated but there would certianly be no compulsory purchase. One possibility would be to move the up (towards Stratford) platform and station buildings right up to the road, and have the freight lines in the middle

  13. Alan says:

    I cycle past here regularly – I hope they do something about the overbridge there. The cycle path on the pavement is very useful at rush hour when the traffic blocks back (pretty much solid between Clapton Pond and the station) but with added footfall there’ll be a lot of conflict!

  14. Stationless says:

    @Josh: I noticed the mock-ups have roundels on he platforms – a sign of hope, maybe?

  15. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ Josh – yes this route is part of the Greater Anglia network that TfL would like to take responsibility for. Depending on what rumour you listen to then you can either be despondent or slightly optimistic. TfL are clearly still hoping to secure devolution as evidenced by recent statements from Sir Peter Hendy to the London Assembly Transport Committee. However since then there have been loud grumbling noises from Kent and rumours elsewhere that the Secretary of State (SoS) has gone “lukewarm” about the idea. Further DfT civil servants, presumably fearful of being shown up by TfL’s different approach, are quoted as “trying to stop the idea”. The main argument seems to be “lack of democratic control” whatever that means when you are talking about the DfT and its disdain for just about everybody. Watch Transport Questions in the House of Commons if you want to see a masterclass in how not to answer questions posed by MPs!! TfL does not do that when it has to sit in front of Assembly Members and even the Mayor has to answer sometimes!

    The SoS should have made a statement by now but it is now apparently due “in late Summer” which really means September given the Summer recess. I am not very confident that the government will be brave enough to devolve services to TfL and my guess is that it will argue that it is not affordable given the cuts being demanded by the Chancellor. Sorry to be a misery.

  16. Luckymal says:

    Thank you, Very interesting read, what would be the Tfl option?

  17. Anonymous says:

    Anyone got an idea of the alignment for the proposed for extension of the DLR from Stratford International to Walthamstow? does it follow the existing rail alignment – then there was also something about extending the NLL from Stratford to Walthamstow, I assume these were competing proposals – there was a cab ride journey between Stratford and Tottenham Hale through the station on youtube – but it looks like it’s been pulled along with several others on lines out of Liverpool Street – however there is a current video of the area around the station prompted by the reopening.

  18. DT says:

    I can’t see the Docklands Light Railway being extended anytime soon to Walthamstow. The Dagenham Dock extension seems to be on indefinite hold. You’ll probably get Crossrail 2 before the DLR nearby.

    I believe NR want to triple or quadruple the tracks and/or reinstate the Hall Farm curve to increase the frequency. I think their NR’s RUS for London stated this.

    Isn’t the Overground already packed between Stratford & Highbury & Islington? If so I don’t think that will be going to Walthamstow either.

  19. Greg Tingey says:

    The Hall Farm curve was on the BR (No 2) Bill for 1989-90…
    But nothing was done, because the railways were (still) “in permanent decline” & privatisation was going to wreck change everything for the betterment of the road-lobby crooks wasn’t it?

  20. Anonymous says:

    I’m a local resident two streets away from the station, and I’m worried about travelers parking there cars in my street.
    apart from that I’m looking foreward to being able to get into the city of london.

  21. katy andrews says:

    Lea Bridge Station is and always was in the Parish of Leyton. It has never been in Walthamstow. The original station benefited from financial input ftom the Warner family, whose forward-looking garden suburbs started up once the railway came, eg the nearby Clementina Estate on the eastern fringes of Leyton Marshes. A single track shuttle tram linking Lea Bridge Stn to west Walthamstow, running beside the ancient Black Path (or Porters’ Way), was put in much later. Not to serve City gents, but for the Warner estates being developed there around Coppermill Lane.

  22. katy says:

    Quick point re Purley Pedant’s misunderstanding of “manned.”
    To man means to turn one’s hand to. From the Latin “manus,” meaning a hand.
    Hence eg manufacture (to make by hand), farmhand (agricultural worker), or to man (to work in or at) as in “man a spacecraft” (cf “all hands to the pumps!” vs “man the pumps!”)
    To man is a verb, not a noun, and has no gender.
    “To man” has no relationship to the noun “man,” meaning a male person, or “Man,” meaning mankind (of any sex) in general.
    I’ve no issue with stations, even space stations, being manned by women!

  23. John Bull says:

    Fascinating. You got any links or pointers to the Warner connection anywhere Katy? I’ve always seen Lea Bridge talked about as described above. A Warner link would make sense, though, and I can then modify this article appropriately.

  24. c says:

    I don’t think Hall Farm is a go-er, by the plans I’ve read. Shame as it seems to be such a quick, easy win.

    Plans seems to call for 4tph Stratford to Brimsdown – with a new turnback facility and triple tracking up to the latter.

    However, Crossrail 2 is very much in the picture now and will affect that whole corridor, so who knows.

    The balance of services is shot with SWML, so Crossrail 2 might need some of these Lea Valley frequencies – meaning Hall Farm could be a sensible solution to serve Lea Bridge.

    CR2 would probably lead to quadding, but two tracks I’m sure would be fasts only for Stansted and Cambridge – currently 6tph, but I did read another fast Cambridge train is planned.

  25. Fandroid says:

    Extending the Overground NLL from Stratford to Chingford via Walthamstow (and a reinstated Hall Farm Curve) would mainly serve the obviously repressed demand for a link down the east side of the Lea Valley to Stratford and the end of the Jubilee Line. It would not add much, if anything, to loadings on the NLL itself. The practical problem of extending the DLR from Stratford in the Hole is that the only realistic routes all fringe the built-up area, because the Victorian developers of West Essex stuffed so many houses into Leyton and Walthamstow and left the main roads as narrow winding congested affairs. Even the better-built Warner estates have fairly narrow roads.

  26. Anonymous says:

    “Extending the Overground NLL from Stratford to Chingford via Walthamstow (and a reinstated Hall Farm Curve) would mainly serve the obviously repressed demand for a link down the east side of the Lea Valley to Stratford and the end of the Jubilee Line.”
    Why not extend the Jubilee Line to Chingford instead? NLL from Hackney to Walthamstow via Stratford would be an awfully big dogleg .

  27. NG says:

    @John Bull

    You endeavours with the buses and the bushes are appreciated. Interesting article and in these days of zonal fares, the success of the station will be based on convenience to the traveller of the location and service level and not reliant on pricing quirks as so often happened in times gone by.

    Not wishing to out-pedant the respected denizen of Purley (but doing so anyway), your last para has a misuse of ‘mute’:

    ‘With construction due to start shortly, and an opening date before the end of 2014 being muted, the sight of the old station sitting forgotten and unloved on the bridge is now finally drawing to an end.’

    What you meant to say was that the opening date was being mooted – in the sense of tabled or proposed – rather than muted which means silenced or reduced in volume. At any rate, the station opening will merit some razzamatazz…

  28. Chris says:

    On the manned/staffed question, my two-volume Oxford English Dictionary says the verb “to man” is of Germanic origin, not Latin, with meanings along the lines of “supply people to something”.

  29. Pedantic of Purley says:

    @NG,

    Muted. Missed that. I’ll correct it.

    @Katy

    I bow to your knowledge of etymology. I am suspect you are correct. Nevertheless, it is generally regarded as politically incorrect to use manned when staffed would also be an alternative. Knowing JB, I suspect he will now deliberately use manned and and delight in giving your explanation to the meaning of the word when challenged.

  30. The other Paul says:

    @Anonymous 09:34AM Why not extend the Jubilee Line to Chingford instead?”

    Because -
    1) That would be a complete and needless replacement of all the infrastructure, including ripping out the OHLE to put in 4 rails. Why spend all that money?
    2) The above would take years to do rather than months.
    3) Whilst there is repressed demand, it’s nothing like enough to tag this on the end of a 32tph Jubilee. Even if we put a generous 8tph through Lea Bridge, that still leaves 24tph turning around at Stratford. What’s the point?
    4) It would encourage passengers from Walthamstow and Chingford to stay on the Jubilee through to the West End, even though it isn’t a direct route, thus needlessly loading Jubilee trains through the docklands.
    5) It would render the line unusable for freight traffic.

    The Overground plan isn’t ideal either, but at least it’s a reasonable use of the existing infrastructure. LO could “do a Clapham Junction” here and have back to back services turning around but, unlike at Clapham, operationally it doesn’t make sense.

  31. Alan Griffiths says:

    Serious discussion of capacity between Coppermill Junction (south of Tottenham Hale) and Broxbourne junction (north of Broxbourne) and all the other hopes and fears for the Lea Valley lines is to be found here:

    http://www.westangliaroutes.org.uk/

    The current state of play is
    1) NR are evaluating whether a turn-back facility at Brimsdown should be between or to the east of the through tracks, with a view to building it during CP5, 2014 to 2019. That will allow four all-stations trains per hour to and from Stratford, but not at regular 15 minute intervals.
    2) NR do not intend to build extra tracks to the east between Brimsdown and south of Coppermill junction before 2019, unless someone else (TfL ??) finds the money. They told the annual WARG politicians meeting that the track is full but the trains are not. This caused much concern in Haringey and Enfield, but it is not an argument that anyone has been able to knock down.

  32. Baskii says:

    @katy andrews Thanks for the post Katy, that’s a really interesting connection. My grandparents used to live in a Warner flat in Clementina Road, opposite the gasworks. I’ve never thought very much about the role that Warners played in the development of what is now Waltham Forest, but I imagine it must have been considerable. I lived in a Warner flat when I was very young, as did several other members of the family.
    (Somewhat off-topic, but as a child in the late 70s I remember my grandad taking me to the railway footbridge just south of Lea Bridge to watch the trains in the marshalling yard, and I’m sure that’s one of the reasons for my interest in transport now.)

  33. Malcolm says:

    PoP says “it is generally regarded as politically incorrect to use manned when staffed would also be an alternative.”

    If you disapprove of the preference for “staffed” over “manned”, then you are entitled to say “it is politically incorrect to…”, but not to claim the support of the majority with the “generally regarded” bit. Alternatively, if you wish to describe a majority view (whether or not you approve of it) then you should not use the loaded term “politically incorrect”.

    I know, it’s a bit pedantic.

  34. Pedantic of Purley says:

    I claim the support of the majority who would probably accept that it is generally regarded as politically incorrect. I did not think that politically incorrect was a loaded term – and in any case what is the alternative?

    I do not claim that, because the majority would agree that it is politically incorrect, it follows that they actually approve of political correctness.

    Personally, I have no strong feelings on the subject. I only mentioned it because John Bull in his editorial capacity is normally quite careful to rephrase something so as to be less inflammatory or misconstrued. I was, therefore, rather bemused that he chose to use terminology that is generally avoided for this reason.

    The words “mountain” and “molehill” are currently swirling around my head.

  35. Fandroid says:

    Extending the Overground NLL to Chingford would create a dog-leg, but only for pedantic map-studiers. I wouldn’t expect many people to travel beyond Stratford in either direction, as Stratford itself would be either the destination or interchange point for most passengers. It’s been noted here on LR before that vast numbers get off and on at Oxford Circus on every Bakerloo and Victoria Line train travelling through, but that doesn’t mean that those lines should terminate and reverse there!

    It would just make sense operationally to run at least some trains through rather than have all the fun of terminating and drivers changing ends. No new knitting would be needed at Stratford as the Chingford service could use the same platforms as the current Lea Valley service does.

  36. Milton Clevedon says:

    @Alan Griffiths

    The Lee Valley third track project is further along the optioneering and funding route than you say.

    LB Enfield commissioned a report in 2010 on options for improved Lea Valley local train services, and this is summarised in the following link. Different stopping patterns or an extra track were the main options. http://www.enfield.gov.uk/download/downloads/id/6987/meridian_water_sustainability_appraisal_appendix_3

    TFL and Network Rail took forwards the idea of a third track, as the first step towards a longer term 4-tracking objective. A third track was assessed favourably in the July 2011 London & SE RUS, with various options on levels of service and trackage. Network Rail then adopted a minimal scheme (Option C2a in RUS Chapter 7, only a siding at Brimsdown) within the September 2011 Initial Indsutry Plan. This relied on using the existing two tracks north of Coppermill, and was eventually judged unworkable following the new West Anglia timetable of December 2011. So a more extensive third track scheme was the way forward, providing that was affordable.

    However it was unaffordable to go all the way to Brimsdown (Option C2b), so the railway improvements north from Angel Road were deferred until a later project could be funded. It was still important to reach Angel Road, as this is where there will be a new town centre and transport hub in the Upper Lee Valley Opportunity Area. See attached planning link: http://www.london.gov.uk/sites/default/files/ULV%20OAPF%20Draft%20Consultation.pdf

    Broroughs and other stakeholders specified in Spring 2012 the outputs sought from the revised railway scheme, including services and other facilities. See for example: http://www.westangliaroutes.org.uk/clients/westangliaroutes/files/warg-conditional-outputs-overview-apr12.doc

    The desire was for a 4tph local stopping service between Stratford-Lea Bridge (funded separately)-Tottenham Hale-Northumberland Park-Angel Road (S-T-AR = ‘STAR’ project), to give a trusted walk-on service connecting with major interchanges, and with Overground-type standards of facilities.

    The scheme was adopted by Government in illustrative terms in the July 2012 High Level Output Statement. Some funding was allocated within a broader package, within the Statement of Funding Available. HLOS and SoFA lead towards ORR review of Network Rail’s next 5-year spend in Control Period 5 (2014-19), and open the process for the rail industry to firm up the details of the numerous schemes. (Not all schemes may survive those processes.)

    Network Rail has currently allocated £44m for the scheme in its January 2013 Strategic Business Plan, which buys 4tph between Stratford, Lea Bridge and a third track from south of Coppermill Junction to Tottenham Hale. The full scheme to Angel Road is currently costed at £72m including optimism bias. TfL is offering £3m for works at Tottenham Hale station (where there is also a bigger rebuild project being considered). The £25m funding gap is being addressed by bids co-ordinated by the North London Strategic Alliance, for grant from authorities and partners including the London Local Enterprise Partnership. LB Enfield is also bidding for separate funding to create better station access and a transport hub at Angel Road, alongside Meridian Water.

    The extent of LLEP funding may be known during June 2013, while 12th June is when the ORR gives its preliminary determination on Network Rail spending in CP5. So fingers are crossed that CP5 will see a third track in place from Coppermill Junction all the way to Angel Road, with a new station at Lea Bridge and improved stations everywhere north of Stratford, along with a walk-on local service. This will underpin the main land use investments along the Upper Lea Valley.

  37. peezedtee says:

    @PoP “I did not think that politically incorrect was a loaded term – and in any case what is the alternative?”

    An alternative to “politically correct” is “currently fashionable”. An alternative to “politically incorrect” is “currently unfashionable”.

    This is itself, of course, a politically incorrect statement.

  38. Greg Tingey says:

    Of course the Tottenham & Forest Gate (MR & LTSR Jt) railway was laso called: “Mr Warner’s railway”
    His lastin other legacy to the area is is his old estate, Highams Park & is mpw part of The Forest (Epping Forest) that is ….

  39. stimarco says:

    @Katy, et al:

    The verb form of “man” is indeed from the Old English, not Latin. The Romans left surprisingly little direct impact on the English languages and the vast majority of Latin-derived terms originated not from Roman times, but from the invasion by the Old French-speaking Normans.

    E.g. “maintain” entered the Middle English lexicon via the Normans (“maintenir”, Old French), who, in their turn got it from their Latin-speaking ancestors (“manu tenere” — literally, “to hold in the hand”).

    However, the English word “man” came from the Angles and Saxons (Old English bore more resemblance to Frisian than anything else). Its exact genealogy isn’t clear, but the OED claims that it’s related to “man” (Dutch), “Mann” (German) and even “manu” (Sanskrit; meaning “mankind”).

    The verb form of “man” is a legacy of Old English, when “man” had only one, gender-neutral, meaning: “a human being”. In Old English, “wer” denoted a male human, while a female was a “wif”. (Even the slowest of readers can probably guess which modern English word was descended from the latter, but even the former still has a vestigial existence in the “were-” prefix, as used for “werewolf”.)

    The use of “man” to denote a male human came later, but its original meaning was retained. It is therefore a word with two distinct meanings, not just one.

    There are, according to the OED, no accepted standard alternatives for compound words like “manpower”, or the verb form of “man”. I would contend that, as this verb form was always gender-neutral, it makes no sense to change it.

    Anyone reading more into the word should not have their clearly erroneous opinion “respected”, but be advised to buy a good dictionary instead. And then told to look up the word “have”, which can mean seven different things in its verb form alone, in addition to its auxiliary verb and noun forms. The same word can have multiple meanings in English. This is normal, not something to whine about.

    Harrumph!

    I remain yr. obd. svt.

    Col. Crustibold Pedantic-Gitte. DSO. (Retd.)

  40. stimarco says:

    @Greg Tingey:

    Mate, you have got to do something about your keyboard.

  41. JM says:

    Stratford to Chingford would definitely be a useful addition. Many people disembark from the 58/69/97/158 at Leyton station trying to cram onto already full tubes – some of them having to change again at Stratford. And given the distance, travelling from Waltham Forest to Docklands is a pain given the relative short distance. A bay platform at Leyton would be useful too although you would probably need to rebuild the ticket office.

    I don’t see why you would need to extend the LO from Stratford to the north given the bus and rail links you already have from Hackney (could say the same for CR2 for that matter). One future link that may be useful is one that links Stratford Intl to Lea Bridge to offer better links to the station, East Village and places like ICity given the development earmarked for the lower Lea Valley around there and Hackney Wick.

    Is the chord between the NLL and the Lea Bridge line through the village ever used for freight?

  42. Anonymous says:

    @stimarco et al (careful, that’s Latin, though Al might be historic or modern Essex?!)

    Modern Japanese still has no distinction between male, female or even plural, in the word ‘hito’ – which hieroglyphically is ᄉ . So ‘man’ here in a neutral-gender, neutral-volume context = ‘person(s)’. Suggest politically concerned LRC commentators use ᄉ in future, no-one will know who you mean…

    Anyhow, ‘hito’ causes problems (and sometimes fun) in current Japan, sometimes you can only work out what is meant from context, not from the actual phraseology – and you might still be wrong, plurally or in other respects!

  43. Pete In USA says:

    Over here, instead of the mail man he’s… er… it’s the person person.

  44. timbeau says:

    Anon 1738

    I know no Japanese, but have to write legal documents (patents) in English which are likely to need translation to Japanese at a later date if we want cover there as well. Drafting something that has to still make sense and be legally watertight even if you remove not only the distinction between singular and plural, but also between the definite and indefinite articles, can be quite a challenge.
    You occasionally get problems as well when translating from German or French into English where different pronouns both translate to “it” in English because the objects to which they relate which have different genders in the original language but not in English.

  45. Greg Tingey says:

    sitmarco
    The verb form of “man” is a legacy of Old English, when “man” had only one, gender-neutral, meaning: “a human being”. In Old English, “wer” denoted a male human, while a female was a “wif”. Ah, yes, & the modern German … “Mesnsch” for a human as well as a man, though the latter is “ein Mann

    ( err. I was very tired (6 hrs + agriculture) when I typed that! )
    Lets try again, shall we?
    Of course the Tottenham & Forest Gate (MR & LTSR Jt) railway was also called: “Mr Warner’s railway”
    His lastin gother legacy to the area is in his old estate, Highams Park & which is noww part of The Forest (Epping Forest) that is …
    Better?

    JM
    YES
    See here:
    http://www.networkrail.co.uk/browse%20documents/timetables/working%20timetable%20(wtt)/may%202013%20-%20december%202013/LD/LD03.pdf

  46. Rotherhithe chap says:

    Katy – thanks for the fascinating info. Just to join the list of pedants – the Romans couldn’t really have directly influenced the “English” language, since the arrival of “English” folk on these shores only began as the last Romans left.

    And, as for the Normans having “Latin-speaking” ancestors — well, of course, their lineage and original language were actually Scandinavian, hence “Northman/Norman”. (whoops, there’s that ‘man’ use again).

    This isn’t meant to be at all critical – it’s a very interesting topic – to me at least!

    Looking forward to see this station re-opened and more activity on and around the line.

  47. DW down under says:

    Rotherhithe chap @ 08:18AM, 22nd May 2013

    Rather interesting that these Nor’man chaps spoke “Viking”. How does that explain the Domesday Book, where many misspellings are attributed to the difficulty the “French” scribes had in interpreting Norse and Germanic sounding diphthongs etc of the Viking settlers?

    Of course, the Romans did have an influence on the Britons living in Britain – as shown through the “Time Team” TV series among others (inter alia).

  48. Milton Clevedon says:

    Jolly interesting stuff.

    Just have in mind that there is often considerable settlement and linguistic overlap, and not least from the AD200s to the AD400s. I would be surprised if there wasn’t flexibility and overlapping between languages over a 200 year period as Germanic peoples were either recruited into the Roman armies, or were resettled by the Romans after various local uprisings in Roman-controlled Rhenish lands, or migrated to live side by side with the locals for a century or more before the roles were reversed and the Romans lost power. [A major influence in their loss of power was the impact of increasingly unaffordable taxes to pay for the Roman armies (the 'annona' - crudely the 'annual onus').]

    So it wasn’t always that one day you’re speaking only Latin or British or Germanic or Gallic and the next you have some totally unknown language thrust on you. Even in mediaval times, you might have been in a major city (say Exeter) and heard people conversing in Cornish, Norman-French, Latin, Welsh and Germanic as well as English.,

  49. Anonymous says:

    The Normans had lost their Germanic language not so many years after their settlement in northern France.

    Certainly by about 970 all of their documents are in French.

    A rare case of the successful invaders adopting the language of the people they had usurped.

  50. A. Nonymous says:

    The Lea once marked an important national boundary between kingdoms.

    But to be honest, although l can get on with people from most nations, (my own wife was born in Libya), l’ve always had a problem with people from Kent. Are the Cantii a sort of French people without humour and manners?

  51. Alan Griffiths says:

    Milton Clevedon 01:28PM, 21st May 2013

    Thank you for the update. You’ve provided some recent details that I wasn’t aware of, but there is not yet any reason to be confident that 4 trains per hour beetween Stratford and Brimsdown will be running before 2019. This is well short of Enfield and Haringey’s aspirations for their stations and development sites.

  52. Alan Griffiths says:

    JM 04:53PM, 21st May 2013
    “Stratford to Chingford would definitely be a useful addition.”

    You wouldn’t be the only one with that opinion. However, analysis of possible investments for the Lea Valley lines concluded that
    1) the capacity of platforms 11 & 12 at Stratford would be better used for Lea Valley services.
    2) investement to allow those services to run was better value for money than re-instating the Hall Farm Curve.

    During the shoulder peak, one of those platform tracks is in use to run empty trains between Liverpool Street station and the sidings at Orient Way E10.

  53. MIlton Clevedon says:

    @Alan Griffiths 1:49PM

    That’s why fingers are crossed! Getting to Meridian Water (aka Angel Road) will be an important start, to serve the new Upper Lee Valley town centre. Further to Brimsdown looks like a CP6 candidate – maybe we’ll get a better idea on the scale of 4-tracking priority when the Airports Commission reports (2015?).

    @A. Nonymous 10:37AM

    Remarkably the Angle-Jutic deal with the Cantii was a sort of coalition (think of the Attila Party and UKIP? goodness knows what the joint manifesto was).

    One-third of land/rights were granted to the existing British and any ex-Romans staying around, and two-thirds to the new leading powers. The area had already been long settled-in by the newcomers and clearly they got on with their neighbours. Possibly that didn’t include the East Saxons over the Tamesis.

    So no surprise then, that latterly HS1 took several goes to get across the river…

  54. Saintsman says:

    Fantastic news, Lea Bridge station is a very welcome addition to the network.

    For all the good sense Option E brings the failure to maintain the 4 track bed is very short sighted. There are too many unanswered questions as to the future shape of rail services in the Lea Valley to be definitive about the future. However with planned growth extra track capacity will be needed.

    Assuming Crossrail 2 “regional” becomes the preferred option then the most likely tunnel portal would be north of Coppermill Junction. From here a four track solution to Cheshunt (or beyond) would logically follow (some difficult choices). A second challenge will come from additional freight movements. With the GOBLIN under future strain and a NLL bottleneck beyond Camden, then paths through the Lea Valley may become attractive. In which case four track between Copperhill and Temple Mill East Junctions may be necessary.

    Personally the next step after quickly rebuilding Lea Bridge station will be the push to reopen the Hall Farm curve allowing some Chingford services to Stratford. Being careful, not to isolate Clapton station, in the future. At this point laying physical track should be extended providing two extra through tracks down to Temple Mills. Additional tracks to the north would await the Crossrail 2 outcome.

    With this in mind the problem comes that access via Argall Way necessitates crossing over the empty beds. It makes no sense to build the Lea Bridge station buildings over this track bed, which should be moved forward accordingly. A choice then follows to retain the existing Stratford bound platform which would then require the over bridge to be extended over the empty track beds. Or the through lines are moved to the centre and the existing platform is completely demolished and is rebuilt with realigned track closer to Argall Way. In both cases additional funds are probably required. With a little extra imagination Lea Bridge station can be reopened without creating a future bottleneck.

  55. Graham Feakins says:

    OT @ timbeau 10:42PM, 21st May – Something tells me that you and I may be in the same profession. In my ‘early days’ (1960′s/70′s), the Japanese used to send English texts which were extraordinarily difficult to interpret because of the given word order, plus the lack of distinctions you describe and it was one of my tasks to draft a correct British patent specification for them before filing. Lots of fun!

  56. Whiff says:

    A couple of quick questions which hopefully those more ‘in the know’ might be able to answer. I see that Lea Bridge station is being funded by something called the ‘New Station Fund’ – is this fund just a political gimmick or will actually make more money available so that it is more likely that we will see more new stations being opened in the next few years. Secondly, if as is being suggested, wider devolution of railways in London is now unlikely to happen and TFL are unable to extend the Overground, will they look at trying to improve the current network by, for example, improving station interchanges.

  57. Greg Tingey says:

    WHY is “further devolution of railways” in London unlikely?
    Presumably DafT don’t want to be shown up as total incompetent tossers (again) & are hanging on like grim death?
    Or is/are there other explanations?

    Freight up the Lea Valley?
    Like strings of class O-4 & O-2 trundling south with coal & goods from t’North down the GN/GE joint lines to Stratford ???

  58. Citybus says:

    I know Crossrail 2 is unlikely to follow the safeguarded route but I always thought as the Chelney tunnel passes through Leyton, wouldn’t it be a good idea to have a deep level station at the Leyton High Road triangle. Obviously a larger catchment area than Lea Bridge though there’s nothing to say the two projects can’t exist.

  59. DW down under says:

    @ Whiff: as we say Down Under, it’s a “dinkum” budget pot managed by NR under strict guidelines. Many stations across Britain upgraded (lifts, new entrances, bus facilities, lighting, paintjobs, etc) using the fund.

  60. Melvyn says:

    This news is welcome but also needs a deck built that could be used by both passing buses and to extend routes like daytime 38 and other routes that terminate at the western end of Lea Bridge Road to this station. Something Mayor Ken would have already been working on !

    As to comments re Overground its a case of TFL wanting to add further services to its Overground network with services from Liverpool Street to Chingford and Enfield Town being at the top of the list. While plans to create an interchange between Hackney Central and Hackney Downs are also being looked at.

    As for DLR at Stratford International exention to nearby Leytonstone could create a new interchange between CENTRAL, DLR and GOBLIN overground which runs across central line with awkward stations either side.

    This fund is a national fund and Lea Bridge is one of several stations announced . The real question for London is when is Boris and TFL going to fight for new Overground Station at Tufnell Park which would be near the existing Northern Line station?

  61. THC says:

    @DW, Whiff

    Not so DW – the New Stations Fund is a new DfT budget line this year that will be used to part-fund the construction of four new stations (hence the name) including Lea Bridge – it’s not about upgrades to those already in use. While it is a small pot (c. £20m) the fact that a “New Stations Fund” line now exists in the departmental budget book makes it reasonably likely (as reasonable as possible, that is, in the current politico-economic climate) that there will be future funding rounds.

    THC

  62. Greg Tingey says:

    Melvyn
    While plans to create an interchange between Hackney Central and Hackney Downs are also being looked at.
    Better than that
    See: http://www.londonreconnections.com/2013/the-hackney-downs-hackney-central-link/

    As for DLR at Stratford International exension to nearby Leytonstone could create a new interchange between CENTRAL, DLR and GOBLIN overground which runs across central line with awkward stations either side.
    In your dreams.
    How, precisely, given the alignment, both horizontal & vertical is the DLR going to get OUT of Stratford-in-the-Hole to get towards Leytonstone?
    It has to cross the North chord (Channelsea – Loughton Jcns) & then burrow under (flood risk) or fly over (steep grade, even for DLR + visual intrusion to nice flat-dwellers) & curve around through 90 deg+.
    Err.

    Tufnell Park, or a re-opening of Junction Rd? Can’t have both, though.
    Come to that, a Chingford Hatch station on my local line, by where the level-crossing used to be…..

    THC
    What/where are the other three stations, please?

  63. THC says:

    @Greg

    As well as Lea Bridge, the DfT will part-fund new stations at Ilkeston in Derbyshire (a contribution of £4.5m to a c. £6.5m scheme), Pye Corner in south-east Wales (about £2.5m of the £3.5m total) and Newcourt in Devon (about £800k of £1.5m total). What is of interest is that the New Stations Fund is coughing up only £1m of the c. £6.5m total reopening cost at Lea Bridge, and that there appears to be £12m or so left in the pot (for future bidding rounds?)

    https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-provides-funding-for-new-train-stations

    https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-144-million-railway-station-to-be-built-in-devon

    THC

  64. Anonymous says:

    RE Greg Tingey 07:34AM, 29th May 2013

    Where are the other stations?

    Lea Bridge, London Borough of Waltham Forest, which will receive over £1 million towards a £6.5 million scheme

    Ilkeston, Derbyshire, which will receive over £4.5 million of DfT funding towards a scheme worth over £6.5 million

    Newcourt, Devon, where the DfT will pay for around half of the scheme expected to cost in the region of £1.5 million

    Pye Corner, Newport, which will receive over £2.5 million towards a scheme worth over £3.5 million

    Total Dft Contribution £8.75m, total station costs £18m.

  65. Mark Ranger says:

    Interesting stuff (The train bits). I use the Tottenham Hale-Stratford connection from time to time, mainly to get to London City Airport. But that bit of my journey is so tortuously slow – indeed coming northbound a week or so ago on the 21.30 ex Stratford, we were held before Coppermill for about 10 minutes – I assume because there was backlog of faster trains that they wanted to go ahead of us. The same journey (from Bishop’s Stortford) was about one hour southbound and nearly two hours north. Bizarre.

    So, why not re-instate the Tottenham Hale – Stratford shuttle in the interim? There’s just about space alongside the southbound platform at Tott Hale and I would have thought the service intervals would just about stand it, when there is a gap waiting for the slow Lea Valley services.

    The other thought that has often come to mind is that, if you accelerated the Lea Valley Line from Tott Hale into Stratford, that station is now such a good interchange that you could start to take some pressure off the West Anglia traffic into Liverpool Street and the onwards tube connections.

  66. Snowy says:

    Further 5million allocated to Kenilworth station, leaves about 5.85million left in the pot.

  67. Milton Clevedon says:

    Worth seeing attached press release today from Mayor of London announcing £27.5m towards West Anglia third-track project and an improved Angel Road station, discussed in my 1:28PM on 21st May 2013: http://www.london.gov.uk/media/mayor-press-releases/2013/06/mayor-announces-40m-for-transport-projects-to-create-jobs-and

    “The bids approved by the London Enterprise Panel in detail include:

    “£25m allocated for rail upgrades providing extra services at Northumberland Park and Tottenham Hale, improving rail links between Stratford, the Upper Lee Valley and beyond including Stansted Airport (bid from the North London Strategic Alliance): -

    “This investment will provide extra rail services (up to 4 trains per hour) from Angel Road and Northumberland Park stations via Tottenham Hale and a re-opened Lea Bridge station to Stratford; – This funding will be part of a £72million West Anglia upgrade project including £44million from Network Rail (subject to the outcome of our submission for the next Control Period) and up to £3m from Transport for London. The investment will ensure that the full scheme and related benefits can be delivered, including the provision of a new track between Lea Bridge station and Angel Road;

    “Collectively with Angel Road Station improvements (below), this will support the commencement of the Meridian Water development and regeneration at Northumberland Park where there are plans for an estimated 3,500 homes and 500 jobs; – It will also support the development of an estimated 15,700 new homes, 21,900 new jobs in the Lee Valley and up to 15,000 jobs in adjoining areas.

    “£2.5m allocated to upgrade Angel Road station and support regeneration in Enfield (bid from Enfield Borough Council): -

    “Angel Road station is vital to the regeneration of Enfield and specifically to support the Meridian Water development and regeneration in the Lower Lea Valley more widely; – Station improvements will increase passenger capacity through an enhanced commuter rail service; – Estimated the scheme could unlock 2,326 jobs across over 55,000m2 of employment land and over 2500 homes; – Station improvements will form part of wider West Anglia route upgrades.”

  68. leytongabriel says:

    Thanks for the article and lots of interesting comments!

    Couple of short points:

    The Crossrail 2 proposals now out for ‘consultation’ no longer include an easterly path across Waltham Forest towards the Central line.

    Press reports seemed to indicate that the re-opening was linked to major housing developments in the area but I can’t see anything adjacent to Lea Bridge station. Does anybody have any info on this?

    Would be great to have a W19 bus turnround by the station entrance or it could be extended down to the ice rink. That said, ‘tidying up’ station entrances by moving them away from main roads isn’t always very popular with us travelling public. Look at the disappointing use of Shoreditch (not) High Street and the safety issues there have been around access to Hackney Central and Hackney Wick. It is a pretty isolated site and having security staff present as on the Goblin route may be critical to get usage above a trickle of hardy souls who work/live nearby.

  69. Yahya Bismillah says:

    A link to Clapton and St James Street from Lea Bridge would also be highly appreciated.

  70. Graham Larkbey says:

    Those who were at Lea Bridge on the last day may remember the ragged-a*sed acoustic combo, Aunt Fortescue’s Bluesrockers, who played on the platform and on the last train (amid an apocalyptic thunderstorm)> AFB split up in 1987, but we always pledged to re-form if Lea Bridge ever reopened to play there again on the opening day. So – see you there!

  71. AlisonW says:

    “station access will be moved from the previous location at the top of the bridge to an unmanned station building at ground level”

    Please, isn’t it time we all used the phrase “unstaffed station” instead of presuming that only men may work there?

  72. stimarco says:

    @AlisonW: You are Lynne Truss and I claim my £5.

    “Please, isn’t it time we all used the phrase “unstaffed station” instead of presuming that only men may work there?”

    It’s an idiomatic usage and one that is easily understood by everyone who matters. Are we also to go back and rewrite Dickens, Austen and Shakespeare, to help such people avoid this appalling First World burden? No? Then everyone is going to be exposed to this usage at some point. We can either concentrate on trivial froth like this, or we can focus our energies on things that actually matter—like preventing pointless wars, encouraging electoral reform, or improving the nation’s infrastructure.

    Our species had the sheer gall to name itself “Wise Man”, but about 50% of us are resolutely female. (I’m also seeing precious little evidence of the “Wise” part, come to think of it.)

  73. Ian J says:

    “we can focus our energies on things that actually matter”.. says the man who posts at great lengths about monorails and other such fantasy projects. I wonder what proportion of posters here are female? And why that might be?

  74. stimarco says:

    @Ian J:

    The last time anyone accused me of repeatedly mentioning the “M” word, it turned out I was one of the few in the entire thread who hadn’t mentioned it at all. Right now, you’re the only one to have mentioned that term in this thread.

    As for “fantasy projects”: I’m hardly the only one who tends to go off on tangents about engineering puzzles. Hypocrite, much?

  75. Moosealot says:

    I recall reading somewhere that the verb to man came from the Latin manus (hand), the same root as words such as manual and manipulate. We talk about farm hands for agricultural labourers, old hands for people with experience (regardless of age) and being short-handed, so it is easy to see how the verb came about.

    The purpose of language is to communicate; provided the communication is clear — nobody is going to consider that an unmanned station might have a non-zero-sized all-female staff — and is not deliberately offensive then there is no need for censorship. Demand that certain words are removed from language is the first step in closing down freedom of debate and freedom of thought; it comes straight out of 1984.

  76. Graham H says:

    @moosealot – well, the OED would disagree with you, but etymology apart, you are right about need not to give in to political correctness – common courtesy ought to be enough; anything else is patronising and stereotyping of the worst sort that the politically correct themselves profess to hate so much. I believe it was Jimmy Carter who thought he was being so correct by referring to Vikings as Vimonarchs…

  77. Castlebar says:

    @ Graham H

    You have reminded me of something completely off topic

    It is not generally known (but can be proven with research), that Abraham Lincoln was also a citizen of San Marino when he was assassinated.

    When George W Bush discovered this little known fact, he decided that he too would like to be an honorary citizen of San Marino. But it all came to nothing when initial enquiries within the White House couldn’t find anyone who spoke San Marinian

  78. Graham H says:

    At the risk of being really far off topic, I am reminded of the British trade delegation that visited Switzerland in the ’50s and concluded that our trade opportunities there were hampered by the inability of the British to speak Swiss.

  79. Malcolm says:

    It is of course just common courtesy to use the word “unstaffed” instead of unmanned. Not because anyone is particularly likely to be misled (in this particular case) but because language does affect thought, and one (admittedly small) step that can be taken to help to deal with the sexism that is so widespread in the world is to adjust our language, particularly when there is a straightforward alternative ready to hand.

    It is also common courtesy not to immediately jump down the throat of anyone who chooses to point out such instances, with overblown references to so-called “political correctness”. If you happen to think that the pointing-out was not necessary in this case, then gently ignoring it would probably be the better course of action.

  80. stimarco says:

    @Malcolm:

    I have no truck with “political correctness”. Attempts to tell me how I should and should not think—which is fundamentally what this argument boils down to—will not work. Ever.

    I prefer other people to tell me what they really think, feel and believe and not hide behind weasel words.

    So why should I put up with attempts to force me into changing how I think and speak? We are supposed to have freedom of expression. This doesn’t mean we have a “Freedom from consequences”—you’re just as free to think I’m an antediluvian old misogynist* git. And I’m free not to give a damn what some random stranger on the Internet thinks of me.

    * (I prefer to think of myself as a cynical misanthrope. One day, I shall finish hollowing out this old volcano with my teaspoon and then… actually, I suppose I’ll have to sort out the plumbing next.)

  81. Malcolm says:

    @stimarco

    I don’t think that you’re any kind of git. I do believe that you happen to be wrong about this aspect of the use of language. But I do not feel up to the task of attempting to change your mind.

    Anyway, even if I wanted to take this task on, this forum would obviously not be the place to do it.

  82. Ian J says:

    Strange, isn’t it, how some people push hard for very precise (some would even say pedantic) use of some words (engineering terms, for example) on here, yet seem happy with very loose use of terms with social connotations and get aggressively defensive if anyone questions the attitudes that might be embedded in their use of those terms.

  83. stimarco says:

    I appreciate that this is rather off-topic, but, surprisingly, not entirely…

    Nevertheless, I’ll make this my final post to this thread.

    @Ian J, Malcolm, AlisonW, et al:

    Everyone knows what is meant by words like “unmanned”. Its etymology is irrelevant to most speakers of English as most are simply not aware of the varied histories of each and every word.

    To the vast majority of readers, words like “manned” and “manpower” are, to all intents and purposes, gender-neutral. That it once referred only to male personnel is no longer relevant as nobody uses it in that context any more.

    Words—especially in English—primarily change their meaning over time by common consensus, not by fiat. Nobody “Googled” the Internet 15 years ago: it was merely “searched”. 5 years before that, most people had no clue what an “Internet” was.

    There are parallels between what AlisonW is asking for, and the situation in the 1950s and 1960s: the destruction of great chunks of our railway infrastructure. Euston station, along with its famous Doric Arch, is the poster child for this period, but let’s not forget the attempt to raze St. Pancras to the ground too. This was a time when the prevailing cultural philosophy of the day was to try to build a new, brighter, future. The past was just too painful. Too full of death, gloom and destruction. And we were being reminded of it every time we walked past a bomb site.

    But the past is what teaches us how to create that better future. The destruction of Euston and the attempt to do the same to St. Pancras taught us that we need to retain some ties with our past. We need those notes and reminders: History is our classroom. It is our collective, social and cultural education. It is a series of lessons–often painful, certainly– that show us how to create that bright future. What worked, and what didn’t.

    The English language has a long heritage too. It is itself a part of our past, and thus part of that same classroom. It has its St. Pancras, its Doric Arch, its branch lines. To axe a perfectly good, perfectly useful, word that is doing nobody any harm, is to do to the English language what many of the cuts and rationalisations of the 1960s did to the British transport network. It is an attempt to rip out piece of the very history of our language.

    The English language was born of fire and war. Paternalistic rulers (and a certain equally paternalistic religion) played major roles in forming our culture, so their echoes are unavoidable and should not be removed merely for the sake of removing them.

    I’m an atheist, but I don’t mind that culturally important cathedrals, castles and museums originally built for / by theists are often preserved at the expense of the taxpayer. Because I appreciate that these, too, have their lessons to teach us and our future generations.

    And now, back to your regular programming…

  84. Ian J says:

    @stimarco: and yet you have argued at length on this forum for the systematic rebuilding of many buildings in London, including most Victorian railway terminuses. Presumably you feel that such buildings have had their time but can now be replaced by something more functional. Maybe language is the same? “Unmanned” is hardly a cathedral of the language.

  85. Mike says:

    Stimarco: it must be very gratifying to know a) “what everybody knows”, b) the connotations of specific words “to the vast majority of readers”, and c) that “nobody uses” a specific word to convey its literal meaning.

    None of your high-flown absurdist rhetoric justifies abusive behaviour towards another commenter, all because she suggested (and quite nicely) changing just one word.

    And if you put your ego away for one moment, you’ll notice no-one is asking you to change one jot.

    Moderators: please feel free to delete this comment, together with all the off-topic nonsense above – and why not make the suggested change to the original piece?

  86. peezedtee says:

    I am really irritated by this sort of nonsense. “Unmanned” is a perfectly good word, and I for one am not going to be lectured at on how to use the English language.

  87. Castlebar says:

    A week ago, on BBC radio, “a spokesperson for the feminist collective” said the word “MENstruate” was inappropriate and “must” be changed.

    Truly, the lunatics have been given too much air time in this country

  88. Timmy! says:

    I’m pretty sure commentators have had this discussion about ‘unmanned’ or ‘unstaffed’ previously. People will understand both to mean the same thing in this context but ‘unstaffed’ appears to be used more frequently (and correctly in my opinion).

    I don’t believe either word forms part of the railway jargon used by the industry and commentators on this site. Jargon isn’t a bad thing but can confuse. I often have to look up jargon used here but it does help my understanding (although I’m sure some commentators create their own jargon!).

    As for political correctness – not a bad thing in my view but it’s my view: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_correctness

    Still, it’s good news that this station is re-opening and yet another good article!

  89. Anonymous says:

    Castlebar

    Any further information on this programme? Who was the ‘spokesperson’.

    I’m not saying it didn’t happen but many of the opponents of ‘political correctness’ do enjoy making stuff up.

  90. Castlebar says:

    @ Anonymous

    Think it was a “phone-in” programme on BBC Radio Sussex, possibly a caller from Brighton as it is Brighton centered. West Sussex barely gets a look-in. However, I also listen to BBC Radio 4, so it just might have been on “Woman’s Hour”. I didn’t know I should have written it down.

    I’m not an opponent of political correctness to a point, but I am, like many, concerned when the pendulum swings far too far and starts to alienate the people it previously had “on side”

    The “Women’s Lib movement” went spectacularly quiet when, some years ago, it was announced that in the name of equality, pension ages were being equalised. Not the sort of equality they wanted.

  91. Pedantic of Purley says:

    I think we are getting to the point where this is going way off any relevance to the post and is veering onto an unrelated controversial topic. Political correctness as it applies to the written word is just about relevant. Discussing the attitudes to equality within the pension systems is not.

  92. Anonymous says:

    Castlebar

    A nigh untraceable programme and contributor.

    Nor any details of who she was, or what she claimed to be representing.

    I’ll file under ‘urban myth’.

  93. Castlebar says:

    @ PoP I agree. Absolutely.

    @ Anonymous If you truly feel the need to “file it”, (I didn’t, as it wasn’t, and still isn’t, important), I can understand your anonymity. You may file it where the sun doesn’t shine if that is your wish.

    I think PoP would prefer this to get back “on track”, so do not take my refusal to comment any further on this thread as anything other than lack of interest.

  94. stimarco says:

    (I know what I said, but…)

    @Mike:

    AlisonW said, and I quote: “Please, isn’t it time we all used the phrase “unstaffed station” instead of presuming that only men may work there?” (My emphasis — @John B: the ‘bold’ tag doesn’t appear to show up in the preview.)

    I have never assumed that “unmanned” implies “only men may work there”. Ever. So her fundamental premise is invalid. In fact, I know of nobody who has ever made that assumption. I sincerely doubt Mr. J. Bull is a sexist pig, but this is very much AlisonW’s implication.

    AlisonW also demands that we all use the phrase “unstaffed station”. As she has not provided any reason for me to do so, (see my previous point), I disagreed with her demand. And it was very much a demand. Merely adding “please” doesn’t change that.

  95. Pedantic of Purley says:

    @Stimarco

    Alternatively if John Bull had used unstaffed station in the first place we never would have had this argument which was utterly predictable. There are certain words which, rightly or wrongly, trigger certain responses.

    I am going to put on my dictator’s hat and declare that this is a topic where everyone either doesn’t care or has already made their mind up and isn’t going to be swayed by argument. Therefore further comments on the subject will be deleted.

  96. stimarco says:

    @Ian J:

    You’re not the first to accuse me of wanting to raze London to the ground, which suggests some people here have woeful reading comprehension skills…

    I am most emphatically not in favour of doing this, and never have been.

    We now have the technology to record structures and their surroundings in minute detail, storing entire buildings, streetscapes, and so on, in databases that let us recreate those environments in photo-realistic 3D online, or even in dedicated “virtual” museums. Want to see what the King’s Cross area looked like in 2000? Click a button. Want to look at it in 2010? 2020? No problem. We can do this. We have had this technology for years now. It’s not new. It’s routinely used by city planners, and even moviemakers and games developers.

    Yet we still approach conservation and preservation as if none of this new digital recording technology was available.

    We need to move on. Demolishing a building is no longer the death sentence it used to be. There is no need to keep unwanted buildings around just to preserve our history: we can rebuild them, brick by brick, detail by detail, in digital form and preserve them online, intact, and—crucially—in context too.

    I’m in favour of preservation, but we don’t have to always to it the hard way. A sea-change in our approach to preservation and conservation is needed. I therefore stand by my comments on the subject.

  97. Fandroid says:

    Back on topic– ish. In the article it describes how the adjacent stadium was shared with Clapton Orient FC, and that the record gate was 20,000 in the 1936/7 season. A quick look at the aerial photo of the station and stadium in 1933 poses the question – how on earth did they squeeze that lot in! I know from stats about other stadia that amazing crowds would be stuffed into stadia with just about zero safety features, but this one looks to be the equivalent of a gallon into a pint pot. I wonder how the station staff dealt with such a mob at the end of the game? (or were trams still running on Lea Bridge Road then?)

  98. Timmy! says:

    Fandroid: 19:45, 6 September 2013

    I was also impressed by the stadium too. The http://www.derelictlondon.com site has a post on lost sports grounds and caught my interest with the 1950s Kings Cross article. Some of these former grounds are now transport depots.

  99. Holman Falstaff says:

    Network Rail were supposed to make a statement regarding funding for the Coppermill Junction to Tottenham Hale extra track in September. Does anyone know what happened to this ?

  100. Greg Tingey says:

    Work has started @ Lea Bridge
    The up (Southbound) platform is completwely cleared & the down one has had all the vegetation removed, but isn’t completely cleared yet.

  101. Anonymous says:

    Both platforms have now been cleared, and I noticed some workmen doing something beyond the eastern platform.

    I suspect very little change to the existing timetable at points north will be needed, since northbound trains tend to wait at Coppermill Junction for a couple minutes, and southbound trains have plenty of dwell time at Stratford so could arrive a couple minutes later and depart a minuter earlier without any issue.

  102. Michael Hughes says:

    I’ve noticed some work going on in the last few days on Hall Farm Curve. Does anyone know if this is linked to the re-opening of Lea Bridge Station? Last I heard there was no prospect of the Chingford-Stratford link being reinstated anytime soon. Has that changed?

  103. Greg Tingey says:

    It’s a convenient ramp for NR road vehicles to drive up, if track/solum maintenance work is being done. Given the recent deluges & the water-levels, I suspect that the NR engineers are having a careful look-over of all their assets, just in case.

  104. Michael Hughes says:

    That could be it. There was flatbed lorry which appeared to be unloading long pieces of concrete there – I’m a layman so no idea what it might be, but thought it looked promising.

  105. Anonymous says:

    Just asked the council today about this and they know very little. Despite the press releases in 2013 it is actually Network Rail who are in the driving seat and LBWF think that it is unlikely that the station will be open in 2015. It seems to have got tangled up in the upgrade of the Chingford Line stations by TFL and installation of the Low Hall Curve which would need multiple planning applications to go in. No planning has been submitted for the station at Lea Bridge so far, which means that it is likely to be at least 2 years or so until it opens – if things move ahead briskly, which frankly it didn’t sound like it was. More waiting……

  106. tog says:

    Not having been down Lea Bridge Road for a while, I was stunned at the size and number of new apartment blocks that have sprung up alongside the river at the Clapton end.

    When the station eventually opens I’d expect it to be very popular. The soon-to-be TfL Clapton station should probably brace itself, too.

  107. Jonathan Roberts says:

    @tog
    Summary of TfL Lea Bridge Station business case output is included here in a 2012 report, pages 6-8:
    http://www.railfuture.org.uk/CLUA-JRC+Report
    It will be interesting to see how quickly the station fulfils TfL’s demand forecasts.

  108. Greg Tingey says:

    What is it with LBWF & station redevelopments/re-openings?
    A similar fiasco is ongoing at “Queens Rd” (WMW) & the WMW-WHC link.
    The council are in some unspecified way now responsible for “ownership” of the new ramps/steps on the N side – even though it is all on NR land (!)
    Due to open next week, though that may be postponed AGAIN.
    Meanwhile the timing of laying 3 metres of paving & removing 2 fence-panels to actually join the two stations, easily, has no date attached, IIRC.

  109. Anonymice says:

    Greg, can’t you get the local ‘Romany voker’ heavy mob to complete the Queens Road link overnight? Sure they would find some other use for the materials…

  110. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ Anonymice – For some reason Waltham Forest seem incapable of delivering any work that involves roads, paths or kerbs on time. From recent direct experience of such work I’d estimate the overrun factor to be 100% of the original duration coupled with the most ludicrous phasing of the works themselves. One has to hope the contractors are working to a fixed price because if it is “time and materials” (or similar) then we’re being ripped off.

    Disappointing to see that Lea Bridge station is seemingly mired in other issues although goodness knows why. The only reason I can think of is some debate in NR about track layouts otherwise constructing the station as per published initial designs should be a breeze (even though I think it’s the wrong design but that’s just me moaning!).

  111. Anonymous says:

    This will mean! more business for me !!! My business will grow over night !! Yuppy!!

  112. Pedantic of Purley says:

    Disappointing to see that Lea Bridge station is seemingly mired in other issues although goodness knows why.

    Discovery of loads of underground services below the station that weren’t documented is what I heard.

  113. LadyBracknell says:

    I go to Walthamstow on a regular basis and always look over the bridge as the 48 passes by and lament at the sad state of the current station and how useful it would be to have a stopping service. My wish is coming true and I look forward to getting off a train at Lea Bridge before the end of the year.

  114. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ Lady Bracknell – you haven’t specified which year! You might be lucky to see it open sometime in 2015 on the assumption that whatever has been discovered (as per PoP’s remarks) can be dealt with within the project’s budget and without affecting the rail service. If they have to close the route to remove / reroute whatever is there then you can wave goodbye to the project because the costs in terms of compensation to Greater Anglia will run into silly money very quickly. I don’t know what happens in respect of freight workings being affected.

    It’ll be a shame if the project is stopped but the local finances for it were S106 monies and they had a time limit within which they had to be spent. They were topped up with money from the DfT. The time limit may have been changed by agreement but I am slightly perplexed as to how we’ve got this far with designs having been done and estimates produced to support a funding bid and yet there are apparently these undiscovered utilities. I know you can never find everything or plan for every eventuality but I am surprised nonetheless. I suspect the liability for any cost overrun sits with Waltham Forest Council and council finances get tighter every year.

  115. LadyBracknell says:

    @Walthamstow Writer, I read:

    “Whatever the final design, the fact that the station is returning at all is ultimately good news both for Waltham Forest Council and the area in general. With construction due to start shortly, and an opening date before the end of 2014 being mooted, the sight of the old station sitting forgotten and unloved on the bridge is now finally drawing to an end.”

    and assumed it was a done deal. I shall have to watch this space.

  116. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ Lady Bracknell – I’m sure the intent was to open in December 2014 to coincide with the annual timetable change. I haven’t been past in recent weeks but given we’re in August now I simply can’t see anything being ready for December unless contractors are on site and have made reasonable progress in rebuilding the platforms and putting in foundations and services for the new station entrance. Based on what PoP has said I assumed that nothing substantial has happened because more detailed site surveys have thrown up the utilities issue. As PoP has indicated these utilities are unrecorded then it could take a fair while to track where they go, what they carry and if they are used by anyone. You can’t just rip them up without there being possible consequences and we all know how stunningly efficient National Grid, British Gas, Thames Water, BT and London Electricity are (ho ho ho). Sorry to sound the merchant of gloom and doom.

    I see from a Google Search that Lea Bridge station recently featured in the Homes and Property bit of the Standard. That said that works are planned to start in Jan 2015 with a view to opening in December 2015. That sort of fits in with a few months work to unravel the hidden utilities issue and actually procure the right scope of work to build the station. I still think 1 year is quite a challenge given what has to be built alongside a working railway.

  117. ngh says:

    RE WW,

    London Electricity haven’t existed for along time. UK Power Networks (UKPN) are the DNO for London and a fair chunk of the South East (Kent, East Sussex, Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk, Cambs). As with railways / London bus operators still the same staff / policies / procedures after multiple changes of ownership…

    see:
    http://www2.nationalgrid.com/uk/Our-company/electricity/Distribution-Network-Operator-Companies/

    In general former industrialized areas then to have very poor mapping of utilities which frequently leads to problems.

  118. LadyBracknell says:

    @Walthamstow Writer: to be honest, I did think that by the end of this year was stunningly optimistic. As for property prices, one whiff of a new station brings the lizards, I mean developers rushing to the area ready to choke the environs with ticky-tacky high-rise buildings to be sold at eye-watering prices just for a one bed flat.

  119. LadyBracknell says:

    Whilst searching for an update on the Lea Bridge station re-opening, I came across this: http://wfoc.blogspot.co.uk/2014/07/delay-of-year-in-re-opening-lea-bridge.html

  120. Jonathan Roberts says:

    re Lea Bridge Station

    The following link takes you direct to the Waltham Forest draft minutes following the 15th July 2014 Cabinet meeting: an additional £5m is required and has been found from several sources. See item 6. http://democracy.walthamforest.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=287&MId=3493&Ver=4

  121. Fandroid says:

    I particularly liked the bit in the minutes about Japanese Knotweed having to be ‘evacuated’. Late 2015 seems to be the (vague) opening date.

  122. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ JR – thanks for digging out the paperwork. Some of that makes fairly frightening reading but does at least explain why the costs have gone awry – lack of sufficient planning and verification of asset condition / site state. Hardly an unknown risk.

    I am somewhat shocked that circa £424k is needed for “operator compensation” on a line that is relatively lightly used. That’s more than £1k per day over the 1 year construction and mobilisation phase. Given the design of the site I’d expect that an awful lot of the construction effort could take place without interrupting the train service. You could hoard off the platforms to allow a lot of work. It’s also interesting that overhead and signalling work is needed. The design has also changed with regards to the bridge and steps arrangement.

    @ Fandroid – the programme info and papers say 14 December 2015 is the drop dead date. That is presumably the national timetable change date for 2015. The project must meet that date to qualify for the DfT Stations Fund. I sincerely hope there is another bit of the programme that explains how the fit out, testing, snagging and training work can be squeezed into the 4 months after construction broadly stops. I’m not sure I’d be very confident of getting all that done even for a relatively simple station given the normal Network Rail “modular design” has had to be dispensed with at Lea Bridge. This means there is a risk of non standard kit being used which can create the need for new learning, new paperwork, increased assurance processes, more involved sign offs etc. For a project with apparently no more risk I can certainly see some! Another year’s worth of photography for Unravelled and (probably) me to do.

  123. RayK says:

    @Fandroid
    Clearly the real cause of delay is the protracted negotiations over where the Japanese Knotweed is to be evacuated to.

  124. Chris C says:

    Can anyone explain the £846k costs for ‘Telecoms’ and what that would include?

    Japanese knotweed can be nasty stuff to remove though – whether it is excavated or evacuated !

    https://www.gov.uk/japanese-knotweed-giant-hogweed-and-other-invasive-plants

  125. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ Chris C – a complete guess but I imagine they need a variety of comms infrastructure and systems on the site – staff telephone, comms for station management system, comms for the ticketing and Oyster kit, signal telephone (?), lift alarms and “telephones”, help points. I assume there may need to be some sort of fire suppression system and alert system for the lifts. I suspect the comms may need to be run trackside to / from Tottenham Hale or Stratford or both.

  126. RayK says:

    @Chris C
    ‘Japanese knotweed can be nasty stuff to remove though – whether it is excavated or evacuated !’

    The recognised most successful means of eradicating said weed is by chemical treatment. Unfortunately this can take three or more years. They may indeed have opted for the quicker, yet more expensive and less certain, option of excavation.

  127. Walthamstow Writer says:

    I see Network Rail have submitted a “prior determination” application to Waltham Forest Council to build the new Lea Bridge Station (ref 2014/1902/Prior Det). Unfortunately Waltham Forest use probably the worst system I have ever come across to handle planning application and I cannot get the proposed plan of the station to load. Worse reading the letter from Network Rail it shows they have submitted a number of drawings few of which are accessible via WF’s system. Sigh!

    From reading the letter it sounds like the new footbridge will abut the old slab for the ticket hall at Lea Bridge Road but there will be no entrance there. There will also be two lift towers set in from the Lea Bridge Road on each platform. The basic description of the station building is similar to that previously revealed. It is interesting that Network Rail are relying strongly on their inherited rights from 1845 to do works within the railway boundary and are only seeking approval for those aspects where they cannot use those rights. There will be a further application in respect of the station entrance and whatever they need to do to the highway.

  128. Jonathan Roberts says:

    @WW, the good news is that Network Rail are pressing on.

  129. Mark Townend says:

    @Walthamstow Writer, 5 September 2014 at 01:20
    comms infrastructure and systems on the site – staff telephone, comms for station management system, comms for the ticketing and Oyster kit, signal telephone (?), lift alarms and “telephones”, help points. I assume there may need to be some sort of fire suppression system and alert system for the lifts

    Public address may also be amongst systems nominally under telecoms engineering approval and estimate line, although clearly designed and installed by specialist contractors.

  130. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ JR – well they have to given Waltham Forest Council have robbed various piggy banks to fund the cost escalation. They’re on a very tight timescale to get this prior determination through the council so they can get going and complete the station before certain funding sources expire. Let’s hope they don’t get into an argument with the funders over what “completion” actually is.

  131. Greg Tingey says:

    WW
    Unfortunately Waltham Forest use probably the worst system I have ever come across to handle planning application…
    It’s deliberate, I think.
    Example: There’s a set of road-closures round here ( “A temporary trial” of course ) where, because some people were “outside” the designated area, they were not informed, at all, of a road-closure 20 metres from their front door – no, not me – I’m a 120 metres away & I wasn’t told either…..

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In Pictures: Crossrail Site Webcams

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Long-time followers of Crossrail will be aware that for sometime the company has had webcams in place at a number of key construction sites. Over the years these have produced a number of interesting static and time-lapse images such as