This is the sixth post in a series I have started recently, in the form of a station by station guide to London. Before moving on to the meat of today’s post, here is a link to the previous five.
Loughton has been served by the Central line since 1948, but before that it, along with the rest of the eastern end of the Central line was part of the Great Eastern Railway. Nowadays there are only three stations beyond Loughton on the Central line, but as you will be seeing in a later post there used to be more. This is the first of the stations I have covered in this series to be on the Central line, so a mention of Danny Dorling’s marvellous book ‘The 32 Stops’ is mandatory – complete with link to snapshot review and a picture…
As a preamble to talking about Loughton itself I am going to say a bit about going there, for which I need to make some very brief technical points. London Underground (the correct name for the whole network) comprises two separate systems, the older lines (Metropolitan, District, Circle and Hammersmith & City) known as ‘surface’ lines whose tunnel sections were built using the self-explanatory ‘cut-and-cover’ method and the newer, deep-level ‘tube’ lines. The older lines were built to the same spec as mainline railways, while the newer lines are built for much smaller stock. Where there are direct cross-platform interchanges between older and newer lines the platforms are built to a compromise height so that there is a step down into a tube train and a step up into a ‘surface’ train.
My preferred method of getting to Loughton, unless I was starting from a Central line station, would be to get on to either the Hammersmith and City or District lines first, and change at Mile End, which is an interchange that is unique – it is a cross-platform interchange between ‘surface’ and ‘tube’ lines that is in tunnel (the Central line rises to the surface at the it’s next station eastwards, Stratford).
I first visited Loughton for a Geography project at school, studying the Loughton Brook. In spite of this introduction I subsequently returned of my own volition more than once – it is very scenic, both north towards the sources of the brook and south to where the brook flows in to the river Roding.
To finish this post I have a few map pictures for you…