Cambridge Heath and London Fields Rail Users Group

History of Cambridge Heath and London Fields

Opening dates:
Liverpool St Feb 1874,
Bethnal Green May 1872 (1.25miles)
Cambridge Heath May 1872 (1.75m)
London Fields May 1972 (2.5m)
Hackney Downs May 1872 (3m)

1938-39 colour-light signals and continuous track circuits fitted north of Bethnal Green.
Trains services were so regular in 1949 that times were not noted in Bradshaw.

Enfield Town first departure was 4.11am and last was 11.35pm.

Modernisation and electrification

1955 Modernisation plan listed Enfield line and others for electrification.
Work began in 1956.
Contracts placed in 1957 for rolling stock and electrification equipment for Chenford (Chingford, Enfield, Hertford East and Bishops Stortford).
Work started in 1958. 28 stations lengthened to take 9-car trains in inner stations and 8-cars on outer.
30 bridges raised.
Power supply of 6.25kV to Cheshunt and then 25kV. Trains were equipped for both.
Hackney Downs power box built 1960.
Electric trains started running on 14 November 1960.
45 route and 111 track miles converted.
Lea Valley Line (Clapton to Cheshunt) electrified in 1969
1980 25kV throughout.

1960 Chingford and Enfield lines timetable combined. Enfield trains served CH and LF.
Teething troubles meant that a full service was not provided until 1963
1981 Timetable revisions plus a spate of train and signalling failures.

Jazz trains

1983 10-minute frequency restored to the Enfield line. "Jazz" train service

1992 May: Train service cut to peak hours only

1993 Rail privatisation

1996 May: Only 38 trains per day at peak times only

1996 December: Peak service increased to 44 trains a day

1997 The first privatised trains at Cambridge Heath and London Fields were run by WAGN, the West Anglia and Great Northern

(owned by Prism Rail)

1998 May: Daytime trains introduced to boost service to 64 trains per day

2001 May: Evening and Saturdays services by train operator WAGN introduced to make 82 trains per day

2004 Service run by ONE Railway, subsidiary of National Express

2005 December: Extra peak services plus four trains per hour every day Mondays to Saturdays. 160 trains per day. One train per hour on Sundays.

2006 December: Sunday trains increased to two an hour. CCTV installed at both stations

2007 ONE Railway changed its name to National Express

2008 Oyster pay-as-you-go introduced at Cambridge Heath and London Fields

2011 Some peak hour trains cut at Cambridge Heath

2012 Abellio took over the train service from National Express

2013 Free wifi introduced at Cambridge Heath and London Fields stations

2015 May: London Overground took over train service from Abellio

2017 Community Rail Partnership set up to cover Enfield and Chingford lines

Information from:

Eastern Electric by John Glover Ian Allan 2003 0 71102934 2
London Suburban An Illustrated History of the capital's commuter lines since 1948 by Frank Hornby 1995 Silver Link Publishing