Debden tube station

Debden London Underground

Station entrance
Location of Debden in Essex
Location Loughton
Local authority District of Epping Forest
Managed by London Underground
Number of platforms 2
Accessible Yes (Eastbound only)[1]
Fare zone 6
London Underground annual entry and exit
2012 Increase 2.20 million[2]
2013 Increase 2.30 million[2]
2014 Increase 2.48 million[2]
2015 Decrease 2.46 million[2]
Railway companies
Original company Great Eastern Railway
Pre-grouping Great Eastern Railway
Post-grouping London and North Eastern Railway
Key dates
24 April 1865 Opened as Chigwell Road
1 December 1865 Renamed Chigwell Lane
22 May 1916 Temporarily closed
3 February 1919 Reopened
25 September 1949 Renamed Debden; BR service replaced by Central line
18 April 1966 Goods yard closed[3]
Other information
Lists of stations
WGS84 51°38′43″N 0°05′02″E / 51.64527°N 0.08388°E / 51.64527; 0.08388Coordinates: 51°38′43″N 0°05′02″E / 51.64527°N 0.08388°E / 51.64527; 0.08388
London Transport portal

Debden is a London Underground station on the Central line in the east of Loughton,[4] in the Epping Forest district of Essex. The station is between Loughton and Theydon Bois. It is located in Station Approach off Chigwell Lane (A1168) and is in Travelcard Zone 6.


The station was originally opened on 24 April 1865[5] by the Great Eastern Railway[6] as part of an extension of the railway's Loughton branch to Epping and Ongar. Initially called Chigwell Road, it was soon renamed on 1 December 1865 as Chigwell Lane,[6] but remained a single-platform halt for the first years of its life. It was the setting for the Victorian ballad The Chigwell Stationmaster's Wife, Chigwell station not having opened until 1903.

Chigwell Lane was one of a number of GER stations that saw a temporary suspension of passenger services, due to the need to make economies during the First World War. The station was closed from 22 May 1916[5][6] until 3 February 1919.[5][6] As a consequence of the 1921 Railways Act, the GER was merged with other railway companies in 1923 to form part of the London & North Eastern Railway (LNER).

As part of the New Works Programme, 1935-1940, the LNER branch was transferred to London Underground, to form part of the eastern extension of the Central line. Although work commenced in 1938 it was suspended upon the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939 and work only recommenced in 1946. British Railways (BR, successor to LNER after nationalisation in 1948) steam services were replaced by electric Central line passenger services on 25 September 1949.[5] From the handover, the station was renamed Debden.[7][8] British Railways goods services continued to be operated on the branch for years afterwards.[9]

The station today

Debden station operates as an intermediate terminus for eastbound trains from central London, and a number of peak-hours trains terminate at the station rather than continuing to Epping. A turnback siding east of the station allows eastbound trains terminating at Debden to reverse direction and enter the westbound platform to return to central London. The siding may also be used in the reverse direction, allowing westbound trains from Epping to be terminated at Debden during service disruptions and return east.

At one time there were two sidings at Debden and the majority of trains terminated there with a limited service continuing to Epping. However, the Epping service has improved considerably and this has reduced the number of trains terminating at Debden. The present station buildings on the eastbound platform largely date from a reconstruction in 1974, although the original stationmaster's house survives adjacent to the ticket office.

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Debden tube station.


  1. "Step free Tube Guide" (PDF). Transport for London. Archived (PDF) from the original on 3 June 2015.
  2. 1 2 3 4 "Multi-year station entry-and-exit figures" (XLS). London Underground station passenger usage data. Transport for London. April 2016. Retrieved 3 May 2016.
  3. Hardy, Brian, ed. (March 2011). "How it used to be - freight on The Underground 50 years ago". Underground News. London Underground Railway Society (591): 175–183. ISSN 0306-8617.
  5. 1 2 3 4 Clive's Underground Line Guides - Central Line, dates
  6. 1 2 3 4 Butt, R.V.J. (1995). The Directory of Railway Stations. Yeovil: Patrick Stephens Ltd. p. 60. ISBN 1-85260-508-1. R508.
  7. Rose, Douglas (1999). The London Underground, A Diagrammatic History. Douglas Rose. ISBN 1-85414-219-4.
  8. Butt 1995, pp. 60, 77
  9. Clive's Underground Line Guides - Central Line, history

London Transport Museum Photographic Archive - Debden station, 1961

Preceding station   London Underground   Following station
Central line
Epping Branch
towards Epping
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