Essex Road railway station

Essex Road National Rail

Entrance on Canonbury Road
Essex Road
Location of Essex Road in Greater London
Location Canonbury
Local authority London Borough of Islington
Managed by Great Northern
Owner Network Rail
Station code EXR
DfT category E
Number of platforms 2
Fare zone 2
National Rail annual entry and exit
2010–11 Increase 0.474 million[1]
2011–12 Increase 0.483 million[1]
2012–13 Increase 0.521 million[1]
2013–14 Increase 0.572 million[1]
2014–15 Increase 0.627 million[1]
Key dates
1904 Opened (GN&CR)
1975 Closed (Northern City Line)
1976 Opened (British Rail City Line)
Other information
Lists of stations
External links
WGS84 51°32′26″N 0°05′47″W / 51.5406°N 0.0963°W / 51.5406; -0.0963Coordinates: 51°32′26″N 0°05′47″W / 51.5406°N 0.0963°W / 51.5406; -0.0963
London Transport portal
UK Railways portal

Essex Road railway station is a National Rail station in Canonbury in the London Borough of Islington. It is on the Northern City Line between Old Street and Highbury & Islington and is in Travelcard Zone 2. The station is at the junction of Essex Road, Canonbury Road and New North Road, with the present entrance on Canonbury Road. Operated by Great Northern, it is the only deep level underground station in London served solely by National Rail trains. Between 1933 and 1975 the station was operated as part of the London Underground, as a short branch of the Northern line. Between 1922 and 1948 the station name was Canonbury & Essex Road. The name reverted to the original form in 1948.


The station was opened on 14 February 1904 by the Great Northern & City Railway (GN&CR) on its underground route between the Great Northern Railway (GNR) station at Finsbury Park and the Metropolitan Railway (MR) and City & South London Railway (C&SLR) station at Moorgate in the City of London.

The GN&CR was intended to carry main line trains and the tunnels were constructed with a larger diameter (16 ft/4.9 m) than the other deep tube railways being built at that time (roughly 11 to 12 ft/3.4 m to 3.7 m). From 1913 the MR took control of the GN&CR and ran it under its own name until it became part of the London Passenger Transport Board (LPTB) in 1933. In preparation for the LPTB's "Northern Heights" plan the line was transferred to the control of the Morden-Edgware Line (now the Northern line).

The Northern Heights plan involved the building of a connection to the surface platforms at Finsbury Park and the transfer of a London and North Eastern Railway (LNER) branch from there to Edgware, High Barnet and Alexandra Palace. By 1939 much of the work for the connection of the lines had been done and the opening of the connection was scheduled for autumn 1940 but the start of World War II put a halt to further construction. After the war the uncompleted parts of the plan were cancelled and Northern line trains continued to run to Finsbury Park on what became known as the Northern City Line or, from 1970, the Northern line Highbury Branch.

The station was, from the early 1960s, closed on Sundays. In the 1970s it was also closed on Saturdays.

The Northern City Line was closed on 4 October 1975 (due to its weekend closure, Essex Road closed the day before) and ceased to be part of the London Underground. The line was transferred to British Rail (BR) and the unused connection between Drayton Park and Finsbury Park from the cancelled Northern Heights plan finally received the tracks to connect the line to the surface platforms at Finsbury Park. On 8 August 1976, the City Line reopened as part of the BR network with main line size trains running to Old Street. On 8 November 1976, seventy-two years after the GN&CR first opened, the line was opened fully for main line trains from Moorgate to Finsbury Park and beyond as had been originally intended.

By comparison with other underground stations built at the beginning of the 20th century, the station's surface building is nondescript and unremarkable. Unlike many other central London underground stations, Essex Road was never modernised with escalators and access to the platforms is by lift or a spiral staircase. The station also lacks the automatic ticket gates present at most London Underground and many National Rail stations.

At the lower level the lifts and staircase (of 157 steps) are connected to the platforms via a passageway and a short staircase rising between the two tunnels. The Underground's former operation of the station is evident from the unused and rusty fourth rail which once provided a return of the current from the tube trains serving the line. The third rail is still in use, with return now through the running rails. Signs at street and platform level still mention Network SouthEast, even though it is now Great Northern that serves this station.


Essex Road currently has the following National Rail services off-peak Monday - Friday (all operated by Great Northern):[2]

At the weekends:

In peak hours, there is a service approximately every 4–15 minutes until 10:00 and again after 16:00, until the end of service. Peak service variations on the Hertford Loop see certain trains start/terminate at Gordon Hill or Stevenage, others on both lines skip certain stations (e.g. Harringay & Hornsey).


London Buses routes 38, 56, 73, 271, 341 and 476 and night routes N38 and N73 serve the station.


Great Northern have introduced a weekend service.[3]

It is planned that by the end of 2018, once the connection between the East Coast Main Line, and the Thameslink route is completed, new rolling stock will be introduced.

Essex Road was a station on the proposed Chelsea-Hackney line. However, the scheme currently being pursued by the developers of Crossrail, known as Crossrail 2, does not provide for an interchange at Essex Road.[4]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Essex Road railway station.


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 "Station usage estimates". Rail statistics. Office of Rail Regulation. Please note: Some methodology may vary year on year.
  2. Table 24 National Rail timetable, May 2016
  3. "Seven-day-a-week service to the City better for late-returning commuters and weekend shoppers" (Press release). Govia Thameslink Railway. 5 November 2015. Retrieved 15 November 2015.
  4. Crossrail Chelsea-Hackney: Downloads
Preceding station National Rail Following station
Great Northern
  Former Service  
Preceding station   London Underground   Following station
towards Finsbury Park
Northern line
Northern City branch
towards Moorgate
  Abandoned Northern Heights Line  
Preceding station   London Underground   Following station
Northern line
towards Moorgate
This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 9/10/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.