- Roding Valley tube station
Roding Valley is a
London Undergroundstation situated directly on the border between the Epping Forest district of Essexand the London Borough of Redbridge. The station is between Chigwell and Woodford stations. It is located in Station Way and Cherry Tree Rise (off Buckhurst Way). Since 2 January 2007, the station is in Travelcard Zone 4.
Roding Valley is not only the least used station on the
Central Lineat just 198,000 passengers per annum but is also the least used station on the entire Underground network.
The tracks though Roding Valley were opened on
1 May 1903by the Great Eastern Railway(GER) on its Woodford to Ilford line (the Fairlop Loop). The station was not opened until 3 February 1936by the London & North Eastern Railway(LNER, successor to the GER). It was originally named Roding Valley Halt (though while the full name appeared on tickets and timetables, the word "Halt" appeared on only some of the station signage), and was opened to service new housing developments between Buckhurst Hill and Woodford. It was named after the River Rodingwhich is close by to the east. The track rises toward Chigwell and crosses the Roding over an impressive viaduct. Woodford Junction, where the Hainault branch leaves the main Central Line to Epping, is very close to the station - Roding Valley's platforms are visible from the train in either direction between Woodford and Buckhurst Hill (on the left of the train toward Woodford).
As part of the 1935 - 1940 "New Works Programme" of the
London Passenger Transport Boardthe majority of the Woodfordto Ilfordloop was to be transferred to form the eastern extensions of the Central line. Although work commenced in 1938 it was suspended upon the outbreak of the Second World Warin 1939 and work only recommenced in 1946. In connection with the alterations required for the electrification of the line, the station was closed from 29 November 1947. It reopened, with its present name, and was first served by the Central Line from 21 November 1948. The rather basic station buildings (all-wooden on the Woodford-bound side) were replaced by more substantial structures by 1949.
From the mid 1960s until the early 1990s the Woodford-Hainault section was largely separately operated from the rest of the Central Line, using four car (later three car) trains of 1960 Stock. The three car units utilised a 1938 tube stock middle carriage. These trains were adapted for Automatic Train Operation (ATO); the Woodford-Hainault section became the testing ground for ATO on the Victoria Line. Some Victoria Line (1967 Stock) trains were also used to operate this section and named FACT, 'Fully Automatic Controlled Train'. The separate operation has now been abolished, the 1960 Stock withdrawn and through trains to Central London now operate, albeit via Hainault. Because of this, it is normally quicker to travel to Woodford and change there, as trains to central London run frequently from that point. At the build up to the peak periods, some trains starting from Hainault depot operate to central London via Grange Hill, Chigwell, Roding Valley and Woodford, although this service is provided merely for operating convenience rather than passenger demand.
Roding Valley is the most lightly used station on the Underground, and since
5 February 2006has been one of the small number of stations on the network to have no staffed ticket office. [Transport for London, " [http://www.tfl.gov.uk/corporate/media/newscentre/3677.aspx New ticket office opening hours from February 5] ". 3 February 2006.] Before this, the ticket office was only staffed for a few hours every week to allow the sale of period Travelcards and other season tickets. In the 1980s the station had a foreman, a ticket office clerk and two railmen, one of whom sold tickets on the Woodford bound (inner rail) platform using a Gibson machine, the other collecting tickets on the Chigwell bound (outer rail) platform.
19 November 2006service at the station was extended from 8 pm to approximately midnight. [ [http://www.tfl.gov.uk/tfl/press-centre/press-releases/press-releases-content.asp?prID=912 Transport for London] - "Later Tube services on Hainault loop"]
The station is served regularly by bus service 549 (as of June 2003) although the hourly service runs along Buckhurst Way with the stop out side the Monkhams Pub and not the station itself.
* [http://photos.ltmcollection.org London Transport Museum Photographic Archive]
** ltmcollection|67/9855967.jpg|Roding Valley Halt station, 1937
** ltmcollection|qz/i00008qz.jpg|Roding Valley station shortly after Underground services commenced, 1948
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