The Anonymous Widower

Ilford Station – 2nd July 2022

It’s been nearly a year since I last visited Ilford station and wrote Ilford Station – 9th June 2021.

It doesn’t appear that there has been much progress in the last year!

July 2, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | | Leave a comment

Ilford Station – 9th June 2021

The third entrance on the South side of Ilford station is now open.

These pictures were taken during a walk from the North entrance to the new one in the South.

Note that nine-car trains are now running on Crossrail.

June 17, 2021 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , | 1 Comment

Ilford Station – 18th November 2020

I took these pictures at Ilford station this morning.


  1. The steelwork for the station building has now been erected.
  2. The new side entrance to the station is operational, but not fully complete.
  3. There were also guys working on stylish new shelters and possible retail units in the station.

Ilford station is being seriously transformed, as this visualisation of the new station building shows.

The people in the visualisation are rather badly-drawn

November 18, 2020 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , | Leave a comment

Ilford Station – 14th September 2020

I took these pictures today at Ilford station.


  1. The old station building seems to have been demolished and the main structural steel seems to have been erected.
  2. The Second Entrance was completed a long time ago.
  3. The Third Entrance is not far off completion.
  4. The coffee shop was well worth a visit.

The construction of the new station does seem to be getting there.

September 29, 2020 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , | Leave a comment

Ilford Station – 2nd July 2019

Work is underway at Ilford station to rebuild the main station entrance and create a modern glass-fronted station.

This page on the Crossrail web site, which is entitled Ilford Station, lists these features.

  • A new spacious, modern and bright station building on Cranbrook Road
  • A new waiting room and benches on platforms
  • Improved customer information, lighting and wayfinding signage
  • Newly painted walls and tiled floor and ceiling
  • Two new ticket machines, four new ticket gates and a wide aisle gate
  • A new waiting room and benches on platforms.

This image is also shown.

I took these pictures of the station today.

This Google Map shows the station.

Note the disused Platform 5 in the pictures and at the Northern side of the station in the map, for which I can’t find any future plans.

  • Perhaps it could be made into an operationally-useful bay platform? After all, it appears to be full length.
  • Could it be filled in to create a wide platform with a waiting room and a coffee kiosk?
  • Could it be used for bicycle parking?

I would wait until Crossrail is fully-open and see what is most needed.

Note too, the last picture with the footbridge over the station to the York Road entrance on the right. This picture shows the York Road entrance.

It was a shrewd move to build this second entrance, as it can function as the station entrance, whilst the main entrance on Cranbrook Road is rebuilt.

There would also appear to be plans to put a third entrance on the Southern side of the footbridge, which connects to Ilford Hill.

In my view, a station can never have too many entrances.


Will a new station attract more passengers to use Crossrail?

July 2, 2019 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , | Leave a comment

A Short Walk Around Ilford Station

Several reports like this one in New Civil Engineer, have talked about a rebuild of Ilford station for Crossrail. This picture shows how it could look.


As the station now has a new entrance on York Road, I went for a walk around the station.

I walked up the stairs at the London end of the station, through the new entrance and then circled to the front entrance, where I reentered the station.

This Google Map shows the station.

Ilford Station And The Town Centre

Ilford Station And The Town Centre

If the standard of the York Road entrance to the station is anything to go by, I think that Ilford will have a last laugh in all those Essex jokes.

I wonder how much the footfall in the Exchange Shopping Centre will increase when Crossrail opens.

October 19, 2016 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , | Leave a comment

How Are Crossrail’s Eastern Stations Progressing?

I took a train to Shenfield and back again, taking pictures on the way.

Before discussing the stations, it is worth reading this extract, from the Wikipedia entry for the Great Eastern Main Line.

The GER was grouped in 1923 into the London and North Eastern Railway (LNER). In 1931/32 the LNER quadrupled the tracks to Shenfield which became the terminus for inner-suburban operation.

In the 1930s a flyover was constructed just west of Ilford to switch the main and electric lines over, to enable main line trains to utilise Liverpool Street’s longer west side platforms without having to cross east side suburban traffic in the station throat. The new arrangement also facilitated cross-platform interchange with the Central line at Stratford, with services commencing in 1946. Either side of the Ilford flyover there are single-track connections between each pair of lines, with the westbound track extending to Manor Park and just beyond. The eastbound track extends as far as Ilford station. It was also envisaged that a flyover would be built at the country-end of the carriage sidings at Gidea Park to allow trains bound for the Southend line to change from the main line to the electric line, instead of at the London-end of Shenfield as they do now.

Plans were drawn up in the 1930s to electrify the suburban lines from Liverpool Street to Shenfield at 1500 V DC and work was started on implementing this. However, the outbreak of the Second World War brought the project to a temporary halt and it was not until 1949 that the scheme was completed with electrification being extended to Chelmsford in 1956.

So it could be said that the quadrupling of the tracks to Shenfield, was the legacy of Sir Nigel Gresley and his team, that has enabled Crossrail to be easily extended to the East.

I suspect that Crossrail’s engineers, regret that the flyover at Gidea Park, as proposed in the LNER plans, was never built. It would have helped one of Crossrail’s problems and that is how you fit two Southend trains per hour, that call at Stratford, Romford, Gidea Park, Harold Wood, Brentwood,  Shenfield and then all stations to Southend Victoria into Crossrail’s eight trains per hour schedule. I wouldn’t be surprised if Southend Victoria becomes an extra terminal for Crossrail, that receives four trains per hour.

On the other hand, the foresight of Gresley’s team would appear to have led to one of the most powerful features of Crossrail in the East, which will be the cross-platform interchange between the new line and the Central Line.

This 1930s rebuild also explains, why the stations have .a solid feel of the first half of the twentieth century, which means that some of the stations although needing a lot of work, are solid underneath and all seem to be capable of upgrading, rather than needing the substantial rebuilding of some of the stations in the West.

Summing up the stations, you would say the following.


Shenfield station is already fully step-free.

  • The station building probably just needs sprucing up.
  • The platforms all seem to be long enough, as Platforms 1, 2 and 3 take twelve-car Class 360 trains and Class 321 trains.
  • Platforms 4 and 5 aren’t much shorter, but may need to be lengthened, especially as trains will go through the station to new Eastern sidings.
  • The space for the new Platform 6 has been created, but work is continuing on the platform and track.
  • Work on the track is also continuing to update the electrification to a modern standard and the two western sidings that Crossrail trains will use.

Given that a proportion of passengers will probably want to interchange between Crossrail, services up and down the Great Eastern Main Line and to and from Southend Victoria, I do wonder, if there will be a reorganisation of stopping patterns for the longer distance services between Shenfield and London.

The works at Shenfield station, would appear to be taking a well-built mainly 1930s station and turning it into a terminus for Crossrail able to handle up to twelve trains per hour and an interchange with services to Colchester, Ipswich, Norwich, Southend and all points to the North and East of East Anglia.


Brentwood station has a lot of work completed or underway.

  • The station office seems to have been refurbished.
  • There are only lifts to the central Platforms 2 and 3.
  • Platform extensions to all four platforms are underway.
  • The bridge seems to be being refurbished rather than replaced.

I can find no references to lifts for Platform 1 and 4.

The works at Brentwood station would appear to be much simpler than Shenfield, but from the look of the new entrance and the visualisation in the Brentwood station web page on the Crossrail web site, they will create a very capable two platform station for Crossrail.

Harold Wood

Harold Wood station  has a lot of work completed or underway.

  • A new bridge has been installed, but not completed.
  • Lifts are to be installed.
  • Platform extensions to all four platforms are underway.
  • The platform buildings seem to have been refurbished.

I would also assume that the station office will be refurbished.

The works at Harold Wood station, show that it will be good station, with a good interchange between Crossrail and services on the fast lines.

But why is there such a good interchange between the two sets of lines? Is it just because Brentford is not a full interchange?

Or is it so that the services to and from Southend Victoria can still call??

Gidea Park

Gidea Park station is very much a work in progress.

  • A new bridge is being built with lifts under the largest plastic umbrella in London.
  • Platform extensions to all four platforms are underway.
  • The platform buildings seem to have been refurbished.

The works at Gidea Park station will create another good station, that has an excellent step-free interchange between Crossrail and the fast lines.

I must ask the same questions as I did for Harold Wood.


Romford station doesn’t appear to be seeing much work yet.

According to the Romford station page on the Crossrail web site, this is being done.

  • A substantially improved ticket hall with revised entrances
  • Three new lifts for step-free access to platforms
  • Platform extensions to accommodate the new 200 metre long Crossrail trains.

This is obviously in addition to revised and improved signage, help points and seating.

Romford station from the pictures looks to be a solid station with nice period features, with some excellent marble and quality ironwork.

Chadwell Heath

Chadwell Heath station is very much on the way to be ready.

  • A new footbridge has been built and commissioned.
  • Platform extension work is underway.
  • A turnback siding has been built east of the station.


I didn’t check out the actual station building, but this web page from Crossrail has a visualisation.


Goodmayes station is in the process of being updated.

  • The current footbridge is being updated.
  • Three lifts will be added to provide step-free access to all platforms.
  • The station building is being rebuilt.
  • Platform extension work is underway.

The works at Goodmayes station will create a good suburban station, by building on the existing station office and footbridge.

Seven Kings

Seven Kings station is going through refurbishment.

  • Lifts will be added
  • The station building looks like it will be substantially rebuilt.
  • The area outside the station will be improved.

From the pictures, it does appear that the station is one of the few with a picnic table outside.


Ilford station is scheduled to be completely rebuilt according to the Ilford station page on the Crossrail web site.

  • A new spacious, modern and bright station building on Cranbrook Road
  • A larger ticket hall with simplified ticket facilities and larger gate-line
  • A full refurbishment, by Transport for London, of the York Mews entrance
  • New lifts for platforms 1, 2/3, and 4
  • Platform extensions to accommodate the new 200 metre long Elizabeth line trains.

Only the platform extension seems to be starting.

At least the visualisation on the Crossrail web site seems promising, with a large pedestrianised area in front of the station.

Arriving At Ilford Station

Arriving At Ilford Station

This picture was taken from the right and shows the current traffic in the area.

In Front Of Ilford Station Now

In Front Of Ilford Station Now

As with Romford, the station is right in the middle of the shopping area.

Manor Park

Manor Park station is undergoing refurbishment. This is said about the station in Wikipedia.

Manor Park will be fully served by Crossrail from 2019 but part of the route is scheduled to open in 2017 and new Class 345 trains will enter service. Platforms 1 and 2 are only 168 metres (184 yd) and 185 metres (202 yd) long respectively and cannot physically be extended to accommodate the new trains, which will be over 200 metres (220 yd) in length, so selective door operation will be utilised. The freight loop around platform 1 is due to be removed and replaced by a new loop line further down-line, west of Chadwell Heath.

Due to the narrow platforms and the layout of the station, fitting lifts for disabled access would be difficult, requiring the walkways to be rebuilt and closing parts of the station for several months. The station will receive new ticket machines and gates, an accessible toilet and new retail space.

As the Manor Park web page on the Crossrail web site, says new lifts will be installed, I suspect this station will face several months of closures.

Given its location by the Southern end of Epping Forest, I do wonder, if it could be a Crossrail station with a walking and picnic area close by. This Google Map shows the station and the green space to the North.

North Of Manor Park Station

North Of Manor Park Station

As the area is mainly controlled by the City of London and there are also two large cemeteries, I suspect that any development will be totally appropriate. I suspect too that there are a lot of walks through the area to stations on the Central and Gospel Oak to Barking Lines.




July 2, 2016 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

A Perfect Storm In Ilford

This article from the Ilford Recorder is entitled Redbridge Council leader says Ilford town centre has ‘the perfect storm’ for regeneration.

It talks about a billion pound of investment in the next six years.

So it does look like one of the more dreary parts of East London is going to be improved.

In my view, it shows how Crossrail is going to regenerate large swathes of London.

Although, in the article, I do think that that the design for homes on the Sainsburys site on Roden Street, is very much out of the design manual of Soviet Russia, that I saw in Nova Huta.

August 28, 2015 Posted by | Transport/Travel, World | , , , | Leave a comment

Before Crossrail – Ilford

A Station That Needs Work – Rating 4/10

Ilford has a modernised entrance building, but some of the stairs are difficult.

Money certainly needs to be spent on this station that serves quite an important town centre.

October 9, 2014 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , | 2 Comments

Boom Or Bust In Ilford?

I like this article about the effect of Crossrail on Ilford, when it opens in 2018, from the Ilford Recorder.

I think generally the article thinks the new line will have a positive effect on the area.

One thing the article ignores is the Essex Effect. Give the county an opportunity and it will take the fullest advantage of what has been given.

August 17, 2014 Posted by | Transport/Travel, World | , , , | 1 Comment