Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Train station spotter – East London line relaunches

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So they finally reopened it yesterday, with Boris and the usual misplaced multiculti larks. That gave me something to get up for on my day off. It’s now serving New † and New † Gate from Dalston Junction, with extension to ‘my’ stations Brockley and Honor Oak and onwards to Crystal Palace next month. But my focus would be on the new stations on the north side, which co-incidentally was their focus as there has been virtually no work on the southside stations, with most of the infrastructure work concentrating on track and the Canal Junction complex north of New Cross.

Was this the first one out of the sidings to pick up travellers? It proudly says so.

‘Vice to Dalston Junction’ – yeah that’s the stories I heard too.

But then I get there: Dalston, East London. This is the place. How come everyone is so cool? I’m on Dalston Lane just up from the old Labrynth which my rave nostalgia tick obliges me to mention. The station facades would carry on in this vein, clean lines of orange on metal cladding and a bit underwhelming, in contrast to the large-scale subterranean protusions of the Jubilee Line stations.


Haggerston. Most people in London have never heard of this area. I’d always associated it with the big Turkish mosque off Kingsland Road, and wasn’t it where Sid Vicious and mum spent much of their smacktime? The station is next to the pleasant Stonebridge Gardens.

Inside was a revival of the civic mosaic walling you’d see in underpasses or on the way to sports centres, and a space mural with a nice sense of perspective. And the view looks south to the city.



Down to Hoxton station, although with the station off Cremer Street on the east side of Kingsland Road near the Geffyre is that technically Hoxton? This was the quietest of the stations by far. The lads at Cremer Business Centre were happy to let me snap the graffiti murals, including this one of the lass leaving her astro-man and some others inside the complex.


This is looking up Shoreditch High Street as it comes into the stop of the same name.

Awareness of this area’s profile means this station has had the most money thrown at it. Like Hoxton and Haggerston it reuses old overhead train lines (beats filling it with grass and calling it a park) and although the immediate area is cosmetically clad in modern concrete with indented lines it looks like the only thing it shares with the old Bishopsgate Goods Yard station is its elevation, making discarded sections look like genuine ruins. How it joins up with the old east London Line to go onto Whitechapel is not clear at the moment (I never used the old Shoreditch station).



Whitechapel was the busiest station, as it connects just as it used to with the district and metropolitan lines. But I ended my snapping here as the mission was to get the new stations.

No doubt it will be a quiet start for the new ELL in terms of users of the service - most other travellers today were spotters with cameras like myself and a few curious tourists pleased to be riding clean trains – so expect a few white elephant stories in London media. But I don’t doubt this scheme will pay off as people make use of the easier connections between southeast and east London:
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2 Comments:

Blogger russell said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Susan

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4:30 am  
Anonymous London Accountants Lady said...

Ah, the East London line as it was once known! This takes me back!

3:02 pm  

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