Lost train stations of London

London isn’t short of train stations. There’s Euston, Victoria, Kings Cross, Paddington and Fenchurch Street to name but a few. However, the city has also lost a few train stations over the years with the shift to cars and as a result of redevelopment. So, let’s go find these ghost stations!

LOST TRAIN STATIONS: Broad Street station demolished by Margaret Thatcher – in person

Broad Street station, opened in 1865, once stood near Liverpool Street station where the Broadgate office complex is now located. The lines coming into Broad Street connected north London to the east and I can’t help feeling would be appreciated now.

But it’s the usual story of trains being undermined by the tube, tram and then car in the early to mid-20th century. Then the station was damaged during the Second World War and never properly repaired.

Finally, along came Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s and her disdain for collective forms of public transport – married to a love for the City of London. So, the station went and the offices for investment banks went up.

Thatcher even participated in the demolition of Broad Street in 1986!

LOST TRAIN STATIONS: Blackwall station

On my desk right now is a publication from 1830 called The Penny Magazine. This 26 December 1840 issue focuses on the marvels of Britain’s expending train network. Even by 1840, there were still way more canals per mile than railway but the new technology was catching up fast.

As The Penny Magazine noted:

The effect of canals and roads has been principally to develop the material resources of the country, and to uphold its prosperous condition. The railways will not only have a similar effect, but will exercise a much more powerful influence on manners and institutions.


In the picture, you can see the railway terminus at Blackwall. It was built in the Italianate style by the architect and Liberal MP William Tite – who also designed The Royal Exchange, the huge Roman-porticoed building that confronts you at Bank station.

Blackwall was a busy interchange at a time when the docks were booming and the East End of London was densely populated. But it fell victim in the early 20th century to the emergence of the new tram system and was shut to passenger traffic in 1926. Goods trains continued to arrive there until the 1960s when the decline of the docks signalled the end for the Blackwall terminus.

Not one brick remains today. But the Docklands Light Railway, constructed in the 1980s to revive the dock area of the city, uses much of the old line that took passengers from the City of London eastwards in the 1840s.

LOST TRAIN STATIONS: Camberwell station

There are abandoned train, tube and tram stations across London. Close to where I live you can just about make out the entrance to Camberwell station. It was closed in 1916, during the First World War.

There has been talk – lots of it – about re-opening the station but I’m not holding my breath. The reason for the re-think has been the increase in the working population and a realisation since the 1970s that the car is not the answer to everything.

The Victorians were avid builders of railways and accompanying stations and there’s no doubt that some stations became surplus to requirements quite quickly. However, some of the demolition in the 20th century now looks amazingly short sighted. A good example would be the ripping up of rail lines between Finsbury Park and Alexandra Palace.

I lived in Crouch End for several years and had to join an endless bus queue from there to Finsbury Park. And if you want to attend an exhibition at Alexandra Palace – or “Ally Pally” as it’s fondly known – you have to walk up a steep hill if you don’t have a car or bike. Once upon a time, you could have got a train.