June 13, 2024

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Articles and News related to London's Emergency Services and Public Transport

Romford Station (RMF)

London Overground Romford Station - RMF

London Overground Romford Station

Details of London Overground's Romford Station, including Address, Service Pattern and History

Romford Station

Address: South Street, Romford RM1 1SX
Opened: 7 June 1893
Station Code: RMF
Fare Zone: 6

London Overground Line(s) Served:

Romford to Upminster

Service Pattern(s):

Two trains per hour to Upminster


Elizabeth Line

National Rail: Greater Anglia GEML services

Station History

This post relates to the Romford to Upminster section of Romford Station. The main station will be covered in a future Elizabeth Line post.

Although a proposal by the Thames Haven Railway & Dock Company for a 16-mile line between Romford and Shell Haven on the north shore of the River Thames was approved by Parliament in 1836, being renewed ten years later, no construction was ever started. Further interest in such a connection faded with the building of the London, Tilbury & Southend Railway.

It was not until the construction of Tilbury Docks began in 1883 that thoughts returned to constructing a railway line from Romford to the new port. Three proposals were submitted, and it was the London, Tilbury & Southend Railway’s plan that was successful, with construction commencing in 1885.

During the initial stages of construction, the LT&SR had attempted to negotiate the use of platforms at Romford Station, however, the Great Eastern Railway, who had also submitted a proposal for a line to Upminster, declined this. As a result, the LT&SR constructed a new station on the opposite side of South Street from the existing Great Eastern Railway building to use as a terminus.

The line was opened to traffic on 7 June 1893 and, as a measure of some cooperation between the two railways, a footbridge was opened connecting the GER and LT&SR stations together, although it was rarely open for use in the daytime.

From opening, goods traffic shared the use of the GER yard outside the station, but this changed in 1896 when the LT&SR opened their own goods yard where their branch joined the line into Romford.

Nothing of note happened to the station or the line for the rest of the Century, and it was not until 1912 that change occurred with the purchase of the London Tilbury & Southend Railway by the Midland Railway. This was followed in the grouping of 1923 by the amalgamation of the MR into the London Midland & Scottish Railway on 1 January of that year. 1934 saw the closure of the original station, with access now provided via the original GER station on the opposite side of South Street.

Nationalisation of the Railways in 1948 initially saw the line transferred to British Railways Midland Region, but due to its geography, it was transferred to the Eastern Region on 20 February 1949. It was at this time that services to Tilbury & Grays were withdrawn and all services terminated at Upminster.

Steam haulage on the line came to an end on 17 September 1957 when lightweight diesel multiple units commenced service and the frequency was doubled to two trains per hour.

The Beeching Axe nearly fell on the line and its service in 1964, but strong opposition from both local businesses and residents caused this decision to be reversed. A further attempt to close the line was made in 1970, but this again failed after protests.

Goods traffic began to decline in 1971 when the private goods siding in the yard closed, with the yard itself closing and services ceasing in 1974.

Electrification finally came to the line in the early 1980s and, from the timetable change in April 1986, modern electric multiple units based at Ilford were deployed on the line, running a shuttle service.

Privatisation of the railways saw operation of the line pass from Network Southeast to First Great Eastern in 1997. FGE was succeeded in 2004 by National Express East Anglia before passing again to Abellio Greater Anglia in 2012. The final change of ownership came in May 2015, when London Overground became the new operator of the line.