SideTracked - Grange Hill
The station was opened by the Great Eastern Railway on 1 May 1903 on their Fairlop Loop line between Woodford and Ilford.
As a consequence of the 1921 Railways Act, the GER was merged with other railway companies in 1923 to become part of the London & North Eastern Railway (LNER). As part of the 1935 - 1940 "New Works Programme" of the London Passenger Transport Board the majority of the Woodford to Ilford loop 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 War in 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 and was first served by the Central Line from 21 November 1948. The station ticket office was reconstructed as part of this work following destruction of the original building by a German V1 'Doodlebug' in July 1944. The 1903 building was very similar to the next station to the north, Chigwell, which is still largely untouched to this day, and the original building further south at Newbury Park, demolished in 1956 to make way for a road improvement.
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. These trains were adapted for Automatic Train Operation (ATO); the Woodford-Hainault section became the testing ground for ATO on the Victoria Line. The separate operation has now been abolished and through trains to Central London via Hainault now operate. At the beginning of the morning and evening peak periods, some trains starting from Hainault depot enter service at Grange Hill and work to central London via Woodford although in the current timetable, no trains return to Hainault depot via Grange Hill, doing so instead via Newbury Park and Hainault.
Since 5 February 2006 this has been one of the small number of stations on the network to have no staffed ticket office, however staff are available 24 hours a day for customer information and the train service has been extended to midnight to take into account the rising passenger numbers.