TUBE SideTracked - Newbury Park
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About SideTracked Caches
This cache belongs to the SideTracked series. It is not designed to take you to a magical place with a breath taking view. It's a distraction for the weary traveller, but anyone else can go and find it too. More Information can be found at the SideTracked Website
About Newbury Park Station
Newbury Park originally opened on 1 May 1903, as part of a Great Eastern Railway (GER) branch line from Woodford to Ilford via Hainault, known as the Fairlop Loop. This line, designed to stimulate suburban growth, had a chequered career. 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 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 1945. This involved the construction of a new tube tunnel from Leytonstone via Redbridge which surfaced at Newbury Park to connect with the lines of the existing Ilford - Woodford branch.
Steam train services serving Newbury Park were suspended on 29 November 1947 and electrified Central line passenger services, to Central London via Gants Hill, finally commenced on 14 December 1947. On the same day the line beyond, to the new Hainault depot, was electrified for empty train movements. The station ceased to be the temporary terminus of the Central line on 31 May 1948 with the extension of passenger services to Hainault station. The surface tracks from Newbury Park to Ilford were severed by expansion of Ilford Carriage Sheds in 1947, whilst those to Seven Kings were severed in 1956. The former alignment was in a cutting which was filled in and subsequently provided land for allotment gardens and (more recently) housing. Three road bridges apparently spanning a missing alignment are the only clues to the old railway. The last vestige of the former line was a turn-back siding south of the station, used by main-line freight trains travelling around the loop from Woodford until 1965, and by Underground engineering trains until 1992 when it was finally abandoned.
North of the station, the tracks were rearranged upon transfer to London Underground such that the former through eastbound road became a reversing siding, though retaining the connection towards Barkingside, whilst through trains use a road formerly part of the sidings and freight-yard built to the west of the running lines. The northern end of the platforms were truncated to facilitate insertion of the points-work for the re-arrangement. The sidings were abandoned when Hainault depot fully opened in 1948, whilst the freight yard closed in 1965. Today some eastbound trains still terminate at Newbury Park before reversing back to central London.
The station's most prominent feature is the adjacent bus station, designed by Oliver Hill, and opened on 6 July 1949. Distinguished by a copper-covered barrel-vaulted roof, the structure is a Grade II listed building and won a Festival of Britain architectural award in 1951. The rest of the station's proposed reconstruction was not completed due to post-war economies. The original station building, which was very similar to Chigwell tube station (further north on the Loop), was demolished in 1956 to facilitate widening of the adjacent A12 Eastern Avenue. Another similar building existed at Grange Hill tube station (the next station south from Chigwell) but this was flattened by a German V1 flying bomb in 1944.
In 2009, because of financial constraints, TfL decided to stop work on a project to provide step-free access at Newbury Park and five other stations, on the grounds that these are relatively quiet stations and some are already one or two stops away from an existing step-free station. Hainault station which has step-free access is three stops to the north. £34.6 million was spent on Newbury Park before the project was halted The Cache Is Placed With LUL Permission.
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