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Hainault tube station

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Number of platforms

Fare zone

+44 343 222 1234

Managed by
London Underground



Hainault tube station

Local authority
London Borough of Redbridge

New North Road, Ilford, Essex IG6 3BD, UK

Woodford Station, Newbury Park, Chigwell Station, Fairlop Station, NCP Redbridge London U

Hainault is a London Underground station in Hainault in the London Borough of Redbridge. The station is on the Central line between Fairlop and Grange Hill stations. Since 2 January 2007 the station is in Travelcard Zone 4. This station is also home to one of the three Central line depots.



The station was opened on 1 May 1903 as part of the Great Eastern Railway's (GER) Fairlop Loop branch line from Woodford to Ilford. The line was designed to stimulate suburban growth but was closed on 1 October 1908 due to a lack of custom and did not reopen until 2 March 1930. In 1923, GER was merged with other railway companies to form the London & North Eastern Railway (LNER) under the 1921 Railways Act. As part of the 1935–1940 "New Works Programme" of the London Passenger Transport Board, the majority of the loop was transferred to form the eastern extensions of the Central line. Although work on this commenced in 1938, it was suspended upon the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939 and work only recommenced in 1946.

Steam train services serving Hainault were suspended on 29 November 1947 and electrified Central line passenger services, to Central London via Gants Hill, finally commenced on 31 May 1948. The line from Newbury Park to Hainault had been electrified for empty train movements to the new depot at Hainault from 14 December 1947. The services to Woodford via Grange Hill were reintroduced on 21 November 1948.

Alterations at Hainault included a new island platform on the west side of the station to allow the bulk of services via Gants Hill to be terminated here as well as allowing access to Hainault Depot. This, situated to the north of the station, is the major train depot on the eastern end of the line. The depot building was completed in 1939 but was used by the US Army Transportation Corps until 1945. The depot was in use for Central line stock from 14 December 1947.

From the mid-1960s until the early 1990s the Woodford-Hainault section was largely operated separately from the rest of the Central line, using four-car (later three-car) trains of 1960 Stock. The three car units had a 1938 tube stock middle carriage. These trains were adapted for Automatic Train Operation (ATO): the Woodford-Hainault section became the testing ground for ATO on the Victoria line. Some Victoria line (1967 Stock) trains were also used to operate this section and named FACT, "Fully Automatic Controlled Train". The separate operation has now been abolished, the 1960 Stock withdrawn and through trains to Central London now operate, albeit via Hainault and the 1960 Stock (along with the rest of the Central line's 1962 Stock) has been superseded by trains of 1992 Stock.

Station Improvements

The station has recently been the focus of a refurbishment programme. The ticket office has been refurbished, a new Station Supervisor's Office in the ticket hall was completed in June 2009 and lifts have been installed to allow step-free access to the platforms. The lifts are the shallowest on the London Underground network, having a descent of just 0.67 metres.

Services and connections

The typical off-peak service in trains per hour (tph) is:

  • 3 tph northbound to Woodford
  • 9 tph southbound to Ealing Broadway via Newbury Park
  • Hainault is half a mile (800 m) from Fairlop Station, which can be seen from the platforms by looking down the line. Central line trains take just 65 seconds on average to travel between the two stations. However the minimum walking or driving distance between the two stations is considerably longer.

    London Bus routes 150, 247 and night route N8 serve the station.


    Hainault tube station Wikipedia

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