[Source: Nick Catford]

Date opened: October 1864 (Brixton line platforms)
1.12.1872 (Cambria spur platforms)

On the west side of Flaxman Road (Cambria spur platforms)

Company on opening: London Chatham & Dover Railway
Date closed to passengers: 3.4.1916 Brixton platforms. 12.7.1925 Denmark Hill platforms
Date closed completely: 3.4.1916 Brixton platforms. 12.7.1925 Denmark Hill platforms
Company on closing: Southern Railway (Cambria spur platforms)
Present state: Cambria spur platforms are extant. The island platform on the Herne Hill line is still open.
County: London
OS Grid Ref: TQ319759
Date of visit: October 1967, May 1968, December 1982 and December 1984

Notes: The first platforms on what was to later become Loughborough Junction were on the Brixton line which first appeared in public timetables in October 1864, two years after the LCDR's Metropolitan Extension to Victoria opened. The station was called Loughborough Road. From 1 July 1872 three platforms were provided on the Herne Hill lines. At the same time, a spur was built by the Crystal Palace & South London Junction Railway joining the Metropolitan Extension with the line to Peckham. This required the erection of three iron bridges and the demolition of a number of houses in Flaxman Road, Two platforms were provided on the spur which is usually referred to as Cambria Road platforms and spur after nearby Cambria Road. The station was renamed Loughborough Junction on 1 December 1872.

A three storey brick building was provided in the triangle between the Herne Hill line and the Cambria spur. The building has not been confirmed as the station building. If it was, it was taken out of use at an early date as it is named on the 1898 map below as 'Loughborough Hall'. There is a walk way giving easy access to the front of the building. The rear of the building is conveniently close to the five stairways rising up to the platforms from the arches beneath the viaduct. The building does not appear on the 1871 survey reproduced below so it seems likely it was built at or around the same time as the Cambria curve and platforms. In the 1950s it was being used as a club and in more recent times it became a factory making Snopake correction fluid. Lambeth Council's 2013 regeneration plan for the area describes the building as 'station building' but this could be an assumption. The building does have some architectural resemblance to Denmark Hill although that building is LBSC not LCD. The entrance to the station is now through an arch in the viaduct in Coldharbour Lane.

The Brixton line platforms closed on 3 April 1916 as a wartime economy measure; by 1916 all LCDR City branch stations south of the Thames had been closed except Loughborough Junction. Rationalisation of services in the Southern Railway's suburban electrification led to the closure of the Cambria curve platforms on 12 July 1925. The down Herne Hill platform was closed at the same time. The down lines were later reduced from two to one and the remaining island platform was subsequently widened.

After nationalisation the station was part of the Southern Region of British Railways and, from 1986, Network SouthEast. Around 1990 the station became part of the Thameslink route. From 1997-2006, rail services were provided by the Thameslink train operating company. Although this company is now defunct, the Thameslink name continues to be used for the line. Since 2006, the Thameslink line has been operated by First Capital Connect. Most passenger services from Loughborough Junction run between Bedford and Sutton, and additional SouthEastern services run from Loughborough Junction to Beckenham Junction.

The Metropolitan Extensions Act of 1860 gave the London Chatham & Dover Railway access to the City, authorizing a 4.5 mile line from Herne Hill across the river to join the Metropolitan Railway at Farringdon Street.

The 'City Line' was far more than the Chatham could cope with financially, but the possibilities for through traffic were vast. To the north the G N R and the Midland could be reached and to the south were the L B S C R and L S W R at Clapham Junction from where the G W R and L N W R could be reached via the West London Line. All these companies were approached to partake financially and all eventually profited from the scheme gaining the right to work trains to their own goods and coal depots in South London.

The line from Herne Hill to the Elephant and Castle was opened on 6 October 1862 and on to Blackfriars Bridge on 1 June 1864. Intermediate stations were initially provided at Camberwell, Walworth Road and Borough Road and later at Loughborough Junction.

The Thames was eventually bridged and by 21 December 1864 a temporary station at Ludgate Hill was in use, a permanent station being opened on 1st June 1865. It had two narrow island platforms but the station was rebuilt in 1910 with a single broader island platform.

On 1st January 1866, L C D R passenger trains began running into the Metropolitan's Farringdon Street station and the connection was soon carrying a wide variety of passenger and freight services. Then, by an Act of 13 July 1871, the Chatham became committed to yet another project. A nominally independent Holborn Viaduct Station Company (for the bankrupt Chatham was not allowed to raise capital) was authorized to build a 292 yard branch from the Ludgate - Farringdon line to a new terminus, complete with hotel, fronting on the new thoroughfare of Holborn Viaduct. It was opened on 2nd March 1874.

On 1st August 1874 a low-level station, Snow Hill ('Holborn Viaduct Low Level' from 1912), was opened at the foot of the 1 in 39 incline.

Finally, on 10th May 1886 a parallel bridge across the Thames was opened with, at the northern end, yet another new station, St. Paul's, the original Blackfriars Bridge being closed. St. Paul's was renamed Blackfriars on 1st February 1937. The existing layout was completed when the South Eastern Railway opened the Union Street spur on 1st June 1878 creating a through route into Charing Cross.

The difficulties of inter-terminal transfer through the congested streets of mid-Victorian London assured considerable transfer traffic. All L C D R mainline trains, including continental ones, carried a City portion attached or detached at Herne Hill. Eventually however the development of the underground network led to the withdrawal of the through services and the demise in the importance of Holborn and Blackfriars with a dramatic reduction in off peak services. Holborn retained very heavy parcels traffic, including continental and three of its six platforms, too short for electric trains were utilised.

The first casualty on the line was Borough Road which closed on 1st April 1907 due to competition from the Northern Line. As an economy measure during WW1 through services from south of the Thames to Moorgate via the Smithfield Curve (opened 1.9.1871) were withdrawn on 1st April 1916 with Camberwell and Walworth Road stations closing two days later. Holborn Viaduct Low Level closed on 1st June 1916 and with it through passenger traffic on the City Line ceased.

Less than 700 yards separated Holborn Viaduct from Blackfriars. Ludgate Hill thus became increasingly redundant, especially after the through trains stopped. The intensive Ludgate Hill - Victoria services were withdrawn during the First World War. The Wimbledon trains were the last to call and with their electrification it was closed on 3 March 1929.

In 1902, 19.2 million passengers used Holborn, Ludgate and St. Paul's. Use declined with the loss of the cross London traffic until electrification. The growth of L.C.C. estates in S E London and Kent increased traffic but this was not maintained and in 1960 they were back to the 1902 level with 88% of the traffic arriving or departing during the rush hour. The 'City Line' was still a vital north-south freight link with some 90 trains a day in 1962, but all regular freight and parcels services were withdrawn in 1969. Although disused for many years the Snow Hill tunnel was finally abandoned in 1971 and the track was lifted.

The Snow Hill tunnel was reopened in 1988 as part of the new Thameslink network which came into service in May 1990, initially as part of British Rail but private since March 1997. To coincide with the opening of Thameslink, Holborn Viaduct Station was closed on 22nd January 1990. The line into Holborn Viaduct over Ludgate Hill was removed and a new line built that drops down steeply from Blackfriars station into a new station called City Thameslink (opened 29.5.1990) beneath the former Holborn Viaduct Station. The station was originally called St. Paul's Thameslink but was renamed in 1991 to avoid confusion from St. Paul's station on the Central line.

The northern part of the Thameslink network replaced the 'Bedpan' service from Bedford to St. Pancras and uses the existing Midland Main Line. In the south there are two branches. The main route runs through London Bridge to East Croydon and Brighton while the second branch initially ran into Guildford via West Croydon but has now been rerouted through Mitcham to terminate at Sutton.

Thameslink has become a significant commuter route serving the airports at Gatwick and Luton and carries around 40 million passenger journeys on the system annually.

Tickets from Michael Stewart. Route map drawn by Alan Young.

Sources: A regional history of the railways of Great Britain - Volume 3 Greater London by H P White. David & Charles 1963 & 1971 ISBN 0 7153 5337 3

Other web sites: Abandoned Tube Stations - includes a cab ride from Farringdon - Blackfriars

To see the other stations on the L C D R's 'City Line' click on the station name: CamberwellWalworth Road, Borough Road,
Blackfriars Bridge
, Blackfriars, Ludgate Hill, Holborn Viaduct, Snow Hill/Holborn Viaduct Low Level & Farringdon

The busy streets around Loughborough Junction station in the early years of the twentieth century - after the introduction of electric trams in 1905.

1871 1:1,056 OS Town Plan shows Loughborough Road station, the original two platform station that opened in 1864. The Cambria Road spur was not opened until 1872.

1898 1:1,056 OS Town Plan shows the layout of Loughborough Junction station. The original platforms were those on the left serving Brixton and Victoria; they opened in 1864 and the station was called Loughborough Road. The Herne Hill platforms which opened in 1872 are seen in the centre and comprise an island and a down side platform. The Denmark Hill platforms are seen on the right; these also opened in 1872. Five sets of stairs serve the platforms, reached from an arch beneath the viaduct. The shaded area indicates the extent of the platform canopies. What might be the original station building is between the Denmark Hill and Herne Hill platforms. It is identified here as Loughborough Hall and if it was ever used as a station building it must have been taken out of use at an early date. Click here to see a larger version of this map.

1952 1:2,600 OS map. By this date only the central island platform remains open. All trace of the Brixton line platforms has gone. The Cambria curve platforms are still shown. The three lines running south have been reduced to two and the island platform has been widened. The possible station building is now identified as a club.

Loughborough Junction station looking south in 1956. The closed Cambria curve platforms are seen on the left; at this time the platform buildings were intact. The widened island platform is seen in the centre; this was now the only platform still in use. The original street level building is seen between the Herne Hill and Denmark Hill lines.
Photo from John Mann collection

The Cambria curve platforms at Loughborough Junction station in the 1950s. These closed on 12 July 1925 as did the down Herne Hill line platform which is also seen here. After closure the down lines were reduced from two to one and the island platform was widened.
Photo from John Mann collection

Loughborough Junction island platform looking north c late 1950s. The building in the distance on the left is a railway sub-station. This is still in use.
Photo from John Mann collection

Loughborough Junction disused platform on the Herne Hill line with the Cambria curve platforms behind in October 1967.
Photo by Nick Catford

Looking north from the island platform at Loughborough Junction station in May 1968. The closed down Herne Hill platform and the two Denmark Hill platforms are seen on the right. Note the signal box in the distance; this was known as 'The Tower' and opened c1870. It was one of the busiest boxes on the LCDR network with 54 levers. The brick tower was actually taller than it appears here as it was built at ground level beside the viaduct. The box closed on 29 November 1981 in connection with the resignalling of the area under the control of the new Victoria power box.
Photo by Nick Catford

Looking south at Loughborough Junction station in May 1974 from a train heading east round the Cambria curve. The disused up Peckham platform and down Herne Hill platform are seen..
Photo by Alan Young

Loughborough Junction looking south at the Cambria spur platforms in December 1982. The Herne Hill island platform can be seen to the right.
Photo by Nick Catford

Looking north along the down Cambria curve platform at Loughborough Junction station in December 1982. A railway sub-station is seen beyond the station.
Photo by Nick Catford

Loughborough Junction station Cambria curve platforms in December 1982. The possible three-storey station building is seen to the rear of the up platform.
Photo by Nick Catford

The three disused platforms at Loughborough Junction seen from the current platform 2 in June 2008.
Photo by Alan Young

Loughborough Junction station looking north. There were originally two lines here but one was removed and the platform widened over it

Loughborough Junction station looking south. The Cambria curve is to the left; the platforms can still be seen as can the possible station building between the curve and the Herne Hill line with its wide island platform. To the right is the curve to the Brixton line; all evidence of the platforms was cleared away long ago.. Click here for a larger version.




[Source: Nick Catford]

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