Debden tube station

Debden is a London Underground station on the Central line in the east of Loughton,[5] in the Epping Forest district of Essex. The station is between Loughton and Theydon Bois. It is located in Station Approach off Chigwell Lane (A1168) and is in Travelcard Zone 6.

Debden London Underground
Debden Tube Station.jpg
Station entrance
Debden is located in Essex
Location of Debden in Essex
Local authorityDistrict of Epping Forest
Managed byLondon Underground
Number of platforms2
AccessibleYes (Eastbound only)[1]
Fare zone6
London Underground annual entry and exit
2014Increase 2.48 million[2]
2015Decrease 2.46 million[2]
2016Increase 2.47 million[2]
2017Decrease 2.47 million[2]
2018Decrease 2.26 million[3]
Railway companies
Original companyGreat Eastern Railway
Pre-groupingGreat Eastern Railway
Post-groupingLondon and North Eastern Railway
Key dates
24 April 1865Opened as Chigwell Road
1 December 1865Renamed Chigwell Lane
22 May 1916Temporarily closed
3 February 1919Reopened
25 September 1949Renamed Debden; BR service replaced by Central line
18 April 1966Goods yard closed[4]
Other information
External links
WGS8451°38′43″N 0°05′02″E / 51.64527°N 0.08388°E / 51.64527; 0.08388Coordinates: 51°38′43″N 0°05′02″E / 51.64527°N 0.08388°E / 51.64527; 0.08388
Underground sign at Westminster.jpg London transport portal


The station was originally opened on 24 April 1865[6] by the Great Eastern Railway[7] as part of an extension of the railway's Loughton branch to Epping and Ongar. Initially called Chigwell Road, it was soon renamed on 1 December 1865 as Chigwell Lane,[7] but remained a single-platform halt for the first years of its life. It was the setting for the Victorian ballad The Chigwell Stationmaster's Wife, Chigwell station not having opened until 1903.

Chigwell Lane was one of a number of GER stations that saw a temporary suspension of passenger services, due to the need to make economies during the First World War. The station was closed from 22 May 1916[6][7] until 3 February 1919.[6][7] As a consequence of the 1921 Railways Act, the GER was merged with other railway companies in 1923 to form part of the London & North Eastern Railway (LNER).

As part of the New Works Programme, 1935-1940, the LNER branch was transferred to London Underground, to form part of the eastern extension 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. British Railways (BR, successor to LNER after nationalisation in 1948) steam services were replaced by electric Central line passenger services on 25 September 1949.[6] From the handover, the station was renamed Debden.[8][9] British Railways goods services continued to be operated on the branch for years afterwards.[10]

The station todayEdit

Debden station operates as an intermediate terminus for eastbound trains from central London, and a number of peak-hours trains terminate at the station rather than continuing to Epping. A turnback siding east of the station allows eastbound trains terminating at Debden to reverse direction and enter the westbound platform to return to central London. The siding may also be used in the reverse direction, allowing westbound trains from Epping to be terminated at Debden during service disruptions and return east.

At one time there were two sidings at Debden and the majority of trains terminated there with a limited service continuing to Epping[citation needed]. However, the Epping service has improved considerably and this has reduced the number of trains terminating at Debden. The present station buildings on the eastbound platform largely date from a reconstruction in 1974, although the original stationmaster's house survives adjacent to the ticket office.

In 2018, it was announced that the station would gain step free access by 2022, as part of a £200m investment to increase the number of accessible stations on the Tube.[11]


London Buses routes SB09, 66A, 133, 418, 418B, and 689 serve the station.



  1. ^ "Step free Tube Guide" (PDF). Transport for London. May 2020. Archived (PDF) from the original on 7 August 2020.
  2. ^ a b c d "Multi-year station entry-and-exit figures (2007-2017)" (XLSX). London Underground station passenger usage data. Transport for London. January 2018. Retrieved 22 July 2018.
  3. ^ "Station Usage Data" (CSV). Usage Statistics for London Stations, 2018. Transport for London. 21 August 2019. Retrieved 27 April 2020.
  4. ^ Hardy, Brian, ed. (March 2011). "How it used to be - freight on The Underground 50 years ago". Underground News. London Underground Railway Society (591): 175–183. ISSN 0306-8617.
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 5 May 2013. Retrieved 20 March 2013.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ a b c d Clive's Underground Line Guides - Central Line, dates
  7. ^ a b c d Butt, R.V.J. (1995). The Directory of Railway Stations. Yeovil: Patrick Stephens Ltd. p. 60. ISBN 1-85260-508-1. R508.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  8. ^ Rose, Douglas (1999). The London Underground, A Diagrammatic History. Douglas Rose. ISBN 1-85414-219-4.
  9. ^ Butt 1995, pp. 60, 77
  10. ^ Clive's Underground Line Guides - Central Line, history
  11. ^ "Huge boost for accessibility as further 13 stations to go step-free". London City Hall. 19 January 2018. Retrieved 2 February 2018.

External linksEdit

London Transport Museum Photographic Archive - Debden station, 1961

Preceding station     London Underground   Following station
Central line
towards Epping
  Historical railways  
Line and station open
  Great Eastern Railway
  Theydon Bois
Line and station open