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Bromley-by-Bow tube station

Bromley-by-Bow is located in Greater London
Location of Bromley-by-Bow in Greater London
Location Bromley-by-Bow
Local authority London Borough of Tower Hamlets
Managed by London Underground
Owner London Underground
Number of platforms 4 (2 in use)
Fare zone 2 and 3
London Underground annual entry and exit
2011 2.75 million[1]
2012 2.63 million[1]
2013 3.21 million[1]
2014 3.41 million[1]
Railway companies
Original company London, Tilbury and Southend Railway
Pre-grouping Midland Railway
Post-grouping London, Midland and Scottish Railway
Key dates
1858 Opened as Bromley
1902 District Railway services commence (steam)
1905 Station rebuilt with additional platforms/tracks. District Railway electric services commence.
1962 London–Southend stops withdrawn
1967 Renamed Bromley-by-Bow
1969 Ownership transferred to London Transport
Other information
Lists of stations
London Transport portal

Bromley-by-Bow tube station is a London Underground station on the Blackwall Tunnel Northern Approach Road in the Bromley-by-Bow neighbourhood of the London Borough of Tower Hamlets in east London, England. The station is on the District and Hammersmith & City lines, between Bow Road and West Ham stations and is in both London fare zones 2 and 3.[2]

The station was opened in 1858 by the London, Tilbury and Southend Railway on a new more direct route between Fenchurch Street and Barking. First served by District Railway trains in 1902, it has been exclusively a London Underground station since 1962, with national rail services now passing through the station without stopping. The main station building is of unusual architecture for this part of the London Underground, constructed by British Rail in 1972 following a fire.[3] It has moderate usage for an inner suburban station with 3.21 million entries and exits during 2013, though the surrounding area is undergoing considerable development bringing with it an increased local population.


  • History 1
    • Discovery 1.1
  • The Station today 2
  • Services 3
    • Circle Line 3.1
    • Hammersmith & City line 3.2
    • District line 3.3
  • Connections 4
  • Future Improvements 5
  • In popular culture 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8


Bromley station in 1961, with West Ham Power Station visible in the background

It was opened as a railway station called Bromley by the London, Tilbury and Southend Railway (LTSR) in 1858, on a more direct route to Barking from the terminus at Fenchurch Street. On 17 May 1869 a spur opened from Bow railway station on the North London Railway line to Bromley Junction just to the west of the station. A shuttle service operated between Bow and Plaistow until wartime economies saw the service withdrawn on 1 January 1915. The main reason for building this spur was however for freight use.[4]

Increasing use of the station to catch services provided by LTSR, NLR and Great Eastern Railway (GER) who ran services from Fenchurch Street to North Woolwich saw plans drawn up in 1892 to modernise the station. A fire on 20 December of that year saw these plans brought forward and work was started early in 1893 and completed by 1894. Bromley Junction was moved 120 yards (110 m) west to accommodate this work and a new 36 lever signal box was opened with the re-sited junction on 1 October 1893. [5]

In 1898 the goods yard was opened on the south side of the line and to the east of the station.

The construction of the Whitechapel and Bow Railway allowed the District Railway (now known as the District line) to start serving the station in 1902 and initially steam services operated through to East Ham with some operating as far as Upminster. The District Line joined the main line at Campbell Road Junction also to the west of the station (and Bromley Junction). Electrification of the system followed in 1905. Delayed by World War I,[6] electrified tracks were extended by the London, Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS) to Upminster and through services fully resumed in 1932.[7][8]

Westbound platform looking east with the former London, Tilbury and Southend Railway platforms on the right which closed in 1960.

Congestion of the railway through Bromley saw additional tracks provided in 1905. Two new Local Lines (which were the new electrified lines) were added on the north side of the station along with two new platform faces and improved passenger facilities. The new lines, which stretched as far as Abbey Mills Junction (where the North Woolwich trains diverged from the main line), opened on 1 August 1905.[9]

In 1912 the LTSR was taken over by the Midland Railway, although on 1 January 1923 this was grouped into the London Midland & Scottish Railway. In 1927 the local lines were re-signalled with colour light signalling.

The District Railway was incorporated into London Transport in 1933, and became known as the District line. The Hammersmith & City line (then part of the Metropolitan line) started operating services through Bromley on 4 May 1936.[10] The 1947 timetable shows only a few services a day provided by the LMS[11] and a frequent service provided by the District and a peak hours service of the Metropolitan line (now part of the Hammersmith & City line).[12] After nationalisation of the railways in 1948 management of the station passed to British Railways London Midland region although it was then transferred to the Eastern Region on 20 February 1949. The remaining Fenchurch Street–Southend services were withdrawn in 1962 when the main lines were electrified with 25kv overhead lines.

On 13 September 1959 the spur between Bromley and Bow (NLR) was closed and three years later in 1962, the goods yard closed. The station was renamed to Bromley-by-Bow in 1967, to prevent confusion with London Underground[13] which came under the authority of the London Transport Executive of the Greater London Council. Another fire in February 1970 led to the demolition of the station buildings (dating from 1894) and a new modern booking office opened on 11 June 1972.[14]


On 2 June 2008, an unexploded bomb from World War II was found near where the line crosses the Prescott Channel, not far from the station, causing disruption to trains.[15]

The Station today

The station entrance is at a higher level than the platforms (being situated on the road bridge crossing the rail tracks) which are accessible by stairs.

The station has four platforms, of which only two are currently in use; serving the tube lines, which share a track at this point, in both directions. The remaining two platforms formerly served the London, Tilbury and Southend Railway (now operated by c2c) but are no longer in use; trains instead pass through the station without stopping. Three ticket barriers and a gate control access to all platforms.[16]


Circle Line

There is no regular service however there are two trains per day that run from Barking to Edgware Road via Victoria before 6a.m. (as of February 2015)

Hammersmith & City line

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

  • 6 tph eastbound to Barking[17]
  • 6 tph westbound to Hammersmith via King's Cross and Wood Lane[18]

District line

This is the typical off-peak service frequency. During peak times trains also operate to Wimbledon. During off-peak times, 3 trains per hour from Wimbledon terminate at Barking (as of December 2014).


London Bus routes 108, 323 and 488 serve the station.[21]

Devons Road station on the Docklands Light Railway is nearby[22] but this is not an official out-of-station interchange.

Future Improvements

Bromley-by-Bow was planned to become a step-free station and the project will be completed in 2016.[23][24]

In popular culture

In the BBC soap opera EastEnders, the fictional Walford East tube station takes the place of Bromley-by-Bow.[25][26]


  1. ^ a b c d "Multi-year station entry-and-exit figures" (XLS). London Underground station passenger usage data.  
  2. ^  
  3. ^ Kay, Peter (April 2015). "Bromley(-by-Bow)". London Rail Record (83): 218–219. 
  4. ^ Connor, J E (2000). Branch Liines of East London. Midhurst UK: Middleton Press. pp. 90–92.  
  5. ^ Kay, Peter (April 2015). "Bromley(-by-Bow)". London Rail Record (83): 203–205. 
  6. ^ "London, Tilbury and Southend Railway" (PDF), Local Studies Information Sheets (Barking and Dagenham London Borough Council), 2008, retrieved 8 February 2010 
  7. ^ Rose, Douglas (1999). The London Underground: A diagrammatic history (7 ed.). Douglas Rose.  
  8. ^  
  9. ^ Kay, Peter (April 2015). "Bromley(-by-Bow)". London Rail Record (83): 206–207. 
  10. ^ Kay, Peter (April 2015). "Bromley(-by-Bow)". London Rail Record (83): 209. 
  11. ^ "Table 214 London, Tilbury, Southend-on-Sea and Shoeburyness". London Midland & Scottish Railway: Passenger Train Services. Timetable World. June 1947. Retrieved 15 January 2014. 
  12. ^ "Table 217 District Line - Bromley, Plaistow, East Ham, Barking, Upney, Becontree, Heathway, Dagenham, Hornchurch and Upminster". London Midland & Scottish Railway: Passenger Train Services. Timetable World. June 1947. Retrieved 15 January 2014. 
  13. ^ "Some basic UK rail statistics - Notes". Fifth Dimension Associates. 2009. Retrieved 8 February 2010. 
  14. ^ Kay, Peter (April 2015). "Bromley(-by-Bow)". London Rail Record (83): 218–219. 
  15. ^ "Wartime bomb find disrupts Tube". BBC News. 2 June 2008. Retrieved 27 April 2010. 
  16. ^ Bromley-by-Bow Underground Station
  17. ^ "Hammersmith & City line timetable: From Bromley-by-Bow Underground Station to West Ham Underground Station".  
  18. ^ "Hammersmith & City line timetable: From Bromley-by-Bow Underground Station to Bow Road Underground Station".  
  19. ^ a b "District line timetable: From Bromley-by-Bow Underground Station to West Ham Underground Station".  
  20. ^ a b c "District line timetable: From Bromley-by-Bow Underground Station to Bow Road Underground Station".  
  21. ^ Bromley-by-Bow Underground Station - Bus
  22. ^ Google Maps - Bromley-by-Bow Tube Station
  23. ^ Step-free Access - Transport for London
  24. ^ Fit for the Future (page 10)
  25. ^ Hywel, Williams (2001). "EastEnders Line". Underground. Archived from the original on 1 May 2015. Retrieved 1 May 2015. 
  26. ^ Nick, Cooper; Claire, Cooper (2010). "Fictional Stations/Locations". The London Underground in Films and Television. Archived from the original on 1 May 2015. Retrieved 25 January 2015. 

External links

  • London Transport Museum Photographic Archive
    • Bromley station, 1956
    • Station entrance, 1971
    • Station entrance, 2001
Preceding station   London Underground   Following station
towards Hammersmith
Hammersmith & City line
towards Barking
District line
towards Upminster
  Disused Railways  
Stepney East
  British Rail Eastern Region
London, Tilbury and Southend Railway
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