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1945 to 1965

the history of Leyton and Leytonstone

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The London and North Eastern Railway company operating the line from Liverpool Street was nationalised and became part of the British Railways Board’s responsibilities, but the project commenced before the War to electrify the line was completed, and it became an extension of the London Underground’s Central Line in 1947 1. It is often said that neighbouring Walthamstow changed, and its facilities suffered, when it was connected to the West End by construction of the Victoria Line in the 1960s.  But Leyton had the Central Line to Oxford Street from 1947.

The line built by the Tottenham and Forest Gate Railway Company was placed in British Railway’s London Midland Region.  By April 1960, when steam locomotives were replaced with diesel-powered passenger carriages, it had only an hourly service, one end terminating at Kentish Town short of St Pancras, the other at Barking rather than East Ham.  There was a roughly half-hourly service at peak times. 2

Trolleybus services ended in Leyton in 1959 after which all routes were operated by diesel buses 3.  The street scene was improved with the removal of the ugly wire support poles.

1  How the Railway Came to Leytonstone by Alan Simpson, published by Leyton & Leytonstone Historical Society

2  ‘St Pancras to Barking’ by J E Connor, timetable illustration in 2005 edition, pages not numbered.

3  ‘Walthamstow and Leyton Tramways’ by Robert J Harley