How bad is Clapton train station?

This is a subject that is very dear to my heart, albeit only on my morning commute. Clapton train station is at the end of my street, and so my journey into work should be an easy one. But it aint, because I either walk the extra ten minutes to get to Rectory Road for a normal service, or, increasingly less so these days, I submit to the agony of waiting at Clapton for a train that is invariably late (or, occasionally, doesnt turn up at all) followed by a 10 minute journey being squeezed into a packed, sweaty train. Is it me, or is that the worst station ever? And more importantly, can we do something to improve it? I know that there’s a junction just outside the station for the trains that go on to Stanstead, but there must be a way of improving the service at peak times, such as – here’s an out of the box suggestion – putting on more than four trains an hour….


  1. Hi Gavin, things have never been very good with that station. I’m happy to take up the issue with the rail company. Cllr Ian Rathbone

  2. That would be great Ian. While the junction outside of Clapton understandably complicates the route, I think the crowding onto the trains of a morning is now getting out of hand. It resembles a rugby scrum these days, and Ive seen a fair few arguments flare up because people desperate not to be late for work – yet again – try to push their way onto already over-full trains. Its especially annoying that the Chingford service (which is the only one that goes through the station that actually stops) always has to make way for the faster trains that go through to Tottenham Hale and beyond, which always seem to be half-empty. In fact, they dont even need to put extra trains on – just get these trains to make a couple of stops at Clapton between during rush hour.

  3. Gavin we might live in the same street! I tend to get a bus in the morning as I work in Camden and didn’t fancy the morning Scrum there. I recognize the frustrations, morning trains are always packed particularly if they put a 4 carriage train on. I use the service from Liverpool at in the evening and that has been problematic, again the 4 carriage train and we can’t all get on, and the trains get so packed its sometimes difficult to actually get off the train.

  4. Letter done and on its way!

  5. That’s outstanding! Please keep us up to date with regards to your correspondence with the train operators. Would be great to see some real progress in making Clapton train station more of a joy than the chore it is now.

  6. ps Marty: my street starts with an I.

  7. cheers Ian.

    We’re not on the same street Gavin, but pretty close by 😉

  8. I use Clapton station fairly often – I’m lucky enough to work from home most of the time. Even at the more civilised hours I manage to work, not having to get a train until after 9am, it’s still often crowded with few seats available.

    And coming back is horrific; any train later than the 1703 is absolutely packed and, as others have mentioned, often very difficult to get off, with people blocking the way as others squeeze past them – and an awful lot of people do get off in Clapton.

    There used to be more trains that did stop on the route up to Tottenham Hale, and I’m sure many people would appreciate it if some more still did – it would give us easier access to the airport, as well as to other services like Hertford East, which don’t seem to stop at Clapton any more, and an alternative route in and out of town via the Victoria line, too.


  9. Well i really hope something could get done, and getting one of the trains that go through Tottenham Hale is the obvious solution, but I wont hold my breath. National Express are losing the franchise early next year, and it’s easier for them to just leave decisions on timetable changes to whoever takes over. Let’s hope someone will be sympathetic!..

  10. Gavin, can you please send me your private email to Thanks, Ian

  11. I have to say that I never have problems with the service, although I do avoid it at rush hour (which isn’t doable for most).

    What does annoy me is that the 24 and 54 minute past trains are always delayed by a minute to let the fast trains through.

    With the upgrade of lighting and apparently CCTV (although I am dubious), the station is becoming safer which is a bonus, especially with the obvious drug deals that used to happen on the eastbound platform.

  12. Sorry to bump this thread, but after another week of arriving late into work late because of cancelled trains at rush hour, I’m starting up a petition on the service to Clapton station. Please sign up to the following petition and I will try to ensure that it gets in front of the boss of National Express East Anglia.

  13. National Express East Anglia has now been stripped of the franchise for its network, coming in last in a customer satisfaction survey at the end of 2011. Soon to take over is Abellio, a German company that already operates on the London bus network. You can take a look at their new website here:

  14. cheers for that Gavin – hadn’t heard about that – I hope this means improvements – although as an old style leftie – I’d prefer British Rail to run everything…

  15. \More details are emerging of how and when Transport for London (TfL) is going to take over some of Greater Anglia services.By 2015 services to Cheshunt and Chingford from Liverpool Street will be run by TfL. And 23 stations will be taken over on the West Anglia line.” STATIONS TFL PLAN TO TAKE OVEREnfield Town Bush Hill Park Edmonton Green Silver Street Southbury Turkey Street London Fields Hackney Downs Rectory Road Stoke Newington Stamford Hill Clapton White Hart Lane Bruce Grove Seven Sisters Theobalds Grove Bethnal Green Cambridge Heath St James Street Walthamstow Central Wood Street Highams Park ChingfordMore here.

  16. You just beat me to it! Here’s a bit more colour: Promised improvements include a deep cleaning of stations, including renewal of broken or damaged equipment and redecoration, plus help points and CCTV at all stations and improved customer information.TfL says it hopes to take over services “during 2015” although no date has been fixed.Announcing the routes included in his deal with Ministers, Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “You only have to look at the success of London Overground to see how TfL taking over this commuter service will transform the journey for passengers. It will also open up the North-East of London and drive jobs and growth in Tottenham and beyond.”TfL’s Managing Director for London Rail Mike Brown added: “We will make these services more reliable, upgrade facilities at 23 stations along the routes and ensure we are fully accountable to our passengers. Only two years away

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