Underground to Overground

I was a student at Goldsmiths which is situated at New Cross in South East London.  From New Cross, or more usually New Cross Gate, we students could catch the East London Line of London Underground up to Whitechapel, or through to Shoreditch in rush hours. I managed some none too brilliant photos of the antique trains which operated in this busy backwater, taking in stations at Rotherhithe, Wapping and Shadwell.

It always felt just a tad scary. The stations were dingy to say the least and the tunnel under the Thames had been designed by Marc Isambard Brunel – father of the better known I K Brunel – long before a railway was planned.

I gather the line closed in 2007 for a complete refit and opened as what is now called the London Overground in 2010. So my late 60s pictures are historic.


This train is arriving at (I think) New Cross Gate. This is not tube stock which was built to a much smaller size. The original underground railways in London could take normal sized trains like this one. I think this was originally metropolitan Railway K stock and it dates from the 1920s. In that respect it was like all other trains on the line – 40 or more years old.

A similar train arrives at Whitechapel.


That was a bit of a dismal place. I’d be glad if it has been well tidied up.

Guess what? My information comes from a train spotting book.


This book is undated but from the stock it lists it must be from the 1950s. And by the way, I was never sad enough to collect underground train numbers!


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