South Woodford London Underground
South Woodford entrance west.JPG
Western entrance on George Lane
South Woodford is located in Greater London
South Woodford
South Woodford
Location of South Woodford in Greater London
LocationSouth Woodford
Local authorityLondon Borough of Redbridge
Managed byLondon Underground
Number of platforms2
Fare zone4
London Underground annual entry and exit
2017Increase 5.28 million[2]
2018Increase 5.34 million[3]
2019Decrease 5.27 million[4]
2020Decrease 2.31 million[5]
2021Increase 2.38 million[6]
Railway companies
Original companyEastern Counties Railway
Pre-groupingGreat Eastern Railway
Post-groupingLondon and North Eastern Railway
Key dates
22 August 1856 (1856-08-22)Opened as George Lane
5 July 1937Renamed South Woodford (George Lane)
14 December 1947Central line service introduced; renamed South Woodford
1964Goods yard closed[7]
Other information
External links
WGS8451°35′30″N 0°01′39″E / 51.5916°N 0.0275°E / 51.5916; 0.0275Coordinates: 51°35′30″N 0°01′39″E / 51.5916°N 0.0275°E / 51.5916; 0.0275
 London transport portal

South Woodford, originally George Lane, is a London Underground station in the suburb of South Woodford in East London. It is on the Epping branch of the Central line, between Snaresbrook and Woodford stations and is in Travelcard Zone 4.[8]


Roundel on the eastbound platform, showing the old suffix.
Roundel on the eastbound platform, showing the old suffix.

The station opened on 22 August 1856 as part of the Eastern Counties Railway branch to Loughton which opened that day.[9][10][11] Originally named George Lane, the station was renamed twice: South Woodford (George Lane) on 5 July 1937; and South Woodford on 14 December 1947.[12] The station formed part of the Great Eastern Railway's system until that company amalgamated with other railways to create the London and North Eastern Railway (LNER) in 1923. On 5 July 1937 the station was renamed "South Woodford (George Lane)".[9][13]

The station was subsequently transferred to form part of London Underground's Central line on 14 December 1947 when Central line services were extended from Leytonstone to Woodford.[14] This formed a part of the long planned, and delayed, Eastern Extension of the Central line that was part of the London Passenger Transport Board's "New Works Programme" of 1935 – 1940. After transferring to London Underground the "(George Lane)" suffix fell out of use, though it remains on some roundel signs.[15][note 1]

During the planning of the Victoria line, route options included a continuation of the line from Walthamstow Central to Woodford or South Woodford stations.[16] However, in 1961, the decision was taken to build only as far as Walthamstow Central.[17]

The station today

The station has two entrances, one on each side of the line. George Lane originally crossed the railway tracks with a level crossing immediately to the north of the station, but this was closed and the road split into two when the line was electrified.[18] The footbridge can be used without a ticket as, unusually for stations on the Epping branch, the footbridge is outside the ticket gateline.[19] For some years the station had step-free access to and from the eastbound platform only.[1] The ramp to the westbound platform was installed and opened in March 2019, making the station fully step-free.[20]

Station improvements

The station underwent considerable renovations in 2006, 150 years after it opened. Five new CCTV cameras were installed in the station underpass with the intention of improving security as, in addition to the multimillion-pound station refurbishment work being undertaken, crime statistics showed South Woodford station had the highest record of violent crime in Redbridge and the underpass was seen as a security risk, particularly after dark.[21] The rebuilding of the section of westbound platform damaged by fire was also completed and the paint scheme was a mix of white, blue and orange. However, the footbridge over the tracks at the east end was not repainted.[22]

Services and connections

Train frequencies vary throughout the day, but generally operate every 3–7 minutes between 07:03 and 22:39 eastbound[23] and between 06:22 and 22:19 westbound.[24]

London Bus routes 179, 549, W12, W13 and W14, and night route N55 serve the station.[25]

Preceding station Underground (no text).svg London Underground Following station
Snaresbrook Central line
Epping branch
towards Epping
Historical railways
Line and station open
  Great Eastern Railway
Eastern Counties Railway
Loughton branch
Line and station open

Notes and references


  1. ^ "(George Lane)" appears on the 1949 tube map, but not on the 1951 map. Harris and Rose both indicate that the name change occurred in 1950.[13][14]


  1. ^ a b "Step free Tube Guide" (PDF). Transport for London. April 2021. Archived (PDF) from the original on 15 May 2021.
  2. ^ "Multi-year station entry-and-exit figures (2007–2017)". London Underground station passenger usage data. Transport for London. January 2018. Archived from the original (XLSX) on 31 July 2018. Retrieved 22 July 2018.
  3. ^ "Station Usage Data" (CSV). Usage Statistics for London Stations, 2018. Transport for London. 21 August 2019. Archived from the original on 22 May 2020. Retrieved 27 April 2020.
  4. ^ "Station Usage Data" (XLSX). Usage Statistics for London Stations, 2019. Transport for London. 23 September 2020. Archived from the original on 9 November 2020. Retrieved 9 November 2020.
  5. ^ "Station Usage Data" (XLSX). Usage Statistics for London Stations, 2020. Transport for London. 16 April 2021. Retrieved 1 January 2022.
  6. ^ "Station Usage Data" (XLSX). Usage Statistics for London Stations, 2021. Transport for London. 12 July 2022. Retrieved 7 September 2022.
  7. ^ 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.
  8. ^ Standard Tube Map (PDF) (Map). Not to scale. Transport for London. November 2022. Archived (PDF) from the original on 7 November 2022. Retrieved 12 November 2022.
  9. ^ a b Leboff 1994, p. 127.
  10. ^ Butt 1995, p. 102.
  11. ^ Allen 1956, pp. 20, 216.
  12. ^ Butt 1995, pp. 102, 217.
  13. ^ a b Harris, Cyril M. (2006) [1977]. What's in a name?. Capital Transport. p. 64. ISBN 1-85414-241-0.
  14. ^ a b Rose, Douglas (1999) [1980]. The London Underground, A Diagrammatic History (7th ed.). Douglas Rose/Capital Transport. ISBN 1-85414-219-4.
  15. ^ "Tube Facts – Tube Stations with other/alternative names". Archived from the original on 1 May 2015. Retrieved 16 February 2015.
  16. ^ "Public Passenger Transport, London". Hansard. 18 December 1963.
  17. ^ Horne, M.A.C. (1988). The Victoria Line: A short history. London: Douglas Rose. ISBN 978-1-870354-02-8.
  18. ^ Powell, W. R., ed. (1973). "Woodford: Introduction". A History of the County of Essex. Vol. 6. Victoria County History. pp. 338–44.
  19. ^ "South Woodford tube station" (Map). Google Maps. Retrieved 19 March 2019.
  20. ^ "South Woodford Tube station becomes fully step-free". Transport for London. 18 March 2019. Retrieved 18 March 2019.
  21. ^ Edited Press Releases Transport for London London Underground – Metronet improves security at South Woodford (page 7)
  22. ^ "Station Refurbishment Summary" (PDF). London Underground Railway Society. July 2007. Retrieved 19 February 2015.
  23. ^ "Central line timetable: From South Woodford Underground Station to Woodford Underground Station". Transport for London. Retrieved 20 February 2015.
  24. ^ "Central line timetable: From South Woodford Underground Station to Snaresbrook Underground Station". Transport for London. Retrieved 20 February 2015.
  25. ^ "Buses from South Woodford" (PDF). Transport for London. 20 October 2013. Retrieved 20 February 2015.