<tr><th colspan="2" style="text-align:center; background-color: #efefef">Location</th></tr><tr><th style="">Place</th><td class="locality adr" style="">North Weald</td></tr><tr><th style="">Local authority</th><td class="note" style="">Epping Forest (district)</td></tr><tr><th colspan="2" style="text-align:center; background-color: #efefef">History</th></tr><tr><th style="">Opened by</th><td class="note" style="">Eastern Counties Railway</td></tr><tr><th style="">Platforms</th><td class="" style="">1 (formerly 2)</td></tr><tr><th style="">Key dates</th><td class="note" style="">Opened 1865 (ECR) Closed 1994 (Central Line) Reopened 2004 (EOR) Closed every winter</td></tr><tr><th style="">Replaced by</th><td class="note" style="">none</td></tr><tr><td colspan="2" style="text-align:center; ">Template:Portal frameless</td></tr>
North Weald tube station is a former London Underground station in Essex, England. It was located between Epping and Blake Hall stations on the Central line, serving North Weald.
The station was opened by the Eastern Counties Railway on 1 April 1865, serving principally as a goods station taking agricultural produce from the nearby farms into central London. During World War II, it was frequently used by airmen travelling to and from the nearby North Weald Airfield. Steam locomotives operated by British Rail for the London Underground ran a shuttle service from Epping to Ongar (stopping at North Weald) from 1949 to 1957, when the track was electrified and taken over by the Underground's Central Line.
While the Epping to Ongar branch was normally operated as an isolated section of the Central Line, for two days every year trains were run from London to terminate at North Weald. These trains served the North Weald airshow on the Saturday and Sunday of its opening at the aerodrome almost adjacent to the station. The normal Epping to Ongar shuttle dovetailed with this service passing the terminating train on the adjacent line during its southbound journey.
The line from Epping to Ongar is a single track line with the exception of North Weald station which functioned as the only available passing place for trains travelling in opposite directions. The station's two platforms were both used from 1949 until 1976 when the westbound track was lifted. Until this time, access to the two platforms was controlled from the original Eastern Counties Railway signal box still sited on the southbound platform to this day. Until this occurred, North Weald was the last section of the London Underground network to be signalled using mechanical semaphore signals. Although disused, the illuminated track diagram in the signal box continued to show the progress of trains until its closure.
The Epping to Ongar branch was not heavily used and became increasingly unprofitable. The service was further undermined when the Greater London Council removed the running subsidy for the line because it was not within the boundaries of Greater London, and no comparable subsidy was forthcoming from the local government agencies in Essex, which meant that fare levels were much higher than on the rest of the London Underground network. Initially, the Sunday service was dropped, and then the Saturday service. Subsequently, the service was restricted to a rush hour service only of just 7 trains in each direction per day (3 in the morning and 4 in the evening). The Epping to Ongar line, including North Weald station, was finally closed on 30 September 1994.
The station and the line are now in the ownership of a private company who, at time of purchase, publicly stated their intentions to run commuter services once again: to date this stated ambition has been thwarted by the absence of available platform space at the Epping end of the line and the fierce objections from residents for proposals for a third platform beyond the road bridge to the North of the station. The current owners are the Epping Ongar Railway, a heritage railway company who run heritage trains on Sundays over most of the line, stopping short of Epping.