Friday, 22 April 2016

S is for Stratford

The theme for my A-Z posts this year is London Underground Stations.  I've chosen a station for each letter and at the end of each post I've listed the other stations for that letter with their Wikipedia entries.  I've tried to visit each station and take my own photos.

There are a lot of "S" station but Stratford is our nearest underground station.  It's on the Central and Jubilee lines.  It is also a mainline station with trains running through to the East of England and suburban services out to Shenfield.

There is an interchange with the DLR (Docklands Light Railway) and the London Overground.

Main entrance to Stratford Station
The station  has gradually evolved over the years.  It opened as a mainline station in 1839 connecting to London's Liverpool Street terminus.  It didn't have underground services until 1946 when the Central line was extended from Liverpool Street initially to Stratford and later out to Hainault and Epping.  The DLR line was extended to Stratford in 1987  and the Jubilee line extension opened in 1999.  

The station is on two levels known as the low level and the high level.  Changes to what are now the London Overground services enabled another extension to the DLR to come through Stratford, going on to terminate at Stratford International station.  This is a separate station within walking distance of the main station.  It was suggested that Eurostar trains would stop there when the service was moved to Kings Cross St. Pancras but that hasn't happened.  Only domestic services stop at the International Station but it is a quick way (although more expensive than the tube) to get to Kings Cross and you can also travel out to places like Dover on the South East coast.

The increase to the range of services that pass through the station, and the successful 2012 London Olympics bid means that the station and indeed Stratford has changed a great deal in the last few years.  The original entrance has been modified and from here you can either go up and walk over the connecting bridge to the huge Westfield Stratford City shopping centre, or you can walk through a subway and exit the station through a new ticket hall on the northern side of the tracks.  The bridge and the shopping centre opened in September 2011.

Steps leading up to the bridge across to Westfield

The bus station by the south entrance was rebuilt and reopened in 1994.  When the shopping centre and new station entrance to the north were built another bus station, Stratford City was also built and opened in September 2011.

Stratford Bus station

The whole area is very busy.  Even the original Stratford shopping centre to the south, complete with indoor market stalls still seems to be busy, despite the opening of Westfield.

The original shopping centre.

The Olympic park, now renamed the Queen Elizabeth Park is within walking distance from the station and we are definitely benefiting from the legacy programme with the stadium, aquatics centre and velodrome so close by.  Although I think when West Ham football club move to the Olympic stadium later this year I definitely won't be going anywhere near Westfield when there is a home game being played!

But it's great to be so close to such good transport links, recreation space and shopping.  We also have a theatre in Stratford, two cinemas, bowling and an Arts Centre.  All this and a huge green space overlooking our house.  Can't see us moving any time soon!

Other “S” stations are:

Next T is for ...? Come back tomorrow to find out.  Thanks for visiting.


  1. Wow - there are sure a lot of S stations!! The subways in New York City have become a little safer to ride than they were a dozen years ago. The subways in Washington, DC are clean and safe. How are the rides there? Clean and safe, or do you have to be careful about what station you get off at? I had no idea how HUGE your underground system is there. Truly amazed!

    1. Generally the rides are clean and safe. Sometimes travelling at quiet times or when it's late I'm more aware of keeping safe. But there are help points on the platforms where you can raise an alarm if needed. My walk home used to be a bit more of a worry but the spot that was perhaps the most dangerous (a railway arch) has had much better lighting installed and CCTV. There's also a staff booth there for the overhead station and while the trains are running it's always staffed.

  2. Wendy, this is a wonderful theme! I was in London for the first time last November. We enjoyed riding the tube and seeing the sights. It was my first time abroad. We went to London, Paris and Barcelona. A trip I will never forget.

    1. Thank you. Barcelona is on our list of places to visit.

  3. London is on my places to visit list. Lovely post!!

  4. Feeling like I just rode the train, and I never left my easy chair here in the USA!

  5. I am going to be sad when these end and I don't get to read more about the Underground stations - they are fascinating!

    1. I've had fun doing them. I'll have to find another project to do.


I love receiving comments and will do my best to acknowledge them, either by replying here or dropping in on your blog.

Thanks for stopping by.