Highbury & Islington station

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Highbury & Islington London Underground London Overground National Rail
Highbury and Islington station MMB 29 378224 378202.jpg
Highbury & Islington is located in Greater London
Highbury & Islington
Highbury & Islington
Location of Highbury & Islington in Greater London
Location Highbury & Islington
Local authority London Borough of Islington
Managed by London Underground[1]
Station code HHY
DfT category C2 (Great Northern platforms)
F1 (London Overground)
Number of platforms 8
Accessible Yes (Overground platforms only)
Fare zone 2
London Underground annual entry and exit
2013 Increase 18.13 million[2]
2014 Increase 18.28 million[2]
2015 Increase 18.44 million[2]
2016 Increase 20.22 million[2]
National Rail annual entry and exit
2012–13 Increase 14.700 million[3]
– interchange  Decrease 1.766 million[3]
2013–14 Increase 15.840 million[3]
– interchange  Increase 2.037 million[3]
2014–15 Increase 19.976 million[3]
– interchange  Increase 2.893 million[3]
2015–16 Increase 28.166 million[3]
– interchange  Decrease 2.834 million[3]
2016–17 Increase 29.853 million[3]
– interchange  Decrease 3.837 million[3]
Key dates
1850 Opened (NLR)
1904 Opened (GN&CR)
1968 Opened (Victoria line)
1975 Closed (Northern line (Highbury Branch))
1976 Opened (Northern City Line)
Feb 2010 Overground Platforms closed for rebuilding
June 2010 North London Line Platforms re-open
March 2011 East London Line Platforms open
Other information
Lists of stations
External links
  • TfL station info page
  • Departures
  • Layout
  • Facilities
  • Buses
WGS84 51°32′45″N 0°06′18″W / 51.5458°N 0.1050°W / 51.5458; -0.1050Coordinates: 51°32′45″N 0°06′18″W / 51.5458°N 0.1050°W / 51.5458; -0.1050
Underground sign at Westminster.jpg London Transport portal
170433 at Edinburgh Waverley.JPG UK Railways portal

Highbury & Islington is a London Underground and National Rail interchange station in the London Borough of Islington, north London. It is served by the London Underground's Victoria line, London Overground's East and North London Lines, and Great Northern's Northern City Line.[4]

On the Victoria line the station is between Finsbury Park and King's Cross St. Pancras. On the Northern City Line it is between Essex Road and Drayton Park, 2 miles 21 chains (3.6 km) down-line from Moorgate.

The station is in Travelcard Zone 2.[5]


The current station derives from two earlier stations. The first, which was on the same site, was an impressive Victorian-gothic building, designed by Edwin Henry Horne, with a drive-in forecourt, built in 1850 as Islington by the North London Railway (NLR). Station reconstruction completed in 1872 when renamed Highbury & Islington[6]

The second station, on the opposite side of Holloway Road, was opened on 28 June 1904 by the Great Northern & City Railway (GN&CR) on its underground line, between Finsbury Park and Moorgate. This line and stations were operated by the Metropolitan Railway and its successors from 1913 until 1975 when the line, by then called the Northern City Line, was transferred to British Rail. The route is now operated by Great Northern.

The NLR station was damaged by a V-1 flying bomb on 27 June 1944; however, its main building remained in use until it was demolished in the 1960s during the building of the Victoria line. The original westbound platform buildings remain, as does a small part of the original entrance to the left of the present station entrance.

Today's single-storey structure was built in the 1960s for the opening of the Victoria line on 1 September 1968 and is the entrance for all lines. When the escalators to the deep level platforms were opened the GN&CR station building was closed. Its disused entrance remains and was refurbished externally in 2006 – it houses signalling equipment for the Victoria line.[7]

The Victoria line was built to give as many interchanges as possible with Underground and British Rail lines, with, wherever possible, cross-platform connection between different lines heading in the same direction. To this end at Highbury & Islington the northbound Northern City Line platform was reallocated to the southbound Victoria line to give a direct link between the two southbound platforms; a new northbound platform was constructed for each line; the northbound running NCL tunnel was diverted to its new platform; and the southbound Victoria tunnel was joined to the old northbound NCL tunnel.

Former train operating company Anglia Railways ran services known as London Crosslink from Norwich to Basingstoke via Stratford, which called at Highbury & Islington. This service operated from 2000 until 2002.

To allow new four-car trains to run on the London Overground network, the North London Line between Gospel Oak and Stratford was closed between February and May 2010 while a new signalling system was installed and 30 platforms were extended. During this closure, the Highbury & Islington station ticket hall was extended and step-free access installed to all of the London Overground platforms. The North London Line reopened on 1 June 2010; however, the East London Line platforms did not open until March 2011, whilst the Western Curve was reinstated, linking the station to Dalston Junction and the rest of the East London Line.[8]


Highbury & Islington has a total of eight platforms, divided between those that are on the surface and those that are deep level:

Surface platforms

Platforms for North London Line (NLL) and East London Line (ELL) services are operated by London Overground. On 1 June 2010, following the temporary closure of the route from February 2010 to May 2010, NLL services were rerouted to the newly built platforms 7 and 8 for the AC lines, which replaced the old "special use" platform. Platforms 1 and 2, which previously served the NLL route on third rail lines were closed from February 2010 for reconstruction and reopened in 2011 for the ELL services. The change of platforms allows ELL services to operate without having to cross over NLL tracks. When the ELL extension to Clapham Junction was first instituted in December 2012, trains ran through to there from this station throughout the week. From the December 2014 timetable change though, they only do so on Sundays with West Croydon the second destination served alongside Crystal Palace on weekdays & Saturdays.

Deep level platforms

Platforms 3 to 6 are deep-level platforms. Platforms 3 and 5 are used for services on the Victoria line; 4 and 6 are used for Great Northern services.


London Overground

All times below are correct as of May 2016.

East London Line

Mondays to Saturdays there is a service every 6–9 minutes throughout the day, while on Sundays before 13:00 there is a service every 15 minutes, changing to every 7–8 minutes until the end of service after that.[9]

North London Line

Mondays to Fridays there is a service approximately every 7–8 minutes throughout the morning and evening peaks, changing to roughly every 10 minutes off-peak. On Saturdays the service is approximately every 10 minutes. Sunday services have now resumed and are similar in frequency to the services on Saturdays.[10]

Great Northern

Mondays to Fridays there is a service approximately every 4–15 minutes until 10:00, when the frequency is every 10 minutes until 16:00, when the frequency again changes to between every 4–15 minutes until the end of service.[11] Prior to December 2015, weekend and evening services were diverted to Kings Cross from Finsbury Park.[12] Northbound trains run alternately to Welwyn Garden City and to Hertford North, with hourly extensions to Letchworth on weekdays and Stevenage at weekends.

London Underground

Victoria line

Westbound there is a service every 2–5 minutes all day, all week. Eastbound there are services every 2–8 minutes all day, all week.[13][14]


London Buses routes 4, 19, 30, 43, 271, 277 and 393 and night routes N19 and N41 serve the station.


  1. ^ a b c d "Multi-year station entry-and-exit figures" (XLS). London Underground station passenger usage data. Transport for London. March 2017. Retrieved 28 May 2017. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Station usage estimates". Rail statistics. Office of Rail Regulation.  Please note: Some methodology may vary year on year.
  3. ^ "Home - Transport for London". www.tfl.gov.uk. Retrieved 2015-12-02. 
  4. ^ TFL.gov.uk
  5. ^ Chronology of London Railway by H.V.Borley
  6. ^ Metronet News Issue 8 (page 7)
  7. ^ "In Pictures: The East London Line Extension To Highbury & Islington". Londonist. Retrieved 2015-12-02. 
  8. ^ Table 178 National Rail timetable, May 2016
  9. ^ Table 59 National Rail timetable, May 2016
  10. ^ Table 24 National Rail timetable, May 2016
  11. ^ "Seven-day-a-week service to the City better for late-returning commuters and weekend shoppers" (Press release). Govia Thameslink Railway. 5 November 2015. Retrieved 15 November 2015. 
  12. ^ Journeyplanner.tfl.gov.uk
  13. ^ Journeyplanner.tfl.gov.uk

External links

  • Original NLR station
  • London Transport Museum Photographic Archive
    • GN&CR station building, shortly after the Metropolitan Railway's absorption into the London Underground, 1933
    • Side entrance to GN&CR building on to Highbury Crescent, 1934
    • Ticket hall of GN&CR station, 1935
    • Combined ticket hall, 1970
    • Northern City Line southbound platform, 1975
    • Combined ticket hall, 2005
    • Entrance to station (note remnant of original NLR building on left), 2005
  • Geoffrey Tribe's Railway Photo Halt
  • More photographs of this station
Preceding station   Underground no-text.svg London Underground   Following station
towards Brixton
Victoria line
Preceding station   Overground roundel (no text).svg National Rail logo.svg London Overground   Following station
North London Line
towards Stratford
Terminus East London Line
National Rail National Rail
Great Northern
  Former Service  
Camden Road or
West Hampstead
  Anglia Railways
London Crosslink
Preceding station   Underground no-text.svg London Underground   Following station
towards Finsbury Park
Northern line
Northern City branch
towards Moorgate
  Abandoned plans  
Northern line
towards Moorgate
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