Branch Line Britain - celebrating Britain's minor railways

Eastern - Moorgate review 1

Moorgate Station - end of the line

Finsbury Park to Moorgate  26/9/07

Weather: sunny

Train operating company: First Capital Connect

Dept: Finsbury Park - 13.47  Arrive: Moorgate - 14.00

Finsbury Park is the first station out of Kings Cross on the East Coast Mainline and as such is a busy line for both mainline xpresses and suburban stopping trains. Plus it's on both the Victoria and Piccadilly lines. As we leave the station the famous 1970's rock venue, the Rainbow Theatre can be seen on the right, though it's now a church! Also a little further on is a lot of newish housing built on the site of Finsbury Park Diesel depot, famous for being the servicing place of the Deltics in the 70's before the HST's took over. The train soon leaves the East Coast Mainline and veers to the left and downwards as it passes the new Arsenal FC Emirates stadium to the right. Vitually next door to the stadium is Drayton Park station which is kept clean and tidy, though there is a lot of overgrown vegetation in wasteland to the right in what were once sidings, or perhaps entrances to now blocked off tunnels. As soon as we leave the station we enter a large tunnel and I notice that there is now a third rail here and the overhead wires have now gone. (From now on the journey is all underground). We continue for a short distance until we come to Highbury and Islington station which is an interchange for the North London line and the Victoria line. The station looks very much like an underground station, though there is a lack of advertisements that you would get in a normal tube station. The colours of the tiles look like old Network South East livery, though I suppose it could be the colours of First Capital Connect? Next station is Essex Road which doesn't have any tube interchange but does look identical to Highbury and Islington. Then its Old Street where you can change onto the Northern line. Then  finally we arrive Moorgate bang on the dot of 2 o'clock, on the platform where the notorious Moorgate distaer took place in 1975. Again the station looks identical to the previous three. About ten people get off and I finally discover where this terminus is in relation to the rest of the Moorgate station which you see from the Circle line.   MC