The Eastern Counties Railway had begun its venture into a main line railway that would head north to compete with the Great Northern. Limited funds and incessant squabbling had slowed its progress. After the merger with several other lines, the ECR became part of the Great Eastern Railway. The GER planned a network of lines to serve countryside around London by its Metropolitan Station and Railways Act of 1864. It also planned a line to High Beach, to serve Epping Forest, which reached a terminus in Bull Lane (now Kings Road) at the very end of Hale End Road (now Larkshall Road) in Chingford, in 1873. In 1878 the small station (named 'Chingford Green') near to the village green was replaced by a much more grandiose station on the very edge of town, overlooking the forest. The extension of the railway by only 600 yards (550 m) to a place far less useful to the local population was an attempt to transport tourist traffic to the forest, and to stimulate suburban growth in the fields surrounding it. The line was doubled and the new station built as a through station, with its platforms and tracks leading out onto an embankment ready to leap across the newly named Station Road and enter the forest. The railway fostered new interest in the forest as a destination and the popularity of this Crown land and its impending loss to development was not unnoticed. In 1882 Queen Victoria came by train to Chingford and declared the forest open to the public forever. The railway that had encouraged so much interest and carried the Royal party to the very edge of town was now stumped as any new development on the forest lands would be strictly controlled.
Chingford became a commuter terminal and was eventually truncated to make way for a bus station. The line no longer towers over the forest, but hides quietly behind the bustle of Station Road, its electric trains now transporting workers into the city rather than helping the masses to escape it. The station building is relatively unchanged since its 1878 construction, and still carries the grandeur that accompanied the railway schemes of the late 19th century. There is a plastic owl in the underside of the canopy over platform two, just outside the newsagent's, an attempt to stop pigeons landing there. The River Ching runs through the area, and the town of Chingford is close to a number of crossings of that river. However, old maps and descriptions give a name for the settlement long before the river has a name and it is likely that the name of the river as "Ching" arose long after the settlement was named. It is also thought that, similarly to how Kingston upon Thames appears in Domesday Book of 1086 as Chingestone and Chingetun(e), with ching being old English for king, that Chingford could refer to the King's river, and Kings Ford. This idea is compounded by links to royalty using the area for hunting in centuries gone by. However, the most generally accepted explanation by place name genealogists is that the settlement's name has its origin as "Shingly Ford"—that is, a ford over a waterway containing shingles. One notable local landmark is Queen Elizabeth's Hunting Lodge. Originally called the Great Standing, it was built for King Henry VIII in 1543, and was used as a grandstand to watch the hunting of deer, although it has been heavily altered over time. The building is located on Chingford Plain within Epping Forest and is open to the public. Ticket barriers were installed in 2011. Chingford station is in Travel Card zone 5. The station has wi-fi, payphones, boarding ramps, a car park, cash machines, help points and toilets.
Connections: London Buses routes 97, 179, 212, 313, 379, 385, 397, 444 and night bus route N26 serve the station.