In 1948 the line was electrified and transferred to London Transport to become part of the Central line on the London Underground.
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Loughton is bounded by Epping Forest to the west and the Roding river valley to the east.
After the Epping Forest Act of 1878 prohibited any further expansion of the town into the forest, the forest and the river have formed two natural barriers constraining any expansion westwards or eastwards, and consequently most of the growth in the last 100 years has been through infilling and construction of new housing estates to the north and south of the old town centre, plus the purpose-built suburb of Debden to the north-east.
The headquarters of greeting card company Clinton Cards and construction firm Higgins Group are also located within the Debden Industrial Estate.
In 2008, electronics firm Amshold announced their intention to move the group's headquarters to Loughton from Brentwood.
The settlement remained a small village until the early 17th century when the high road was extended north through the forest.
The road quickly became the main route from London to Cambridge and East Anglia, and Loughton grew into an important stop with coaching inns. Maitland, whose family held the manor for much of the 19th century.
The highest parts of the town are the roads that border the forest's edge; from the green outside the Gardeners Arms pub near the junction of York Hill, Pump Hill and Baldwins Hill there are views of London, south-west Essex, Kent and Surrey.
From here, on a clear day, there is a panoramic view of London landmarks and the North Downs beyond.
As the Great Eastern Railway Company did not offer workmen's fares, the town's development was of a middle-class character.
Much of the housing in Loughton was built in the Victorian and Edwardian eras, with significant expansion in the 1930s.
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