Pissarro spent over a year in London, fleeing the Franco-Prussian war. He painted sights around his home in Norwood, including this view of Lordship Lane Station (now demolished). The station had opened only a few years earlier, catering to visitors of the Crystal Palace and to the residents of this growing south London suburb. In the painting, rows of new houses border areas of undeveloped land.
Standing on a footbridge over the tracks, Pissarro depicted the train leaving the station. His view however is curiously devoid of people. He originally included a man mowing the grassy slope to the right, but painted him out.