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Brighton
National Rail
BrightonStationplatform8.jpg
View from platform 8, looking westward towards platform one.
LocationBrighton, City of Brighton and Hove
England
Coordinates50°49′44″N 0°08′28″W / 50.8288°N 0.1411°W / 50.8288; -0.1411Coordinates: 50°49′44″N 0°08′28″W / 50.8288°N 0.1411°W / 50.8288; -0.1411
Grid referenceTQ310049
Owned byNetwork Rail
Managed bySouthern
Platforms8
Other information
Station codeBTN
ClassificationDfT category B
History
Opened11 May 1840
Brighton main line in England, and the principal station serving the city of Brighton, East Sussex. It is 50 miles 49 chains (81.45 km) from London Bridge via Redhill.

The station is managed by Southern, which also operates many of the trains. Thameslink, Gatwick Express and Great Western Railway also operate some trains from Brighton.

It was built by the London & Brighton Railway in 1840, initially connecting Brighton to Shoreham-by-Sea, westwards along the coast, and shortly afterwards connecting it to London Bridge and the county town of Lewes to the east. In 1846, the railway became the London Brighton and South Coast Railway following mergers with other railways with lines between Portsmouth and Hastings.

With over 17 million passenger entries and exits in 2018/19, Brighton is the seventh-busiest station in the country outside London.[2]

History and development

The London and Brighton Railway (L&BR) built a passenger station, goods station, locomotive depot and railway works on a difficult site on the northern edge of Brighton. This site was 0.5 miles (0.80 km) from, and 70 feet (21 m) above the sea shore, and had involved considerable excavation work to create a reasonable gradient from Patcham Tunnel.[3]

Passenger station

The station forecourt showing Mocatta's original building which is now largely obscured

The passenger station was a three-storey building in an Italianate style, designed by David Mocatta in 1839–40 which incorporated the head office of the railway company.[4] (This building still stands but has been largely obscured by later additions.) The station is said to have many similarities to the Nine Elms railway station of the London and Southampton Railway (1838) designed by Sir William Tite.[5] Baker & Son were paid £9766 15s for the station building between May and August 1841.[6] The platform accommodation was built by John Urpeth Rastrick and consisted of four pitched roofs each 250 ft long (76 m).[7] It opened for trains to Shoreham on 12 May 1840, and to London on 21 September 1841.[8][9]

Brighton Station interior in 1962

The station site was extended for the opening of the Brighton Lewes and Hastings Railway on 8 June 1846[10] (which had been purchased by the L&BR in 1845). In July 1846, the L&BR merged with other railways to form the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway.[11]

Further extensions to the station occurred during the mid-19th century but only a limited number of additional platforms could be added because of the awkward sloping site. By the late 1870s the facilities were inadequate for the growing volume of traffic and so the existing platforms were lengthened to be able to accommodate two trains, and the three separate roofs were replaced by an overall roof during 1882/1883.

The station has an impressive large double-spanned curved glass and iron roof covering all of the platforms, which was substantially renovated in 1999 and 2000.[12]

At the front of the station is a bus station. The station taxi rank is outside the rear of the station. A tunnel runs under the station which once provided an open-air cab run at a shallower gradient than Trafalgar Street outside, which had been the main approach to the station before the construction of Queen's Road (which was financially supported by the railway, and intended to improve access). The cab run was covered (forming a tunnel) when the station above was extended over it on cast iron columns. The cab run remains in situ but has been sealed at the station end.

The station roof as refurbished

Help, a dog used to collect charitable donations, was displayed at the station following its death in 1891.[13]

Southern, which also operates many of the trains. Thameslink, Gatwick Express and Great Western Railway also operate some trains from Brighton.

It was built by the London & Brighton Railway in 1840, initially connecting Brighton to Shoreham-by-Sea, westwards along the coast, and shortly afterwards connecting it to London Bridge and the county town of Lewes to the east. In 1846, the railway became the London Brighton and South Coast Railway following mergers with other railways with lines between Portsmouth and Hastings.

With over 17 million passenger entries and exits in 2018/19, Brighton is the seventh-busiest station in the country outside London.[2]

The London and Brighton Railway (L&BR) built a passenger station, goods station, locomotive depot and railway works on a difficult site on the northern edge of Brighton. This site was 0.5 miles (0.80 km) from, and 70 feet (21 m) above the sea shore, and had involved considerable excavation work to create a reasonable gradient from Patcham Tunnel.[3]

Passenger station

The station forecourt showing Mocatta's original building which is now largely obscured

The passenger station was a three-storey building in an Italianate style, designed by David Mocatta in 1839–40 which incorporated the head office of the railway company.[4] (This building still stands but has been largely obscured by later additions.) The station is said to have many similarities to the Nine Elms railway station of the London and Southampton Railway (1838) designed by Sir William Tite.[5] Baker & Son were paid £9766 15s for the station building between May and August 1841.[6] The platform accommodation was built by John Urpeth Rastrick and consisted of four pitched roofs each 250 ft long (76 m).[7] It opened for trains to Shoreham on 12 May 1840, and to London on 21 September 1841.[8][9]

David Mocatta in 1839–40 which incorporated the head office of the railway company.[4] (This building still stands but has been largely obscured by later additions.) The station is said to have many similarities to the Nine Elms railway station of the London and Southampton Railway (1838) designed by Sir William Tite.[5] Baker & Son were paid £9766 15s for the station building between May and August 1841.[6] The platform accommodation was built by John Urpeth Rastrick and consisted of four pitched roofs each 250 ft long (76 m).[7] It opened for trains to Shoreham on 12 May 1840, and to London on 21 September 1841.[8][9]

Brighton Lewes and Hastings Railway on 8 June 1846[10] (which had been purchased by the L&BR in 1845). In July 1846, the L&BR merged with other railways to form the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway.[11]

Further extensions to the station occurred during the mid-19th century but only a limited number of additional platforms could be added because of the awkward sloping site. By the late 1870s the facilities were inadequate for the growing volume of traffic and so the existing platforms were lengthened to be able to accommodate two trains, and the three separate roofs were replaced by an overall roof during 1882/1883.

The station has an impressive large double-spanned curved glass and iron roof covering all of the platforms, which was substantially renovated in 1999 and 2000.[12]

At the front of the station is a bus station. The station taxi rank is outside the rear of the station. A tunnel runs under the station which once provided an open-air cab run at a shallower gradient than Trafalgar Street outside, which had been the main approach to the station before the construction of Queen's Road (which was financially supported by the railway, and intended to improve access). The cab run was covered (forming a tunnel) when the station above was extended over it on cast iron columns. The cab run remains in situ but has been sealed at the station end.

[12]

At the front of the station is a bus station. The station taxi rank is outside the rear of the station. A tunnel runs under the station which once provided an open-air cab run at a shallower gradient than Trafalgar Street outside, which had been the main approach to the station before the construction of Queen's Road (which was financially supported by the railway, and intended to improve access). The cab run was covered (forming a tunnel) when the station above was extended over it on cast iron columns. The cab run remains in situ but has been sealed at the station end.

Help, a dog used to collect charitable donations, was displayed at the station following its death in 1891.[13]

Goods station and yard

A goods station and yard was also constructed on the eastern side of the passenger station but on a site 30 ft lower (9.1 m) due to the sloping site, which was initially accessed from the Shoreham line by a second tunnel under the passenger station. The tunnel entrance was filled in after new tracks were laid into the goods yard, but a portion of it was converted into offices during World War II, and these were in use until the early 21st century. A portion of the tunnel is still used by a local rifle club. The site of the goods yard has since been redeveloped, and much of it forms the New England Quarter.[14]

Locomotive and carriage works

[15] During 1860–1861 John Chester Craven, the Locomotive Superintendent of the London Brighton and South Coast Railway (LB&SCR) began the removal of a large chalk hill to the north of the station, which had been dumped during the excavation of the main line. The space created was used to accommodate a new much enlarged motive power depot in 1861, replacing the two existing facilities.[16][17] During the early 1930s, following the electrification of the lines the steam motive power depot was rebuilt and reduced in size.[16] It was closed 15 June 1961, but remained in use for stabling steam locomotives until 1964, and was demolished in 1966.

The maintenance depot

The site is currently the Network Rail's ECR and infrastructure maintenance depot, and Southern's Lovers Walk Depot, used for servicing most of Southern's single voltage Class 377 Electrostar, Class 387 Electrostar and Class 313 fleets.

Network Rail's ECR and infrastructure maintenance depot, and Southern's Lovers Walk Depot, used for servicing most of Southern's single voltage Class 377 Electrostar, Class 387 Electrostar and Class 313 fleets.

Listed status

Brighton station was listed at Grade II*[1] on 30 April 1973.[1] As of February 2001, it was one of listed at Grade II*[1] on 30 April 1973.[1] As of February 2001, it was one of 70 Grade II*-listed buildings and structures, and 1,218 listed buildings of all grades, in the city of Brighton and Hove.[18]

Platform layout

The station has 8 platforms, numbered 1 to 8 from left to right when looking from the main entrance. All platforms are long enough to accommodate 12-car trains.