World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Brighton railway station


Brighton railway station

Station concourse
Place Brighton
Local authority City of Brighton and Hove
Grid reference
Station code BTN
Managed by Southern
Owned by Network Rail
Number of platforms 8
DfT category B
Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2004/05  11.295 million
2005/06 11.855 million
2006/07 12.853 million
2007/08 13.475 million
2008/09 13.807 million
2009/10 13.742 million
2010/11 14.493 million
2011/12 16.053 million
- Interchange 1.861 million
2012/13 16.187 million
- Interchange 1.941 million
2013/14 16.941 million
- Interchange 2.032 million
Key dates Opened 11 May 1840 (11 May 1840)
National RailUK railway stations
* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Brighton from Office of Rail and Road statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.
UK Railways portal

Brighton railway station is the principal railway station in the city of Brighton and Hove, East Sussex, on the south coast of the United Kingdom. The station 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 51 miles (82 km) to the north, and to 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 almost 16.1 million passenger entries and exits between April 2011 and March 2012, Brighton is the seventh-busiest station in the UK outside London.[1] It is managed by Southern.


  • History and development 1
    • Passenger station 1.1
    • Goods station and yard 1.2
    • Locomotive and carriage works 1.3
    • Locomotive depot 1.4
    • Listed status 1.5
  • Operating companies 2
  • Former operators 3
  • Services 4
    • Typical hourly off-peak service pattern 4.1
      • Brighton Main Line 4.1.1
      • West Coastway Line 4.1.2
      • East Coastway Line 4.1.3
    • Future services 4.2
      • Thameslink Programme 4.2.1
    • Disruptions to services from the station 4.3
  • Platform layout 5
  • Facilities 6
  • Accidents 7
  • Concourse 8
  • Gallery 9
  • See also 10
  • References 11
  • External links 12

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.[2]

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. (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.[3] Baker & Son were paid £9766 15s for the station building between May and August 1841.[4] The platform accommodation was built by John Urpeth Rastrick and consisted of four pitched roofs each 250 ft long (76 m).[5] It opened for trains to Shoreham on 11 May 1840, and in September 1841 for trains to London.[6]

Brighton Station interior in 1962

The station site was extended for the opening of the Brighton Lewes and Hastings Railway in June 1846 (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.

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 currently has a large double-spanned curved glass and iron roof covering the platforms, which was substantially renovated in 1999 and 2000.[7]

At the front of the station is a taxi rank and a bus 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

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.

Locomotive and carriage works

To the north of the station, on the east side of the main line, the railway constructed its locomotive and carriage works, which operated from 1841 until 1911, when the carriage works was moved to Lancing and 1957 when the locomotive works closed. Thereafter Isetta cars were briefly built in a part of the works.

Locomotive depot

Brighton Locomotive Depot seen from above 11 July 1954

The London and Brighton Railway opened a small locomotive shed and servicing facility to the north west of the station for locomotives on the Shoreham line, in May 1840, and another, adjacent to the locomotive works for main line locomotives, the following year.[8] 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.[9][10] During the early 1930s, following the electrification of the lines the steam motive power depot was rebuilt and reduced in size.[9] 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 fleet and their newly acquired Class 442s and Class 313s.

Listed status

Brighton station was listed at Grade II* on 30 April 1973.[11] 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.[12]

Operating companies

Thameslink service ready for a dawn departure from Brighton

Trains are operated by franchises trading under the names:

Former operators

Until 1967 a service operated between Brighton and Birkenhead Woodside via Redhill, Reading, Oxford, Birmingham Snow Hill, Wolverhampton Low Level, Shrewsbury and Chester. The stock was provided on alternate days by successors to the Southern Railway and the Great Western.


Currently, all trains are operated by Southern, Thameslink or Great Western Railway.

CrossCountry no longer operate from Brighton as of 14 December 2008 timetable change.

South West Trains also used to operate regular services from this station, to Reading and Paignton, via Worthing and Chichester. These services were withdrawn on 10 December 2007, due to new franchise obligations and South West Trains no longer operate any services from Brighton. This has caused some disruption to commuters as there are now no direct services from Brighton to Basingstoke and Winchester.

Typical hourly off-peak service pattern

Preceding station National Rail National Rail Following station
Terminus   Southern
West Coastway
  Preston Park
or Hassocks or
East Croydon
East Coastway Stopping
  London Road
East Coastway Fast
Terminus   Thameslink
  Preston Park
or Hassocks or
Burgess Hill
Terminus   Great Western Railway
Great Malvern / Worcester Shrub Hill – Brighton
Peak Times Only
Terminus   Southern
Gatwick Express
Peak Times Only
  Preston Park
or Hassocks
Disused railways
Shoreham   British Rail
Southern Region

Steyning Line

Brighton Main Line

The typical service from Brighton on the Brighton Main Line is:

West Coastway Line

The typical service from Brighton on the West Coastway Line is:

There are also several trains per day to Bristol Temple Meads, some of which run further to Cardiff Central or Great Malvern. These services are operated by Great Western Railway.

East Coastway Line

The typical service from Brighton on the East Coastway Line is:

All services on this line are operated by Southern.

Future services

Thameslink Programme

By 2018, new services from Brighton will be introduced to destinations north of central London (alongside the current services to Bedford).[13] In May 2014, a proposed timetable has been released; it is planned that:

It is also planned to reverse the stopping pattern of trains to Bedford and London Bridge by late 2015 (i.e. make services to Bedford stopping and services to London Bridge (and later Cambridge) semi-fast).

Disruptions to services from the station

Football matches at the American Express Community Stadium are served by train services from Brighton to Falmer. A queuing system is in operation from 2 hours before kick off for trains departing from platforms 7 and 8. The stadium's 30,750 capacity means these queues are large close to kick off, and trains depart full and standing. After the game, fans leave the station via the emergency gates, and a queuing system is in operation for West Coastway Line services departing from platforms 1 and 2. Due to the high numbers of passengers and inadequate capacity these trains are normally also full with people standing.

The Lewes Bonfire night, usually on 5 November, attracts large numbers of people, many travelling through Brighton station. As a result, Southern operate a queuing system from the afternoon onwards.[14]

The London to Brighton Bike Ride in June each year attracts large numbers of cyclists. As a result, Southern ban bicycles from many trains on the day, and on the following day they operate a queuing system at Brighton station.[15] The train operators had in the past allowed bicycles on trains for the many cyclists returning to London.[16]

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. However, the platform layout at the station does not always allow 12-car trains to call at platforms 2 and 3. Platform 2 has been built in the direction of the West Coastway Line, which means trains on that line can be up to 12 carriages long but the Brighton Main Line trains cannot have more than 4 carriages. Platform 3 has the exact opposite property: Brighton Main Line trains can be up to 12 carriages long but the West Coastway Line trains are limited to 4 carriages.


Passenger facilities include a ticket office, a travel information office, and several retail outlets. There are bus stops, a taxi rank, a car park and bicycle storage. Facilities for cyclists were extended in 2014 when a "cycle hub" was built at the rear entrance to the station. The three-storey building combines storage space for 500 bicycles with shops to buy or hire a bicycle, a repair facility, toilets, showers, changing facilities and a café. It is open 24 hours a day and storage is free of charge; most funding came from the Department for Transport (£500,000), Network Rail (£200,000), local rail operator Southern and the city council (£100,000 each).[17]


On 4 August 1909, a motor-train hauled by Terrier No.83 Earlswood collided with the buffers at Brighton, due to the driver's error. Nineteen people were injured.[18]


Marks & Spencer occupy the western side of the concourse,[19] having opened early in the first decade of the 21st century. The M&S site had previously been occupied by fast food concessions and a bar.

In 2012 £4.5 million was secured from the Department for Transport’s Station Commercial Project Facility for renovation of the concourse. Changes include more automated ticket gates, a new travel and ticket centre, a new information booth, a new passenger lounge with cafe, relocation of the ticket machines and ATM's and changed layout of the station.[20]


See also


  1. ^ Steer Davies Gleave (May 2013). "Estimates of station usage 2011–12" (XLSX). Office of Rail Regulation. Retrieved 19 May 2013. 
  2. ^ Turner, John Howard (1977). The London Brighton and South Coast Railway 1 Origins and Formation.  
  3. ^ Cole, David (1958). "Mocatta's stations for the Brighton Railway". Journal of transport history (Manchester: Manchester University Press) 5: 149–157.  
  4. ^ Cole (1958), pp.150.
  5. ^ Cooper, B. K., (1981). 'Rail Centres: Brighton. Booklaw Publications. p. 30.  
  6. ^ Body, Geoffrey (1989). Railways of the Southern Region. Patrick Stephens. p. 53.  
  7. ^ Project information from Kier Construction Ltd
  8. ^ Griffiths, Roger & Smith, Paul (1999). The directory of British engine sheds and principal locomotive servicing points: 1 Southern England, the Midlands, East Anglia and Wales. Oxford: Oxford Publishing Co. p. 3. 
  9. ^ a b Cooper (1981), p. 58
  10. ^ Griffiths (1999), p. 69
  11. ^ "Detailed record: Brighton Station including train sheds, Queen's Road (north side), Brighton".  
  12. ^ "Images of England – Statistics by County (East Sussex)".  
  13. ^ Proposed Thameslink service pattern
  14. ^ "Lewes Bonfire Night". Retrieved 13 June 2013. 
  15. ^ "London to Brighton Bike Ride Southern Cycle Policy". Retrieved 13 June 2013. 
  16. ^ "Cyclists' group urges rethink on London to Brighton Bike Ride train ban". Brighton & Hove News. 12 June 2012. Retrieved 13 June 2013. 
  17. ^ "Station cycle centre on course for completion". Brighton & Hove Independent (Love News Media Ltd). 6 June 2014. p. 5. 
  18. ^ Middlemass, Tom (1995). "Chapter 5: A Complicated Tale". Stroudley and his Terriers. York: Pendragon. p. 51.  
  19. ^
  20. ^ [2]

External links

  • Pages from My Brighton and Hove
  • Kent Rail's page on Brighton station
  • YouTube video of trains arriving/departing in 1995
  • Brighton Station
  • Brighton Station page at Southern Railway
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Hawaii eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.