Clapham Junction railway station

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Template:Redirect Template:Infobox London station Clapham Junction railway station is near St John's Hill in the south-west of Battersea in the London Borough of Wandsworth. Although it is in Battersea, the area around the station is commonly identified as Clapham Junction.

Many routes from London's two busiest termini, Template:Stnlnk and Template:Stnlnk, funnel through the station making it one of the busiest in Europe by number of trains using it, more than one hundred an hour outside peak periods. The station is also the busiest National Rail station for interchanges between services.


Before the railway came the area was rural and specialised in growing lavender; Lavender Hill is to the east of the station. The coach road from London to Guildford ran slightly south of the future station site, past The Falcon public house at the crossroads in the valley between St. John's Hill and Lavender Hill.

On 21 May 1838 the London and Southampton Railway, which became the London and South Western Railway (L&SWR) that day, opened its line from Template:Rws as far as Woking. That was the first railway through the area but it had no station at the present site.

The second line, initially from Nine Elms to Richmond, opened on 27 July 1846. Nine Elms was replaced in 1848 as the terminus by Waterloo Bridge station, now Waterloo. The line to Victoria opened by 1860. Clapham Junction opened on 2 March 1863, a joint venture of the L&SWR, the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway (LB&SCR) and the West London Extension Railway (WLER) as an interchange station for their lines.

When the station was built Battersea was regarded as a poor district while Clapham, a mile east, was more fashionable. The railway companies, to attract a middle- and upper-class clientele, adopted the grander of the two names, leading to a long-lasting misunderstanding that the station is in Clapham. A local action group, Love Battersea, was belatedly formed in 2005 to reduce the misapprehension.

Additional station buildings were erected in 1874 and 1876.

The station brought development to the surrounding area, the population of which rose from 6,000 in 1840 to 168,000 by 1910.


Template:Clapham Junction lines Each day about 2,000 trains, most stopping, pass through the station, more than through any other station in Europe. At peak times 180 trains per hour pass through of which 117 stop. It is not the busiest station by number of passengers, most of whom (about 430,000 on a weekday, of which 135,000 are at rush hours) pass through. Interchanges make some 40% of the activity and on that basis too it is the busiest station in the UK.

In 2011, the station had three entrances, all with staffed ticket offices, though only the south-east entrance is open 24 hours a day. The most heavily used of the three, this leads from St John's Hill via a small indoor shopping centre, into a subway some 15 ft (4.6 m) wide that connects to the eastern ends of all platforms.

The north entrance, which has restricted opening hours, leads from Grant Road to the same subway. The subway is crowded during rush hours, with the ticket barriers at the ends being pinch points.

The south-west entrance, also known as the Brighton Yard entrance, as the buildings still bear signage for the London Brighton and South Coast Railway, is of a more traditional appearance, with a Victorian station building set at the back of a large forecourt. This entrance leads to a very wide covered footbridge, which joins the western ends of all platforms. This entrance includes cycle parking and a taxi rank. It was re-opened in May 2011, as part of a wider programme of access improvements which included installing lifts to the platforms.<ref name="Improvements">Route Plans 2007 - Route 3 - South West Mainline published by Network Rail, 2007 - See page 20</ref>

There are public and disabled toilets at the south-west entrance. There are refreshment kiosks in the subway, on the footbridge and on some platforms; and a small shopping centre, including a small branch of Sainsbury's supermarket, in the south-east entrance.

British Transport Police maintain a neighbourhood policing presence,<ref name=SE>British Transport Police, London South Area</ref> whereas the Metropolitan Police Service and the part-Transport For London funded Safer Transport Command provides a police presence in the area outside of the station.

9 December 2012 saw the opening of a new platform for the East London Line, creating an orbital railway around inner London.


Template:Refimprove section The station has no London Underground service, but in 2007 the alignment of the proposed Crossrail 2 'Chelsea-Hackney line' possibly reaching Clapham Junction was safeguarded. The possibility of a further 'phase two' extension to the Northern line Battersea extension has also been discussed, and provision will be made for a future onward connection from the Battersea terminus to Clapham Junction railway station by reserving a path running beneath Battersea Park.<ref>Clapham Junction next for Northern Line says London Assembly member (From Wandsworth Guardian)</ref>

A planning application from Metro Shopping Fund for a £39.5 million project was withdrawn shortly before Wandsworth Planning Committee was to consider it on 20 May 2009. The plan included a new entrance on St John's Hill, straightened and extended platforms 15-17, more ticketing facilities, step-free access to all platforms by 2011, a new step-free entrance on Grant Road, and a new 'high street' from St John's Hill to Falcon Road with retail space and an arthouse cinema. To pay for the rail improvements there would have been two 42-storey residential buildings above the station.

The station is overcrowded during rush hours and improvement is needed. In 2009 a mystery shopper assessment of fabric and environment listed it in the ten worst category B interchange stations. It is to share £50 million funding for improvements. It was referenced in the review as "upgrade interchange: new entrances & more retail".

Heathrow Airtrack was a proposed rail link from Heathrow Airport south to the Staines to Windsor Line and London Waterloo, calling at Clapham Junction, and to Reading and to Guildford. Clapham Junction would be an interchange for passengers changing between Heathrow and Gatwick Airports. If permission had been granted, work was forecast to begin in 2010, with services operating by 2014. Template:As of, the project has been shelved.

Clapham rail disaster

Template:Main On the morning of 12 December 1988 two collisions involving three commuter trains occurred slightly south-west of the station. Thirty-five people died and more than 100 were injured.


All South West Trains services from Waterloo and Southern and Gatwick Express trains from Victoria, pass through the station; as do the West London Line and East London Line of London Overground.

Typical off-peak service of more than 120 trains an hour comprises:


Clapham Junction in 2001.

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The station has 17 platforms, 1 to 17. The original platform 1 (now 0) is disused, and platform 2 has been split into two (1 and 2). Platforms 1-6, the northern group, lie in a west-southwesterly direction; platforms 7-17, the southern group, in a southwesterly direction. Sidings leading into railway sheds at the west of the station separate the two groups.

Bus links

London bus routes 35, 37, 39, 49, 77, 87, 156, 170, 219, 295, 319, 337, 344, 345, C3, G1, school route 639, 670, night route N19, N31, N35 and N87.

The junction

The station is named Clapham Junction because it is at the junction of several rail lines. The name is not given to any rail junction near the station which, without end-on intercompany junctions, are:

  • Falcon Junction at the south end of the station, where the West London Line (WLL) joins the Brighton Slow Lines
  • Ludgate Junction at the eastern end of the Windsor Line platforms to the WLL
  • Latchmere SW Junction connecting the WLL to the Windsor lines at Ludgate Junction.
  • Latchmere Main Junction connecting the WLL to the Brighton Line at Falcon Junction.
  • West London Extension Junction and Junction for Waterloo, relaid for Eurostar empty stock moves from the Windsor Lines to the WLL.
  • Pouparts Junction where the low-level and high-level approaches to Victoria split.



External links

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