East Croydon station

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Template:Use dmy dates Template:Use British English Template:Infobox London station East Croydon is a railway station and tram stop in Croydon, 10.35 miles (16.56 km) south of London Bridge in Travelcard Zone 5. It is the largest and busiest station in Croydon and the busiest in London outside Travelcard Zone 1 in terms of the number of passengers entering and exiting. It is one of three railway stations in the London Borough of Croydon with Croydon in their name, the others being West Croydon and South Croydon. Along with Kensington Olympia, East Croydon was until 13 December 2008 one of two stations in London served by CrossCountry.

History

The population of Croydon increased 14-fold (from 16,700 to 233,000) between the opening of the station in 1841 and 1921. As a result the station has been enlarged and rebuilt on several occasions.

Opening

File:East Croydon Station.jpg
East Croydon Station in 1990 before rebuilding

On 12 July 1841 the London & Brighton Railway (L&BR) began passenger services through Croydon station (now East Croydon) on the Brighton Line from London Bridge to Haywards Heath. The station was designed by the architect David Mocatta, the second station in the town since the London and Croydon Railway (L&CR) had opened its Croydon station (now West Croydon) in June 1839.

After 1842 the station was jointly administered by the L&BR and the South Eastern Railway (SER), which shared the Brighton main line as far as Redhill. Fares from Croydon to London were common to two railways. In 1846 The L&BR and the L&CR amalgamated to form the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway (LB&SCR), and the two stations were renamed East Croydon and West Croydon to avoid confusion.

New Croydon

With the completion of the line to Victoria between 1860 and 1862, extra platforms were needed to provide a terminal for LB&SCR suburban services to and from the West End of London whilst London Bridge trains continued to use the existing lines. The new platforms adjoined East Croydon but were treated by the LB&SCR as a separate station named New Croydon, with its own ticket office, and which ran exclusively LBSCR services. This device enabled the railway to avoid breaking an agreement with the SER, whilst offering cheaper fares than the SER from the original station.

The terminal platforms at New Croydon proved difficult to operate as there was limited space for locomotives to run round their trains. As a result, in 1863 the LB&SCR obtained Parliamentary authority to build a one-mile (1.6 km) extension to a new terminus at South Croydon, which provided the additional operating room.

Croydon Central

In 1864, the LB&SCR obtained authorisation to construct a ½-mile long branch line into the town centre near Katharine Street, where Croydon Central station was built. The line opened in 1868 but enjoyed little success and closed in 1871, only to reopen in 1886 under pressure from the Council before finally closing in 1890. It was demolished and replaced by the Town Hall.

1894/95 rebuilding

By the late 1880s the station was again congested due to the growth of traffic on the main lines, the expansion of the suburban network in South London and the new line from Croydon to Oxted. As a result the station was rebuilt and the tracks remodelled during 1894/5. At the same time the suburban lines were extended from South Croydon to Coulsdon, where they joined the new Quarry line. In 1897–98, East Croydon and New Croydon were merged into a single station with the three island platforms that remain. The two stations kept separate booking accounts until 1924.

1992 rebuilding

The present station building opened on 19 August 1992. It consists of a large steel and glass frame suspended from a lightweight steel structure that straddles the track and platforms to a much greater extent than was possible with its Victorian predecessor.

Four steel ladder masts anchor the glass box and the whole gives the impression of a suspension bridge that stretches into the distance. External canopies cover the entrances, a cafe's open-air seating area and the approaches to the tram stop. 440 m² of glass were used in the roof and 800 m² for the wall glazing. The architects were Alan Brookes Associates and the structural engineers YRM Anthony Hunt Associates.

2010 revamp plans

It was announced in 2010 that Network Rail had proposed a £20m project to revamp the station with an additional entrance and a short cut into the town centre.<ref name="cg-15sep2010">Template:Cite news</ref> In September 2010, Croydon Council pledged £6m towards the revamp, ensuring that a bridge is included in the plans.<ref name="cg-15sep2010"/>

Services

Destinations

The station has frequent services on the London – Gatwick Airport – Brighton line, the First Capital Connect route from Brighton via London Bridge and St Pancras International to Bedford, and the London Bridge – Uckfield branch, recently re-equipped with new Class 171 DMUs. It has electronic information displays showing next departures to some 80 stations. All services except those to and from Uckfield are operated by 750 V DC third rail EMUs. East Croydon serves destinations mainly in East Sussex, West Sussex, Surrey and Brighton & Hove, including Gatwick Airport, Horsham, Caterham, Tattenham Corner, Brighton, Reigate, Hastings, Eastbourne, Bognor Regis, Portsmouth, Tonbridge and many suburban stations in South London and Hertfordshire.

Trains include First Capital Connect Thameslink services to Brighton, Redhill, Bedford, Luton and London Luton Airport, which means that the station has direct services to two airports. They also serve stations in or near the City of London, including St Pancras International, Farringdon, City Thameslink and London Blackfriars.

Former services

Services from London Bridge to Tunbridge Wells via Redhill were operated by Southeastern until December 2008, when they were transferred to Southern and curtailed at Tonbridge.

CrossCountry services stopped at East Croydon on the route to Brighton and Newcastle, withdrawn in December 2008.

There used to be a half-hourly service to London Charing Cross operated by Southern, but this was withdrawn after December 2009 when there were changes to the Southeastern timetables, meaning that these trains could not be fitted in.Template:Citation needed

Up (northbound)

Platform 1 serves fast up (northbound) trains to Victoria. Fast services to Bedford use platform 2. Fast and stopping services to London Bridge and some to Victoria use platform 4. Platform 5 serves both directions, with trains terminating from Milton Keynes and services north to London Bridge mainly from Uckfield (most use Platform 4).

In trains per hour:

  • 11 to Victoria:
    • 9 fast, calling at Clapham Junction only
    • 2 stopping, via Thornton Heath
  • 9 to London Bridge:
    • 1 fast
    • 2 semi-fast, calling at Norwood Junction only
    • 2 semi-fast, calling at Norwood Junction and New Cross Gate
    • 2 stopping, calling at all stations via Sydenham
  • 1 to Milton Keynes Central, via Kensington Olympia and Watford Junction
  • 4 to Bedford (operated by First Capital Connect)

Down (southbound)

Platforms 2 and 3 are used for the fast down (southbound) services, to Brighton and the Sussex Coast. Stopping services use platform 5 (both directions, normally used off-peak for trains terminating). Platform 6 is served by stopping services to Caterham and Tattenham Corner, and by services to Oxted, East Grinstead and Uckfield. (Gatwick Express services pass through platforms 2 and 3 going southwards).

There are 27 train departures per hour off-peak during the week.

Operated by Southern:

  • 3 to Brighton:
    • 2 non-stop
    • 1 stopping
  • 4 to Caterham
  • 2 to Tattenham Corner
  • 2 to East Grinstead
  • 1 to Uckfield
  • 2 to Bognor Regis via Crawley, portion for Portsmouth Harbour or Southampton detached at Horsham
  • 1 to Portsmouth Harbour via Crawley
  • 1 to Southampton Central via Crawley
  • 2 to Littlehampton via Worthing, portion for Eastbourne or Hastings detached at Haywards Heath
  • 1 to Eastbourne
  • 1 to Hastings via Eastbourne
  • 2 to Horsham
  • 1 to Tonbridge
  • 1 to Reigate
  • 1 to South Croydon

Operated by First Capital Connect:

  • 4 to Brighton:
    • 2 semi-fast
    • 2 stopping

Facilities

The main entrance is from George Street.<ref name="what">Transport for London map of local bus stops in East Croydon published by TfL, 2007</ref> There are several shops, including WHSmith, Costa Coffee, Burger King and Upper Crust. Another entrance is next to the taxi rank on Billinton Hill just off Cherry Orchard Road, on the east side.

The ticket office usually becomes busy during peak hours, and the ticket machines. Disabled-accessible slopes to all platforms are provided and there is a footbridge connecting all platforms. There are three waiting rooms on the platforms under a roof with plenty of standard metal seats. There are refreshment stalls and vending machines in the seating areas on the platforms. Trolleys are also available along with step-free access to all buffets.

East Croydon is one of the few stations to provide comfortable leather sofas, in the waiting room on platforms 3 and 4. They are often used by passengers from London Gatwick Airport between 02.00 and 04.00 who change at East Croydon for Clapham Junction railway station and have to wait for approximately 40 minutes for a connecting service from platform 4 if they miss the hourly direct service.

Future

Station expansion

As part of the Croydon Vision 2020 regeneration scheme, East Croydon is to be expanded to both the west and the east. Work has been planned on the west side for some time to increase station capacity, made more urgent by likely additional traffic from the planned Croydon Gateway nearby. A proposal by Arrowcroft, which included the 12,500-seat Croydon Arena, was rejected in August 2008. Arrowcroft had proposed a £24 million expansion of the station with a new 'airport style' concourse above the tracks to the north of the station. Arrowcroft had agreed to contribute £500,000 to the build costs to offset the impact of their proposed Arena. The source of the remaining £23.5 million was not identified, and Network Rail had not committed this expenditure in its capital plans.

The alternative scheme called Ruskin Square, by the owners of the site Stanhope Schroders, includes a contribution of £1.1 million for station capacity improvements that could be quickly implemented and integrated into their scheme for a new urban park, a rebuilt Warehouse Theatre, a doctors' surgery, housing (50% "affordable") and modern offices on the Croydon Gateway site.

To the east, towards Cherry Orchard Road, the proposed towers result in an extension to the station. The architect is Make with the client Menta, engineer Knight Frank and GL Hearn. Originally this project was planned to start in 2009, but this has been put back to 2019 with the planned completion date in 2023. The mixed-use scheme is for approximately 93,000 sq m (1 million sq ft) of accommodation in a series of crystalline towers. Some 70% of the area is planned to be residential accommodation, with the remaining 30% mixed commercial use, including offices and retail. Critical to all proposals are improvements to transport interchange. No project has yet delivered the necessary funds for significant enhancements.

Oyster Card

Oyster Pay as you go (PAYG) has been valid for travel at East Croydon since 2 January 2010.

Thameslink Programme

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The Thameslink Programme (formerly Thameslink 2000) is a £3.5 billion major project to expand the Thameslink network from 51 to 172 stations spreading northwards to Bedford, Peterborough, Cambridge and King's Lynn and southwards to Guildford, Eastbourne, Horsham, Hove to Littlehampton, East Grinstead, Ashford and Dartford. The project includes the lengthening of platforms, station remodelling, new railway infrastructure (e.g. viaducts) and additional rolling stock. When implemented, First Capital Connect services will call more often at the station and other stations in the Croydon area, including Purley and Norwood Junction.

Selhurst Depot

There is a large railway depot for Southern and First Capital Connect trains to the north at Selhurst.

Transport connections

East Croydon is well served by both tram and bus, with a tram stop outside and a bus station close by. London Bus services reach Central London, Purley Way, Bromley, Lewisham and places to the south. Route X26, the longest London bus route, runs to Heathrow Airport via Sutton and Kingston.

Immediately outside the station is the Tramlink stop, with services to Elmers End, Beckenham Junction, New Addington and Wimbledon. A major interchange, East Croydon has three tram platforms, two on an island, the other backing on to the station entrance. Following problems with the points in this area, in August 2006 they were fixed to route all eastbound trams into Platform 1, the concourse-side platform. The island platform can be used only by westbound trams and by trams terminating from the east.

Crime

In January 2006 the London Assembly issued statistics of crime in main-line railway stations outside Zone 1. East Croydon, Clapham Junction and Walthamstow Central were the worst in terms of total number of crimes, as would be expected for the busiest stations (a comparison of crimes per 1000 passengers would be more meaningful).

Gallery

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References

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External links

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