Epsom railway station

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File:Epsom station, geograph-3458968-by-Ben-Brooksbank.jpg
View NE from the west end of the Down platform with signal box in 1991

Epsom railway station in the county of Surrey is off Waterloo Road, less than two minutes' walk from the High Street. It is not in the London Oyster card zone unlike Epsom Downs station, which is further from central London. There is currently a petition to get Epsom railway station in Zone 6. Epsom Downs station is the terminus of the single-track branch line from Sutton at the edge of the borough of Reigate and Banstead, next to the boundary with Epsom and Ewell. The station building was replaced in 2012/2013 with a new building with luxury apartments above the station (see end of article).

Services from this station

Services are operated by South West Trains and Southern. Trains serve Central London (Waterloo, Victoria & London Bridge), Clapham Junction, Wimbledon, Worcester Park, Balham, West Croydon, Sutton, Leatherhead, Effingham Junction, Guildford, Dorking and Horsham.

The typical off-peak service pattern in trains per hour is as follows:

  • 5 to Victoria all via Sutton:
    • 2 fast
    • 2 via Hackbridge
    • 1 via West Croydon and Norbury
  • 4 to Waterloo via Wimbledon
  • 3 to Dorking
  • 1 to Horsham
  • 2 to Guildford

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On 6 February 2013, Crossrail 2 announced plans to include Epsom in its plans as the most southern terminus of the route.Template:Citation needed

History

The railway first reached the town in 1847 when an extension of the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway (LBSCR) from West Croydon was opened with a terminus in Upper High Street. This station was initially named Epsom, subsequently renamed Epsom Town.

File:Epsom station platform 3 look north2.JPG
View from the platforms looking north.

In 1859 a joint venture between the LBSCR and the London and South Western Railway (LSWR) extended the LSWR from Wimbledon to Epsom, where it joined with the LBSCR, and then ran on to Leatherhead. The lines were connected south of the LBSCR station and a new Epsom station was established on the present site. However competition between the companies remained and the new station was operated by the LSWR only, with the tracks configured so that LBSCR trains ran non-stop on the central tracks.

In 1867 the line was extended south from Leatherhead to Dorking and Horsham, and in 1885 a branch from Leatherhead was built to Effingham Junction, where it connected to the line from Surbiton to Guildford. These extensions provided greater connections for Epsom to much of the rest of Surrey.

After the First World War, the railway companies were merged into the Southern Railway, which set about removing duplication. Epsom Town was closed in 1929, (though some of the building remains abandoned and bricked up behind modern developments on Upper High Street, visible from the line from Ewell East), and the tracks at Epsom were rearranged so that the two island platforms provided cross-platform interchange.

When Thameslink services started in 1988 its secondary southern route ran to Epsom via Elephant & Castle, West Croydon and Sutton, continuing to Guildford. However the onset of rail privatisation made it difficult to maintain a line running across two other companies' routes and services to Epsom were withdrawn in 1994. One of the proposals for the "Thameslink 2000" project (later renamed Thameslink Programme) is to restore services from this station as part of a massive expansion of that network.

For many years the southern ends of the platforms had a large signal box above them, dating from 1929. It was not listed, and despite extensive roof repairs it was demolished in March 1992.

Kevin Craswell incident

On 3 March 2006 many trains were disrupted just before the Friday afternoon rush hour when drunken 48-year-old Kevin Craswell, from nearby Ashtead, lay down and rested his head on a rail, a few inches from the electrified (750V) third rail. Had he touched this while in contact with the ground, he would have been electrocuted. Power had to be cut for approximately 15 minutes over a 3-mile stretch of track while Craswell was woken and taken to hospital. Network Rail stated that the cost of the disruption exceeded £7,000. Craswell, who was filmed by a police helicopter - the noise of which failed to wake him - was fined £560 and given 180 hours' community service.

Derailment Incident: 12 September 2006

Train 2D57, the 19:09 service from London Waterloo to Effingham Junction, became derailed on the approach to Epsom at about 19:42 on Tuesday 12 September 2006. The train was formed of two four-car class 455 electric multiple units (EMUs). The leading bogie of the fourth coach was derailed towards the left as it passed over a set of trailing points on a right-hand curve at about 17 miles per hour (27 km/h). The train came to a stop partially in Epsom station, and passengers were quickly evacuated onto the platform. There were no injuries, and there was only minor damage to the train and the track.

As the train approached Epsom, the driver shut off power and reduced speed to comply with the 20 mph permanent speed restriction round the curve into the station, entering the curve at 19.2 mph (30.9 km/h). He felt a judder, and looked back, observing blue flashes and smoke from the rear of the train. He assumed there was a fault with the train, and attempted to coast into the station. As the fourth coach came into his field of vision, the driver saw that it was derailed and made an emergency brake application. The train then stopped within five seconds.

In the report by the Rail Accident Investigation Branch into the accident, the maintenance of track and points was heavily criticised. The removal of a remote rail lubricator by Network Rail was also criticised.

Typical off-peak journey times from Epsom

Based on the December 2006 - May 2007 timetable
Frequency in trains per hour

Destination Platform Avg. Journey time Frequency Operator
Sutton 1 or 3 10 minutes 5 tph Southern
Worcester Park 2 or 4 10 minutes 4 tph South West Trains
Wimbledon 2 or 4 18 minutes 4 tph South West Trains
Clapham Junction 1, 2, 3 or 4 35 minutes 9 tph Southern and South West Trains
London Victoria 1 or 3 38 minutes 5 tph Southern
London Waterloo 2 or 4 36 minutes 4 tph South West Trains
Leatherhead 1 or 2 8 minutes 6 tph Southern and South West Trains
Dorking 1 or 2 14 minutes 4 tph Southern and South West Trains
Horsham 1 35 minutes 1 tph Southern
Effingham Junction 2 17 minutes 2 tph South West Trains
Guildford 2 27 minutes 2 tph South West Trains

Redevelopment

The main ticket office and station frontage have been completely demolished and rebuilt. The redevelopment includes a new, larger ticket office, new shop units (Tesco and Costa Coffee), flats and a new Travelodge hotel. Redevelopment started in November 2010 and was expected to be completed by June 2012, but was delayed; it was completed in 2013. During the redevelopment the station remained open, with a temporary ticket office on the forecourt. In addition to redevelopment of the ticket hall there will be full refurbishment of the platform buildings and canopies. Template:Commons category

External links

 

References

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