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Brighton Station

The main entrance to Brighton Station, 2003.

photograph by Ben Brooksbank

The original Brighton Station, a fine Post-Regency building, was opened in 1840 (some time before the opening of the line from London) when the London & Brighton Railway opened its first line from Brighton to Shoreham on 12th May of that year. Designed by David Mocatta, the station is sited at the top of Queens Road and Trafalgar Street, high up but central to the town. The original entrance to the station, now the exit for vehicles, has an interesting canopy of ironwork and glass - and also two black gateposts which, allegedly, were the gun barrels from a Napoleonic gun battery that was sited in Brighton. When the battery was removed the gun barrels were supposedly kept and made into the gateposts. Railway officials have been known to decry this story!

Expanded and rebuilt over the years, the station features a magnificent cast iron and glass trainshed (constructed during 1882/3 over the existing roof following which the old roof was demolished inside it) which, after many years of grimy service, has recently been magnificently restored to its former glory. This trainshed, which follows the elegant curvature of the station, rises to a height of some 75' and is supported on cast iron columns.

The next line to be built from Brighton, after the 21st September 1841 arrival of the one from London, was to Lewes, carried high above the streets of eastern Brighton on a magnificent viaduct, opening on 8th June 1846 and the L&B's swan-song before becoming part of the London Brighton and South Coast Railway on 27th July 1846.

Built on a hill, the station has an interesting network of alleyways under and walkways over that are not normally open to the general public. However, there are the occasional open days when these may be explored and the following two photographs were taken on one such tour.

Brighton, unlike many other stations today, seems assured of a bright future with passenger numbers increasing steadily and plans afoot for the Brighton Tramlink to take those passengers directly from the station to the London Road shopping centre - a fairly short walk, but steep and not the most pleasant in town!

Station Roof

The newly restored roof, photographed immediately after the unveiling.

photograph by Jeremy Nicholson.

Under the station

One of the passageways beneath the station.

photograph by Glen Woods

Under the station

High up on a walkway with the platform area below.

photograph by Glen Woods

Upper Goods 'box

The Upper Goods Signalbox situated in Brighton Top Yard on 13th May 1978.
When the 'box closed it was dismantled and the top portion removed to the Bluebell Railway where it sat in their car park at Sheffield Park for a number of years with the intention that it should replace the platform Signalbox there. However, once the extension towards East Grinstead was started the plans were changed and the 'box has now been rebuilt at Kingscote.

photograph by Glen Woods


Class 9F 92220 "Evening Star" at Platform 10 at Brighton on the occasion of the last day of traffic on the Kemp Town branch, 26th June 1971. This area is now the car park, the wall to the left of the locomotive was part of the former Brighton Works.

photograph by Glen Woods


Another photo of the Upper Goods Yard. The three locos have, unfortunately, been withdrawn and await their fate. On the left is Bulleid/Raworth Co-Co Nº20002, in the middle is class 03 D2031 and on the right is 20001.

photograph by Alan Robinson

This page was was created 23 December 2002

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