Norwood Junction railway station

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Norwood Junction London Overground National Rail
Norwood Junction stn building.JPG
Station entrance
Norwood Junction is located in Greater London
Norwood Junction
Norwood Junction
Location of Norwood Junction in Greater London
Location South Norwood
Local authority London Borough of Croydon
Managed by London Overground
Owner Network Rail
Station code NWD
DfT category C2
Number of platforms 6 (Formerly 7)
Accessible Yes (Platform 1 Northbound only)[1]
Fare zone 4
National Rail annual entry and exit
2013–14 Increase 3.758 million[2]
– interchange  Increase 1.206 million[2]
2014–15 Increase 3.864 million[2]
– interchange  Increase 1.309 million[2]
2015–16 Increase 4.266 million[2]
– interchange  Decrease 1.263 million[2]
2016–17 Increase 4.363 million[2]
– interchange  Decrease 1.183 million[2]
2017–18 Increase 4.375 million[2]
– interchange  Increase 1.218 million[2]
Railway companies
Original company London & Croydon Railway
Key dates
5 June 1839 Opened as Jolly Sailor
October 1846 Renamed Norwood
1 June 1859 Resited
1865 LBSCR Goods Shed built[3]
1 October 1910 Renamed Norwood Junction and South Norwood for Woodside
13 June 1955 Renamed Norwood Junction[4]
Other information
External links
  • Departures
  • Layout
  • Facilities
  • Buses
WGS84 51°23′50″N 0°4′30″W / 51.39722°N 0.07500°W / 51.39722; -0.07500Coordinates: 51°23′50″N 0°4′30″W / 51.39722°N 0.07500°W / 51.39722; -0.07500
Underground sign at Westminster.jpg London transport portal

Norwood Junction railway station is a National Rail station in South Norwood in the London Borough of Croydon, south London and is in Travelcard Zone 4.[5] It is 8 miles 55 chains (13.98 km) down the line from London Bridge.

The station is managed by London Overground and trains are operated by London Overground, Thameslink and Southern.


The station has occupied two sites under three different names.

Jolly-sailor and Norwood stations

Jolly-sailor station in 1845, showing the atmospheric railway pumping station, with its Gothic chimney vent, in the foreground.[6]

In 1839 the London and Croydon Railway opened Jolly-sailor station — "Jolly-sailor near Beulah Spa" on fares lists and timetables — at the north end of the High Street, adjacent to the Portland Road level crossing. From 1841 the lines through Norwood were used by the London and Brighton Railway and from 1842 the South Eastern Railway, but neither of these companies used the station. (The Jolly Sailor is a pub — originally the Jolly Sailor Inn — on the corner of Portland Road and High Street. The original pub was rebuilt around the late 1860s.[7])

In 1844 the L&CR was given parliamentary authority to test an experimental atmospheric railway system on the railway. A pumping station was built on Portland Road to create a vacuum in a continuous pipe located centrally between the rails. A piston extended downwards from the trains into a slit in the pipe, with trains blown towards the pumping station by atmospheric pressure. The pumping station was in a Gothic style, with a very tall ornate tower that served both as a chimney and as an exhaust vent for air pumped from the propulsion tube.

As part of the works for the atmospheric system, the world's first railway flyover was constructed beyond the south end of the station to carry the atmospheric line over the conventional London & Brighton Railway steam line. At the same time the level crossing at Portland Road was replaced by a low bridge across the road.[8]

In July 1846 the L&CR merged with the L&BR to form the London Brighton and South Coast Railway,[9] and the station was renamed Norwood in the same year - it became Norwood Junction by 1856. The LB&SCR abandoned atmospheric propulsion in 1847.

Following construction of lines to Crystal Palace the station closed on 1 June 1859 and was replaced by the current station located at the end of a short approach road off the south side of the A213 road. The original station building was used as a private house until the 1960s, when it was demolished.

Norwood Junction rail accident

The Norwood Junction railway crash occurred on 1 May 1891, when the cast-iron bridge over Portland Road fractured under an express train from Brighton to London.

The present station

The current station opened on 1 June 1859 by the LB&SCR. It was renamed Norwood Junction and South Norwood on 1 October 1910 but reverted to its original name in 1955 but some tickets and publications continued to use the pre-1955 name for sometime thereafter.[10] There are seven platforms but only five are in use. Ticket barriers control access to all platforms. The LB&SCR goods shed built in 1865 remains in place, now used as railway offices.[3]

Platforms 1 & 2

Platform 1 is the first platform when entering via the main entrance and is the only platform accessible without having to negotiate the subway via stairs. Its main use is for trains northwards to Highbury & Islington, London Bridge and London Victoria; most stop at all stations. They mainly come from West Croydon, Caterham and Sutton. The platform is also used for London Overground.

Platform 2 serves the same track as Platform 1 but passengers are not able to join or alight as the doors open only on the Platform 1 side. This is due to the live rail being on the side nearest to Platform 2.

Platform 3

Platform 3 is for faster services to London Bridge. Most services come from Horsham and Tattenham Corner, with the occasional service from Brighton and Uckfield. When the Thameslink Programme is complete, Thameslink trains to Bedford will use this platform.[citation needed]

View from platform 6, 2018

Platforms 4, 5 & 6

Platforms 4 & 5 (the bridge in the background was replaced in 2015)

Platforms 4, 5 and 6 are for southbound trains, to West Croydon or East Croydon. Platform 4 is for fast trains from London Bridge to Uckfield, Gatwick Airport, Tattenham Corner and Horsham; Platform 5 for suburban stopping services, mainly high-frequency trains from Highbury & Islington to West Croydon and from London Bridge to Caterham; Platform 6 is usually used only when platform alterations are required. Trains to Coulsdon Town from London Victoria via Crystal Palace usually use Platform 5 but sometimes use Platform 6.

Platform 7

Platform 7 is disused and the line is covered by vegetation. However, with the planned two-year blockade of Thameslink trains through Central London while London Bridge station is under reconstruction Network Rail considered reinstating and electrifying this line as a 'dead-end'. The object was to terminate some additional services arriving via Crystal Palace which would otherwise need to go on to Beckenham Junction to terminate, thus obviating unnecessary occupation of the 1 34 miles (2.8 km) of single bi-directional line east of Birkbeck Junction and also save a carriage set. To achieve the change the lead to the down spur at Bromley Junction would have been being removed to the up line and a facing crossover put into place west of it. To provide the necessary pathing northbound the trains would use the same spur line, which would have become reversible to the resited point on the up line at Bromley Junction. Despite safety problems for the user-operated level crossing into the track maintenance depot on the former steam shed site because of restricted sighting under Goat House bridge having apparently been resolved the changes have been postponed until the work at London Bridge is complete. This is mainly because it was judged the cost did not justify the change, at least until a general renewal of the signal and control installation is undertaken.


The typical off-peak services for London Overground and Southern are as follows, in trains per hour (tph):[11]

Up (northbound)

Down (southbound)

Marshalling yard

The LB&SCR constructed a large marshalling yard to the south of the station during the 1870s, extended in the early 1880s. At their height the yards on both sides of the line each had over 30 carriage roads. Because of the narrow nature of the site they were laid in clusters of six to eight, one beyond another, with the lead to each forming an individual headshunt.[13] With dwindling freight traffic the yard fell into disuse by the 1980s and the tracks were relaid to accommodate an enlarged Selhurst Depot.

Motive Power Depot/Norwood Cable Depot

Norwood Junction Locomotive Depot on 12 March 1960.

The Southern Railway opened a five-road motive power depot with a 65 ft (19.8 metre) turntable in 1935, to serve the marshalling yard. It replaced a shed at West Croydon. This depot was closed in 1964 and demolished in 1966.[14]

Following the demolition of the locomotive depot British Rail then redeveloped the site into a traction cable depot for maintaining the railway.


Norwood Junction is well served by bus routes, with three bus stops including two bus stands close by. On the Portland Road side are two stops for routes 197 (Croydon Town Centre - Norwood Junction - Peckham) and 312 (South Croydon, Bus Garage– East Croydon - Norwood Junction).[15][16] The High Street 'Clocktower' stop serves routes 75 (Croydon Town Centre – Penge - Lewisham Station), 157 (Morden – West Croydon - Crystal Palace) and 410 (Wallington – Croydon - Crystal Palace).[15] The Grosvenor Road stop serves routes 130 (New Addington– Addington Village - Thornton Heath, Parchmore Road) and 196 (Norwood Junction – Brixton - Elephant and Castle).[15][16]

Route 75 was formerly a 24-hour route but that facility was withdrawn in favour of a higher frequency of buses on a Sunday[17] by Selkent when it took the service over from Stagecoach London. Metrobus won the contract from April 2009 and works the route from its Croydon garage. Nowadays, the route is operated by Stagecoach London. The stop on Night Bus route N68[18] is half a mile away on White Horse Lane. Other service operators are Arriva London, Abellio and Metrobus.

Latest Improvements

Thameslink Programme

The Thameslink Programme (formerly known as Thameslink 2000), is a £3.5 billion major project to expand the Thameslink network from 51 to 172 stations[19] extending 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. The new Thameslink timetable for Norwood Junction started 20 May 2018. "Norwood Junction gain[ed] an all-day-long Thameslink service to Bedford via Blackfriars and St Pancras, with two trains per hour to Epsom via Sutton" and timetables will continue being expanded and adjusted into 2019.[20][21]

In literature

It is from this station that Jonas Oldacre takes his train to London Bridge in Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes story "The Adventure of the Norwood Builder" (1903).[22]


  1. ^ "Step free Tube Guide" (PDF). Transport for London. March 2019. Archived (PDF) from the original on 1 June 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Station usage estimates". Rail statistics. Office of Rail Regulation. Please note: Some methodology may vary year on year.
  3. ^ a b "London's Last Goods Sheds". The London Railway Record. 91: 233. April 2017.
  4. ^ Butt, R.V.J. (1995). The Directory of Railway Stations, Patrick Stephens Ltd, Sparkford, ISBN 1-85260-508-1, p. 175.
  5. ^ Standard Tube Map (PDF) (Map). Not to scale. Transport for London. May 2019. Archived (PDF) from the original on 1 June 2019.
  6. ^ "Jolly-sailor Station". The Pictorial Times. 1845.
  7. ^
  8. ^ Connor, J.E. (2006). London's Disused Stations: The London Brighton & South Coast Railway. Colchester: Connor & Butler. p. 70. ISBN 978-0-947699-39-0.
  9. ^ London Brighton and South Coast Railway
  10. ^ Chronology of London Railways by H.V.Borley
  11. ^ (Timetable Nos.171, 172, 175, 177, and 178 May 2018)
  12. ^ Highbury & Islington – West Croydon/Clapham Junction timetable
  13. ^ Turner, John Howard (1979). The London Brighton and South Coast Railway 3 Completion and Maturity. Batsford. p. 76. ISBN 0-7134-1389-1.
  14. ^ Hawkins, Chris and Reeves, George. (1979). An historical survey of Southern sheds. Oxford Publishing Co. p. 60. ISBN 0-86093-020-3.
  15. ^ a b c "Buses from Norwood Junction" (PDF). Transport for London. 16 June 2014. Retrieved 22 February 2015.
  16. ^ a b Norwood Junction Rail Station - Bus
  17. ^ London Bus Route 75 - Croydon Town Centre - Selhurst - Anerley - Penge - Newlands Park - Sydenham - Mayow Road - Woolstone Road - Catford - Lewisham, Shopping Centre (Route History)
  18. ^ "Bus Route N68". Transport for London. Retrieved 12 April 2007.
  19. ^ "Good news for South London as £3.5BN Thameslink project clears major hurdle" (Press release). 18 October 2006. Archived from the original on 28 September 2007. Retrieved 12 April 2007.
  20. ^ "The new timetable will radically change Croydon's rail services - The Croydon Citizen". The Croydon Citizen. 11 April 2018. Retrieved 15 July 2018.
  21. ^ "Train Timetables | Train Times & Timetables | Thameslink". Retrieved 15 July 2018.
  22. ^ Duncan, Alistair (2009). Close to Holmes: A Look at the Connections Between Historical London, Sherlock Holmes and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. London: MX Publishing. ISBN 1-904312-50-0.

External links

  • Train times and station information for Norwood Junction railway station from National Rail
Preceding station National Rail National Rail Following station
Anerley or Sydenham   Southern
Brighton Main Line
  East Croydon
Crystal Palace   Southern
London Victoria to West Croydon via Crystal Palace
  West Croydon
London Bridge   Southern
London Bridge to Epsom
Gatwick Airport (via Redhill)
  West Croydon
East Croydon
Preceding station   Overground roundel (no text).svg National Rail logo.svg London Overground   Following station
East London Line
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