Chelsea and Fulham railway station
The West London Line passing through Fulham at the site of the former station
Location of Chelsea & Fulham in Greater London
|Local authority||Hammersmith and Fulham|
|Original company||West London Railway|
|Pre-grouping||West London Railway|
|Post-grouping||West London Railway|
|2 March 1863||Station opened as Chelsea|
|25 November 1902||Renamed Chelsea & Fulham|
|21 October 1940||Closed after WWII bombing|
| London Transport portal
UK Railways portalCoordinates:
Chelsea and Fulham railway station is a former railway station in Walham Green, London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, London, in the United Kingdom. It was situated between the King's Road and the Fulham Road, on the present-day West London Line. The station was opened in 1863 as Chelsea railway station by the West London Extension Railway and closed on 21 October 1940 after Second World War bomb damage.
Chelsea was one of the original stations on the West London Extension Railway and opened at the same time as the railway line on 2 March 1863. Originally named just Chelsea, it was located in a cutting between two road bridges over Fulham Road and the King's Road with entrances on both sides. In 1882 a new booking office and subsequently a footbridge added at the south end of the station. The station was renamed Chelsea & Fulham on 25 November 1902.
The station became very popular when Chelsea Football Club came into existence in 1905 and began playing at the Stamford Bridge Athletic Ground, and portable booking offices had to be used to cope with the demand on match days, when special football trains were chartered to bring fans to the ground. In 1930 the platforms were lengthened to cope with this extra demand. According to the sports history writer Tim Harris, the railway station was the inspiration for naming the football club; the entrepreneur and founder of the club Gus Mears had considered Stamford Bridge FC, Kensington FC and London FC, but chose Chelsea FC, because of its proximity to Chelsea and Fulham station - and in spite of the stadium not being located in Chelsea proper.
After a period of heavy passenger usage, it began to dwindle in popularity as competition from the new deep-level Underground railways and electric tramways took away custom by offering more direct routes into central London. With the onset of World War II, the West London Railway was badly hit in some parts by enemy action during the Blitz and the demise of the line was hastened by wartime bombing; in 1940, LMS steam trains from Clapham Junction to Kensington ceased on 20 October and Willesden-Edgware Road electric services ceased on 20 October. Other stations on the line such as St. Quintin Park and Wormwood Scrubs were more severely damaged than Chelsea and Fulham, and although the damage to Chelsea and Fulham station was minimal, it never reopened. The station buildings remained intact after World War II and were used by railway maintenance staff, although the footbridge and southbound platform building were removed. In the mid-1950s the main station building was demolished.
The derelict station is described in some detail by the author James Kelso in his reminiscences of wartime Fulham, in which he refers to the H-shaped building consisting of "two wings... joined in the middle by a set-back booking hall with a canopied forecourt", the enclosure of the disused premises in corrugated iron and barbed wire after the air raids, and the passage of troop trains hauled by 2-6-0 locomotives.
The site today
Today the site of the old station is occupied by a block of flats. Parts of the northbound platform riser walls and some platform nosings remain.
The West London Line continued in use mainly as a freight route until its reopening as a passenger line under British Rail. Since the revival of the line as part of the London Overground network, service frequencies on the line have increased, and although Chelsea and Fulham station was not re-opened, a new Imperial Wharf station opened in 2009 approximately 600 metres (2,000 ft) further south, close to Chelsea Harbour.
|Preceding station||Disused railways||Following station|
|Battersea||West London Line||West Brompton|
- London's Abandoned Stations - Chelsea & Fulham
- Chelsea & Fulham, SubBrit disused stations projects
- The parish of Chelsea: Communications: Railways, A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 12: Chelsea (2004), pp. 2–13. (Victoria County History series).
- "Chelsea & Fulham". Disused Stations. Subterranea Britannica. Retrieved 31 July 2013.
- Harris, Tim (2009). "Gus Mears's Scottish Terrier". Players: 250 Men, Women and Animals Who Created Modern Sport. Random House. ISBN 1409086917.
- Kelso, James (2006). The Rising Son: The Story of a Boy a Pub a War and a Remarkable Woman. AuthorHouse. ISBN 9781467016377.