Clapham Junction railway station
South West (Brighton Yard) entrance
Location of Clapham Junction in Greater London
|Local authority||London Borough of Wandsworth|
|Managed by||South West Trains|
|Number of platforms||17|
|Cycle parking||Yes - external|
|Toilet facilities||Yes - behind gateline|
|National Rail annual entry and exit|
|— interchange||16.355 million|
|— interchange||20.520 million|
|— interchange||20.667 million|
|— interchange||21.540 million|
|— interchange||26.847 million|
|— interchange||26.847 million|
|2 March 1863||Opened|
|Lists of stations|
| London Transport portal
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Clapham Junction railway station (//) is a major railway station and transport hub near St John's Hill in the south-west of Battersea in the London Borough of Wandsworth. Although it is in Battersea, the area around the station is commonly identified as Clapham Junction.
Many routes from London's two busiest termini, London Waterloo and London Victoria, funnel through the station making it one of the busiest in Europe by number of trains using it, more than one hundred an hour outside peak periods. The station is also the busiest National Rail station for interchanges between services.
Before the railway came the area was rural and specialised in growing lavender; Lavender Hill is to the east of the station. The coach road from London to Guildford ran slightly south of the future station site, past The Falcon public house at the crossroads in the valley between St. John's Hill and Lavender Hill.
On 21 May 1838 the London and Southampton Railway, which became the London and South Western Railway (L&SWR) that day, opened its line from Nine Elms as far as Woking. That was the first railway through the area but it had no station at the present site.
The second line, initially from Nine Elms to Richmond, opened on 27 July 1846. Nine Elms was replaced in 1848 as the terminus by Waterloo Bridge station, now Waterloo. The line to Victoria opened by 1860. Clapham Junction opened on 2 March 1863, a joint venture of the L&SWR, the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway (LB&SCR) and the West London Extension Railway (WLER) as an interchange station for their lines.
When the station was built Battersea was regarded as a poor district while Clapham, a mile east, was more fashionable. The railway companies, to attract a middle- and upper-class clientele, adopted the grander of the two names, leading to a long-lasting misunderstanding that the station is in Clapham. A local action group, Love Battersea, was belatedly formed in 2005 to reduce the misapprehension.
Additional station buildings were erected in 1874 and 1876.
The station brought development to the surrounding area, the population of which rose from 6,000 in 1840 to 168,000 by 1910.
|Railways around Clapham Junction|
Each day about 2,000 trains, most stopping, pass through the station, more than through any other station in Europe. At peak times 180 trains per hour pass through of which 117 stop. It is not the busiest station by number of passengers, most of whom (about 430,000 on a weekday, of which 135,000 are at rush hours) pass through. Interchanges make some 40% of the activity and on that basis too it is the busiest station in the UK.
In 2011, the station had three entrances, all with staffed ticket offices, though only the south-east entrance is open 24 hours a day. The most heavily used of the three, this leads from St John's Hill via a small indoor shopping centre, into a subway some 15 ft (4.6 m) wide that connects to the eastern ends of all platforms.
The north entrance, which has restricted opening hours, leads from Grant Road to the same subway. The subway is crowded during rush hours, with the ticket barriers at the ends being pinch points.
The south-west entrance, also known as the Brighton Yard entrance, as the buildings still bear signage for the London Brighton and South Coast Railway, is of a more traditional appearance, with a Victorian station building set at the back of a large forecourt. This entrance leads to a very wide covered footbridge, which joins the western ends of all platforms. This entrance includes cycle parking and a taxi rank. It was re-opened in May 2011, as part of a wider programme of access improvements which included installing lifts to the platforms.
There are public and disabled toilets at the south-west entrance. There are refreshment kiosks in the subway, on the footbridge and on some platforms; and a small shopping centre, including a small branch of Sainsbury's supermarket, in the south-east entrance.
British Transport Police maintain a neighbourhood policing presence, whereas the Metropolitan Police Service and the part-Transport For London funded Safer Transport Command provides a police presence in the area outside of the station.
|This section needs additional citations for verification. (January 2010)|
The station has no London Underground service, but in 2007 the alignment of the proposed Crossrail 2 'Chelsea-Hackney line' possibly reaching Clapham Junction was safeguarded. The possibility of a further 'phase two' extension to the Northern line Battersea extension has also been discussed, and provision will be made for a future onward connection from the Battersea terminus to Clapham Junction railway station by reserving a path running beneath Battersea Park.
A planning application from Metro Shopping Fund for a £39.5 million project was withdrawn shortly before Wandsworth Planning Committee was to consider it on 20 May 2009. The plan included a new entrance on St John's Hill, straightened and extended platforms 15-17, more ticketing facilities, step-free access to all platforms by 2011, a new step-free entrance on Grant Road, and a new 'high street' from St John's Hill to Falcon Road with retail space and an arthouse cinema. To pay for the rail improvements there would have been two 42-storey residential buildings above the station.
The station is overcrowded during rush hours and improvement is needed. In 2009 a mystery shopper assessment of fabric and environment listed it in the ten worst category B interchange stations. It is to share £50 million funding for improvements. It was referenced in the review as "upgrade interchange: new entrances & more retail".
Heathrow Airtrack was a proposed rail link from Heathrow Airport south to the Staines to Windsor Line and London Waterloo, calling at Clapham Junction, and to Reading and to Guildford. Clapham Junction would be an interchange for passengers changing between Heathrow and Gatwick Airports. If permission had been granted, work was forecast to begin in 2010, with services operating by 2014. As of April 2011[update], the project has been shelved.
Clapham rail disaster
On the morning of 12 December 1988 two collisions involving three commuter trains occurred slightly south-west of the station. Thirty-five people died and more than 100 were injured.
Typical off-peak service of more than 120 trains an hour comprises:
- 35 to London Waterloo
- 22 to London Victoria
- 1 to Alton
- 1 to Basingstoke (slow)
- 2 to Brighton (express)
- 1 to Brighton (slow)
- 2 to Caterham via Norbury
- 2 to Chessington South
- 1 to Dorking via Sutton
- 2 to Dorking via Wimbledon
- 2 to East Grinstead
- 1 to Epsom Downs
- 2 to Epsom via Hackbridge
- 1 to Epsom via Norbury
- 1 to Exeter St Davids via Salisbury
- 2 to Guildford via Cobham & Stoke d'Abernon
- 2 to Guildford via Epsom
- 2 to Hampton Court
- 1 to Haslemere
- 4 to Highbury & Islington via Denmark Hill
- 1 to Horsham via Sutton and Dorking
- 1 to Littlehampton and Eastbourne, dividing at Haywards Heath
- 2 to London Bridge via Crystal Palace
- 2 to London Waterloo by the Hounslow Loop via Brentford, Hounslow and Richmond
- 2 to London Waterloo by the Hounslow Loop via Richmond, Hounslow and Brentford
- 2 to London Waterloo by the Kingston Loop via Wimbledon, Kingston and Richmond
- 2 to London Waterloo by the Kingston Loop via Richmond, Kingston and Wimbledon
- 1 to Milton Keynes Central via Kensington Olympia and Watford Junction
- 1 to Ore and Littlehampton, dividing at Haywards Heath
- 1 to Poole
- 1 to Portsmouth and Southsea via Haslemere
- 1 to Portsmouth Harbour and Bognor Regis, dividing at Horsham
- 2 to Reading
- 2 to Shepperton via Wimbledon
- 1 to Southampton Central and Bognor Regis, dividing at Horsham
- 1 to South Croydon via Norbury
- 2 to Sutton via Norbury
- 2 to Weybridge via Brentford, Hounslow and Staines
- 1 to Weymouth
- 4 to Willesden Junction, of which 2 continue to Stratford
- 2 to Windsor & Eton Riverside
- 2 to Woking (slow)
The station has 17 platforms, 1 to 17. The original platform 1 (now 0) is disused, and platform 2 has been split into two (1 and 2). Platforms 1-6, the northern group, lie in a west-southwesterly direction; platforms 7-17, the southern group, in a southwesterly direction. Sidings leading into railway sheds at the west of the station separate the two groups.
The station is named Clapham Junction because it is at the junction of several rail lines. The name is not given to any rail junction near the station which, without end-on intercompany junctions, are:
- Falcon Junction at the south end of the station, where the West London Line (WLL) joins the Brighton Slow Lines
- Ludgate Junction at the eastern end of the Windsor Line platforms to the WLL
- Latchmere SW Junction connecting the WLL to the Windsor lines at Ludgate Junction.
- Latchmere Main Junction connecting the WLL to the Brighton Line at Falcon Junction.
- West London Extension Junction and Junction for Waterloo, relaid for Eurostar empty stock moves from the Windsor Lines to the WLL.
- Pouparts Junction where the low-level and high-level approaches to Victoria split.
- National Rail: Clapham Junction Accessed 7 August 2011
- "Station usage estimates". Rail statistics. Office of Rail Regulation. Please note: Some methodology may vary year on year.
- Pronunciation given by Oxford Learners' Dictionaries
- Great British Railway Journeys[unreliable source?] (Series 4, Episode 7): "Woking to Clapham Junction" BBC2, UK TV Channel, 15 January 2013
- Office of Rail Regulation, Station Usage Estimates 2011-12
- The west London Railway and the W.L.E.R, H.V.Borley & R.W.Kidner, 1981 reprint, The Oakwood Press, Usk Monmouthshire. ISBN 0-85361-174-2
- Love Battersea
- "Great British Railway Journeys (Series 4, Episode 7): Woking to Clapham Junction" BBC2, UK TV Channel, 15/01/13
- Delta Rail, 2008-09 station usage report, Office of the Rail Regulation website
- Route Plans 2007 - Route 3 - South West Mainline published by Network Rail, 2007 - See page 20
- British Transport Police, London South Area
- Outer London rail orbital opens for passengers
- Clapham Junction next for Northern Line says London Assembly member (From Wandsworth Guardian)
- "£50m revamp for 'worst stations'". BBC News. 17 November 2009. Retrieved 17 November 2009.
- Chris Green & Sir Peter Hall, Better Rail Stations, November 2009
- "Heathrow Airtrack Waterloo rail link shelved by BAA". BBC News London. 11 April 2011. Retrieved 29 December 2011.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Clapham Junction railway station.|
- Network Rail Details
- Short History of Clapham Junction prepared by Wandsworth Council, and from which much of the information in the history section of this entry is sourced
- 1988: 35 dead in Clapham rail collision BBC News report on the 1988 train collisions
- Local news website
- Yes, Clapham Junction is that bad. The sun shone, but the roof still leaks, Zoe Williams, The Guardian 18 November 2009
- Winchester, Clarence, ed. (4 October 1935), "Clapham Junction", Railway Wonders of the World, pp. 1129–1132, description of the station in the 1930s