Greenwich Park railway station

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Greenwich Park, from which the station took its name

Greenwich Park railway station (Greenwich until 1900) in London was opened in 1888 by the London, Chatham and Dover Railway. It was intended to rival the South Eastern Railway's Greenwich railway station which had opened over 50 years earlier. It was the terminus of the Greenwich Park branch from Nunhead.[1]

Despite being on a prime location (on Stockwell Street) it failed to attract sufficient passengers, possibly because the rival Greenwich station offered a shorter journey into central London. Due to wartime economies it closed in 1917. The section between Nunhead and Lewisham Road was reopened in 1929 by the Southern Railway with a new connecting spur to Lewisham, providing another route into central London.[2] The section between Lewisham Road and Greenwich Park was officially abandoned in 1929.

After 1929 the station was demolished and the cutting occupied by the trackbed and platforms was infilled. The site is occupied by a hotel and its car park. Nothing remains of the railway north-east of Lewisham Road station except for a short section of embankment adjacent to St Johns station.

Opening[edit]

The line from Nunhead terminated initially at Blackheath Hill (opened 1871) and in 1881 the LCDR deposited a bill to extend to Greenwich Park. The LCDR chairman explained to shareholders, "We should not have spent £450,000 to get to the bottom of Blackheath Hill. The raison d'etre was to get to the heart of Greenwich. Everybody knows what the Greenwich traffic is; it is an astounding traffic". The station opened on 1 October 1888 and was aligned to join the South Eastern line at a junction east of the existing Greenwich station.

Description[edit]

The station had three curved platforms and an engine release road. The platforms had awnings for more or less their whole length. There were an engine siding and inspection pit behind the signal box, which was at the station throat. The station was below street level in a cutting, as was most of the line from Blackheath Hill. The station building was a generous brick structure with a booking hall, refreshment room and first and second class ladie' rooms leading off it. Stairs led down to the concourse at the head of the platforms.

The stationmaster's house was in Burney Street.

Services[edit]

In January 1899 there was 43 arrivals and 55 departures on a weekday, 21 on a Sunday. Most terminated at Nunhead, but some ran to the City or London Victoria. By 1913 there were 55 arrivals and 43 departures, 11 on a Sunday. Journey time from Nunhead was nine minutes. Through trains to St Paul's (now Blackfriars) took around 30 minutes.

It is likely that most trains were formed of four-wheel carriages headed by a D class 0-4-2T engine. In 1913 a P class 0-6-0T with a bogie coach at each end appeared on the branch, and this ran the last passenger train, on 31 December 1916. Photographs show P class no 325, D class no 89 Hecate and coaching set 271 worked the line at some point.

After closure[edit]

In 1926 the London & Home Counties Traffic Advisory Committee accepted the Southern Railway's view that the branch was closed permanently. The site was cleared possibly just before the branch was severed in 1929 at Lewisham Rd and diverted to Lewisham: a 1928 picture of Blackheath Hill shows rails in situ, heavily overgrown. The station building survived until the 1960s having been used as a billiard hall and builder's offices. Portions of bridge wall remain in Burney Street and Peton Place. A short section of embankment survives between Brookmill Road and the South Eastern Main line through St Johns station.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Greenwich Park Station". Subterranea Britannica. Archived from the original on 2007-09-11. 
  2. ^ "Greenwich Park railway station". London's Abandoned Tube Stations. Archived from the original on 2004-10-10. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Mitchell, Victor E.; Smith, Keith (1990). Holborn Viaduct to Lewisham. London Suburban Railways. Midhurst: Middleton Press. ISBN 0-906520-81-9. 
  • Jackson, Alan A (1999). London's Local Railways. ISBN 1-85414-209-7. 
Preceding station Disused railways Following station
Blackheath Hill
Line and station closed
  London, Chatham
& Dover Railway

Greenwich Park branch
  Terminus

Coordinates: 51°28′47″N 0°00′33″W / 51.4798°N 0.0092°W / 51.4798; -0.0092