Haywards Heath railway station
|Local authority||Mid Sussex, West Sussex|
|Number of platforms||4|
|Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
|Annual rail passenger usage*|
|12 July 1841||Opened (terminus)|
|21 September 1841||Opened (through)|
|1883 ||Ardingly branch opened|
|1933||Electrification and Rebuilt|
|28 October 1963 ||Ardingly branch closed|
|National Rail – UK railway stations|
|* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Haywards Heath from Office of Rail Regulation statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.|
|UK Railways portal|
Haywards Heath railway station serves Haywards Heath in West Sussex, England. It is on the Brighton Main Line and Thameslink 13 miles (21 km) north of Brighton, and train services are primarily provided by Southern and Thameslink. Until December 2008 a small number of CrossCountry services also stopped here.
The London and Brighton Railway opened its main line from a junction with the London and Croydon Railway at Norwood as far as Haywards Heath on 12 July 1841, A coach service was provided to take passengers on the remainder of their journey. The remaining line to Brighton followed on 21 September 1841. The original station was designed by the architect David Mocatta and included a central passing line, and an awning over the platform. The station retained its importance as a junction following the construction of the line to Lewes from Keymer 3 miles (4.8 km) to the south. From 1846 the railway became the London Brighton and South Coast Railway.
On 3 September 1883 the Lewes and East Grinstead Railway opened a branch line from Copyhold Junction, just north of the station, to Horsted Keynes railway station on their existing line between those towns. There was an intermediate station at Ardingly. As a result Haywards Heath station was enlarged by the provision of two bay platforms. As soon as the line was opened, the Lewes and East Grinstead Railway merged with the London Brighton and South Coast Railway, but until 1912, there was no physical connection between the tracks of the branch line and those of the main line; they ran parallel all the way to Haywards Heath station. Once the connection was made, it provided a relief route for the congested Brighton main line from Croydon to Brighton via Oxted East Grinstead and Haywards Heath. This double-track branch line was closed to passengers on 28 October 1963, but a single-track section remains to serve a freight and aggregates terminal at Ardingly.
Haywards Heath station was the site of the first use of the practice of "slipping" coaches from the rear of express trains, at intermediate junctions, for onward transmission to smaller stations. The earliest recorded example was in February 1858, when coaches for Hastings were slipped from a London-Brighton express. This practice was a regular feature at the station until the electrification of the line during 1932/3. The station and surrounding structures such as bridges were also totally rebuilt at this time. A single signal box, alongside Platform 4 (the westernmost platform face), replaced the former North and South boxes.
The platform layout is:
|National Rail towards Eastbourne,[a] Littlehampton[a] and Ore[a]|
|National Rail towards Brighton, Ore,[b] Littlehampton[b] and Portsmouth[b]|
|National Rail towards London Victoria,[b] London Bridge, St Pancras Intl[c] and Bedford[c]|
|National Rail towards London Victoria, London Bridge[a], St Pancras Intl[c] and Bedford[c]|
- Towards this station Monday–Saturday only
- Towards this station on Sunday only
- Towards this station Monday–Friday only
The typical service from the station is:
Weekdays and Weekends
- 2tph (trains per hour) to London Victoria
- 4tph to Bedford via London Bridge and St Pancras International
- 4tph to Brighton
- 2tph to Eastbourne, one of which continues to Ore
- 2tph to Littlehampton via Hove and Worthing
The station has a ticket office, toilets and various retail outlets, some of which offer refreshments.
The freight sidings at Haywards Heath were constructed during the First World War when the railway received a rapid growth in its freight traffic as a result of munitions trains travelling to Newhaven. They were intended to enable passenger trains to overtake slower freight traffic.
Folly Hill tunnel
Just south of the station there is a 249-yard (228.6 m) tunnel through Folly Hill. It was an accident during the construction of this tunnel on 2 January 1841, causing a roof fall and killing three men, which prevented the railway from opening through to Brighton in the July. Until the 1970s this tunnel suffered from an excess of water falling from the ground above, and in the 1840s it had to be lined with galvanised iron sheeting to prevent the water from falling on the third class passengers in open carriages.
|Preceding station||National Rail||Following station|
Brighton Main Line
(Burgess Hill on Sundays)
Peak Times Only
Line and station closed
|London, Brighton and South Coast Railway
Lewes and East Grinstead Railway
Former train companies
- CrossCountry - Ceased services in December 2008.
- Ardingly railway station on Disused-Stations.org.uk - Nick Catford - Accessed 9 September 2007
- "Crosscountry Trains FAQ - Timetable Change". Archived from the original on 2007-12-17. Retrieved 2008-01-13.
- Turner, John Howard (1977). The London Brighton and South Coast Railway 1 Origins and Formation. Batsford. ISBN 0-7134-0275-X. pp.126-38.
- Turner, John Howard (1979). The London Brighton and South Coast Railway 3 Completion and Maturity. Batsford. ISBN 0-7134-1389-1. pp.23-34.
- Mitchell, Vic and Smith, Keith (1986). Southern Main Lines - Three Bridges to Brighton. Middleton Press. ISBN 0-906520-35-5
- Ellis, C. Hamilton (1970). The London Brighton and South Coast Railway. Ian Allan. pp. 98–9.
- Gray, Adrian (1978). The London to Brighton Line 1841-1977. Oakwood Press. p. 119.
- Turner, John Howard (1977). The London Brighton and South Coast Railway 1 Origins and Formation. Batsford. ISBN 0-7134-0275-X. p.142.