Three Bridges railway station
Three Bridges railway station is located in and named after the village of Three Bridges, which is now a district of Crawley, West Sussex, England. It is at the point where the Arun Valley Line diverges from the Brighton Main Line and Thameslink 29 1⁄2 miles (47 km) south of both London Victoria and London Bridge.
The original Italianate style railway station on the East side of the line at Three Bridges was opened in July 1841 by the London and Brighton Railway at a point next to their proposed branch to Horsham. It was designed by the architect David Mocatta, and was one of a series of standardised modular buildings used by the railway. This building was demolished 5 May 1985. Some sources suggest that the station was originally going to be known as "Crawley" but according to The London and Brighton railway guide, of 1841 and the 1846 timetable it was always named "Three Bridges".
The London and Brighton Railway merged with others to become the London Brighton and South Coast Railway in 1846, and the branch to Horsham was opened two years later. Three Bridges was enlarged in July 1855 with the construction of a branch line to East Grinstead and again enlarged in 1906/9 at the time of the quadrupling of the main line. The present ticket office was then built on the west side of the line and new platforms and station buildings for the new lines.
Three Bridges was a key site for the electrification scheme for the main line during 1932-3, housing the Control Room for the scheme, and was one of three locations where current was taken from the national network and transmitted to substations. Electric multiple-unit trains began to run between London and Three Bridges on 17 July 1932. The line was electrified throughout on 30 December. At the same time the practice of "slipping" coaches for East Grinstead at Three Bridges from expresses bound for the south coast was abandoned by the Southern Railway. The line from Three Bridges to Horsham was electrified in May 1938. The single-track branch line to East Grinstead was never electrified. It remained steam operated, principally by push-pull tank locomotives of the M7 and H classes, until the end of steam operation in 1964. It was then briefly operated by diesel-electric multiple units of British Rail Class 205 but closed on 2 January 1967.
There have been four recorded accidents at Three Bridges station, the first two of which were relatively minor and involved no injuries. On 12 April 1858 an engine collided with passenger carriages, and on 18 October 1863 an excursion train hit the buffer stops. Two members of station staff died on 13 December 1868 from an explosion of naphtha in a truck of a goods train. On 28 January 1933 an electric train crashed into the back of a steam freight train waiting at the signal box. The driver of the electric train and the guard of the freight train were both seriously injured.
Locomotive depot and goods yard
An engine shed was opened in July 1848 on a site to the west of the station. This was closed in 1909 to make way for the enlargement of the station and a new depot was established in the fork between the Brighton and Horsham lines in 1911, which remained open until June 1964.
The original small goods yard to the south of the station was greatly extended during the First World War and was used as a marshalling yard for munitions trains heading for the Continent. Trains from the Great Western Railway and the London and North Western Railway were brought here for onward transmission to Newhaven Harbour.
Three Bridges today
The station remains an important junction on the Brighton Main Line throughout Southern Railway (Great Britain) and British Railways ownership. Train services are now provided by Southern and First Capital Connect train operating companies.
Three Bridges rail operating centre
In December 2011 Network Rail announced the commencement of one of two new rail operating centres at Three Bridges, with work expected to be complete by early 2013. The scheme was said to bring 900 jobs to Crawley.
An associated scheme would be the construction of a railway maintenance depot for the new Thameslink trains - to start in early 2012 and a series of improvements to the station and subway
- Booking Hall
- Ticket Office (2 Windows)
- Quick Ticket
- Cash Machine (x2)
- Flower Shop
- Coffee Shop
- Toilets (on platforms)
- Telephones (x2)
- Information Office
- Subway (Linking Platforms)
- Taxi Rank
- Car Park
- Bicycle Storage
- Platform 1: - From Crawley to London via Redhill - Some fast services in the peaks
- Platform 2: - To London via Redhill / Down to Chichester (off-peak) (Up Slow)
- Platform 3: - To Horsham/Bognor/Crawley - Occasionally Brighton (Down Slow)
- Platform 4: - To London - Most First Capital Connect and Fast Victoria services (Up Fast)
- Platform 5: - To Brighton and/or Lewes and/or Littlehampton (Down Fast)
The typical service from the station (Monday to Friday Off-Peak and Saturday) is:
- 4tph (trains per hour) to Haywards Heath and Brighton
- 2tph to London Victoria
- 4tph to Bedford via London Bridge
- 2tph to Horsham
- 2tph to London Bridge via Redhill
- 1tph to Southampton Central and Bognor Regis, running via and splitting at Horsham
- 1tph to Portsmouth Harbour and Bognor Regis, running via and splitting at Horsham
|Preceding station||National Rail||Following station|
Arun Valley Line
West Coastway Line
Brighton Main Line
Sundays & peak Mondays-Saturdays only
|First Capital Connect
Three Bridges to Tunbridge Wells Central Line
- Turner, John Howard (1977). The London Brighton and South Coast Railway 1 Origins and Formation. Batsford. ISBN 0-7134-0275-X. p.128.
- Chi Trevor. "Chi Trevor's Photostream". Retrieved 30 July 2010.
- Sussex Archaeological Society. "Brighton to Three Bridges". Retrieved 18 April 2009.
- "The London and Brighton railway guide, containing a correct description of the railway, historical and topographical notices of the places contiguous to the various stations, 1841"..
- Moody, G.T. (1968). Southern Electric 1909-1968. Ian Allan. p. 53.
- Moody (1968), pp.52-4.
- Kidner, R.W. (1984). Southern Suburban Steam. Oakwood Press. p. 11. ISBN 0-85361-298-6.
- Moody (1968), pp.68.
- Board of Trade Accidents: inspecting officers' reports for 1866-1871. pp.109-112.
- Report on the Accident at Three Bridges on 28th January 1933 at The Railways Archive.
- Bradley, D.L. (1974). The Locomotives of the London Brighton and South Coast Railway. Part 3. Railway Correspondence and Travel Society. p.133.
- Network Rail (12 December 2011). "Bringing 900 jobs to Three Bridges". Retrieved 16 June 2012.
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