Camberwell railway station (England)

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Camberwell Railway Station, Camberwell Station Road.jpg
The former station building in 2016
Local authorityLambeth
Number of platforms4[1]
Railway companies
Original companyLondon, Chatham and Dover Railway
Key dates
6 October 1862Opened
3 April 1916Closed to passengers
18 April 1964Closed to all traffic
Other information
Underground sign at Westminster.jpg London transport portal

Camberwell is a closed railway station in Camberwell, South London, England. It opened in 1862 but was closed to passengers in 1916 and closed to all traffic in 1964. The possibility of the station's re-opening has been raised in recent years.

Opening and closure[edit]

Camberwell station was opened on 6 October 1862 by the London, Chatham and Dover Railway (LC&DR) as part of the company's ambitious "City Branch" from Herne Hill to Blackfriars. It was constructed on a viaduct with entry at street level. On 1 May 1863 the name was changed to Camberwell New Road. The station initially had two facing platforms, but was expanded to four lines with the addition of a central island lines with the additional lines opening on 1 January 1866. The signal box built at the northern end of the island in the late 1890s is Grade II listed.

In October 1908, following its 1899 change of management to the merged South Eastern and Chatham Railway, its name reverted to Camberwell. As with many other London stations during World War I, wartime restraints forced it to close to passenger traffic on 3 April 1916. Before the outbreak of war, the station had suffered dwindling passenger usage following the introduction of electric tram services in the area. It remained in use for goods traffic until 18 April 1964.[2]

Modern use[edit]

Today, the original station building located on the west side of Camberwell Station Road is in converted use as a mechanic's garage. At track level, nothing of the two side platforms remain but small fragments of the degraded island platform are still visible. The goods yard is now occupied by a residential development.

Camberwell station was mentioned in the 1956 film Private's Progress as a good place to get off a train and avoid paying a fare. It was made to sound like a working station, despite the fact that it had closed nearly 40 years before the film was set.

Possible re-opening[edit]

The station was considered by British Rail for reopening as part of the Thameslink route in the 1980s, along with Southwark Park and Walworth Road.[3]

In 2002, a study undertaken by a rail expert, Nick Alexander, concluded that a "station located at the old Camberwell station site should be considered if the option were to be considered in future".

In June 2014, Transport for London (TfL) commissioned Steer Davies Gleave to undertake a feasibility study to consider the possibility of re-opening Camberwell and Walworth railway stations on the line where trains run non-stop between Loughborough Junction or Denmark Hill and Elephant & Castle. The study concluded that a re-opened Camberwell station could cater for 8- or 12-car trains, but that complete reconstruction might be required. The cost of a 12-car station would be £27.5m (£20.7m cheaper than Walworth). 40% of the cost was the cost of rebuilding four bridges.[4]

In December 2015, TfL announced that its proposed Bakerloo line extension would follow a route via the Old Kent Road to Lewisham, rather than through a new underground station in Camberwell and Peckham to the same destination.[5] In March 2016, it was reported that Mayor of London Boris Johnson understood the Bakerloo line extension did not solve Camberwell's poor rail connectivity, adding that TfL were investigating the re-opening of Camberwell railway station in consultation with stakeholders, including the London Borough of Southwark and the London Borough of Lambeth, and that initial feasibility studies indicate it would be possible to construct a modern station on the site if timetables could be modified to accommodate Camberwell as an additional stop.[6][7]

In June 2017, Steer Davies Gleave produced a TfL-commissioned report discussing the possibility of the station's re-opening in 2026 in three future land use densities across three levels of operational use (four 8-car trains per hour, six 8-car trains per hour and six 12-car trains per hour) to give a total of nine scenarios. It estimated the capital cost of an 8-car station at £36.74m and a 12-car station at £38.50m. Its transport user analysis concluded that no scenario produced a net benefit, because Camberwell station users' journey time benefit would be more than offset by those travelling into London from further afield. It also concluded the wider economic impact would be negative and that the increase to land value in the area would be modest.[8] SDG's journey time benefit analysis was based on a Mott MacDonald report that reached similar conclusions, but that the journey time cost would be unlikely to be noticed by users, and that the overall impact of the opening of the station would be minimal.[9]

The Labour Party included a promise to campaign for the station's re-opening in its manifesto ahead of the 2018 Southwark London Borough Council election held in May.[10]

In September 2018, TfL published a strategic business case to explore the station's reinstatement. It acknowledged the area's poor transport connectivity and that the reopening of the National Rail station was the best of eight options examined. While it concluded the local area would benefit from the station's re-opening, its conclusions were similar to Steer Davies Gleave's 2017 report.[11]

In July 2020, the station was included in a shortlist of stations under consideration for reopening as part of the third round of the New Stations Fund scheme.[12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ London Railway Atlas (4th ed.). p. 39.[full citation needed]
  2. ^ "Camberwell Station". Subterranea Britannica. 26 February 2020.
  3. ^ Carter, Rita (1 July 1985). Thames News. Thames Television.
  4. ^ Gleave, Steer Davies (18 July 2014). South London Stations Report (Camberwell Stations) (Report).
  5. ^ "Bakerloo line extension to improve transport links in south London by 2030" (Press release). Transport for London. 17 December 2015.
  6. ^ "Abandoned Camberwell Station could be reopened after 100 years to solve 'travel misery'". 17 April 2017.
  7. ^ "TfL 'investigating' reopening of Camberwell disused station". 7 March 2016. Archived from the original (Archived copy) on 14 April 2016. Retrieved 30 March 2016.
  8. ^ Gleave, Steer Davies (6 June 2017). Camberwell Station Re-instatement Economic Appraisal (Report).
  9. ^ MacDonald, Mott (6 September 2017). Camberwell Station Reopening (Report).
  10. ^ Southwark Labor. "Labor Manifesto 2018" (PDF).
  11. ^ "Camberwell station business case". Transport for London. Retrieved 14 January 2019.
  12. ^ "Beeching reversal: Fifty disused rail lines on track to reopen". The Times. 1 July 2020. Retrieved 1 July 2020.

External links[edit]

Preceding station   Disused railways   Following station
Walworth Road
Line open, station closed
  London, Chatham
& Dover Railway

City Branch
  Loughborough Junction
Line and station open

Coordinates: 51°28′25″N 0°05′52″W / 51.4736°N 0.0977°W / 51.4736; -0.0977