Haywards Heath railway station

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Haywards Heath National Rail
Haywards Heath station from car park.jpg
Place Haywards Heath
Local authority District of Mid Sussex
Grid reference TQ330245
Station code HHE
Managed by Southern
Number of platforms 4
DfT category B
Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2011/12 Increase 4.271 million
2012/13 Increase 4.339 million
2013/14 Increase 4.455 million
2014/15 Increase 4.471 million
2015/16 Increase 4.492 million
12 July 1841 Opened (terminus)
21 September 1841 Opened (through)
1883 [1] Ardingly branch opened
1933 Electrification and Rebuilt
28 October 1963 [1] Ardingly branch closed
National RailUK 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 and Road statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.
170433 at Edinburgh Waverley.JPG UK Railways portal

Haywards Heath railway station is on the Brighton Main Line in England, serving the town of Haywards Heath, West Sussex. It is 37 miles 59 chains (60.7 km) down-line from London Victoria and is situated between Balcombe and Wivelsfield on the main line. It is managed by Southern.

Trains calling at Haywards Heath are operated by Southern and Thameslink. Until 2008 a small number of CrossCountry services also stopped here.[2]


Northbound view of platform 2 in 2008
Northbound view of the station in 2008
A former Connex South Central train at Haywards Heath station in 2002

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 towards Brighton. The remainder of the line to Brighton opened shortly after on 21 September of the same year. The original station was designed by the architect David Mocatta and included a central passing line, and an awning over the platform.[3] 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.[4] There was an intermediate station at Ardingly.[1] 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.[5] 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.[1]

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 Bridge to Brighton express.[6] 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.

In 2014, work began on a new "Station Quarter", which would include construction of a new multi-storey car park and footbridge to service the platforms, a new Waitrose supermarket on site and a regeneration of the existing station buildings. The work is scheduled for completion in 2017.[7]


The platform layout is:

National Rail logo.svg National Rail towards Eastbourne,[a] Littlehampton[a] and Ore[a] Arrow right.svg
Platform 1
Island platform
Platform 2
National Rail logo.svg National Rail towards Brighton, Ore,[b] Littlehampton[b] and Portsmouth[b] Arrow right.svg
National Rail logo.svg National Rail towards London Victoria,[b] London Bridge, St Pancras Intl[c] and Bedford[c] Arrow left.svg
Platform 3
Island platform
Platform 4
National Rail logo.svg National Rail towards London Victoria, London Bridge,[a] St Pancras Intl[c] and Bedford[c] Arrow left.svg


  1. ^ a b c d Towards this station Monday–Saturday only
  2. ^ a b c d Towards this station on Sunday only
  3. ^ a b c d Towards this station Monday–Friday only


The typical Monday-Saturday service from the station is:


On Sundays the frequency of services to London Victoria increases to 3 trains per hour and the service to London Bridge does not operate.


Trains to Littlehampton and to Eastbourne (or Ore) run together between London and Haywards Heath, where they divide.

On Sundays there are 3tph to Brighton, 1tph to Ore and 1tph to Portsmouth Harbour and Littlehampton (train divides at Worthing). Trains to Ore and to Portsmouth and Littlehampton run separately.

Freight sidings[edit]

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[edit]

Haywards Heath tunnel, southbound view from the station

Just south of the station there is a 249-yard (228.6 m) tunnel through Folly Hill. There 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.[8] 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.[9]


  1. ^ a b c d Ardingly railway station on Disused-Stations.org.uk - Nick Catford - Accessed 9 September 2007
  2. ^ "Crosscountry Trains FAQ - Timetable Change". Archived from the original on 2007-12-17. Retrieved 2008-01-13. 
  3. ^ Turner, John Howard (1977). The London Brighton and South Coast Railway 1 Origins and Formation. Batsford. ISBN 0-7134-0275-X.  pp.126-38.
  4. ^ Turner, John Howard (1979). The London Brighton and South Coast Railway 3 Completion and Maturity. Batsford. ISBN 0-7134-1389-1.  pp.23-34.
  5. ^ Mitchell, Vic and Smith, Keith (1986). Southern Main Lines - Three Bridges to Brighton. Middleton Press. ISBN 0-906520-35-5
  6. ^ Ellis, C. Hamilton (1970). The London Brighton and South Coast Railway. Ian Allan. pp. 98–9. 
  7. ^ http://www.southernrailway.com/your-journey/station-information/haywards-heath-station-regeneration/
  8. ^ Gray, Adrian (1978). The London to Brighton Line 1841-1977. Oakwood Press. p. 119. 
  9. ^ Turner, John Howard (1977). The London Brighton and South Coast Railway 1 Origins and Formation. Batsford. ISBN 0-7134-0275-X.  p.142.

External links[edit]

Preceding station National Rail National Rail Following station
Gatwick Airport   Southern
Mainline West
  Burgess Hill
or Hove
Gatwick Airport   Southern
Mainline East
or Plumpton
or Lewes
Balcombe   Southern
Brighton Main Line
Balcombe   Thameslink
Gatwick Airport   Southern
Gatwick Express
Peak hours only
Disused railways
Line and station closed
  London, Brighton and South Coast Railway
Lewes and East Grinstead Railway

Coordinates: 51°00′18″N 0°06′18″W / 51.005°N 0.105°W / 51.005; -0.105