Kemp Town railway station

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Kemp Town (closed)
Kemptown Station 2.jpg
A train at the station, viewed from the north
Place Kemptown
Area Brighton & Hove, East Sussex
Grid reference TQ321041
Pre-grouping London, Brighton and South Coast Railway
Post-grouping Southern Railway
Southern Region of British Railways
Platforms 1
1869 Station opened
1933 Station closed to passengers
June 1971 Station closed to freight
26 June 1971 Special train service ran
Disused railway stations in the United Kingdom
Closed railway stations in Britain
UK Railways portal

Kemp Town railway station, sometimes referred to as Kemptown railway station, was a terminus station in Kemptown, Brighton (now part of the city of Brighton and Hove), East Sussex, England, on a (now closed) branch line which terminated at Kemp Town station. This line branched off the East Coastway Line a short distance from the Ditchling Road tunnel, between London Road and Moulsecoomb stations. The branch line and all its stations are no longer extant.


The station was located in the Kemptown area of the town, which derives its name from Kemp Town, a 19th-century housing development in the east of the area, approximately two miles to the east of the centre of Brighton.[1]

Because of rivalries between the London Brighton and South Coast Railway (LB&SCR) and London, Chatham and Dover Railway, the LB&SCR decided in 1869 to build a short but expensive branch line from Brighton railway station to Kemptown, chiefly as a blocking move to prevent another line being laid into the town. The branch line with its costly viaducts and tunnel never paid its way, being twice as long as the equivalent journey by road.

Due to WWI the LB&SCR closed the line to passenger traffic in 1917, but reinstated the services in 1919. The branch line and its remaining stations finally closed to passenger traffic in 1933 and to freight in 1971, having been used as a "Brighton East" freight depot to help reduce the work of the main depot sited near the main Brighton Station.[2] The final use of the line was made on 26 June 1971 when a special passenger train service operated at hourly intervals during the daytime to give the public a last opportunity to travel over it.

Kemp Town Railway Branch Line
(from Brighton)
East Coastway Line
To Brighton Station
London Road
Ditchling Road Tunnel
To Moulsecoomb
Lewes Road Stationclosed
Lewes Rd. viaduct
Hartington Rd. viaduct
Hartington Road Haltclosed
Kemptown Tunnel1024yds
Kemp Town Stationclosed

Hartington Road Halt operated for only five years, being opened on 1 January 1906 and closing April 1911.[3]

World War II[edit]

Between October 1941 and May 1944, during World War II, the tunnel to Kemp Town station was used as an overnight air raid shelter for electric multiple unit stock even though it meant using a steam locomotive to move them, the branch not being electrified.[4]

Accidents and incidents[edit]

Land use since closure[edit]

The site is now the Freshfield Industrial Estate. The portal of the railway tunnel leading through to the site of Hartington Road Halt (now a block of flats), and eventually to the also-lost Lewes Road Station, may still be viewed from the compound of a self-storage warehouse and van rental company. Hartington Road viaduct was demolished in 1973, Lewes Road viaduct following in 1976.[6] The Sainsbury's supermarket, at the point where the latter viaduct approached Lewes Road Station, incorporates tall arches of dark brick in its outer façade, recalling the viaduct. A gap in the Victorian houses of D'Aubigny Road, uphill from the supermarket, indicates where the station once sat.

Former Services
Preceding station Disused railways Following station
Hartington Road   British Railways   Terminus


See also[edit]


  1. ^ History of Kemptown
  2. ^ Brighton to Eastbourne by Vic Mitchell & Keith Smith, Middleton Press 1985 ISBN 0-906520-16-9
  3. ^ Plate 30, Brighton to Eastbourne by Vic Mitchell & Keith Smith, Middleton Press 1985 ISBN 0-906520-16-9
  4. ^ Text above plate 52, Brighton to Eastbourne by Vic Mitchell & Keith Smith, Middleton Press 1985 ISBN 0-906520-16-9
  5. ^ Earnshaw, Alan (1990). Trains in Trouble: Vol. 6. Penryn: Atlantic Books. p. 48. ISBN 0-906899-37-0. 
  6. ^ Kemp Town in Subterranea Britannica


Coordinates: 50°49′18″N 0°07′27″W / 50.82167°N 0.12417°W / 50.82167; -0.12417