Leatherhead railway station
The entrance to Leatherhead railway station
|Local authority||District of Mole Valley|
|Number of platforms||2|
|Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
|Annual rail passenger usage*|
|Original company||London, Brighton and South Coast Railway|
|Pre-grouping||London, Brighton and South Coast Railway|
|1 February 1859||first station opened by E&LR|
|4 March 1867||LBSCR Station opened|
|1885||LSWR station opened|
|1927||LSWR station 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 Leatherhead from Office of Rail and Road statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.|
|UK Railways portal|
The long-standing reason for Leatherhead's two train operating companies is that its station is at the junction of the Victoria or London Bridge-terminating Horsham via Dorking Line with the Waterloo-terminating via Epsom route of the New Guildford Line. Both lines are only briefly combined corollaries to the main lines to major towns however were from 1923 until 1996 in the same ownership.[n 1]
The first station in Leatherhead was the terminus of the short-lived Epsom and Leatherhead Railway Company (ELR), opened on 1 February 1859, a company which was bought by the London and South Western Railway.
In 1867 the somewhat winding route from London by Epsom, Dorking, and Horsham to Portsmouth was completed by the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway Company (LBSCR) rendering redundant its running rights over part of the London and South Western Railway line (that is from Epsom to Leatherhead) by jointly acquiring a section of the line, but with a separate station at 'Letherhead'. Leatherhead being due south-south-west from London, both companies, the LSWR and LBSCR, built their own Leatherhead station a few hundred yards apart from each other in the same way as Epsom to the north. The two stations were very close but south of the original junction and joint section of track which as in the present day leads towards Epsom. The first LSWR station was replaced by one 880 yards (805 m) to the near south-west of the LBSCR station, on 2 February 1885 with the opening of the line to Bookham and Effingham Junction and the Guildford New Line from Surbiton via Cobham, linking Leatherhead and Guildford by rail for the first time. It is now demolished and its spur redirected in 1927 (see below).
Under the grouping of 1923, the LBSCR and LSWR became part of (the) Southern Railway and thereby the rivalry of two stations within a few hundred metres made historic. The duplication of stops in the town centre ended in 1927 when the line from Guildford was diverted to join the LBSCR line to the south of the LBSCR station, entailing a new bridge across the River Mole but releasing some land.
The stationmaster's house, an integral part of the main building, is boarded up along with the building on platform 2. The LSWR station closed in July 1927, (all trains used the LBSCR station from 10 July) and was used as carriage sidings for many years, this use finally ending in the mid 1970s. The old station fell into greater and greater disrepair, and the old line was finally removed in the 1980s. All that remains are part of the steps up from road level to platform level.
The line through Leatherhead was electrified in 1925, third rail services starting between Waterloo and Dorking (North)/Bookham and the Guildford New Line on 12 July.
In the 1930s, it was planned to extend the new line to Chessington to Leatherhead. However, World War II caused this to be put on hold, and a subsequent protection order on Ashtead Common meant that this was never built. The land reserved through North Leatherhead for the railway has become part of the course of the M25 motorway.
Ticket barriers were installed in 2011.
The present station is a grade II (starting category) listed building featuring a square tower above what was the station master's house on the northern projection and along its long central range "an arcade of brick piers [arch supports] with moulded stone imposts and round-headed arches, each under a 2-centred extrados and hoodmould, that at the left end with the doorway to the booking hall and the others with sashed windows, and the whole under a very prominent horizontal canopy with a [wavy white metalwork fascia] supported by slender iron columns with ornamental brackets" The tower is red bricked and white stone-dressed. It is in the details of the dressings italianate particularly its bulged cornice and pyramidal (steep hipped) roof.
Leatherhead station is served by both Southern and South West Trains.
The typical off-peak service pattern in trains per hour is as follows:
Most Southern services terminate at Dorking after 20.00 on weekdays and there is no Saturday evening or Sunday service south of there.
|Preceding station||National Rail||Following station|
Sutton & Mole Valley Line
|Box Hill & Westhumble or Dorking|
Peak periods only
|Ashtead||South West Trains
Mole Valley Line
|South West Trains
Mole Valley Line
Peak Hours Only
|Box Hill and Westhumble|
|South West Trains
Mole Valley Line
Notes and references
- Butt, R.V.J. (1995). The Directory of Railway Stations. Yeovil: Patrick Stephens Ltd. p. 140. ISBN 1-85260-508-1. R508.
- 'Parishes: Leatherhead' in A History of the County of Surrey: Volume 3, ed. H E Malden (London, 1911), pp. 293-301 accessed 15 November 2015.
- Mallinson, Howard (2006). Guildford via Cobham. Mallinson. pp. 137, 141.
- britishlistedbuildings.co.uk Leatherhead Station British Listed Buildings (british listed buildings.co.uk)
- Moody, G.T. (1979). Southern Electric 1909 - 1979. Ian Allan. pp. 26, 27, 42.
- Historic England. "Details from listed building database (1191033)". National Heritage List for England.
- GB eNRT 2015-16 Edition, Table 180
- Dorking, Leatherhead, Epsom and Banstead bus timetables Surrey County Council. Accessed 21 November 2015.