Lewes railway station

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Lewes National Rail
Lewes Station - geograph.org.uk - 255600.jpg
Local authorityLewes
Grid referenceTQ416098
Station codeLWS
Managed bySouthern
Number of platforms5
DfT categoryC2
Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2013/14Increase 2.749 million
– Interchange Increase 0.643 million
2014/15Decrease 2.664 million
– Interchange Decrease 0.640 million
2015/16Decrease 2.614 million
– Interchange Decrease 0.533 million
2016/17Decrease 2.242 million
– Interchange Decrease 0.415 million
2017/18Increase 2.478 million
– Interchange Increase 0.458 million
National RailUK railway stations
* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Lewes from Office of Rail and Road statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.
170433 at Edinburgh Waverley.JPG UK Railways portal

Lewes railway station serves the town of Lewes in East Sussex, England. It has five platforms and is on the East Coastway Line, 49 miles 74 chains (80.3 km) from London Bridge via Redhill. Train services are provided by Southern.

The station has a café and there is a taxi office on the main forecourt. There is a small taxi rank outside.


The station platforms are arranged in a "V" shape, with a large courtyard in between, which is bound by the tracks (platforms 2 & 3) on two sides and the station building on the third side. The two-floor building, with the entrance from the top floor, is accompanied with a gallery, which extends to the other platforms (1, 4 & 5) as the passenger bridge.

There have been many changes during the lifetime of the station (see history section, below).

The typical arrangement for services is:
Northern platforms
Platform 1 is an eastbound platform for trains towards Eastbourne, Seaford and Hastings, from London
Platform 2 is a westbound platform for trains towards London Victoria via Haywards Heath
Southern platforms
Platform 3 is an eastbound platform for trains towards Eastbourne, Seaford and Ashford, from Brighton
Platform 4 is a westbound platform for trains to Brighton from Eastbourne and Ashford
Platform 5 is a bi-directional through platform for terminating trains towards Brighton and Seaford


The station facade

The typical off-peak service is:

(tph = trains per hour)

As of the Southern May 2018 new timetable,[timeframe?] the fast service to and from Ashford International no longer operates.

Preceding station National Rail National Rail Following station
Falmer   Southern
East Coastway Line
(Seaford Branch Line)
  Southease or
Newhaven Town
or Plumpton or
East Coastway Line
(Victoria-Eastbourne or Ore)
Falmer   Southern
East Coastway Stopping
Brighton   Southern
East Coastway Fast
(Glynde on Sundays)
Disused railways
Line and station closed
  London, Brighton and South Coast Railway
Lewes and East Grinstead Railway
Barcombe Mills
Line and station closed
  London, Brighton and South Coast Railway
Wealden Line


RCTS Sussex Rail Tour in 1962

The first station in Friars Walk opened in 1846 was originally built as a terminus on the Brighton line. This station became inconvenient after extra tracks were laid to Hastings, meeting the Brighton line at a junction just west of Lewes Station (i.e. towards Brighton), necessitating reversals for trains serving Lewes. Capacity increases also became desirable because of new direct links to London. This first station was therefore replaced; the original booking hall with grand classical columns outside survived until the 1960s but was then demolished. A second station was opened in 1857 and closed in 1889. The present station opened in 1889 in connection with a new track alignment to ease the curve east of the station. The old alignment became goods lines serving the goods depot until circa 1968.

Not all of the lines serving Lewes Station survived the 20th century. The Wealden Line had headed north to Uckfield and on to London via Eridge — this line also had trains to Tunbridge Wells West. This line was closed in 1969 and lifted between Lewes and Uckfield. Branching off the Lewes to Uckfield section at Culver Junction was the southern portion of the Bluebell Railway, a section of which remains as a preserved railway.

The gallery overlooking the main courtyard


8 June 1846
Line from Brighton opened
A terminus was provided in Friars Walk for services arriving from Brighton (1846–57).
27 June 1846
Line is extended from Lewes to Hastings
A platform is provided, called "Ham (or Southover)", slightly west of the divergence for the Hastings line (1846–48).
2 October 1847
Keymer Junction to Lewes line opened
Platforms (going by the name of Pinwell) are built opposite the Terminus, west of the Hasting line divergence, serving trains to and from the Hasting direction (1847–57).
1 November 1857[1]
A new station is built at the divergence of the Keymer line
This was the first station at this site, the station building being of a Swiss chalet style [2] (1857–89).
1 October 1868
a new junction for the realigned Wealden Line opened
The alignment of this line appears to have passed through part of the station goods yard of the original terminus. Until this date the Wealden line joined the Keymer line at Hamsey Junction between the north portal of Lewes Tunnel and Cooksbridge Station [3] (see the Wealden Line article for details).
17 June 1889
Current station opened.
The 1857 station is totally rebuilt and the track layout changed; this new station is the one still in use today. On 1 October 1889 passenger services diverted from the original loop line between Lewes and Southerham Jn to the present alignment. Original route retained for goods trains only.
On 5 November 1960, Lewes suffered severe flooding, legend has it that the Borough Surveyor requested that the London Platforms be blown up to allow flood water to escape via the railway track-bed. The British Railways district Engineer declined to co-operate.[4] In the 1960s, the original 1846 terminus building fronting the public street (Friars Walk), was demolished.[5][6][7]

Accidents and incidents[edit]

On 3 November 1960, severe flooding affected the station, with over a foot (30 cm) of water covering the lines. All electric services were suspended. Services were worked by steam locomotives and the Hastings Units until 6 November. The line to Wivelsfield was inoperable for some time.[8]


  1. ^ Southern Region Record by R.H.Clark page 78
  2. ^ page 22, London, Brighton & South Coast Railway Album; Klaus Marx, Ian Allan, 1982, ISBN 0-7110-1187-7
  3. ^ Undated map from The Railway Magazine, reproduced in Brighton to Eastbourne by Vic Mitchell & Keith Smith, Middleton Press, 1985, ISBN 0-906520-16-9
  4. ^ plate 65, Brighton to Eastbourne by Vic Mitchell & Keith Smith, Middleton Press, 1985, ISBN 0-906520-16-9
  5. ^ plate 48, Brighton to Eastbourne by Vic Mitchell & Keith Smith, Middleton Press, 1985, ISBN 0-906520-16-9
  6. ^ maps opposite plate 50, Brighton to Eastbourne by Vic Mitchell & Keith Smith, Middleton Press, 1985, ISBN 0-906520-16-9
  7. ^ London, Brighton & South Coast Railway Album, Klaus Marx, Ian Allan, 1982, ISBN 0-7110-1187-7
  8. ^ Glover, John (2001). Southern Electric. Hersham: Ian Allan. pp. 142–43. ISBN 0 7110 2807 9.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 50°52′15″N 0°0′42″E / 50.87083°N 0.01167°E / 50.87083; 0.01167