Norwood Junction railway station

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Norwood Junction London Overground National Rail
Norwood Junction stn building.JPG
Station entrance
Norwood Junction is located in Greater London
Norwood Junction
Norwood Junction
Location of Norwood Junction in Greater London
LocationSouth Norwood
Local authorityLondon Borough of Croydon
Managed byLondon Overground
OwnerNetwork Rail
Station codeNWD
DfT categoryC2
Number of platforms6 (Formerly 7)
AccessibleYes (Platform 1 Northbound only)[1]
Fare zone4
National Rail annual entry and exit
2016–17Increase 4.363 million[2]
– interchange Decrease 1.183 million[2]
2017–18Increase 4.375 million[2]
– interchange Increase 1.218 million[2]
2018–19Increase 4.576 million[2]
– interchange Decrease 1.045 million[2]
2019–20Increase 4.625 million[2]
– interchange Increase 1.121 million[2]
2020–21Decrease 1.490 million[2]
– interchange Decrease 0.282 million[2]
Railway companies
Original companyLondon & Croydon Railway
Key dates
5 June 1839Opened as Jolly Sailor
October 1846Renamed Norwood
1 June 1859Resited
1865LBSCR Goods Shed built[3]
1 October 1910Renamed Norwood Junction and South Norwood for Woodside
13 June 1955Renamed Norwood Junction[4]
Other information
External links
WGS8451°23′50″N 0°4′30″W / 51.39722°N 0.07500°W / 51.39722; -0.07500Coordinates: 51°23′50″N 0°4′30″W / 51.39722°N 0.07500°W / 51.39722; -0.07500
Underground sign at Westminster.jpg London transport portal

Norwood Junction railway station is a National Rail station in South Norwood in the London Borough of Croydon, south London and is in Travelcard Zone 4.[5] It is 8 miles 55 chains (13.98 km) down the line from London Bridge.

The station is managed by London Overground and trains are operated by London Overground, Thameslink and Southern.


The station has occupied two sites under three different names.

Jolly-sailor and Norwood stations[edit]

Jolly-sailor station in 1845, showing the atmospheric railway pumping station, with its Gothic chimney vent, in the foreground.[6]

In 1839 the London and Croydon Railway opened Jolly-sailor station — "Jolly-sailor near Beulah Spa" on fares lists and timetables — at the north end of the High Street, adjacent to the Portland Road level crossing. From 1841 the lines through Norwood were used by the London and Brighton Railway and from 1842 the South Eastern Railway, but neither of these companies used the station. (The Jolly Sailor is a pub — originally the Jolly Sailor Inn — on the corner of Portland Road and High Street. The original pub was rebuilt around the late 1860s.[7]) It has now closed.

In 1844 the L&CR was given parliamentary authority to test an experimental atmospheric railway system on the railway. A pumping station was built on Portland Road to create a vacuum in a continuous pipe located centrally between the rails. A piston extended downwards from the trains into a slit in the pipe, with trains blown towards the pumping station by atmospheric pressure. The pumping station was in a Gothic style, with a very tall ornate tower that served both as a chimney and as an exhaust vent for air pumped from the propulsion tube.

As part of the works for the atmospheric system, the world's first railway flyover was constructed beyond the south end of the station to carry the atmospheric line over the conventional London & Brighton Railway steam line. At the same time the level crossing at Portland Road was replaced by a low bridge across the road.[8]

In July 1846 the L&CR merged with the L&BR to form the London Brighton and South Coast Railway,[9] and the station was renamed Norwood in the same year - it became Norwood Junction by 1856. The LB&SCR abandoned atmospheric propulsion in 1847.

Following construction of lines to Crystal Palace the station closed on 1 June 1859 and was replaced by the current station located at the end of a short approach road off the south side of the A213 road. The original station building was used as a private house until the 1960s, when it was demolished.

Norwood Junction rail accident[edit]

The Norwood Junction railway crash occurred on 1 May 1891, when the cast-iron bridge over Portland Road fractured under an express train from Brighton to London.

The present station[edit]

The station opened on 1 June 1859 by the LB&SCR. It was renamed Norwood Junction and South Norwood on 1 October 1910 but reverted to its original name on 13 June 1955 though some tickets and publications continued to use the pre-1955 name for sometime thereafter.[10] There are seven platforms but only five are in use. Ticket barriers control access to all platforms. The LB&SCR goods shed built in 1865 remains in place, now used as railway offices.[3]

Platforms 1 & 2[edit]

Platform 1 is the first platform when entering via the main entrance and is the only platform accessible without having to negotiate the subway via stairs. Its main use is for trains northwards to Highbury & Islington, London Bridge and London Victoria; most stop at all stations. They mainly come from West Croydon, Caterham, Sutton and Epsom. The platform is also used for London Overground and Southern trains.

Platform 2 serves the same track as Platform 1 but passengers are not able to join or alight as the doors open only on the Platform 1 side. This is due to the live rail being on the side nearest to Platform 2. Platform 2 also is used for platform alteration.

Platform 3[edit]

Platform 1,2 & 3 at Norwood Junction when the station was managed by Southern. (view from Platform 1)

Platform 3 is mainly used for northbound trains terminating at Bedford via London Bridge. Many passengers use this platform to go to central London, London St Pancras International & Luton Airport Parkway. The platform serves both fast and stopping services, and is mainly used by Thameslink.

Platforms 4 & 5 (the bridge in the background was replaced in 2015)

Platform 4[edit]

Platform 4 is mainly used for southbound trains terminating at Gatwick Airport. The platform serves both fast trains and stopping services, and is also mainly used by Thameslink.

Platform 5[edit]

Platform 5 is mainly used for southbound trains terminating at West Croydon, Epsom and Sutton. Most trains stop at this platform and many travellers from London alight here. Services come from London Bridge, Highbury & Islington and London Victoria. The platform is used by both Southern and London Overground.

Platform 6 looking south when station was managed by Southern.

Platform 6[edit]

Platform 6 is mainly used for southbound trains terminating at Coulsdon Town, West Croydon, Caterham and Tattenham Corner; it is also used for platform alterations. Trains come from London Victoria and London Bridge. Platform 6 is chiefly used by Southern.

Platform 7[edit]

Platform 7 is disused and the line is covered by vegetation. However, with the planned two-year blockade of Thameslink trains through Central London while London Bridge station was being reconstructed, Network Rail considered reinstating and electrifying this line as a 'dead-end'. The object was to terminate some additional services arriving via Crystal Palace which would otherwise have needed to go on to Beckenham Junction to terminate, thus obviating unnecessary occupation of the 1+34 miles (2.8 km) of single bi-directional line east of Birkbeck Junction and also save a carriage set. To achieve the change the lead to the down spur at Bromley Junction would have been being removed to the up line and a facing crossover put into place west of it. To provide the necessary pathing northbound the trains would have used the same spur line, which would have become reversible to the resited point on the up line at Bromley Junction. Despite safety problems for the user-operated level crossing into the track maintenance depot on the former steam shed site (because of restricted sighting under Goat House bridge) having apparently been resolved, the changes have been postponed until the work at London Bridge is complete. This is mainly because it was judged that the cost did not justify the change, at least until a general renewal of the signal and control installation is undertaken.


Services at Norwood Junction are operated by Southern, Thameslink and London Overground.

The typical off-peak service in trains per hour is:

Platform Frequency

(Trains Per hour)

Destination Service Pattern Operator Class
1 4tph Highbury & Islington All stations via Shoreditch High Street.[11] London Overground Class 378
2tph London Victoria All stations via Crystal Palace. Southern Class 377
4tph London Bridge All stations via Forest Hill and non-stop. Southern Class 455 & Class 377
2 Platform Not In Use
3 2tph Bedford via London Bridge and Luton Airport Parkway, fast to London Bridge and then all stations to St Pancras, fast from St Pancras to St Albans, then all stations. Thameslink Class 700
4 2tph Gatwick Airport via Redhill, Calls at East Croydon, fast from East Croydon to Purley, Fast from Purley to Redhill, then all stations. Thameslink Class 700
5 4tph West Croydon Calling at West Croydon only. London Overground Class 378
2tph Epsom All stations via West Croydon and Sutton. Southern Class 377
6 2tph East Croydon Calling at East Croydon only. (Weekdays only) Southern Class 455 & Class 377
2tph Coulsdon Town Calling at all stations Via Purley. (Saturdays only) Southern Class 455 & Class 377
2tph Caterham/

Tattenham Corner

Calling at all stations, divides at Purley. (Sundays only) Southern Class 377
2tph West Croydon Calling at West Croydon only. Southern Class 377
7 Platform not in use.


Preceding station National Rail National Rail Following station
Brighton Main Line
Stopping Services
Preceding station   Overground notextroundel.svg National Rail logo.svg London Overground   Following station
East London Line

Marshalling yard[edit]

The LB&SCR constructed a large marshalling yard to the south of the station during the 1870s, extended in the early 1880s. At their height the yards on both sides of the line each had over 30 carriage roads. Because of the narrow nature of the site they were laid in clusters of six to eight, one beyond another, with the lead to each forming an individual headshunt.[12] With dwindling freight traffic the yard fell into disuse by the 1980s and the tracks were relaid to accommodate an enlarged Selhurst Depot.

Motive Power Depot/Norwood Cable Depot[edit]

Norwood Junction Locomotive Depot on 12 March 1960.

The Southern Railway opened a five-road motive power depot with a 65 ft (19.8 metre) turntable in 1935, to serve the marshalling yard. It replaced a shed at West Croydon. This depot was closed in 1964 and demolished in 1966.[13]

Following the demolition of the locomotive depot British Rail then redeveloped the site into a traction cable depot for maintaining the railway.


Norwood Junction is well served by bus routes, with three bus stops including two bus stands close by. On the Portland Road side are two stops for routes 197 (Croydon Town Centre – Norwood Junction – Peckham) and 312 (South Croydon, Bus Garage – East Croydon – Norwood Junction).[14][15] The High Street 'Clocktower' stop serves routes 75 (Croydon Town Centre – Penge – Lewisham Station), 157 (Morden – West Croydon – Crystal Palace) and 410 (Wallington – Croydon – Crystal Palace).[14] The Grosvenor Road stop serves routes 130 (New Addington – Addington Village – Thornton Heath, Parchmore Road) and 196 (Norwood Junction – Brixton – Elephant and Castle).[14][15]

Route 75 was formerly a 24-hour route but that facility was withdrawn in favour of a higher frequency of buses on a Sunday[16] by Selkent when it took the service over from Stagecoach London. Metrobus won the contract from April 2009 and works the route from its Croydon garage. Nowadays the route is operated by Stagecoach London. The stop on Night Bus route N68[17] is half a mile away on Whitehorse Lane. Other service operators are Arriva London, Abellio and Metrobus.

Latest Improvements[edit]

Thameslink Programme[edit]

The Thameslink Programme (formerly known as Thameslink 2000), is a £3.5 billion major project to expand the Thameslink network from 51 to 172 stations[18] extending northwards to Bedford, Peterborough, Cambridge and King's Lynn and southwards to Guildford, Eastbourne, Horsham, Hove to Littlehampton, East Grinstead, Ashford and Dartford. The project includes the lengthening of platforms, station remodelling, new railway infrastructure (e.g. viaducts) and additional rolling stock. The new Thameslink timetable for Norwood Junction started 20 May 2018. "Norwood Junction gain[ed] an all-day-long Thameslink service to Bedford via Blackfriars and St Pancras, with two trains per hour to Epsom via Sutton" and timetables will continue being expanded and adjusted into 2019.[19][20]


Norwood Junction station Upgrade.[edit]

Network Rail have made proposals to upgrade Norwood Junction. The scheme is a key part of Network Rail's long-term plans to unblock the railway bottleneck in the Croydon area, enabling the operation of more frequent and more reliable services on the Brighton Main Line and its branch lines.

Network Rail proposals[edit]

  • Modify the existing track and platform layouts
  • Provide a track layout that allows more trains to run through and stop at the station
  • Reconfigure the platforms to provide dedicated island platforms for northbound and southbound services
  • Provide dedicated tracks away from the platforms, for fast non‑stopping trains.

Lengthen and widen platforms[edit]

  • Lengthen platforms to allow full length (12-car) trains to stop and open all their doors at the station.
  • Widen all platforms to provide more space for passengers.

Provide step-free access[edit]

  • Provide two new footbridges, one with lifts to provide step-free access to all platforms.

Upgrade the signalling[edit]

  • Upgrade the signalling system to give signallers the ability to recover the service more quickly when delays occur.

The benefits[edit]

The proposals for Norwood Junction station would deliver regional and local benefits.

More frequent and more reliable services[edit]

The proposals form a key part of the wider plans to unblock the Croydon bottleneck, but they would also have benefits as a standalone project, helping to improve reliability and run more frequent services.

Increased station capacity[edit]

Widening and lengthening the platforms would provide more space for passengers to wait and get on and off train services. Providing two footbridges would reduce congestion and allow passengers to move more freely through the station.

Network Rail's plans[edit]

Proposals are for the station to be constructed entirely within the railway boundary, and Network Rail would seek consent for these changes through the usual planning process.

The works are not proposed to form part of the Transport and Works Act Order application for other proposed upgrade works between East Croydon station and the “Selhurst triangle”, which Network Rail has been consulting on. Further consultations on the Norwood proposals were due to take place in 2020.

The proposals for Norwood Junction station are unfunded, as are the wider proposals to upgrade the Brighton Main Line. Over the months and years ahead Network Rail will continue to make the case for investment in the Brighton Main Line railway 2020.

In literature[edit]

It is from this station that Jonas Oldacre takes his train to London Bridge in Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes story "The Adventure of the Norwood Builder" (1903).[21]


  1. ^ "Step free Tube Guide" (PDF). Transport for London. April 2021. Archived (PDF) from the original on 15 May 2021.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Estimates of station usage". Rail statistics. Office of Rail Regulation. Please note: Some methodology may vary year on year.
  3. ^ a b "London's Last Goods Sheds". The London Railway Record. 91: 233. April 2017.
  4. ^ Butt, R.V.J. (1995). The Directory of Railway Stations, Patrick Stephens Ltd, Sparkford, ISBN 1-85260-508-1, p. 175.
  5. ^ Standard Tube Map (PDF) (Map). Not to scale. Transport for London. October 2021. Archived (PDF) from the original on 14 November 2021. Retrieved 14 November 2021.
  6. ^ "Jolly-sailor Station". The Pictorial Times. 1845.
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 21 August 2016. Retrieved 20 August 2016.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ Connor, J.E. (2006). London's Disused Stations: The London Brighton & South Coast Railway. Colchester: Connor & Butler. p. 70. ISBN 978-0-947699-39-0.
  9. ^ London Brighton and South Coast Railway
  10. ^ Chronology of London Railways by H.V.Borley
  11. ^ "East & Inner South London Line timetable" (PDF). Transport for London. 2013. Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 October 2013. Retrieved 26 August 2013.
  12. ^ Turner, John Howard (1979). The London Brighton and South Coast Railway 3 Completion and Maturity. Batsford. p. 76. ISBN 0-7134-1389-1.
  13. ^ Hawkins, Chris; Reeves, George (1979). An historical survey of Southern sheds. Oxford Publishing Co. p. 60. ISBN 0-86093-020-3.
  14. ^ a b c "Buses from Norwood Junction" (PDF). Transport for London. 16 June 2014. Retrieved 22 February 2015.
  15. ^ a b Norwood Junction Rail Station - Bus
  16. ^ London Bus Route 75 – Croydon Town Centre – Selhurst – Anerley – Penge – Newlands Park – Sydenham – Mayow Road – Woolstone Road – Catford – Lewisham Shopping Centre (Route History)
  17. ^ "Bus Route N68". Transport for London. Retrieved 12 April 2007.
  18. ^ "Good news for South London as £3.5BN Thameslink project clears major hurdle" (Press release). 18 October 2006. Archived from the original on 28 September 2007. Retrieved 12 April 2007.
  19. ^ "The new timetable will radically change Croydon's rail services - The Croydon Citizen". The Croydon Citizen. 11 April 2018. Retrieved 15 July 2018.
  20. ^ "Train Timetables | Train Times & Timetables | Thameslink". Retrieved 15 July 2018.
  21. ^ Duncan, Alistair (2009). Close to Holmes: A Look at the Connections Between Historical London, Sherlock Holmes and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. London: MX Publishing. ISBN 1-904312-50-0.

External links[edit]