Purley railway station

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Purley National Rail
Purley Station, towards London geograph-3970232-by-Ben-Brooksbank.jpg
Purley is located in Greater London
Location of Purley in Greater London
Location Purley
Local authority London Borough of Croydon
Managed by Southern
Station code PUR
DfT category C2
Number of platforms 6
Accessible Yes [1]
Fare zone 6
National Rail annual entry and exit
2004–05 Increase 5.512 million[2]
2005–06 Decrease 3.593 million[2]
2006–07 Increase 5.267 million[2]
2007–08 Increase 5.376 million[2]
2008–09 Decrease 4.234 million[2]
2009–10 Increase 5.789 million[2]
2010–11 Decrease 2.675 million[2]
2011–12 Increase 2.756 million[2]
2012–13 Increase 2.917 million[2]
Railway companies
Original company London and Brighton Railway
Pre-grouping London Brighton and South Coast Railway
Post-grouping Southern Railway
Key dates
12 July 1841 Opened (Godstone Road)
1 October 1847 Closed
5 Aug 1856 reopened as Caterham Jn
1 October 1888 Renamed Purley
4 March 1989 Rail crash
Other information
Lists of stations
External links
London Transport portal
UK Railways portalCoordinates: 51°20′16″N 0°06′49″W / 51.3377°N 0.1135°W / 51.3377; -0.1135
A 1905 Railway Clearing House map of lines around Purley railway station.

Purley railway station is in the London Borough of Croydon on the Brighton Main Line, in Travelcard Zone 6. It is a junction, with branches to Caterham and Tattenham Corner.


Purley station has been known by three different names.

Godstone Road[edit]

The station was opened by the London and Brighton Railway on 12 July 1841 as Godstone Road. Due to low traffic, this was closed on 1 October 1847 by the London Brighton and South Coast Railway (LB&SCR), which had opened the newStoat's Nest station 1 mile (1.6 km) away at Coulsdon.

Caterham Junction[edit]

In 1855 a proposal by a local company to connect the sandstone quarries at Caterham to the railway system became embroiled in a long-running dispute between the LB&SCR and the rival South Eastern Railway (SER), which resulted in the reopening of the station. The proposed line was in the territory of the SER, and was to be operated by that company. It would have to join the railway system on a section of the LB&SCR, where the SER had running powers but no stations. The new railway had to sue the LB&SCR to force it to allow the junction with its line and to reopen the station. On 5 August 1856 the Caterham branch opened, joining the main line near the site of the Godstone Road station. Three months later the LB&SCR reopened its station as ‘’Caterham Junction’’.[3]


The station was renamed ‘’Purley’’ on 1 October 1888, and rebuilt around 1896 during the widening of the main line between East Croydon and the beginning of the new Quarry Line at Coulsdon North. The SER built a line from Purley to Kingswood railway station, extended to Tattenham Corner railway station between 1897 and 1901. By the latter date it had become the South Eastern and Chatham Railway.

Accidents and incidents[edit]

On 22 September 1873, John Cunliffe Pickersgill-Cunliffe, a former member of Parliament, was struck by a train at the then Caterham Junction station. He died two weeks later at Guy's Hospital.[4]

On 22 December 1894, a collision between a light engine and a passenger train injured six people.[5]

The Purley station rail crash on 4 March 1989 occurred just to the north of the station, and left five dead and 94 injured. A memorial garden was created at the station to commemorate this.[6]

On the night of Friday 5 July 2002 a fire occurred on the 23:15 train from Caterham. A rail attendant, Philip Cable, helped put out the fire, and suffered an asthma attack and collapsed. He died at Mayday Hospital in Croydon a few hours later. A charge of manslaughter was laid against Karl Lacey, who had set fire to newspapers and cushions in the carriage, and he was sentenced to four years' youth custody.[7]

Lift installation works[edit]

From October 2007, the subway to the platforms was temporarily closed while lifts to platforms were being installed. During this work a temporary footbridge was installed at the northern end of the platforms. In order to access platforms from the main entrance passengers had to use the permanent staircase to platform one and walk the length of the platform to the temporary footbridge.

Ticket gates[edit]

Electronic ticket gates were installed in summer 2009 as part of a project sponsored by the Department for Transport. Gates have been installed on both sides of the station and a new entrance created adjacent to platform 6. Some minor refurbishment of the main ticket hall was also carried out.


Platform 1 and 2 are normally used only on Saturdays and when engineering works dictate. On weekdays, fast services on the Brighton Main Line make no stops between East Croydon and Brighton: these trains, together with Gatwick Express and Thameslink services, pass through platforms 1 and 2. During 2008 a fence was erected to prevent access to Platform 2, for safety reasons. A gate at the southern end of this fence is opened by staff for the few trains that stop.

Platform 3 is used for mainline services to London Bridge and London Victoria.

Platform 4 is used for mainline services to Horsham, Tonbridge and Reigate and weekend services to Bognor Regis.

Platform 5 and 6 serve the branch lines to Tattenham Corner and Caterham. Both these platforms can be used by trains in either direction, though platform 5 is primarily northbound towards London and platform 6 is usually southbound.


The typical off-peak train service per hour is:

  • 2 to London Victoria, calling at Purley Oaks, South Croydon, East Croydon, Selhurst, Thornton Heath, Norbury, Streatham Common, Balham, Wandsworth Common, Clapham Junction and Battersea Park (faster services to Clapham Junction and London Victoria are available by changing at East Croydon)
  • 8 to London Bridge, of which
4 call at East Croydon and Norwood Junction
2 call at East Croydon, Norwood Junction and New Cross Gate
2 call at Purley Oaks, South Croydon, East Croydon, Norwood Junction, Anerley, Penge West, Sydenham, Forest Hill, Honor Oak Park, Brockley and New Cross Gate
  • 4 to Caterham, calling at Kenley, Whyteleafe and Whyteleafe South
  • 3 to Tattenham Corner, calling at Reedham, Coulsdon Town, Woodmansterne, Chipstead, Kingswood and Tadworth
  • 1 to Tonbridge, calling at Coulsdon South, Redhill, Nutfield, Godstone, Edenbridge, Penshurst and Leigh
  • 1 to Reigate, calling at Coulsdon South, Merstham and Redhill
  • 2 to Horsham, calling at Coulsdon South, Merstham, Redhill, Earlswood, Salfords, Horley, Gatwick Airport, Three Bridges, Crawley, Ifield, Faygate and Littlehaven

An hourly night service also operates between Three Bridges and London Victoria.

Preceding station National Rail National Rail Following station
Purley Oaks   Southern
Tattenham Corner Line
Brighton Main Line
  Coulsdon South
Caterham Line
East Croydon   Southern
London Bridge to Tonbridge
(via Redhill and East Croydon)
  Coulsdon South
Purley Oaks   Southern
West London Line
  Reedham or
Historical railways
Purley Oaks   Network SouthEast
Brighton Main Line
  Coulsdon North


London Buses routes 127 and 289 call outside the station. Routes 60, 166, 405, 407, 412, 455, 466 and night route N68 call on nearby Brighton Road.


  1. ^ "Network Map". Southern. Retrieved 2 January 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Station usage estimates". Rail statistics. Office of Rail Regulation.  Please note: Some methodology may vary year on year.
  3. ^ Turner, John Howard (1978). The London Brighton and South Coast Railway 2 Establishment and Growth. Batsford. ISBN 0-7134-1198-8.  p. 233-7.
  4. ^ "Banking Obituaries". The Bankers' Magazine 33: 1053–1054. 1873. Retrieved 30 January 2013. 
  5. ^ Kidner, R. W. (1977) [1963]. The South Eastern and Chatham Railway. Tarrant Hinton: The Oakwood Press. p. 49. 
  6. ^ Till, Joanna (2 February 2011). "Memorial to Purley train crash victims is now a fitting crash tribute". This is Croydon Today. Retrieved 2011-03-25. 
  7. ^ "Teenager jailed for manslaughter". BBC. 11 June 2004. Retrieved 15 September 2012. 

External links[edit]