Purley railway station

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Purley National Rail
Purley station platform 3 looking north.JPG
Purley is located in Greater London
Location of Purley in Greater London
Local authorityLondon Borough of Croydon
Managed bySouthern
Station codePUR
DfT categoryC2
Number of platforms6
Fare zone6
Toilet facilitiesYes
National Rail annual entry and exit
2016–17Decrease 3.029 million[2]
– interchange 0.570 million[2]
2017–18Increase 3.076 million[2]
– interchange Decrease 0.560 million[2]
2018–19Decrease 3.004 million[2]
– interchange Increase 0.848 million[2]
2019–20Decrease 2.962 million[2]
– interchange Decrease 0.829 million[2]
2020–21Decrease 0.808 million[2]
– interchange Decrease 0.140 million[2]
Railway companies
Original companyLondon & Brighton Railway
Pre-groupingLondon, Brighton & South Coast Railway
Post-groupingSouthern Railway
Key dates
12 July 1841Opened as Godstone Road
1 October 1847Closed
5 August 1856Reopened as Caterham Junction
1 October 1888Renamed Purley
Other information
External links
WGS8451°20′16″N 0°06′49″W / 51.3377°N 0.1135°W / 51.3377; -0.1135Coordinates: 51°20′16″N 0°06′49″W / 51.3377°N 0.1135°W / 51.3377; -0.1135
Underground sign at Westminster.jpg London transport portal
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, 13 miles 29 chains (21.50 km) measured from London Bridge (15 miles 13 chains (24.40 km) from Charing Cross),[3] 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 passenger traffic, this was closed on 1 October 1847 by the London Brighton and South Coast Railway (LB&SCR), which had opened the new Stoat'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 main line railway 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 as Caterham Junction. 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 station reopened with the opening of the single track Caterham branch.[4][5][6]


The station was renamed Purley on 1 October 1888, and rebuilt between c. 1896 and 1899 during the widening of the main line between East Croydon and the beginning of the new Quarry Line at Coulsdon North in 1899. 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. The main station building facade reads 1899 as the year of construction.

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.[7]

On 22 December 1894, a collision between a light engine and a passenger train injured six people.[8]

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.[9]

On the night of Friday 5 July 2002 a fire occurred on the 23:15 service from Caterham to London Bridge. 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 was aged 16 at the time of the fire, and had set fire to newspapers and cushions in the carriage. After being found guilty, he was sentenced to four years' youth custody.[10]


Platform 1 and 2 are normally used only on early mornings and when engineering works dictate. At all other times, services on the Brighton Main Line run limited stop 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. Gates at both end of this fence are opened by staff for the few trains that stop.

Platform 3 is used for main line services to London Bridge, London Victoria and Thameslink services to Peterborough.

Platform 4 is used for main line services to Horsham and Reigate, Thameslink services to Three Bridges and Sunday 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.


Services at Purley are operated by Southern and Thameslink.

The typical off-peak service in trains per hour is:[11]


Southern services at Purley are operated using Class 377 and 455 EMUs.


Thameslink also operate an hourly night service between Bedford and Three Bridges although this service does not call at London Bridge.

Thameslink services at Purley are operated using Class 700 EMUs.

Preceding station National Rail National Rail Following station
  Historical railways  
Purley Oaks   British Rail Southern Region
  Coulsdon North


Several London Buses routes serve the station.


  1. ^ "Network Map". Southern. Retrieved 2 January 2010.
  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. ^ Yonge, John (November 2008) [1994]. Jacobs, Gerald (ed.). Railway Track Diagrams 5: Southern & TfL (3rd ed.). Bradford on Avon: Trackmaps. map 14C. ISBN 978-0-9549866-4-3.
  4. ^ Chronology Of London Railways by H.V.Borley
  5. ^ Southern Region Record by R.H.Clark
  6. ^ Forgotten Stations of Greater London by J.E.Connor and B.Halford
  7. ^ "Banking Obituaries". The Bankers' Magazine. 33: 1053–1054. 1873. Retrieved 30 January 2013.
  8. ^ Kidner, R. W. (1977) [1963]. The South Eastern and Chatham Railway. Tarrant Hinton: The Oakwood Press. p. 49.
  9. ^ Till, Joanna (2 February 2011). "Memorial to Purley train crash victims is now a fitting crash tribute". This is Croydon Today. Archived from the original on 13 September 2012. Retrieved 25 March 2011.
  10. ^ "Teenager jailed for manslaughter". BBC. 11 June 2004. Retrieved 15 September 2012.
  11. ^ https://www.networkrail.co.uk/running-the-railway/timetabling/electronic-national-rail-timetable/ (Timetable Nos. 177, 181, and 183 May 2018)

External links[edit]